Brooklyn Monster Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Monster AleBrooklyn Monster Ale

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies a bit year to year.

Added by Todd on 11-26-2000

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,082 | Ratings: 1,862
Reviews by falloutsnow:
Photo of falloutsnow
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 version.
A: Poured the bottle's contents into an oversized wine glass, which produced a one centimeter head that was off-white in color. The body is clear and clean, with an appearance similar to light caramel and amber. Carbonation is virtually nonexistent, despite the transparent body; this is backed up as the head collapses into a thin ring around the glass within twenty seconds.
S: The scent's forefront features mild, citrusy hops that are well-balanced with fruity esters and malt sweetness. The back of the nose is rich in alcohol burn - not exactly pleasant.
T: Taste opens up with a semi-spicy (assuming from the hops or alcohol) tones of sweetish malt and fruits such as apples or pears. This leads into a mildly bitter hop finish alongside the expected alcohol kick. As the beer warms, the alcohol presence becomes significantly more pronounced, almost dominating the finish of the beer.
M: The Monster Ale demonstrates a medium-heavy mouthfeel. The lack of significant carbonation acts in this one's favor, allowing the drinker to savor and enjoy on the palate as long as possible. Relatively "wet" finish despite the obvious hop presence in the scent and taste.
D: For English barleywines, this is a fair attempt, but I prefer the richness and more intense sweetness of Young's Old Nick. The alcohol sharpness turns me off, as does what seems to be this beer's tendency to be in many places at many different times, never doing justice to any particular area. Perhaps with some aging, the alcohol could be tempered and the beer would take on a mellower character, which would enhance its scent and taste attributes.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Samlover55
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
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 oberon
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber with not much of a noticable head but that was to be expected somewhat,aromas of orange rind and peach the alcohol is quite noticable as well pretty high octane.Whoo this stuff is quite potent but young (2005) some caramel malt and somewhat fruity but the alcohol kicks in early and takes charge until the lingering finish.A somewhat prickly mouthfeel,not sure if its because its young but wow this beer needs some serious refinement I'll hold one and reserve harsh judgement for later.

 505 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of MadScientist
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a 2010 bottle
A: A glowing deep copper and orange beer with excellent clarity and a thin, tan head with excellent retention.

S: Aromas of sherry, toffee and rich malt dominate the nose. There is a spicy and floral hop aroma with light fruity notes. A soft alcohol note complements the rich aroma.

T: A rich malt sweetness and hops bitterness dominate the flavor at moderately-high levels of both. There a flavors of carmel and toffee with a light raisin and grap fruitiness. Moderate spicy flavors, a strong bitterness and some sweetness linger past the dry finish.

M: Medium body with moderately-light carbonation. There is a light creaminess and very light astringency with noticeable alcohol warmth.

O: A good example of an English Barleywine with a dominate yet soft alcohol character and a fairly intense bitterness.

 836 characters

Photo of brownbeer
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popped an 07 that I had been sitting on for a while just to see where it's at.

Pours in a viscous manner without much willingness to form a head but in the end we get a thin layer that sticks around.

The nose is sweet, reminiscent of tawny port, with raisin and toffee notes showing, signs of oxidation come through, plum, and a little alcohol.

The taste was a little let down, not as powerful as the aroma. Still good though, lighter bodied, one of the more pleasant English styles as far as I'm concerned. It boasts chocolate, caramel, raisin, and a certain fruitiness through the hops and yeast. This is a very clean Barleywine that has aged quite well, superior drinkability considering the ABV, I wish I could score it higher.

 734 characters

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.07/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance- Crystal clear copper with thin white head and some lace. Very carbonated.
Aroma- moderate and balanced bouquet of cherry, berry, and herbal / spicy hop, alcohol, and malt with faint notes of apple and an acceptable showing of D. Hardly intense, but complex nose.

Taste- Firm but decidedly one dimensional malt base supports baked pear and apple notes as it fades away into big buttery D, melted right off the palate by alcohol, for what would be an unpleasing finish if it weren't for a brightly herbal hop contribution which aids an unexpected dryness. Doesn't last long though, before you are left with an unfortunate aftertaste. Its kind of like sucking on an old cherry pit and licking a wine cork at the same time.

MF- Actually pretty light on the palate, I'd say medium-full bodied with a lively carbonation and the alcohol is definitely speaking up in this beer. Never really burns, but it does numb the lips and tounge a little.

Overall- An ok barleywine, but lacks complexity and the aftertaste is a real bummer. I don't feel like aging will help this one much

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Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of woodchipper
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of steelerguy
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Tawny, moderate carbonation, big head on pour that fades to a lacing, quite clear.

S - Sweet barley and a touch of alcohol.

T - Barley sweetness, a bit of bitterness from the hops, and alcohol.

M - Moderate body, coats the mount. There is a bit of tingle and warmth from the alcohol, a bit too more carbonation.

O - A good barleywine, but probably won't have again with the great ones that are out there.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Monster Ale Was Born In 2003. Pours a nice syrupy reddish brown with a small creamy white head. Aroma is an elegant mix of nutty caramel, tobbacco, dark fruits and brown sugar. A delight to smell.

First sip is upfront with a vinous caramel maltiness. Hints of fruit, cherry comes out to me, along with a roasted smoky toasted nutty flavor. Alcohol hits on the back of the palate along with a spicy piney hop biterness. This one will warm ya up!

Mouthfeel is wonderful with a creamy, luscious body that coats my tongue and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This is a lovely, complex brew that is great on a cold night or after a nice meal. Highly recommended to any fans of the style. Muchas gracias to kmpitz2 for allowing me the pleasure of partaking in this beer.

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Photo of blitz134
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Born in 2004…and drank in 2005 (it’s only about a week old, so hardly cellared)

Dark caramel in color with a slightly off-white quarter-finger head which reduced to a single layer of bubbles casually floating on the surface. Aroma is quite weak but I pick up some citrus hop characteristics followed up by a sweet wine grape aroma. Guess that is why they call this style what they do…who would have guessed. A little bread smell as well.

The alcohol is well hidden which is a plus for something with an 11+ abv, hardly noticeable at all making this very drinkable. It’ll definitely get you into trouble. There is a nice warming effect as it drains down my throat and works at my stomach lining. Tastewise there is an initial slightly malty flavor with a dry hop finish, overall a very balanced beer to my tastes but lacking in a flavor explosion. Mouthfeel is medium, not too thin and not too heavy.

Overall a good brew, I’d like to see a little stronger flavor profile. With the high ABV of this one it would be nice to really have a lot of flavor since I would only foresee myself having two of these a night unless I wanted to wear a lampshade on my head.

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Photo of bulldogg915
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of HopticalDeployment
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage randomly stumbled upon in the Myrtle Beach Piggly Wiggly beer heaven...

Great brew. Bought a four pack to compliment my carolina reaper wings.

 157 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent example of the style. Poured into a snifter, the beer was a reddish amber color with a very thin head. It had a fruity, caramel aroma. The caramel and fruit (cherry) came through well in the taste, and there was a nice hops presence. I thought the malt and hops balanced out very well, and look forward to drinking more of these.

 338 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of warnerry
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of Todd
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle, silver label. This ale was specially brewed for the Millennium.

Appearance: Copper in colour with a nice thick, sticky, creamy white head. Pretty clean and clear looking ale.

Smell: An aromatic blend of hop rawness (spicy/leafy), malt sweetness and fruity esters. Bigtime alcohol in the nose.

Taste: Smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel. Big, fruity, complex malt profile. Background malt breadiness. Hop bitterness is spicy, somewhat medicinal, and lends an odd flavour to the overall taste. Although it balances out the accented maltness of this ale, it just doesn't fair well with all of the other flavours going on. Alcohol is pretty extreme, unbalanced, prickly and warms your head. It permeates the palate with a rubbing alcohol likeness, especially as the beer warms. Finishes bready and a bit dry.

Notes: This beer is kind of a let down as Brooklyn's other beers are so damn good. A bit average. To me, this appears to be a lame attempt at jumping on the Millennium bandwagon by brewing a very high alcohol beer (11.8% abv) with a marketable name. You need more than high alcohol to make a good Barleywine. I'll let the other bottles I bought sit for a while and do another review.

 1,227 characters

Photo of R_Kole
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of renegadeburger
4.64/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

got this beer in a 4pack i never heard of the style before but it seemed like an interesting twist my friend told me to age this beer so i actually put it in the back of my crisper drawer for 4 months before i opened it

when i did i was in for a special evening there was not much of a head on the beer i thought i would be disappointed but the beer had a great burgundy color

the real prize here was the aroma i never in my life smelled anything like this is smelled like sweet cherries how did they do that? also crazy like pipe tobacco and maple syrup really interesting for a beer

taste had black pepper and also spice like nutmeg and even some caramel and honey in there absolutely great

mouthfeel was amazing it tasted like a desert wine or syrup you put on a cheese cake i did not drink this beer i sipped it slowly it made me want to savor everything in it

overall i loved this beer i look forward to trying more brooklyn brewery for sure i am glad i still have some of these babies in storage

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Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Fcip78
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Doomcifer
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish amber with a 1/2 inch off white head that reatains well. Smells of cirtursy hops, fruity maltiness, maybe some sherry. Taste is very complex. Dark ripe fruits, cherries, very malty but fruity, slightly bready, amaretto, nice hop bite in the finish. Alcohol presence but pretty well hidden despite the abv%. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, good carbonation, dry finish. I wouldnt say this is drinkable as I wouldnt say any Barley Wine is "drinkable" ie sessionable, but it is pretty good version of a barleywine. Im pretty picky about my barleywines too. Good job to Brooklyn. I dont remember this being as good as it is right now.

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Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,862 ratings.
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