Monster Ale
Brooklyn Brewery

Monster AleMonster Ale
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Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
English Barleywine
3.73 | pDev: 12.87%
Jan 18, 2021
Nov 26, 2000
ABV varies a bit year to year.
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Photo of SpeedwayJim
Reviewed by SpeedwayJim from New York

3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
2010 vintage. 12oz capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

Pours rich and oily with almost no head. Nose is toffee, mint, brown sugar, and molasses. Very muted. Beer opens molasses, brown sugar, and syrup. A slight bit of oxidation. I get notes of pineapple, more brown sugar, cardboard, and touches of maple syrup in the middle and end. Sweet but mellow finish. There's no longer any semblence of hop bitterness in this one. Body is medium to full with almost very little carbonation. Smooth and silky on the palate and surprisingly light going down with no alcohol burn. I can't imagine a +10% ABV beer drinking any smoother.

This one has aged gracefully if a little bit oxidized at this point. Worth trying if you can find a bottle of this age though.
Jan 18, 2021
Photo of hankp59
Reviewed by hankp59 from New York

4.48/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Opened a Monster
born in 2010. Boy does this age well. Rich and malty sweetness with enough hops to keep it interesting. 2 finger head dissipated quickly but carbonation is great. This stuff needed 1 or 2 years to mellow and finding a ten year old in a mom & pop beverage store tells me gems are out there. Hey Brooklyn bring back the Monster!
Sep 26, 2020
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Rated by crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania

4.84/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
I used to adore this beer every year.
I still have a few bottles of 2001 stashed.
Doubt they are still good.
Sep 13, 2020
Photo of Gajo74
Reviewed by Gajo74 from New York

3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Aged by Brooklyn Brewery since 2009, expectations were high.

From the bottle it pours a dark caramel and chestnut brown color. There was no head, however, a thin ring forms after the fact.

The nose opens sweetly with notes of toffee, caramel and honey. Rich malty aromas are biscuity, doughy and with a touch of chocolate. There is a boozy quality on the back end of the aroma, as well as notes of dark fruit, cinnamon like spices and earthy hops.

Full bodied yet not completely mouth coating, as the body felt somewhat thin and the carbonation perhaps too gentle, almost flat. Furthermore, there is an oxidized, sherry like taste. Malt flavors are biscuity and doughy with a touch of nutty roast and cacao. There are fruity flavors of dark fruit, prunes, dates and figs. The alcohol spices is relatively subdued and yields a gentle alcohol warming in the finish. There is also a light touch of earthy bitterness.

Although it was a pleasant enough drinking experience, it was somewhat disappointing. It had multiple flavors, however, it somehow lacked complexity and lost intensity through the stillness of the body. Perhaps this would have been better not aged so many years?
Jul 22, 2020
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
A review from October 2013.

Pours a darker caramel colored brown with a thin off white head 1/4". The aroma had a caramel, toffee, leather, oxidized cardboard, dust, earth and mushroom vibe to it.

The taste, was not as complex, dark fruit notes, a little bit of roasted barley, back to the toffee/caramel tag team, way more bitterness of the coppery nature than I was expecting in an English barleywine, seemed like this was hopped pretty generously riding the line between American/English. Sticky, heavier than expected mouth feel, in part due to some lower carbonation levels. Every bit of that double digit alcohol is all over this.

Interesting stuff. When you smell it, your hopes rise, and you think wow, this is gonna be a complex old ale, but instead it drinks like a hoppy sherry at times. On the plus side, I think it might have been the most affordably priced barleywine on the market, even beating out Bigfoot (price, not quality).

Still got one left. May revisit score after that one is gone.
Jun 03, 2020
Photo of warmstorage
Reviewed by warmstorage from California

4.19/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
A twelve ounce bottle of 2007 (!) vintage found on the shelf today, 2 June 2020. It was a bit of a gamble given that a single was $5.50, but a six pack was only $13.50. So I did the logical thing and rolled the dice on a sixer. I am so glad that I did! I don't think you could have found a six pack of this for $13.50 in the year 2007.

Opens with a pfft, and pours with limited, but notable carbonation: good signs!

Poured into a clean goblet. I let it chill lightly, poured between 55 and 60.

Look: a medium brown chestnut color, crystal clear. Minimal head, but not at all surprising for a 13 year old beer. Head falls away almost immediately. Slight viscous lacing evident.

Smell: sweet, stonefruit, slightly spicy, hints of leather and must, some oxidation, but not too much for style. Warm but not hot alcohol notes. No solvent or off smells.

Feel: it's a little thin for style, but not out of range. Very light carbonation present. This is where it's showing the most age. Some warmth on the tongue.

Taste: delicious. Malty sweetness, stonefruit, some raisin, a little must. A lot going on here. It has aged surprisingly well. it reminds me of a very old Thomas Hardy's or JW Lees Harvest Ale, like when I used to order the oldest Hardy's the Brickskeller in DC (RIP!) had available whenever I'd visit.

Yes, it's a very aged beer, but it has held up amazingly well after sitting in who knows how many warehouses and ambient temperature places. I'm going to go get some of the 2008, 2009, and 2010, and do a vertical!
Jun 02, 2020
Rated: 3.53 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Nov 02, 2019
Photo of Joe_Tool
Reviewed by Joe_Tool from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Cracked this 2012 open. Pleasantly surprised by this one. It has aged well for what it was. It has certainly improved overall even if the nose faded. The color is a bit murky red/brown. No head, very low carb. The best of it is the flavors. It is very mellow and has almost no alc warmth for a 10 percent ale. Balanced perfectly if a tad thin in mouth feel. It's a good (bad) thing I only have one of these or I'd be very drunk from many of these very easy drinking BWs.
Jul 26, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2011 vintage; drank 12/8/14 @ the Yarchives.

Orange/red rust murkiness.

Khaki head; minimal lace.

Plum, oak & mild caramel nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Booze heat & dried plum flavor up front; caramel notes emerge as this warms.

This bottle hasn't calmed down enough, but was still enjoyable.
May 19, 2019
Rated: 3.5 by Karibourgeois from Texas

Feb 04, 2019
Rated: 3.94 by CisPiece88 from Nebraska

Jan 16, 2019
Photo of MonkeyPilates
Rated by MonkeyPilates from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
This is for a 2011 brew, which was 7 years old when I had it. It had aged very well, tasting of mellowed malt, without any harsh alcohol taste.
Oct 27, 2018
Photo of brother_rebus
Rated by brother_rebus from Maine

1.77/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2
drank a 2003. so bad. just mucked soy nut bile.
Sep 05, 2018
Rated: 4 by mattreitz49 from Florida

Jul 27, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Jun 25, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by heysuz from Indiana

Jun 25, 2018
Rated: 3.63 by Giggy from Michigan

Jun 08, 2018
Rated: 3.79 by Bunuelian from Minnesota

Mar 25, 2018
Rated: 4 by tvenne from Minnesota

Mar 25, 2018
Rated: 3.13 by TooGood from Minnesota

Mar 13, 2018
Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 1937 ratings