Companion Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Companion AleCompanion Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

195 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 13.99%
Wants: 13
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John_M on 09-24-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 76
Reviews by cps98:
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a pretty copper color. Very tiny white head. Nice carbonation.

Sweet fruit aroma, I think apples. Malt background. Noticeable alcohol.

The fruity aroma turned out, for me, to be mostly lemon. Caramel malt present. I picked up a little vanilla in the taste that wasn't there in the aroma.

Even though I could detect the alcohol, it wasn't a "hot" beer. I found it to be quite enjoyable, and easily drinkable.

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled at Green Growler Grocery in Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Pour is super clear, dull lighter amber, minor head, and minimal lacing.

Honey, flowers and yeast in the nose-yum

More honey on the palate, some lite smokyness, biting lime, Belgian yeast goodness, earthy hop dryness in the finish. Tasty stuff...Heady at 10%, but the alcohol is well hidden. Nice night capper kinda brew

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip at Driftwood--Plymouth

Appearance: copper in color, clear, minimal head, moderate carbonation

Smell: caramel, toffee, wheat, and alcohol

Taste: caramel, toffee, wheat, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: very sweet with alcohol burn, low carbonation, heavy bodied

Overall: A nice malty treat. Very heavy bodied, this is a beer I could sit with for a while. I will look for this again if I can find it on tap.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Common Table.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma has quite a bit of orange citrus and biscuit malt, with a lot of sugar as well. The flavor is more complex than the aroma. I get a lot of wheat and biscuit malt notes, as well as some alcohol, orange and pepper notes. There is also a little bit of floral notes from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nice wheatwine.

Photo of bsp77
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from tap into small glass.

Appearance: Clear light amber with nice white head.

Smell: Caramel, cherry and light spicy hops.

Taste: Caramel, cherry and light spicy hops. Yes, it is similar to the smell, but fruitier. Subtle, but nice. Barleywine light.

Feel: Low carbonation, silky and smooth body. Great feel.

Overall: Subtle but very nice Wheatwine. Can't taste the wheat, but certainly comes through in the feel.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a tulip.

Pours a very clear golden honey amber with no head lest a small ring on white foam 'round the ring. Nose is sweet like honeysuckle and caramel.

Right off it's very smooth, rich & creamy with a dry & sharp finish, as the nose leads on there's a lot of earthy honey and chewy malts. The alcohol is well hidden but it is detectable. Overall its quite delicious.

Photo of tdm168
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Wine 101 in Wake Forest

A - orange with a short, white head that has little retention

S - wheat, pear

T - peach, apple, white grapes, wheat

M - medium bodied, a little warm, little carbonation

This is a decent beer. It's a simple beer dominated by esters and juicy fruits, but it has a nice flavor profile and good drinkability for the ABV. I won't be looking for this again, but I'll definitely never pass it up.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One finger offwhite head, very fine. Clearish amber body with ephemeral lace.

Nose is honey, pear, very sweet and pretty delicious.

Sweet. Almost syrupy. Plenty of honeyed pear, some wheat and a trace of oak, faint toffee? Tasty but not overstated. Skewed towards sweet; not as pungent as I expected.

Kinda mouth-coating, lingering fruit syrup. Otherwise thick, but not too carbonated.

It's neat, but the smell is the real winner here. You wouldn't guess 10% to taste it. Drinks incredibly well. Later, I returned to the same place and tasted again-- the line was cleaner and more of the fruit came through. Darn fine beer.

Photo of scootny
4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me start out saying that wheatwine has almost always been a bit of a letdown for me in the past, with the exception if White Oak, ( a Belgian take on the style). Hefe is my favorite style and I love Belgian Wits. Generally any style that includes wheat I tend to gravitate towards except this one. So I go to the opening of On Tap at Whole Foods Columbus Circle to get my book signed by Garret and check out the place. The Companion was the star of my two flights and I wound up buying 128 oz to in three growlers to take home . While I have notes from which I will post my review of this stuff on tap I will go in depth with the growler I scored and get cozy with what is a really fine beer. This is my personal favorite in this style to date.

Appearance is a clear golden amber with a very large slightly off white head, very good retention and nice amount of lacing. Beer stays covered for the entire glass. Smell is full of floor malt and big chunks of yeasty bread. A light undercurrent of sweet alcohol and pepper. Lovely fruitiness has banana notes and white grapes. Taste is big and bready with the malt being the star of this beer. Floor malted wheat gives a level of depth that I have never experienced in this style. There is a bread flavor that recalls toasted light whole wheat with butter and strawberry jam. I mean the flavors are so British tea time. Biscuits and butter. Jam and toast. The sweetness of the malt and alcohol are beautifully balanced and all I want to do is indulge myself in the flavors swirling around my tongue. Yeasty fruit esters and bakery. Peppery edge hides the alcohol so well you have to let the beer warm to find it. Event then it is stealthy. Hops are earthy and dry with a clean quenching signature. Finish leaves dryness and bready malt along with toasted biscuits. Feel is so light and crisp the only tip off to the strength is when you are legless. The carbonation fine and smoothly crisp with a drinkability so far beyond what I have experienced before that it goes down more like a good lager that a strong ale. You start out treating it like a session beer. This is just a great overall beer with a kick like a velvet hammer. Deliciously full flavored with complexity and nuance, it is more than I expected from the style and just what I expect from Garret Oliver. I am pleased to be rating this one highly. It is the best of the style I have had and is a benchmark for me.

Photo of mscudder
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler from HopCity @ $12. On to the tasting...

A - Nice golden straw yellow with an average head and no retention.

S - light malts but more boozy than anything else. Purely average.

T - A lot of malty wheat and some strong alcohol warmness towards the end. That being said, the booze is well hidden given its 10% ABV, but there is certainly some high drinkability with this one.

M - Nice strong medium body with a tingly progression throughout. Good carbonation.

O - Overall this is a fine wheatwine. Definitely a unique brew with some good things going for it. If you are looking for high drinkability, solid malty wheat taste and high ABV this one is for you.

Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful hue of bright golden this poured with a flashy bright white head that was thin but steady.

The fragrance was soft with obviously wheat and wine. The malt was sweet with a fruity note of Apple and pear but maybe even some honey.

The taste is also very soft, almost weak but smooth with honey, wheat, pear and caramel.

This is peppy and effervescent on the tongue and very light. This does not get prickly as its swallowed despite the perceived carbonation.

I like this but felt that it was a bit tepid in its approach. The ABV would suggest that plenty of wheat was used but it simply never grabbed hold.

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rather nice wheat wine poured from a growler is a brilliant amber tinged golden color
with a nice thick white head that dissipates down to a thin layer of foam and nice light lacing.
Nose of honey, banana, light citrus fruits, apple, and sweet light malts. Flavor is fruity sweet
to the fore and middle. Sides catch a bit of citrus and a lingering banana and apple/pear like
flavor on the back. VERY nice. Almost a Belgian influence, this one has a smooth mouthfeel
and moderate carbonation that makes it highly drinkable. Alcoholic warmth will show itself
with warmth. Another great Brooklyn ale, one I would try again, especially on tap.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pretty solid appearance: Lightly hazy medium orange color, with a very minimal off-white head. Aroma was slightly fruity, with a wheaty sweetness, slight citrus. You get NO alcohol in this. It's fruity, with a sweet wheat note, some citrus tones and maybe a faint honey character. It's lighter bodied, not too thick for it's bigness.

Pretty good, nicely drinkable.

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft serving into a snifter. $5.25 for a 9oz pour. Sampled today, 1/21/12.

A: Drop dead gorgeous. A solid finger of thick, compacted bright white foam sits atop a clear golden yellow-orange body. The head doesn't move for quite a while, then settles in to a nice collar and film. Only deduction is from the lack of lace.

S: Again, fantastic. Bready, biscuity malts with mild honey-like sweetness and an underlying apricot inclusion, faint but noticeable - and very important to the success of the nose. The dominant aroma is a mix between toffee and caramel plus light vanillin.

T: A little more straight forward than the nose suggested, but nonetheless impressive. Juicy malt backbone. Room temperature tea, toffee and a short lived graham cracker flavor on the back, just before drying out. The fruit flavor is either minimal or didn't make it's way to the palate.

M: Wheatwines generally finish on the drier side, and The Companion is no exception. Very light on the tongue and crisp on the finish. I was hoping for a juicier mouthfeel to match the aroma and flavor.

O: Best wheatwine I've sampled to date - next to, of course, Founders Nemesis '09 - but that is an entirely different animal. For a straight wheatwine, I don't think it gets any better than this.

Photo of jsanford
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA.

Pours a hazy gold with a creamy white head that settles to a slight cap. Aromas of sweet malt, toasted wheat, and sugar dominate the nose. Taste is pretty similar to the nose, a big wheaty, malty beer with baked-bread flavors and a slightly bitter finish that smacks of European hops. Mouthfeel is slightly sticky but smooth, with good carbonation and a slight alcohol burn. Overall a very nice, "English"-style Wheatwine, but nothing too memorable.

Photo of Amalak
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got from the Beer Boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

A. It has a copper color, fairly clear, with a few bubbles in the middle. It has a limited white foamy head. No real lacing.

S. A nice wheat scent with a fruity undertone.

T. It has a smooth fruity taste. Grape mixed with a hint of lemon. Not nearly as much of a wheat taste as I was expecting. An alcohol hit at first.

M. A bit tart, but only slightly. Medium-to-full body.

O. Surprisingly not as flavorful as one might expect. It's good, smooth. Even refreshing. But nothing really jumps out, either.

Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with delicate lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The lacing persisted for a long time but eventually completely faded away.
S: There are subtle aromas of bananas from the yeast in the nose.
T: The taste has subtle flavors of wheat and fruity yeast and begins to have hints of sweetness as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
O: Although the alcohol isn’t very noticeable in the taste, this is definitely a sipping beer.

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the more well-rounded wheatwines I've had. Fairly sweet malt, with a cane sugar aspect. Low hops bittering, with some woody notes toward the middle. Alchohol heat is prominent but not overwhelming. I would be curious to see how this settles down witha little age, as right now it seems to have a bit of a raw edge.

Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at The City Beer Hall's Brooklyn event last night.

A-Clear orange, two finger head with some lacing.

S-Spice heavy with some lemon and wheat notes.

T-Lemon, spices, wheat, slight bitterness.

M-Light and carbonated, very smooth.

O-The spices resembled that of a saison but with more lemon flavor and bitterness. An good beer that I was glad I was able to try once.

Photo of fmccormi
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse, NY, poured to a 12oz mug at the bar.

Appearance (4.0): ALMOST clear body, a light orange-amber with essentially no head or lacing to speak of. Head and lacing seem pretty typical for the style, but it’s on the light and clear side for a wheatwine.

Smell (4.0): Light candy-sweetness, with earthy fruit notes—apricot, with hay. Beautiful, bucolic, lightly sweet. Wildflower honey, but drier.

Taste (5.0): Amazing. It’s smooth, with a light, brassy tartness from the wheat malt, with spicy hops that bring in a long, blonde-sweet finish, like light brown sugar was used in finishing . . . not heavy or cumbersome like other –wines. Some booze, but it’s a nice touch. Yeast and malt combo is very, very German in nature. Absolutely beautiful.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Creamy, syrupy and on the heavier side of medium, with an active, velvety carbonation! Again, beautiful beer and amazing mouthfeel for the style.

Overall (5.0): Phenomenal. Drinkable as hell. Just a beautiful, smooth, relatively light and bright, joy-to-consume wheatwine. All other wheatwines should keep this one in mind as a benchmark of sorts . . . if all wheatwines were this enjoyable, they’d be as popular as barleywines. Absolutely wonderful, this was the highlight of the night.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Pony Bar, NYC. Poured into 8oz nonic type glass...
Crisp looking yellowish color. Smells sweet, fruity, honey.
Taste of strong belgian style yeast, fruity, honeyish notes...alcohol is present but compliments nice with the strong flavor.
Excellent drinkability, and well worth a try.

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a snifter.

A: Pours a crisp, clear, golden/light amber with a sticky off-white head that fades.

S: Smells of freshly sliced orange peels and sharp wheat malts. There are some of the fruity flavours of a heffe and wit, with that caramel sweetness of a barleywine...weird.

T: Tropical fruits and sweet, boozy alcohol. but just the flavour, not the heat. There is a little spice somewhere in there and the hops a citric and present.

D: Alcohol is remarkable well hidden for 10% and the mouthfeel is clingy, sticky, and smooth.

Overall: I like my wheatwines to be a litte more on the wheat side than the "barleywine" side and this did not dissapoint. Very tasty beer and full of flavour. Get it if you see it!

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a clear light gold with a fluffy white head that slowly fades into a gentle cap and collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of apricots, light citrus, honey suckle, freshly baked bread, caramel, and black pepper.
Taste mimics the aromas with a very drinkable blend of light sugar and a honey and floral flavor that is lightly fruity in the finish.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth, delicate, and easy drinking despite the listed abv of 10%.

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brooklyn has been coming out with some very interesting one-off beers lately and this certainly fits into that. I had a twelve ounce draft of this at my local bar.

Pours a light amber with lots of carbonation that sticks around for a while and leaves some good lacing.

The light wheat can definitely be detected in the aroma as well as a dark fruit and hops.

Flavor was very interesting, also combining the wheat, malt and hops into a perfect tasting, although very strong, beer.

I would recommend this if you can find it. Very good beer.

Photo of CHickman
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from 10/13/11, on tap at Eleven Madison Park in NYC; poured dark hazy amber in color with a 1 finger frothy tan head that faded slowly; the head had a ton of bubbles in it and left very good spotty lacing.

Smells of wheat, cherry, funky yeast, caramel, gummy bears, sweet malt, candied sugar, sour apple and a sweet wine aroma; the nose is very funky, fruity and odd, and it almost smells sour.

Tastes of sweet malt, wheat, cherry, mango, funky yeast, grains, caramel, light syrup, candied sugar, sour apple, herbs, tea leaf, floral hops, white wine, sherry and tart tangerine or pear; this tastes a little like a Shirley Temple, but it's quite complex and tasty with a strong yeast funk and a sweet grainy flavor. Very unusual, and not for an average beer drinker, but enjoyable none the less due to the complex and very odd flavor profile that does make it taste like a wine.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth, with low very carbonation, a light watery feel and a dry sour/bitter finish. The body is medium and there is a hint of alcohol that comes through, but the alcohol is mild and the flavor is sweet and funky overall.

Not sure I'd order it again, as it was different in a way that I can’t decide was good or bad, but it was decent enough and very interesting and this is a new style I need to explore, so I will trust that Brooklyn Brewery did this wheatwine right as they do with most other beers. This scores extra points for hiding the high ABV so well and I will look to revisit this if possible. Definitely worth trying this beer for it’s originality alone.

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Companion Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.