Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Brooklyn Monster Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Brooklyn Monster AleBrooklyn Monster Ale
1,869 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,869 |  Reviews: 1,085
Photo of WMEugene
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Born in 2010.

A - Pours a hazy amber/brown color with a light tan head with nice lacing.

S - Smell of booze and malts (caramel particularly). I smell fruits and spices as well. Strong and distinct

T - A nice mix of malted flavors, fruits and booziness. Raisins and bready tastes. Very nice...it hits the right notes of a barleywine.

M - Medium bodied, very smooth. Ok carbonation - a pretty good finish.

O - I enjoyed Brooklyn's Monster Ale and thought it was a well done and affordable barleywine. A little bit of age may have smoothed out the flavors and I'm glad I gave this one a try. Very nice.

 604 characters

Photo of MasterSki
2.94/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think optimator13 sent me this 2009 vintage bottle. Served in a Struise cervoise.

A - A finger of white foam tops a hazed orange-brown body. Excellent retention, but minimal lacing.

S - Still pretty boozy, even after two years. There's a slightly grapey fusel note, which seems excessive for a beer that's only 10.1%. There's some toffee malt character, but otherwise this is very bready and grainy - surprisingly low sweetness.

T - Taste is a bit better. It's a generic raisin-heavy barleywine, with plenty of bread malts as well. Finishes clean, with less overt alcohol presence. The definition of average here.

M - Surprising medium-high carbonation, medium-full body, dry finish, and some serious alcohol heat.

D - Even after two years this is horrendously boozy, and what's behind the booze seems pretty uninteresting. Remarkably average offering from Brooklyn.

 873 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage--4 years old. Poured into a SN pint.

Pours a murky, cloudy brown that kind of looks like clay mud. ALmost no head in spite of decent carbonation.

Smells like caramel and dry grains everywhere. Booze is really in the background along with a touch of dark fruits.

The age must have done this a service, but it is unmistakably smooth. Caramel malt and dry grains are the main flavors, but it is kept in check somehow. The alcohol is warming, and really creeps up on you as it warms (I poured at cellar temperature). Dark fruits accent the previously mentioned flavors.

Sits very light, and feels almost lager smooth. Much more smooth than I ever expected a Barleywine to be.

 690 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Light orangish/amber. 1 finger off-white head, and no lacing at all.

S- Amber malts, slight alcohol tingle on your nose.

T- Dull, bitter malt flavor. Had decent amounts of hop bitterness with not a lot else going on here.

M- Medium body, bit thin and dry finish.

O- Very average barley wine. No complexity whatsoever. Needs sweeter malts and more flavors and aromas.

 402 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2010 vintage. About 1 year old. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours lightly hazy red/copper witha two finger tan head that leaves only temporary spots of lacing but holds a small creamy cap.

Aroma is fruity with cherries and golden raisins, some toffee and caramel, fresh-baked bread, grass and earth, a bit of citrus hops. Good strength.

Flavor follows with some good citrus hops and fruity malt of raisins and cherries, some caramel, toffee and bread, moderate sweetness and bitterness and some alcohol heat on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, sticky yet creamy, good carbonation.

While not mind-blowing, this is a very good Barleywine...well-crafted and complex example of the style. This is my first experience with Monster Ale at about 1 year old...never tried it fresh and I do have some ’09s and an ’04 in the cellar to see how it does with extended aging.

 897 characters

Photo of jizfiasco
4.44/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Born in 2007. I am not a big fan of barleywines but this one is something special. I'm a hop head but appreciate well crafted ales. This one is murky brown on the pour with a good but fast dissolving head. Smell is raisin bread and port wine. The taste is very very bready, the malt character is juicy and delicious, there is overripe grape and some mild pepper left over from once existed hops. The taste is creamy and carbonated. Overall this has opened my eyes to the style but you definately need four plus years on these.

 526 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an Ommegang glass. "Born in 2010." From notes. Reviewed 25 June 2011.

A: Vaguely auburn, when held up to the light it shine a gorgeous, translucent sunset-orange in the light.

S: Malty-sweet. Lots of hops. Fruitiness that may or may not be grapefruit.

T: Disappointing. The maintaste is heavily malted, serving as the base for hoppy-sweet topnotes. The endtaste is bland and neutral. The aftertaste is lightly dry and bitter. A pretty good beer, but not as good as I was anticipating.

M: Malty-big, but not 11% barleywine big. Meh, it's alright.

O: Honestly, not as good as I'd hoped. But it's still a worthy beer (though it's worth noting that I do quite like barleywines). Unrecommendable and nothing I'd drink again...maybe as it ages?

 778 characters

Photo of capeannbass36
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Born in 2010" 12 ounce bottle

A- Poured a slightly cloudy amber/butterscotch color, topped by a 1/2 finger off white colored head that dissapeared almost immediately. Minimal ring left around edge with almost no lacing throughout.

S- Some sweet malt, fruit, just a hint of caramel.

T- More or less follows the nose. Slightly dry, slightly bitter, bit of metal taste on finish.

M- Light carbonation. Slightly sticky.

O- Basically a take it or leave it. Nothing special whatsoever. Disappointing for me. First Brooklyn beer that I have tried that I cannot recommend. Just simlpy cannot give a better review.

 611 characters

Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours out a bright amber with one finger of fading white head. Leaves some lacing.

S: Dried fruits, tobacco, boozy heat and molassas fill the nose with hardly any suggestion of hops.

T: As in the bouquet, the tongue is heavy booze and unbalanced raw flavours. Hops make an appearance, but its only a slight one and they aren't prevalent enough to balance out this beast.

D: Harsh and difficult to finish, but not impossible. Alcohol is all too obvious.

Overall: Not a huge fan of this. Its one of those rare barleywines that isn't that great fresh, and I doubt cellaring will do much to improve. Its not awful, but it certainly isn't stellar. It just kinda lacks balance in the same way BBCS does.

 747 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Monster Ale has a very thin, and, really, almost nonexistent tan head and an opaque orange-brown appearance, with no lacing left down the glass. The aroma and taste is of dark fruit, such as apricots and prunes. One also picks up on the alcohol and (piney?) hops in there. Mouthfeel is medium to thick, and Brooklyn Monster Ale finishes wet and rather harsh; it’s a sipper. Overall, however, it is very good.


 425 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08 Vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn Tulip Glass.

A - Pours a nice reddish-mahogany with a thin off-white head that fades to a slight haze and ring.
S - Big malty aromas of caramel, toffee, and candied citrus peel.
T - Very close to the nose, lots of caramel, toffee, and a surprising amount of citrus-y hops considering the age on this. Bit of boozy heat still pokes through, though, you can certainly sense the ABV.
M - Slick, slightly sticky, with a medium-full mouthfeel and good carbonation.
O - A great Barleywine that doesn't need any crazy barrel-aged bell and whistles, just solid and perfectly understated.

 627 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked this bottle up at Quick 6 Mount Rose -2009 bottling. I guess some of the beer their has not moved that quickly. I poured this chilled into a snifter.

The color is murky chestnut shade with a thick cream cap with tiny bead. The clarity is translucent and the lace sticks well. The cap settles, but revives when swirled. The smell has a sweet odor up front with a caramel tinge and slight oxidative character with is not unpleasant. The feel is moderately thick and viscous with som spice and mild alcohol w/ slight toastiness and light fruit tang. There is a moderate amount of residual sweetness and carbonation is medium with an overall good feel which is well balanced.

The barleywine has a taste of mild stone fruit
and caramel up front with mild alcohol and light hop woodiness w/ a slight toffee sweetness as it warms. The beer seems fruity w/ English yeast character which has a gentle plum element and the alcohol comes forward more in the finish. Overall a great barleywine, I enjoyed sipping this for a while and this is holding up extrordinarily well, I would guess this could last at least 1 or 2 more years if cellared properly.

 1,153 characters

Photo of Ralphs66
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Croton Creek Steak House in Croton Falls NY. Poured into a brandy snifter. A little too cold coming out of the tap, so the smell and taste were pretty heavily muted. After letting it warm a bit, the beauty really came through. Poured a lovely copper color with no head. That fine barleywine sweetness wafting out of the glass (eventually). Butterscotch, vanilla with nice faint smokiness. Very drinkable (again, eventually) with the alcohol well hidden. Smooth and a great compliment to the grass fed lamb burger i was having. Cut through the gaminess nicely. Have never had it in bottle, although it's readily available. Will have to give it a try.

 659 characters

Photo of DeschutesNut
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beautiful beer on tap at the MN Craft Brewers Guild Autumn Brew Review 2011 in Minneapolis at the historic Grain Belt Complex. Never even heard of this brew before and I love Barleywines. It was a 2009 vintage. Exceptional beer. Alcohol very hidden. All in all its time i seek this bad boy out to have in the cellar at all times!

 338 characters

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle poured into a snifter

A - Hazy medium brown that has a flat/thin head. Not bad lacing and no carbonation.

S - Mainly fruity esters on the first whiff. Sweet caramel malts fill the aroma as well. Not much hop presence and I'm assuming that's because of the age.

T - Has a sweet sugar flavor with a citrus hop flavor without any of the bitterness. Dusty/bready malts with sweet undertones towards the middle. It finishes with a slight alcohol heat and a old hop cloying sweetness. Not terrible but not great flavor.

M - Heavy body with thin carbonation. Finishes neutral with little aftertaste. A sipper solely because of the alcohol.

O - Not the greatest barleywine out there but not bottom of the barrel either. I don't think this one benefits from aging very much, if any.

 790 characters

Photo of OutFox
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009! Found this gem in the basement of my store and saw the vintage and wet myself. I love old barleywine.

A - Deep amber with orangish hues. Tan head with minimal retention and lacing but hey its two years old

S - Woah! This is complex. Layers of sweet earthy complex malt. ALmost a spice to it. The nose has really blended together with two years of bottle age.

T - Honestly same as the nose which is exactly what I wanted. Just layers of things to pick through on your palate. Caramel, malt, a slight sweetness. It turns into a bourbon/vanilla taste as the beer nears room temp which is crazy. Just fantastic.

M - Silky. Smooth. Just great. Not tons of carbonation but thats to be expected. Love it

O - So glad I foud this. It was a real treat. There isnt anything like old barelywine. Im gonna lay one down for another couple years if I can resist drinking it.

 879 characters

Photo of BeerManDanNYC
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow. I had this beer for the first time at the Brooklyn Brewery. A very strong barleywine ale with a pretty powerful kick! You have to be a fan of strong ales to appreciate this beer. A little overpowering at the onset but very enjoyable when sipped slowly.

 257 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Born in 2006

A - Thick, hazy dark amber, bordering on brown. Rather active carbonation leaves a stream of tiny bubbles quickly rising to the top. Thin, quarter-inch tan head quickly fades to just a faint ring around the edge.

S - Fruit and alochol. Lots of alcohol. I've always heard this is a boozy one and I thought 5 years might help to mask it, but it is still dominated by alcohol. A nice backing of a berry fruitiness blends with the alochol and just a touch of burnt sugar lingers underneath. Lots of good smells in there, they just struggle to emerge.

T - Sweet dark fruits and just a hint of berry up front. Alcohol is certainly present but not the dominating force like it is in the nose. After a few drinks I start noticing hints of dark bread, caramel and a touch of burnt sugar. Some dark fruits sneak in as well with a touch of fig coming to mind.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Provides just enough life on the tongue to move the tastes through.

O - A bit boozy but still well melded together on the tongue. Wasnt a big fan of the aroma. I know 10%+ beers are going to have alcohol on the nose, it just seems like some do a better job of showing off other smells as well.

 1,219 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Typically orangey and hazy, moderate head and some decent lacing.

Smell was a little dry, barley and fruity aromas mixed with some tobacco and astringency.

This one bounces back nicely in the taste department, with good fruity flavors mixing with that classic barleywine taste, nice malts, a touch of hops, and some woody/tobacco notes.

Mouthfeel is nice and moderately easy to drink, yet still full bodied, with a nice barley aftertaste. There's a bit of an alcohol component you can taste on the end, but it's expected given the ABV.

Overall it's a pretty good beer. I'm ready to have this one on occasion time and time again.

 632 characters

Photo of raznug
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009
Appearance: It pours a semi hazy deep amber with a ¼ inch of off white head.
Smell: Monster smells of alcohol and malt not much else but that what I expect out of a barleywine.
Taste: This beer has a smooth and clean taste but it is complex just after you swallow. I get nice oak and a sherry flavor that complement the malt very tasty brew.
Mouthfeel: This is as smooth of a beer that I have drunk in a while very tasty will be mad that I don’t have more.

 473 characters

Photo of flannelman808
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very very clear burnt copper colored stuff with an offwhite almost seafoam head. Good lacing.

S: Hoppier than I would have imagined! typical bitter peels and a touch of steel.

T: Lots of green bitterness upfront with a perfectly respectful grapefruit touch. Fruity esters fill in along with a light gram-cracker/biscuit cookie like sweetness. There are some sort of solvent/metallic notes which irks me, however, they are not too forward to stop this from being a great brew.

M: prickly

O: good stuff and more bitter than I was expecting which I'm into. I would like to see how this guy ages. 1-3 years

 610 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head. No lace. murky brown/amber.

S: sharp mild turpentine like smell. Hops and malt mixed in with dark fruit notes.

T: Sweet caramel. Lots of alcohol, but not much more than many barley wines out there. Its a bit sour with more dark fruit in the taste.

M: Mild to moderate carbonation. medium to full body with an oily feel.

O: Drinkable for a barley wine but the sourness is too much. Not the best barleywine out there, more middle of the road.

 467 characters

Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage.

A: 1/4" tan coloured head that dissipated quickly over cloudy brown liquid.

S: Sweet caramel malt.

T: Flavours of caramel and vanilla along with alcohol.

M: thick viscosity and low carbonation.

O: A sipper, this barleywine has sweet and interesting flavours but is a bit too much for me.

 306 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
2.89/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

A - Pours with colors ranging from amber to auburn, and with surprising clarity. Not much in the way of a head, just a thin ring clinging to the edge of the glass. No lacing or retention (obviously).

S - Bits of toffee and brown sugar, caramel malt, and much more in the way of hop bitterness than I would've expected from an English barleywine. It actually works well with the other elements, livening up an otherwise somewhat bland aroma.

T - It turns out to be a fairly hop-forward brew, and it's making me wonder if it's miscategorized. Caramelized sugar and peanut brittle back up the hops, and there's some vanilla lurking around the edges of the room. Not bad, but there's really not a lot making this one stand out from the crowd.

M - Carbonation is too aggressive -- I'd expect a barleywine to have a more velvety feel, but this one seems a little harsh. Finish is medium-dry.

O - I picked up this single as a tester, and I'm afraid I won't be returning to buy a pack of it. I don't feel like time will soften it's negatives enough to justify keeping it around. There are just too many better examples in this genre.

 1,174 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

745th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

Thanks to BA Mjtiernan for this bottle

App- What a mix of orange, brown and amber. A nice one finger head that faded kinda slowly. Left just a puffy ring of bubbles around the edges.

Smell- This had a big bright whispy boozy note to it with an old dank fruit, mostly oranges and other fruits in that family. A very unique malt note as well

Taste- This was a boozy, grainular and a big malt flavor. More dank and damp fruits are on the taste with a lot of that flavor coming from the booze not, not the ABV.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonation, a bit creamy and a tade boozy grainular residular flavors.

Drink- A pretty good, big boozy barleywine, nice to see a 2 year old bottle hold its own.

 753 characters

Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 1,869 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.