Brooklyn Monster Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

1,865 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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,865 |  Reviews: 1,084
Photo of irishkyle21
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Monster was born in 06. It pours with a rather thick tanned head that holds up well. A large amount of brewers lace is left behind as it settles. Has a reddish brown color.

Smells of dark fruits, sweet caramel malt and alcohol. A standard barley wine nose, if there is such a thing.

Tastes fruity, lots of sweet toasted caramel malts, some spices and then the alcohol hits and lets me know that this meant to be sipped and savoured. A great brew cant wait to see how they turn out in a couple of years.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red amber color not much lacing. Tastes great! Has some nice fruity esthers to it and probably the best tasting barelywine I've tried. Very smooth and balanced between the hops and the malts. Highly recommended. Strange for a barleywine in the sense that it goes down smoothly and leaves very little aftertaste. To me, it was more like a good belgian, but cannot pinpoint the style.

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3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nice amber brown deep dark body with red hues when held to light. Head is a light tan standing about an inch and a half. Very zesty malt on the nose with strong dark fruit presence. Almost a fruity soda kind of feel to the nose. Enters the mouth with a sharp zesty feel turning quickly to a soured dark fruit mouth hue. Notes of black licorice and raw wheat are present. Mouthfeel is a soured bitter battle with dark sweet notes only slightly evident. Drinkability is Ok. This beer is probably a little hot and will probably get better with age.

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

ST: A 12 oz bottle poured into a Westmalle Goblet.

A: Dark red with zero head. Nice color, looks like candy....

S: A barley wine (BW) sweet, dark fruits, nice, not overpowering.

T: Slightly bitter, warming, spicy, screams a cold winter night.

M: Creamy and smooth, a surprise coming from a BW.

D: Not my favorite BW, Avery makes some nice BWs, but a decent brew.

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Photo of bosco7
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage
Pours a garnet color with a nice milky white head. Retention is not the best but is expected.

Caramel, English toffee, banana bread, toasted almond, cherry, and some higher alcohol aromas.

Malt, malt, and more malt in the beginning. Rich caramel, toffee, and banana bread. Some esters in the middle- cherry, plum and peach. Almond, booze, and more cherry in the finish. Relatively dry finish with some bitterness to it. This is quite delicious.

Rich and buttery mouthfeel. A little tough to put down because of the richness and the alcoholic flavors. I really like this beer. I plan getting a few more to lay down.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from 2006
A- About a 1" thick light tan head on a clear amber/orange body.
S- Sweet toffee malts, big dark fruits, alcohol, sugar, candy cherry, almost light a strong cherry cough drop.
T- Taste resembles the aroma just not as strong in the cherry department. Dry grass hops, grapes, cherries, sweet toffee, and alcohol all come in to play. Something really sweet that just sticks out from rest. I want to say its like some kind of candy like cherry. Alcohol warms back of throat a bit. Gets hotter as time goes on. Light bitterness left on tip of tongue.
M- Medium to full body with low carbonation.
D- It is pretty good but nothing amazing. I wouldn't mind to have one again but wouldn't go searching for it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle from 2006. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a brown/ruby red color with a small half-inch off-white head. The aroma is mostly fruity and hoppy, it smells like brown sugar, plums, raisins and citrusy hops. It tastes like caramel malt, toffee, bitter hops, plums and alcohol. The alcohol is very noticable, it overpowers the other flavors of the beer. It also has a nice lingering bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light/medium, slick and coating, however it was a bit thinner than I expected. Drinkability is OK, but could be much better if the alcohol wasn't so noticable. It is smooth, but the alcohol overpowers this beer a lot. It's a bit of a disappointment to me, it probably could have used more aging.

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

A 12 oz bottle of the 2006 vintage from a trade with vwcraig.

A: The barleywine has an amber brown color that is indistinguishable from the amber bottle that it was served from. A brilliant orange color emerges when light shines though. The head atop the beer was a finger or two in size and leaves a nice lace around the glass.

S: The aroma is malty with a toasted cereal grain profile. The nose strikes me as fairly pedestrian.

T: The ale's 10.1% (per the label) abv makes itself known immediately. The alcoholic warmth matches the stronger malt flavor right off the bat, heating up the malts for a bready consistency. The grains have a slightly tart green grape flavor and are nicely matched with a strong but not overbearing hop bitterness. The finish sticks with the green grape/sour apple profile, warming as it goes.

M: The mouthfeel is quite strong, full of flavors with a comparatively low alcoholic kick. The fruity flavors that emerge from the concentrated malts is quite nice.

D: The ale is nice, strong on flavor without knocking you out. I like the strength of the malts and their slightly tart flavor that they convey.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Never have had a chance to try the Monster ale until now…what with the inundation of Brooklyn products I’ve got no excuse.

This beer is almost disturbingly cherried in the glass; with a modest, low-ABV looking head and bobbing oil-crane lace patterns.

Nose is filled with sweet, boozy vapors, toffee’d English malts. Light fruitcake, port.

The flavor of this beer has me a bit confused; it contains elements of English and American barleywines but seems to be neither simultaneously. Lots of booze involved and the American-style bittering keeps this one from being formless and lacking. Seems like time may need to get involved.

Slick MF perhaps best part.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. 2006 bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy, mahogany-amber color with a few lone traces of carbonation supplying a slim patch of tan foam. Hues of orange and ruby red peer in when the glass is held up to the light. Attractive, to say the least. The aroma is sweet & hoppy, with fine notes on molasses, brown sugar, wheat, and a big malt character.

Whoa, that's a big barleywine! A fleeting, sweet caramel note is immediately blasted away by palate-dominating BITTERsweet hops and shoe polish. A bit medicinal, but it works. The mouthfeel is syrupy and carbonated, with a big bitter body that rides out from beginning to end. I applaud Brooklyn for their audacity in brewing such a flavorful barleywine, even if it's a bit overpowering at times.

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Photo of shertz
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Born in 2006, this Monster was poured into a Goblet. I purchased this at a local bottle store for $3. I know this isn't your typical summer ale, but who can wait till winter to sip one of these beauties?

A-Little to No head. Reddish/Copper in color.

S- Plums. Alcohol. Strong Alcohol. I believe this will definitely be a sipper.

T- At first sip, I'm surprised by the chocolate finish. Strong alcohol taste. Can't really get past anything but the alcohol. Maybe some plum hints.

M- Medium body/carbonation. Burns the throat on the way down, which is nice for a barley wine.

D- Well, this brew is extremely strong or maybe because I've been drinking summer ales too long. Anywho, I'll be staying in tonight sipping this one.

Enjoy & Cheers,

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Photo of Jmamay22
2.69/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Born in 2006. Pours a dark redish brown into my brandy snifter with no head, yet the 360 degree lacing. Smells of raisins and alcohol. Oh hell its really almost all alcohol. Hints of raisins and caramel. Upfront alcohol. Certainly an overly warming brew thats hardly drinkable, but it is a barley wine so this can be somewhat expected. Very dry finish, thin mouthfeel and poor texture throughout. Did I mention the alcohol?

I'm normally a fan of Brooklyn, but this all alcohol beer is too much even as a night cap.

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Photo of mdm46410
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 2006 12oz bottle into a tulip, this barley wine poured a very dark amber brown color with a good sized yellowish tan head that slowly faded, leaving behind some good lace. The aroma of this beer was roasted caramel malts, some dark fruits, and just a bit of oranges. The flavor was an astringent/sweet fruit taste with an unbalanced alcohol note. I had hoped for much more judging by the aroma. A bittersweet taste lingered around on my tounge for a while. The mouthfeel was also a bit thin for a big beer like this. Not bad, but the appearance and the aroma had given me high hopes for this one. A bit of a let down overall.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a murky brown with virtually no head. The aroma is malty with some hints of spice. The taste is spicy and alcoholic. There is enough of a malt presence to bring the beer together. It is bold in flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. This is a good beer that I think will improve even more over time.

(Monster Ale 2006)

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Photo of jwff
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006. Nice looking reddish plum ale that sits in my chalice (impressive). Not much head to speak of. Smell is fairly indistinct. Sugary English malts and not much else showing. Holy, the taste really caught me off guard because of the weak smell. Incredibly rich roasted sweet English malts mellowed by hints of soft dark fruits. No alcohol noted whatsoever. Roastiness sits on the tongue for a semi-dry finish. As it warms shows a bit of hop bite up front and some citrus in the finish. Very mild though. Really nice mouthfeel. This is relatively light bodied considering the ABV. I could compare the mouthfeel like biting into a ripe plum. Just so soft and satisfying. I like this beer a lot more than my score reflects. Forcing myself to drink this one slower.

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Photo of BWMKappaSig
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage in tulip

Appearance: Very thin head with tiny bubbles on a slightly cloudy red-brown body

Smell: Sweet caramel malts and a pretty strong mediciney alcohol note. When stirred up, a hint of hops is detected.

Taste: A non-cloying sweetness upon first taste mixed with a relatively strong alcohol taste. The alcohol taste disappears quickly and it finishes relatively dry. The harshness seems to go away as the beer warms and you get a nice balance between the malt and hops. It lacks some of the complexities of other barley wines, but is well balanced and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Moderate, a little thinner than expected.

Drinkability: Despite the high alcohol content, this is remarkably drinkable for a barley wine.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lone bottle of this '03 version lurking in the back of the cellarator...

Appearance - a very murky, almost milky amber. That's a weird look. Mysterious, secretive...but not for long!

Aroma - slightly musty, with dark fruit,cocoa, slightly vinous.

Taste - big bold malts, big fruit (fig, cherry), an anise or licorice flavor in there. Prominent alcohol tones figure in mid-palate and post-swallow, but they are well-restrained for 11%. The swallow is pretty warm, the finish is dried Cherries, maybe a distant hop bitterness. Good stuff, really good after four years.

Mouthfeel - reasonably smooth, low carbonation, a solid body.

Drinkability - makes me want to find their '07 release and cellar the whole sixer until 2011. I may do just that.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.82/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A murky, putrid looking brown poor with no head to speak of, even after a second pour (last half of the bottle) was hard. Nothing. I expected a bit of something.
Smell is sweet and fruity, some alcohol pops through as well. A hint of light caramel and vanilla.
Taste centers around the fruit, more soft fruit than anything else. A slight hint toward whisky and vanilla is present as well. Yet the flavors linger for a second then disappear into a thin, filmy malty residue.
Feels thin, and with the abv I expected some just ain't there.
It was rather easy drinking, but it shouldn't have been That easy.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage...

Poured into a wine glass..

A wondeful bourbon color- orange/red/amber hues. Light carbonation and tiny bubbles- no head. This barleywine actually "looks" smooth.

I sipped this one slowly and took in all the flavors as best as possible. Tasted some oak and vanilla with cherry like sweetness. The alcohol is more in the smell than the taste- the 11.80% ABV is truly well hidden- although I wouldn't drink more than 2 of these in a sitting!

If you like sweet barley wines, this one is for you-

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Photo of riversider76
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006. Pours amber red with golden hues. Thin head, not much retention. Smell is of dark fruits and alchol. Body is thick,and smooth with some carbionation. Taste is of fruit, and carmel, not overly sweet,with a bit of a tart finish. A couple of thease, and good night!!

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.84/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2004 Vintage enjoyed May, 2007
Pours a dark amber with a slight golden glow. White head is very small and disappears almost immediately.

Aromas are caramel, dark candied fruits, and medicinal alcohol.

Flavor is full of dark candied fruits, burnt caramel, and medicinal alcohol.

To me, this one didn't age as well as the 2003 vintage...or maybe it just needs more age on it. The medicinal alcohol presence is distracting and unpleasant.

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Photo of zdk9
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A good beer with a good balance of Englishesque malt flavors and Americanesque hops. Pours out a nice copper with a decent head and lacing. Nose is of bread and even a touch of flour I would say. Also some whiskey, maybe Scotch, notes. Taste is malt first on the front of the mouth, and then nice citrusy hops in the back. All brought together with a very warm alcohol presence. Something I wouldn't mind tasting all night, but cries out to be sipped with the high level of alcohol.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed a bottle of the 2005 version, in '06, and something was wrong with it. It didn't seem to age well, or maybe it was somehow infected, or maybe it was light-stricken...who knows. But a recent glass on tap at Al's in Syracuse made me want to re-evaluate it, because that was very, very good. (Note: this bottle says 10.1% ABV)

Pours a thin head with a rusty amber color. Patient bubbles lurk up the sides. Head thins quickly. No lace.

Aroma is apples, candy sugar, orange, brandy, citrus rind, and molasses.

Syrupy mouthfeel impresses first, thick and chewy but not sticky and not too heavy. Flavors reveal alcohol-soaked apples, caramel, vanilla, grapefruit rind, and a nice warming glow from the alcohol.

Much better than the 2005 bottle I reviewed. It has redeemed itself. But still, this barleywine seems to be much better on tap, and I can't wait to have another one fresh from the keg.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006-Thanks for the sample Heinens11! Pours a slightly hazed bronze-amber hue, generating a two finger head of thick tan foam. Good retention and passable spotty lacing. Malt-centric nose; some buscuity notes, toasted malt and hit of roast; with perfumy hops and dark ripe fruit in the background. Flash of toasty pale malt and sweet Crystal upfront, followed immediatly by an aggressive roast character; this fades into a highly dextrinous aftertaste, dried from the roasted malt and emerging EKG or Fuggle-esque earthy hop flavor. Achives a good balance by utilizing the bitterness of both malt and hop. Heavy in body, with some perceived thickness no doubt from the dextrinous nature of this brew- but an active carbonation keeps the mouthfeel fluid and disallows any cloying. A hint of acetaldehyde is the only noticeable flaw, but easily lost in the bounty of flavor. Only mild residual sweetness in the finish, but a mellow ripe fruit tone and slight alcohol warmth add to the complexity of a boistrous but managable Barelywine. Cheers Garret.

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Photo of Brent
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A drinkable barleywine almost seems an oxymoron - but Brooklyn has turned out a real treat. Plenty of dense, dark fruit and malty flavor, the beer manages a nice level of sweetness that is rich but not cloying. Some bittering adds backbone, and the abv is well integrated into the flavor profile. Dangerously drinkable.

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Brooklyn Monster Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,865 ratings.
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