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Brooklyn Local 1 | Brooklyn Brewery

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913 Reviews
Brooklyn Local 1Brooklyn Local 1

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with German malts and hops, first-pressing Demerara cane sugar from Mauritius, and a Belgian yeast strain. 100% bottle re-fermentation; OG=18.5; AE=1.7. Classified as a "strong saison" by Garrett Oliver.

Added by akorsak on 02-18-2007

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Reviews: 913 | Ratings: 2,045
Photo of mdagnew
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle bought from Lighthouse Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a light golden yellow colour... Slightly off white head poured quite thick and meringue like then faded fairly quickly to light wispy layer. Quite a lot of carbonation shoots to the surface... some light sticky lacing clings on to the end...

Aroma - Strong spicy fruits (apricots, pineapples, pears), nice strong Belgian bready / yeasty notes, candy sugar / honey sweetness, light toasted malts, peppery hops, faint trace of alcohol, some basil / thyme herbal notes, faint medicinal traces...

Taste - Biscuity malts, toasted bread, herbal / floral, spicy fruits (pineapples, pear drops), light sugary sweetness, definite Belgian yeastiness, honey notes, peppery, some salty hints, slight soapiness, grassy, spicy hops

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry.. light / medium body... very refreshing and drinkable - the alcohol is very well hidden..

Overall - A very good and well made Belgian pale ale... recommended

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/10/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear bright golden amber color with a 2 finger fairly dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big lemon peel, orange peel, pear, apple, grape, clove, pepper, herbal, floral, grass, honey, bread, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bright malt and fruity/spicy yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big lemon zest, orange zest, pear, apple, grape, honey, bread, clove, pepper, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, grape, honey, bread, herbal, floral, pepper, clove, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome balance and complexity of bright malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with a very crisp malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian Strong pale ale. All around great balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of bryangb
2.98/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a corked and caged bottle. Smell: I get yeast, orange, cream and lime maybe? Taste: I taste what I smell. It reminds me of... A Belgian ale. It's a smooth beer. Carbonation is a little bitey though. Not my style beer, but I wanted to try something new.

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Photo of pkalix
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

stupid site jammed up again, so I have to do the review all over again, screw it. how many times has this happened now?
Belgian replica by an American brewer. fruity. rich. very Belgian, but not the real stuff, but still very rich. overall, foamy, yellow, rich, decent abv, nice lacing, blah blah blah... thanks BA for killing me again. delete the review if you want, but I urge you to fix the site first, guys....

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Photo of fourstringer
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL corked & caged bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderately gentle hand. Barcode reads 30613 00102. #3551. I'm a robot. I'm talking like a robot.

A: Cloudy, somewhat dull, golden yellow-orange with bone white head. About 1 finger width with ok retention. Minimal lacing.

S: Tart and fruity Belgian yeast. Nice citrus & tropical fruit. Specifically, I can detect elements of lemon, orange, tangerine, mango, banana, apple & pear. It seemed like whatever fruit I thought of, I could find it somewhere in the nose! Vanilla. Light malt. Slight indistinct spice. There is something familiar I can't pinpoint... Dreamsicle?

T: Spicy and lightly sweet fruit notes kick of a smooth transition to a faintly bitter, semi-dry finish. Peppery notes accompany the big essence of fruit cocktail. Minimal alcohol.

M: Crisp & effervescent with rather marked carbonation. Light body. Brings extra zing to the yeast's spiciness. Slight stickiness.

O: So imagine a Duvell, brewed on a subway in NYC. Kinda dingy looking. Feels a little rough around the edges. But really delivers where it counts. I fully endorse this beer.


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Photo of polloenfuego
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: straw gold with a fluffy three finger head that slowly dissipated leaving some lovely lacing.

S: Belgian yeast, malts,cloves and other spices, bready and sweet.

T: yeast, sweet malts, fruit esters, spices and clove.

M: smooth and light with a very fine carbonation (almost champagne like)

O: I bought this along with a Local 2 on a recent trip to NY. I would agree with the categorization of strong saison as I found it very saison-esque. I enjoyed the mouth feel and look of this beer and it was a nice enjoyable drink. I would revisit it...but not as fast as I would Local 2.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance; beautiful straw/orange. a solid inch of head that hangs around for awhile, lots of bubbles.

smell; classic belgian yeast, bananas, pears, some alcohol.

taste. fruity notes hit u right away, balanced by smooth malt, the only downside is the taste of alcohol is quite overpowering,

mouthfeel; smooth, nice carbonation.

overall; one of the better strong belgian ales I've tried, particularly impressive because its american, could easily pass for a fine belgian ale. if you are into this style, you will really enjoy it, but i don't know if it is something id rush to buy again.

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Photo of ONUMello
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass
A: Hazy amber color with a two-finger head that settles very slowly
S: Yeasty, a bit of sweet fruit, malt & spices
T: Match the nose
M: Light-bodied, hides the high alcohol surprisingly well
O: Solid beer from a solid producer for a great price

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Photo of HopSquatch
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice domestic version of a true Belgium. If blind folded I would never have known. Strong sweet tasting malts, alcohol strength is masked well. Smooth and no bitterness and improved as it warmed. Simple golden color with powerful carbonation. Poured in my regular pub style pint glass from the big corked bottle. Very nice , enjoyed it for a hour and half. Would definitely buy again. Drink at home dont drive !

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Photo of Dave1999
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy amber with a big foamy white head. The carbonation in this looks high.

The smell is sweet and malty, along with the belgian yeast smells, cloves and spices.

The taste is sweet, yeasty, spices, pepper and coriander. There's a little alcohol and fruitiness as the beer warms up.

The mouthfeel is light with a high amount of carbonation. This may be the most carbonated beer I've had.

Overall this may be the best Belgian strong pale ale I've had I just wish the carbonation was a little tamer. I'm not going to downgrade it too much though as the taste was very good.

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Photo of Radome
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

75 cl bottle, 9% ABV

A – Bottle conditioned. Color is a dark straw with some orange. Clear but a hint of cloudiness. Head is huge, thick and white. It piles very high and only dissipates slowly. Tiny, mousse-like bubbles and huge lacing. An attractive beer.

S – Smells very malty. A light white bread mixed with sugar, reminds me of that Italian sweet bread you find at Easter (Panetone?). This is underlaid by a sweet alcohol aroma. If I really search I can just detect some grassy hops and a tiny hint of black pepper. It reminds me of Bush Blond, but not as sweet or complex smelling.

T – Warm, bready malt dominates. There is a sharp, grainy edge to it that could be wheat malt. This mingles with light grassy hops and a bit of acrid, pepper-like bite that could be from yeast notes or spicing. The finish is long, sweet, and alcoholic. Again it reminds me of Bush Blond, but not as boozy.

M – Moderate body. Smooth, creamy carbonation. A light alcohol burn. Hops bitterness is low but present. Everything is just right and in balance.

O – This is a dead ringer for a Bush Blond. A great example of a strong Belgian ale, even if it was brewed in Brooklyn rather than Belgium. The aromas and flavors are not blended as smoothly and don’t have as much depth as the classic examples, but this is a great beer!

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Photo of garymuchow
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

About time I got to this one. Good brewery and good style. Beer for USA qualifier at Costa Rica.
First whiff after loud pop upon opening is a grainy cereal, but as take towards nose gets a softer malt that moves to a pleasant and soft spiciness.
Enormous head allows only a minimal pour. Pale gold and slightly cloudy.
Flavor is at 1st smooth and creamy and it quickly moves to a tangy spiciness that sharpens throughout the drink. Of course really quite dry. Some of sharpness and spiciness is alcohol related. It approaches heat without actually crossing. As warms starts to take on some mild fruit flavors, but they are background.
Soft creamy feel along with sharp prickly and ample carbonation. In time warming in the gut too.
Like so many from Brooklyn, just such a clear representation of style. Solid. Classic. Enjoyable.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle was poured into a large Duvel snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger head that reduced to a thin puffy layer. Nice lacing on the glass from the reduced head. It is a pale yellow color with great clarity and slow moving bubbles coming up through the center of the glass. More lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Belgian candy, pale malts, apple, pear, alcohol, and yeasty esters.

Taste: Vanilla, spicy yeast, warm booze, bready, apple pear, Belgian candy, pale malts

Mouthfeel: Smooth, warm alcohol, a little chewy, medium carbonation, medium to full bodied, and delicious.

Overall: Man, I love this beer. Draft or bottle, you can't go wrong. It got better as it warmed up too.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with good carbonation. It's not quite as clear as I like my BSPAs to be (then again, I don't believe in pouring the dregs in), nor does the three finger white-shaded head have the retention I look for. Still, it does stay at one fingers quite well. Nice patches of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Pretty typical of the style, albeit with a more defined fruitiness to it. Apple and pear notes are very strong, along with an undercurrent of citrus and peach. Maybe a distant hint of cherry, too. The general aroma has the dry sensation I like.

T: Aside from the standard ester flavors (apple and pear), this opens with a noticeable vanilla sweetness. For sure, this has plentiful candied sugar. Herbal notes, and MAAAYBE a twinge of hop bitterness round out the back end. I'd almost call it cidery at times. It's very reminiscent of a tripel in particular - the alcohol is hidden spectacularly, but it gets a bit sweet at times on the back end. If this has any flaw, it's the fact that it lacks complexity and depth.

M: The carbonation is very spritzy and even fizzy - I can definitely feel the flavors drying off of the palate after the back end. It seems to rely on the carbonation for the dryness rather than general malt attenuation, though; for some reason, it actually does dry out the more it warms up. Whatever the case, I refuse to believe it's 9%.

O: Best to serve this one at a cold temperature: chilled its fizziness counteracted the sweetness, and warmer it became drier to compensate for the loss of carbonation. A rock-solid Duvel clone - not as good, but not terribly far off. This bottle will get killed solo.

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Photo of bluedognever
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from bottle at beer class held at local wine superstore.

Slightly hazy clear gold color with nice bubble action. Has a sift pleasing aroma - a little bit yeasty.

Nutty, fruity taste but spicy - hint of spiced peaches. Very fizzy mouthfeel with a dry finish like a champagne.

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Photo of TheCondor
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On a recent trip to Memphis, I was able to swing into a local liquor store real quick and grab some beers that we are not able to get in KC. We cannot get anything by Brooklyn Brewery, although it would have been great to be able to see a full selection of beers. Just FYI, in Tennessee, for a beer to be sold in a liquor store it has to be 6.2% ABV or higher, and I never got a chance to go by a grocery store. But I digress.

Side poured with standard vigor from the bottle into a tulip glass, which was all I had available at the Embassy Suites Germantown.

Appearance - Pours an excellently hazy, golden straw color with a tremendous two plus finger head on it that towers over the brew. Nice carbonation action can be observed. Head retention is minimal, as is lacing, but the presentation is magnificent.

Smell - A solid fruitiness. Coriander, Belgian yeasts, and a spicy sweetness that is excellent. Very good nose on the brew, certainly makes you want to drink it.

Taste - An excellent sweetness coupled with the brews fruitiness makes for an outstanding, memorable drink without a doubt. The yeasts make an appearance, and there is but the slightest hint of hops.

Mouthfeel - Finishes clean, smooth, and dry, almost to the point of being like champagne. Wicked dry. Almost no alcohol presence. The definition of a great finish.

Overall - So this is what everyone is ranting about when they talk about Brooklyn Brewery products. I have heard so much, yet have never experienced it for myself. I am glad to see the beer has lived up to the hype. I may send my copy of the Oxford Beer Encyclopedia to Garrett Oliver to have him sign it. This is one excellent beer, strongly recommended, Condor approved.

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Photo of JamesStreet
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into snifter

A - hazy gold color with monstrous white 3 finger head reminiscient of champagne. Unfiltered cloudiness definitely apparent. Glass had lots of lacing

S - belgian yeast, a bit lemony, coriander

T - real earthy taste, breadiness, Belgian yeast taste, also a champagne-like taste to it

M - very high carbonation with low to medium mouthfeel. Alcohol (9%) almost non-existant.

O - not a bad beer, but I was hoping for something more. Almost mundane for the style which is why I tend to prefer the Strong Dark Ales. Again, not bad because I would drink again but would not be at the top of my list forthis style.

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Photo of JetEngine47
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a very good beer, but I have to say that I think it's a lower quality beer than Aureus by Draai Laag Brewing. Now, admittedly, I am a Pittsburgher that likes local crafts, but I bought Local #1, Pranqster, and La Fin De Mondes a Total Wine while visiting a friend just outside of Delaware because they are very highly rated on Beer Advocate. None of these three beers is as good and complex as Aureus. So, yes, this is an outstanding beer that deserves a high score, but I prefer Unibrouwe and Draai Laag despite the 100 ranking from the Brothers.

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Photo of Roman5150
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

* was in a social setting so I couldn't be as thorough as my other reviews, this is from notes I took on my phone

bottle into pint glass

appearance: cloudy golden yellow, 2 finger bubbly white head

smell: clove, coriander, lemon zest, belgian yeast, orange peels, other spices

taste: apple, bready, corn, subtle earthy bitterness, but not dominant. some dark fruit and typical sweet belgian yeast notes.

mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium bodied

overall: A great Belgian, this is a great American take on the style. Superbly balanced and drinkable, price a little high, otherwise a solid overall beer. Drank with a lot of non craft beer drinkers and they loved it if that says anything.

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Photo of zac16125
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle into a snifter
No born on/best before date

A: Pours a clear dark straw color with 3 fingers width of white head. Great retention and leaves lots of lacing.

S: Vinous, sweet, spicy. Belgian yeast esters, clove and white pepper spice, sweet fruits. There is a chalky, almost medicinal character that I can only describe as fruit flavored Tums. Some herbaceous/floral notes, like a country meadow. Really nice aroma here.

T: The initial flavor that hits my palate is a big vinous, white grape character, champagne-esque. This is followed by spice notes. I also get bakers chocolate, faint hop notes, citrusy orange.

M/D: Medium body, carbonation on the heavier side which is appropriate, ABV is well masked and drinkability is very good.

O: Good beer, well above average, but not great. I would definitely drink this again though.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with very active carbonation and a resilient head. Smells malty/grainy with a subdued Belgian yeast character. Tastes very malty: bread and honey. Mild noble hop finish. Yeast character is pretty restrained. A bit sweet but dries up in the finish. Kind of reminds me of a blonde biere de garde. Alcohol strength is well-hidden. Mouthfeel is very fluffy and frothy. Prickly carbonation goes well to keep this refreshing in spite of the high alcohol. I found this at half-price as my grocery store was trying to get rid of them. Good buy for the money, but I don't know if I'd pay $10 for this at regular price.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Date code of 3551, so bottled late December 2011. Sampled 5/8/13

A: Pours a straw yellow color with a massive head that lasts for a while. Eventually settles down to a decently thick collar of foam

S: Lightly fruity and spicy Belgian yeast along with a hint of barnyard and alcohol

T: Starts off quite fruity with a hint of spiciness. Goes into some barnyard, estery alcohol, and earthy hops. Finishes lightly bitter and phenolic

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Lightly dry

O: A very nice BSPA with quite the kick. Very complex, with many layers. A great bottle to split at dinner in lieu of wine, and probably one that suits most people including wine fanatics. Definitely recommended

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Photo of gr0g
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml, bottled in January 2012.

Slightly hazy golden color, two finger head after a careful pour. The creamy foam shows good persistence and leaves sheets of lacing behind. Not very effusive on the nose, but there are aromas of yeast, champagne, pear. These are all well-integrated into a lightly yeasty, fruity character.

Somewhat dry with a champagne-like taste overall, some character from the yeast as well. Finishes dry as well, but I pick up maybe a little bit of sweetness from that Mauritius sugar midpalate. Alcohol character is well restrained, showing up only right before the finish. Fruity esters impart notes of white grape and pear. Carbonation is very fine and contributes to a slick, almost silky mouthfeel. Impressive for a highly carbonated, bottle-refermented beer.

Overall, I think this is right up there with the top strong Belgian pales. At under $10 a bottle, it's a good buy, too. Highly recommended.

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Photo of rangerred
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet out of a 750ml bottle.

Pours a moderately hazy dark yellow with a very frothy two finger head. The bottle conditioning produces tons of carbonation that keeps that head intact most of the way through the glass. Quite impressive.

The aroma is a wonderful bouquet of citrus and Belgian yeast. A very musty smell with grapes and peaches along with some subtle hints of clove and allspice. There are some floral notes as well and it is all very nice.

The flavor is even nicer than the aroma. Lots of grape and more mustiness along with the same pear that was present in the aroma. A little bit of metal although it really doesn't detract from the overall experience. Some spice reminiscent of cinnamon combined with clove and even a quick shot of chocolate. Mouthfeel is silky smooth thanks to the carbonation with an extremely dry finish. Alcohol is completely hidden providing just a subtle warming in the chest.

Overall, a fine example of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and one of the best American ones out there. This, IMO, could stand toe to toe with anything coming out of Belgium and is quite a bit better than many that do. A great beer at a really good price.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottle date code of 1782b.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Huge five finger white head that settles into a creamy patchy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing clinging around the glass.

Smell: A spicy, yeasty driven Belgian aroma with lots of citrus fruit esters. Belgian yeast upfront with big hints of barnyard funk, clove, and white pepper spicing. Hints of banana, pear, and green apples. Big hints of citrus orange, lemon zest, tangerine, apricot, and mango. Also some wine like hints of white grape. Sweet Belgian candied sugars. Soft bready malts with hints of wheat grains, biscuit, and cracker. Also some herbal and floral hop hints in the mix as well. A nicely complex and zesty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, yeasty and spicy with lots of zesty fruit esters. Big profile of Belgian yeast with notes of barnyard funk, cloves, and white peppers. Sweet candied Belgian sugar. Fruit notes of banana, green apples, and pear along with some white grapes. Big citrus fruit taste with notes of oranges, lemon zest, apricot, tangerine, and mango. Bready malt backing with notes of biscuit, wheat grains, hay, and cracker. Earthy hops with floral and herbal notes towards the finish. A very good Belgian style taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a medium to high level of carbonation. Crisp, spicy, juicy, and somewhat prickly. Very drying finish. Alcohol heat is masked well.

Overall: A very good Belgian style ale. Good zesty fruit flavors with a good amount of funk and grainy malt.

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Brooklyn Local 1 from Brooklyn Brewery
4.09 out of 5 based on 2,045 ratings.
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