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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

239 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 567
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 16.97%
Wants: 44
Gots: 93 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Vermonster Alström Bros
Reviews: 239 | Hads: 567
Photo of Cavanaghty
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
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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Photo of mass4beer2dude0
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Brattleboro Food Co-op on 7/22/12. Poured into 8oz tulip glass.

A. Pours a deep amber, caramel color with a nice creamy foamy lingering head. The beer contains large, eye pleasing sediments floating throughout.

S. A very nice hoppy and sweet smell.

T. A sweet and slighty malty taste with a little bit of bitterness to it.

M. Very dry and lingering and full flavored. Definetely makes you want to take another sip.

O. Overall a great beer that is very easy drinking considering its 100 IBU's and 10% ABV. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of zachary80
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, No date. Recently purchased in Vermont. 100IBU. Poured into a tulip.

Huge rocky sand colored head leaves thick lacing. Body is darker than average for a barleywine, an opaque dark mahogany.

Aroma seems muted. Light metallic note. Some sweet malts come through but nothing is strong.

Flavor is much more bold than the aroma. Deep bitterness throughout that lingers for a long time. Light amount of sweetness from the malts up front but I really like the relatively less sweet profile of this one. Not as complex as some others but I feel it works well with the profile.

You can feel the alcohol on this one, but it isn't overly rough. Body is average for the style, carbonation seems appropriate.

I really like the Veromonster; not sure why the aroma was such a let down. Otherwise a great barleywine. I wish I had another I could cellar for a while.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ActonBrewer for this one. Poured from bomber into CCB pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown that is a bit hazy and not quite opaque. Nice off-white head that fades relatively quickly.

S: Roasted malts, sweet, bitter hops. Hints of Christmas-y spices?

T: Very nicely balanced on the tongue with hop bitterness, malt sweetness and the spiciness. Really nice flavor.

M: Nice smooth, thick mouthfeel for a barleywine. Huge alcohol content is very well hidden.

O: I thought this was a very solid barleywine, and one that I would come back to frequently if it was more easily available. My biggest complaint is that I can't find a bottling date or a "drink by" on the bottle anywhere. I didn't perceive this one to be anywhere close to the 100 IBU claimed on the label, so I'm suspicious that the bottle may have some age on it and the hops have faded. Whatever the situation, it was very good, but I would be interested to compare to a bottle that I knew to be fresh.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz snifter, bottle date looks like the 273 day of 2011. Pours a orange red with a huge 3 inch head off white with loads sticky lace. Smell is big carmel, fruity esters, pine, grapefruit, and biscuit. Taste is larger, but amazingly balanced. Body is medium large, plenty of carbonation, less dry than you expect from this style, and excellent drinkability for its size. This is very impressive, a fan for sure.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on June 11, 2012. It pours an amber, copper tone with a tremendous beige head that lasts and lasts. The colors are seen through a bit of a haze. Aromatic for sure with a fabulous collection of sweet caramel malts, wild berries, earthy/piney hops, and just a touch of yeast to meld everything together. Topnotch on the nose. The body is medium to bold but overall smooth. The hops are upfront on the taste with a sweetness taking a slight back seat but never disappearing.I had this one fairly fresh and I like to let Barleywines sit for a bit before consuming. This was incredibly easy to drink and totally enjoyable.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip. The color is dark brown; appearing black at a quick glance. There is a nice one inch fluffy light tan head.

The aroma has a lot of melony hops. There are caramel and plum fruit undertones as well.

The taste starts out with grapefruit rind, with a subtle followup of malt flavor. I feel like the malt isn't quite enough to hold off the intense bitterness.

This is medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

Not bad, but not great either.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint tulip. This one pours a dark brown with a little bit of a reddish tint to it. Small cap of beige head.

The aroma is a little bit of the grape side with some hints of toffee. Very sweet on the aroma with a little bit of a grassy hop aroma in the background but this just reminds me of grape juice at the end of this. The flavor is hoppier than I had anticipated. Bitter grassy hops through this one with hints of sweet toffee in the background.

The body is medium with sharp carbonation. Overall this one is solid. The aroma puts me off a little bit but I'll enjoy it enough this time.

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

After investing in a beer chalice a couple days ago, I decided to get "the Vermonster" ready to be had.

Into my chalice:

A: brown/red colored body with a purple hazy bottom. There wasn't any head even after several aggressive pours. Since I am new to barleywines and the chalice served beers, I am unsure if a head is supposed to surface or not. The carbonation is very light and there are no rings down the sides of the glass. The lacing is very light and spotty. I did notice some sediment at the bottom once the beer was done.

S: some dark fruits, malts and a light roasted chocolate.

T: slightly bitter through hops that come out fairly strong. I taste some of the malts again. The chocolate is pretty non-existent in the taste.

M: medium, subdued carbonation helps to make pretty drinkable.

O: I really can't say too much because this is my first barleywine. Its got the hops characteristics of an IPA, yet some of the malts of a strong ale. I would have this again and would like to explore the barleywine style a bit more to see how others compare to Rock Art's.

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Photo of russwbeck
2.63/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: It pours out of the bottle a viscous brown/red color with sadly some sediment. A few fingers of off-white head, that laces pretty nicely.

S: The aroma consists of dark fruits, roast, malts, some booze, and a slight hop bitterness. I can't say it smells more like a Barleywine or an Imperial IPA. Either way, it's not great.

T: The taste is pretty interesting, but pretty poor overall. Like a hoppy maple syrup. Deep malt characteristics: roast and malt. Yet it has a really big hop note, both in bitterness and fruit. It's disjointed and odd.

MF: Thick body with a nice amount of carbonation. Not all that drinkable.

O: I thought this was an IPA, but turns out it's a Barleywine. Probably my least favorite I've ever tried. It's just very strange and not well put together.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label on the bottom of the bottle reads: 7-2010.

Pours amber-red with a thin white head clinging to the edges of the glass.

The aroma is potent, floating from the glass. Notes of cinnamon, wet wood, white grapes, molasses/maple syrup, brown sugar, wet oats, and hard candy. There are some smokey notes in the aroma, too, with notes of vanilla around the edges of that smoke.

Flavor starts bittersweet, with some light smoke, actually. Behind that are notes of caramel, cinnamon spiced hard candy, dried figs, vanilla, and some bitter hops. This also has a bit of a sulphate note on the tongue, a bit chalky and, perhaps, a bit funky.

In terms of mouthfeel, this beer, while hefty in alcohol, seems a bit weak in substance. The beer feels watery and hollow.

Overall, this is, indeed, a monster. It is a bit drier of a beer, and the hop profile has added a unique bitterness to the beer set up against a roasty and sweet malt bill. I'm not sure of the water that is used in this beer, but there is certainly something unique added by it--something that gives this hefty ale a neat, interesting character.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.88/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Body is a dark reddish amber color, some lacing.

The aroma is still pungently hoppy, this smells like a black ipa. I always get a weird(not bad, just weird) hot blacktop aroma from black ipas, and i note that aroma in here.
The flavors are more traditionally composed of a bunch of big C hops and citrus and pine, with some caramel from the malt bill, more dry all around.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fades a bit fast as it is a dryer barleywine.

I like this enough that i would drink it again, falls a bit below average, but is worth drinking when you just want to open something on any occasion.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1.5 inch off white head over a red-brown body with great lacing.

Nose: Roasted/toasty malt, piney hops and dark fruits fading into nuts and spice (almost like a cinnamon note)

Taste: Dark fruits predominate, with malts and bittering and piney hops, there are definitely some spices here I cannot identify.

Mouthfeel: Flows on the palate, bitter with excellent malt support and a great supportive carbonation.

Overall: A good barley wine, I would certainly drink it again. Might be nice to age one and see what happens to the spice.

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Photo of Kerin
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think this is going to become a staple in my fridge, and at $7 a bottle that's saying something. The Vermonster is a viciously satisfying barleywine, with sharply flavorful hops and a sweet, rich, nectar-like aroma that has enough depth to be talked about at length.

The appearance of the beer is its weakest link. There's nothing wrong with it, certainly, but it isn't remarkable to look at in any way.

The flavor and mouthfeel of the Vermonster is what really sell it, though. It's carbonated without being fizzy, and the flavor is complex without being indecipherable. Sweetness is on the front, and around the time the ale reaches the back of your tongue the intensely hoppy bitterness strikes. It isn't floral in the slightest, which is a refreshing change from the whims of the craft industry at present; it is a little piney, quite bitter, and utterly pleasant.

If you haven't had the Vermonster yet and you are happy, it is because you have never truly lived.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark amber color with a tiny head that has decent retention

S: Big on the hops, malt, and booze. Not really too much behind, but this is going to be a monster for sure

T: Surprisingly tame compared to the smell. Starts off with some herbal hops along with some sweet maltiness. Alcohol is evident, but it doesn't seem like a 10%er at all. Everything goes well together even though it is so extreme

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Some nice hop resin-y stickiness is present, but still goes down easy

O: A very solid American Barleywine that pushes the limits and enjoys being extreme. If you enjoy hoppy barleywines, look no further. Very nice price point, too, and always available (at least in this area)

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.92/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful, deeep amber color, with lovely scarlet red highlights...very clear. Slight tan head does stay for a few moments and then really fades to nothing, with just a little ring around the glass where the beer makes contact. Seriously noticeable viscosity as I swirl. I have smelled and taken a little sip...everything about the aroma and taste of this beer allows for there to be no head. I don't know...a head would almost detract from this beer knowing all its other characteristics.

Oh boy this baby smells big and boozy, thick with malt and buzzing with hops. On the spicy fruitcake side of things.

Great alcohol-infused spicy flavor to this, with an almost bourbon-like character. This beer has great depth and is incredibly well balanced.

Big bodied, smooth with a nice bubbly tingle in the finish. Just an all-around great beer!

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, no date.

appears a dark clear copper color. massive pillowy white head. head reduces to 1/2" cover that stays. great retention and clumps of lacing. huge hoppy aroma - pine, a little floral.

tastes of sweet caramel, toasted malt, combined with a big hop bite. hops are earthy. not hint of the high abv. medium thickness, higher carbonation. surprisingly easy to drink.

overall , a solid barleywine, and reasonably priced.

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Photo of claspada
2.87/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased in October 2010; cellared for anlittle over a year. No bottle date.

Pours a clearish mahogany-hued body with a small, creamy, light beige head.

Aromas begin with sharp lemon, pine hop nose with, as it warms a tad, some basic caramel malt notes coming through.

Th tastes begin with caramel malts with a fairly restrained sweetness. Citrus and pine resin shoot forward with the hops delivering a caustic, citric bitterness. The alcohol really starts to but up against the other flavors. Dry, heat-packed finish with a prolonged, lingering bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Finish is a palate wrecking disaster due to the overwhelming alcohol and bitterness.

Overall this was a huge miss for me. The drinkability is low because of the alcohol and brash, overdone bitterness, leaving this one a slow, grumpy sipper. Little malt depth, hop character, and just tons of coarse bitterness and booze. Not my cup of tea.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A – Plum mahogany body with ice tea highlights. Bone white head has great retention and lace.

S – Sweet malt, hint of cranberry, caramel, and Riesen chocolates. Fairly restrained for a barleywine.

T – Mellow opening of malt and a nice, light caramel sweetness. The center brings out a woody bitterness wrapped around toasty malt. Alcohol gently warms the finish.

M – Super smooth. Rich, medium-full body with a warm and lightly bitter backend.

O – One of the more drinkable barleywines straight off the shelf, especially at 10%.

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Photo of TabulaRasa
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer after a long day at work - and it hit the spot perfectly. For 10%, an absolutely tasty brew, no taste or hint of high ABV at all. Leaves a beautiful film on the glass. A great winter brew - will enjoy more once we get some more snow... Shout out to FrankLloydMike for buying as a house, er, apartment warming gift. Perhaps I will more intently review this beer sometime when I haven't already had a glass of it...

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Photo of cps98
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled slightly and poured into a fresh pint glass.

A – Dark brown with reddish hues when brought up to the light. Single finger off white head that tapered off to a nice ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S – Heavy malt sweetness followed by light citrus notes from the hops…at 100 IBU’s I expected more hops up front in the nose.

T – Definitely sweet and malty, as light bitterness from the hops and again at 100IBU’s I expected more bitterness.

M – On the heavier side but not too bad. Carbonation was good.

O – At 10%ABV the alcohol balanced well with the malt. Nothing exciting about this beer.

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Photo of y2jrock60
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy brown with an off white head the fades quickly while leaving behind moderate lacing.

S- Mild pine hops that turns into a dark toffee bittersweet smell.

T- Up front piney hops that lingers till the next sip. Bittersweet aftertaste that reminds me of a water downed brandy. It's hard to distinguish the taste of this brew. The hops are one dimensional and so is the aftertaste.

M- Heavy bodied with high carbonation.

D- I think a 22oz pounder will be more than enough.

This is my first barleywine, so I'm not very accustomed to the style. It's not bad, I really like the 100ibu bitterness. But it lacks depth and character to me. I'm kind of disappointed, the guy at the brew shop talked this one up. Maybe this is an excellent barleywine, I'm not sure. I will definitely try more barleywines in the futures to compare.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy deep brown. Good white head for a barely wine but it recedes kind of quickly. Super super hazy. lacing is superb.

Smells like a 120 minute ipa oddly enough. Lots of minty citric, grapefruit, and passion fruit hops. A really nice bouquet actually, very floral and herbal as well. Slight malt presence comes through on the nose as the beer warms as well as some alcohol.

Wow!

For a barely wine, hop presence is monstrous. Bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue. Extreme beer, as it's name implies.

On the top of the tongue it tastes like orange marmalade covered in dark mint-chocolate. It's bizarre. Huge fizzy chewy body with some dark malts present in the middle of the mouth. The beer finishes with a huge hop presence. It doesn't really balance the beer out, but instead interrupts the flavor receptors and takes over with citric, piney, and minty hops. Tons of flavors, not exactly layered the best but all are really good.

First barley wine i've had that I've truly enjoyed a lot. Probably wouldn't be able to drink more than one but the flavors are so good. The only problem is I dont know on what occasion I'd bust another one of these out. I also want to know how this would taste after some aging. Can't wait to cellar a few.

I'm glad I got past the terrible bottle art and gave this try (Also 5.99 for a 10% abv bomber) amazing!

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Photo of RandyV
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark tea,ruby brown color with a two finger head on the pour. Smell skews bready malt, fruit and mild floral hops.

The malt character is forward, taste of grape, mint and grapefruit rind bitterness round out the flavors. The alcohol is everpresent, but not overwhelming. It has a dry finish.

It is interesting to me that a 100 IBU ale can be slightly malt centric. Full disclosure, I am a West Coast DIPA fan (Stone Ruination sets the standard for me), so I am a hophead for sure. Nonetheless, this is a solid, respectful ale from a stellar East Coast brewer. Rock on, Rock Art!

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The Vermonster from Rock Art Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.