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Brooklyn Manhattan Project - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Manhattan Project
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very good

75 Reviews
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Reviews: 75
Hads: 87
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 9
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-27-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 87
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Cole's, this black but yeasty beer had a white Caesar head. Stout in aroma and white lace followed. Rich and chocolate in finish, with median mouthfeel. The herbs and rye gave this a sweet, and spicy, taste profile.Alcohol hidden, this was a unique one.

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Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: It looks light red and cloudy. There's no head and a virtual lack of any visible carbonation.
S: There's a distinct aroma of vermouth, much like the cocktail that this beer tries to emulate. Both sweetness and sourness are in the aroma, which somewhat resembles that of a liqueur. There are also some notes of cherries.
T: I can taste lots of vermouth-like flavors, which makes the overall taste seem to be a bit boozy, but in a good way. There is a good balance between the sweetness and bitterness.
M: The beer is medium-bodied and very smooth.
D: It feels rather strong so you're going to have to sip this one. The beer is very unique and I would definitely have another if the opportunity arises.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Rustico.

Pours a reddish brown with an off white head. Nose brings a bunch of spicy rye and a bit of booze. The taste is quite zesty and really gives off the cocktail vibe. Feel is a bit dry and quite a bit of rye is noticeable. Drinks okay and it is well executed, just not sure that I really like it all that much.

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Photo of brentk56
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives with a dark pumpkin color and a modest head that leaves a few squiggles behind

Smell: Black cherry syrup with bitters and bourbon; smells like a Manhattan lite

Taste: Black cherry, up front, with the bitters arriving by mid-palate to offset the sweetness: the bourbon element also sneaks in underneath and builds a bit, after the swallow; interesting herbal flavors add complexity through the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and slightly syrupy with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fascinating beer, though not something I would seek out again; this really shows of the skill of the boys from Brooklyn to create a faux cocktail using barley malt and rye

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another gem that I never thought I would have the chance to try. This one courtesy of Dennis who rushed it down to me for a weekend delivery. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, it was consumed between me and my brother in law on 10/11/2009.

Very dark pour here, dark garnet brown with a huge tan head on top. Slow receding left tons of lacing down the sides of the glass and really gave it a very nice and very complete look. Aroma is huge, lots of spice at first, caramel, molasses, hints of brown sugar and earth, deep hops. Warming brings out some touches of dark fig like fruit notes but nothing like that warm rye touch that really adds to it. As I take the first sip a really wave of caramel and light peppery rye hit the tongue. Light notes of chocolate that come over it wave after wave. Really quite complex and I have to admit not at all what I was expecting. Still very well done. Warming brings out much more sweetness and balance but at the same time it maintains a big profile. Light booziness kicking in now and the sweet finish has a night light hop bite to it.

Overall this was pretty damn solid I have to admit, I was quite impressed with the way it held its own and is definitely a unique offering. Would do this one again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With the Manhattan Project, Garret and Andrew have reinforced the fact that the United States is the leading beer country in the world!

It is unlike any other beer ever made - totally unique - and it pushes the envelope a little bit further. In Brooklyn style, it also does it with style and grace.

It's an exceptionally tasty beer, and yet it almost doesn't even taste like beer. In fact, I guess I'd say it doesn't taste like beer... what kinds of roads this might lead us down I don't know.

It's a hazy brown beneath a creamy off-white/tan head. The retention is good and it leaves average lacing about the glass.

It's herbal in aroma with a hint of dark fruit and cherry.

The flavor is more cherry-like, and less herbal, although it's still there, and it has just a hint of sourness.

I was given a taste of this blind by the bartender and asked what I thought it tasted like. I said Bourbon and cherry syrup. Then he revealed to me that it was The Manhattan Project. I think they've really nailed it. Amazing!

It finishes with sweet cherry syrup and herbs left on the palate.

Amazing! This is original in all of the world of beer. I find it closest to a kind of Oud Bruin with herbs added, but who knows. All I know is that I paid $10 for a small glass (10 oz.) at the Cafe D'Alsace Manhattan, and I was glad to have it. I'd have enjoyed another at that price without question had I not had to move on. Absolutely worth seeking out just for its uniqueness! Brilliant!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 10/10/09 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of cherries, rye malts, spices and some hops.

T: The taste is sweet with flavors of cherries, spices and caramel. There's a hearty malt character and a mild hops presence that create a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, I can't really say whether or not it's a good representation of the Rye Beer style since it's unlike any other beer I've ever had in the style, but it does make very good use of the rye malts and is a very good beer overall.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a really odd beer. It was very difficult for me to get my mind around it.

Served on draft at a local beer bar. Beer is hazy and has almost no head. The head is only a few thin yellow bubbles but they somehow manage to leave some lacing behind, which is impressive. Carbonation is really low.

Aroma is complex, fruit, alcohol, tartness and/or sour notes. Its really difficult to nail it down. No hops that I can detect, just this weird interplay of fruity esters and some alcohol.

This beer as the weirdest flavors I have experienced in a long time. There is some sourness, cherries, coconut?, beer is a little dry. Buttery and creamy, smooth, kind of coats your mouth with this stuff. A very odd feeling and flavor. Drinkability suffers due to the odd nature of the flavors. At times it tastes like cherry cough syrup.

I would not have guessed (if I didn't already know) that this was a rye ale.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a really nice crystal malt and rye scent along with some spices that I can't figure out what they are. I'm not a Manhattan drinker so I'm not familiar with the aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth crystal malt and rye flavor. It's spicey with a touch of bourban and spice. It's a unique flavor. I'm not in love with it, but it's quite drinkable and full of complexity. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn tastey beer. It's something I'd probably not buy again, but what the hell, big ups to Brooklyn for this delicious treat.

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Photo of Gavage
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark amber in color with a no real head.

Smell: malt sweetness, hint of cherry, and a bit of alcohol is pleasant on the nose.

Taste: smooth malt profile with some cherries, soft vanilla tones, and a hint of bourbon flavor. Light alcohol flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is short.

Drinkability: this beer was unique and somewhat complex. It is a slow sipping beer, but I had two glasses of this while at the bar, and probably could have had another. Worth seeking this one out.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler pour from Whole Foods Bowery in lower manhattan, NYC, NY. Pours darker brown and murky, under a cap of creamy medium khaki foam, that stays and stays, leaving a full collar as well as fine sheeting and plentiful lace. Earthy nose with vanilla, bourbon and just a hint of rye showing through. Interesting brew, with notes of pumpkin, allspice, vanilla, honey and more bourbon. Full bodied and coating on the tongue. More bourbon as well as smooth malt in the finish. Sophisticated and intriguing. A grown up beer from a grown up brewery

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Manhattan has a rusty brown look with some slight red highlights up towards the light. A nice tan head that dwindled down and leaves loose lace on the glass. The smell brings up rye along with some spices, nutmeg and vanilla. I also got some light pumpkin like flavors making me wonder if I got the right beer. The taste brings more malt than the nose leads, caramel sweetness. The rye is there but not 'There'. A nice spice backing with a slight hop bite. Fruits such as cherry in the mix. I think there is a bit to much going on here. The feel is medium with ample carb but this project leaves a funny taste in my mouth afterwards. A little spiciness in the middle with just a bit of alcohol, minimal. Im glad I tried this project, not my favorite rye beer as I think it's trying to be a bit more. A great idea from Brooklyn, this is kind of different.

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Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Bookstore Speakeasy in Bethlehem, PA for $7. Served in a tall goblet, the beer appears orange with a soft white head. Most rye beers get a generous helping of hops, but this beer focuses on the rye malt and spices. My first thoughts were that it tasted like a sweet rye cake, in part thanks to the light cinnamon and dessert spices added. I didn't detect the barrel aging, but still found this to be a tasty and smooth strong ale.

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Photo of corby112
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark amber/chestnut brown color with dark golden ruby edges when held to a light source and a frothy 2.5 finger head that slowly fizzles down into a lasting cap and ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Nice autumnal spicy nose with a bit of toasty biscuit malt, rye and subtle hops. The spice character dominates up front with lots of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, clove and even a hint of vanilla and pumpkin spice. Subtle chocolate and caramel malt.

Sweet malty medium body with hints of autumnal spice notes that linger throughout. Silky and easy to drink with no alcohol warmth. ABV very well masked. Lots of sweet rye malt and estery dark fruit notes, especially raisin, plum, date, fig and grape. Slightly vinous with spicy cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, ginger, vanilla and nutmeg. The pumpkin notes from the aroma are missing. Slightly syrupy and medicinal, being a bit too sweet with a subtle dry finish. Pretty drinkable.

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Photo of John_M
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's during Baltimore Beer Week.

The beer pours a golden brown color with fair head retention and lacing (not really a lot of either). The aroma profile is interesting, but is clearly dominated by a considerable amount of cinnamon. There is also some underlying rye on the nose, and the beer smells as if it will be pretty sweet. In fact it is, and once again I get a considerable amount of cinnamon along with the rye flavor. This is very much a full flavored beer, with a full mouthfeel and a long, sweet finish. As is often the case, the combination of sweetness and noticeable alcohol detract a bit from this beer's drinkability.

An interesting beer, but I cannot imagine ever having more then one small glass of it.

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy brown color with a muddy slightly darker brown middle and a one-finger light tan head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with booze-soaked dark cherries and just the slightest hint of bourbon.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though with more complexity. Smooth caramel malt flavors with backings of small amounts of bourbon up front are joined by thick dark cherry flavors midway through the sip. Each flavor mentioned above shares an equal part and none are overshadowed by the others. Near the end of the sip a very small amount of rye spiciness kicks in before a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could have had another.

Overall this was a very well done beer that's greatest achievement was intensity with subtlety. A number of bright and identifiable flavors co-operating very nicely. Well worth a shot.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow... pours a nice rich brown color with ruby highlights. Minimal head on this one. Smell is a crazy combination of carrot cake (bready, brown sugar, sweet cream, vanilla, nutty, slight spicing) and banana... booze comes through as it warms. Taste is banana forward with the carrot cake thing going on in the background again (bready, brown sugar, sweet vanilla, nuts, slight spicing). The background give hints of wood, dark cherry. Slightly boozy, and after Garrett Oliver mentioned it, i did notice there is a true Manhattan cocktail like charachter to it. Full bodied without being syrupy or sticky. An excellent, original and complex beer. Had 2 glasses and still want more.

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Photo of Bung
2.26/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Flying Saucer Charlotte. Pretty dark amber pour with some off white head.
Aroma was cherry, candied cherry, candy sugar, tea and light whisky.
Taste was medicinal. Like sex panther...stings the nostrils. Cherry cough syrup.
Mouthfeel was ok, with some carbonation, but it is all blown away by the heat other non-pleasant flavors.
Everyone seems like they're trying to be nice here. Sipper, sure, I know what they were trying for and it kind of does it, though the manhattans I've had in the past have no where near this much cherry. Cloying, boozy. Almost everyone else here mentions these things as well but then says it's still ok. I wish I could, but I can't do it.
This was aweful as a rye beer and pretty much aweful as a beer in general.

0% of the time this works 100% of time.

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Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Brick Store.

Pours dark brown that looks almost like tea when held up to light. There's a solid creamy beige head that shows very good retention and leaves bits of lacing.

The aroma is sweet and tart cherries with with some brown sugar and a little bit of toasted malts. I don't get much rye in the nose but there is some bourbon and a surprising amount of spiciness that seems to approximate the vermouth of a real Manhattan.

The taste is more of the same but adds a little more tartness to the cherries sweetness and the bourbon is a little more evident in the finish. There's still quite a bit of sweet sugar and spices, maybe a little more rye.

The mouthfeel is super smooth with good carbonation, though it gets pretty sugary sweet after a few sips, bordering on too much.

This is an extremely original beer from Brooklyn and I liked it quite a bit. The mixture of sweet and tart cherries with the spices and rye really seem to come together well.

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Photo of Gmann
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Tiger. Pours a pretty dark red/purple color with a soapy head that quickly dissipates into nothingness, flat. The aroma is nothing crazy, peppery & spicy from the rye. The taste is peppery with rye spice/sour flavor. There is a nice berry flavor towards the end, perhaps cherry or raspberry. A solid malt body supports the spicy and fruit flavors. Despite the flat look, the brew has decent carbonation with a light to moderate body, well balanced. A very tasty brew; nice combination of spicy/zest and fruit flavor.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on 10/23/09. On tap at MacGregor's.

A - clear deep ruby red with a short lived off-white head. Diminished quickly to a thin bubbly ring. 3.5

S - Light caramel with lots of fruity grape aroma. Intense whiskey and alcohol in the nose, maybe a touch of rye and cherry too? 4.5

T - Robust, like a brown ale with a touch of cabernet and whiskey. Mild bitterness in the finish. Overall, a very sweet beer. 4.0

M - Medium bodied, very SMOOTH!!! Well carbonated, dances and gives a mild prickle to the palate. 4.5

D - Very! I don't know how much alcohol is in here but I could drink this all night. 4.5

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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: deep reddish amber in color, capped with a finger-thick layer of carbonation that recedes to a thin coating

s: pretty intriguing aroma - knew there was something unique about this one, but "bitters" didn't click until about five minutes in, and then the "oh yeah, I heard about this" moment, rich and assertive rye base drizzled with cherry syrup and infused with an herbal blend that perfectly replicates that of a good bitters, sweet orange peel lingers in the back, has the sour-sweet interplay of cherry-rhubarb pie, a joy to take in

m: medium-full body with a very light, delicate carbonation

t: the malt body is of a moderate sweetness and carries a heavy rye spice alongside cleaner base malts, the bitters flavor runs straight through the middle but is very much complimentary to the beer as a whole, strongly herbal and fruity, dried cherries, finishes with a great astringency from the gentian

d: highly enjoyable but really one to savor, Brooklyn can call this experiment a success as they've created something entirely fresh and challenging while doing so with style

10 oz. tulip at ChurchKey, DC

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Photo of tpd975
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Bierkraft.

Brooklyn took a swing a being unique, lets see how they did.

A: Pours a nice brownish amber hue with a small white head. The head dies to a thin ring and leaves no lace.

S: Lots of cherry in the nose. More sweet than tart with a nice herbal spice as well.

T: Wow very much cherry. Very sweet up front like drinking maraschino cherry juice. A light medicine like componet with a hint of black cherry juice. There is a very herbal spice that I can no quite put my finger on. Light bourbon, the actual booze, not really the oak or vanilla. If they were going for unique they hit the nail right on the head.

M: Medium in body, light carbonation (from a growler).

D: Good, I put down the bomber all by myself. That being said 22 ounces is probably enough, but this is one unique sweet treat.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a ruby amber color with an even, creamy, caramel colored head.

S - Sweet malt, spice, rye, and reminds me a little of a beer that might be offered in the Fall.

T - This is a unique beer. The taste mimics the nose with the majority of the flavor coming from the sweet spice and some tart black cherries. The hops barely surface after the sip and linger for a very mild bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium body with some chewiness.

D - A little too sweet for my liking but nonetheless an interesting and unique beer, I still enjoyed it.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 10/10/2009. Growler from Big Z Beverage. Pours brown with a small white head. Aroma of cherry syrup and light spices. Flavor is also cherry with some spicy rye in the finish. Not your typical s/h/v but it's a pretty decent, tasty beer. Not sure where the cherry comes from, but it's the strongest flavor/aroma in this beer.

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Brooklyn Manhattan Project from Brooklyn Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.