The Concoction - Brooklyn Brewery

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The Concoction
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166 Ratings
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Ratings: 166
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.04
pDev: 33.55%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  7.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 05-10-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Ale with peated malt, lemon, ginger and honey. Inspired by The Penicillin cocktail.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 78
Reviews by Ryan011235:
Photo of Ryan011235
3.94/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a tulip at Bodega on 7/11/11

Deep honey color with a strip of gold around the edges. Poured a thin head that wisped out quickly. No retention, no lace.

I dug my nose into the glass and was surprised to find no smoke or peat notes. Instead there were notes of lemon zest, pollen, floral hops and spices. Putting a few inches distance between the glass and nose finds the missing smoked note which envelops the rest of the aroma.

The Concoction tastes just as appealing. Leads off with a decent hop bite with some tapering bitterness. Citric hops bleed into the lemon; quite zesty. Lightly floral and airy. Spicy. Candied fruit notions and honey round it out by the halfway point. Smoky peat picks up on the back half and seems to lessen over time.

Finishes spicy and dry, despite a bit of a syrupy feel throughout. As such, the feel is a hefty medium. Carbonation is prickly enough to accent the spices without going overboard; it's a bit more than fluffy.

Though it begins to weigh heavy on the palate after a while (it is a palate mangler), I really enjoyed it. It's like a hoppy, American take on a tripel, methed out on spices and such. I can understand why some folks don't like it but I find it interesting, fully engaging and quite tasty.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ExtraStout
3.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this as a guest beer @ Willimantic Brewery.

Poured a dark amber with little head. Smelled of that smokey peat they say it was brewed with, very interesting. Taste was big. Really big, smoky hoppy, had bite and an bitter finnish. Oily, sticky mouthfeel.

This was a very different brew, hard to pin point but I liked it a bit. However, I wouldn't be able to drink very much of it, a solid try from Brooklyn but I don't know.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An orange/amber color with a medium-sized white head and a little lace.
Sweet malt aroma. Fruity. Floral.
Bready taste. Citrus/orange taste. Some other sweet fruity taste. Late piney hops.
Light bodied, refreshing.
Interesting beer. Don't think I've tried anything like it.

Photo of Billolick
2.49/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Growler filled at Yorktown Bev. Yorktown, NY


Thats the question that comes to mind after a glass or two of this one.

Pours clouded brownish amber, long lasting medium tan head. Leaves ample lace and a tiny bubble film.

Nose of earth, must, moldy mushrooms, ginger...ah so tasty...

Notes of more of the same, musty, earthy, ginger, forest floor, stale herbs, tea...

Not sure if I can consume much more of this and that question...why? comes again to mind....Not sure what the goal here is for Brooklyn, with so many crowd pleasing styles of beer to experiment with , they have gone way out there with this experiment...why?....about 1/2 of my growler ends up down the drain....

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at pour farm, new bedford--served into a tulip

Appearance: 1 inch head, amber in color, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: multiple spices and grain

Taste: wow--multiple spices that I associate with holiday brews, juniper, and a healthy dose of smoke

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, medium bodied, sweet with big smokiness as it warms

Overall: My description of the taste does not do this beer justice. It is very complex and the smoke borders on rauch levels when it warms. Kinda like a cross between a holiday ale, Sahti, and a rauch. An incredibly complex brew--my new favorite from Brooklyn--by a mile.

Photo of Mora2000
1.76/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On tap at The Common Table. I knew I was in trouble when I tried to order a pint and the bartender refused to sell it to me until I had sampled the beer first. Always nice to see bartenders looking out for their customers' best interests.

The beer pours a light amber color with a white head. The aroma is not appetizing. I get a lot of ginger and peat malt as well as some pine from the hops. The flavor is not any better. I get a ton of peat malt as well as some ginger, lemons, toffee and smoke. There is also a strong medicinal and band-aid quality to the flavor. The alcohol is detectable. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

From a flavor and aroma standpoint, this beer is a huge mess. None of the notes work well together and the 2 ounce sample I got was more than I could drink. This thing is offensive. The bartender saved me $7 which I am grateful for. That is the only good thing about this experience.

Photo of bsp77
2.88/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving glass: Poured from tap into small glass.

Appearance: Hazy honey gold with thick white head and light lacing.

Smell: Lemon, ginger, smoke and an odd medicinal cast.

Taste: Very medicinal, with ginger, peat and lemon. Interesting, odd and slightly unpleasant. Yet I keep sipping. Whatever.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, odd finish.

Overall: A strange but ultimately failed experiment. I really wanted to like this more.

Photo of far333
3.8/5  rDev +25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Eli Cannon's. Murky orange color with a beige low head. Low aroma of ginger and phenols. Interesting rich and pungent flavor that is very unique as a whole, but able to be disassembled into its component parts as they travel across the palette. Ginger, citrus, phenols, grand marnier, orange rind, brown sugar, definitely retolant of an old-school cocktail. Even mouthfeel, tingly, crisp, warming. This is a unique and inventive beer, a style buster that pushes all kinds of envelopes. Hats off to Garrett.

Photo of sodonne1
1.16/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer is so memorable that I had to make it my first review.

A: hazy amber in color. Poured with less than a finger of head. Good head retention and visible carbonation.
S: some aroma of lemon and honey but mostly smells like cough syrup. Bad cough syrup.
T: slight taste of lemon and honey, but ginger is predominant. Very medicine like in taste. As someone else posted, this smells and tastes like chloroseptic.
M: It is light- to medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: the best thing to say about this is that it is a very unique. This tastes like the worst cough medicine ever invented and does not go down easily. This resulted in a quick drain pour. Normally enjoy the reserve series, but this is one concoction that never should have been created. What's worse is it ruined my taste buds for the rest of the night.

Photo of biboergosum
2.29/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A pint at Beer Revolution in downtown Calgary. Made with roasted hickory, orange rind, and marjoram, according to the pleasingly helpful barkeep. Thanks, Marcus!

This beer appears a cloudy, dark apricot amber colour, with one finger of thin wispy white head, which readily disappears, leaving but a low-slung ring of lace around the glass in the process. It smells, well it smells like Preparation H - the stuff my mom put on my booboos when I invariably wiped out as a kid - you don't forget that smell. The strong medicinal aroma thankfully gives way (mostly) to roasted malt, aged citrus, and a funky, herbal character. The taste is more of the same - toast, grainy malt, juicy orange flesh, and a large and in charge herbal, medicinal, um, dose, coating, remedy, you get the idea. The carbonation is on the tame side, the body medium weight, and a tad cloying, being so reminiscent of a Merck product. It finishes, sweet, I guess, the citrus and pharmacy herbaceousness still duking it out.

Good god - is this what marjoram tastes like? At least I now have a reminder to avoid it, lest future salads, mains, etc, remind me of skinned knees and lacerations due to youthful indiscretion. The elevated booze is well hidden, I'll grant, but at what cost?

Photo of mdaschaf
3.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Had on tap at the Pickled Pig Pub.

A: Served in a pint glass. The beer was a hazy orange/peach color with a small white head on top. Very little retention or lacing.

S: The two most prominent aromas are ginger and juniper. The ginger is pretty thick. There is some lemon and a bit of citrus.

T: The ginger is strong in the flavor profile as well with the juniper taking a bit of a back seat. You still get a good bit of juniper, but I think this is from the aroma as you drink. Candied fruit, lemon, and some grassy hops round are mixed in.

M: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Slightly dry finish that has a bit of spice to it.

O: An interesting beer. I was surprised I liked it based on some other peoples reactions to trying it. Not something I would want to drink all the time, but it went down nicely the day I had it.

Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at HopCat. For those liking scotch and peaty taste. very peaty, smoke aroma, anise. Sour acidic edge. Lacey.The hop combo made it a most inetresting bitter complexity. Not a big fan of the ginger. The smoke and honey upped the mouthfeel. Wierd and good. A sipper however.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a C+ average for this beer so far...??? Are you kidding me? Are you all just taking the piss here? If this beer had been produced by Fantome in Belgium, or some other "hot" brewer in the U.S. (Stone maybe) or United Kingdom (BrewDog maybe) I'd think it would receive straight "A's"...

But with all of the above stated, I will note that it is a bit hard to put your finger on it, and that can be trying, and even confusing, but that's what makes it great! It's nice to find a beer that actually still stretches boundaries given the current berth of offerings on the market - and yet keeps it remarkably drinkable (within context).

Initially it's a touch smokey, and then it becomes more spicy and citrusy (think black pepper and ginger with a mist of lemon). But then, with the third and fourth and fifth sips, it softens a bit and the smokiness subsides: the spiciness remains but it takes on more character, and a bit more sweetness in the malt appears as well. However, following that, the smokiness returns along with a bit more herbal character and hoppy spice - keep in mind, the hops are always present to a certain extent in both the nose and the taste. It's kind of funky and interesting, with smoke and spice and citrus - and to a certain extent it's always changing yet somehow remaining the same. I'm not sure what the yeast is contributing to it; but I'm guessing that it's Belgian in origin, and probably supporting the whole thing in one form or another (some clove at least).

What we do know for sure is that this isn't simply a cookie-cutter beer; and that it's at once somehow straightforward and direct while still maintaining a host of subtle nuances. But it doesn't just drop it all on the plate for you (spice, citrus, smoke, sugar), it requires you to actually think about what you're tasting in a very focused manner - at least until you're ready to just let go and enjoy it for what it is.

So, overall, 'NICE! VERY NICE'! It's an engaging beer. It may be mainly about sweetish malt infused with spicy, smokey, peppery, and citrusy notes to it, but there's actually more depth if you care to look.

Photo of socon67
2.37/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had on tap at Willimantic cafe in CT.

A - Pours copper colored with a white foam on top. Very clear and minimal carbonation.

S - Smells like antiseptic. Reminds me of a hospital, or being down the HBA aisle in CVS.

T - Taste has qualities of lemon, but the sourness of Brett yeast kills this one. Really can't finish it.

M - Sour finish that makes what should be a refeshing beer come off astringent and have a residual taste of mouthwash at the end. Not exactly pleasant.

O - Very glad the waiter warend me and offered an 8oz sample that once I didn't like allowed me to try another beer. I love Brooklyn but this was an experiment gone wrong.

Photo of tempest
3.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a goblet at Liberty St Tavern. Well this beer does taste as advertised - a mix of smoked malt, honey and lemon. I see what Brooklyn is going for, but this drink is just a touch heavy to be enjoyed on a hot summer day. That or it might simply benefit from higher carbonation, or just a little more balance to the sweetness. Still, an interesting beer worth trying.

Photo of Heatwave33
4.38/5  rDev +44.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at the Coffee District into a Shipyard Pint glass.

Color: Light amber with a white head.

Smell: Wood, hop, smokey and sweet aromas. Intense and complex.

Taste: Wow! Very complex like the smell. A wood, hop, smoky sweet taste that hits every taste bud imaginable.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly smooth with great carbonation. Has a nice bite too!

Overall: This is definitely a love it or hate it brew. I loved the complex aroma and taste. My brother did not. It was too much for him to handle. A very interesting brew to drink to say the least. All BA's should at least sample this one. Cheers!

Photo of SBXLII
4.5/5  rDev +48%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Brewery itself, early August. Unfortunately missed the Tonic before it, as the Brewmaster's selection.

Little-lighter-than-amber hue, not very noticeable ginger off the head, but not too hard to tell it's an herb brew. The twang of it all is nothing you're likely to encounter from many other places. Bulky head with a solid yeast finish. Enough of a fizz to avoid the annoyance of a sugary belgian. It's some achievement to have made this work, in as much as ginger is not usually in beers outside of the occasional winter and pumpkin ales, hence heavier in body and palate. Comparable to a Saison du Buff in its scope.

Had one after the next and can't understand the Cs and Fs reviewed below. Give it a chance!
Top-notch treat from a top-notch outfit, as always. Hats off to BK and hoping for a bottling.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.05/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brooklyn Concoction...on-tap and poured into a pint glass. I had no idea what to expect. I did not read the reviews nor did I ask anyone about the brew before I ordered it.

The brew poured a tan light brown color. Reminded me of iced tea with a decent off white two finger sized head. What is this? Smelled like lime and ginger which was completely unexpected. Taste was almost sour, but definitely a lot of tropical fruit notes mixed in with smokey barbecue. Quite unusual. I have never had anything like this before. I can't decide whether I like it, although I applaud Brooklyn for thinking outside the box. The mouthfeel was fizzy and medium bodied. Overall, I am glad to have tried this brew but it's nothing I would go for again.

Photo of Gmann
3.28/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had to try this.

Pours a golden brown color with fizzy egg-shell colored head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is sweet from the honey and twangy from the ginger. There is a heavy dose of phenols from the yeast; strong band-aid aroma. There seems to be an herbal note, like juniper. The aroma is quite odd, I don't hate it but there is probably a bit too much going on.

The taste is quite herbal as well. The base malt is light and is generally there to lay support to all of these wacky flavors. The honey and ginger provide a nice sweetness that hits early. There is a juniper note that brings the sweetness in check. Again big phenol presence, big on the band-aid.

The feel is light with tingly carbonation. Sweet on the palate causing it to be a bit sticky. Not a cloying sweetness. Has a drying finish.

I don't know what to think of this brew. I don't hate it as I like herbal brews. Probably too much of a mish-mash of flavors which may get tiring after a while. That aroma will wake you up.

Photo of jimmy82063
4.05/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obtained via growler, poured into a pint glass

This is a weird beer, gotta love it though. Nice amber with a medium head, get a lot of ginger lemon and smokiness, did I come up with a new recipe for barbecue sauce?

This is Garret's White Album. Please do this again!

Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
4.06/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Meddlesome Moth in Dallas, TX.

I started with a ounce taster, which truly did not do the beer justice, so as the barmaid suggested, ordered a full one.

Served in a tulip glass, came to me as a beautifully perfect pour, a creamy full inch of head and a hazy golden amber.

The nose has stages, citrusy hops, ginger, malts & caramel, medicinal funkiness like it was prepping for surgery. Betadine/sterilizer/metal. Hard to place what all those smells are, but if I were in an operating room, I am pretty sure the smell is one and the same.

The taste is citrusy, grapefruit, up front but before the hops can kick forth, the band-aids kick in. The flavor is very medicinal, just as the nose was. However, it has good spice and depth of flavor underneath and I actually really enjoyed drinking this. A different and wonderful experience. I would recommend giving a try if you get the chance.

Feels metallic and bitter on the mouth, which is an odd sensation, since you really don't get those flavors much.

I was pleasantly surprised, but I can understand why some can't get passed the medicinal quality. However, I knew what this was going in, so I knew to see it coming.

Photo of unklemike
3.39/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It has been awhile since I have had this. This was an interesting beer. Very piney with aspects that might lead to the conclusion of a possible Belgium yeast. Up front is s spicey alot of things going on here. Finishes with a pine maybe juniper berry Note.nNote. not bad to me. It's like the beer equivalent to chartreuse

Photo of EgadBananas
3/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Slightly red, mostly hazy dark orange in color. Light yellow colored head, sparse lacing. Slightly woodsy, and fairly piny initial nose. Slightly fruity, yeasty, and spicy. Ginger shows up after awhile. Tastes fairly the same, less hoppy though. As it warms though, the hoppiness becomes less forward and the rest of the less favorable aspects of the concoction show up. Feel is light, crisp and lightly creamy textured.

I enjoyed this initially, but it went downhill as time went on, and it really wasn't enjoyable at that point. IF i ever got this again, I would drink it fast as I did enjoy the piny hops after a fresh pour.

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin creamy tan head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are very strong aromas of lemon in the nose along with some notes of honey.
T: The initial taste has a very strong lemony flavor and spicy bite that seems to overpower all of the other flavors; however this is quickly followed by malty flavors of smoked peat and notes of ginger. The finish has some smokiness and sourness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is definitely a unique beer—it’s one that doesn’t go down very quickly but the smell and taste have interesting enough aromas and flavors that make it enjoyable to slowly sip.

Photo of tzieser
1.03/5  rDev -66.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

review taken from notes. "enjoyed" at the pour farm in new bedford massachusetts. i was told this was a leftover from Brooklyn's tap takeover. i'm about to find out why.

a: pours an unassuming pale straw color with a thin white head. kind of looks like a under-carbonated wheat beer.

s: whoa, what is that? ginger ale-like aroma. a bunch of spices and that's it. not very special.

t: i am pleased to report that this is probably the worst tasting beer i have ever had. what started out as a candied ginger-like flavor becomes an abomination of epic proportions. ungodly, disgraceful and unfortunate flavors like rotten band-aids and 35 year old vick's vapo rub. fits the definition of a phenol-tainted beer. was the fermentation messed up or something or was this intentional? what a disaster.

m: pretty thin.

now i know why this is the beer leftover from the tap takeover. it is HORRIBLE. it's so bad i think everyone should try a sip at least once, to remember how bad beer can be and how grateful we should be to have good beer to drink. maybe i should have given it an A because it's just so ridiculously awful that you gotta have it? nah.

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The Concoction from Brooklyn Brewery
71 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.