Brooklyn Monster Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

1,866 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 1,866 |  Reviews: 1,084
Photo of Lob
1/5  rDev -73%

Photo of Mitchster
1.44/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Brewed with British Maris Otter, Halcyon and Pipkin, and wheat malt.
Willamette, Cascade, and Yakima Fuggle hops.
2003 Edition.

Pours out to a brilliantly clear dark auburn, forming a rocky light-tan head with good retention and absent lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is peculiar with glimpses of sherry, prosciuttini, soy sauce, vanilla, dates, raisins, and milk chocolate. Mouthfeel is immediately medicinal, followed by a strong peppery astringency. Swirling in the mouth gives a creamier consistency with a medium-dense body. Taste begins with harsh herbal flavor hops, and a sickening taste of slimy rotten ham and soy sauce. Ugh?! This beer is actually salty! Dilute liquid smoke abruptly kicks into abundant fusels and isopropyl alcohol burn, followed by an alcohol astringency. The fusels send shivers down my spine and give me a sickening feel in the stomach. Medium intensity bitterness, with a lingering herbal hop finish. My belches smell like grass clippings and grilled fish.

3 sips and down the drain. This is a horrifying travesty of a beer, reeking with horrible, stomach-curdling off-tastes. Stay away at all costs. Don't let the pretty designer label and reputation sway you.

 1,218 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
1.5/5  rDev -59.6%

Photo of StoryOfTheGhost
1.7/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Decent look to it. Amber hugh, surprising head for the high alcohol content.

S- smells fruity, boozy, caramel, medicine

T- Wow- this is the worst thing I have tasted in a long time. Starts off with a bit of tartness, and fruity sweetness. But then tastes like metal, bandaids. Tastes like putting some prunes and a penny in your mouth.

M- I wish it would just go away, but the taste lingers. Medium body, but the metallicness stays with you.

O- definitely the worst beer I have had this year, and one of the worst beers I have ever had. I love barleywine's but this is insanely bad.

 590 characters

Photo of chippo33
1.75/5  rDev -52.8%

Photo of xare
1.98/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Got this beer on draft at the bar last night. Was rather surprised to see that it was on tap so I immediately ordered a pint and when it was brought out, I was disappointed.

Appearance was of a brownish murky color but when peered at, appears a very dark red/brown/amber mix. Is translucent with no head to speak of apart from a soapy film. Does not lace.

Smell is of strong alcohol, almost like solvents. Can't discern any other aromas coming up from this specific pint.

Taste has hints of fruit flavors, especially dried fruits. Raisins, maybe? There isn't a real fruit profile or anything I can describe as a flavor profile. Couldn't discern spices if they were used. Leaves an aftertaste of alcohol.

Hits your mouth very smoothly then a huge kick of crispness hits at the end as you swallow. Best way I can describe it is like a stingy soapy film covering your mouth as you swallow, then disappearing but leaving a tingling sensation with the aftermentioned alcohol aftertaste.

I struggled to finish the pint - definitely wouldn't recommend drinking this on an empty stomach. Certainly not a session beer but perhaps something to warm one up on a cold winter night.

Overall, the best comparison I could make with this beer would be that it's like drinking sake, except substituting the rice flavor/undertones for a fruit flavor without any specific fruit undertones.

 1,376 characters

Photo of Cnorrisl
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of solarbeers
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of mspang
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of bigclydeoliver
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of drummermattie02
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of DavidEddie
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of DuffDaddy
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of AleWatcher
2.01/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

2009 Bottle (almost 3 years old).
Served in Founders snifter.

A bit brackish looking coppery amber colored body with a half finger head. Weak retention. Virtually no lacing.

Smells better than it did fresh, but still not very impressive. A boozy maltiness with a hint of dark fruit notes. The flavor has a much stronger bitterness than I'd remembered-- it helps to cut through the oily sweetness, but doesn't make it all the way. Some big sweetness mixes with a crackery malt note. No real hop flavor.

Feels a bit thin and oily slick. Big old booziness in the aftertaste.

Overall-- meh. I was hoping a bit of age would improve this, but not enough.

 657 characters

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.03/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

poured into a large flaired tulip glass from a 12oz brown bottle with a crimped cap. Bottled in 06'

Clear,reddish/brown 2" thick creamy off-white head.Lots of strings of tiny bubbles tightly knitted gushing from the center of the glass with some curtians of lace on the glass.

Chocolate aromas,some carmell,grassy,alcohol. The aromas were somewhat faint,hard to pick out.

A hot alcohol taste,very boozy,straw-like/grassy with harsh bitterness,the alcohol just killed the taste.

A thick mouthfeel,rough and grainy also. Just too boozy for me could not drink the whole glass. I really like Brooklyn beers, just not this one. Maybe it would get better with age.

 670 characters

Photo of TexasBrewSlinger
2.06/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

reddish caramel color, bubbles quickly dissipate,

nose is slightly offputting, soapy, boozy, hoppy, not much sweetness coming through

flavors of sherry, citrus, even a little woody (even though no barrels)

I'm usually a big barleywine fan but this doesn't do it for me. I will age my last 2 in hopes of improvement but this is a major pass for me.

 351 characters

Photo of Delraypete
2.18/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not impressed by this barleywine at all. Very average pour, head and aroma. Good copper color, as would be expected. Flavor heavily dominated by grassiness, which ruined this beer for me. Will say that it is smooth and the alcohol is balanced out. Otherwise average malt and hop character. Not recommended.

 306 characters

Photo of champ103
2.19/5  rDev -41%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a clear and dark reddish/amber color. A two finger white head forms at first, but recedes in a minute. Light lace.
S: Sweet caramel malt and dirty diacetyl up front. A light fruity aroma. Dank, moldy wood. Not impressed.
T: Dank wood and diacetyl again. Some sweet caramel malt lingers with some alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. Sticky and syrupy. Hard to drink. I really don't care to finish the bottle.

Another substandard beer from Brooklyn. Not something I would recommend.

 491 characters

Photo of stcules
2.21/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Born in 2003.
Reddish-plum color, quite dark. Just a veil of foam, quickly disappearing. But it can fit.
In the smell, sherry, crerry. But the alcohol is definitely too strong. Maybe there is something else (nuts, toffee, vanilla), but it is difficult to catch it. Too alcohol.
In the taste, in the beginning, fruity notes, ripe fruit. Pear, maybe banana, too. But then it comes tha alcohol, and it covers all,
Sherry again, obviously, and strong, with woody notes. The flavour is quite pleasant itself, but it is totally overwhelming by the alcohol, very exaggerated.
Sherry again in the aftertaste, with very ripe fruit. Hints of light toffee. And alcohol again, over all.
The body is medium high, but anyway, it is not enough for this kind of barley wine, with this alcoholic strenght.
Overall: unbalanced and difficult to drink.

 840 characters

Photo of thisisbigrob
2.23/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Pours a murky medium brown with a slight reddish tint. There's a minimal head but huge carbonation bubbles all over the glass.

S: Slight malt smell but quickly overwhelmed by the alcohol. Can't pick up any hops.

T: Pretty plain for such a big beer. The alcohol is pretty overwhelming. Only a faint maltiness saves it.

M: A weird combination of flatness and the huge carbonation bubbles.

D: Not good. Nothing impressive in the beer itself, and the huge alcohol content will mount up quick.

I'm a huge fan of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine, but was sorely disappointed by this beer. None of the things I love about the Bigfoot (big flavor) while exaggerating the things I'm not big on (strong alcohol sting).

 762 characters

Photo of Ieatlambfries
2.24/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My example was a cellared 2012.

Poured a deep copper, with a distinctive lack of head . Very light carbonation.

Smell was caramel like with strange perfume/flowery notes. Hint of oak.

Taste was too hot to comprehend. Rubbing alcohol and toasted wood, with a slight residual malt sweetness that appeared too little and too late. None of the caramel notes I detected in the smell. If I tasted this blindfolded I would have sworn it was a terrible scotch.

My bottle had very little carbonation and was much thinner than a barley wine should be. I expect a more chewy texture from this style

Compared to other examples of the style, this fell very short. Alcohol is just way too overwhelming, and the lack of malt backbone to balance it out was evident. I'm actually shocked this came out came out of Brooklyn brewery. If you encounter a bottle, do yourself a favor and avoid the temptation to try this retired brew.

 921 characters

Photo of bilhelm
2.25/5  rDev -39.4%

Photo of heizerbjj
2.25/5  rDev -39.4%

Photo of CreightonSM
2.25/5  rDev -39.4%

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Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,866 ratings.
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