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Brooklyn Dark Matter | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Dark MatterBrooklyn Dark Matter
103 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 103 |  Reviews: 79
Photo of bobsy
2.61/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Coles in Buffalo. I ordered a pint of this having no idea what it was, but vaguely hoping for either something roasty or a black IPA. The waitress described it as like a porter, but she was way off the mark.

It arrives at the table pretty much pitch black with only a thin ring of tan head. No real retention or lacing beyond that. The aroma was all sweet vanilla and very little else. Kinda reminded me of a shitty local vanilla porter I had earlier this year. Huge one-dimensional flavour... almost all vanilla, and too cloying. Eric nailed it as a brown, and I nailed it as barrel-aged, and frankly there's nothing in the brown ale that can stand up to the barrel character and this one gets swamped. Light body and medium carbonation fail to help any.

How not to do barrel aging. I love Brooklyn, but this is one of the biggest misses I've had in a long time. I probably only finished a third of my pint, and that wasn't very enjoyable. I feel I'm being too generous...

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Photo of crosamich
2.7/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this in tap at Busy Bee, Raleigh. I didn't get much bourbon from this and tbh it would have been welcomed for better balance. This beer was not as expected. It was cloyingly sweet. Good nose. Strong vanilla, very strong caramelized notes give way to noticeable alcohol on the back end.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.85/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark Matter has a brown body that is mostly translucent with a light brown head that doesn't do much in the retention or lacing departments.

The aroma is absolutely packed with bourbon and alcohol. Besides straight bourbon there is a light malt sweetness, some bittering hops, and other barrel characteristics that include a touch of oak and a bit of vanilla.

I have to say, I really think barrel-aging can be overdone, and this beer is a good example. It is basically a blast of bourbon with notes of wood and vanilla from the barrel. Around the edges I can pick up a little bit of the brown ale characteristics that include some bittering, grapefruit hops and a sweet, butterscotch or toffee-like malt base. The blast of alcohol warmth in the finish accompanies a final blast of bourbon.

Dark matter is a touch low on carbonation, and the body feels like it needs to be a little fuller to support such a monstrously boozy tasting concoction.

I think I prefer Brooklyn Brown, which I assume is the beer this barrel-aging experiment buried. Sometimes breweries can go overboard with putting things in barrels, and this is probably one of those times.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.89/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had on draft at Smokin Joe's.

A-pours a dark copper brown color with a tight creamy off white head.

S-the nose is very faint. there is a blend of maple, bourbon, caramel, and toffee.

T-the taste is a little more than the nose, thankfully. chocolate and toffee come off first with the caramel and maple underneath. slight bourbon notes towards the back to add another dimension.

M-very smooth and creamy, medium body with low carbonation. the finish falls off a good bit and is a little watery and thin.

D-this isn't bad, no wood from the barrel, just a hint of bourbon. a little thin and under carbonated.

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Photo of ComputerBeer
3.01/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very brown would not call it a very 'dark' beer. Little to no head, the beer might have been to cold? Some bourbon notes in the aroma. The taste was overly sweet, out of balance sweet, but had nice oak tones. Very drinkable like all of the Brooklyn beers, just don't know what all the fuss is. It was nothing special.

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Photo of oberon
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I like a good boubon once and awhile but quite honestly I think some breweries overdue the boubon barrel aging,this beer was somewhere in that general area for me.Poured a deep chesnut brwon with a thin wispy head.Huge oak/vanilla boubon like aromas,basically thats what you got,vanilla soaked oak.Heavy handed bourbon flavors dominated by the oak and vanilla,a bit of spiciness as well.To much bourbon not enough brown ale for me really.

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Photo of corby112
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled tonight at Barcade. Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color and a half finger dark mocha head that quickly disappears without leaving much lacing.

Slightly roasted aroma with lots of dark chocolate maltiness and a huge oaky vanilla bourbon presence in the nose. The nose has some sweetness and alcohol but is dominated by the vanilla and bourbon.

Medium body that is a little thinner than I expected or hoped for with subtle dark roasted malt but this beer is dominated by the earthy oak, bourbon and subtle vanilla. The bourbon is subtle enough to allow some other notes to shine but this bee is still a bit too one dimensional for my liking.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pint on tap at Coles in Buffalo. Waitress described it as "sorta like a porter".

Arrives a dark auburn brown, glints of ruby in the light. A thin creamy head on top with not much staying power at all.

Nose... uh, this is certainly no porter. Loads of vanilla and rush of solventy liquor fumes rush up out of the nose to create a unique combo. Bit of sweet brown malt in there, I was able to pick it out as an amped up brown.

The barrel is all over this one like a fat man on an April ham. All vanilla, all bourbon, touch of wood, some sweet raisin, plumb, biscuit malts in there somewhere. The alcohol comes across as a touch solventy, very heavy like someone had poured at least a shot of bourbon into my glass.

Normally I am a huge fan of bourbon aging but this one the base beer could not hold up to it and it was all bourbon all the time. Not my favorite....

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Photo of jsanford
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah on 5/22/10

A - "Root Beer" brown, nice creamy tan head

S - Lots of sweetness. Bourbon, roasted nuts, dates/raisins, chocolate

T - Milk chocolate. Bourbon, brown sugar. "Rum raisin".

M - Medium bodied, bit low on carbonation. Boozy.

D - Low drinkability, rather unpleasant alcohol burn. Really not crazy about this beer. There's a lot going on but it seems kinda messy. Struggled getting through my glass (and generally I'm a big barrel-aged fan).

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Photo of ejrobert99
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color is lighter then I expected for a brown ale. I have seen darker brown ales. On the nose I am getting light notes of vanilla, alcohol, and brown sugar. On the palate I also get vanilla & light sweet bourbon notes. No detectable hop presence. This is a very approachable beer. This would be a good introduction to bourbon barrel aged beers or for someone looking for a sweeter beer. It leaves a light lacing on the glass. I think this would pair nice with a New York style cheesecake or try making homemade ice cream with it. I believe I set my expectations too high for this beer. I expected a bolder, more flavorful beer. I had a similar experience with Black OPS so I shouldn't be all that surprised. The folks at Brooklyn do a great job writing up releases such as this on their website. Too good if you ask me.

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Photo of weeare138
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Parker Pie Company in Vermont...
Appears a semi-transparent dark brown with a small, light tan head that quickly whisps away into a tiny cap.
The smell is of light traces of bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, caramel, cream, brown sugar, and toffee.
The taste is of the aromas with more of the bourbon coming through as this beer warms.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, smooth on the finish, and mildly warming.

 417 characters

Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of HopHead84
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Growler shared by Nate (d0ggnate) at the Veritas 007 release. Thanks!

The beer is transparent dark brown with a small light brown head.

The aroma is awesome. Understated bourbon and vanilla with a bit of toffee, as well as burnt sugar and caramel. In many ways this reminds me of an English Barleywine.

The flavor is somewhat muted compared to the aroma, bordering on insipid. The barrel presence is stronger than in the nose, with vanilla, bourbon, and oak. There's some obscured toffee and a bit of burnt sugar. The taste is okay, but the aroma lead me to expect greater things from the flavor.

This was nice to try, and certainly worth trying, but I'm glad I didn't trade for it.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- very dark black to dark brown with very thin quickly fading tan head,

Smell- bourbon, malts, and alot of sweetness off the nose

Taste- enjoyable hints of oak and even some faint bourbon in the background, the oak definitely makes this to be a pretty sweet beer which is not necessarily a terrible thing, in some aspects reminded me of a little bit of aspects of some belgian darks i have had in the past, lengthy finish

Mouthfeel- the mouthfeel on this was nothing crazy in fact in someways seemed a little light though still very sweeter in style

Drinkability- this beer was definitely a sipper for the reason alone that it was just very sweet and made it hard to really really chug, overall though i did enjoy this beer though probably something you would only want one of during the night, it highly reminded me of there Manhattan project beer too from a few months ago with some flavor similarities this could be due to the barrel aging, either way was glad to get a chance to try this much talked about beer

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Photo of Stigs
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz pour, served in a mini-snifter

A - pours a kind of hazy dark brown color. just a thin film of light tan colored foam, leaves spotty lacing through the drink.

S - lots of sweetness: vanilla, toasted dark malts, milk chocolate - bourbon throughout.

T - very bourbony. now, i'm a fan of the hard alcohol this is almost to the point of too much. becomes more and more present as it warms, masking some nice vanilla, oak, caramel and brown sugar flavors.

M - thickish body, subtle carbonation accents nicely. finishes sweet and a tad drying with some lingering bourbon and booze.

D - again, bourbon fan...but not a big fan of this one. really struggled on getting through the second half of the glass. needed something else to distract from the booze, which is a shame because the other flavors which are there (just barely noticeable) are nice.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Cole's in Buffalo.
Served in a pint glass

A - A medium amber/brown colour with some visible carbonation and no head at all.

S - Some sweet malts but overall not a very pronounced nose.

T - Sweet caramel malts. Vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is not overly pronounced but is visible and is well balanced with the other flavours.

M - Light to medium body. Slightly silky.

D - A good beer. Different and interesting but not memorable. Towards the end of the pint I noticed that I was enjoying this less and less.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler from DeCiccos, had this tonight.

Pours near black with a little chestnut brown at the edge. A light beige foam fades to a ring for the duration, spot of lace here and there.

Aroma is just a really vibrant barrel impact. Rich bourbon flavor, some charred wood, vanilla bean and caramel candies. Very bourbon forward, but some chocolate peeks through as it warms. The taste is much of the same with bourbony vanilla impact, burnt brown sugar, some of the brown ale characteristics mid palate leading to a roasted nutty finish and aftertaste. The barrel impact really is the center stage here. It dominates and is high quality, vibrant bourbon impact but it gets to be a bit much after a while. The 16oz growler was a good amount to sip on for about an hour. It's not boozy, per se, but the bourbon intensity makes it seem a little stronger than it really is I guess? If you don't like BA beers, I would steer clear of this one. I kind of like it, but the ideal serving for my tastes would be ~5 ounces. I would revisit it again, and from what I gather, this is going to be popping up more often from now on....

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Photo of oglmcdgl
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured into a pint glass thanks to onixlagr for the chance.

A- a finger of tan head from a hard pour settles quickly to a simple ring. Deep brown in color that glows a beautiful ruby red.

S- mellow nose on this. Sweet and malty with some dark fruits. Mild bourbon touch as it warms. Nice and simple.

T- rye bread, brown sugar, and caramel. Malty for sure with some underlying dark fruits. Hints of the bourbon barrel with spots of wood and whiskey goodness in the finish but its very mild. A bit heat as well.

M- a good amount of carb coming from a growlerd barrel aged beer. Medium to full bodied and slightly syrupy. A nice linger for a bit after you down it.

D- solid stuff here I'm going to do my share on this growler and happily.

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Photo of Gmann
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep chestnut brown color with a short creamy tan head that settles into a sparse cap. The aroma is not very distinct but does have a booze soaked dark fruit scent and some vanilla. The brew has solid bourbon flavor that hits right away. There is some nice oak and vanilla flavors. Not much from the malt which is a tad disappointing, perhaps some tea like characteristics. The feel is quite light with softer carbonation, finishes sweet from the bourbon flavors. I don't know what to think about this brew. It has nice whiskey flavor that is in great balance for the body but there is not much else flavorwise to this brew.

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Photo of fragilemacabre
3.74/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Knowing nothing of bourbon (I'm a clear-liquor kind of gal) and not liking this style, I'm finding this eminently drinkable.

It appears to be opaque, but there's some good illumination coming through on the bottom of my pint glass. The head was thick but disappeared quickly.

I've been told it smells like bourbon a good deal, but I'm mostly getting burnt sugar and possibly root beer from it. It tastes a little boring; it's almost a synesthesia-type "this tastes like brown." It has a lovely cream-soda mouthfeel without a lot of carbonation, which is a huge plus in my beer book. I can't think of a time where I would actively seek this out, but I'm not upset that I'm sharing a growler of it.

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Photo of JTomczak
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of argock
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.25.

A: Very murky dark chestnut brown with 1/2-finger of light-beige head with good lacing.

S: Bourbon and vanilla are the most prominent aromas with some milder dark malt aromas. hops are herbal and minimal.

T: Bourbon and vanilla with cherry-berry flavors followed by dark malt and herbal hops. I'm not really sure what this tastes like -- it's not a brown ale but not really a porter or stout either. The maltiness is lost a bit amongst the bourbon. I can't sense the rye at all. Vanilla and oak are the most prominent flavors.

M: Medium-full bodied, very low carbonation, bourbon and vanilla are the biggest components of the aftertaste.

D: A good beer that doesn't really fit a style in any way -- I wish malt was bigger in this peer and overtook the vanilla and bourbon. I enjoyed it, but I won't revisit at that price.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip. Poured two shades shy of black, with no light penetration and a quarter inch, dense cream-colored head. Head dissipated into a fairly consistent skim, revealing waves of lacing as it receded - head was refreshed with a gentle swirl of the glass. Nose was very subtle - some dark malt and maybe a hint of cocoa. The flavor profile is a little difficult to break down. Malty, perhaps some lactose and some sour, dark fruit, but definitely a bourbon barrel presence as evidenced by hints of vanilla and bourbon (duh). There's a tartness with this brew, but also a creaminess as well. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and evenly carbonated with a slightly creamy texture. This is definitely an interesting brew with a great deal of complexity for the style. That being said, the competing flavor qualities impact the overall drinkability of the beer.

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Photo of wedgie9
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on draft at Lush CBC event. Pours dark brown with a red hue and a medium white head. Nose of banana, coconut, vanilla, cola, and dark malt. Flavor is somewhat sweet throughout with banana cream, vanilla, and cinnamon. Carbonation is lively with a medium-minus body and a long finish featuring banana. The banana flavor is consistent throughout, but is not overwhelming. This is a very good beer that shows bourbon barrel aging flavors do not have to be overdone.

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Brooklyn Dark Matter from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 103 ratings
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