Brooklyn Monster Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

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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
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Ratings: 1,869 |  Reviews: 1,085
Photo of t0rin0
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
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 -5.9%
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 +5.4%
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 -5.1%
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 -7.3%
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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Photo of Proteus93
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Bronze pour with a yellowish head. Head forms nicely, retention is good. Slightly hazy brew, with the clean bottom having an orange hue.

S: Hot, spicy, boozy, and sweet. An herbal hoppiness. A little harsh on the nose.

T: Remarkably hoppy. Puckeringly bitter, paired with a sweet and spicy flavour. Seeing as how this is probably a half year old already, this one could still use some good time to be a little more sherry like, and less hot. Not particularly something I find enjoyable.

M + D: Full bodied, with a sharp note of carbonation which mellows out as it goes down. Not an example that I would suggest fresh, but perhaps some age will work some magic on it.

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Photo of Graham5161986
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep, red-brown with a 1 finger beige-cream head that dissipates to a frothy ring around the glass and leaves some patchy lacing.

S: lots of sugary malts, some sour cherries and a touch of hops and spice.

T: strong candied fruit throughout with some citrus, molasses, and chocolate notes and quite a sour-like bite on the finish and linger.

M: thick and chewy, well carbonated and a creamy, whole mouth coating finish.

D: this beer is pretty darn tasty. The alcohol is well hidden but, still, you can instantly tell that it packs a heavy punch. good fruit and a nice, creamy mouthfeel. Drink this beer come wintertime as it certainly warms you up. I would buy this beer again.

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Photo of phishgator
4.52/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. The amber color is capped with a tight white head that is 1" thick. The lacing occurs slowly through the session. Mild carbonation. Bready malt, sweet brandy, and dry tea leaves. The flavor is spot on with an English BW. Big sweet malt flavor with a touch of clean bittering hop taste. Hop profile is less fruity and more crisp and earthy. The body is full and the smoothness is awesome. I could have a couple of these and be happy. The alcohol is hidden well given the strength; I'm not saying it isn't there! This might be my favorite English Style BW to date.

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Photo of Durge
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper color barleywine with a fair off-white head and good lacing. This gives off a sweet tart lemony caramel aroma. The taste is of apple and licorice with low carbonation. It is a bit grapey wine-like with good alcohol presence. It has a medium to viscous body. Very nice, reasonably drinkable for the style. This is on the tart side of the style, a very good option.

The first review was a 2007 bottle, this next one is the current 2008 version;

This hefty brew pours a rosey copper color with a minor off-white head and a slimey coat of lace. The aroma is immediately of rubbing alcohol and malt and nut. The flavor comes on with a strong medicinal base and licorice overtones with a very bitter front. There is a decided malt sweetness but the bittterness dominates on the tip of the tongue. The finish is a bit harsh to me but there are pleasant hints of toffee and brandy. Finely carbonated, midland body. Not real drinkable in my book.

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Photo of oelergud
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical tall brown 12oz glass bottle with a pry-off cap. Silver neck and label.
Clear ruby body with good carbonation. Off-white small bubbled head that dissipates quickly to a thin ring and leaves very little lace.
Strong malty scent with caramel, grain and a little alcohol.
Sweet malty caramel flavor, strong and in your face. The aftertaste is dominated by the sweet malts but does allow room for the nice mild mannered hops of mild spice.
Medium body with good coating and a slick sensation.
Excellent drinkability. The high abv is not all that noticable and does not take away from the great enjoyment of this brew.


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Photo of simonjohansson
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smell: some fruits (apple, orange, cherry, grape), raisins, some chocolate, molasses, a bit dessert wine-like. Reminds me of Ommegang. Nice smell, anyways.

Taste: some chocolate, toffee, raisins, molasses, orange, some cherry, some apples. The alcohol is nicely integrated, although I wonder why it needs to have that much of it. Lots of bitterness from hops as well, but not in a brutal way.

Overall a nice beer.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a very nice looking beer, deep crystal clear amber with a nice head that fades to a thin lace after several minutes... the aroma doesn't quite hold up to the appearance in this young barley wine... the fruity esters and the malty aromas waft up on a predominantly ethyl generated breeze. I'm sure it would be better with some aging. the taste brings another round of malts and sweet caramely something... but still rather drown out by the alcohol. the mouthfeel is definitely full but with adequate carbonation to round it out... i'd take a few more there barkeep.

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Photo of demitriustown
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle: Fresh 2007 bottle and putting some of my 6er away for cellaring. Aroma is a nice roasted malt, caramel, a nice hop aroma too, and overall a candy like aroma, but in a good way. Appearance is a nice copper color with a medium to an off white head that diminishes into a soapy tan film. Taste is nice and robust. Good for being a young barley wine. The dark fruit and caramel maltiness make a good combination. A bit of smoke , small but detectable, and somewhat bready. Overall, It's a prett good Barley wine. It has some alcoholic burn on the back end, but pretty good overall.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
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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Photo of macster
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 bottle.

Pours a clear, deep, amber-orange with a quickly dissapating fizzy head.

Somewhat restrained, faint aromas of dark caramel candy, malt, ripe fruits and dark wheat bread unfortunately dominated by a tad too much alcohol.

Palate was smooth, full; somewhat sticky and oily but pleasant for the style.

Flavors were sweet and fruity, but a slight medicinal/alcoholic background was a bit distracting. Otherwise some notes of raisin, brown sugar and caramel found their way through. Finish seems a bit astringent.

Many other better English style Barley Wines available from the Northeast.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12-ounce bottle poured into a tulip yields a clear honey-gold body with a sheet of light tan foam that quickly vanishes into a fine-bubbled ring, leaving no lacing.

Smell is richly caramel and spicy with sherry and Sweet-Tarts .

Taste is plummy and apple cidery-sweet with some alcohol and bitter citrus. Again, Sweet-Tarts leap to mind.

Could drink one, maybe.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber body with a small, off-white head with nice retention and decent lacing along the sides of the glass all the way to the finish.

S: A nice, hoppy smell with some sweet, grapefruit undertones. Some sweeter, maltier undertones were evident as well, but the grapefruit notes stood out for me in the smell.

T: A strong, hoppy taste which was very nice for an IPA. Strong hops were balanced by a burnt, caramel aftertaste with some warming alcohol as well. Grapefruit smell seemed to go on the backburner for the taste.

M: A nice, smooth and full-bodied mouthfeel. There was noting wrong with the feel of this beer.

D: An excellent combination of taste and mouthfeel truly make this brew a very good one. Another plus was that, unlike some other strong Brooklyn brews, the high alcohol content in this beer was masked well by the malts and the hops used in making the beer. It was nice to enjoy a strong beer from Brooklyn without having to worry too much about the alcohol burning my tongue, effectively destroying my palette and taking away from my experience.

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Photo of Saunapoika
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a clear, dark amber with a one finger head quickly receding to a ring of lacing all the way to the end. Very inticing.

S: Caramel sweetness with a raisin backbone. Alcohol in there as well. Spring freshness comes to mind but without a serious hoppiness jumping out at you.

T: Outstanding. Smooth, sweet, well balanced overall. Bitterness is just right to balance out the monsterous largeness of this brew.

M: Smooth and silky, well carbonated for the style.

D: Well, if I didn't know that this beer was advertised as 10.1%, I could have a few of these. With that in mind, after the one I did enjoy, my stomach is warming as I type. I would compare this one with the Double Bag from Long Trail only this one carries a bigger punch and is at a higher caliber than the Double Bag. Outstanding overall.

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Photo of clemtig76
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to goodatbeer for this 2007 vintage. 12 oz brown bottle with the typical Brooklyn Brewery labeling. Pours a very dark reddish copper with a one finger head that quickly disipated. Wonderful smell of sweet malts, raisons, dates, and alcohol. Taste is a complex blend of sweet malt, toffee and candied fruit with a warming alcohol finish. This is one brew to savor.

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Photo of sstackho
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz single bottle, 2007 vintage, purchased from Charles Street Liquors in Boston. Pours a rich dark clear copper with little head or carbonation. Sweet aroma. Flavour is primarily sweet, with some hops that try (unsuccessfully) to offset the sweetness. Not my thing - but then, it seems most barleywines aren't.

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Photo of drperm
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic classic-English-style Barleywine. I prefer it to Sierra Nevada, I think.

I have now added "barleywine" to my MS Word's spell-check dictionary. As should all beer drinkers, based on this offering from Mr. Oliver & co. Rumor is that they blast the opening chorus from Carmina Burana when they brew it.

This is what we call a "fighting beer." Useful in hand-to-hand combat, I'm sure. Treat it with respect and it will satisfy you long into a cold winter's night.

Try it with dessert, especially if dessert means creme brulee.

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Photo of kurtissellen
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Emptied into an oversized wine glass yielding a small amount of head with no lacing present. Dark amber color to it and had that distinct barlywine smell, sweet grapes and other fruits. Tasted a molasses sweetness to it and felt syrupy on the tongue. Finished with a small amount of hop bitterness.

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Photo of Donnie2112
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks like a Barleywine, very little head and no lacing. But some nice bubbles and a beautiful amber brown color.

Smell: Mollasses, caramel, yeasty smell of baking bread.

Taste: The malt isn't quite as sweet as I'm used to out of a barleywine, but I like the clean hop bite at the end. Real nice, interpretation of the style.

Mouthfeel: Lightly creamy and oily, very smooth with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: The extra bit of hops and carbonation make this an extremely drinkable barley wine.

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Photo of hreb
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's time to take the 2005 AND the 2006 ("born in" years on the label) Monster Ales from the beer fridge. Poured, side by side, in identical wide-mouth snifter glasses. Both are very deep brown amber, with no head, but the 2006 seems a little darker than the 2005. Both leave a reasonable amount of sediment in the bottle. The 2006 definitely has more nose, it smells of sweet malt and caramel, while the 05 is much fainter.

The 2005 is a bold, big ale, and very, very pleasant, even at 11%. The only sharpness in this comes from the carbonation. The age has really rounded out the corners. Hops appear on the back of the palate but are not pronounced overall. Beyond that, there's a very earthy, almost nutty aspect.

The 2006 is a different beast. Despite being a mere 10.1% ABV, and having a less fizzy, more creamy mouthfeel, this is a much more aggressive barleywine. As noted before, it smells much stronger, kind of like a dark brown ale. The flavor has different things in it: burnt toast, English bitter hops, notes of cocoa, and a nearly acidic sharpness. And yet creamy and foamy in the mouth. The bitterness actually exceeds the malt in this one, although it's still great.

Brooklyn Monster Ale is a long-time favorite of mine. Someday I must try the other 2006 and see how it compares after it picks up the extra year or so of aging :)

Conclusion: 2005: more nuts. 2006: more toast. 2005: aged well. 2006: more monster.

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Photo of jmacdaddy2008
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First time I have had this beer.

Appearance-typical reddish brown color with light head that leaves quickly

Aroma-smells like spiced apple and sugary
not a strong smell

Taste-Wow...alcohol definitely present almost a burn in the nostrils at first-more of the spices

Overall, A bit surprised at the heavy spice aroma and smell. Not what I expected but not necessarily in a bad way.

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