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Brooklyn Dark Matter - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Dark MatterBrooklyn Dark Matter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

79 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 79
Hads: 100
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 12
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: waltonc on 11-06-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 100
Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap and the Amsterdam Alehouse in NYC. The beer they had on the menu was no longer on tap so I took one of these instead. This beer was a deep brown colored ale with a fizzy tan head on top. There wasn't much lacing really. The smell of the beer was sweet and malty, a little roasted also. The taste of it had a lot of sweet brown sugar flavors mixed with some roasted malt and what I think tasted like un-smoked cigar flavors. Very interesting brew here. The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated but had a subtle smoothness to it also. Overall I liked this beer, it bums me out a little that it's been retired. Glad I got to try it!

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Photo of megahurts4
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Dark Matter

Appearance: dark brown, medium-small head, and good lacing.

Smell: grainy malt, slight hops, and banana.

Taste: banana, slight dark fruit, and grainy malts.

Mouthfeel: medium.

This is a good brew. The bananas can be tasted first followed by dark fruit. While not incredibly complex, this brew is well balanced and aged nicely. I waited almost a year before opening, yet I'm unsure how old it originally was.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours dark brown win a somewhat thin tan head. Nose brings a good amount of depth with bourbon, roast, vanilla, and chocolate. He taste features bourbon and some oak along with roasted mmalt and chocolate. Hints of vanilla and booze. Good body with a nice boozy touch. Drinks quite well; really executed this concept quite nicely.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from an event at Blind Tiger in '08. Considered batch 1 I assume.

Off white head with tightly compacted bubbles. Slightly transparent dark brown. Big whiskey booze in the nose. A lot more than the tap versions I've had. It might be offensive to some. Vanilla, coconut, and toasted oak. Interesting how the barrel takes over the whole aroma because of how the small the brown ale is. Smooth cocoa, oak, and vanilla flavor. As you get into it more the taste reminds me of whiskey barrel aged chocolate milk. The brown ale was given a great depth of flavor from its time in the barrel. No real alcohol burn to speak of because of the lower than usual abv for -bal aged beers. Thin mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. This is an experiment I'd like to see more.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Dilly Deli earlier this year.

Appearance - opaque, pale mocha head. No light getting through at any angle, though the lights at the DD aren't the brightest.

Aroma - yum. 120 mph winds sucked up a crate of Mounds bars and jammed them into a vibrant, healthy oak tree, that's what happened. The coconut and wood own the day here. Smells amazing. Chocolate and some buttery, boozy notes emerge with warming.

Taste - Unfortunately the flavor fell a little short for me. The malts are toasty and tasty but seem diluted. It improves beyond that though with good flavors of coconut and bourbon. The bourbon is trying to push out the beer flavor but stays mild enough to enjoy.

Mouthfeel - moderate carbonation, sort of watrery but not bad for the style.

Drinkability - Woodford is a rather popular (dare I say common) barrel choice but there is no getting around its distinctiveness and tastiness. Its familiarity is easy to get used to.

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Photo of beer2day
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Busy Bee in Raleigh.

A very dark brown pour into a snifter glass. Very close to black.

Strong sweet bourbon nose. Chocolate malt and light anise round out the aroma.

Surprisingly sweet brown ale taste. Really does taste like cookies. Strong bourbon overtones. Finish is even more surprisingly dry, considering the sweet start.

Medium body, a bit light for what was experienced taste-wise.

Easy sipper.

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Photo of Axic10
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with no head.

Smell: Bourbon, roasted malts, vanilla and brown sugar.

Taste: Bourbon-booziness, vanilla, brown sugar, hints of chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy.

Drinkability: A definite sipper for sure. I don't know if I could put back more than 2 in a sitting, but this was damn good. I'm really digging these Brewer Reserves from Brooklyn.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.61/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Cole's in Buffalo.
Served in a pint glass

A - A medium amber/brown colour with some visible carbonation and no head at all.

S - Some sweet malts but overall not a very pronounced nose.

T - Sweet caramel malts. Vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is not overly pronounced but is visible and is well balanced with the other flavours.

M - Light to medium body. Slightly silky.

D - A good beer. Different and interesting but not memorable. Towards the end of the pint I noticed that I was enjoying this less and less.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At The Tap Room in Warren, NJ. Into a pint glass, poured a copper/chestnut hue with little carbonation, and a tan-colored one-finger head that laced very well. The aroma revealed cherry vanilla, chocolate, and malty-alcohol essence (maybe whiskey from the barrel-aging?). The flavor was fantastic; all of the above flavors in a harmonic balance, with the whiskey essence punctuating the finish. Velvet smooth, and full-bodied. Went down ridiculously easy and tastes like someone literally mixed Jack Daniels with a brown ale. Very well done.

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Photo of Casey10
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on 06/26/2009 on tap at ebenezer's really nice beer poured a nice dark chocolate brown served in a goblet.

Smell was really sweet like light chocolate and some coffee hints.

T - was nice a little boozy in a good way more rosty and really nice.

M - Liked this gave a nice after feel smooth coffee and some carbs.

D - A great sipper not sure if I would drink this regularly but nice eitherway.

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Photo of nickd717
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezer's. Man, I love me a -bal aged beer, that's for sure. Garrett Oliver also rarely disappoints.

This beer is darkest brown in color with frothy tan foam and good lacing.

The aroma is very nice with caramel and brown sugar, oak, bourbon, roast, and vanilla.

Really excellent flavor, with the barrel aging asserting itself nicely. Very light sweetness and fairly low bitterness. Oak, bourbon, and vanilla, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, brown sugar, and roasted nuts.

Medium-full bodied and very smooth on the palate. Good carbonation level. I really enjoyed this one overall.

Drinkable despite the heft.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Matter, on tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA, served in a pint glass. Reviewed from extensive notes.

Appearance: Arrives a transparent ruby-tinged brown with an opaque center and no head, very sedentary. A little unattractive, though the vivid mahogany around the edges of the glass is pleasant. A thin ring of foam (and no ancillary lacing of any type - on the surface of the beer or the sides of the glass) is all that remains of what I assume was once a head. Not attractive, but understandable, given the style and the barrel aging.

Aroma: Much better. Maple syrup is heavy, sticky, and thick on the nose, with tons of waves of various roasty incarnations of toffee, coconut, barrel sugars, caramel, and spicy bourbon. Nice.

Taste: Incredibly bright, much brighter than you imagine from a barrel aged beer - cherry syrup mingles with coconut and raisins to provide a nice accompaniment to earthy (not spicy) bourbon, bread crusts, toffee, caramel, and a slight, distinctly "brown ale"-esque nuttiness. It's relatively dry, and the earthiness of the malts accentuates this well.

Mouthfeel: Thin, but that was going to happen with a low abv% brown ale that you stuck in a barrel. It's remarkably even for a beer this thin, though - the carbonation doesn't disrupt anything.

Drinkability: I was surprised how bright this one was but also by how tempered the barrel aging was. You normally get one or the other - someone barrel ages a low abv or light beer and the bourbon completely dominates, or you get competently done/balanced barrel aging but figure it's largely because the base beer was bold enough to stand up to the barrel component. This one has both, which is nice and definitely enhances the drinkability. I wasn't thrilled by the flavor profile, but I was impressed - as always - by how precisely Garrett Oliver pulled it off. Worth having at least once.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap tonight at the Galaxy Hut in DC.

a - Pours a dark black with no head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, sweet fruit, and vanilla, but that might be the oak.

t - Tastes of sweet chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and caramel malts. Hint of oak.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink.

d - I really enjoyed this brown ale; I thought it was one of the better ones I've had. I enjoyed the well balanced smell and taste and would like to have again.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- very dark black to dark brown with very thin quickly fading tan head,

Smell- bourbon, malts, and alot of sweetness off the nose

Taste- enjoyable hints of oak and even some faint bourbon in the background, the oak definitely makes this to be a pretty sweet beer which is not necessarily a terrible thing, in some aspects reminded me of a little bit of aspects of some belgian darks i have had in the past, lengthy finish

Mouthfeel- the mouthfeel on this was nothing crazy in fact in someways seemed a little light though still very sweeter in style

Drinkability- this beer was definitely a sipper for the reason alone that it was just very sweet and made it hard to really really chug, overall though i did enjoy this beer though probably something you would only want one of during the night, it highly reminded me of there Manhattan project beer too from a few months ago with some flavor similarities this could be due to the barrel aging, either way was glad to get a chance to try this much talked about beer

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.89/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had on draft at Smokin Joe's.

A-pours a dark copper brown color with a tight creamy off white head.

S-the nose is very faint. there is a blend of maple, bourbon, caramel, and toffee.

T-the taste is a little more than the nose, thankfully. chocolate and toffee come off first with the caramel and maple underneath. slight bourbon notes towards the back to add another dimension.

M-very smooth and creamy, medium body with low carbonation. the finish falls off a good bit and is a little watery and thin.

D-this isn't bad, no wood from the barrel, just a hint of bourbon. a little thin and under carbonated.

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Photo of jsanford
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah on 5/22/10

A - "Root Beer" brown, nice creamy tan head

S - Lots of sweetness. Bourbon, roasted nuts, dates/raisins, chocolate

T - Milk chocolate. Bourbon, brown sugar. "Rum raisin".

M - Medium bodied, bit low on carbonation. Boozy.

D - Low drinkability, rather unpleasant alcohol burn. Really not crazy about this beer. There's a lot going on but it seems kinda messy. Struggled getting through my glass (and generally I'm a big barrel-aged fan).

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Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap @ Armsby Abbey.

A: Very dark brown color but with a clear complexion, nice creamy 1.5 finger head too.

N: Lots of dark malts, some roast, coffee, sweet syrupy malts, touch of roasty earthy bitterness and hints of earthy hops too. Some nutty aromas, and touch of chocolate malt.

T: Wow, not what I was expecting. A lot more like a nice porter than Brown Ale. Creamy and thick, reminiscent of a nitro tap but not, lots and chocolate malts, some biscuit, somewhat like a dark chocolate wafer candy, weird and crazy but tasty. Smooth and creamy, with more roasted malts, little coffee, some sweetness with a little syrupy flavors, caramel, vanilla, some chewy malts and nougat flavors as well.

M: Medium body , semi smooth, little syrupy stickiness, and lower but decent carbonation.

F: SMooth and creamy, little lingering chocolate and nougat, fluffy sweet, a little sticky and syrupy, marshmellowy, some lingering roast and coffee, almost no bitterness from hops or roasted malts. Very enjoyable beer, drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of ComputerBeer
3.01/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very brown would not call it a very 'dark' beer. Little to no head, the beer might have been to cold? Some bourbon notes in the aroma. The taste was overly sweet, out of balance sweet, but had nice oak tones. Very drinkable like all of the Brooklyn beers, just don't know what all the fuss is. It was nothing special.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip at Sunset Bar & Grill. Dark Matter pours as dark as brown can be without quite being black. There's not much of a head, and lacing is practically nonexistent, but this is partly a function of the pour, as I've had this beer served to me looking nicer before (hence the 3.5 compromise). The nose is largely of vanilla, with some bourbon skulking around in the background. The taste is a little bit more complex, opening with a wave of vanilla, followed by a brief hint of bourbon, and then ending like a traditional brown ale with some caramel malty sweetness. The carbonation is adequate, and the body isn't all that rich, but then again it is only a 7.5% beer, on the low end of the barrel aged spectrum, and so it doesn't need to be. There's a little bourbon in the taste, but not really anything in the way of pure alcohol heat, and that combined with the solid mouthfeel renders this beer very drinkable. Another great beer from Brooklyn Brewery.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.85/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark Matter has a brown body that is mostly translucent with a light brown head that doesn't do much in the retention or lacing departments.

The aroma is absolutely packed with bourbon and alcohol. Besides straight bourbon there is a light malt sweetness, some bittering hops, and other barrel characteristics that include a touch of oak and a bit of vanilla.

I have to say, I really think barrel-aging can be overdone, and this beer is a good example. It is basically a blast of bourbon with notes of wood and vanilla from the barrel. Around the edges I can pick up a little bit of the brown ale characteristics that include some bittering, grapefruit hops and a sweet, butterscotch or toffee-like malt base. The blast of alcohol warmth in the finish accompanies a final blast of bourbon.

Dark matter is a touch low on carbonation, and the body feels like it needs to be a little fuller to support such a monstrously boozy tasting concoction.

I think I prefer Brooklyn Brown, which I assume is the beer this barrel-aging experiment buried. Sometimes breweries can go overboard with putting things in barrels, and this is probably one of those times.

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Photo of Stigs
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz pour, served in a mini-snifter

A - pours a kind of hazy dark brown color. just a thin film of light tan colored foam, leaves spotty lacing through the drink.

S - lots of sweetness: vanilla, toasted dark malts, milk chocolate - bourbon throughout.

T - very bourbony. now, i'm a fan of the hard alcohol this is almost to the point of too much. becomes more and more present as it warms, masking some nice vanilla, oak, caramel and brown sugar flavors.

M - thickish body, subtle carbonation accents nicely. finishes sweet and a tad drying with some lingering bourbon and booze.

D - again, bourbon fan...but not a big fan of this one. really struggled on getting through the second half of the glass. needed something else to distract from the booze, which is a shame because the other flavors which are there (just barely noticeable) are nice.

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just happened to have the good fortune to come across this beer on tap at The Porter. The appearance and smell of this beer did not do much to distinguish it. Basically a very dark brown beer with some red highlights. No head, but that doesn't seem to be out of the ordinary for the style. The aroma was fairly muted and I really didn't get much besides the chocolate and caramel malt characters.

The flavor however, stood out for me. Lots of caramel and vanilla nicely accented by a mild chocolate flavor. The bourbon was there, but very subtle. I also got some red berry character with the chocolate. The beer as a whole was malty and sweet with a longer, syrupy finish and a light, undercarbonated feel.

Very tasty beer by my standards. Welcome combination of easy drinking (now surprised to see it was 7.5% ABV) with a good depth of complexity flavor-wise. Glad to see Brooklyn raising the bar for brown ales.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a dark but not totally opaque chocolate brown. Minimal off-white head disappears almost entirely.

Smells of rich malts and caramel, with liquor hints, kind of reminiscent of bourbon.

Wonderful malty taste. Dark brown sugars, a bit of roasted grains. A tinge of vanilla maybe.

Feel is moderate with almost no feeling of carbonation but a slight alcohol warmth.

Very good. Rich, malty, not too strong, and balanced. I'd seek this out again without a doubt.

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Photo of wedgie9
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on draft at Lush CBC event. Pours dark brown with a red hue and a medium white head. Nose of banana, coconut, vanilla, cola, and dark malt. Flavor is somewhat sweet throughout with banana cream, vanilla, and cinnamon. Carbonation is lively with a medium-minus body and a long finish featuring banana. The banana flavor is consistent throughout, but is not overwhelming. This is a very good beer that shows bourbon barrel aging flavors do not have to be overdone.

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Photo of palma
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Sunswick 35 35 Astoria Queens. An unbelievable brown ale. Flavor and mouthfeel are both superb. Figs and chocolate flavors come at you. so tasty and so easy drinking. It will be hard not to like this beer if you like sweet flavorful brown ales.

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Brooklyn Dark Matter from Brooklyn Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.