Manhattan Project
Brooklyn Brewery

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Rye Beer
Ranked #40
Ranked #12,775
3.96 | pDev: 11.36%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 88 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of sholland119
sholland119 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door, 3/30/11.

A-Pours a murky iced tea brown and amber with no head to speak of.

S-Fresh ginger and sweet malt. A rye beer, eh? Not really getting that.

T-This beer is a gingersnap in a glass. Graham crackers and herbs. Maybe a hint of rye but very subdued.

M-Light to medium bodied, very light carbonation.

O-Tastes good but one of these is plenty.


Apr 01, 2011
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nickd717 from California

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown color with a small fading whitish head.

The aroma is very interesting - sweet candy, spicy rye, oak, herbs, spices, and cherries. Lots going on, and it is a little Manhattan-like.

The flavor is better than any Manhattan I've tried. Really tasty. Somewhat sweet with cherry and vinous notes, vermouth, rye, and oak. Definitely on the sweet side, but in this case, it works.

Medium-full body with average carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel.

This was one hell of an interesting beer. Really unique and enjoyable.

Nov 10, 2010
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Rustico.

Pours a reddish brown with an off white head. Nose brings a bunch of spicy rye and a bit of booze. The taste is quite zesty and really gives off the cocktail vibe. Feel is a bit dry and quite a bit of rye is noticeable. Drinks okay and it is well executed, just not sure that I really like it all that much.

Oct 19, 2010
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StephenRich from Canada

4.31/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an interesting one to say the least. The Brooklyn Brewery has created a series of beers branded as BrewMaster's Reserves. Brooklyn's BrewMaster is the much renowned author and beer and food advocate Garrett Oliver. Garrett has been the BrewMaster at the Brooklyn Brewery since 1994, and has helped propel Brooklyn to the highest ranks of American Craft beer - it is beers like the Manhattan Project that prove this feat.

This beer is a collaboration between Garrett and one of America's leading cocktail experts David Wondrich; it has been inspired by the traditional Manhattan made with Rye Whiskey rather than Bourbon. This really is a new and amazing realm of beer then, one driven by the power of spirits and cocktails. If done masterfully, this could really begin a new genre of great beers. Already brewers take flavors from foods, herbs and spices to create great beer; spirits and cocktails is just the next step.

The Manhattan Project is a rye beer than has been aged in Rittenhouse 100-proof Bonded Rye Barrels from the Heaven Hill Distillery. It has been brewed with malted rye, crystal rye malt, Canadian Two row pilsner malt, British Maris Otter malt, German Perle hops, and a slew of ingredients used solely to impart a true Manhattan flavor into the beer such as organic cherry juice, better orange peel, sweet orange peel, lemon peel, gentian root, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and cloves. Get the picture? This is shaping up to be largely complex and spicy beer.

It finished at 7.5% abv and is only available on draught at select locations. I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy it at Cole's Pub in Buffalo this past Monday. If you are not familiar with what a Manhattan cocktail is, go try one. It is whiskey (Bourbon or Rye), sweet vermouth, bitter, and typically garnished with a maraschino cherry.

It was served to me in a Brooklyn Pint glass and came out a murky brown beer with a short airy white head. The beer showed dirty red browns and oak like amber with some traces of flat burnt orange. There was sediment floating everywhere in the beer. Literally, it was easy to spot flecks and specks of unfiltered beer perfectly suspended in every cubic inch of the beer.

That all being said, it was completely opaque and pretty dirty looking. This though enticed me even further. This beer will easily dispel the idea that good beer must be clear - that could not be farther from the truth. What I had in front of me what pure and real ale with no artificial cleansing or filtering. The way it should be.

The nose is sweet and malty, filled with herbs, tart cherry, and that distinct bitters touch. So far it definitely smells like a Manhattan, with a fresh and crisp hop aroma and soothing malts. Oak is warming and floats to me with cinnamon, clove and sweet orange peel. Mostly though the cherries and malts balance off each other and win the battle in the nose.

Drinking the Manhattan project is really fun; the flavors of a malty, lightly hopy Manhattan glide over your palate like they have never before. It comes in cool and clean with a silky burst of rye malts, big dark cherry sweetness, oak, vanilla, spice and herbal bitter sensations (I expect that would be the gentian root). The malt is soft and round showing classic malted rye flavors, soft caramel, hints of toffee, touches of pale malt and biscuit with a gentle balance; it is never overpowering.

That is the backbone of this beer, now layer on top of the a myriad of spices. The orange and lemon peels come in and meet coriander, clove and nutmeg to burst open a fresh wave of spicy whiskey. When combined with the oak ageing and the herbal and floral flavors that blanket the entire beer, a Rye Manhattan becomes extremely obvious. The Perle hop is relatively gentle, and should be for this concoction - it adds just enough to the herb and floral bitter tartness to the cherries to balance the beer and provide that angostura bitters feeling.

The finish is sweet and warming with a smooth silky touch - ok Garrett, well done - this truly is a beer Manhattan. It was very satisfying and even slightly refreshing. One of my favorite pleasures with a good Manhattan is a big robust cigar. I am going to have to find the opportunity to try that with the Manhattan project.

Aug 20, 2010
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a ruby amber color with an even, creamy, caramel colored head.

S - Sweet malt, spice, rye, and reminds me a little of a beer that might be offered in the Fall.

T - This is a unique beer. The taste mimics the nose with the majority of the flavor coming from the sweet spice and some tart black cherries. The hops barely surface after the sip and linger for a very mild bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium body with some chewiness.

D - A little too sweet for my liking but nonetheless an interesting and unique beer, I still enjoyed it.

Jul 17, 2010
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kingcrowing from Vermont

3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap poured into an 8oz wine glass.

Pours a nice ruby red with a small thi white head with no lacing at all. Nose is sweet and fruity with some light sweet notes.

Taste is very sweet and fruity with some light bitterness from the rye, no real percepable hop flavor but there is some lingering bitterness on the finish. Mothfeel is really full and rich, very nice drinking.

May 13, 2010
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robwestcott from Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep reddish brown from tap at finchs into a standard pint with a smallish short lasting head that left little or no lacing. fruity, though fairly subtle, nose and a strong initial taste of black cherries.

a very tasty beer, more drinkable than an 8.5 abv should probably be. almost like it's from a punch bowl at your sister's wedding.

two thumbs up

May 11, 2010
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Amalak from New York

3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had at a tasting a d.b.a. in Brooklyn. Red brown in color with limited head and lace and is relatively opaque. It has a sour black cherry scent mixed with alcohol.

It's kind of fruit punchy. Black cherry comes through. Crisp, yet dry. Like better than a blueberry drink. Has a lactic, tart finish.

Apr 21, 2010
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metter98 from New York

4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: It looks light red and cloudy. There's no head and a virtual lack of any visible carbonation.
S: There's a distinct aroma of vermouth, much like the cocktail that this beer tries to emulate. Both sweetness and sourness are in the aroma, which somewhat resembles that of a liqueur. There are also some notes of cherries.
T: I can taste lots of vermouth-like flavors, which makes the overall taste seem to be a bit boozy, but in a good way. There is a good balance between the sweetness and bitterness.
M: The beer is medium-bodied and very smooth.
D: It feels rather strong so you're going to have to sip this one. The beer is very unique and I would definitely have another if the opportunity arises.

Apr 16, 2010
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DmanGTR from New York

4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on 10/23/09. On tap at MacGregor's.

A - clear deep ruby red with a short lived off-white head. Diminished quickly to a thin bubbly ring. 3.5

S - Light caramel with lots of fruity grape aroma. Intense whiskey and alcohol in the nose, maybe a touch of rye and cherry too? 4.5

T - Robust, like a brown ale with a touch of cabernet and whiskey. Mild bitterness in the finish. Overall, a very sweet beer. 4.0

M - Medium bodied, very SMOOTH!!! Well carbonated, dances and gives a mild prickle to the palate. 4.5

D - Very! I don't know how much alcohol is in here but I could drink this all night. 4.5

Mar 29, 2010
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SLeffler27 from New York

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served with a lushes creamy off white head that turns foamy as it slowly drops to a blanket, leaving a fine coating of lace. Manhattan Project lurks below, murky copper with an iridescent red glow from within.

The nose opens with candy sweetness and strong malts with autumn spices, followed by dried cherries, baked apples and a long procession of goodness as it warms. Ever present are alcohol fumes, but they are far from detracting.

The flavors follow aroma, only with sour cherries upfront followed by sweet malts, pepper, vanilla, and light bitterness. Hop flavors reveal themselves after the first few sips, and with warmth the rye becomes expressive, with a long smooth finish.

The smooth thin body also leaves a sticky residue on the lips, while the light carbonation massages the tongue. Alcohol is present, but a background player.

A strikingly easy beer to drink, at 8.5%, possibly due to it's exquisite uniqueness, Brooklyn has nailed this one, though I'm hard pressed to categorize it stylistically. Paired with delicate foods, and great conversation, this is well worth seeking out.

Mar 01, 2010
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Bung from Michigan

2.26/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Flying Saucer Charlotte. Pretty dark amber pour with some off white head.
Aroma was cherry, candied cherry, candy sugar, tea and light whisky.
Taste was medicinal. Like sex panther...stings the nostrils. Cherry cough syrup.
Mouthfeel was ok, with some carbonation, but it is all blown away by the heat other non-pleasant flavors.
Everyone seems like they're trying to be nice here. Sipper, sure, I know what they were trying for and it kind of does it, though the manhattans I've had in the past have no where near this much cherry. Cloying, boozy. Almost everyone else here mentions these things as well but then says it's still ok. I wish I could, but I can't do it.
This was aweful as a rye beer and pretty much aweful as a beer in general.

0% of the time this works 100% of time.

Jan 06, 2010
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Minotaur from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Blue Tusk, Syracuse.

This beer pours a reddish-brown with a medium head into a thin goblet glass.

There is a considerable spice level and this comes through strongly in the nose. It is very fruity and alcoholic smelling...

...and the fruit, spice and alcohol comes through strongly in the taste. Most interesting is that the Rye allows the spice to come through all in the "middle" of the flavor with very little malt predominance and almost no hops presence. The result is something that does take on the characteristic of another kind of drink/beverage rather than traditional beer. There is a thin mouthfeel that leaves a clean taste on the tongue.

It is very drinkable but the expectation should be to have a different experience than even the traditional rye beers.

Jan 04, 2010
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Soonami from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled in a 12 oz. goblet at SPTR

A- Bright candy apple red that is slightly cloudy with a thin white head

S- Cherry! In addition to the fruit, there is a little warm spice and grain

T- Rye twang upfront with good spice, finished with a soda-like cherry sweetness

M-medium to light body that is juicy with slight carbonation

D- Great, I ordered two

This beer was totally not what I expected when it was described as a rye beer, but after ordering it and thinking about the name, it made much more sense. It was in reality a beer cocktail, where rye beer was was used as a base instead of whiskey and the spices and cherry were brewed into the beer and not added afterwards. This was great and I would definitely order it again.

Dec 30, 2009
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LilBeerDoctor from New York

3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 10/10/2009. Growler from Big Z Beverage. Pours brown with a small white head. Aroma of cherry syrup and light spices. Flavor is also cherry with some spicy rye in the finish. Not your typical s/h/v but it's a pretty decent, tasty beer. Not sure where the cherry comes from, but it's the strongest flavor/aroma in this beer.

Dec 19, 2009
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donniecuffs from New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the Gaslight Brewery, S.Orange, NJ: poured a deep brownish amber into an American pint glass, with a thick finger of off-white head that laced fairly well. The smell was an interesting mix of caramel, malt, cherry, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The tasted revealed everything from the nose, but with a strikingly balanced cherry/malt balance throughout. Also, a thinner body than expected, given the thick color, but it worked with the cherry essence. Overall a refreshing brew, but I don't think that I can sit and drink cherry-flavored beer all night.

Dec 07, 2009
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Hojaminbag from Colorado

3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark brown body with a cap of tan head that has ok retention and leaves a few scraps of lacing.

The aroma is very herbal, with some dark cherry, some whiskey and perhaps a touch of onion powder? Strange, but I swear it's there.

First of all, I should say I ordered the Manhattan Projects having NO idea what it was; I just knew I hadn't had it before and that I wanted to try it. My first reaction was surprised, and I said to my friend "try this, it tastes like whiskey mixed with cherries." That about sums it up too. Whiskey, cherries, a little bit of herbal undertones and a touch of pepper. After I realized that the Manhattan Project was an attempt to make a beer that tastes like an actual Manhattan, I would say that it was a success. Whether or not I really like it is another story, but it wasn't bad. At the very least I was happy to try it because it is so damn interesting.

The mouthfeel is a little low on the carbonation, but has a good full body.

The Manhattan Project is meant to be sipped for sure. I would say the cherry was a bit cloying and the whiksey a little overwhelming, but not bad considering.

Dec 05, 2009
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corby112 from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark amber/chestnut brown color with dark golden ruby edges when held to a light source and a frothy 2.5 finger head that slowly fizzles down into a lasting cap and ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Nice autumnal spicy nose with a bit of toasty biscuit malt, rye and subtle hops. The spice character dominates up front with lots of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, clove and even a hint of vanilla and pumpkin spice. Subtle chocolate and caramel malt.

Sweet malty medium body with hints of autumnal spice notes that linger throughout. Silky and easy to drink with no alcohol warmth. ABV very well masked. Lots of sweet rye malt and estery dark fruit notes, especially raisin, plum, date, fig and grape. Slightly vinous with spicy cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, ginger, vanilla and nutmeg. The pumpkin notes from the aroma are missing. Slightly syrupy and medicinal, being a bit too sweet with a subtle dry finish. Pretty drinkable.

Dec 02, 2009
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Shaw from Florida

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've read about this beer but thought I'd never get to try it here in Florida.

After getting home from work at 11 p.m., I read a BeerAdvocate forum post from Ricoinbrooklyn that World of Beer had it on tap tonight during a Brooklyn event. I hauled booty to WOB, seeing that I still had 30 minutes before the event was over.

Luckily, they seem to have plenty of Manhattan Project left.

It's a nice reddish-brown in color with a short head that quickly vanishes.

The smell is all about cherries, herbs and spices, but not in a overpowering way.

I was expecting a sweet, spicy brew, but I was wrong. The rye flavors are the most noticeable and mix with the botanicals and cherry notes. After drinking plenty of Brooklyn beers I know that they use a careful hand with their beers. That is certainly the case here. Manhattan Project has flavors of cherry and herbs, but they are quite subtle and controlled. It doesn't have the powerful taste of whiskey that Black Ops had.

This is a beer first, and an ode to a Manhattan second.

Overall this is a very fine beer. I can see why it's popular. Seek it out while you can.

Nov 25, 2009
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Nickls from District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Poured with a finger of khaki, dense head; good retention and curtain lacing; light burnt brown color that had some reddish tone as well

S - Piney hops at first; rye; sweet maltiness; dark fruits; alcohol is masked pretty well but a hint is there; cherries in the end

T - Sweetish passion fruits; pine-lacquer hoppiness; sweeter maltiness; but a very dry, bready finish

M - Medium and creamy; subtle carbonation

D - Nice sipping brew, and it's very tempting to take down quickly...nice stuff

An interesting brew conceptually and in the delivery, well done.

Nov 24, 2009
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chaz410 from North Carolina

4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this little treat from Flying Saucer on Tap!
A great overall beer, fairly surprising on a lot of fronts actually.
The appearance is a translucent dark orange body with little thin head.
The smell is of sweet orange peel, sweet vanilla, cinnamon, caramel malts and earthy spice blends, mostly of rye.
Taste is of strong sweet malts covered in spicey blends. With the rye in the beer I assumed it would be very dry but I was surprised how well the spices and rye mixed with the oaky vanilla and honey like finish. It has a nice sweet yet slightly tart after breath. I like it a lot, and am very happy with the lack of rye dryness in the end.
Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, very approachable.

Nov 24, 2009
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ozzyCobblepot from New York

3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had a pint from the tap at Dilly Deli in Mariemont, OH. Never tried a beer like this so I had no expectations, but if my first alcoholic lover is beer, then the Manhattan is my mistress. Might as well get them at the same time right?

A ton of yeast sediment floating around in the glass, which detracted from the appearance a bit but not enough for me to lose track of what Brooklyn was going for. Malty, fruity nose that reminds me vermouth. Somehow the taste balances the bitterness of the hops with something reminiscent of aromatic bitters. The rye barrel definitely adds a nice note. Full-bodied feel. In terms of drinkability, one was enough of a meal for me.

Nov 24, 2009
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Jayli from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at The Great Lost Bear 11/21/09

A: This beer pours a somewhat ruby red with a thick and creamy off white head. Head retention is average and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of banana, clove, and other spices, touch of yeast.

T: Taste begins with a very distinct banana flavoring, some clove, touch of coriander, pale malt, and a touch of caramel.

M: Medium body, low carbonation, slick mouthfeel with a dry finish.

D: This is a very tasty beer, goes down easily, alcohol content makes it something to consider in a sessionable beer, but it's a nice after dinner treat.

Nov 23, 2009
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almychristopher from New York

4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the beer pours a reddish brown color with a nearly white head that recedes quickly to a thin ring around the edge of the glass. the aroma does bring to mind a manhattan with the sweet malt smell and a bit of fruit at the back. the malt character is great in the taste, backed nicely by the bourbon aging. the fruit in the taste isn't as noticable but still nice, with the full body and the low carbonation it makes for a nice full beer.

Nov 21, 2009
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WesWes from New York

4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a really nice crystal malt and rye scent along with some spices that I can't figure out what they are. I'm not a Manhattan drinker so I'm not familiar with the aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth crystal malt and rye flavor. It's spicey with a touch of bourban and spice. It's a unique flavor. I'm not in love with it, but it's quite drinkable and full of complexity. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn tastey beer. It's something I'd probably not buy again, but what the hell, big ups to Brooklyn for this delicious treat.

Nov 21, 2009
Manhattan Project from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 88 ratings