Brooklyn Detonation Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Detonation Ale
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72 Ratings
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Ratings: 72
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 14
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Brianmerrilyn on 08-25-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by JoePat:
Photo of JoePat
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a crystal amber color with a kaki head that leaves a lot of lacing as it dissipates.

I smell a lot of citrus and pinapple in the aroma. This beer has a huge hop aroma. So much that I can't smell anything else.

I get the pinapple, citrus, and cherry in the flavor. Sweet malty and huge hops but not overly bitter.

Thick resiny mouthfeel but tha does not hinder the drinkability. This is possibly the smoothest double IPA that I have ever drank.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler pour from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. ($12.99) enjoyed on Fire Island, NY with a lunch of salad, raw clams and bread and cheeses.

Pours a nice glowing ruby, chestnut shade of medium amber, under a moderately retentive tan and loose head that leaves full lower sheeting and splotchy blobs of lacing.

Nose of mild whole wheat bready malts and English hoppyness.

Tasty and highly enjoyable DIPA with an English nature to it. Hops are not on your face, but quite present and noticeable. Strong malty presence also noted and appreciated. Could it be a balanced DIPA is upon us? Warming alcohol, more hops and malt, yummy stuff, dense, flavorful and satisfying. Nice job here by Bklyn. Go get some while it is around and readily available at least in the NYC and surrounding environs area.

Photo of glid02
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy bright copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and tropical fruit hops backed by sweet pale and caramel malts. Also present are hints of herbal and pine hop aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although the hop flavors aren't quite as intense as the aromas. Robust caramel and pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by large amounts of wet citrus hop flavors. Joining in shortly thereafter are good amounts of lighter tropical fruit hop flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors lose a bit of sweetness with the addition of herbal, earthy, and pine flavors, in that order. The hops (surprised?) carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

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

Overall I'd heard a lot of good things about this beer and it didn't disappoint. Truly a hopped-up version of an already good and hoppy beer (Blast) that's well worth a shot.

Photo of Stigs
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz pour from the tap at Fatheads, served in a small sniftner

A - barely a finger of loose, puffy off-white foam. the beer is on the darker side of orange, mostly clear. some sticky lacing throughout the drink.

S - mmmm. ripe tropical fruits, melon, pineapple, mango. hops turn slightly piney towards the end. light layer of sweet caramel underneath works nicely with the fruit action. me likey.

T - starts off very resinous with a predominantly piney hop bite, fresh fruits come into play quickly: assertive mango, pineapple, and candied oranges. bitterness creeps up on you, though nicely balanced (yet still a hop bomb). very nice.

M - medium bodied, chewy yet slightly slick and oily. carbonation is nicely placed in the background for the most part. sticky finish with lingering fruity hops cut into by alcohol burn.

D - only the heat holds this back a bit.

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a a glass at Tap and Table in Emmaus, PA. This stuff was going for $9/tulip in semi--rural PA. Ouch.

Anyways, I though this was an odd but interesting take on the style. While the beer was almost overly-hoppy in the aroma and initial flavor, the perfume citrus quickly faded and didn't leave much bitterness. I'm reminded a bit of Weyerbacher's messier Hops Infusion for the over-the-top hopping. It's not that the beer is too bitter, but the floral and grapefruit notes are so strong that they cease to be pleasant. They become almost medicinal tasting. Instead of a more complex beer, this is simply a strong tasting ale that still lacks a bit in aftertaste.

I do also have to point out how unusually drinkable this beer was. I suppose that's due in part to a lighter, drier body without a big bitterness to balance. I'd say it's worth checking checking out if you're a big hop head. I can appreciate what Brooklyn is working towards here.

UPDATE 12/6/10: Had on-tap again and while the beer was thin for its strength, it just meant that the beer was dangerously drinkable. There was a wonderful pine, cinnamon, and orange zest hop character, and I had to stop myself from drinking too much.

Photo of californiakulak
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on draft at the Blind Tiger in NYC.
A. A light copper color. Quite clear. Slighlty off white head. Decent lacing.

S. Some alcohol, hops, and slightly sweet scents.

T. Nice hop flavor, pine and citrus as often is the case. Nice malt presence as well, slighly sweet.

M. lighter bodied than I would have expected, bitter with nice carbonation.

D. Very drinkable. Not the hop bomb that we get on the West Coast and that was kind of nice for a change.

Photo of jimmy82063
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this on tap at several bars in Manhattan over the past few days, finally picked up a growler at Decicco's in Ardsley. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Nice amber color...

S - Smell kind of piney can also get the malts this will be nicely balanced.

T - Nice hoppy taste again more of a piney flavor than citrus. Malts really come through, this is very British.

M - Very nice carbonation.

D - This is where the good folks at BB really nail this. Couldn't guess this was 10.2% if I wanted to!

Another pleasure from Brooklyn Brewery. Glad I like in the area when I can always get a fresh Brewmasters Reserve!

Photo of CooperEllis
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very good english beer. I know, I know, it's an American Double. And it's 10.2% abv. But the reality is, when I'm drinking this I'm not thinking 'hoprush' I'm thinking 'close down the pub and drink it dry'.

The growler is counter-pressure filled and was filled less than 4 hours ago (should this be an 'almost tap' review?)....pours new penny with faint tinges of clarity. Very nice 1/3" head melts away as you drink leaving no residue, just a crystal amber top.

The aroma is complex but distinct. A little hoppy, a very little citrus, a very little alcohol. The problem is, that combination doesn't really 'smell' like anything but suds.

Taste is tops. You can taste the malt, you can note that the sugar takes a bit of edge off of the many many hops, you can feel the alcohol hit you but not taste it. But really; I don't think there is a good comp for this. It's not perfect, but it's very close. And that's a problem - because this beer is sooo drinkable and would, on taste alone, be a longstanding traditional session beer butfor (what's a butfor? you ask....) it's abv.

Enjoy it for the time it's out. It is certainly worth the time in tracking down. But I would caution - despite the hop hype (I've read reviews just listing the hop count/type/etc...) that this is a very good beer and there are certainly hops in it but it is not a 'hoppy' beer. It is an exceptionally well-balanced, englsih style IPA (well, double IPA).


4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 9oz snifter for $5.25. Sampled 10/1/10.

A: A small white foamy head provides decent retention. The body has an 80% opacity that provides a color range from rustic orange through auburn, then dark copper at the core. There is a light smathering of lace in broken sedimentary fashion.

S: The nose absolutely bursts with orange, peach and pineapple plus a caramel component that is more than adequate. The crust of dark bread adds depth to the malt foundation.

T: Summer and tropical fruits combine for good flavor duration. Moderate caramelly sweetness and restrained bitterness add a bit of east coast flare to a west coast style. Alcohol comes through meagerly to no real surprise.

M: Medium body with a perfectly lively carbonation.

D: [DRINKABILITY] Detonation is a top echelon DIPA - but only by east coast standards. Easy to drink with enough complexity to add intrigue. Well done Oliver.

Photo of elflake
3.06/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Milltown, in a snifter :

This shouldn't be called an "IPA" - far too sweet, and where are the hops ? I'm confused by all the other reviews here for this.... it just simply wasn't very good. Not bad, but why bother ? The alcohol was far too pronounced. An Allagash trippel cleansed my tastebuds after this.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really happy to get to try this one on tap. It was the first thing I went for as I wanted to get to try it. Pours out a very light amber with a big, bellowing head of white that seems to sit on top forever! Lots of lacing coming down the sides and a good bit of carbonation as well.

Aroma is amazingly hoppy. Lots of grapefruit, pineapple, touches of lemons, really just very bright and very citrusy. Warming brings some sweet orange and a light grassy and herbal note to it. So clean and crisp as you take the first sip, again I found this to massively drinkable as each sip seeming to be cleaner, crisper and just amazing complex. Some many bright citrus flavors it is just absurd. Crisper then I would have imagined and dangerously light this was a show stopper.

Overall one of the best I have ever had from Brooklyn, hands down, this was amazing, cannot wait to see if it hits bottles.

Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear orange/amber in color and poured with delicate lacing covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrus hops in the nose.
T: The initial taste has some malty sweetness, which is flavored by flavors of citrus and the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink because any traces of alcohol are well hidden in the taste.

Photo of plaid75
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Good Life, Massapequa Park, NY.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a juicy resinous orangy hop with a sweet doughy malt.

The taste consisted of a balmy sticky hop with a full sweet malt a slight booze.

The mouthfeel was of typical fullness with a very dry finish.

Overall a well made hop bomb.

Photo of claspada
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an average golden color with no head retention and adequate lacing.

Aromas are extreme citrus, hard to get past the sweet fruity pleasant aromas from the hops, malts have no change compared to the hops.

Taste follows the nose preciously; a classic east coast DIPA. This is not a smash in the face like many double IPAs are but that is a good thing if you ask me. The ABV is not noticeable at all; crazy. I think the extreme hoppiness plays a part, but the malt must also help because if it wasn't balanced I would have trouble finishing it and i do not.

Mouthfeel is good; I never know how to rate this category.

Overall, delicious, but honestly not memorable. I have had many hoppy great beers that this one doesn't stand out in any category way to recommend in my opinion. If you stumble upon it, yeah DEF get it but don't go out of your way.

Photo of david18
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had a draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I was surprised to learn that this was a double IPA. It was not as hoppy as I'd expect it to be but it was very good nonetheless. Good malt and hop aroma, great carbonation, really nice flavor. Color is very light. I will have this again.

Photo of nyuballer
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

growler from whole foods beer store on bowery, nyc.

A - fairly dark for an american DIPA: tints of orange but otherwise brown. half-finger darker cream head.

S - lots of alcohol. some browned sugar and light cream.

T - not far from a refined brown ale on steroids. hoppiness is toned-down relative to the big boys in this class (stone, moylan's, great divide), and the lack of cro-magnon magnitude is more than compensated for by the complexity of its pairing w brown sugar on the nose, palate, and through the finish. alcohol present throughout

M - much, much less dry than Brooklyn's stock DIPA. finish is fairly moist, as opposed to the standard DIPA's clean dryness. it is quietly, confidently, and not chest-thumpingly full, unlike most DIPAs.

D - surprisingly good for a DIPA, and for a beer with double-digit ABV. a couple won't knock you down, thanks principally to the unprepossessingly even-keeled texture

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 9/21/2010 at The Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ, served in a large tulip glass.

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

S: The aroma is an incredible mix of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a huge burst of grassy hops bitterness followed by a very fruity citrus sweetness with a touch of caramel flavor. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and is perfect for the style in my opinion. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

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

D: Extremely tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, quite simply one of the best 2IPA's I've ever had and is everything you could ask for in a hop bomb.

Photo of soupyman10
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a pint of this at Founding Farmers, a great surprise at a not-known-for-its-brews kind of place. This was really a nice, tasty, strong DIPA, but also highly drinkable (I had it with dinner). Pours a standard amber with a smallish white head, but it's a real win in the aroma and flavors department. Obviously a big beer, but surprisingly well balanced - big citrus fruit and flowers, with a caramel toffee offset. Really thought this was excellent - one of the top Brooklyn brews I've had, along with their Chocolate Stout.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright, slightly-browned orange with a nice white head and good lacing as it goes down. Nose is overflowing with juicy hops. Lots of pine and citrus rind with a few tropical notes intermixed. Taste comes down a bit from here but still packs quite a punch of resiny hops. Mouthfeel is somewhat fuller bodied but I didn't detect much sweetness. Drinkability is quite high; certainly one of my favorite Brooklyn beers to date.

Photo of Spider889
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Mad Mex.

Apricot color with a small frothy head. This one left decent lacing and visible, but not vigorous carbonation.

Smelled very sweet for a DIPA, though I suppose the high abv might suggest a higher degree of sweetness. Almost like a citrus/tropical candy - tons of tangerine and mango here.

The flavor changes it up a bit. Lemon and pine create a bitterness that assures you this is a DIPA, yet it is not overpoweringly bitter. The sweetness does pervade into the flavor as well, yet the showing is not nearly as prevalent as in the nose.

Not too boozy, but the alcohol is certainly there. A pleasant warming effect takes place that keeps this beer down to a one or two glass limit. Nevertheless, I will certainly be happy to order this again the next time I see it.

Photo of magnj
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Brooklyn Brewery Aug 29 for a mere 2 tokens, into a high quality plastic cup.

A - Deep amber coppery deal with hints of brown and a nice sticky head

S - Hops! Hard to pick out individual aromas because of the environment and because of the mish mash of varieties but I got citrus and tropical fruits as well as pine. Caramel malts were also present, the thing was just absolutely huge in every way at something like 11%

T - Punch you in the face hop bomb. Bitter up front through till the end, big range of hop flavors but mostly a pungent tropical fruit pine thing. Carmel and supplementary sugars attempt to balance the bitter at first but in the end they are no match. No sign of hot alcohol flavors.

M/D - Full body, sticky, and dangerously drinkable as advertised. Flavor lingers on the tongue.

Photo of John_M
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours an orange amber color with fairly good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get considerable orange citrus, light pine, and tropical fruit. I'm guessing from the aroma there will be some sweetness to this beer, but it doesn't smell as if the sweetness will be too overwhelming. Unfortunately, I was wrong. This beer has considerable sweet malt, and while there's plenty of hoppy bitterness, ultimately the sweetness wins out. The beer consequently has something of a sweet, tropical fruit flavor, with some noticeable alcoholic heat with the bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with the beer showing a long, bitter finish. Also, while the beer isn't at all heavy on the palate, the alcohol is definitely noticeable, which detracts a bit from the beer's drinkability.

Not a bad beer, but clearly not among the IPA elite. Probably not something I'll order again.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was glad to have this the first week it came out at the Bronx Alehouse.

A: Poured into a Duvel Goblet to show off a clear copper hue
w/slight cloudy haziness. Solid finger plus head, soapy bubbles w/sticky odd shaped lace on the glass.

S: The nose gives off a powerful hop fume with the malt sweetness following at a lesser level

T: SWEET! A classic east coast DIPA if I ever had one! This is not a hopbomb regardless of the ABV but a sweet start and then perfectly balanced hop bitterness in the middle followed by a nice sting at the end. The heat of the ABV comes along with the sting but not smash face style.

M: Medium smooth. Slips down your tongue w/the malty allur pulling you in.

D: This is the Blast's big brother indeed! Mr. Oliver has outdone himself once again. While Brooklyn has a few beers over 10%, Chocolate Stout, this one goes down as a sweet DIPA for the most part but overall quite balanced and very easy to put down over and over again.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amazing Imperial IPA, and one that I thought I'd never see from Brooklyn Brewing. You finally get it, thank you!

The drippy citrus flavor and aromas are balanced against tropical fruit smooth hop flavors and clean bitterness. The hops completely dominate the glass but is highlighted in the flavor and aroma department. Clean bitterness ushers in the malty/alcoholic dryness and provides a long linger of bitter citrus piths. Ripe Ruby Red grapefruit, tangerine, mango, appricot, and pineapple round out the hoppy flavor profile.

Spiced with hoppy notes of orange zest, ginger, and freshly picked herbs, the beer takes on an alcoholic/spicy/phenolic flavor and feel that keeps you guessing about hop contributions vs. yeasty zest.

With just enough of a pillow of malt, the faint caramel, bready/graham cracker taste offers only a spring board for the hop dominance. Where the sweetness is tasted and felt early, the beer breaks at mid palate and provides a fleeting malty shaddow as the bitterness from hops intensifies and the alcoholic warmth is felt.

Enough carbonation to keep the citrus flavors creamy and smooth early in the sip, the fullness shows a quick fade to lightness, crispness, and dryness in the finish and allowing for maximum drinkability.

A very well done Imperial IPA that takes only a second stage to the likes of Dreadnaught, Pliney, and Hopslam. Well done Brookly, well done!

Photo of ToasterChef
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Served in my Uprising Chalice at Novare Res.

A: Big soapy & foamy tan head. Body brown/orange, opaque. Good lacing.

S: Big citrus hop aroma. Grassy as well. Pungent, bitter, oily.

T: Bitter grapefruit, grainy bitter whole hops. Some brown bread malts.

M: Full bodied. Plenty of carbonation. Good sized oily coat has bitter flavor. Maintains a tingling sensation on my tongue.

D: I'm enjoying this glass, but one is probably enough. Alcoholic strength and high bitterness limit this beer. This is a good beer to have as a draft only selection; a large format bottle would be tough on me.

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Brooklyn Detonation Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.