Brooklyn Dark Matter | Brooklyn Brewery

very good
79 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 103
Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Cole's. Wafts bourbon. Very dark brown colour. Easy creamy brown ale that is very bourbon, well integrated. Mouthfeel is middling. Understated carbonation, would love this on cask. Some coconut in the finish, but not too woody, its like the two were blended together.

 277 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap and the Amsterdam Alehouse in NYC. The beer they had on the menu was no longer on tap so I took one of these instead. This beer was a deep brown colored ale with a fizzy tan head on top. There wasn't much lacing really. The smell of the beer was sweet and malty, a little roasted also. The taste of it had a lot of sweet brown sugar flavors mixed with some roasted malt and what I think tasted like un-smoked cigar flavors. Very interesting brew here. The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated but had a subtle smoothness to it also. Overall I liked this beer, it bums me out a little that it's been retired. Glad I got to try it!

 644 characters

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black with some red highlights. It appears very dense and is difficult to see if there are any bubbles rising from the bottom.
S: There are some aromas of mocha, chocolate, and bourbon.
T: The taste is very complex and well-balanced. There are lots of bourbon flavors, which are accompanied with notes of caramel, chocolate and vanilla.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and the carbonation lends smoothness.
D: It's relatively easy to drink and probably better sipped to appreciate the complex taste and the effects of the barrel aging.

 551 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid Brown Ale that holds true to American Ales in hop aggresiveness and attenuation.

Then beer begins with a caramel sweet smell and piney hop aroma that signals American aggressiveness and attenuation. Light toast, toffee, and citrus help to round out the aroma.

Sweet flavors of caramel, barley, malt, and light toffee set the initial flavors while follow-up notes of orange zest and pine balance the sweet tastes while allowing for a clean and refreshing alcoholic-minty finsih.

The body begins with medium weight but quickly turns dry and alcoholic. At first, I thought the beer might be an Imperial Brown because the high attenuation causes high alcohol feel. ...and also the nutty, tanin texture makes me think barrel aging.

Regardless, this beer is a very complex American Brown that deserves a place in my glass.

 828 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a fudge brown color that displays ruby highlights and a modest tan cap that leaves a few dashes

Smell: Bourbon and vanilla wafts above the brown bread and chocolate

Taste: Brown bread and chocolate for a brief flash before the bourbon vanilla and cherry flavors arrive; after the swallow, the cherry flavors notch up to join the bourbon in a way that is reminiscent of the Manhattan Project

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate, but spritzy carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: An interesting twist with lots of flavor but a but too sweet for me to make a return visit

 621 characters

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.

 352 characters

Photo of oberon
3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

 438 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap @ Armsby Abbey.

A: Very dark brown color but with a clear complexion, nice creamy 1.5 finger head too.

N: Lots of dark malts, some roast, coffee, sweet syrupy malts, touch of roasty earthy bitterness and hints of earthy hops too. Some nutty aromas, and touch of chocolate malt.

T: Wow, not what I was expecting. A lot more like a nice porter than Brown Ale. Creamy and thick, reminiscent of a nitro tap but not, lots and chocolate malts, some biscuit, somewhat like a dark chocolate wafer candy, weird and crazy but tasty. Smooth and creamy, with more roasted malts, little coffee, some sweetness with a little syrupy flavors, caramel, vanilla, some chewy malts and nougat flavors as well.

M: Medium body , semi smooth, little syrupy stickiness, and lower but decent carbonation.

F: SMooth and creamy, little lingering chocolate and nougat, fluffy sweet, a little sticky and syrupy, marshmellowy, some lingering roast and coffee, almost no bitterness from hops or roasted malts. Very enjoyable beer, drinkable and tasty.

 1,036 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had some of this from a growler that Garrett brought to an MBAA meeting at The Gutter, but I'm guessing that goes to "on tap" as it probably came right out of a bright tank!

It's "Brooklyn Brown" aged in oak (I think Bourbon barrels), set aside in the warehouse across the street from the brewery, and allowed to mature for, I think, a whole year but I really don't remember. - Keep in mind, Brooklyn used to distribute so they've got a lot of room over there!

Very nice. Similar appearance of course to the Brooklyn Brown, but perhaps a little bit darker. It also shows a little bit of wood and a hint of vanilla in the nose and the flavor. It's smooth, and richer than normal (of course). I didn't find it at all alcoholic, and it was very nicely rounded.

If you can find it, it's well worth trying.

 806 characters

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.

 1,356 characters

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.

 522 characters

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.

 1,149 characters

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.

 1,007 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.61/5  rDev -10%
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.

 525 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this handbottle.

The beer pours a medium brownish-red color with a tan head. The aroma is very sweet with some chocolate, brown sugar and oak. The flavor is caramel and chocolate along with dark fruit, alcohol, bourbon, brown sugar and oak. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 319 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

64oz growler from decicco's in new york. I sipped on this throughout the day at the compound.

Going into the glass, dark matter is not the darkest thing around, it looks like a regular brown ale, no more, no less. A cinnamon colored head, an inch in height, bubbly and soapy looking. Not getting more than stragely spots from this. A healthy looking brown ale.

I like the nose on this. Dark matter is not boozy smelling like a lot of barrel aged beers. From the two barrels used I get more of the bourbon than the rye in smell. Under that some malt, extra sugar and a bit of roast.

This came out better than expected, a bit more to this than bourbon over a brown. While I get more of the bourbon in the nose, the rittenhouse rye barrels come out more in taste. Some vanilla and cream and a raw nuttiness.with a bunch of warming, some cola like flavors arise.

Goes down real smooth like, dm has a medium build and a malty coating effect. This comes off a bit to sweet and could stand to have a bit of heat,the vanilla is a bit much reminding me of atwater vanilla java after warming which is not a good thing. this is almost to easy to drink though.

Dark matter is a good stab at some blended barrel aged beers into one. It,s real light in alcohol and body for the style so it's quite approachable, and drinkable. Paired up nicely with some pork tenderlions.

 1,362 characters

Photo of John_M
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with fairly decent head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, with brown sugar, light vanilla and a hint of milk chocolate. Flavors replicate the nose, except there is considerably more flavor. The beer is moderately sweet, but not overly so. The brown sugar and vanilla seem to dominate the flavor profile, with even a slight orange soda flavor. In combination, it's pretty nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with with a fairly long finish. Drinkability is quite good; I could easily see myself having several of these at a sitting.

Nothing spectacular, but I thought this a nice enough beer. Another solid effort from Brooklyn brewing.

 710 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

 697 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
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 corby112
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

 704 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 859 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this on tap at Local Option into a snifter.

The beer is brown in color, light tan head, nothing special. The aroma and taste as you would expect are very nutty. The nut on the aroma is ok, but it overwhelms the taste and makes it just all about it. The feel and drinkability are ok, but nothing special

 311 characters

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.

 1,031 characters

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.

 966 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
2.89/5  rDev -27.9%
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.

 610 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brooklyn Dark Matter from Brooklyn Brewery
4.01 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.