1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brooklyn Ale / Pennant Ale '55 - Brooklyn Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,356 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,356
Reviews: 613
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.22%
Wants: 23
Gots: 62 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-06-2001)
View: Beers (70) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brooklyn Ale / Pennant Ale '55 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,356 | Reviews: 613 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dwarbi
dwarbi

New York

4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very choppy head. It settles to a thin layer that lasts throughout the length of the beer. The beer is a light reddish amber. Aroma is primarily of oak. Tastes creamy and thick. This is a very good brew. It's complex and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2003 18:58:21 | More by dwarbi
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a beautiful coppery chestnut, but failed to live up to the promise of the appearance. Sour-ish aroma hinting of grape. Not quite there with the mouthfeel - a little thin. Malt is not nearly hefty enough, and comes across as timid, rather sour and astringent. Hopping is mild and nondescript. Not up to par with the other brews I've been fortunate to sample from Brooklyn.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2003 20:24:17 | More by Brent
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Again bought a sampler without checking the best by date, so it was supposed be drank before June 2002. Appearance is a medium amber brown with a cream toned decent sized foam head. Minimal lacing going on but an overall decent appearance. Aroma well, even after being well past the best by date this beer stilll retains many adimrable qualities. A nice smooth floral hop aroma balanced by a nutty caramel malt tones. You can tell this beer is overly ripe, but I think the hops preserved enough to make it a pleasant session brew. The flavor has a sweet forefront of malt followed by a trickling of mild bittering hops with a nutty finish to it. Lighter in body with little or no complexities to make this beer that interesting to me. Drinkability as of now this is a mediocre session beer that I still will drink only to try it fresher.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2003 12:42:44 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As the beer sets in my glass, a deep burnished copper color, the head mountainous in size, the color a winsome light tan and the consistency creamy. Nose is malt, sweet, crisp and fresh, the start is richly malt, the top middling in feel to the palate. Finish has a spiteful acidity, the hops present and spicy in their bite, a dry aftertaste, and another good beer from a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2003 15:43:23 | More by Gusler
Photo of SchmichaelJ
SchmichaelJ

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Brooklyn Ale poured a dark amber color, with a small but consistent head. No apparent lacing, and the beer had a somewhat flat appearance. The smell was impressive, with subtle fruity elements mixed with a strong malty odor. The hops become a little more noticeable in the taste, but the maltiness remains dominant. A bread-like taste was also present, maybe a bit too much for my liking. The medium body was appropriate, but I would have liked a bit more fizz on the tongue. Maybe a little flat, but not terribly so. Overall, this Brooklyn product was a pretty good ale, and it went surprisingly well with my fish dinner!

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2003 11:02:25 | More by SchmichaelJ
Photo of Dantes
Dantes

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Package: 12oz. bottle, no ABV listed; Date-scored at November 02. Old label denoting dedication to ’55 Dodgers World Series. Neck-label describing this as an English-style pale ale.

Cost: $5.99 per 6-pack at Total Wines

Presentation: Imperial Pint glass at ~45º

Appearance: A vigorous pour generated a sparse, rapidly depleting head. Body was dark for a pale ale; auburn-chestnut, more like a special bitter or winter warmer. Exhibited some hazy cloudiness. Looked almost like tea when the head receded.

Smell: Nice solid, but somewhat subdued aroma. Elements of malt and fruit, with a slight hops bite. Straightforward and not very complex.

Taste: The taste was a bit disappointing after the aroma. Although this possessed the classic flavor profile of a fine British bitter: toasty Maris Otter malt, a faint fruitiness, and some bitterness; the whole was somewhat less than the sum of the parts. These elements did not result in a full, balanced taste; and the hops had a somewhat metallic, “off” flavor. A certain degree of thinness resulted in a somewhat feeble middle and almost no finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was good, but the body was thin and lacked the buttery softness of a true English pale ale.

Drinkability: A nicely drinkable American bitter that would probably shine on draught.

My experience with the Brooklyn Brewery goes back a long way. I remember a tasting they conducted at my university club, circa 1989 (we let them in even though one partner was a Yalie). I have to say that at the time I wasn’t all that impressed. However, they were worlds better than most beers commonly available in NYC, especially at the time. As offerings and bars improved, I drifted away from Brooklyn’s offerings. I’m glad that I have had the opportunity to try them again. I think the Black Chocolate Stout is great, and this is nice as well, although it won’t supplant Fuller’s or Young’s in my heart. I wanted to love this after hearing Fishbone wax rhapsodic about it, but I tend to grade hard especially when it comes to one of my favorite styles. To be fair, this example was a bit past its prime (I stupidly failed to check the date before buying the 6-pack), and I was alternating it with Fuller's London Pride. I've enjoyed this on tap before and will seek it out again for a better, more balanced look. Sorry Fishbone!

Bottom Line: For those of you who think that this is very English in style ought to try Fuller’s London Pride.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2003 18:06:22 | More by Dantes
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the better pale ales I have had,poured a real nice copper color with medium well retained head.Very hoppy aroma but great malty balance to this brew,hop was present but not overpowering.I like a good balanced pale ale alot more than one with too much bitterness,if I want that I will order a IPA.This brewery makes some real nice beers at least all the ones I have had.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2003 16:00:43 | More by oberon
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't expect "pale ales" to be so un-pale! The color is a lovely soft chestnut, bright ruby tinges at the edges, and a nice cream-toned head stands on top. Aroma is a surprise: slightly toasty, nutty, crisp and clean, but without much in the hop department. I'm surprised also by the taste, where malt plays a predominant role, and hops are hiding in the wings. Delicious finish.
Taste is sweet and pretty, body is medium, texture excellent.
But wait, the best by date is NOV 02. That's in the past! The label says it tastes best before that date, and yet I can find no fault at all! What would a fresh one taste like?
I also learn from the label that Maris Otter malt is the cheif ingredient, but I disagree with the part where they call it a "pale ale". Tasted much closer to a brown ale, with a subtler nutty profile. A nice candidate for a session ale.
Mucho gracias, Unclejimbo!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2003 15:39:23 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very subtle English style pale ale. This beer pours a deep chestnut colour with a nice fluffy head on top. This smells of biscuits, malts, and bread(perhaps sourdough?). this beer tastes of bready malts, and bittering hops. The finish is crisp and dry..and I like it. The mouthfeel of this beer is very crisp and dry, yet refreshing. This beer is VERY 'English' in style. The drinkability is very good for this subtle pale ale....Dare I say, a classic brooklyn brew?
Cheers!,
F.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2003 14:05:53 | More by francisweizen
Photo of ElGuapo
ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a nice off-white foam that sits on top and sits there for a while. Aromas of rich malts fill the air as you pour and put your nose to the glass.

This is one excellent beer. Very rich and smooth with a mass of malts. It is very similar to Sam Adams Boston Ale. Very robust and full of flavor with a medium full body. Carbonation is light. There is a mild hop presence that adds a little complexity to the brew. A wonderful drinking beer, I had to fight over these tasty treats as the card games rolled on. A friend of mine, a die hard lager man just wanted more and more. A fine job done on this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2003 20:26:17 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of OatmattStout
OatmattStout

Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a decent head and nice lacing. The nose was a malty caramel and som fruit notes. The taste is malty and somewhat sweet with nice smooth and rich mouthfeel. The hops are there and not a large part of the overall taste but do a nice job with balancing the beer and giving small citrus twang. Overall a good beer and would really like to try on tap in brooklyn.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2003 15:40:20 | More by OatmattStout
Photo of hyuga
hyuga

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

According to other reviews, this Brooklyn Ale is the same thing as Pennant Pale Ale, they just changed the name. So here I go... Orangish brew with a very nice white head on top. Nice and thick. Stays pretty well for a while, but loses its edge about halfway through. English hop aroma for the most part, maltiness is bready. A bit of sourness is in there too. On the palate, hoppiness dances on the tongue creating a tingle, while malt stays at the edges. For the maltiness, think sourdough bread with a little sugar added. English with an American touch. Smooth, medium bodied, nice mouthfeel overall. Clean, crisp finish. Pretty good pale ale, nice take on the style. Thanks to francisweizen for this one!

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2003 01:41:49 | More by hyuga
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a little darker than most Pale Ales witha very deep copper/chestnut color. The head receded immediatly into some bubbles that lined the side of the glass. The smell lacked the hop that usually accompanies pales. There were aromas of yeast and pears with a definite emphasis on malt characteristics. The taste was sweet with subtle notes of wheat bread, pear and apple upfront. I ddi not experience a very strong hop finish until the last third of the beer. The mouthfeel was, howver, very mellow without too much carbonation. Definitely thick and malted without a real crispness of some pales. This beer is not what I am used to in a pale ale, but I will definitely buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2003 14:39:35 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is Brooklyn's classic British ale (blue label). An orangey amber/chestnut color with a commendable nose of floral hops and biscuit that does not diminish with time. A decently complex malt (Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt) that is almost fruity; pairs nicely with a mellow ale hops taste (Fuggles and E. Kent Goldings). A thin but constant head with thin and fastly dissipating lace, it shows slow and spare but constant bubbling.

Overall, an easily drinkable ale base, and when you can get it fresh (which can be a problem because it is so widely shipped, and thus widely sits around and waits) it gives off a potpourri blend of nose and tongue. For myself, a great day-to-day ale but with more character (mainly in the nose) and complexity (mainly on the taongue) than a typical day-to-day ale. I grab it when I want a cheaper six pack that won't drink like a cheaper six-pack.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2003 17:58:30 | More by nomad
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Attractive dark amber in color with a slight chill haze. Very little head and almost no carbonation. Nice, though mild, pale malt aroma with light grassy hops. The flavor is quite English in character with a mild malt backbone, light fruity notes and a nice herbal hop flavor. Smooth and drinkable, with a medium body
a good session beer, though would be better with slightly more carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2003 19:12:50 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of Riggo
Riggo

Oklahoma

3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Despite pulling for this brewery, having lived in NYC for ten years and being a fan of their Lager and Oktoberfest, I have to part ways with Brooklyn when it comes to the Pennant Pale Ale (now simply called Brooklyn Ale).

A golden copper color with beige head and both moderate head retention and lacing. Problems begin in the nose. Immediately, a heavy alcoholic element, similar to scotch, seeming inappropriate to the style and just plain unappealing to me. Also in the nose, caramel malt and citrus. On palate, the promise of the nose is delivered with, again, that alcohol off-note that is just too direct and out of place. Additionally, a heavy sweetness with roasty, caramel malt notes. There is a slight dryness in the finish but nowhere near balancing the heavy sweetness. And despite this potent combination of heavy alchohol and sweet elements, the mouthfeel is rather thin. The finish is somewhat cloying and just sort of drops off haphazardly. Boy this is coming off negative. I'm just not a fan of this beer, though its still Brooklyn, its still craft-brewed and its still better than lots of beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2003 16:00:24 | More by Riggo
Photo of Darkale
Darkale

Virginia

3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I wanted to love this beer, because Brooklyn Brown is one of my house favorites; however, I just cannot love it. The bottle design is classic, and I love the deep dark and simple blue of the label against the brown glass. The bottle says classic, but the beer does not follow through.

The aroma at first is very sweet, and that was a surprise. It pours out a dense but not full head, which dissipates within a gulp or two. Personally, I like the head to stick around for a while, but no amount of swirling would bring much of it back. A personal taste, and not necessarily a mark against a beer.

The taste is sweet; that taste, combined with the smell as the nose goes into the glass, made me have a quick thought of the Octoberfest style. Right after the sweetness is a mid-tongue burst of hops, which lingers. The hops taste to me is like an old-fashioned ginger ale; that's the taste that remains in my mouth.

Despite the hops snap, it's a thin beer, to me. And there is an aftertaste that I cannot define. It comes after that ginger. I don't like it, but I am hard-pressed to describe it. It's fruity, but I can't get much closer than that.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2003 16:02:25 | More by Darkale
Photo of oelergud
oelergud

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew has an amber glow, rich carbonation and a good white head, unfortunately the head doesn't stay long.
Smell is great. Complex fruity and hoppy nose, some licorice detectable after the beer warms up some.
Taste reminds me alot of the Taddy porter from old Tadcaster, same lack of after taste that makes you reach for the beer constantly. Earthy and very well balanced, crisp feel by the carbonation. Great hops makes this beer a clear winner.
This is a beer that is easy to drink and enjoy, the brew is great like anything else I've tasted so far from the Brooklyn Brewery.

-Oelergud

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2003 20:18:09 | More by oelergud
Photo of jward
jward

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The bottle indicates that the color of this beer is "chestnut"; I would call it amber. Head retention is medium-low, but the beer does leave behind some nice rings of lace. The nose is fruity (suggesting grape) and yeasty, with some additional, more aggressive spicy notes that I've had trouble identifying even after multiple samples. On the palate a rich malt flavor stands out, with slight citrusy undertones. The finish displays contrasting elements of sweet and sour which are unbalanced and could be brought together more effectively. This is a decent beer, but also somewhat odd. It's too sweet for my tastes, and lacks the appropriate bitterness that I expect in a Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2003 17:34:40 | More by jward
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, deeply tawny / reddish mahogany in color. The ivory colored head is a creamy, holds well, and leaves some minimal lace. The aroma offers a lightly fruity, caramel maltiness with some earthy & spicy hops. Very nice. The body is medium with a fine and restrained carbonation; giving a smooth and lightly creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is somewhat fruity with a distinctive caramel maltiness that's gently supported by hop bitterness. The maltiness has a certain richness to it, but I question how much of that comes from using Maris Otter and how much comes from mash temperature and dextrinous crystal malts. Some grassy, earthy, and lightly spicy hop flavors appear in the finish. An excellent English-style pale that would make a good session ale with a slightly lower alcohol content. I'd love to try this out of the brewery in Brooklyn - and a cask would surely be stellar - however, the bottled version offers some of the F.X. Matt house character that is sometimes described as "soapy". Still, I was pleasantly surprised by this offering.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2002 20:22:45 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of DarthMalt
DarthMalt

Virginia

3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance and aroma give the impression that a real English imitator is imminent, but that impression stops right at the foretaste.

The suds come in real strong on the tip of the tongue while a strong alcohol precursor spirits its way down the nasal passages waiting to meet up with the final glug of juice.

The shattering bubbles gives way to a tart, citrus-like snap, which leapfrogs right past the midrange into the back of the mouth--untying all the flavors in the process.

Finish is decidedly dry and boozy.

If Brooklyn can get some buttery diacetyl notes into the fermentation (like I've come to savor from the English varieties) this would be a killer brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2002 17:49:54 | More by DarthMalt
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
WilliamPhilaPa

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, bright copper mixed with red highlights. The head was small, creamy/sticky and off-white in color. On the nose there is a nice fruity armoa, malty, light but complex hop aroma also. On the palate it starts with sweet malt flavor, fruity, little biscuity, slight citrus from the hops, crisp. Smooth mouth feel. Emmm This pale ale is very enjoyable…overall a very good english styled pale.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2002 17:22:25 | More by WilliamPhilaPa
Photo of BillyBrew
BillyBrew

Maine

4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tastey brew that celebrates all that is (was) good about baseball. Velvety creamy, sticky, fully covering and lasting head. Although the nose was faint, it was full of rich malts and complex hops. Rich, heavy malt taste and flowery, citrusy hop balance. Rich, smooth and complex.

Full flavor and very drinkable. Just great. Drink them over and over, you will dig it. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2002 22:18:30 | More by BillyBrew
Photo of doerickson
doerickson

Virginia

4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium amber color with a nice white head that dwindled to a sticky lace. Hoppy, slightly citrusy smell. Malty at first, followed by a pleasing hop influx that keeps things honest. A terrific beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2002 22:21:02 | More by doerickson
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is on the darker side of the spectrum for pale ales. It is a deep copper. Decent head. The aroma is nice. It showcases a nice herbal hop aroma with some sweet caramel and toffee as well. Taste is nice as well. It definitely has the English slant to it, but I like it. Normally I prefer the American version, but this is one of the better English-style pale ales I've had. Very solid malt backbone and enough hopping to give a nice bitterness. Very easy drinking. A bit of a dry finish, which is nice. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2002 21:29:46 | More by Bighuge
Brooklyn Ale / Pennant Ale '55 from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 1,356 ratings.