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Brooklyn Monster Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Monster AleBrooklyn Monster Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,779 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,779
Reviews: 1,063
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.17%
Wants: 40
Gots: 213 | FT: 13
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: 1,779 | Reviews: 1,063 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cvstrickland
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12-ounce bottle poured into a tulip yields a clear honey-gold body with a sheet of light tan foam that quickly vanishes into a fine-bubbled ring, leaving no lacing.

Smell is richly caramel and spicy with sherry and Sweet-Tarts .

Taste is plummy and apple cidery-sweet with some alcohol and bitter citrus. Again, Sweet-Tarts leap to mind.

Could drink one, maybe.

Photo of maddogruss
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber body with a small, off-white head with nice retention and decent lacing along the sides of the glass all the way to the finish.

S: A nice, hoppy smell with some sweet, grapefruit undertones. Some sweeter, maltier undertones were evident as well, but the grapefruit notes stood out for me in the smell.

T: A strong, hoppy taste which was very nice for an IPA. Strong hops were balanced by a burnt, caramel aftertaste with some warming alcohol as well. Grapefruit smell seemed to go on the backburner for the taste.

M: A nice, smooth and full-bodied mouthfeel. There was noting wrong with the feel of this beer.

D: An excellent combination of taste and mouthfeel truly make this brew a very good one. Another plus was that, unlike some other strong Brooklyn brews, the high alcohol content in this beer was masked well by the malts and the hops used in making the beer. It was nice to enjoy a strong beer from Brooklyn without having to worry too much about the alcohol burning my tongue, effectively destroying my palette and taking away from my experience.

Photo of Saunapoika
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a clear, dark amber with a one finger head quickly receding to a ring of lacing all the way to the end. Very inticing.

S: Caramel sweetness with a raisin backbone. Alcohol in there as well. Spring freshness comes to mind but without a serious hoppiness jumping out at you.

T: Outstanding. Smooth, sweet, well balanced overall. Bitterness is just right to balance out the monsterous largeness of this brew.

M: Smooth and silky, well carbonated for the style.

D: Well, if I didn't know that this beer was advertised as 10.1%, I could have a few of these. With that in mind, after the one I did enjoy, my stomach is warming as I type. I would compare this one with the Double Bag from Long Trail only this one carries a bigger punch and is at a higher caliber than the Double Bag. Outstanding overall.

Photo of clemtig76
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to goodatbeer for this 2007 vintage. 12 oz brown bottle with the typical Brooklyn Brewery labeling. Pours a very dark reddish copper with a one finger head that quickly disipated. Wonderful smell of sweet malts, raisons, dates, and alcohol. Taste is a complex blend of sweet malt, toffee and candied fruit with a warming alcohol finish. This is one brew to savor.

Photo of sstackho
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz single bottle, 2007 vintage, purchased from Charles Street Liquors in Boston. Pours a rich dark clear copper with little head or carbonation. Sweet aroma. Flavour is primarily sweet, with some hops that try (unsuccessfully) to offset the sweetness. Not my thing - but then, it seems most barleywines aren't.

Photo of drperm
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic classic-English-style Barleywine. I prefer it to Sierra Nevada, I think.

I have now added "barleywine" to my MS Word's spell-check dictionary. As should all beer drinkers, based on this offering from Mr. Oliver & co. Rumor is that they blast the opening chorus from Carmina Burana when they brew it.

This is what we call a "fighting beer." Useful in hand-to-hand combat, I'm sure. Treat it with respect and it will satisfy you long into a cold winter's night.

Try it with dessert, especially if dessert means creme brulee.

Photo of kurtissellen
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Emptied into an oversized wine glass yielding a small amount of head with no lacing present. Dark amber color to it and had that distinct barlywine smell, sweet grapes and other fruits. Tasted a molasses sweetness to it and felt syrupy on the tongue. Finished with a small amount of hop bitterness.

Photo of Donnie2112
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks like a Barleywine, very little head and no lacing. But some nice bubbles and a beautiful amber brown color.

Smell: Mollasses, caramel, yeasty smell of baking bread.

Taste: The malt isn't quite as sweet as I'm used to out of a barleywine, but I like the clean hop bite at the end. Real nice, interpretation of the style.

Mouthfeel: Lightly creamy and oily, very smooth with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: The extra bit of hops and carbonation make this an extremely drinkable barley wine.

Photo of hreb
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's time to take the 2005 AND the 2006 ("born in" years on the label) Monster Ales from the beer fridge. Poured, side by side, in identical wide-mouth snifter glasses. Both are very deep brown amber, with no head, but the 2006 seems a little darker than the 2005. Both leave a reasonable amount of sediment in the bottle. The 2006 definitely has more nose, it smells of sweet malt and caramel, while the 05 is much fainter.

The 2005 is a bold, big ale, and very, very pleasant, even at 11%. The only sharpness in this comes from the carbonation. The age has really rounded out the corners. Hops appear on the back of the palate but are not pronounced overall. Beyond that, there's a very earthy, almost nutty aspect.

The 2006 is a different beast. Despite being a mere 10.1% ABV, and having a less fizzy, more creamy mouthfeel, this is a much more aggressive barleywine. As noted before, it smells much stronger, kind of like a dark brown ale. The flavor has different things in it: burnt toast, English bitter hops, notes of cocoa, and a nearly acidic sharpness. And yet creamy and foamy in the mouth. The bitterness actually exceeds the malt in this one, although it's still great.

Brooklyn Monster Ale is a long-time favorite of mine. Someday I must try the other 2006 and see how it compares after it picks up the extra year or so of aging :)

Conclusion: 2005: more nuts. 2006: more toast. 2005: aged well. 2006: more monster.

Photo of jmacdaddy2008
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First time I have had this beer.

Appearance-typical reddish brown color with light head that leaves quickly

Aroma-smells like spiced apple and sugary
not a strong smell

Taste-Wow...alcohol definitely present almost a burn in the nostrils at first-more of the spices

Overall, A bit surprised at the heavy spice aroma and smell. Not what I expected but not necessarily in a bad way.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves one finger of a tan head that quickly fades to a foam ring at the edge, and it leaves isolated spots of lacing. Body is tobacco amber with ruby highlights.

Smell - aromas of apples and butterscotch, which to me are indicators of diacetyl. There is a faint hint of malt bread, and a slight hint of lemon. There is much fusel alcohol, which is not very appealing.

Taste - much like the smell. Apples and butterscotch flood the tongue. There is some maltbread, and a slight hint of melon. Then fusel alcohol washes over all, and is dominant on the finish.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied.

Drinkability - Its high abv is a natural limit to sessionability, but even so, I find this to be a merely adequate ale, and would want something else after the rare occasion of having one of these.

Photo of timbro81
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to scootny for this 2007 vintage. Poured a very clear very red copper with wonderful carbonation that is topped with a nice yet shortlived offwhite head that settles to a thin ring. Smells wonderful. Sweet malts, rich candied fruits, alcohol, sutble hops. Nice silky mouthfeel that tingles with carbonation, hop spice and alcohol if you let it sit there for a while. On the swallow the sweetness comes into play, again with the candied fruit, big malts, and slight toffee. All traces of a head seems to die off after a while. A very well balanced traditional English barleywine. Very sippable.

Photo of soupyman10
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid amber color with about a finger of head that dissolves very quickly. Nose is slightly sour, lots of dried fruit and sweet/bitter toffee as well. Very little hops character, as is expected. Taste is likewise; quite sour, with a fairly strong alcohol flavor and lots of toffee flavors. Not really what I think of when I think of a barley wine, although not bad. Light roasted malt. Lots of brown sugar undertones. Body is solid although a little un-syrupy, with light carbonation as goes with the style. Overall, not bad, but not great either. That would equal...a mediocre brew from Brooklyn.

Photo of JDV
2.27/5  rDev -39%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

bottles from emacgee and The_Epeeist. Thanks!
Pours semi clear dark maroon with a medium sized lasting light beige head. Smell is alcohol, and sweaty, dirty, B.O. like malt. Odd, and unappealing, really. Taste is rich, strong and moderately alcoholic with toasty malt. Sweaty, mustiness again, and slightly syrupy with a bubbly mouthfeel. Not very appealing flavorwise, and boring and bland at the same time. I would not recoment this barely wine at all.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.22/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one I picked up at a local six pack store it is a 2007.

Poured an off white head one half inch high which settled quickly to a thin sparse head. This one has brilliant clarity and a copper to amber color.

Aroma is sweet with some vanilla and fruity esters. Sherry like aroma hints on the alcohol volume.

Big robust mouthfeel that is slick on the tongue. Strong carbonation and a bit too much for this style. Not much lace sticking around.

Roasted caramel, toffee, sweet cream, sherry, vanilla flavors are met with some bitter hops and it is all wrapped up with warm alcohol that finishes on the palate.

Not the best barleywine I have had but it has good drinkability overall. The complexity comes through more towards the finish.

Photo of MAB
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good beer but not a great beer. It hit all of the right notes and yet it just didn't have anything spectacular to make me recommend it to everyone that I know. The details:

Beautiful copper color- probably its best trait.
Active carbonation. A small amount of head formed but it eventually disappeared altogether.

Sweet but with a sour finish. It was still quite hoppy and sat heavy on the tongue.

As I said initially, an excellent example of a barley-wine, but not an exceptional one.
I prefer Alley Kat Olde Deuteronomy Barley-wine, for example.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 2007 12oz brown bottle with a silver label.

It pours a nice deep rust color with a light tan head that falls away quickly only to leave a little edge. The first few sips deposits a fine layers of head on the glass side that gets thinner and thinner as you drink.

Smell is of mild rum soaked fruits and some subtle malts and spices. A very subdued nose that is not overpowering or specific just intriguing.

Taste is warm and fruity. There is a heavy alcohol taste followed with a light touch of hop spiciness. A thick and creamy mouthfeel that is supported by a fine smooth carbonation. An aftertaste of malts and rum soaked fruits with a nice alcohol warmth.

Not a good barleywine but a good average english barleywine. I feel like brooklyn's can do better with this style judging from some of their other lineup.

Photo of tweeder263
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

This Monster Ale was born in 2005.It pours out a slightly transparent dark amber brew with about a 1 finger head. Lightly carbonated. Smells sweet caramelly very nice. The smell lets you kn ow theres some mad alcohol in this.Taste is sweet with very strong alcohol. Sipping this reminds me of brandy. This also a thick beer lots of mouthfeel. A decent beer but not my style.

Photo of canucklehead
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of HardcoreKeith
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of bloberglawp
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jettjon
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of beeroclock
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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...

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 1,779 ratings.