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Brooklyn Ale / Pennant Ale '55 - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Ale / Pennant Ale '55Brooklyn Ale / Pennant Ale '55

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1,471 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,471
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 26
Gots: 123 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-06-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,471 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PEBKAC
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My personal favorite throughout the summer & fall, one bottle stumbles out from hiding in the shadows.

A flat pour, possibly due to the 1/07 BB date. Still that heavy, flushed, amber that I remember. Clean & crisp on my nose. Quite doughy & sweet initially, the backwash keeps me constantly gulping. Nice & mild(Quite mild actually), easy & satisfying. A staple in every sense. :)

Photo of jwc215
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by Jan. 07 (This month).

Pours amber with a thin head that doesn't hold on too well.

The smell is of a mild fruitiness with some leafiness. Almost tea-like.

The taste is of fruity hops with sweet, bready malt. Nicely balanced, but all too subdued. Finish doesn't last too long.

The feel has a watery thinness to it, but still not as smooth as it could be. There is a carbonated crispness.

It's a decent, basic English-style pale ale. Not really what I would expect from this brewery (I've had several others from it and have been impressed). It does have a nice balance and the flavor isn't bad, but nothing really makes this one stand out as anything special.

Photo of mikesgroove
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a decent amber with a big fizzy head. Smell was more malt then hops, but still not at all bad, had a bit of a grassy tinge to it. The taste was about the same. Decent for a APA, but not really my cup of beer. Too much malts which through off the balance for me. But not a bad brew.

Photo of arnulfooxblood
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance--Served in a dark bar, so I couldn't get a real good look, seemed a deep golden straw color.

Smell--nice smooth, balanced aroma. Malty smell definitely present.

Taste--Notable malts balanced with adequate hops. All around well balanced brew, nothing outstanding though.

Drinkability--nice and agreeable, I'd certainly drink this in the future.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got this pint at Malones in Lexington Va. It poured a deep brown. There was about two fingers of head that was very fluffy. There was a lot of lace that was also very fluffy. The retention was also solid. The smell was very malty with not much else to it. The taste had a coffee flavor. This all combined for a smooth mouthfeel and a good brew.

Photo of maddogruss
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. Nice, amber color with a small head that dissipates rather quickly. A ring is maintianed, but otherwise the frostoness of the beer is gone after the first minute. A mlaty smell with a nutty, malty taste; no hops really present at all. A nice, smooth mouthfeel. A pretty drinkable beer; definitely saving a few for my friends.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. The brew is a brilliantly clear golden color with a finger of ivory head over top. The head falls to a solid coating over top, and a decent carbonation is seen in the brew. The brew looks like it is glowing at the bottom of the glass. Inhaling over the glass, I find lots of toasted and bready malt, with a mild caramel underneath. The hops come across as more earthy in nature; they blend nicely with the toasted character of the malt. A sip brings me a good toastyness, with a raisin fruityness, as well as some bready sweetness. It is a nice combination. A mild earthy hop hits more on the finish, along with a very, mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick, with a very mild carbonation. It could use a touch more carbonation in there to balance it out. I think this one is pretty drinkable. Even though it is not traditional for a Pale Ale of any flavor that I know, I think they work well together. It's like a pale ale with some special b or aromatic in there.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bronzed rustic orange with tangerine peel trim. In spite of the loud escape of gas on crown cracking, the head is on the small side. I kept elevating the bottle when I saw that very little was happening and eventually ended up with a slim two fingers of toasted tan that is creamy enough to persist and sticky enough to deposit lace in a chained links pattern.

The nose is too weak and isn't all that compelling. It's much closer to an English pale ale (Brooklyn's designation) than an American pale ale (BA designation). Buttery pale malt and herbal-fruity hops balance one another out to such an extent that the beer lacks personality. The malt bill sounds wonderful: Scottish Floor-Malted Maris Otter, Belgian Aromatic and British Crystal. Too bad it doesn't result in a better nose.

Pennant is okay beer, but that's about as far as it goes. Like the nose, there's really nothing here to grab onto, just a collection of flavors that don't jibe as well as they might. Toasted barley is uppermost with a hint of diacetyl (that isn't bothersome) and a flavor that reminds me of old iced tea. The beer is more bitter than it is sweet, although it's lacking in terms of good, solid hoppiness. The spiciness of the Hallertauer Perle comes through the loudest.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium with more than a little harsh carbonation. Why all those bubbles didn't result in a bigger head is a mystery to me. I prefer soft and lush to firm and buzzy, so the mouthfeel will be accorded the same underwhelming score as the flavor.

While some Brooklyn beer is little better than average, most of what I've had lately has been very good. Unfortunately, Pennant Ale '55 falls into the former camp. This bottle is still a few months away from its 'best by' date so age can't be a factor. My suggestion, for what it's worth, is to start over and come up with a beer that is worthy of such a great name and a great label.

Photo of malcontent
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, gold/orange hue with a tremendous looking head; thick, foamy & quite resilient. Head clings tenaciously to the glass' sides as it descends.

Fruity hop nose with an odd, earthy mustiness to it. Some sweet malt hints can be detected as well.

Huh? Not what I was expecting given the smell. More malt-driven than I would have guessed although there is certainly a hop presence. Actually reminds me of a number of Capital brews i.e. Germanic in nature. Still, a very pleasing drink nonetheless.

Has a crisp beginning with a rich, creamy finish. A really nice-feeling beer. Utterly drinkable although on taste alone I wouldn’t consider it a home run (no pun intended but now that I’ve written it I might as admit my Gene Shallet-esque faux pas).

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the taste!

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Dallas Cowboys mug (didn't help them, though...stupid Vanderjagt) at 50 degrees.

A - An amber color with a 2-inch foamy head...good retention, too.

S - Biscuits and slight fruit dictate the aroma. There's a slight detection of hops, but the fruit masks it well.

T - Flavor starts with grassy malts, but finishes with a caramel/biscuity taste. Little hop action, but grapefruits do come back on the finish.

M - Despite the biscuit flavors, the body is relatively light. Finishes smooth with little carbonation.

D - A good APA..less hoppy than I expected. Good use of malt. Very drinkable - I'll pick up another when I get the opportunity.

Photo of Cresant
2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle, dated best by: 1/07, into a Samuel Smith tulip. Fresh apricot color. Clear body. Mild head faded to nothing.

Smell was very complex and everchanging. Spicy herbal hops. Vegetal. Wet paper. Sulfur persisted throughout the drink. Floral, leafy green hops. Fresh malts and Pixie Sticks. Biscuits with honey. Wow. Not necessarily aromas that compliment one another, but lots going on here.

Taste was not as complex as the aroma. Sweet Maris Otter malts and zesty hoppiness work together yet I would say they are blandly balanced. Taste was disappointing compared to the aroma.

Mouthfeel was on the thin side. Medium carbonation with a fairly smooth finish. I doubt I would ever seek this one out again.

Photo of Phatz
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a solid amber color, translucent body, large ivory head.

Smell: Wet bread malt aroma with a hint of caramel and fruit. Little hops.

Taste: This is a malt driven APA that has little hop character but has a pleasant spicy earthy character seasoning the gentle caramel malt backbone and light fruity earthy attributes. It is easy and quaffable.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy in the mouth with a light carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a relatively simple beer that is built for drinking.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of TrickKnee
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a 12oz bottle of the new pennant ale. Was just about ready to hit the freshness date, should have looked before i bought it. Had a decent complex hop aroma but really didnt translate well into the overall taste. Was an overall good pale ale, however i think i am growing out of them, need a little bit more hop punch. Worth a shot. And i am definelty going to try a fresher one in the near future.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is an orange amber, with moderate carbonation. The head is one finger off white.
About average for a good APA.

The smell is not bold, but very APA like, piney grape fruit.

The taste is good, nothing other then the average pine notes and grape fruit taste, common to the style, Very pleasant and good tasting, Not a bad beer at all quite refreshing and taste.

The mouthfeel is good but not great, medium body, grainy and a little flat.

The drinkability id good to better. Goes down quite easy. MK

Photo of rarevos
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.

A: Very light orangey-looking amber color. Decent head at first that's a bit off-white, quickly becomes a ring of foam and a foam island.

S: Malty and lightly fruity, a bit like their lager. Some mild fruit in the nose (something crisp, like apple or unripe pear), and some mild hop presence. Mostly malt, though there's a bit of celery, like the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

T/M: Malt up front in a big way with some biscuity goodness. Middle has a bit of sweetness and some fruity hoppiness, like some sugar-coated citrus. Finish is only mildly bitter but with a long tail.

D: I can drink a good amount of these. A good malty session choice, even if I will probably confuse it with their Lager in the dusty storage bins in my brain.

Photo of klewis
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 1/07

A: Pours copper with a 2-finger foamy head. moderate lacing.

S: Light hops smell with some toffee aromas.

T: Light in flavor with a dry malty taste and a very light hop flavor. Slightly bitter in the finish. This one seems more like an English pale ale than an American.

M: Light in body with moderate carbonation.

D: Not a great PA, but definitely drinkable. Fittingly, this would be a great beer for baseball games or session drinking.

Photo of akahn
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours clear orange with a fluffy, lasting white head. Minimal hop aroma, some light grains. This doesn't get one's hopes up but this beer turns out to be well put-together. It's very different from what you'd expect from an American style pale ale, but it's quite good nonetheless. Fairly light, dry and clean, with some caramel malt sweetness, just balanced by brisk carbonation and mild hops. Doesn't compare to other APAs, but on its own merit, this is a fine beer.

Photo of Neehan
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright copper with a small amount of lacing. The aroma is of caramel malts, hops, and generalized sweetness. The taste is slightly bitter with good balance of the malts, clean finish with a slight aftertaste of bitter hops. The mouthfeel is crisp and well balanced. Very drinkable, a great session brew for watching a ballgame, etc.

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one is notched best before March '06, but I'm giving this one a shot anyway. I recall enjoying the first one in the sixer, so now it's time for a review.

Light golden orange, darker at the top, and with a tinge of ruby red. Rush of carbonation containing a very thin, but sustainable burst of foam at the top. Wonderful looking APA.

Strong, fruity esters dominate with a touch of sourness on the nose. Some scotch-like aromas mixed in, alcohol, and pleasantly fragrant malts. Also buttery, diacetyl comes to mind. Not bad.

Taste is mostly tart/sour fruits, with bitter hops and the buttery/diacetyl flavor jumping out at the back of my tongue. Scotch like-finish, a bit clean and alcoholic. Tartness lingers.

Light body, easy session drinking brew, but carbonation is a bit heavy. Also a bit clean, perhaps not malty enough? This one is not bad, but like many others have said before me, it doesn't stand out in any particular way. Worth a try, but only slightly above average.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty decent stuff. Not writing home to tell mom about it, but drinkable and enjoyable. A typical golden / copper hue with waining retentiona nd lacing. A typical maltiness and citrus hops aroma and flavor. Moderately estery and fruity. Bready and yeasty. The body just doesn't really pull the flavors and textures together. Lightly undermalted doesn't allow the fullness or breadiness to bond the flavors and unify the beer. But quality and nice nevertheless. Safe and a bit banal.

Photo of wcudwight
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Mellow Mushroom in Blowing Rock NC.
Darker than most pale ale's with an ample head and good retention and lace.
Doesn't smell anything like a pale ale, but still smells good. Very malty sweet and mildly nutty.
The malt dominated with the hops in the back ground. Much more malt dominated than other pale ale's I've had, but not a bad beer.
Feels good in the mouth but doesn't really stand out in any way.
Very drinkable. Nice little session ale.
Over all it doesn't really taste like a pale ale, but is a good session ale none the less.

Photo of Newsman
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six-pack of Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55 at Sparrow Wine & Liquor Co. in Hoboken (a very, very beer-friendly place with good prices). Came home, cracked open a bottle, poured into an old-style mug that showed off a nice coppery color. Head was light and thin, but the carbonation reminded me of a lager or pilsner...I wondered if this was a lagered ale or some such. Smells great, a lot of malt and earth to go with the hops. First mouthful reminded me of a Scotch ale, with some good malty flavors. The hops balance it out nicely, especially after the beer settles down a bit. Good overall mouthfeel...you definitely know something's hitting all your tastebuds. Not a very heavy beer, however, which makes it quite drinkable. I'd be very selective pairing this one with food, because I have a feeling that it would be great with simple fare, but could clash with more complex dishes. I don't know if Pennant Ale '55 is a home run per se (because it would've been a five across the board), but it's very much a two-RBI double.

Photo of canucklehead
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A mid/dark gold with the big head this beer takes a second to warm up get its balance. I first tasted more malt than hops but after a bit the hops came to the fore. Very sessionable with a real full mouthfeel , I would bring this beer to a BBQ where i wanted a food friendly beer that I could drink a few.

Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a 12 oz bottle served in a tumbler. The ale is cool.

A: The beer has an amber-orange color with no head and no haze.

S: I smell ringwood yeast. The ale has a fruity aroma that I recognize as the result of that little bugger.

T: The yeast again dominates the flavor, giving it a slightly fruity finish. The hops and malts don't stand a chance against the yeast.

M: The ale tastes fine, with the fruity notes adding a slight change of pace.

D: This is a good beer for sittin and sippin a few.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer arrived on the bar clear copper with a white, frothy, and tall head which laced the glass from top to bottom.

The aroma was lightly fruity with a floral character. The malt presence was all caramel and the hop aroma had a light woodsy nature.

The flavor was fruity with a fairly strong caramel presence and and earthy and woodsy hop character. Also present was a fruity estery light cherry.

The finish was dry with a lasting mineral characteristic with malt into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a creamy mouthfeel. This seemed to be more an an ESB than an APA, but was quite enjoyable.

Pint at Barley's in Greenville, SC.

Brooklyn Ale / Pennant Ale '55 from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 1,471 ratings.