Cloaking Device
Brooklyn Brewery

Cloaking DeviceCloaking Device
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American Brett
4 | pDev: 12%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Cloaking DeviceCloaking Device
Notes: Cloaking Device stands as a tribute to these porters past. We brewed a strong Brett-fermented porter and aged it for nine months in French oak red wine barrels from our pals at the Larkmead Winery in California. It was then hand-bottled and re-fermented in the bottle with Champagne yeast.
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 33 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Claude-Irishman
3.36/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow ! Here is a 2017 vintage "Cloaking Device" from Brooklyn brewery-Looks like a typical porter but has a fizzy head from the champagne yeast, Smells like red wine, toasted grain,toffee,chocolate- Taste is unusual being for many reasons besides the wild yeast adding a bit of funkiness and the red wine barrel aging, There is the Champagne yeast they used which gives a slick porter a light effervescent champagne feel- Overall this combo is bit too weird for my liking, the Brett really gave it some fungus like funk- This beer did not turn out well aged- Probably why it is discontinued- Kudos for pushing the boundaries-

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Photo of REVZEB
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap. This is such a strange one, but I like the creativity. The porter with brett, red wine barrels, and champagne yeast, oh my! It really does tap into the dark fruits, especially dark cherry, raisin and fig. There is a cola like base woven into the beer as well. Odd and not the most balanced porter out there, but interesting and funky for sure

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Good Life in Massapequa, NY... Don't think this means the beer has come out of retirement, rather that they just kept some in storage for 18 months to age it... The Brooklyn brewery site describes it as, "...a red wine barrel-aged brett porter..." featuring 2-row, Crystal 150, Crisp Chocolate, Crisp Black, Roasted barley malts and Summit and East Kent Golding hops...

Pitch black beer in the glass with a brown foam cap a fat finger high... To my tastes, this was a smooth and rich porter - like, really smooth and rich... Very chocolaty with hints of deeper dark fruit and a vanilla-like silkiness... There was nothing particularly suggestive of brettanomyces or funkiness, but it had that "well-developed" quality you find in barrel-aged stouts that have been allowed to age... The 10 oz draft was $10, and to my tastes, very worth it - as long as you're not expecting a sour wild ale with a bretty-type of funk - Don't know what it tasted like over a year ago, but this was a superior drink...

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Photo of RacerX5k
3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This is really not very good, compared to the other sours I've had recently. My local is getting rid of their sours at ridiculous prices, $5 for Riserva, La Folie, Wekken. $4 for Funky Jewelbalation and now this, must try at $5. Marked at $23, no, I would never have paid that. Ridiculous.

Cola like brown nice head. Looks like porter. Aroma and taste is faint, not very sour, not very chocolate. I don't know about all the complexity so many reviewers state, i don't think it's very complex at all. Just kind of bland, boring, and yes, mediocre. Oh my, if I would have spent $23 on this I would be very pissed off right about now. of course, I would not have. Oh, it's so boring I already said that.

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Photo of Keene
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sample from the brewery. Deep mahogany brown with a vigorous tan head, the mild-mannered appearance of this wine barrel-aged Porter hides its true nature. But one whiff of the aroma and it's clear that this is no ordinary beer. Earthy, mushroomy funk, baking chocolate, some barnyard character, and allspice slowly emerge, one by one. The mouthfeel is effervescent and medium-bodied. And the taste delivers balanced bitterness, woodiness, walnut character similar to an Italian nocino, and mild spice, along with a leathery note that lingers into the semi-dry finish.

Uncommon by design, Cloaking Device is unsurpassed in its complexity and unmissable for anyone who's willing to make the effort to seek out a bottle. Remarkably good with broccoli rabe and pasta in a ragu sauce, too. Hopefully Brooklyn will bring this one back in the future.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a near black color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a nice cap

S: Lots of Brett influence and wine barrel up front, along with some roasted malt and dark chocolate. Incredibly complex

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the dry, earthy, and barnyard Brett tones and then goes into the red wine barrel. The barrel imparts oak, fruity vinous notes, and tannins. Roasted malt is underlying, but almost initially lost to the Brett and barrel. Dark chocolate pokes through as well. Finishes with lingering Brett influence, light sweetness, and tannins

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation, which keeps things lively

O: An incredibly complex and interesting beer. The base melds with both the Brett and barrel influences almost seamlessly. This one has definite aging potential. I continue to doubt paying $20 for the BQE beers, but they're always worth it

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Photo of q33jeff
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Central Jersey Beer Fest.
Bottle to 2 oz. tasting glass.

LOOK: black/brown color, thick looking with a healthy beige head.
AROMA: bread/brown sugar
TASTE: bread/brown sugar, touch of sour cherry/raspberry.
FEEL: fizzy

Very Tasty. My first beer of the day and I think it ended up being my favorite.


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Photo of bluejacket74
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle, 0197 stamped on the back, Q1 2017 release. Served in a MadTree chalice, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a couple inch tan head that stayed around for a little while. There's also a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like red wine/grapes, cherries, funk, roasted malt and some bittersweet chocolate. Taste is similar to the aroma with red wine/grapes, funk, earthiness, roasted malt, prunes, cherry, nuts and bittersweet chocolate flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and easy to drink with a good amount of soft carbonation. The 10.5% ABV is well hidden. I thought this was a good overall brew, glad I picked up this one! $21.99 a bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

these large format brooklyn beers are so inspired, and you almost always get what you pay for, so the price doent even turn me off. this is a cool porter, brett fermented and aged in red wine barrels. gorgeously complex but also understated in some ways, delicate for what it is, and just a really impressive glass of beer. eggshell black on the pour, creamy looking but not a ton of head sticking around, some light haze. aroma of minerals, dry bretty funk, mature oak, the slightest tang of fruit, and a nice black malt base, roasty and very dry, wood fired bread crusty. the flavor comes in waves, with the funky brett coming first, which i love with the dark malts. its not as musty and far out as some, but it is dry and interesting and old worldy. the wine and the wood are beautiful, adding some weight to this. black cherry, plum, dark cocoa all come to mind, unlit cigar, coffee and char are also present from the malts. smooth feel, perhaps a little undercarbonated, but smooth from the wood and extremely dry as they go, without any of the alcohol really showing. this is special beer, executed professionally, and very complex. sure to age well too! worth the asking price in my opinion.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.34/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scored a 12oz pour at Banter Bar, Brooklyn, NY for $2 USD via a promotion.

Has cola flavours that disrupt the otherwise terrific cherry & grape and bacterial notes. Acetic acid, lactobacillus, and red wine soaked wood. Raisin, root, herb. Dark malt sweetness is at the core here.

No brettanomyces funkiness is detectable to my surprise, but there's some mild smackiness and wild almost microfloral leanings.

Not Brooklyn's finest or most balanced work, but competent drinkable fare that marries porter flavour with Flanders Red influence.

Mouthfeel is aptly medium to full-bodied, with style-appropriate smoothness and a robust yet pleasant feel on the palate.

I'm glad I got to try it without shelling out full price for a 750ml bottle. More good but not great work from a dependent brewery. It's impressive they can brew a beer like this on the scale they do...and holy shit - I didn't even realize how high in alcohol it is.


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Photo of MattyG85
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Brooklyn chalice.

Appearance: Color is midnight black. Lots of bubbles and a big two finger tan head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A rich, sour, and roasty aroma with a scent of brett, chocolate, and red wine. Upfront sour and funky scent of brett. Red wine barrel scent of cherries, oak, vanilla, wood, and tannins. Dark roasted malt with a scent of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, biscuit, caramel, toffee, and nuts with yeast. Light hints of earthy hops. A really nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a rich, roasty, and sour taste with notes of brett, red wine, and chocolate. Big presence of brett with some funky and sour notes. Red wine barrel notes of cherries, oak, wood, vanilla, and tannins. Dark roasted malt with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, biscuit, toffee, caramel, and nuts along with yeast. Undertones of dark fruit and earthy hops. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. Creamy with a fairly drying finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A very good twist on an Imperial Porter. Nice blend of brett, red wine, and roasted malt notes.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.51/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Brooklyn Brewery "Cloaking Device"
25.4 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, corked and caged, and without freshness dating but coded "0197"
$23.99 @ Weis Market #231, Conshohocken, PA

Notes via stream of consciousness: "100% Brett-fermented porter aged in french oak red wine barrels". Opens with a pop and immediately smells of Brett and bright fruit. Pours a surprisingly opaque brown-black body with just a sliver of a hazy mahogany-brown highlight at the base of the glass. Its pillowy-then-creamy dark tan head seems to be holding well. A second inspection of the nose reveals some earth, oak, and a more vinous quality, as well as some light chocolate and toastiness. The flavor offers much more chocolate, but the brett and the fruit remain. There's a touch of pine towards the swallow, which lingers gently, and some oak in the finish but that's about it, it doesn't come on as strong in the flavor as you might expect. Perhaps it can't fight its way through. And it's very chocolatey with just a light edge of roastiness and coffee. I'd expected it to be just a little bit more roasty, but what I'm mainly finding is sweet dark chocolate, toastiness, golden caramel, and nuttiness (and it's not a stout, it's a porter, I know! DUH!). What's the alcohol on this? 10.5% ABV, that's not bad. At least I don't feel I'm getting ripped off on a $25 bottle of beer. It doesn't seem like 10.5% though. There's some body to it but the light tartness and fruitiness distract you from it; and the alcohol hasn't shown yet. I'd guess I'd call it just above medium in body, and as soon as I feel that the soft, very fine-bubbled carbonation airs up and it becomes fluffy and feels thinner. As it warms, or at least as I'm tasting it more and adjusting to it, the chocolate has receded and the Brett character and fruitiness have increased (some cherry and citrus). I get leathery notes, wet wood, dry wood that's been baking in the sun, dusty earth, wet earth and grass, and a light mustiness. It's not "too much", and it works really well against the fruitiness that expresses red berries, cherry, and sweetish red wine. Again, there's some oak, but it's not "too much". Wow, it's really won me over at this point - I think it just had to warm a bit - and I think it'd be worth it even if it was at a lower alcohol level because it's just so compelling. The malt pulls you one way, then the fruit and wine and oak pull you another, and then the Brettanomyces lends it just that much more character. And it's perfect in that none of it's overblown. Everything is in its right place. Cue "Everything In Its Right Place" by Radiohead as performed by Christopher O'Riley. Looking back, the head retention is excellent but the lacing never evolved, and there are only spots of lace left behind. So now the question, would I spend this kind of money for this beer again? Certainly. I'd have to be in the mood for it, or have a need for it - perhaps as a pairing with food (a char grilled but rare steak and potatoes) or dessert at a dinner party - and in fact I think it would work as a dessert beer entirely unto itself, but let's be honest, there's really nothing like it out there. I'm certainly classifying this as world class right now, and with the exception of a few Belgian stouts, I can't think of anything that even comes close to it, it's really that unique! But the subtlety of it, the balance and the suppleness while still having a bit of a twang is what makes it great. So let's see, did I miss anything? No, I think I've got it covered. I want to pick up at least two, if not three more bottles of this. I think it will be better fresh than aged, but that shouldn't be a problem. Once fall comes around I can easily see enjoying a bottle of this with a fire going, Keith Jarrett's "The Köln Concert" playing, and something light and easy to read. If I had more than two thumbs it would get a three thumbs up!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It pours black in color with just thin halo of head.
Earthy aroma, some chocolate and roasted malt.
Nice taste. Earthy, chocolate up front, followed by some red wine, with a little coffee at the end.
A little more than medium-bodied. Dry
Reviews of this beer are rather divergent. I am in the Liked It camp.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Where one finds complexity, another might complication. The enigma of a beer that's Brooklyn Brewery's quarterly creation is a porter, then it's a wild ale, then its an imperial beer, and then its a winey beer. When you're everywhere, there's a thrill in your ambiguous taste.

Cloaking Device pours a dark, bark brown with essential haze. Its delicate froth that crowns the rim is foamy and loosely knit. Chocolate, freshly tilled soil, light red wine and an overall boggish earthiness persists in aroma while its taste is oddly lush with toast, chocolate, toffee and a hint of coffee.

As the ale marches across the tastebuds, Its sweetness slowly relaxes and the powdery earth of the beer takes hold. Weathering woods, cellar funk, attic woods, and a gamey taste hints toward mushroom, yogurt and mossy flavor. Light pineapple and citrus rinds apply a gentle and spicy push against the middle palate before the tangy and oaken flare of vinous red wine permeates the tannic driven taste to close.

Its imperial status shows up in texture as the ale feels much like a rich porter with a creamy, malty, nougat-like richness. Still, the woosy taste, peppery bite, sour twang and bitterness converge in a complicated way to finish a beer. Complexity has become complicated.

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Photo of Bluecrow
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-this ebony tap pour has little visible carbonation and a vinous and sweet malt aroma. The flavors include a deep toasted malt base, subtle Cabernet notes and a some brett funk. I am pretty sure that this required a lot of effort and time. I appreciate the work. I love this element grouping and this brew.

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Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short off white head and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Faint aromas of sourness are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of oak, red wine, and sourness. The wine lingers into the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer only remotely tastes like a porter but has a very good balance between the sourness, red wine, and oak flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

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Cloaking Device from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 33 ratings