Brooklyn Monster Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

1,864 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.

For Trade:
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Ratings: 1,864 |  Reviews: 1,082
Photo of Pencible
4.42/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage. This poured a clear, dark garnet color with thin tan head. It smelled quite complex, like fresh oak and molasses, honey wheat and roasted barley malt, cherry, and a bit of citrus hops. It tasted like sweet caramel blended with honey wheat and roasted barley and sour cherry, followed by more subtle grapefruit hops and alcohol. It was thick with some carbonation, and had a lasting but smooth bitter aftertaste. Overall this was fantastic, delicious, complex, clean, and drinkable (surprisingly not too bold). It had great flavor and body, and reminded me more of an old ale than a barleywine. This is immediately one of my favorite beers, and I could only see it improving with age.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a glassy, clear, rusty light brown with low visible carbonation and a thin sticky head. Smells only slightly grassy with strong hints of tangerine, banana, and other tropical fruits. The alcohol is covered up very well in the taste, which again hints at tropical fruits and is relatively low in bitterness. Any crystal malt flavors are covered up by the alcohol. Slightly sour aftertaste. Light and smooth mouthfeel with enough carbonation to keep things interesting. Since it's so easy on the palate, it's pretty drinkable but not very interesting. It's a good beer, but I'm fairly underwhelmed for a barleywine.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this monster was brewed in 2007

A- copper colored body under a very small, quickly leaving beige colored head that isnt sticky at all.

S- very fruity. cherries, raisins, figs. the alcohol is very well masked

T- about how it smells, with alot more alcohol presence.

M- thinner that i was expecting and hoping.

D- its alittle hot right now. ill wait untill it gets a little older before i check this one out again.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This beer is a kick in the pants for sure. Isn't much for a hops taste at all and that alcohol taste is not hiding by any means. The first few sips make you kinda shudder before your body gets a little buzz going and you get used to it. Seemed a little harsh overall but once it warmed up and you've had a few sips it seemed to be much more smooth. Still, there didn't seem to be much for flavor though.

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Photo of grayburn
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this tonight in a goblet, 2007 vintage 10.1 percent abv. (lower than reported, but displayed on bottle's lable, slightly improved over previous 11.8 abv beer, been in cellar for about 6 mos.)

A- lacy head sticks to glass, a dark amber poor, a nice example of an english barleywine...what little head you have to start stays until the last inebriating sip.

s- very estery smell, some unfinished alcohol along with some blatent smell overpowering the lesser notes of caramel and malt. A good smell, but definitely one of
brooklyn's lesser offerings in this category.

t- this beer has the flavour of a 15-17% english barley wine. The alcohol takes a front seat to all other flavours....even in this more manageable 10.1 percent form, the malt and hops are not in control. I love this flavour in a beer that has 15+ percent, here it just isnt as gratifying.

m- the feel is good, a slight coating but an overall smooth experience for a barley wine.

d- i give this a 4 only because of the fact that it is easy to drink....
I don't think it completely captures the essence of an english barley wine but it is smooth and easy to repeat.

Overall, I love Barleywine, but i cannot soundly recommend this as one of Brooklyn's better offerings...maybe in a couple years.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 bottle from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into an Allgash flute.

Appearance: A hazy reddish, orange, brown-bodied beer with a tan, foamy head that sort of resembles a sponge as it begins to die down. Glittering, big-bubbly lacing that doesn't even stand a chance of sticking.

Aroma: Herbal hoppiness, high alcohol esters which emerge as it warms, and some fruity, malty notes (rum raisinish). Very mild.

Taste: Mild, faint hop bitterness and a few leafy, citrus hop notes balance out a very sweet, fruity backbone. The fruit is intense, with cherries, raisins, and plums all being noticeable, even more so than the lightly roasted toffee/caramel breadiness (though they're both definitely there). Despite many other comments to the contrary here, I think the alcohol's fairly well hidden - perhaps that's what a year plus of aging will do to to this one. It'd be interesting to try it fresh, see if the hop notes/bitterness/alcohol are more prominent. There's a definite port/sherry quality to it, with the all the fruit and the increasingly-prominent alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Oily, creamy, milky, thick and syrupy, with subdued carbonation, and not as full-bodied as I'd expect.

Drinkability: An interesting if not particularly exceptional barleywine. Very fruity, very alcoholic, and worth at least one try, though I don't know if I'll be giving it another shot in the future (maybe just to try a fresh one).

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Photo of chilidog
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting on this Monster, well for years now, this is the 07 version as its states on the bottle, though it just came into my area.

Appearance is reddish,amber,orange. Off-white head was smaller but maintained well. Some lace to be had.

Aroma was alcohol soaked fruits and hop over malt.

Taste was again in order; hop, malts and alcohol. Tropical fruits of banana hint behind.

Drinkability is there for its very smooth on the mouth. Not intrusive. Alcohol is up above 10%, but hey, its a barlywine.

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Photo of Ljunkan
4.29/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2007 bottle, which has been standing for a couple of months now.

Pours a nice copper color with a small white head.

Smell is very nice of dried fruits, in particular plums. Also a bit vinous, almost portwine-like smell.

The taste is of dried plums, raisins, malt, toffee, slightly of hops, but not that much as in a fresher bottle. There's a nice port/sherry-note and also some warming alcohol after a while.

Mouthfeel is pretty filling, and actually quite smooth after been standing for a couple of months. It was slightly better now in august than may actually. Gonna wait with my last bottle until the winter I think.

Good beer!

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Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2007 bottle, got this from JasonA, cheers jason!

Pours an effervescent orange with 1 finger of sand colored head. A trace of lacing & head retention

S: Dates, raisins, steel & port soaked raisins

T: Rich dark fruits, herbal & leafy hop bitterness up front. Dryness, tangerine, some lemon hops, white pepper ?? & some caramel & vanilla. Finishes dry, oaky & with some citrus hops. Started strong, but the dryness & oakyness detracted as this warmed

MF: Slightlty overgassed, medium bodied & with fair balance

Drinks easy, but this one could use at least 12-18 more months of aging, not a bad take on the style

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Photo of changeup45
3.56/5  rDev -4%
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 animal69
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a med. copper-gold color w/ a thin tan head which dissipates quickly leaving a decent lacing in my nonic ; smell is mostly cereal grain w/ a nice citrusy hop aroma, some alcohol present as well ; steely grain & alcohol, decent hop bitterness and a grapefruit/spice(?) hop flavor, some caramel and nuts present as well, lots of metal & hot alcohol in the finish ; a rich full mouthfeel, tho doesn't quite match the taste, moderate co2 level ; gave it a generous 3.5 for drinkability, def. drinks like a heavy beer, but a pretty decent beer if you're in the mood...

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is their 10% English style barleywine. The head was a surprisingly brown color but very short lived. Almost no retention and no lacing either, weak. The color is a dark, maple syrup amber. Aromas are sweet malt with a boozy kick. The flavor too are notably sweet, aged malts, caramel, tropical fruits and a metallic nip from the esters. Creamy and easy to drink if you know this gun is loaded. The lighter carbonation is spot-on for the style. Long sugary malt lingers on the tongue like coating candy.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage into Cab glass

Rolls out to 1-finger head topping apple-caramel rustic body. Nice stuff.

First blush brings pears (?!) and apples with caramel and a little butterscotch and a solid alcohol burn. Disjointed a bit but nice. Some vanilla oak and mild cocoa. Hops are in the distance - warmth helps.

I dig this - it's creamy. Coffee, vanilla, caramel, mocha with nice carbonation cutting through. Alcohol burn and a little pine on the hops. Velvety smooth.

Coats, soothes, relieves but there's a nice carbonation buzz about it - almost Pop Rocks strong - cool from start to finihs but hearty.

Definitely a sipper. Great but getting full looking at it. Maybe a little more age will chill it out? Nice offering.

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Photo of cnally
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Monster Ale, eh? Must be because of the alcohol content. That is one good quality of many here.

The Ale poured a hazy tan/caramel colored head. The beer color is a reddish amber with a few carbonation bubbles visible.

The smell conjures up a malty, yet citrusy scent. Very biting on the back end, almost like an ammonia cleaner.

The taste is big malt. The is a distinct strong hop aftertaste, with a very pointed alcohol flavor. This is almost like someone poured a shot of vodka into this beer. The taste also has elements of brandy and apple.

A very delicate feel on the tongue, crisp yet slightly sticky afterward. The alcohol sting is there as well.

This is a beer where I can say the sum of its parts is not as great as the whole. For some reason, everything just syncs up right on this beer, which makes it a very appealing drink.

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Photo of phattysbox
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2006 vintage... Poured into Duvel tulip glass. Appeared with a 1/2 inch head that slowly retreats into nothing. Nice amber and deep orange color - a nice looking brew.

Smells all malts. Hops are not distinguishable in the nose, but there is sweet character that is warm and inviting. Alcohol is averagely noticable. Tastes sweet barelywine-ish, but nothing too complex. Vain search for hop character but can't find much. Alcohol hidden pretty well given the lighter body and less complexity. Thinner mouthfeel than what expect from a barelywine. There was this strange twang in the finish - can't really describe it but not in other barelywines I have had.

A slightly above average brew. Nothing to scream about but stable. If the mouthfeel was a little thicker and more complex with a better hop profile,
this could be one heck of a brew - as it is just average.

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Photo of Flyer
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is caramel-orange with a quickly diminishing head. Aroma is generic-ale fruity with some peach and cherry. The flavor has some nice maltiness and toasty biscuit, very smooth, not very intense for a barleywine. Finishes with some pine-resin hoppiness. Not a typical barley wine, in some good ways, some not so good ways.

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Photo of kinger
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 batch, cracked open August of 2006. Scrapping my initial review for the following: 2006 Edition: Revisiting this one because I wasn't satisfied with my initial thoughts on this brew. Glad I got this years batch because either it's better, my taste has improved, or both because this beer is great. Beautiful cherry red color, fuzzy white film on top, splotchy lacing. Sugary malt scent with dark fruits and some medium floral hops. Sweet and creamy mouthfeel with a quick burn. Flavor is much better than I recall. Dark cherries, sherry, and sugary bready malts. Low bitterness, quite floral and really tasty.

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Photo of Nowhereman529
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice light brown/amber from the bottle with a thin layer of head that quickly dissipates.

Smells of malt, fruit and maybe a little caramel/heated brown sugar. Overall a nicely rounded smell.

Taste is just as good as the smell. The nearly 12% alcohol is covered well by the malt and fruit flavors that predominate this brew.

Carbonation is right on for a barleywine. Not overwhelmingly bubbly or flat as far as mouthfeel.

This is a nice, medium-bodied beer, with a pretty high degree of drinkability. Granted, maybe not more than one or two an evening, but I could have one of these pretty regularly.

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Photo of Drew966
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brooklyn Monster Ale pours a reddish orange with a thick tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Alcohol, malt and a touch of fruit are present in the nose. The mouthfeel is on the thin side. Alcohol plays a big part of the flavor. Malt is also noticeable. There are hints of unidentifiable fruits. Not a standout.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized brandy snifter.

A - Dark ruby colored, with about 1/2 inch of head that hands around longer than expected. Quite a bit of lace as well; very nice looking for an 11.8% beer.

S - Lots of alcohol, but full of caramel sweetness as well. Overripe dark fruit comes to mind as well, with a touch of honey.

T - Improved as it warmed. Very sweet malt with hints of caramel, prunes, black currants, and raisins. Late palate showcases some quick earthy and floral hops mixed with some bitter roasted malt.

M - Improved GREATLY as it warmed; I bumped this from a 2.5 to a 3.5 after about 15 minutes of warming. Noticable carbonation with a solid medium body. Before warming, it was light to medium with ungodly carbonation. Still, I could use a bigger body.

D - Bumped this half a point after warming as well. Smooth and deceptive after approaching room temperature.

As it warmed, I broke out a wedge of Stilton that I'd been saving. The piquant nature of the cheese and the sweetness of the beer paired well together. Would love to throw some caviar and pumpernickel into the mix.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottle sent to me by halfP1NT in a trade last month. Its interesting, I had just pulled a sample of my newest barleywine from the fermenter before opening this. They are strikingly similar.

Carbonation is just right for a barleywine, maybe even a touch high. Looks brown (I think I read copper somewhere in a review) but from the side its got a lot of red showing through. Very clear.

Smell is heavy on the crystal malts and when it warms its a bit boozy. Also a touch of chocolate, very british in style. Taste is sweet, slightly bitter, of aged pale malt, and of course some caramel. Don't know how it compares to an English Barleywine new but at this age it would be hard to distinguish it from something actually made in England.

Medium/heavy body. A sipping drink for sure as the alcohol comes out in the aftertaste.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Edition..

Pours out a dark amber color with a small head... very dark looking..

Very sweet malty aromas present with a load of booze to boot.. wow, this smells boozy...

A mixture of hot alcohol and sweet malts with a little hop kicker to boot... not bad, but something doesn't seem right...

I'm going to try this one at a later date to make sure I didn't get a bad bottle... I was expecting a little more from this one..

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Photo of scottg
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.
"Born in 2007" 10.1% abv

Pours a medium amber color with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Up front aromas of alcohol and caramel mix with dark fruit, raisins. Raisin flavor and apricot in the beginning lead to a lemon rind bitterness finishing with chocolate malt. Full bodied, medium carbonation, this beer coats your mouth allowing all the flavors to linger. This beer is enjoyed slowly but quite drinkable and should get even better with age.

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Photo of julian
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: dark amber color with great clarity and thick foamy head from an aggressive pour. leaves very little lacing as head disappears almost completely leaving only a small ring of foam around the perimeter of the glass.

S: sweet brown sugar, malty smell. slightly fruity with a moderate alcoholic whiff that's definitely noticeable.

T: intense, sweet, nice array of spicing, and hop bitterness follows in the aftertaste. alcohol a little too noticeable.

M: medium bodied, sweet, and nicely carbonated.

D: At 10.1% (listed on the bottle) this is a sipper.

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Photo of coalcracker
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

-Brewed in 2005...
Appearance: Dark amber in appearance. Little to no carbonation/head.
Smell: Mild malts present. Some essence of fruit.
Taste: Very malty. Caramel, mild spiciness present. Fruity- though light. Alcohol warmth only mildly noticeable
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied.
Drinkability: Suitable as a sipper only. Rather tasty for a barleywine, perhaps a little light for a barleywine.

Overall- not the most 'sophisticated' barleywine, but acceptable.

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Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,864 ratings.
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