Monster Ale
Brooklyn Brewery

Monster AleMonster Ale
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English Barleywine
3.75 | pDev: 12.8%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Monster AleMonster Ale
Notes: ABV varies a bit year to year.
Reviews: 1,091 | Ratings: 1,933 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by acrawf6:
Photo of acrawf6
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a slightly hazy brownish amber with a tan head.

Smell. I get mostly cherries and alcohol. Those flavors are what's completely dominating to me.

Taste. Small fruitiness that is cherry with a little bit of a pepper to it. Small cooked vegetable flavor to it as well. Alcohol is quite present but not overwhelming. Finishes warm and fruity with a dark fruit flavor with some alcohol pepperiness coming through.

Mouthfeel. Body is full and full of malts, but isnt necessarily a malt bomb barleywine.

Overall, a pretty decent beer, tastes like a good digestif, but not somthing I would search out for to drink on its own. Really seems it would be much better accompanied with some sharp cheese (like it says on the bottle).

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Czarkazm
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 Vintage. My last one. The body is a vibrant reddish amber, clear before kicking up sediment, with a thin off white head that disappears very quickly. The aroma is predominately dark fruit, raisins, prunes, cherry skin, along with sweet toffee, caramelized sugar, vanilla, cheap leather, wood, booze, stale earthy/spicy hops, with notes of oxidation starting to creep in. Mouth feel is medium-full, sticky but not cloying, low carbonation and bitterness, and doesn't express the booze the nose suggested. The flavor has caramel and toffee up front, toasted bready malts, dried figs, slight oxidation, cardboard, molasses, rum cake, perfume, and earthy hops.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bttle from cellar
2012 vintage
poured into libbey-tulip
L- hazy dark red, plenty of yeast flouting around(bad pour), capped with an off-white head which turns into ring of lacing
S- strong sweet aroma, with notes of dark fruit
T- hits the tongue thick and sweet, to the the tune of dates and prunes, has a nice spicy linger, and they blend together with the alcohol for a balanced finish
F- full bodied, heavy-ish mouthfeel with slightest amount of carbo tingle
O- Sweet, Spicy, Boozy is how I'd describe this brew, while a little rough around the edges, alcohol doesn't overtake you, a great representation of the English Barleywine Style

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Photo of ericj551
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

2006 Brooklyn Monster was bought for me as part of a Christmas present from my girlfriend. It pours a deep crimson amber with a thin head that fades quickly. Aroma is sweet caramel malts with a hint of licorice and some hop bitterness. Taste is sweet and smooth with a nice hoppiness balancing out the malts, but not over the top. Alcohol is less apparent than expected. Much more drinkable than last year's batch, the difference in strength is clear. Definitely a different beer from last year, but still very enjoyable.

2007 bottle (reviewed in 2012). Very cloudy/hazy. Carbonation is light. Sweet dark fruit in the aroma. Some oxidation. Hops are almost gone. Very delicious at 5 years old.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange with a very thin head that sticks around as the barest frosting on top of the beer. The smell is very dry, and surprisingly faint. It almost seems more like an old ale than an English Barley Wine. Aromas of toffee, dry malt, and a touch of honey. Taste is also dry and alcoholic with flavors of orange, dark honey, biscotti, and some background bitterness. There is also a hint of a dry metallic taste in the background. Medium body, fairly dry. Pretty drinkable, but needs some more time in the bottle to integrate the flavors.

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Photo of changeup45
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 bottle. I just don't have the patience to let it sit longer. Pours a copper color with some ruby red in there and a thick off-white head which settles to a thin layer. Aroma is rather subtle considering the abv with some tangy fruits, caramel malts, and alcohol. It's sort of like a fruity brandy. The beer is definitely a sipper but it didn't blow me away. At first taste it is rather mild with tangy fruits and some caramel. The hops show a little late with some spices and a cherry alcoholic flavor. Actually it kind of reminds me of cherry cough medicine but not that strong. Warming with a mild alcohol burn. Considering what this is it is really easy to drink. A good, fun beer to try that surely gets better with age as it does lack character.

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Photo of trecker
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. This is only my 2nd barleywine, so forgive me. (Though this is fast becoming a favorite style.)

Looks a golden copper color comparable to a good glass of sweet tea. Had a small head that faded quickly.

The smell was definitely fruity mixed with alcohol. Maybe like a grape kind of smell...?

The taste was a good mix of fruity but ends with good bitterness so you know you're drinking beer, and not Welch's.

Fairly drinkable, though you should take it slow and enjoy it.

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Photo of dprophet
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of djtomain
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Johnny_Duck
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Hibernator
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Monster Ale
2004 ("This Monster Ale Was Born In 2004")

While visiting a good friend in Manhatten we were lucky enough to come across a corner store with an incredible selection. A six pack of Brooklyn Monester Ale was spotted and we didn't have to think twice.

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a wide mouthed red wine glass. We let this beer sit on the counter for a few minutes to warm to room temp before serving. Paired this beer with some Stilton cheese and crackers. What an excellent combination.

Pours a golden honey drip brown color. The head quickly turns to a defined, thin circle lacing.

Whiffs of raisins, ripe fruit and sweet malt in the nose. The esters in the nose are very strong.

Syrupy and sweet malt induced mouthfeel. Very complex and interesting. Thick grape and citrus blend with a hoppy bite finish. The ending also has an alcohol warmth sharpness. Its apparent that this beer has a strengthy ABV%, but at 11.0% its very well hidden. A tasty brew that deserves to be sipped in only the right company like this evening. A purely enjoyable offering from Brooklyn Brewery.

I would love to cellar this beer for a year or so and try it next winter. This is one solid barleywine and worth finding. Hats off to Garrett Oliver for this beauty.

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Photo of DavidEddie
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Photo of bsp77
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Color is somewhere between orange and lava, with a good sized head and nice lacing legs.

Smell: Toffee and plum, caramel and cherry, and some light booziness.

Taste: Light caramel and toffee, light fruitiness (plum, cherry, etc), light hops (citrus, spice). The key word here is light. A little too subtle overall. The cherry also lasts, giving a slight medicinal aftertaste.

Feel: Full body that nonetheless seems a little thin. Somewhat smooth and warming.

Overall: While there are some nice favors here, this is the most boring Barleywine I have ever had.

Edit: Aging two plus years makes it worse. WTF?

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Photo of ElGallo
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of PEIhop
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of lordofstarside
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz to a snifter, 'This monster was born in 2012'

Pours a dark orange/red amber with strong carbonation stemming from the center of the glass, a half finger of foam that's died down pretty quick. Good lacing and legging, not too bad looking

Smells of roast malts, spiced vanilla, some smoke, molasses, muted hops and a nice splash of alcohol. Vanilla comes through especially strong, smells incredible

Taste is more or less with the nose- strong smoked and woody malts, spicy vanilla, sweet molasses, finished with a splash of booze. Not quite as good as the smell, not at all bad though

Feel is a creamy medium body, finishes a bit wet, mild bitterness. Alcohol is concealed pretty well, leaves a nice warm tingle though. Pretty drinkable

Overall not a bad barley wine, a little smokey though. Too bad this got retired

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Photo of johntandlich
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of BlackAngus
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Ruby color, no head to speak of, but a pale lacing on the glass.

S - Caramel, alcohol, malt, with mild hops presence.

T - Fruity, amazingly fruity. No big hop bite here, either. Alcohol bite, but not unpleasant.

M - Medium-heavy body. Clean and crisp, with a slight hop bite right in the finish.

D - I like this barleywine! I'd get it again. The alcohol, while present, is not overwhelming, and not as obvious as in most beers that are almost 12%.

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Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, moderate carbonation, amber in color, clear

Smell: hops, citrus, toasted malt, and sweet fruit

Taste: follows the nose: hops, citrus, toasted malt, pineapple, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a slightly bitter finish, low carbonation, slick, medium bodied

Drinkability: A slightly above average barleywine. One per sitting due to the high abv. The malt heavy section of the brew separates itself from the hop heavy portion.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 51 degrees into a tall thin glass. This monster was born in 2009. Came as an extra... thanks to AndrewNations.

Flamed blood-orange body, which lightens up considerably when held up to light. A slight chill haze is present. Poured with one finger of tan head that dissipated over the course of a minute to a thin layer on the top. A good showing for this ABV.

Wow. Malts are scrambling around in this glass and pounce on my olfactory receptors as soon as I get near the rim. Some English hops are present to back things up, but they are ever in the background. Ripe fruit is pronounced, maybe even some over-ripe peaches.

Not actually as sweet and ripe as I expected from the nose. Ripe fruit mixed with toffee crumbles is what is presented up front, after which the situation gets momentarily dryer and the hops peak out from behind the alcohol, but choose to keep hiding and never make a full appearance. Malts are present near the end, but also seem to get pushed down by the alcohol. Some darker fruits get mixed in at some point as well. A sweet mellow fruity aftertaste is pleasing and lasts at a low level for quite some time.

Body is full and textured, but not mind-blowing. This is a nicely drinkable English Barleywine, and with a little less alcohol brashness and little cleaning up of the flavors it could be a masterpiece. All that being said, this is still a good beer. I would certainly drink it again.

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Photo of svendryden
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Finally got around to trying this one. Admittadly was drawn by the simplicity of the bottle and the name "Monster." Was hoping for a good kickin' Barleywine.

A - Poured a nice thick but quickly dimishing head. A little lighter in color than some other barleywines, very close to a watery apple cider. Carbination was apparent and impressive.

S - Wow, much weaker than I expected. No alcohol odor but also barely an odor at all. A little caramel and hops, but difficult to discern.

T - After every taste I feel like a bit into a caramel apple. The aftertaste starts a bit bitter but then fades to a light caramel on the tongue.

M - The beer starts with a nice creamy / carbonated feeling, but that only lasts for half a bottle or so. With the bitterness growing with every swallow I find it hard to enjoy the feeling. It's almost as if eating too many sweets, with the mouth becoming sticky and almost uncomfortable.

D - If this was served as a smaller 7oz bottle I could see it being a popular novelty barleywine, as that is about all I overly enjoy. Though the alcohol is masked well, the growing bitterness would keep me to only 1.

I'm still glad I gave this a try. It's by no means my favorite, but is still quite unique in its own right. I'd say overall it may be slightly above average for it's spin on the apple flavor and creamy beginning.

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Photo of hunterm
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a dark orange with a one-finger white head. Light amount of lacing.

S - Sweet candied sugar with some biscuity malt. Good amount of dark fruit also present.

T - Starts off sweet with lots of caramelized brown sugar and dark fruits. There is a small amount of hop bitterness. Alcohol is definitely present in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Easy drinking with a dry finish.

O - A litte sweet, but still a good barleywine. Very easy drinker despite being 10.1 ABV.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2004 Edition

Pours a deep chestnut with ruby hues and a tiny bubbly head that lingers around for a while. There are a mix of hops in the aroma, giving of some citrus and fruity tones with oddly enough bananas coming off as the most dominate tone. This brew is very sweet all around with a slight caramel tone but a big juicy hop flavor that has not too much bitterness but rather large notes of citrus, grapefruit, and zest like flavors. There is also a prominent banana flavor which is quite odd, but goes along with the sweetness. The finish to this brew has some bitterness to it, but the malty sweetness and warm alcohol flavors are most dominant. The mouthfeel to this brew is fairly nice with a light carbonation that tingles on the tongue. Overall a nice barleywine that was the second one I tried when I initially got into good beer. A nice offering for the style.

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Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1933 ratings