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The Vermonster - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
The VermonsterThe Vermonster

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

534 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 534
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 42
Gots: 68 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-23-2007

We brewed The Vermonster with 110 pounds of malt per barrel and jacked up the pour into a wide mouth thin glass goblet.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 534 | Reviews: 237
Photo of Borkman18
4.66/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Little bit of sediment floating around. Pours doo doo brown in color. Taste is fantastic! Malty and lots of barley character. First beer I had in Vermont on my vacation last week.

Photo of snaotheus
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2015-03-01
12oz bottle served in a tulip. Poured vigorously and completely; I saw a lot of sediment whoosh out with the dregs. 08814A11708 is printed on the bottom of the bottle; the side of the label as a sequence of months preceded by 28 and followed by 19. I don't know what the numbers mean, but there is a notch on the 28 and between the May and June months.

Pours cloudy, dark dingy brown, medium sized but very dense head that just seems to solidify and sit there. Lots of fine, slow carbonation. Smell is barleywine. Alcohol, wood. Slight yeast, overripe dark fruit.

Taste is surprisingly hoppy. Bright bitter flash up front, followed by woody astringency, a bit boozy. Strong, long bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and water, as is sometimes the case with barleywines. Overall, pretty good, but not great.

Photo of mick303
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark barleywine, with great lacing. Aromas of sweet treacle and a lot of hops come through on this adding resiny citrus and pine notes. A satisfying sipping barleywine, with a really great complex array of bready malt notes, coffee, a subtle sweetness matched by a serious hop contribution. Very nice, and would recommend it for sure. A rich satisfying brew.

Photo of TheMayor2
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Good, strong, bitter

Photo of scotorum
4/5  rDev +3.1%

a: Clear dark ruby with a finger thick offwhite head which receded to patchy surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Dark ripe fruit

t: Dark ripe fruit followed by a powerful hop bite. Bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue and alcohol burns the upper throat. Dry to bitter finish. Some ash notes emerge later.

m: Medium with good body and moderate carbonation tingle.

o: A true hoppy barleywine Vermonster. 100 IBUs in a good dark fruity base.

Photo of GPHarris
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage

A- poured a one finger thick light tan head into a snifter. The body is a dark, ruddy brown.
S- toffee, caramel, some chocolate.
T- toffee, caramel, slight spiciness in the finish and there is still a little heat.
M- creamy and slick.
O- nice take on this style, good complexity.

Photo of tippiecanoes
2/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is one of those beers where it gets a high score, but to the everyday beer drinker in America it tastes like the inside of a perfume bottle. It's pretty rough on the taste buds. I also got a migraine headache after drinking this one. Maybe the hops in it were a bit much for me to handle? Seemingly so. But there obviously are people that enjoy this beer. Enjoy, but I think I'll move on and drink the Grado Plato Chocarrubica instead.

Photo of utopiajane
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the color of dark brown sugar with a deep ruby hue. Good clarity and a fat tan head of foam from a vigorous pour that fell quickly. Nose is lovely. A light bit of crusty bread, some sweet caramel and a smidgen of toffee. A hop floral and fruitiness that starts with a tropical note and subsides into an earthy citrusy note. Dark fruit. Taste is layers of rich and intense malt. it seems to unfold broadly yet stay very friendly to the palate. The caramel is soft and simple, the toffee is light over that. The bread crust makes it homey. The fruit is vibrant and at times with the hop floral it's very fresh with some pine as well. The citrus seems to peek out every now and then with a bit of earthiness. It's strong and has a bit of peppery alcohol to finish it with a lingering hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is silken and not the least bit heavy but it is full and soft. There are even some tea like qualities that develop as it warms. The alcohol is a bit of warmth and a touch of flavor on the very back end.

I really liked it. Layers of malt flavors accented by some dynamic hops. This one is dramatic but in way that's a bit slow. it unfolds and you realize it as it does. Then you think on it a bit and it makes you smile because it's forceful and it doesn't seem so.

Photo of Flounder57
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz beer was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a small layer. It is a dark mahogany color with vision of tiny bubbles coming up the side of the glass.Super nice lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, fruity, floral, and citrus.

Taste: Citrus, earthy, resiny hops with caramel and toffee in the rear. All followed by lingering bitterness. Some tea like characteristics from the dry hops too.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, lingering tingly bitterness, a little boozy, low carbonation, and medium bodied.

Overall: A good barleywine. You can definitely notice the 100 IBU's.

Photo of SpasmWaiter
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh.

Thats the key to this beer. I know Barleywines typically age well, and that holds true with this beer. But the awesome dry-hop this beer gets is too awesome to let go to waste. I love this beer no matter what age, but if its super fresh (3 months or less), it rivals among my favorites. My review lies with these conditions in mind.

Photo of neophilus
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate brown, tawny highlights, off white head. Cloudy with sediment swirling around from the bottom of the bottle.

Earthy aroma mixed with malty sweetness, some toffy and caramel. Sticky hop resin on the nose as well.

Flavor is stiff bitterness on top of strong malt base. Earthy, piney hops with some sticky resin, baked bread malt flavor with a spicy rye like finish.

Finishes clean, medium to heavy body carries the stiff biterness but doesn't linger too long in the aftertaste. Hop bitterness sticks with each sip and hangs around briefly at the end keeping the drinkability up a bit. Aggressive bitterness doesn't make this a slow sipper as much as it braces your taste buds to handle the heavy malt punch without flinching.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bought at the store in Wanooski as a reward for my upcoming half-marathon.

This truly is a monster of a beer. The cloudy brown look is a bit intimidating, and the aroma of hops and darker malts almost makes me almost afraid to drink it, as if Champ would likely jump out of the glass and chase me. The taste was just mind-blowingly potent. Full of hops with their acidity balancing the malts, taming the beast. Try tackling this monster, if you dare.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark caramel-amber coloring with a frothy, foamy, cream colored head that settles into a retaining surface coat. Nose of cedar and pine tassels, rich and resiny hops, and toffee sweetness. Flavors are rich and robust, with a decent balance throughout. Hoppy forward, with citrus and tropical fruit notes on a toffee rich backbone. Notes of booze highlight, as well as some earthy tones. The aftertaste is peppery, bitter, and toffee sweet. Well balanced. Bittersweet, slightly drying finish. Heavy brew.

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy brownish red in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation around the sides of the glass. It poured with a half finger high light beige head that died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thick collar around the edge.
S: The aroma is rather boozy and has some notes of caramel malts and hints of pine resin hops.
T: Like the smell, the initial taste has flavors of caramel malts and some hints of sweetness, but this quickly transitions to a light to moderate amount of bitterness from the underlying hops that lingers into the finish. Hints of pine resin from the hops are noticeable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. A significant amount of warming from the alcohol is present.
O: This beer masks its alcohol very well from the taste and is also rather drinkable for the style because it's packed with lots of hop bitterness that prevent this from being too malty or sweet.

Photo of TriggerFingers
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Its a nice opaque brown with a quickly disappearing head. Some floaters in there....not sure if its hop debris or yeast. I am guessing the latter.

S- Very malty on the nose. Its got a black tea component that is quite nice.

T- I am not sure how fresh this is, but it doesn't "rip" my head off. The tea component continues in the taste for a strong "one note" flavor. This beer is actually quite pleasant and the bitterness is nearly non-existent to my taste buds. Again, as it stands its interesting for a Barleywine. However, not sure how "fresh" it is-- Bottle is from December 2012.

M- Good

O- Not my favorite Barleywine, but this is pretty tasty. Its not overly complex but I think what it does, it does well. I have a feeling that in a flight with other Barleywines this would come up a little short on complexity, but would score high on drinkability. Its worth a taste.

Photo of Ryan011235
2.99/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Darkness tulip on 9/26/11

Split with MbpBugeye

Pours a dull, faded, pond-watery light brown and settles a dark, muddy brown. Not a very pleasant color. The head is almost two fingers tall and drops to a skim and a thicker patch of bubbles. Some ring retention, too. Decent, scattered lace.

The aroma is terse and dry instead of overly sweet. Heck, it doesn't smell very sweet at all. Earthy, leafy hops sit atop notes of caramel, raisins, plum, dry bread and fruit esters. Fairly light overall. It gets a little sweeter as it starts to warm. Toffee and candied malts. Not boozy.

Ugh, this must be in an awkward transitional period between hoppy fresh and malty aged. Dry, piney, earthy bitterness; very one-dimensional. Tastes a bit dirty. Toasted bread middle. Undercurrents of plum, raisins and candi sugar. The taste is not bad but, as is, it's rather disjointed. Perhaps it could come together with more age.

Medium-full body. Carbonation is lively and keeps each sip on the tip of the tongue. Kind of gritty, too. The alcohol is well-hidden aside from a slight slickness.

Most everything going on is something I like in beer but they are not exactly befitting the style. I'd like to try this fresh or aged.

Photo of rudzud
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at the brewery on a beerventure. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice deep dark mahogany hue with a big, creamy 3 finger light tan head that fades to leave lots of sticky side lacing and a nice thin blanket. Very very good appearance.

S - Nice malty sweetness but a TON of booze, a faint almost rubbing alcohol aroma in the back. Faint hops as well.

T - Nice malty sweetness along with some bitter hops. Actually, a very bitter finish. Very strong alcohol presence in this one. Quite resinous here which is a good thing. Fairly tasty albeit hot.

M - Mouthfeel is quite nice. Solid carbonation but not too bright. Really works for this beers flavor profile.

O - Overall, this isnt a bad beer. Truthfully I think its the only Rock Art beer (aside from Black Moon IPA) that I actually like and would drink again.

Photo of flexabull
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle courtesy of beertruth, thanks again!

Pours a deep amber, almost brown color, with a very nice off white head. Looks good, but not a typical looking barleywine.

Smells pretty hoppy, like a DIPA. Notes of hard candies, sugars, and pine. There are also hints of nuts and dark fruits.

Taste starts out with notes of cola, brown sugar, light nuttiness, caramel and dark fruits. Finish is a bit earthy, warm, and slightly bitter. Beer is tasty enough, but it's subtle.

Mouthfeel is smooth, soft, with lighter carbonation and body.

Overall, a pretty nice beer. Fits more on the British side of barleywines to me.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label notched: 28/MAY/2012. Seems about right for when I bought this. Poured in to tulip.

A - Dark amber, brown towards the centre. One finger of light brown head.

S - Sweet up front - caramel, toffee and earthy/floral hop aromas.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee flavours at first with a big hop bitterness and a warming alcohol presence throughout. Some citrus, floral and earthy flavours come through from the hops.

M - Medium body, light carbonation. A lot of stickiness from the hop oils, which is somewhat surprising given the lack of freshness.

Photo of negroobserver
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased in Vermont in late July.

Appearance is a medium brown color with a sticky thick cream colored head.

Smells malty and sweet.

Resiny bitterness at the back end, which lingers in the mouth for a few seconds.

Mouthfeel is nice. Not too dense or thin. Not a very smooth texture either but it's acceptable.

Overall it's a decent beer, however it's not top tier stuff. This is a bit amateurish.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops, brown sugar and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of brown sugar, caramel and a little bit of fruit. Then a nice strong grassy hops bitterness follows. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid Barleywine to drink for as long as you can handle it.

Photo of lovindahops
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Guess I reached for this in the cellar as the cowboys went down 24-7 to the bears. Life is hard for cowboys fans.

A- a decadent black appearance embodies my alchemist stemless tulip with a wave of foam rushing up to the sides. A certain hearty look burst forth

S- rich malt, sugar, and raisins are immediate. Sweet caramel galvanizes it

T- a warming coated nutty flavor is presented as a sweet over tone of cashews and solid flavor. A syrup flavor slightly coates the exit. Very warming and positioning itself to be a warming Vermont strong ale

M- a sloppy feel pushes for with some carbonation to make a good feel

O- Not a bad exhibition of a beastly brew but I really wanted some more character

Photo of smakawhat
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Nothing notched for dating, bottle was purchased though at the brewery so no excuses here. I assume it's quite recent.

Off the pour a real big head, three fingers deep with a large marshmallow like consistency, off white. Body color is a dull brown/red amber body, fairly opaque. Pretty big head for a barleywine there.

Subtle and small nose, faint toasted cinnamon and malt sugars. Clean with a mellow hop angle. Fairly simple, but a little buried, but nothing too bad.

Palate hits with a huge hop presence. Dry needle like pine and faint resin hit in the mid palate. Swallow is filled with lots of earth and dirt. Light bodied palate feel with a somewhat wet consistency. Woody, with lots of hop oil finish and aftertaste, quite extreme.

Overall it's an interesting take on a barleywine and extremely hop forward so if that's your thing you'll probably like it, but where is the malt presence and depth on this? I am not into sugar rushes, but even I would want a little bit of sweetness and caramel on this compared to most barleywines.

Photo of Cavanaghty
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark reddish copper color with a tan colored head. The head lasted about 5 minutes and left trace lacing on the glass.

Smell: sweet smelling, with some malts and carmel, the sweet smell was the strongest.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied, not smooth. Taste sweet, but as sweet as I had expected. Left a dry feeling in my mouth. A good hoppy bitterness to it, with a bitter aftertaste. I could taste alcohol.

Overall: Not a bad brew, I'm glad I bought this one to try once, it was enjoyable. Probably won't buy it again though.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a sweet flavor and a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but I think it smells better than it tastes.

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The Vermonster from Rock Art Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 534 ratings.