Brooklyn Dark Matter | Brooklyn Brewery

very good
79 Reviews
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Brooklyn Dark MatterBrooklyn Dark Matter

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by waltonc on 11-06-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 103
Photo of Bankhead
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

thanks to johnqvegas for the chance to try this rare brew

poured from an unlabeled local 1 bottle (the cork had a 1 on it)

root beer float in color, lively but small bubbly head w/ lots of lacing

smells rich and inviting but not intimidating, vanilla bourbon and oak but doesn't burn the nostrils

taste is tangy bourbon, vanilla, strong oak finish, accented throughout with a rich, almost dubbel-like brown sugar and dark fruit component, no alcohol burn at all even as it warmed

smooth and soft mouthfeel, refreshing, extremely drinkable

my wife and i polished this off quickly, and i would session it on tap or order another bottle without a second's hesitation

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 1/2 growler (with the flip top seal) of this at the downtown whole foods earlier in the week.

A - Poured a rich caramel brown. Not overly carbonated and not much of a head.

S - Vanilla, nuts, roasted malts, a hint of a bourbon-ish sweet alcohol. Resembles cherries quite a bit.

T - Ginger, cinnamon, candy, caramel, vanilla, mostly malts. Really nice brown ale.

M - A bit watery, almost juice like. Very cooling. Quenching. So smooth, I'm wondering if some of the carbonation got away from this since I picked it up. I bought the 1/2 growler on Monday or Saturday, but it was a flip top growler sealed to the top and made quite a pop when I opened it. Either way, it is a very enjoyable beer.

D - Really easy drinker. Almost too much so. The flavor is smooth and enjoyable and there is an ever so slight touch of bourbon booziness, but it is hardly noticeable and not in your face at all. Just a hint. Mixed with a wonderful brown ale.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At The Tap Room in Warren, NJ. Into a pint glass, poured a copper/chestnut hue with little carbonation, and a tan-colored one-finger head that laced very well. The aroma revealed cherry vanilla, chocolate, and malty-alcohol essence (maybe whiskey from the barrel-aging?). The flavor was fantastic; all of the above flavors in a harmonic balance, with the whiskey essence punctuating the finish. Velvet smooth, and full-bodied. Went down ridiculously easy and tastes like someone literally mixed Jack Daniels with a brown ale. Very well done.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled to be able to get a little mini growler of this one. I had wanted to try it but it tapped out up in Asheville before I could get around to it. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/02/2010.

Nice pour, deep hazelnut in color with a small off white head that capped off the top quite nicely. Faded down leaving just a touch of lacing along the sides but kept up a minimal amount along the top. Aroma is deep vanilla and caramel straight away. Warming brings out some decent touches of oak, hints of bready malts, touches of butterscotch and a rich note of brown sugar. Each sip seemed to bring more and more of the barrel up front as the richness of it really was coming along quite nicely. Rich touches of vanilla and butterscotch dominate the flavor with a smooth, herbal, meadow like hop presence that backs in after a good while. Well hidden abv offers up a nice warming without being too over the top and made it much easier to drink then I normally would have thought. A hint of light tobacco back in now as well as the flavor really starts to spread its wings. Very nicely done I have to admit.

Overall I really was quite impressed with this one. Fantastic brown ale that was aged nearly perfectly. Rich and sweet, delicate and yet still a full bodied ale. I would be thrilled to try this one again any day.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"presence is inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter and background radiation"

I was honestly surprised when I saw that this beer was barely eeking out an A- on this site. These bourbon barrel aged things usually don't get my attention or "respect" but Dark Matter is a horse of a different color. Its quite excellent.

Beer is brown and forms a thin off white head. The head is small and breaks but it does leave lacing on the glass. Beer is clear and carbonation is moderate to low.

The aroma of this beer scared me a lot. Its powerful and boozy. So strong, bourbon sweet sweet sweet. I wondered what I had gotten myself into at this point but I pressed forth.

Beer is shockingly smooth. There is a definite bourbon flavor in the back of the mouth but the beer is not overly cloying like I feared from the aroma. Drinkability is high and mouthfeel is good. There is just enough sweetness to balance the bourbon in the back. It doesn't finish dry like I expected but it does finish nicely.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter.

Pours a cloudy brown, bordering on a deep purple on the edges, with a fizzy off-white head that settles down into a thin, creamy coating of foam.

Nose is vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, a bit nutty, dark fruits.

Taste begins with a bit of spicy brown sugar up front, hints of ripe dark fruit as well, with the bourbon really coming on towards the finish. Finish itself is long and rich, exhales of bourbon, with just a hint of charred oak in the tail end.

Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, with just the softest, crisp edge to it up front, quite dry throughout. Medium to medium light body, creamy.

Beautifully done beer - bourbon is presence in just the right amount, you get the full flavor without overwhelming the beer itself. One of the most drinkable barrel aged beers I've experienced. Very unique.

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Photo of Floydster
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle shared by Eyedrinkale on 12/5/08, reviewed from notes once I got back to my hotel room that night, had two full pours into my taster glass, thanks again Mike for bringing this gem out from New York, I had really been wanting to try this and I am glad I gave my palate some rest after the fest, so I could truly enjoy it too, color was a cloudy brown, head was thin and creamy, less than a half inch with decent retention, smell was whiskey from those Woodford Reserve barrels, roasted nuts, light sugar, toast, dried fruits, light spice, and soothing vanilla, taste was much the same with bourbon showing up more in the aftertaste than anywhere else, pretty malty otherwise with some mild sweet and spicy characteristics, liked how the flavor was subtle and not popping out at you with booze, that happens a lot of the time with these lower alcohol beers that sit in old liquor barrels, mouthfeel was a little thin, liked the sensations though, carbonation seemed right, nice lingering finish, could have drank the whole bottle, very inviting and light for what it is, seems even less than six percent for how easy it drinks, overall it is a great beer that does not blow you away immediately but it is just consistent when you go back for each sip, probably why there is not too much hype on it, not overdone on the bourbon, smooth and inviting like a barrel aged brew should be, pretty expensive at twenty-five dollars a bottle when it has been available at special events but I would pay that no problem, I hope I get to have this again someday, certainly recommended

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown that's almost black with a big fluffy light brown head that fades fast to a small light brown rim with light lacing. Nose is nutty, roasty, hits of raisins and bready oatmeal.

Mouthfeel is big full and smooth very rich and easy drinking with a really satisfing warming in the gut. Taste is like an oatmeal cookie with chocolate, raisin and toffee. Really excellent beer!

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Photo of mobyfann
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paid $8.99 for a growler at Party Town in Florence, KY.

Pours a chocolate colored base with a decent sized head, and minimal lacing. The aroma mixes chocolates with malt and a touch of vanilla.

The taste started off with a mild roasted malt, followed with a minor touch of vanilla and a nice finale of bourbon at the end, very unique. Low carbonation and medium-bodied keep it reasonably smooth in the mouth; and very drinkable and a great session beer.

Final Thought: One of a kind; there aren't many out there that have such a nice combination of ingredients.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from my notes. Served in my Uprising Chalice at Novare Res. The beer appears dark brown with some notes of deep plum coloration. There is a small, off-white tan foam head that settled to a patchy skim. The beer is dark and opaque, so I cannot see any carbonation rising within. It has a great aroma. I can certainly pick out the rye and bourbon scents. I can't make out anything else besides these two aromas, but they are enough to make this a great smelling beer. The beer tastes slightly sweet up front, like cherry juice, but without the cherries. The finish is dry and smokey. It possesses that same feeling one gets when you take a sip of bourbon, but without any of the burning. It's warm, smooth and tastes delicious. I can also taste some of the rye aspects. Neither the sweetness or alcohol are strong enough to impact the flavor negatively. I know it is because of the barrel aging process that makes this beer special, but it is by far the best brown ale I've ever had. The body and carbonation are both of medium constitution. The alcohol and carbonation play on my tongue with each sip. After I swallow, I can feel the alcoholic coat evaporating. Considering the strength and alcohol flavors, this beer is pretty drinkable. The strong notes of hard alcohol will deter some beer drinkers, but I really like it. I could certainly make my way through a 750ml bottle if Brooklyn ever decides to bottle this beer. It isn't as easy drinking as some brown ales I've come across, but considering how hard bourbon and rye can be, I have to give the Dark Matter's drinkability rating a solid 4.5. This is an excellent beer; definitely one worth seeking out.

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Photo of waltonc
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another great brew available tonight at the Blind Tiger, in 750 ml bottles, same kind as Local 1, but without any label. My understanding is that this is a brown ale that was aged in barrels. I seem to recall hearing they were bourbon barrels.

A: Very dark brown with fair amount of carbonation and head.
S: Caramel, malts, vanilla.
T: Similar characteristics as the smell, oak, boozy. Very rich and complex flavor.
M: Thick body with significant carbonation.
D: Delicious and highly drinkable, whatever the ABV is. I hope Brooklyn makes this into a more accessible release. Kind of reminded me a little bit of Palo Santo, but lighter.

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Photo of Popkas
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown with hints of red tint around the edges. The head is thin but well retained.

S: Sweet malt, hints of chocolate, dark fruit, oak and booze. Very nice.

T: Oak, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate all melded together very well. Relly good.

M: Medium bodied, but a little thinner than I expected.

D: Very good beer and thrilled to have tried it!

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Photo of glid02
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth toasted malts with good amounts of vanilla, bourbon, and milk chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust caramel and toasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mild amounts of heat and light vanilla flavors. Midway through the sip the flavors darken a bit, allowing milk chocolate flavors to work their way into things. The bourbon and vanilla flavors reassert themselves before carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is alright. Much like the Black Ops I had a while back it doesn't have enough heft for a beer this big, however the carbonation is soft.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this beer had piqued my interest for some time and I'm glad it was re-released. Not spectacular but certainly worth a shot if you see it around.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours dark brown win a somewhat thin tan head. Nose brings a good amount of depth with bourbon, roast, vanilla, and chocolate. He taste features bourbon and some oak along with roasted mmalt and chocolate. Hints of vanilla and booze. Good body with a nice boozy touch. Drinks quite well; really executed this concept quite nicely.

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Photo of gford217
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Fred.

Pours a dark murky chocolate brown with a small bubbly tan head that doesn't stick around too long and leaves only a couple of stray bubbles along the top.

The aroma is fantastic with sweet vanilla and bourbon in addition to the underlying caramel malts and lightly toasted nuts.

The taste is just as impressive with the bourbon bringing just the right amount of complexity to the brown ale underneath. There's a backbone of sweet caramel malts and even a hint of chocolate with the vanilla and barrel character coming out in the finish.

The mouthfeel is very smooth with soft carbonation and a subtle but noticeable alcohol presence.

I really like what Brooklyn did with the bourbon barrels in this beer as it is not overpowering at all and brings a pleasant sweet creaminess to the underlying brown ale.

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Photo of palma
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Sunswick 35 35 Astoria Queens. An unbelievable brown ale. Flavor and mouthfeel are both superb. Figs and chocolate flavors come at you. so tasty and so easy drinking. It will be hard not to like this beer if you like sweet flavorful brown ales.

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one of MANY outstanding beers that waltonc opened on my most recent trip to Denver. This was picked up in NYC at a Brooklyn Brewery event at Blind Tiger Alehouse last summer I think.

A: Looks exactly like a freshly poured A&W root-beer - if only there was more to actually throw a scoop of ice cream in to see how it would taste.

S: Belgian yeast, some rich barrel funkiness along with some spice (maybe allspice?). Smells more like a quad than a brown ale.

T: A very interesting cola-like flavor and very smooth and light with a bit of sourness at the end.

M: Light-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Actually a bit lighter than I had hoped and or expected.

O: The is a very interesting beer and wished that Brooklyn would produce this - I think that it would be a hit as it's a great barrel-aged beer that is also easy to drink.

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Photo of nickd717
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezer's. Man, I love me a -bal aged beer, that's for sure. Garrett Oliver also rarely disappoints.

This beer is darkest brown in color with frothy tan foam and good lacing.

The aroma is very nice with caramel and brown sugar, oak, bourbon, roast, and vanilla.

Really excellent flavor, with the barrel aging asserting itself nicely. Very light sweetness and fairly low bitterness. Oak, bourbon, and vanilla, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, brown sugar, and roasted nuts.

Medium-full bodied and very smooth on the palate. Good carbonation level. I really enjoyed this one overall.

Drinkable despite the heft.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a dark but not totally opaque chocolate brown. Minimal off-white head disappears almost entirely.

Smells of rich malts and caramel, with liquor hints, kind of reminiscent of bourbon.

Wonderful malty taste. Dark brown sugars, a bit of roasted grains. A tinge of vanilla maybe.

Feel is moderate with almost no feeling of carbonation but a slight alcohol warmth.

Very good. Rich, malty, not too strong, and balanced. I'd seek this out again without a doubt.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into a 3/4 pint glass.

A: Clear, dark mahogany body with a finger of quickly-dissipating tan foam. Minimal lace.

S: Sweet caramel malts, rich bourbon, and some vanilla. Quite nice.

T: Follows the nose, but with considerably more intensity and complexity. The bourbon is dominant, but never overbearing. THe oak helps a lot by providing some nice vanilla sweetness and also a bit of tannic dryness to the finish. Lovely.

M: Medium-bodied with a surprisingly high amount of carbonation. Very lively, which helps cut down on the potential for cloying from the malty and barrel-aged notes.

D: Quite good for the strength and intensity of flavor. Definitely one of the most drinkable barrel-aged beers I've had.

Notes: This is definitely my favored of all the recent Brooklyn specialty offerings. Great bourbon presence without overwhelming the palate. If you get a chance to try this, do.


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Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unlabeled bottle that showed up at RBWG in Orlando. Not sure who brought this, as it was sitting open and half full for awhile before I noticed it. Somehow smuggled out of Blind Tiger and dated 11/05/08. Served in my tulip taster glass.

A - Golden brown color - all those comments about it looking like root beer are pretty accurate. Nice big light tan foam that has great retention and settles to a thin cap leaving lots of lace.

S - Bourbon profile is very similar to Black OPS, but this adds a backbone of milk chocolate brown ale flavors instead of stout. Lots of coconut and oak flavor from the barrel, but not harsh or boozy.

T - Again, it's quite mellow a la Black OPS. Vanilla, wood, notes of milk chocolate, brown sugar, and sarsaparilla. Woody tannic finish. It's another 4.25, but I've been generous in other areas.

M - Slight carbonation tingle, but soft, creamy body, and a dry tannic finish. Not much obvious alcohol warmth.

D - This was quite easy to drink and enjoyable. Well-hidden booze and lower carbonation for a brown ale. Wish this wasn't so rare, although I have a feeling if Brooklyn made more it'd be overpriced anyway.

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Photo of koopa
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Multiple growlers had over this weekend including a 32oz that kplynch brought to the Rosso e Marrone Batch 2 release at Captain Lawrennce yesterday and a couple of 64oz growlers that I picked up at DeCicco's in Ardsley after the event.

Appearance: Pours an attractive vibrant brown with the slightest chestnut to red folds. The crown in off white, 2 fingers, shows moderate retention and decent lace.

Smell: Wow what a nice mixture of medium roasted malt, whisky barrel, bourbon barrel, vanilla, and oak. I'm really impressed by how well integrated the whisky and bourbon characteristics are.

Taste: Just like the smell but with a touch less depth and pungency.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Really sessionable despite the 7.50% abv.

Fantastic barrel aged brown that I'm extremely pleased to here is going to be a part of the brewmasters reserve series.

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Photo of BruMeister
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another very good offering from the folks in Brooklyn Brewery. This ale has a very good overall flavor with a good balance of hop and malt character. The initial taste have notes of oak and vanilla with a slightly sweet aftertaste which does not linger.

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just happened to have the good fortune to come across this beer on tap at The Porter. The appearance and smell of this beer did not do much to distinguish it. Basically a very dark brown beer with some red highlights. No head, but that doesn't seem to be out of the ordinary for the style. The aroma was fairly muted and I really didn't get much besides the chocolate and caramel malt characters.

The flavor however, stood out for me. Lots of caramel and vanilla nicely accented by a mild chocolate flavor. The bourbon was there, but very subtle. I also got some red berry character with the chocolate. The beer as a whole was malty and sweet with a longer, syrupy finish and a light, undercarbonated feel.

Very tasty beer by my standards. Welcome combination of easy drinking (now surprised to see it was 7.5% ABV) with a good depth of complexity flavor-wise. Glad to see Brooklyn raising the bar for brown ales.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap tonight at the Galaxy Hut in DC.

a - Pours a dark black with no head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, sweet fruit, and vanilla, but that might be the oak.

t - Tastes of sweet chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and caramel malts. Hint of oak.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink.

d - I really enjoyed this brown ale; I thought it was one of the better ones I've had. I enjoyed the well balanced smell and taste and would like to have again.

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Brooklyn Dark Matter from Brooklyn Brewery
4.01 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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