1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brooklyn Monster Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Monster AleBrooklyn Monster Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

1,736 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,736
Reviews: 1,056
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 39
Gots: 192 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

ABV varies a bit year to year.

(Beer added by: Todd on 11-26-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brooklyn Monster Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,736 | Reviews: 1,056 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Pours a tawny brown colour with little head. The nose is classic barley wine with all the old caramel smells and hops to spare. This is a very drinkable barley wine ( unlike a young Old Crusty). The beer is not huge but carries enough weight to satisfy the slow sipping by the fire crowd. As with all Brooklyn beers this is well made and balanced.

03-25-2008 03:04:24 | More by canucklehead
Photo of HardcoreKeith
HardcoreKeith

Florida

4.13/5  rDev +11.3%

All right, now this is my kind of barleywine!

The last couple I tried of this style were a little overboard on the hops, but this one is nice and balanced.

On tap at the Underground Bluz, poured into a Duvel snifter so as to make me seem very sophisticated and refined for the ladies.

It was deep brown with a significant head initially that dissipated quickly. Can't comment on smell because I'm on a Claritin regimen due to terrible allergies lately. This was an excellent sipping beer, just really well balanced and tasty, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

11.8% huh? I felt it later on.

03-22-2008 03:47:27 | More by HardcoreKeith
Photo of bloberglawp
bloberglawp

Quebec (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +10.5%

Alright, barleywine!

Pours a copperish medium brown, foamy white head, dissipates quickly, not much lace.

Aroma of malt, caramelised sugar, cake and a hint of soda. Flavor is dominated by malt, also present is a restrained hop bitterness that is welcome due to the huge malt backbone that dominates this ale.

Quite enjoyable, a delicious sipper.

03-22-2008 02:08:44 | More by bloberglawp
Photo of jettjon
jettjon

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

From a 12 oz. bottled marked 2007, into a goblet, it's a pale Champaign color with a rose tint, looking a bit like apple juice. No precipitating carbonation streams. One finger of solid, creamy, light tan head fades slowly leaving clingy lace along the sides. Nose is sweetly malty with notes of alcohol and vanilla. Tastes similarly sweet with a malted barley flavor punctuated by warm/hot alcohol masked well in the blend. Not much flavor complexity. A bit thin in the mouth, smooth with low carbonation. Drinkability is very good; it's a good sipping brew though certainly powerful with nearly 12% ABV well masked.

Overall: Tasty and stout, easily quaffable and enjoyable. Not as complex as other examples, but that may improve with age.

03-19-2008 21:03:39 | More by jettjon
Photo of beeroclock
beeroclock

United Arab Emirates

3.65/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured a dark brown with some hints of red. No head or lacing, which is expected. Smells sort of sweet, but I can pick up some of that alcohol in the aroma as well. Tastes... good. It's got some raisins & sugars, caramel. There is some alcohol bite as it warms with vanilla coming out, but not dominating. For such a strong brew, they do well avoiding being too strong in alcohol punch, impressive. Doesn't have the greatest mouthfeel, kind of watery, no carbonation (also expected) and the aftertaste picks up more of the alcohol then I would prefer. All in all, a very good beer of this type. You can't drink too many of these at 11.8%, but you are welcome to try...

03-17-2008 19:20:43 | More by beeroclock
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

4/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured a seethru leather brown body with minimal head but some decent lacings. A strong malt smell with hops and earth tones noticeable, but also a little bit of sweetness to it - like a spicy cinnamon. Taste is very strong - they hid most but not all of that 11.8% ABV, Still, a full-bodied and filling beer with a prevelant malt taste, a good caramel backbite that makes it slide down and a nice touch of hops on the backbite. Goes down very smooth, not rough at all. I liked the fact that it wasn't too thick like other barleywines; this one was stretched out for a nicer drink. The only thing that prohibits the 2007 from constant drinking is the high ABV.

03-14-2008 23:16:32 | More by clayrock81
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Saw this and just had to pick up the last two bottles on the shelf.

Color: Reddish copper color with a one-finger head. Plenty of carbonation.

Aroma: Rich and malty. Sweet, but not cloying. I pick up aromas of raisin and fruit.

Taste: Starts out with a malt kick that's strong and rich. In the middle, alcohol warmness takes over. Toasty. Smooth. The alcohol is well hidden with the rest of the flavors. The hoppiness is subdued.

Mouthfeel: Plum and raisin. Lightly dry. Malty and warm.

Verdict: A very nice barleywine that is a sipping beer. You don't want to quaff this. It's smooth and obviously would age very well.

03-11-2008 02:13:58 | More by Brad007
Photo of Monkeyknife
Monkeyknife

Missouri

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

Poured from a bottle a dark, clear mahogany color with a thin tan head.

Aroma of sweet malts, raisins, caramel, and a kiss of citrus.

Tastes of white sugar, vanilla, raisins, caramel, and sweet malts. It's hard to miss the heat of the 11.8% alcohol. Would have been nicer toned back a bit.

Medium mouthfeel, sticky and drying, with moderate carbonation.

Monster, indeed. A very enjoyable barleywine from Brooklyn despite the warmth of the alcohol. Nice on a cold winter night.

03-08-2008 00:41:50 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +8.6%

Single, 12 oz bottle purchased from Super Saver in Somerville...
"This Monster Ale Was Born in 2007" on the front, silver logo sticker...
Pours a ruby-red, deep, dark, mahogany-brown colored hue with a big frothy and foamy head which exhibited strong staying power before slowly dissipating and leaving a cloud layer of lacing around the top of the glass...
Rich, powerful barleywine ale type of smell, bursting with candied sweet sugars, rich malts, and vanilla...
Strong, flavorful, hard-hitting taste bursting with caramel, thick malts, sweet sugars, yeast, and vanilla...
What I really appreciated about this sampling was that there was a strong, rich taste apparent without being overbearing or too cloying, as is the case with some barleywines... this was a nice mixture of sweetness balanced out well with hops, which didn't make this one too hard to drink...
Very enjoyable, top-notch depiction of the style with an excellent creamy and thick mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability especially due to the subtle, non-evasive flavor and hard-to-detect ABV...
Another winner from Brooklyn...
Definitely recommended...

03-07-2008 02:03:55 | More by dsa7783
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4/5  rDev +7.8%

Thanks goes out to drseamus for this brew.

Bottled in 2007

Poured into a chalice a nice dark cherry color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, which leaves some nice oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, slight spice, maybe some slight cheery, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, slight tart, and some caramel. Medium body, a nice well balanced brew, the alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is an very tasty, quite different English Barleywine. Glad to have had a chance to try it.

03-06-2008 02:56:05 | More by Wasatch
Photo of fank2788
fank2788

Connecticut

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%

Sampled on tap at The Spot in Bethel, CT
Slightly cloudy reddish brown with a thin white head. Not much on the nose sweet malt and a touch of citrus hop and some high alcohols. The taste is not bad definitely an english barleywine as the hops play second fiddle to the malt but I'm getting too much in the way of hot alcohol flavor and to me the hops are a bit too American in flavor for it to match the style. Mouthfeel is a little slick but and pretty smooth with low carbonation and overall the drinkability isn't too bad either. I'd really like to compare with the bottled version but on tap it's not bad but not great.

03-05-2008 23:15:56 | More by fank2788
Photo of BDTyre
BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +9.2%

Note: my 2007 bottle is marked as 10.1% ABV, not 11.8%.

Good copper mahogany appearance with a head that is actually under control (most barleywines I have tend to exhibit billowy, expanding heads).

Vinous malt smell; very subdued, hardly noticeable hop smell. Hnits of caramel, raisin, and spice.

Decent vinous malt taste. Good dose of spicyness and slight raisin notes. Slightly burnt, smoky flavour is noticeable - not something I've picked up in other barleywines.

Nice mouthfeel - very low carbonation. Enjoyable, but the high ABV combined with the slightly smoky taste and somewhat sour aftertaste hampers the drinkability somewhat.

03-04-2008 08:06:35 | More by BDTyre
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +7.8%

2006 vintage, properly cellared.

In a word-smooth. The appearance is amber-orange with a light tan head. The aroma is a bit simple with sweet, lightly caramel and fruity malts and alcohol. The flavor has a slight berry taste along with the mellow caramel grains. It finishes with a nice, subtle grassy hops. Sweet, but balanced overall. Only a hint of alcohol on the tongue once the beer warms. A great beer once it's had time to mellow out.

03-03-2008 00:19:42 | More by tempest
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

I got this in a trade with nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

It pours a clear copper with close to a 2 finger head of foam with some nice sticky lacing. After several minutes, the foam shrinks to a fine broken layer.

The smell gives me notes of caramel malt and some fruit with just a smidgeon of hops.

The taste leans towards the sweet side(appropriate for the style) with heaping helpings of caramel malt working side by side with a nice fruitness. More sips in and the hops start kicking in for some balance and I'm getting some sherry and more fruit. I'm a fan of English Barleywines and I think this is a pretty darned good example of the style. Nice medium mouthfeel and fairly light in the carbonation, it finishes slightly on the bitter side and has a good long lasting aftertaste. With it snowing outside after it being near 50 degrees yesterday, this was a good choice for my first brew of the day as it does give me a bit of warming after the swallow but other than that, the abv is well hidden.

Bottom line: Another very nice brew from Brooklyn that I'd drink again without hesitation.
Very true to the style.

03-02-2008 16:46:09 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of xare
xare

Ohio

1.98/5  rDev -46.6%

Got this beer on draft at the bar last night. Was rather surprised to see that it was on tap so I immediately ordered a pint and when it was brought out, I was disappointed.

Appearance was of a brownish murky color but when peered at, appears a very dark red/brown/amber mix. Is translucent with no head to speak of apart from a soapy film. Does not lace.

Smell is of strong alcohol, almost like solvents. Can't discern any other aromas coming up from this specific pint.

Taste has hints of fruit flavors, especially dried fruits. Raisins, maybe? There isn't a real fruit profile or anything I can describe as a flavor profile. Couldn't discern spices if they were used. Leaves an aftertaste of alcohol.

Hits your mouth very smoothly then a huge kick of crispness hits at the end as you swallow. Best way I can describe it is like a stingy soapy film covering your mouth as you swallow, then disappearing but leaving a tingling sensation with the aftermentioned alcohol aftertaste.

I struggled to finish the pint - definitely wouldn't recommend drinking this on an empty stomach. Certainly not a session beer but perhaps something to warm one up on a cold winter night.

Overall, the best comparison I could make with this beer would be that it's like drinking sake, except substituting the rice flavor/undertones for a fruit flavor without any specific fruit undertones.

03-02-2008 03:10:25 | More by xare
Photo of Shaw
Shaw

Florida

4.08/5  rDev +10%

2007 bottling.

I missed buying this beer at the store when it was available. Luckily, my local pub has it. So I got a bottle to go. As per the label, I let this beer warm for about 20 minutes before serving.

It's a nice ruby in color with a tight off-white head.

It smells of dried fruit like raisins and figs, with a bit of solvent alcohol.

The taste is very nice. The dried fruit flavors from the aroma are very apparent in the flavor. I'm tasting raisins, plums -- even maple syrup -- and spices with a very nice warming glow down my throat upon swallowing.

The sweet notes are well balanced by a nice bitterness, but this isn't an American Barleywine with big hop flavor. Rather, this beer keeps most of its hops to bitterness instead of taste.

It's got a smooth mouthfeel, thanks to the alcohol.

I find this very drinkable, even with the quite high ABV.

This is another excellent, well-crafted beer from Brooklyn. And after trying many of their brews (they're sorta new to Florida) I can say they are easily one of the best brewers in the country. They don't need to hide behind huge hop additions or big ABV, as their other beers attest.

This is a barleywine to seek out.

03-01-2008 06:07:16 | More by Shaw
Photo of thisisbigrob
thisisbigrob

Kentucky

2.2/5  rDev -40.7%

12 oz. bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Pours a murky medium brown with a slight reddish tint. There's a minimal head but huge carbonation bubbles all over the glass.

S: Slight malt smell but quickly overwhelmed by the alcohol. Can't pick up any hops.

T: Pretty plain for such a big beer. The alcohol is pretty overwhelming. Only a faint maltiness saves it.

M: A weird combination of flatness and the huge carbonation bubbles.

D: Not good. Nothing impressive in the beer itself, and the huge alcohol content will mount up quick.

I'm a huge fan of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine, but was sorely disappointed by this beer. None of the things I love about the Bigfoot (big flavor) while exaggerating the things I'm not big on (strong alcohol sting).

03-01-2008 02:10:54 | More by thisisbigrob
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%

2006.

Pours murky brown with a thin creme head that doesn't stick around. Nose is strong alcohol. Flavor carries some of the same character, but also a minor cherry tone with other fruits. I'd say orange peels are in there as well. Feel is smooth and slickon liquid with a lower carbonation that still is noticed. This is a nice barleywine. I'd be interested to see this after five years.

02-29-2008 04:55:27 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

12 oz 2007 edition supplied by my trading partner tonight from his first ever solo trade. Thanks SAS and paulthebeerguru for hooking Steven up. My half poured into my standard goblet.

Little head but persistant bubbles.. polished copper brew... looks fairly thick despite the lack of head and lace.

Nose is malty with medium fruitiness.. some caramel but for the most part malts play the lead on this one. Some touches of alcohol.. but restrained for sure.

Flavor is very clean malty goodness. Mildly metallic on the finish. Yeasty fruitiness .. green apple and lite melon. I personally think the alcohol is fairly well hidden.. there is a mild solvent characteristic toward the end of the palate. Bitterness is only enough to balance the big malt structure.

Really pretty good and makes me wish I could score this brew without having to order it. Over the years the only Brooklyn brewing beers I've had were mix 12 packs that were picked back home in PA.. Notes say I really didn't appreciate all but a few... Monster is a different game all together.. very well put together and makes me realize for sure there are other BW's out there beside the hop forward Americans.

Big thanks to Steven for sharing AND Paul for the hookup.

02-27-2008 08:57:13 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

3.43/5  rDev -7.5%

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into an oversized red wine glass. 2007 vintage.

A: Sparkling ruby-brown hue with soft cap of tan head. No retention and no lace.

S: Small-time aroma of nutty sugary malts, spicy hops, and heavy alcohol esters.

T: Very nutty and slightly sweet maltiness with spicy hops that grow with warming. Alcohol is present but less prominent than the aroma suggests.

M: Over-carbonated but pretty smooth otherwise. Pleasant, long spicy-sweet aftertaste.

D: Plenty of flavor but not much beyond a strong ale, except for the alcohol overtones.

02-26-2008 05:30:43 | More by argock
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
CrazyMacHarris99

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%

Poured a clear amber red with a small thin white head that leaves some thick lacing. Smells of sweet caramel malts with a little hops and some alcohol. Also a hint of fruit. The smell is not as intense as some barleywines but I have never had an English version. Tastes of sweet maltyness and some fruit esters. There is a strong alcohol presence and only a small hop presence. Not much in the way of citrus tones or hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is a little creamy and silky but the alcohol makes it somewhat oily. I'm not a "hophead" so the drinkability is good. The alcohol is present but it doesn't burn. Overall a good barleywine and a good choice for my first English Barleywine.

02-26-2008 03:20:14 | More by CrazyMacHarris99
Photo of GRPunk
GRPunk

Michigan

4.18/5  rDev +12.7%

Bottle of the 2006 vintage poured into a tulip glass.

A- A 1/2 finger off-white head quickly became a lace and left nice sticky rings on the glass. The body was an amber-red with solid carbonation.

S- There were sweet caramel malts initially along with some stewed fruits and definite alcohol tones. The hop aroma was a bit light.

T- More caramel malts were present in the flavor. The alcohol was really hidden. Hops dry out the finish.

M- It had a nice smooth feel It was light on carbonation. Alcohol warms the mouth.

D- It's a great slow sipper. It tastes good enough to drink another, but I really only needed one to be happy.

Overall- This is a great after dinner, cold weather, nightcap, yadda, yadda, yadda.

02-24-2008 19:34:03 | More by GRPunk
Photo of jasonjlewis
jasonjlewis

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Pours a small head with no retention that fades fast. Clear and ruby in color.

Smell is of caramel malts and light hops. Somewhat alcoholic and astringent in smell as well. Fruity esters underneath.

Taste is balanced nicely between sweet caramel malts and a nice hoppiness. A little too astringent with the alcohol and a little but out of whack with the tannins. A minor flaw that isn't covered up enough. Fruity esters underneath

Weird somewhat cloying mouthfeel with a slight astringency and not very thick. Not a fan.

A weak offering. Some flaws come through with a little offness and astringency. THere is a decent balance in the beer, the tiny amount of off flavors ruin a nice balance.

02-23-2008 08:33:11 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of boogles
boogles

Kansas

3.58/5  rDev -3.5%

This is a poor description, technically, but it is like the barleywine version of Brooklyn's "IPA," a wretched beer, in my opinion. But this one is not wretched--it's correct to the style, but monsterously unrefined. The alcohol is a problem with this one. Needs hops, time.

02-22-2008 06:28:43 | More by boogles
Photo of csmiley
csmiley

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +7.3%

A - Pours a medium brown with red accents giving it a ruby color in the right light. Very generous head that stuck around for a while. Lacing is just crazy.

S - Starts out sweet with some burnt caramel and cherries. The end has some alcohol but not too much though.

T - Keeps with the sweet in to the flavor. Caramel up front mixed with some bitter fruit. The background contains alcohol and a little hop bitterness. Pretty clean flavor overall. As it warms the bitterness becomes more present in the flavor and gives it a slightly better balance.

M - Medium to full bodied with smooth warming characteristics. A little over carbonated for me but that seems to go away once it sits for a while.

D - Drinkability is good. I would drink several of these if I could manage the abv.

02-22-2008 03:12:07 | More by csmiley
Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 1,736 ratings.