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Brooklyn Monster Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Monster AleBrooklyn Monster Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,787 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,787
Reviews: 1,067
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 41
Gots: 217 | 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: 1,787 | Reviews: 1,067 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kernalklink
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours syrupy dark amber with dissipating head. Aromas are strong- burning alcoholic sugars, sweet caramels, estery fruits. Taste is big on malts- sticky and sweet. They are not able to stand up to the alcohol which is rampant and raw and permeating. A somewhat caustic hop bitterness comes in at the end, but is also trampled by the alcohol. Slightly grainy in the finish with a yeasty bite on the back end. This is certainly a very raw barleywine- too young but some of the flavors are there. Would need more than a few years to age out. Certainly not Brooklyn's best.

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

A - Ruby color, no head to speak of, but a pale lacing on the glass.

S - Caramel, alcohol, malt, with mild hops presence.

T - Fruity, amazingly fruity. No big hop bite here, either. Alcohol bite, but not unpleasant.

M - Medium-heavy body. Clean and crisp, with a slight hop bite right in the finish.

D - I like this barleywine! I'd get it again. The alcohol, while present, is not overwhelming, and not as obvious as in most beers that are almost 12%.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a large snifter. Minimal head on top of a deep ruby colored beer.

Aroma is hoppy and alcoholic. Somelight caramel notes appear as well. Alcohol isnt as fusel as others and the hops seem to be a bit earthy and herbaceous. Lots of fruity esters; pineapple and sour apples come to mind.

Nice flavor here. Huge fruit flavors and even a bit of chocolate? Kind of a mango or tropical fruit juice (think Hawaiian punch) flavors. Hops are toned down and the alcohol almost takes over.

I cant seem to get over the Hawaiian punch flavor here; meaning I dont know if that is good or bad. The alcohol is certainly there and gets hot toward the end, but this beer just seems totally different than other BWs. Pretty chewy mouthfeel with a touch too much carbonation. Certainly one is enough here.

Photo of karengarys
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours redish orange, clear with no settlement. leaves little head with my slow pour.

Smells alcoholey, and sweet.

Taste is alcohol, with sweet syrup and an edgey bitter bite. A flavor of pine hops I guess.

Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy, but difficult to get much out at this alcohol level. And the mouthfeel is alcoholic too (like - rubbing alcohol and numbing).

Finish is rather sweet at the back of the tongue, but it leaves quite the strong bitter aftertaste at the back of the mouth.

This is a decent beer - if you are looking to experiment in high gravity, this would be a good contender.

Photo of Gattopardo
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich copper color with very little head, which sort of surprised me. The aroma is overwhelmed with the smell of caramel, which seems a little overbearing to me. The first taste is pretty heavy on the sweet notes but with a decent underlayer of hops. It doesn’t quite have the rich texture that other barleywines I have tried possess, though the alcohol content is less evident and it goes down smoother, which may not be a good thing! I find it tasty overall, and it’s more affordable than most barleywines, but it’s certainly not a true winner. Although I’m a fan of Brooklyn Brewery’s local product (local for us New York residents at least), I’m learning that their basic brands (the brown ale, the IPA, etc.) are more reliable than their more exotic offerings. Still, during happy hour on Friday night at the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg, I’m more than happy to leap into whatever special brew they have on tap.

Photo of mpyle
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 Version - 10.1% ABV per the bottle.

A rich amber color with good clarity. Moderate-sized off white head, tightly bubbled with reasonably poor retention, but retention is difficult with the stronger ales.

Aroma is sherry-like with notable alcohol. Dark malty with a plum/raisin character. Good except the alcohol is a bit too prominent.

Malty with some chocolate. Alcohol also notable in the flavor early, perhaps a bit too much. Sufficient hop/alcohol bitterness to balance the big malt - certainly not cloyingly sweet. Hop flavor takes a backseat to malt complexity.

Big body - coats the mouth. Carbonation moderate. A bit "hot" from the alcohol, but alcohol warming late is quite pleasant. A bit tingly on the tongue.

A nicely balanced, malty English style barleywine. Alcohol flavor/character was a bit too evident for my taste, but otherwise a nice beer. Fairly drinkable for 10%+ ABV beer.

Photo of bark
2.6/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The liquid is clear. The colour is deep wine red-brown. The minimal foam disappears quickly.

The smell is mild and smooth. I found matured notes of oak, cherry jam, lightly roasted malt. And lots of alcohol… In fact, too much.

The taste is mild, matured and balanced; very smooth malt with some roasted notes (hazel nuts, almonds), some boiled vegetables and a lightly sweet flavour of old fashioned fruit candy. The aftertaste got a powerful flavour of alcohol and a growing almost chemical bitterness. The alcohol fades away leaving room for some barrel-aged flavours of wood, nuts and some spices. The finish is a bit alcoholic with some chemical touches…

The carbonation is mild with a few medium sized bubbles. The liquid is very smooth and a bit thick.

I had expected some more complexity from this one. Besides, barley wine is not really my favourite style.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.03/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

poured into a large flaired tulip glass from a 12oz brown bottle with a crimped cap. Bottled in 06'

Clear,reddish/brown 2" thick creamy off-white head.Lots of strings of tiny bubbles tightly knitted gushing from the center of the glass with some curtians of lace on the glass.

Chocolate aromas,some carmell,grassy,alcohol. The aromas were somewhat faint,hard to pick out.

A hot alcohol taste,very boozy,straw-like/grassy with harsh bitterness,the alcohol just killed the taste.

A thick mouthfeel,rough and grainy also. Just too boozy for me could not drink the whole glass. I really like Brooklyn beers, just not this one. Maybe it would get better with age.

Photo of beerphan
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> goblet
born in 2006

Pours a clear ambered red with a small off white head that hangs around as a small puddle of suds. A few dots of lace. Carbonation is moving slow.

Nose: Sweet caramel malts dominate with loads of sugar. Some alcochol and hints of fruit emerge.

Taste: Sweet up front, with some grain but mostly an intense sweet caramel. Hops are present but subdued. Alcohol burn finish.

Mouth is medium with a lingering heat.

Gonna give my other bottle a year or so, could use some time to turn down the heat.

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

Sweet malts with a grain kick, figs and prunes in there (aren’t those the same?) Missing a sniff of caramel, but this is the English version. Woody, malty BW, English style – sweet without the hop balance. But tasty, real tasty as the alcohol demon is held in check, but looms just below the surface. And, it has a bourbon barrel taste that I likey.

A tad thin, but still a definite sipper brew.

Might never had the chance for enjoying this, if not for jrdegriselles, as payment in the Super Bowl o beer bet. Many thanks again.

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

Pours a dark amber with a creamy beige head. Malty aroma with not much seeetness at all, but with a strange hint of something (ground beef?) and with too much clearly pronounced alcohol. Finish is very bitter. A little rough, hopefylly my remaining bottles will age well in the cellar.

Photo of weeare138
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had two versions side by side. A 2000 vintage(not sure who brought it), along with a 2004 vintage, supplied by Risser09. My notes are from the 2000 vintage, as I thought it was a tad more complex.
Appears a murky, reddish brown with a fizzy white head that quickly fades away.
Smell is of brown sugar, slightly oxidized caramel, vanilla, ripe fruit, earthy, with a solid dose of airy toffee...maybe some rum soaked bananas as well.
Taste is pleasantly of the same with perhaps a port-like characteristic that has booze all over it's forehead.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, syrupy, and perhaps a bit too caramel sweet, even with the age.
Mouthfeel is

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

2005 vintage

Thanks to the wonders of trading I acquired 2 of these great beers. Decided to take a flyer on the 05 and see for myself how it tastes.

A - Rich burgandy in color, a small head that disspates quickly.

S - Rich sweet malts, caramel, ripe dark fruits and a strong alcohol presence.

T - Similar to the aroma but richer flavors and warmer.

M - Full bodied and hot, pleasing across the tongue.

D - A nice snifter, a sip at a time. Yeah, that's a good barleywine

This one is a slow enjoyer. I'd cellar it for a few more years before tasting again. Reading some of the reviews of this aged, it should be quite good heading up to year 10 or so. Now if only I could get a case to stash away...

Photo of ericj551
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

2006 Brooklyn Monster was bought for me as part of a Christmas present from my girlfriend. It pours a deep crimson amber with a thin head that fades quickly. Aroma is sweet caramel malts with a hint of licorice and some hop bitterness. Taste is sweet and smooth with a nice hoppiness balancing out the malts, but not over the top. Alcohol is less apparent than expected. Much more drinkable than last year's batch, the difference in strength is clear. Definitely a different beer from last year, but still very enjoyable.

2007 bottle (reviewed in 2012). Very cloudy/hazy. Carbonation is light. Sweet dark fruit in the aroma. Some oxidation. Hops are almost gone. Very delicious at 5 years old.

Photo of nriech
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Appearance: Light chestnut color, inch of head stayed for about 2 min. Good lacing. A little cloudy.

Smell: Hoppy, apricots, sweet, high on alcohol. Good and clean, excellent for a barleywine as fresh as this one.

Taste: A little bitter up front. Raisins, plums, brandy flavors are most evident. Good warming and body. Hops are blended well and enjoyable. Alcohol is very evident for 10%. Still smooth considering all flavors involved and very enjoyable. Body is a little thinner than I would like for a barleywine, medium/light body. I usually like it a little stickier. Im sure this will change with age.

Very good though, always will pick up if available.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange with a very thin head that sticks around as the barest frosting on top of the beer. The smell is very dry, and surprisingly faint. It almost seems more like an old ale than an English Barley Wine. Aromas of toffee, dry malt, and a touch of honey. Taste is also dry and alcoholic with flavors of orange, dark honey, biscotti, and some background bitterness. There is also a hint of a dry metallic taste in the background. Medium body, fairly dry. Pretty drinkable, but needs some more time in the bottle to integrate the flavors.

Photo of Hammarby
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber with a hint of copper. Tan head that stays.
S: Malt, red berries, bitter almond, dried fruits, brown sugar.
T: Pear. Alcohol. Dried fruits, hop bitternes, caramel, raisins, figs and plums.
M: Medium body tiny bubbles of carboration.

The presence of alcohol a bit too dominant for my taste. Otherwise as good as expected from Brooklyn. Probably good with rich food, that could balance the sharp alcoholic edge of the beer. Still the beer grows on you, as your taste buds get numb ;-). Good aftertaste. Not too many of this one though.

Photo of TheBungyo
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Nlmartin for this 2004 bottle!

Body is a gorgeous hue of sunset. Not much head and very little lacing. Nose is unsweetened orange, caramel and huge alcohol. The alcohol is like a three legged elephant trying to dance ... it's anything but graceful. It smacks you here, steps on your toe there and generally makes a buffoon of itself everywhere.

Hmm. The clumsy alcohol I mentioned is melded with the caramel and toffee/orange. It has bite to it, almost as if someone mixed vodka with an ale. I like this in spite of the massive alcohol.

Mouth has definitely benefitted from the aging. It's not quite full but definitely smooth from thin carbonation.

I've definitely enjoyed trying this but this is the kind of beer you drink once and seldom get a craving for again even though you liked it. The alcohol is just way too big and not hidden gracefully.

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

12oz. bottle silver label with born in 2005

Poured into my glass a sunburst red with some orange highlights a very thin head that was gone in a second leaving no lace. A sweet fruity smell hides the 11%. The alcohol does show up in the taste though along with some fruity and sweet malt flavors. The feel has low carbonation and is slightly watery at first with a bit of alcohol dryness towards the end. The drinkability of this one is lacking a bit due to it needing more of a balance of more hops or less alcohol. I try this one a bit fresher next time.

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

Bottle into over-sized wine glass.

This poured a shiny, ruby-red into the glass with a thin head and some moderate lacing. A nice, barley driven smell with a very evident alcohol presence within the floral, citrusy aromas. A fair taste that lacks in complexity and is very strong in the alcohol. At about half-glass, the tongue will adapt to the alcohol to allow more of the fruity flavors to seep through. I highly recommend some extra swirling in the glass to coax the flavors. The mouthfeel is watery combined with the sting of the alcohol. Cognac-like. The drinkability improves with each sip, but the alcohol holds this to one at a time, two at most.

Photo of klewis
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Brewkettle, Strongsville, OH - 1/28/07
Listed at 10.8% ABV on the board

A:Served into a snifter. Poured a reddish color with little head, but a good amount of lacing.

S: Sweet and fruity smelling, but not enough aroma to be too much more descriptive than that.

T: Sweet and fruity with quite a bit of alcoholic heat. Well-balanced.

M: Thick and creamy with light carbonation. Very nice.

D: Not great, but I'd definitely order this one again. The alcohol in the taste was a bit harsh at times, but overall, a decent offering.

Photo of Risser09
3.02/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2004 Vintage | Reviewed Jan. 28th, 2007 | Poured into a large snifter | 45 degree temperature

Appearance:Pours a cloudy reddish brown. Moderate head sits on top of an opaque, murky beer. Head quickly subsides and gives way to swirls of white lace on the miniscus.

Smell: Big, bold and malty. Dark brown sugar smell. Caramel and rum. Almost like bananas foster.

Taste: A big alcohol astringent flavor hits me right away. Burnt coffe, malt and charcoal flavor. Taste is distant from the aroma. Malt flavor is fighting to get through the alcohol burn. It just can't make it. Kinda disappointed here.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation for a 3 year old bottle. Harsh alcohol and decent warming finish. Lingers for quite awhile. Pleasant to drink but no sweet flavors assert themselves.

Drinkability: This is a decent, warming barleywine. I could drink a few of these on a cold night, or I could just go for the single malts. I'm sure that after one I wouldn't be able to taste anything anyway. I was disappointed with this beer.

Photo of vitamaltz
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This has suddenly become an easy-to-find six pack, so I picked one up. The bottle poured beautifully, leaving a thick head that soon completely disappeared. The aroma, too, initially indicated that there would be a lot going on here, but soon was hard to even detect. The taste was normal barleywine goodness with cherries and almonds coming in strong for me. The whole thing was cut through the middle by a strong alcohol taste though. I don't mean "alcoholic warmth", I mean alcohol... like somebody made a barleywine boilermaker. I think I'll let the other 5 bottles chill out in the cellar for a year or two and revist this beer.

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

2006 vintage.

Very lightly carbonated, chestnut brandy in color and depth. Very light head at the top of my 13oz snifter. The aroma is a hoppy-sweet mixe of light prunes, apricots, oarnge and grapefruit mash, and some lightly toasted, cognac soaked cherries. The taste is a carbon copy of the aroma with a much better defined bitterness and alcohol mixed in well. The alcohol gives the feeling of a mild liquer thats been slightly carbonated somehow (sorry, don't know about about liquers). The finish is an odd mix of nutty, citrus and pine, with an alcoholic period.

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

Poured straight from the bottle into a "summer glass." Not much of a head, even though it was poured rather quickly. Hardly any fizz when the crown was cracked.

The appearance is fairly nice, very consistent with a barley wine. Rusty-copper colored and not a bit of cloudiness.

The aroma has a really powerful barley wine scent (duh). A very malty, yet sweet scent. Really great for a barley wine. My personal favorite is the Rogue Old Crustacean. This is a close second.

The taste is a cornucopia of maltiness and hoppiness. I'm not sure how old this particular bottle was, but it has a definite smoothness to it that most lagers have. The alcohol presence is very evident at 10.1% abv, however, it lends to the flavor.

Mouthfeel is quite nice, but you're not able to keep it in there very long, for fear of developing dementia due to the overpowering flavors.

I'd have to say the drinkability is still a little low, being that it has so much damned flavor in it, you wouldn't be able to drink a whole lot of it at a time, but as the bottle suggests, after dinner, with some aged cheese, or with a fine cigar.

All-in-all, a fine barley wine, and definitely worth a try.

Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 1,787 ratings.