The Vermonster | Rock Art Brewery

BA SCORE
87
very good
597 Ratings
The VermonsterThe Vermonster
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States
rockartbrewery.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We brewed The Vermonster with 110 pounds of malt per barrel and jacked up the pour into a wide mouth thin glass goblet.

Added by BeerBeing on 09-23-2007

BEER STATS
Ratings:
597
Reviews:
245
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
11.05%
 
 
Wants:
46
Gots:
104
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 597 |  Reviews: 245
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A great barleywine. Hoppy and balanced, and surprising 100 IBU, certainly can't taste it. Aroma is very nice. Big soapy white head on a brown body, inviting. Good bitterness. Dry hopping, leads to dry and pleasant hopped finish. Very drinkable.Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a sweet flavor and a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but I think it smells better than it tastes.

 640 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy brownish red in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation around the sides of the glass. It poured with a half finger high light beige head that died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thick collar around the edge.
S: The aroma is rather boozy and has some notes of caramel malts and hints of pine resin hops.
T: Like the smell, the initial taste has flavors of caramel malts and some hints of sweetness, but this quickly transitions to a light to moderate amount of bitterness from the underlying hops that lingers into the finish. Hints of pine resin from the hops are noticeable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. A significant amount of warming from the alcohol is present.
O: This beer masks its alcohol very well from the taste and is also rather drinkable for the style because it's packed with lots of hop bitterness that prevent this from being too malty or sweet.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undoubtedly the feel-good story of 2009 with the controversy over the naming rights of the beer. But does the beer live up to the notoriety?

Vermonster begins with a deep mohogany-deep brown color and an uncertain level of haze. Great head formation reduced to a thick blanket then hold firm through the session. Lacing is incredible.

Aromas of deeply toasted malts should hold their own, but the hops (with no uncertainty) dominate the nose. Perfumy, boquet, and citrus come to mind as the hop oil aroma hits the olfactories. Flowery, pungent, and spicy, the aroma is very complex.

Flavors also favor the hops, but with a shift. Those softer more floral notes turn to the taste of citrus rinds, grapefruit, pine resin, and fresh-cut grasses. Toasty malts with some melanoidins create the malty balance against the aggressive bittering hops. Deep toffee and bread crusts give the impression of Scottish Wee Heavies but the hops say otherwise. The aggressive taste of hops and toast begin my comparisons to Arrogant Bastard Ale.

The body is full and creamy up front with a malty froathiness that stops shy of chewy. For a Barleywine, this beer is firmly attenuated, leaving little sweetness against the hop onslaught. Finishes with a malty-dry texture and with no appologies.

Vermonster is a beer worth fighting for its name. The beer is caught somewhere between an American Barleywine, American Strong Ale, and a Wee Heavy- a testiment to creativity and complexity. Job well done.

Thanks indiapaleale!

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this over the weekend with a few BA's. Sadly my notes went through the wash, but i've salvaged enough for a coherent review...

Ah, the infamous Vermonster. Thanks to makdeco for tossing this my way awhile back!

It poured a dark orange with a reddish ruby glint to it in the light. A crown of sticky lace capped the beer off nicely.

Some potent fruit and green herbal hop notes in the aroma, nestled in on a giant pillow of caramel malt. Flavor was rich with a substantial green hop character and bitterness. Big caramel/toffee flavor, fairly balanced malt/hops even though they both have a huge presence. Rich, but easy to drink and not overly sweet, it has a firmly bitter and dry aftertaste. A definite sipper that is probably best shared.

Thanks again Mark!

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Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a full, creamy head that leaves sheets of lace

Smell: Rich caramel aroma, with significant piney bitter tones; tobacco and spearmint, too

Taste: Although there is a rich caramel flavor from the get go, it doesn't take too long for the resinous, piney hops to make an entrance, bringing the tobacco and spearmint flavors with them; after the swallow, the chocolate minty flavors take over but the pithy, piney flavors linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation and considerable warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Though the flavor is complex and the mouthfeel is fine, the assault on the tastebuds limits the drinkability of this beer

Though it has aged about a year since imagineiii sent it to me, this beer still has a lot of hoppy bitterness going for it; thanks for the opportunity

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Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber with just a layer of light tan head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt and dark fruit with a hint of alcohol. There is some bitter hops in there as well.

Taste: The bitterness really dominates every thing else. The malt was there, but it was completely overshadowed. The finish was very bitter citrus peel and grassy hops along with some warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium. The carbonation is tingly and the finish is mildly dry.

Overall: The smell was very nice, but the malt really disappeared behind the hops. Tasted more like an ipa than a barleywine. Good but not great.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of largadeer
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An extra from craytonic, thanks! Surprisingly, I haven't tried this one before.

Murky in the pour, a rusty copper hue. A small off-white head tops the body, quickly settling to a collar. Not the most appetizing looking barleywine.

The aroma exhudes caramelized malts, dates and resiny hops, fruit preserves. It has a slight sherry quality to it.

Unexpectedly delicious, this has a big caramel malt flavor to it with undertones of dark fruit and sherry, reminding me of traditional English barleywines, only with significantly more hops. The malt character is rich without lending excessive sweetness, almost nutty in character. Full-bodied with a long resiny finish, plenty complex but easy to sip on; this is one of the finer American barleywines I've had this year.

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Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.31/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Picked this up at Julio's last March before KTG. Figured Id give it a try after all the press.

Pours a moderate copper with an off white head. Smell is sweet malt, red fruits, alcohol, and a touch of caramel. Taste goes quite a bit downhill with some astringencies and a bit of a metallic flavor. The sweetness comes through, but that's about it. Mouthfeel is slightly boozy and off-puttingly dry. Poor drinkability, which is disappointing as I was quite looking forward to breaking this out with the cool weather.

 515 characters

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

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

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops, brown sugar and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of brown sugar, caramel and a little bit of fruit. Then a nice strong grassy hops bitterness follows. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

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

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid Barleywine to drink for as long as you can handle it.

 767 characters

Photo of billab914
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Shipyard pint glass. Deep mahogany in color with a thin, sticky white head barely covering the top of the beer. Decent head retention and very nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma shows a lot of American style hoppiness to it with grapefruit and a little pineapple coming out. The sweeter, malty, caramel flavors are there as well and mix nicely with the citrusy hops. Very nice and flavorful aroma overall.

The taste has more of the hoppy, citrusy, juicy flavors to it up front. Midway and through the finish I get more of the malty, caramel like flavors to it. Grapefruit and pine come back in the finish as well. Not a ton of depth to the maltiness, but it mixes with the hoppiness pretty well.

The mouthfeel is about average for the style and carbonation is a little above average. Overall it was a very nice beer. It was definitely a very hop forward version of the style, but it worked well for it. Very flavorful and easy drinking for the style and a very good beer overall.

 1,005 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A – Plum mahogany body with ice tea highlights. Bone white head has great retention and lace.

S – Sweet malt, hint of cranberry, caramel, and Riesen chocolates. Fairly restrained for a barleywine.

T – Mellow opening of malt and a nice, light caramel sweetness. The center brings out a woody bitterness wrapped around toasty malt. Alcohol gently warms the finish.

M – Super smooth. Rich, medium-full body with a warm and lightly bitter backend.

O – One of the more drinkable barleywines straight off the shelf, especially at 10%.

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Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Timmush, cheers Tim!

Pours an effervescent copper with 2+ fingers of tan head. Murks up a bit, above average head retention & lacing

S: Much breadyness, some apricot & figs, some pineyness once warm

T: Follows the nose, huge malt backbone, dryness & a touch of brown sugar & shortbread up front.
Subtle herbal & woody hops, some cakeyness, grapefruit & orange rind as this warms. Finishes with woody & herbal hops, breadyness that thins out just a bit at the very end

MF: Chewy, fairly firm carbonation, & great balance, nice warming sensation

Very nice, skews malty, but in my wheel house, yum

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The Vermonster from Rock Art Brewery
3.89 out of 5 based on 597 ratings.
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