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Brooklyn Monster Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Monster AleBrooklyn Monster Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,792 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,792
Reviews: 1,069
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 41
Gots: 220 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 11-26-2000

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

ABV varies a bit year to year.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,792 | Reviews: 1,069
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good dark brown colour, hoppy aroma. Taste is fine,orange, citrus, and dark fruit,herbal, carmel barleywine, surprising disguise of high alcohol, fresh bottle first beer at Modiale 2005. Perhaps too sweet.Nuttiness and bit of burnt notes and medium mouthfeel. 2003 is nicely aged. much mellowr taste. Has becom a sipper.

Photo of t0rin0
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottle sent to me by halfP1NT in a trade last month. Its interesting, I had just pulled a sample of my newest barleywine from the fermenter before opening this. They are strikingly similar.

Carbonation is just right for a barleywine, maybe even a touch high. Looks brown (I think I read copper somewhere in a review) but from the side its got a lot of red showing through. Very clear.

Smell is heavy on the crystal malts and when it warms its a bit boozy. Also a touch of chocolate, very british in style. Taste is sweet, slightly bitter, of aged pale malt, and of course some caramel. Don't know how it compares to an English Barleywine new but at this age it would be hard to distinguish it from something actually made in England.

Medium/heavy body. A sipping drink for sure as the alcohol comes out in the aftertaste.

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jnorton00 for sending me this one!

2011 vintage.

Pours a hazy copper/amber with a 1/2 inch puffy orange-tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some herbal and citrus zest hops. Taste is of malt, brown sugar/caramel, and citrus zest. There is a mild bitterness and alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a somewhat crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine but nothing all that exciting.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a somewhat dark red amber wig an off white head. Head quickly recedes without any real lacing. Nose is quite sweet wig a hit of booze. Flavors aren't all that present, with generic sweetness, a bit of fruit, and some booze. Medium body and some alcohol. Drinks okay, but not a terribly good example of the style.

Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(2007 vintage)
A: The beer is amber in color and not that much carbonation is visible.
S: The smell of alcohol is very much evident in the nose, along with some subtle notes of malt and hops.
T: The flavor is slightly boozy, which really intensifies as the beer warms up. Some hints of caramel malts, dark fruits, and flowery hops are discernible in the taste.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and comes across as being strong, as it should be. There is definitely some warmth from the alcohol.
D: It's drinkable but you have to sip it. I would definitely have this again, but only at the right time and place (like the last beer to close out a drinking session during the winter).

Photo of kylehay2004
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head. No lace. murky brown/amber.

S: sharp mild turpentine like smell. Hops and malt mixed in with dark fruit notes.

T: Sweet caramel. Lots of alcohol, but not much more than many barley wines out there. Its a bit sour with more dark fruit in the taste.

M: Mild to moderate carbonation. medium to full body with an oily feel.

O: Drinkable for a barley wine but the sourness is too much. Not the best barleywine out there, more middle of the road.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of brentk56
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2006 vintage; tasted in 2008

Appearance: Pours a very murky tea color with a modest head that quickly becomes a ringlet and leaves a curtain of lacing droplets on the chalice

Smell: Plenty of fusel alcohol on the nose, some caramel underneath

Taste: Opens with a fusel alcohol flavor that fails to develop in anything other than a solvent direction; some hops and sweetness after the swallow, but those flavors are secondary

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth after the swallow

Drinkability: This really has not benefited from the aging and is not particularly enjoyable

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After hearing about this brew for some time, it's good to finally have tried it. It certainly lived up to the hype, but did not come across as strong or over-bearing as I had expected. Very heavy with the malts- to nearly syrupy proportions. The complex blend of malts gives off deep fruit flavors of dates, figs, and nuts. The textures are well blended and aged for easy drinking and well hidden alcohols. Hopped for balance in bitterness and flavor only. A mild cogngac and sherry flavor shines from midway through sip to the finish. Very nice stuff!

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.65/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2004 Bottle drank in 2005: Poured a clear amber looking ale with a small off-white foamy head with not much retention. Aroma of light roasted malt with sweet floral notes is noticeable. The malt dominates taste with some sweetness and some very subtle bitterness at the end. Body is way too thin for a Barleywine and watery feeling in the aftertaste disappoint me greatly. Alcohol is well hidden and carbonation is low. The thin body and the watery makes this a greatly disappointing experience.

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep amber color with a big white head on top. The head settles down and leaves some scattered lacing The taste of the beer is big a bold. There is a good amount of hops in there too. It's surely a strong brew. The mouthfeel of this is on the heavier side and coats the mouth pretty well. Overall it's a pretty good Barley Wine.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Born in 2003. Brilliant, glowing candy apple red when even tangentially backlit. This is one of the brightest, reddest barleywines that I've ever laid eyes on. Given the ABV, I'm amazed that the head was as expansive as it was after the pour and that it's lasting as long as it is. Creamy, light caramel-colored foam crested the top of the snifter and is even now, many minutes later, a fat one finger in height. I don't even care that there's almost no lace because Monster is a great looking beer.

I really thought that three years in the bottle would have been long enough to tame the alcohol (and it might have on the palate). Unfortunately, ethanol is still the main component of the less than multi-faceted nose. A whiff of Islay whisky is buried way down deep and might have come to the rescue if it was stronger. The usual boozy berry notes are present, but they're long on boozy and short on berry.

The flavor is a definite step up, largely because rampant alcohol is no longer an issue. It still infuses each and every mouthful, but has been so rounded and softened by the years that it's a welcome visiter on the tongue. In fact, the flavor itself is a bit too rounded and softened for my tastes. It's so hard to know how long to age a barleywine, especially when one has just a single bottle and can't see how each vintage is progressing.

Due to its age--I'm guessing--each sip starts out with a measured burst of dark caramel, cherry tobacco, anise and black raspberries and then starts to lose flavor concentration (slowly but steadily) rather than hanging tough as a younger beer might do. It's still an enjoyable little sipper though and is one of the more tasty English-style barleywines that I've had in a while.

The body/mouthfeel isn't as large as I like, but taken within the context of the gentle, 'rounded edges' flavor profile, it fits like hand in glove. Tactilely as well, the beer loses momentum as soon as it registers, but sticks around long enough not to disappoint. In spite of a surprisingly loud 'pffft' on crown cracking, there's very little noticeable carbonation. Just like I like it.

I've had this bottle of Brooklyn Monster Ale for several years at least and have hung onto it hoping that it was improving with each passing month. I may have waited a bit too long, but I feared the alcoholic heat that I experienced in a newly minted bottle of Black Chocolate Stout. I'd love to get my hands on a fresher bottle some day, if only to see how it compares to this now mellow fellow.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I mean c'mon I have had this soo many times I cannot even remember. So anyway, I cracked open one of last years last night and decided to go for the review. This one poured a very nice and thick looking ruby tinted brown with a small say about a finger and a half of white lace and foam on the top. Quick recession led to a decent but not impressive side glass presentation and virtually no carbonation was immediately visible. Smell was very sweet with candy like sugar and a rich malty smell, some light hops in the foreground, but they have been mostly mellowed out. A thick syrup like feel, with not a lot of carbonation was what was waiting for me. There was a nice sweet flavor to this, and a touch of alcohol was most definitely present. A good piney hop finish was there drawing out the flavors of fresh grass and a light bread like malt. Overall this was a standard, if not a little sweet Barley Wine. Not the biggest I have ever had, but still decent. This was a more drinkable Barley Wine, in akin to the Bigfoot. You could enjoy the sweeter nectar like tones of this. Overall very nice and an old staple. Always good in a pinch, and never really bad.

Photo of largadeer
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle received from dyan a while back.

Appearance: Tawny with a tan head. It never rises very high, but retention is surprisingly good. The body is hazy, decidedly unfiltered but not bottle conditioned.

Smell: Prunes, raisins, dates - this stuff exudes dried fruit. I get a little brown sugar and sherry beneath that. This is good, but I can see it improving with a bit more oxidation - age would treat this beer nicely I believe.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet, rich and fruity, dried fruit flavors are in abundance here along with a bit of molasses/brown sugar. Fusels are faintly present in the finish, while hops are mellow; this is definitely more English than American. It's a refreshing change of pace, really, as I'm not a huge fan of American barleywines - beer tends to get somewhat cloying to me when you combine aggressive bittering hops with rich malty sweetness.

Notes: Good, not spectacular. With a few years of age I could see this being something special.

Photo of oberon
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber with not much of a noticable head but that was to be expected somewhat,aromas of orange rind and peach the alcohol is quite noticable as well pretty high octane.Whoo this stuff is quite potent but young (2005) some caramel malt and somewhat fruity but the alcohol kicks in early and takes charge until the lingering finish.A somewhat prickly mouthfeel,not sure if its because its young but wow this beer needs some serious refinement I'll hold one and reserve harsh judgement for later.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Born in 2004" Good to hear, Brooklyn! Thanks for the 411.

Appearance: Pours a robust brown, with a touch of red. Like an English Breakfast tea, except its beer, and with a crowning off-white head which faded (there it goes!) into a tight, neat bubble ring around the glass.

Smell: Cherries soaked in alcohol. Possibly a bit of freshly cut pears, but its rather difficult to smell around the alcohol.

Taste: Hoo-boy! Very sherry-like in flavor, with bit of wood in there. Hmm. I'm not really getting any clear cut malt or hop signals beyond the alcohol fumes. Long, spicy finish that eventually begins to erode the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit thinner than most barleywines (reminds me of Young's Old Nick, except way more alcohol). Its all rather coarse on the palate, but it's only a young barleywine and one that I feel is much need of a good, long nap in the cellar.

Drinkability: 11.80%?! Well, that explains alot. Hmm. For some reason I thought it was less, but I certainly *feel* the ABV. I was wondering why my typing skills were degrading throughout this review.

Not one of my favorite barleywines. Yet. AOL Keyword: YET. Let's see what a little bit of aging can do...

Photo of biboergosum
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, born in 2007, when nothing else of note I can currently recall happened...

Into a standard American pint glass (sorry, Brooklyn, no goblets here), this beer pours a slightly hazy burnt orange hue, with one finger of fizzy, fast-disappearing pale beige head. No evidence of lace, and no need to call CSI: New York to find out why. It smells of stewed dark black fruit, a bit of ethyl alcohol, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste, once past my smacking lips, is big fruity malt, molasses, surprisingly bitter, but still restrained, floral, leafy hops, and smooth, sweet, masked like it's knocking over a savings and loan-style booze. Anything more than frizzante is likely to mess with this kind of kindred balance, so I'm happy to report only a very subtle tingling from the carbonation. The body is full, smooth, and round, but not too big, like a large fella who knows when to curtail the reps and supplements. It finishes off-dry, but not so much so, a tribute to the bitterness of the musty, earthy hops that hang on.

While the astringency of the booze is a bit much at first, even after significant post-fridge warming, it eventually settles into one hell of a soft, smooth, devilishly balanced barleywine. English style, for sure, but with just enough Yankee-doodle-dandy verve to seal the deal.

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Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 1,792 ratings.