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:
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Ratings: 103 |  Reviews: 79
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 kingcrowing
4.42/5  rDev +10%
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 drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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 BARFLYB
3.9/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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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 aerozeppl
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler from DeCiccos. I was actually lucky enough to have a bottle of this a year ago. That was in the unlabeled Brooklyn caged and corked 750.

A: Super deep brown color that almost had a chocolate tone to it. Even an aggressive pour would not yield more than just a thin cover of bone colored head. No lacing at all.

S: Really nice. Big bourbon nose up front. Little bit of toffee, chocolate, just a touch of roast. Really nice smell but it is totally dominated by the bourbon.

T: The bourbon is fairly big up front. I liked how it worked with the little bit of chocolate and caramel though. I think brown ales and bourbon go fairly well together. Just a little bit of oak with a hint of vanilla in the back. Really nice tons of flavor.

M: Very well carbonated which was unusual because the beer had poor head retention. Medium bodied a little bit on the heavy side.

D: I had a snifter and a half and that was enough for a sitting. Still have the rest of the growler left in the fridge. Will happily have this beer again. They should make this year round. Excellent.

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Photo of BruMeister
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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 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 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 mobyfann
4.42/5  rDev +10%
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 brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
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

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Photo of Popkas
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
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 CharlatanSin
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Amsterdam Ale House. I had a little taste at the Rosso E Marrone release, and had to find more. Thankfully, I did that very evening.

A: Pours a dark, murky brown. The edges are chestnut red when the beer's held up. There's a half inch off white head that retains forever.

S: A little fainter than I'd expected, but nice. I'm getting mostly dark malt and a little dark fruit, with a definite chocolate kick. A wee bit oaky.

T: Killer. It's got the requisite dark malt and chocolate for a brown ale, but there's a lot more going on there. Definite vanilla that was missing from the smell. A hint of bourbon to go with the oak.

M: Dry, but quite a bit thinner than I'd expect. Carbonation is low but active.

D: Another great brew from Mr. Oliver and co. I'm going to have to get a growler and explore it a bit more.

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Photo of koopa
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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 Errto
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a growler, purchased same day. Served in a large snifter glass.

Pours a medium brown. Not amber brown or reddish brown or dark brown, just brown. Fairly modest head, but it sticks around and leaves some lacing.

Smell is almost like a dubbel, in fact that was the style that most immediately came to mind without having tasted it first. A little sweet, fruity, some alcohol noticeable.

Taste is much drier than the smell suggested, more like a traditional brown ale. You get that same chocolate malt flavor, a touch of hop bitterness though not too much, just nice.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for 7.5%, no resiny tongue-coating effect to speak of. Plenty of carbonation. Drinkability is good overall.

Edit: letting it warm a little and letting it sort of sink in, the bourbon begins to come through quite a bit more along with ... something, I can't promise it's the flavor of the Black Ops barrel but it could be. Nice, whatever it is.

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Photo of m1ked
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pleasantly surprised this was available for a growler fill at WF Bowery beer room... not your everyday find.

A- pours an opaque dark brown, when held up to the light looks like a garnet, dark cherry colored beam shining through. Has a sustained tan nitro looking creamy head, about 1/2" thick. No streamers noted. After closer inspection, looks a little cloudy too.

S- I get a rich sweet brown sugar, dried plums (sounds better than prunes right?) maybe its the power of suggestion, but I get some cherry coke too. Not too unlike a quad here. Subtle bourbon boozy notes.

T- Man I get that rich cherry vanilla coke flavor (do they still make that stuff, I used to love that stuff), like a flashback from the Manhattan Project. Sweet , but subtle brown sugar, boozy notes. Roasted grains, dark bread.

M- More light bodied than I had expected surprisingly, low, but prickly carb, sweet but not cloying, and a little hot.

D- A bourbon barreled brown, hmmmm.... I have never had one before...Brooklyn Brewery, like their stuff. A very tasty brew, interesting flavors, while a little hot, not overly bourboned either. Not my every day choice, but a good outside-the-box-beer. I will thoroughly enjoy this growler. I can't help but think of the similarities between this beer and the Manhattan Project.

found this on
Brooklyn Dark Matter is a robust brown ale aged for four months in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels. Some barrels previously held Black Ops, some hosted The Manhattan Project, others came straight from the distilleries as soon as the whiskey was decanted. We've blended these barrels to create a beer full of caramel and chocolate flavors heightened by vanilla-like oak notes and hints of the barrels' previous tenants.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Filled from the Whole Foods on Houston.
Holy bourbon, batman! The bourbon barrel scent hits you right off the bat. The flavor of the bourbon turns out to be not overpowering and well used in this brown ale. Cream soda and root beer come to mind. Very smooth drinking and not terribly carbonated, creamy on the palate. The alcohol content is not listed and I imagine it isn't very strong at all. Maybe their normal brown ale strength? The combination of the compelling bourbon flavors with the lower alcohol content make this something that one can drink for a decent length of time. Not the sort of thing that I would normally choose when in a mind for beer, but this definitely fills a niche.
I'd be happy to see this again.. maybe even at a higher alcohol volume? Maybe? Garrett, are you reading?

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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 MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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 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 JoeySchlitz
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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 chinabeergeek
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from the brooklyn brewer's dinner at cambridge common, on april 14, 2009.

served in a very small snifter.

dark reddish brown. hazy, plus some yeast sediment. small, creamy coffee-colored head, recedes to wisps and creamy ring. decent lacing.

aroma: fruity esters and dark caramel, but a bit phenolic with bourbony alcohol. some grassy hop and a slight citrus note. coffee/roast hint in back?

similar flavors, with bourbon/rum note. still a bit phenolic, but not undrinkable. moderate to bold bitterness. touch of wood, leather and tobacco. coffee note in the aftertaste.

surprisingly light body, but not watery. smooth with moments of astringency, esp with the noticeable alcohol. tingly, moderate carbonation.

probably could use more time. booziness cuts down drinkability for me.

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Photo of Bankhead
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
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 JohnQVegas
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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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Brooklyn Dark Matter from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 103 ratings
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