Brooklyn Local 1 - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Local 1Brooklyn Local 1

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907 Reviews

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Reviews: 907
Hads: 1,973
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 11.74%
Wants: 163
Gots: 338 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: akorsak on 02-18-2007

Brewed with German malts and hops, first-pressing Demerara cane sugar from Mauritius, and a Belgian yeast strain. 100% bottle re-fermentation; OG=18.5; AE=1.7. Classified as a "strong saison" by Garrett Oliver.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 907 | Hads: 1,973
Photo of SteveB24
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance; beautiful straw/orange. a solid inch of head that hangs around for awhile, lots of bubbles.

smell; classic belgian yeast, bananas, pears, some alcohol.

taste. fruity notes hit u right away, balanced by smooth malt, the only downside is the taste of alcohol is quite overpowering,

mouthfeel; smooth, nice carbonation.

overall; one of the better strong belgian ales I've tried, particularly impressive because its american, could easily pass for a fine belgian ale. if you are into this style, you will really enjoy it, but i don't know if it is something id rush to buy again.

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Photo of ONUMello
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass
A: Hazy amber color with a two-finger head that settles very slowly
S: Yeasty, a bit of sweet fruit, malt & spices
T: Match the nose
M: Light-bodied, hides the high alcohol surprisingly well
O: Solid beer from a solid producer for a great price

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Photo of HopSquatch
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice domestic version of a true Belgium. If blind folded I would never have known. Strong sweet tasting malts, alcohol strength is masked well. Smooth and no bitterness and improved as it warmed. Simple golden color with powerful carbonation. Poured in my regular pub style pint glass from the big corked bottle. Very nice , enjoyed it for a hour and half. Would definitely buy again. Drink at home dont drive !

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Photo of Dave1999
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy amber with a big foamy white head. The carbonation in this looks high.

The smell is sweet and malty, along with the belgian yeast smells, cloves and spices.

The taste is sweet, yeasty, spices, pepper and coriander. There's a little alcohol and fruitiness as the beer warms up.

The mouthfeel is light with a high amount of carbonation. This may be the most carbonated beer I've had.

Overall this may be the best Belgian strong pale ale I've had I just wish the carbonation was a little tamer. I'm not going to downgrade it too much though as the taste was very good.

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Photo of Radome
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

75 cl bottle, 9% ABV

A – Bottle conditioned. Color is a dark straw with some orange. Clear but a hint of cloudiness. Head is huge, thick and white. It piles very high and only dissipates slowly. Tiny, mousse-like bubbles and huge lacing. An attractive beer.

S – Smells very malty. A light white bread mixed with sugar, reminds me of that Italian sweet bread you find at Easter (Panetone?). This is underlaid by a sweet alcohol aroma. If I really search I can just detect some grassy hops and a tiny hint of black pepper. It reminds me of Bush Blond, but not as sweet or complex smelling.

T – Warm, bready malt dominates. There is a sharp, grainy edge to it that could be wheat malt. This mingles with light grassy hops and a bit of acrid, pepper-like bite that could be from yeast notes or spicing. The finish is long, sweet, and alcoholic. Again it reminds me of Bush Blond, but not as boozy.

M – Moderate body. Smooth, creamy carbonation. A light alcohol burn. Hops bitterness is low but present. Everything is just right and in balance.

O – This is a dead ringer for a Bush Blond. A great example of a strong Belgian ale, even if it was brewed in Brooklyn rather than Belgium. The aromas and flavors are not blended as smoothly and don’t have as much depth as the classic examples, but this is a great beer!

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Photo of garymuchow
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

About time I got to this one. Good brewery and good style. Beer for USA qualifier at Costa Rica.
First whiff after loud pop upon opening is a grainy cereal, but as take towards nose gets a softer malt that moves to a pleasant and soft spiciness.
Enormous head allows only a minimal pour. Pale gold and slightly cloudy.
Flavor is at 1st smooth and creamy and it quickly moves to a tangy spiciness that sharpens throughout the drink. Of course really quite dry. Some of sharpness and spiciness is alcohol related. It approaches heat without actually crossing. As warms starts to take on some mild fruit flavors, but they are background.
Soft creamy feel along with sharp prickly and ample carbonation. In time warming in the gut too.
Like so many from Brooklyn, just such a clear representation of style. Solid. Classic. Enjoyable.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle was poured into a large Duvel snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger head that reduced to a thin puffy layer. Nice lacing on the glass from the reduced head. It is a pale yellow color with great clarity and slow moving bubbles coming up through the center of the glass. More lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Belgian candy, pale malts, apple, pear, alcohol, and yeasty esters.

Taste: Vanilla, spicy yeast, warm booze, bready, apple pear, Belgian candy, pale malts

Mouthfeel: Smooth, warm alcohol, a little chewy, medium carbonation, medium to full bodied, and delicious.

Overall: Man, I love this beer. Draft or bottle, you can't go wrong. It got better as it warmed up too.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with good carbonation. It's not quite as clear as I like my BSPAs to be (then again, I don't believe in pouring the dregs in), nor does the three finger white-shaded head have the retention I look for. Still, it does stay at one fingers quite well. Nice patches of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Pretty typical of the style, albeit with a more defined fruitiness to it. Apple and pear notes are very strong, along with an undercurrent of citrus and peach. Maybe a distant hint of cherry, too. The general aroma has the dry sensation I like.

T: Aside from the standard ester flavors (apple and pear), this opens with a noticeable vanilla sweetness. For sure, this has plentiful candied sugar. Herbal notes, and MAAAYBE a twinge of hop bitterness round out the back end. I'd almost call it cidery at times. It's very reminiscent of a tripel in particular - the alcohol is hidden spectacularly, but it gets a bit sweet at times on the back end. If this has any flaw, it's the fact that it lacks complexity and depth.

M: The carbonation is very spritzy and even fizzy - I can definitely feel the flavors drying off of the palate after the back end. It seems to rely on the carbonation for the dryness rather than general malt attenuation, though; for some reason, it actually does dry out the more it warms up. Whatever the case, I refuse to believe it's 9%.

O: Best to serve this one at a cold temperature: chilled its fizziness counteracted the sweetness, and warmer it became drier to compensate for the loss of carbonation. A rock-solid Duvel clone - not as good, but not terribly far off. This bottle will get killed solo.

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Photo of bluedognever
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from bottle at beer class held at local wine superstore.

Slightly hazy clear gold color with nice bubble action. Has a sift pleasing aroma - a little bit yeasty.

Nutty, fruity taste but spicy - hint of spiced peaches. Very fizzy mouthfeel with a dry finish like a champagne.

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Photo of TheCondor
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On a recent trip to Memphis, I was able to swing into a local liquor store real quick and grab some beers that we are not able to get in KC. We cannot get anything by Brooklyn Brewery, although it would have been great to be able to see a full selection of beers. Just FYI, in Tennessee, for a beer to be sold in a liquor store it has to be 6.2% ABV or higher, and I never got a chance to go by a grocery store. But I digress.

Side poured with standard vigor from the bottle into a tulip glass, which was all I had available at the Embassy Suites Germantown.

Appearance - Pours an excellently hazy, golden straw color with a tremendous two plus finger head on it that towers over the brew. Nice carbonation action can be observed. Head retention is minimal, as is lacing, but the presentation is magnificent.

Smell - A solid fruitiness. Coriander, Belgian yeasts, and a spicy sweetness that is excellent. Very good nose on the brew, certainly makes you want to drink it.

Taste - An excellent sweetness coupled with the brews fruitiness makes for an outstanding, memorable drink without a doubt. The yeasts make an appearance, and there is but the slightest hint of hops.

Mouthfeel - Finishes clean, smooth, and dry, almost to the point of being like champagne. Wicked dry. Almost no alcohol presence. The definition of a great finish.

Overall - So this is what everyone is ranting about when they talk about Brooklyn Brewery products. I have heard so much, yet have never experienced it for myself. I am glad to see the beer has lived up to the hype. I may send my copy of the Oxford Beer Encyclopedia to Garrett Oliver to have him sign it. This is one excellent beer, strongly recommended, Condor approved.

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Photo of JamesStreet
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into snifter

A - hazy gold color with monstrous white 3 finger head reminiscient of champagne. Unfiltered cloudiness definitely apparent. Glass had lots of lacing

S - belgian yeast, a bit lemony, coriander

T - real earthy taste, breadiness, Belgian yeast taste, also a champagne-like taste to it

M - very high carbonation with low to medium mouthfeel. Alcohol (9%) almost non-existant.

O - not a bad beer, but I was hoping for something more. Almost mundane for the style which is why I tend to prefer the Strong Dark Ales. Again, not bad because I would drink again but would not be at the top of my list forthis style.

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Photo of JetEngine47
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a very good beer, but I have to say that I think it's a lower quality beer than Aureus by Draai Laag Brewing. Now, admittedly, I am a Pittsburgher that likes local crafts, but I bought Local #1, Pranqster, and La Fin De Mondes a Total Wine while visiting a friend just outside of Delaware because they are very highly rated on Beer Advocate. None of these three beers is as good and complex as Aureus. So, yes, this is an outstanding beer that deserves a high score, but I prefer Unibrouwe and Draai Laag despite the 100 ranking from the Brothers.

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Photo of Roman5150
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

* was in a social setting so I couldn't be as thorough as my other reviews, this is from notes I took on my phone

bottle into pint glass

appearance: cloudy golden yellow, 2 finger bubbly white head

smell: clove, coriander, lemon zest, belgian yeast, orange peels, other spices

taste: apple, bready, corn, subtle earthy bitterness, but not dominant. some dark fruit and typical sweet belgian yeast notes.

mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium bodied

overall: A great Belgian, this is a great American take on the style. Superbly balanced and drinkable, price a little high, otherwise a solid overall beer. Drank with a lot of non craft beer drinkers and they loved it if that says anything.

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Photo of zac16125
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle into a snifter
No born on/best before date

A: Pours a clear dark straw color with 3 fingers width of white head. Great retention and leaves lots of lacing.

S: Vinous, sweet, spicy. Belgian yeast esters, clove and white pepper spice, sweet fruits. There is a chalky, almost medicinal character that I can only describe as fruit flavored Tums. Some herbaceous/floral notes, like a country meadow. Really nice aroma here.

T: The initial flavor that hits my palate is a big vinous, white grape character, champagne-esque. This is followed by spice notes. I also get bakers chocolate, faint hop notes, citrusy orange.

M/D: Medium body, carbonation on the heavier side which is appropriate, ABV is well masked and drinkability is very good.

O: Good beer, well above average, but not great. I would definitely drink this again though.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with very active carbonation and a resilient head. Smells malty/grainy with a subdued Belgian yeast character. Tastes very malty: bread and honey. Mild noble hop finish. Yeast character is pretty restrained. A bit sweet but dries up in the finish. Kind of reminds me of a blonde biere de garde. Alcohol strength is well-hidden. Mouthfeel is very fluffy and frothy. Prickly carbonation goes well to keep this refreshing in spite of the high alcohol. I found this at half-price as my grocery store was trying to get rid of them. Good buy for the money, but I don't know if I'd pay $10 for this at regular price.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Date code of 3551, so bottled late December 2011. Sampled 5/8/13

A: Pours a straw yellow color with a massive head that lasts for a while. Eventually settles down to a decently thick collar of foam

S: Lightly fruity and spicy Belgian yeast along with a hint of barnyard and alcohol

T: Starts off quite fruity with a hint of spiciness. Goes into some barnyard, estery alcohol, and earthy hops. Finishes lightly bitter and phenolic

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Lightly dry

O: A very nice BSPA with quite the kick. Very complex, with many layers. A great bottle to split at dinner in lieu of wine, and probably one that suits most people including wine fanatics. Definitely recommended

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Photo of gr0g
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml, bottled in January 2012.

Slightly hazy golden color, two finger head after a careful pour. The creamy foam shows good persistence and leaves sheets of lacing behind. Not very effusive on the nose, but there are aromas of yeast, champagne, pear. These are all well-integrated into a lightly yeasty, fruity character.

Somewhat dry with a champagne-like taste overall, some character from the yeast as well. Finishes dry as well, but I pick up maybe a little bit of sweetness from that Mauritius sugar midpalate. Alcohol character is well restrained, showing up only right before the finish. Fruity esters impart notes of white grape and pear. Carbonation is very fine and contributes to a slick, almost silky mouthfeel. Impressive for a highly carbonated, bottle-refermented beer.

Overall, I think this is right up there with the top strong Belgian pales. At under $10 a bottle, it's a good buy, too. Highly recommended.

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Photo of rangerred
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet out of a 750ml bottle.

Pours a moderately hazy dark yellow with a very frothy two finger head. The bottle conditioning produces tons of carbonation that keeps that head intact most of the way through the glass. Quite impressive.

The aroma is a wonderful bouquet of citrus and Belgian yeast. A very musty smell with grapes and peaches along with some subtle hints of clove and allspice. There are some floral notes as well and it is all very nice.

The flavor is even nicer than the aroma. Lots of grape and more mustiness along with the same pear that was present in the aroma. A little bit of metal although it really doesn't detract from the overall experience. Some spice reminiscent of cinnamon combined with clove and even a quick shot of chocolate. Mouthfeel is silky smooth thanks to the carbonation with an extremely dry finish. Alcohol is completely hidden providing just a subtle warming in the chest.

Overall, a fine example of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and one of the best American ones out there. This, IMO, could stand toe to toe with anything coming out of Belgium and is quite a bit better than many that do. A great beer at a really good price.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottle date code of 1782b.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Huge five finger white head that settles into a creamy patchy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing clinging around the glass.

Smell: A spicy, yeasty driven Belgian aroma with lots of citrus fruit esters. Belgian yeast upfront with big hints of barnyard funk, clove, and white pepper spicing. Hints of banana, pear, and green apples. Big hints of citrus orange, lemon zest, tangerine, apricot, and mango. Also some wine like hints of white grape. Sweet Belgian candied sugars. Soft bready malts with hints of wheat grains, biscuit, and cracker. Also some herbal and floral hop hints in the mix as well. A nicely complex and zesty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, yeasty and spicy with lots of zesty fruit esters. Big profile of Belgian yeast with notes of barnyard funk, cloves, and white peppers. Sweet candied Belgian sugar. Fruit notes of banana, green apples, and pear along with some white grapes. Big citrus fruit taste with notes of oranges, lemon zest, apricot, tangerine, and mango. Bready malt backing with notes of biscuit, wheat grains, hay, and cracker. Earthy hops with floral and herbal notes towards the finish. A very good Belgian style taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a medium to high level of carbonation. Crisp, spicy, juicy, and somewhat prickly. Very drying finish. Alcohol heat is masked well.

Overall: A very good Belgian style ale. Good zesty fruit flavors with a good amount of funk and grainy malt.

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Photo of vmdominguez
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of two souvenirs brought back from a recent trip to New York. I bought it from Good Beer NYC.

Pours bright gold with thick, foamy white head three fingers thick that lasted quite a while. The aroma consists of the familiar Belgian yeastiness, along with fruit and a hint of sweetness. Upon tasting I was surprised to find it light and crisp - more so than most Belgians I'm used to, but fitting the appearance and aroma. I found it to also have a lightly sweet character with no real hop character. The beer had a light body matching the aroma and taste. Finishes dry but not too dry with noticeable alcohol.

Overall this is a very refreshing Belgian that is surprisingly strong. Not overly complex, but very solid.

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Photo of philbe311
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This year's Easter day beer...

A - A mammoth four plus fingers worth of air fluffy crisp off white head with a slight lemony colored tinge and comprised of oodles of big chunky bubbles... Excellent retention ultimately gives way to full veil of mostly thick lacing... Stellar carbonation... Loaded with micro-bubbled moderated paced carbonation rising throughout... The color is a lively golden amber... Really a beautiful beer...

S - Bright citrus notes in the form of lemon zest and sweet oranges... Belgian yeast... Sweet golden raisins... A very light spiciness... Wonderful balance and complexity... Each whiff reveals a new and enticing dimension...

T - Lots of grassy notes to start... Lemon zest... Belgian yeast... Sweet golden raisins and white grapes... A light kiss of sweet citrus... A bright mix of lemon zest and Belgian yeast dominate the finish and linger for quite a while in a very appealing manner...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Limited prickly carbonation... Mostly dry throughout... Perhaps even a bit thin... Not bad by any means, but a bit of a let down when compared to the other facets of this fine brew...

D - An exceptional Belgian Strong Pale Ale... Other then a mouthfeel that only rises to the level of very good, everything else about this brew is excellent... One of the best American Interruptions of the style I've encountered... I can highly recommend and attest that I'll be indulging in this fine Brooklyn offering in the future...

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Photo of dougbassett
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #19 of the ones I've reviewed here.

A remarkable beer, one of the better American attempts at doing a Belgian strong golden ale. Pour looks just about right to me, golden with a fluffy head that puts up the good fight before it finally succumbs. I can never describe the nose of a Belgian strong ale just right, they always smell to me more or less like "themselves", but maybe you might call it a combination of hops, a certain kind of fruity yeast, and a mild "winey" scent -- supercharge and enrich the nose of Pabst Blue Ribbon and you're starting to get there. Mouthfeel is light, like I think this style should be, and effervescent. Flavors of a musty kind of hops which slowly finishes to a longer, more intense version of the same thing.

I really liked this. I think this is the kind of style that's hard to do well, and even when it's done well is only ever going to hit a certain level (I described above the basics of every Belgian Strong Ale I've ever tried, some of them do the job better, of course, but it never really departs too much from that blueprint). That said, this is a very persuasive attempt.

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Photo of harrymel
3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

On the label: 2122B

It's gold, it carries a solid finger of whites and a brilliant clarity. Smells of carbonation, belgian yeast, some sweet grain, some earthy hops, and a touch of household dust. Flavor is grain, sweetness, some hints of flowers and a bit of corn alongside a dose of belgian pale yeast. Body is thin on medium with hi carb and a bone dry finish. I have to drink water every time I taste the beer - that's just too much. Another beer from Brooklyn, another strikeout - particulary because the mouthfeel is just soo much to overcome.

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Photo of Cuvie62
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For a high ABV this beer has great taste and finish. I had it at Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in Miami with my salad and pizza pie. It was a great compliment to a good meal. Also, the price was excellent. Figure you get 3 glasses of beer versus ordering 3 beers. It is a great value.

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Photo of Altrurian
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A high, fluffy head floats atop a pale, yellow-amber, clear elixir. The nose is more floral than fruity. The beer's physical character is an accomplished balance of thirst-quenching prickliness and foamy smoothness. Taste? Apricots. It has to be classed as sweet, but completely free of cloyingness. The beer is refreshing but substantial. It's lighter, I suppose, than the estimable Maredsous Tripel, with which it shares stature, but in a good way. Put me down as a fan. Quite good.

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Brooklyn Local 1 from Brooklyn Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 907 ratings.