Brooklyn Monster Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Monster AleBrooklyn Monster Ale

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1,069 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,069
Hads: 1,819
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.13%
Wants: 42
Gots: 231 | FT: 14
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,069 | Hads: 1,819
Photo of Shiredave
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 Vintage
Cellar temp, slightl haze, deep orange gold color. Very lazy carbonation and a tight little tan head that makes you just want to pinch it. Thick, sagging lace clings as the rest of the foam says goodbye.
Aroma is sugary fruit and musty grain with higher alcohols that bite through the snot in my nose.
Flavor is intense - honey glazed oranges and peaches warmed in brandy.
Alcohol plays an important supporting role from start to its final dance with the hops down the throat.
Very full bodied with an incredible mouth feel as the heavy malt blends with the hops and alcohol to envelope the tongue in a flavorful full nelson.
A fine Barleywine that gets better ( usually) with age.
Very drinkable and well balanced this year. (754 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 Vintage
It pours a deep, dark amber. An off-white head, although fast fading, can be achieved with a rather heavy pour. A surprising amount of lace (given the high ABV) sticks in sedimentary layers.
The aroma is mainly of rum-soaked fruit. A sweet malty smell, along with some fragrant hops follows. The alcohol hit is undeniable. The rich and sweet caramel malt is fairly oily in texture. Flavors run the gambit from sugary sweet, to sharp-edged citrusy bitterness, to a rummy and sherry-like alcohol fuminess. This brew is NOT for the faint of heart. I'd love to have another, but I have to go to work in the morning! (626 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 batch
Pours with an orange/red color, no head but tons of wee carbonation streaming for the top. No real lace evident but very good looking beer.
Aroma highlighted by prunes, sweet malt and a peaty, highly alcoholic note. Hints of rye whisky were detected. As it warmed a spicy hop profile also appeared.
Flavor was sweet malt front, dry spicy middle and a slighly bitter, large alcoholic finish. Did not distract from the beer but definitely made you notice you were sipping some powerful nectar. Almost felt like you were drinking a boiler-maker with a very fine ale and a great smooth vodka
For all the alcohol, mouthfeel was smooth.
Drinkability was good but this one is dangerous, one is enoough for most mortals.
Thanks to beerluvr for this monster. (766 characters)

Photo of lou91
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage. Poured nice with a red/brown glow and almost still. Rich malt flavors with a buttered rum nose and taste. The hops leave a clean hop bitterness but this a malt lovers barley wine, The alcohol is readily noticeable but doesn’t overpower the hearty malt character, An excellent barley wine.

2001 vintage in 2004. The beer gave off a nice whiff of carbonation and poured beautifully with nice tan bubbles, It was surprisingly clear with a red/amber glow. The nose was unique giving off apple brandy notes. The time has truly balanced the flavors –almost to its detriment. It truly was a monster in ’01 and now is a mellow friendly beast. There remain some great flavors of raisins, malt, honey and an alcohol aftertaste just to remind you what you are drinking. Taste fades too fast but this is a solid barley wine. A solid 4.0. (845 characters)

Photo of kunzbrew
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew pours a deep amber color with red ruby highlights. A big tan head that last for a little while then reduces to a collar leaving a spotty lace behind. The sweet smell of caramel malt and strong alcohol. Hops are low in aroma. The first reveals a big alcohol flavor along with a caramel maltiness and earthy notes. This is a strong one to throw back fast. The drinkability is not so great but that ok for cold winter night beer.

prost (445 characters)

Photo of halfpgl
4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a nice suprise. I've just now started to appreciate Barley wine and I've got a nice 2003 Bigfoot to use as my "standard". This barley wine compares very nicely. The alcohol taste is not overwhelming and the hop dance nicely across the tounge. The aroma is what I've come to expect from Barley wine. I've had other less than overwhelming product from Brooklyn but I must put this one on the top of my list as a fine example of Brley wine. (446 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thin white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It smells of hops and lots of malts. The taste is good, but the abv is noticably high. It is rich malts and hops. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking barleywine. (322 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle of the 2003 edition served lightly chilled in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Clear reddish brown topped by a small off-white head. It's very thick and dissipates pretty quickly to a film and a ring. Small blotches of lace are left on the glass.

Smell: Potent smell of caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla. Mild whiffs of pine. Not very complex for a barleywine, in my experience.

Taste: A peppery and fiery taste of alcohol romps through the palate, giving way to butterscotchy sweet malts. Mild orange notes and a spicy hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Very warming due to the booze. Thick and viscous with long-lasting aftertastes.

Drinkability: Out of balance at the moment. I'll let the remaining 3 of the sixer age a bit and give them a shot. Seems more British in style compared to the other ones I've had, or at least not an über-Cascaded West coaster. (882 characters)

Photo of jahred
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangeish/reddish/brownish color, with a medium-sized head, though there seems to be a lot of carbonation in the glass. The scent isn't particularly exciting - just thick, rich malts and yeast.

The taste is the same - sweet, thick and malty, with slight orange notes and a pleasant hoppy aftertaste. But not much else. It's quite easy to drink and fairly pleasant, but very simple and a bit boring... I was looking for a bit more in my barley wine. I didn't notice the alcohol while drinking the beer, but it definitely hit me as I finished up the glass (11.8%!). (575 characters)

Photo of counselor
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this right after an Old Horizontal and this is a wee bit short of that great beer. Pours a dark ruby with a thin head. Nice hop, malt and alcohol aroma. These well balanced flavors follow through in the beer, caramel, ripe plum, and dry hop flavors. the alcohol is well disguised. Overall a good example of this style that I am beginning to enjoy more and more. (369 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very balanced barleywine. The first sniff is of hops. The second sniff is of alcohol and the third sniff is of the fruit and malt. It's a very good flavor, really malty. This is a great beer. It has a copper body with a small head. This is what a barleywine should be. (278 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very red with a tan head that recedes quickly to a lace. Very enjoyable color. Website says unfiltered, but it is very clear and so is the bottom of the glass, so I am not sure I believe that. (I realize it is conditioned for a long time). Aroma has big cherries and big alcohol. Sherry, brandy, and whisky come to mind. Toffee as well. Nice dose of aroma hops. Very promising. Great tasting smooth maltiness, nice earthy hop presence. Alcohol rides over the top. Flavors fail to evolve much. Finishes sugary-sweet on the tongue. Enjoyable, but taste does not live up to the expectations laid out by the aroma. Needs a more interesting finish. (643 characters)

Photo of merlin48
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2003-04 edition. My first barley wine. Pours into a goblet a clear ruby copper with a minimal white head that quickly disappears into sheet lacing. Aroma of dark fruits(raisins), malt, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy. Vinous and alcohol, with minimal carbonation. Taste is warming, with a big alcohol presence. Very much like a sherry. I can't detect any hops. As this is my first barley wine, I really don't know what to think of this one. Its characteristics lead me to believe that this would be much better after two or three years of aging. (545 characters)

Photo of Stubbie1
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark mahogany color. A thick head meets the top of my glass. The head quickly faded but left a decent ring around my glass. The aroma is of dark fruit, plumes figs to name a few, and a bit musty aroma is packed in there. The flavor goes back to the dark fruit and a malty sweetness to it and a hint of hops in the ends. I fell that the alcohol is hidden pretty well and gives the beer a bit more character to it.

Overall, I enjoyed this brew. It warms you up on a cold winters night. (504 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Absolutely gorgeous beer.A ruby-brown color with a very slight head that is quickly gone.Very little carbonation.Aroma of malt.Some fruity,wine like aromas.Malt dominates flavor.Fairly obvious alchohol.Not as sweet as other barleywines.Tends to almost be a tad "harsh" between the alchohol and hop bitterness.Full bodied mouthfeel that obviously speaks for the "big" beer that it is.Overall a good beer but the harshness detracts slightly.Definately a monster in itself.Worth a try by all means.I havnt had this in 2 years but remember past samples along the same lines.Will be laying a few bottles down this year. (614 characters)

Photo of Imbiber
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is from the new 2003-4 bottling, recently released, so presumably therefore contract-brewed at F.X. Matt. Deep-reddish-amber with an off-white head that vanishes quite quickly to nearly nothing. Big aroma of alcohol and vinous fruit, almost Christmas pudding-like. Malt, fruit and alcohol notes conquer the taste buds, pleasant and warming but a bit 'rough' compared to other barleywines; the alcohol bite is quite prominent so not a smooth drinking beer. Quite a Monster by nature as well as name. (503 characters)

Photo of soulfly967
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 Bottle

Pours a nice orange amber with a slight white head that stuck around for a while. The smell is fruity, with a touch of alcohol present. The taste is great. Sweet, not too powerful, with a warm finish from the alcohol. This is one great beer to warm up to on a cold winter night. (293 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 Bottle: The beer is a dark amber color. There was a bit of a head, but it went away almost immediately. There is a sweet aroma to it. It seems to be comprised of many different fruits. Also a hint of alcohol to the nose. It has a rich, sweet malty taste. Slightly syrupy, with a hint of alcohol coming through. Very rich and warming. I'm glad I let this sit for about a year to mature. Very enjoyable! (406 characters)

Photo of yankeeheel
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Y2K version

Pours a very hazy amber orange with a small white head. Smells quite heavily of dark fig, leather, and currants. Head has weak retention but some decent lacing.

Quite a heavy alcohol texture with a bit of orange greets you at the door. The taste builds in to a heavy syrupy sweet malt profile. Just the vaguest hint of hop is detected as the beer leaves your palate. It’s quite a mouthful. Glad I have a 3-year-old version. I can’t imagine how rough this would be without ageing.

It’s hefty but it’s not the greatest. (563 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is amber, with as much head as could be expected for this high an ABV. The smell is the sweet, maltiness expected. The taste is very maltish, with a slight bit of bitterness, and the alcohol is very apparent. Mouthfeel is fairly smooth. As for drinkability, I doubt I could do much beyond one or two.

Not a bad barleywine. A bit harsh, but seems like it could mellow over time. Still, I'd probably try next year's vintage. (464 characters)

Photo of mschofield
3.07/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2002 bottle - aged about 1 year
Pours a dark amber, flat with no head. The nose is brandy soaked berries, and that carries through to the taste as well. Other flavors but I feel they were overwhelmed by the alcohol numbing and flavor, maybe a brown sugar/molasses in there but I couldn't really tell for sure.
A bit syrupy in the mouth but the alcohol clears it out. (368 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2000 Millenium bottled edition - released by UncleJimbo.
Nice clouded dark caramel chestnut brown with a thin, soft, fluffy, momentary tannish head, lace fleeting in semblance if at all. Aroma is pretty full and packed with a good amount of darkened fruits, raisin, plum, fig, black currant, and cherry with a brandy-like alcohol misting off and covering the overall quality with notes of horse blanket mustyness, leather, and ethanol. Taste is pretty smooth and mellowing, malts are ample, warming as hell, whew...lots of warming in this one. A little too much for me on this one. Flavors are malty sweet with dark fruits of raisin and plum, with notes of cherry, low sweetness, a bit chewy in the finish which was nice, some caramel comes through. A very slight hop bitterness comes through as well. But overall the flavors are a bit short lived in appearance. Would like to have it roam around some more before it decides to fade, which it does a bit to quickly. As it warmed it gained some length, which helped me enjoy a bit more. Feel is pretty darn creamy and soothingly easy, smooth, a bit gripping near the middle, builds like smoke, but mildly biting overall with some light chewyness. After each sip I swear I was breathing fire out my nose. What an amazing effect. Whew...this is one barleywine that messes with your head. Boozy, potent, warming, "monster" sipper...whew... I need to sit down... I don't know if I'll be able to get back up. Wow. I'm done. Thanks Jimbo! (1,482 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.46/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I loves me a nice barleywine, and Brooklyn calls theirs a "monster", do they? Well, let's have at it, already!
Appearance: coppery color, with a short-lived far, "eh"...
Aroma: now, we're cookin'! Sweetness incarnate, redolent of a full orchard of fruits, burnished and converted to a proper cognac-y character. Alcohol is huge here, with cherries, brandy, leather, fire, tobacco, smoke, all pitching suggestions into this bonfire...this is the type of beer that makes me pity wine there an aroma as rich and full and fine as this to be found in a bottle of vino? A very bewitching aroma!
Thick texture, syrupy mouthfeel, lip-smackin', delicious, and packin' heat! Lush, full malt, low hops, but thoroughly intoxicating...screw your Manhattans, your Hennessys, your Flavor-of-the-Month-Martinis, put your lips to a barleywine such as this for a full, boozy sensation!
A benign Monster, this, powerful, but not vicious, stinging, but without malice, prodigious, but never punishing, with a long, near-lethal finsh....
A damned fine barleywine.
Thank you, McCall, very much! (1,102 characters)

Photo of mydeadguy
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2003 vintage.

poured a clear, bright ruby with orange notes, with vigorous pouring I got 2 inches of yellow foamy head, dissapears fast. Sweet hop scent with malt upfront, fruity with alcoholic esters abounding. Taste of hot alcohol, grainy, friuty, balance leans heavily toward alcohol, sweet and very warming. Mouth is slightly slick, clingy, oily, low carbonation. Drinkability, is not great, perhaps in a few years the alcohols with recede a bit. My favorite barleywines hide the alcohol with beautiful deviousness. This is good, but not spectacular, could be better balanced. (584 characters)

Photo of vitesse
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in 12 oz. bottle with glam rock silver label...
i really liked this barleywine. drank it just slightly chilled and it tasted great. high alcohol doesn't detract from it's beer-like characteristics. malt and hops still dominate the flavor profile. very sweet, with vanilla, coffee and fruity notes.
i highly recommend this one if you're looking for a "not everyday" barley wine. (387 characters)

Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.