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Brooklyn Dark Matter - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Dark MatterBrooklyn Dark Matter

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very good

100 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.19%
Wants: 12
Gots: 1 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 79
Photo of Jayli
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Novare Res on 4/25
Poured in to a tulip glass.

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown with mahogany edges. A two finger of light brown head sits on top. As this beer recedes, nice wisps of lacing are left along the glass.

S: Nose is sweet with molasses, caramel malts, and bourbon.

T: Taste starts with a bit of rye flavoring, lending to a nice light molasses and caramel malt flavoring. Hints of toasted malts and vanilla fill out the middle. Finish is light bourbon - nicely blended.

M: Medium body, medium to high carbonation, nice and light on the tongue with a bit of an oily finish.

D: Not too filling, good kick, decent representation of the style. This one is a sipper - more like an after dinner drink.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this handbottle.

The beer pours a medium brownish-red color with a tan head. The aroma is very sweet with some chocolate, brown sugar and oak. The flavor is caramel and chocolate along with dark fruit, alcohol, bourbon, brown sugar and oak. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of morebeergood
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled "several" times at the Bacon & Beer Fest 2010 in Boston. Dark brown color that gets very light around the edges. Very bubbly with carbonation at the top. Smell was excellent: oaky, boozy, and bourbon. Taste was just as delicious. I noticed flavors of vanilla, pineapple, and leather. Mouthfeel was on the thick side, but very manageable. Drinkability was great with all the bacon, but I suspect that a small snifter is all that I'd need in a bar. The alcohol was very hot with this beer, and I am surprised to see it's only listed as 7.5% here. Seemed like much more. A kick ass beer, and thanks to Brooklyn for bringing it to the Fest for attendees to enjoy.

Photo of ToasterChef
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from my notes. Served in my Uprising Chalice at Novare Res. The beer appears dark brown with some notes of deep plum coloration. There is a small, off-white tan foam head that settled to a patchy skim. The beer is dark and opaque, so I cannot see any carbonation rising within. It has a great aroma. I can certainly pick out the rye and bourbon scents. I can't make out anything else besides these two aromas, but they are enough to make this a great smelling beer. The beer tastes slightly sweet up front, like cherry juice, but without the cherries. The finish is dry and smokey. It possesses that same feeling one gets when you take a sip of bourbon, but without any of the burning. It's warm, smooth and tastes delicious. I can also taste some of the rye aspects. Neither the sweetness or alcohol are strong enough to impact the flavor negatively. I know it is because of the barrel aging process that makes this beer special, but it is by far the best brown ale I've ever had. The body and carbonation are both of medium constitution. The alcohol and carbonation play on my tongue with each sip. After I swallow, I can feel the alcoholic coat evaporating. Considering the strength and alcohol flavors, this beer is pretty drinkable. The strong notes of hard alcohol will deter some beer drinkers, but I really like it. I could certainly make my way through a 750ml bottle if Brooklyn ever decides to bottle this beer. It isn't as easy drinking as some brown ales I've come across, but considering how hard bourbon and rye can be, I have to give the Dark Matter's drinkability rating a solid 4.5. This is an excellent beer; definitely one worth seeking out.

Photo of glid02
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth toasted malts with good amounts of vanilla, bourbon, and milk chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust caramel and toasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mild amounts of heat and light vanilla flavors. Midway through the sip the flavors darken a bit, allowing milk chocolate flavors to work their way into things. The bourbon and vanilla flavors reassert themselves before carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is alright. Much like the Black Ops I had a while back it doesn't have enough heft for a beer this big, however the carbonation is soft.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this beer had piqued my interest for some time and I'm glad it was re-released. Not spectacular but certainly worth a shot if you see it around.

Photo of scootny
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown and cloudy brew. Decent head and lace. Smell has a bit of the floor malt from the Backbreaker with an earthy hoppiness. Light notes of bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla. A molasses tinged fruitiness. Taste is very British for an American brown. Much like the nose with a dry long finish. Bourbon is bigger with sharp sourness in the back. A bit of cookie dough as well. Feel is medium with a dry crispness. Goes down easy and quick. A very good one for cool spring nights.

Photo of John_M
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with fairly decent head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, with brown sugar, light vanilla and a hint of milk chocolate. Flavors replicate the nose, except there is considerably more flavor. The beer is moderately sweet, but not overly so. The brown sugar and vanilla seem to dominate the flavor profile, with even a slight orange soda flavor. In combination, it's pretty nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with with a fairly long finish. Drinkability is quite good; I could easily see myself having several of these at a sitting.

Nothing spectacular, but I thought this a nice enough beer. Another solid effort from Brooklyn brewing.

Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Cole's. Wafts bourbon. Very dark brown colour. Easy creamy brown ale that is very bourbon, well integrated. Mouthfeel is middling. Understated carbonation, would love this on cask. Some coconut in the finish, but not too woody, its like the two were blended together.

Photo of weeare138
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Parker Pie Company in Vermont...
Appears a semi-transparent dark brown with a small, light tan head that quickly whisps away into a tiny cap.
The smell is of light traces of bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, caramel, cream, brown sugar, and toffee.
The taste is of the aromas with more of the bourbon coming through as this beer warms.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, smooth on the finish, and mildly warming.

Photo of crosamich
2.7/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this in tap at Busy Bee, Raleigh. I didn't get much bourbon from this and tbh it would have been welcomed for better balance. This beer was not as expected. It was cloyingly sweet. Good nose. Strong vanilla, very strong caramelized notes give way to noticeable alcohol on the back end.

Photo of oberon
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I like a good boubon once and awhile but quite honestly I think some breweries overdue the boubon barrel aging,this beer was somewhere in that general area for me.Poured a deep chesnut brwon with a thin wispy head.Huge oak/vanilla boubon like aromas,basically thats what you got,vanilla soaked oak.Heavy handed bourbon flavors dominated by the oak and vanilla,a bit of spiciness as well.To much bourbon not enough brown ale for me really.

Photo of EtOHMD
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the lower depths. Pours a dark brown opaque with minimal head. Smell is clearly bourbon as expected but also caramel, butterscotch. Taste is mainly bourbon with hints of dark fruits, cherries. Warming feel. For the complexity od the taste, very drinkable.

Photo of ejrobert99
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color is lighter then I expected for a brown ale. I have seen darker brown ales. On the nose I am getting light notes of vanilla, alcohol, and brown sugar. On the palate I also get vanilla & light sweet bourbon notes. No detectable hop presence. This is a very approachable beer. This would be a good introduction to bourbon barrel aged beers or for someone looking for a sweeter beer. It leaves a light lacing on the glass. I think this would pair nice with a New York style cheesecake or try making homemade ice cream with it. I believe I set my expectations too high for this beer. I expected a bolder, more flavorful beer. I had a similar experience with Black OPS so I shouldn't be all that surprised. The folks at Brooklyn do a great job writing up releases such as this on their website. Too good if you ask me.

Photo of HopHead84
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Growler shared by Nate (d0ggnate) at the Veritas 007 release. Thanks!

The beer is transparent dark brown with a small light brown head.

The aroma is awesome. Understated bourbon and vanilla with a bit of toffee, as well as burnt sugar and caramel. In many ways this reminds me of an English Barleywine.

The flavor is somewhat muted compared to the aroma, bordering on insipid. The barrel presence is stronger than in the nose, with vanilla, bourbon, and oak. There's some obscured toffee and a bit of burnt sugar. The taste is okay, but the aroma lead me to expect greater things from the flavor.

This was nice to try, and certainly worth trying, but I'm glad I didn't trade for it.

Photo of Jwale73
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip. Poured two shades shy of black, with no light penetration and a quarter inch, dense cream-colored head. Head dissipated into a fairly consistent skim, revealing waves of lacing as it receded - head was refreshed with a gentle swirl of the glass. Nose was very subtle - some dark malt and maybe a hint of cocoa. The flavor profile is a little difficult to break down. Malty, perhaps some lactose and some sour, dark fruit, but definitely a bourbon barrel presence as evidenced by hints of vanilla and bourbon (duh). There's a tartness with this brew, but also a creaminess as well. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and evenly carbonated with a slightly creamy texture. This is definitely an interesting brew with a great deal of complexity for the style. That being said, the competing flavor qualities impact the overall drinkability of the beer.

Photo of woosterbill
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into a 3/4 pint glass.

A: Clear, dark mahogany body with a finger of quickly-dissipating tan foam. Minimal lace.

S: Sweet caramel malts, rich bourbon, and some vanilla. Quite nice.

T: Follows the nose, but with considerably more intensity and complexity. The bourbon is dominant, but never overbearing. THe oak helps a lot by providing some nice vanilla sweetness and also a bit of tannic dryness to the finish. Lovely.

M: Medium-bodied with a surprisingly high amount of carbonation. Very lively, which helps cut down on the potential for cloying from the malty and barrel-aged notes.

D: Quite good for the strength and intensity of flavor. Definitely one of the most drinkable barrel-aged beers I've had.

Notes: This is definitely my favored of all the recent Brooklyn specialty offerings. Great bourbon presence without overwhelming the palate. If you get a chance to try this, do.


Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black with some red highlights. It appears very dense and is difficult to see if there are any bubbles rising from the bottom.
S: There are some aromas of mocha, chocolate, and bourbon.
T: The taste is very complex and well-balanced. There are lots of bourbon flavors, which are accompanied with notes of caramel, chocolate and vanilla.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and the carbonation lends smoothness.
D: It's relatively easy to drink and probably better sipped to appreciate the complex taste and the effects of the barrel aging.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap @Prime 16 in CT

A: Dirt brown, thin lace of a head.

S: Sugary booze and bourbon. This is an American brown? When I ordered this I had no clue about the ABV. I guessed maybe 10 or 11 percent judging from aroma alone. At this point I was really wondering what I was in for.

T: So smooth. Alot of bourbon barrel, brown sugar, vanilla, and dark malts. Bourbon is in perfect balance. Really sweet but I was in the mood. Alcohol warming to the stomach, not the back of my throat. Pleasantly surprised.

M: Medium mouthfeel keeps this thing smooth yet easy to drink. Low carbonation.

D: Drinkability suffers somewhat due to sweetness. This was great to start the night off with but I was ready to move on after the first one. This is, however, a great example of how bourbon doesn't have to over power everything.

Not a bad beer for my 30th review.

Photo of bobsy
2.61/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Coles in Buffalo. I ordered a pint of this having no idea what it was, but vaguely hoping for either something roasty or a black IPA. The waitress described it as like a porter, but she was way off the mark.

It arrives at the table pretty much pitch black with only a thin ring of tan head. No real retention or lacing beyond that. The aroma was all sweet vanilla and very little else. Kinda reminded me of a shitty local vanilla porter I had earlier this year. Huge one-dimensional flavour... almost all vanilla, and too cloying. Eric nailed it as a brown, and I nailed it as barrel-aged, and frankly there's nothing in the brown ale that can stand up to the barrel character and this one gets swamped. Light body and medium carbonation fail to help any.

How not to do barrel aging. I love Brooklyn, but this is one of the biggest misses I've had in a long time. I probably only finished a third of my pint, and that wasn't very enjoyable. I feel I'm being too generous...

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

Found this one at Ginger Man in South Norwalk - definitely a great find and a very enjoyable beer.

Pours a very dark brown, completely opaque, but not quite black. Head is a thick 2-3 fingers, that settles nicely in the glass and lingers throughout the drink. Smell has a whole lot of bourbon and a little hint of vanilla.

Taste is where this beer shines to me, with a great balance of bourbon and maltiness with vanilla and dark sugar sweetness. Makes for a really enjoyable and well balanced drink. Overall a great medium-full body that is worth a few rounds.

Photo of argock
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.25.

A: Very murky dark chestnut brown with 1/2-finger of light-beige head with good lacing.

S: Bourbon and vanilla are the most prominent aromas with some milder dark malt aromas. hops are herbal and minimal.

T: Bourbon and vanilla with cherry-berry flavors followed by dark malt and herbal hops. I'm not really sure what this tastes like -- it's not a brown ale but not really a porter or stout either. The maltiness is lost a bit amongst the bourbon. I can't sense the rye at all. Vanilla and oak are the most prominent flavors.

M: Medium-full bodied, very low carbonation, bourbon and vanilla are the biggest components of the aftertaste.

D: A good beer that doesn't really fit a style in any way -- I wish malt was bigger in this peer and overtook the vanilla and bourbon. I enjoyed it, but I won't revisit at that price.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 1/2 growler (with the flip top seal) of this at the downtown whole foods earlier in the week.

A - Poured a rich caramel brown. Not overly carbonated and not much of a head.

S - Vanilla, nuts, roasted malts, a hint of a bourbon-ish sweet alcohol. Resembles cherries quite a bit.

T - Ginger, cinnamon, candy, caramel, vanilla, mostly malts. Really nice brown ale.

M - A bit watery, almost juice like. Very cooling. Quenching. So smooth, I'm wondering if some of the carbonation got away from this since I picked it up. I bought the 1/2 growler on Monday or Tuesday...now Saturday, but it was a flip top growler sealed to the top and made quite a pop when I opened it. Either way, it is a very enjoyable beer.

D - Really easy drinker. Almost too much so. The flavor is smooth and enjoyable and there is an ever so slight touch of bourbon booziness, but it is hardly noticeable and not in your face at all. Just a hint. Mixed with a wonderful brown ale.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pint on tap at Coles in Buffalo. Waitress described it as "sorta like a porter".

Arrives a dark auburn brown, glints of ruby in the light. A thin creamy head on top with not much staying power at all.

Nose... uh, this is certainly no porter. Loads of vanilla and rush of solventy liquor fumes rush up out of the nose to create a unique combo. Bit of sweet brown malt in there, I was able to pick it out as an amped up brown.

The barrel is all over this one like a fat man on an April ham. All vanilla, all bourbon, touch of wood, some sweet raisin, plumb, biscuit malts in there somewhere. The alcohol comes across as a touch solventy, very heavy like someone had poured at least a shot of bourbon into my glass.

Normally I am a huge fan of bourbon aging but this one the base beer could not hold up to it and it was all bourbon all the time. Not my favorite....

Photo of kingcrowing
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown that's almost black with a big fluffy light brown head that fades fast to a small light brown rim with light lacing. Nose is nutty, roasty, hits of raisins and bready oatmeal.

Mouthfeel is big full and smooth very rich and easy drinking with a really satisfing warming in the gut. Taste is like an oatmeal cookie with chocolate, raisin and toffee. Really excellent beer!

Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"presence is inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter and background radiation"

I was honestly surprised when I saw that this beer was barely eeking out an A- on this site. These bourbon barrel aged things usually don't get my attention or "respect" but Dark Matter is a horse of a different color. Its quite excellent.

Beer is brown and forms a thin off white head. The head is small and breaks but it does leave lacing on the glass. Beer is clear and carbonation is moderate to low.

The aroma of this beer scared me a lot. Its powerful and boozy. So strong, bourbon sweet sweet sweet. I wondered what I had gotten myself into at this point but I pressed forth.

Beer is shockingly smooth. There is a definite bourbon flavor in the back of the mouth but the beer is not overly cloying like I feared from the aroma. Drinkability is high and mouthfeel is good. There is just enough sweetness to balance the bourbon in the back. It doesn't finish dry like I expected but it does finish nicely.

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