Brooklyn Manhattan Project | Brooklyn Brewery

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Very Good
88 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-27-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 |  Reviews: 75
Reviews by d0ggnate:
Photo of d0ggnate
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Special thanks to m1ked for grabbing a growler of this beer from the Bowery beer room for me. I miss the beer room, after having visited NYC a few months ago. Even more, I miss Brooklyn beers.

A: Pours a soft reddish/amber with a 1/2 finger mocha/tan head layer. Doesn't appear very carbonated and I poured the beer as to arouse any bubbles left.
S: Sweet aromas of apple and almost maple. Hints of grain, whether rye or malt, but I can't tell.
T: Sweet and more sweet. A bit too much for my taste. Slight bitter hop finish that reminds me this actually is a beer and not a less than stiff cocktail.
M: Smooth and easy drinking. No apparent alcohol until you've had a few sips. Slight warming affect, which again reminds me of drinking a dark cocktail.
D: This beer is actually very cocktail-like. If that is what they were going for, then I feel they nailed it. You could easily fool someone with this one. Now when you tell me it is a beer, a rye beer, I am expecting something else. Great creativity and good execution, but not my favorite beer. I'm rating this beer as exceptionally drinkable, not for the fact that is one of the greatest beers that could be sessionable, but instead it crosses a spectrum that other beers don't. A very creative idea. I wonder what a splash of bourbon would do to this beer?

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More User Reviews:
Photo of generallee
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Tiderion
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown color with a hint of amber, light lacing, low carbonation.

S: Not much to smell. Hint of cherry and vermouth.

T: Very clean taste with cherry on the front and spice on the back. Low IBUs, I would imagine.

M: Very crisp flavor for the style. Low carbonation made it a lot smoother.

D: Like a Manhattan, I would not drink a lot of these. However, this is a pleasant beer and one heck of a project.

NB: I capped my growler on foam so I doubt there was any oxidation on the tasting pint. There was surely a loss of carbonation however, so take the review with a grain in regards to that.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler pour from Whole Foods Bowery in lower manhattan, NYC, NY. Pours darker brown and murky, under a cap of creamy medium khaki foam, that stays and stays, leaving a full collar as well as fine sheeting and plentiful lace. Earthy nose with vanilla, bourbon and just a hint of rye showing through. Interesting brew, with notes of pumpkin, allspice, vanilla, honey and more bourbon. Full bodied and coating on the tongue. More bourbon as well as smooth malt in the finish. Sophisticated and intriguing. A grown up beer from a grown up brewery

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of Soonami
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy brown color with a muddy slightly darker brown middle and a one-finger light tan head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with booze-soaked dark cherries and just the slightest hint of bourbon.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though with more complexity. Smooth caramel malt flavors with backings of small amounts of bourbon up front are joined by thick dark cherry flavors midway through the sip. Each flavor mentioned above shares an equal part and none are overshadowed by the others. Near the end of the sip a very small amount of rye spiciness kicks in before a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could have had another.

Overall this was a very well done beer that's greatest achievement was intensity with subtlety. A number of bright and identifiable flavors co-operating very nicely. Well worth a shot.

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Photo of pwoods
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

64oz. growler filled at Party Town for $7. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a very pretty firy, ruby tinted amber, glowing and opaque. Moderate head on the pour with just a bit of retention and some lacing.

S: Lots of juicy cherries. Actually smells like cherry and grape juice mixed. Sweet aroma. Some sweet malts behind the cherries but light and not heavy at all. Maybe a slight medicinal edge but not really unpleasant.(Edit: Just looked the details to this beer up. I think I'm getting the 'Vermouth herbs' and not a medicinal edge.)

T/M: More of the cherry and grape juice flavor. A splash of richness from the malts and the barrel aging but it's nearly gone in a flash.... what was there was very very tasty but it's definitely overpowered by the cherry and herbiness. Definitely a bit too sweet and I'm sure it's going to get cloying toward the end of this growler. Body is medium light and the carbonation doesn't do a whole lot to help things out.

D: A very interesting brew and a great idea, and $7 a growler is badass(TY PT). But the dominant sweetness really hurts in the taste/mouthfeel/drinkability categories.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brooklyn- Manhattan Project

A- Light clear copper brown with a small light lacing head.
S- Fruity. Sweet dried fruits like grape and cherry with a touch of lightly roasted molasses malt.
T- Fruity, sweet, and a bit tart. Cheryr and grape really come out with a bit of molasses malt poking through.
M- Sugary, fruity, and tart with a mild malty body. Finishes of sweet and tangy.

Overall- Too fruity, just weird tasting.

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Photo of twowheelssoar
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Cole's, this black but yeasty beer had a white Caesar head. Stout in aroma and white lace followed. Rich and chocolate in finish, with median mouthfeel. The herbs and rye gave this a sweet, and spicy, taste profile.Alcohol hidden, this was a unique one.

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Photo of tedstertm
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours good and brown with a very thin head. Smells of rye and sour cherries. Tastes, well like a Manhattan not bitter at all with very nice blend of rye malt and cherries and a bit of an alcoholic bite. Little carbonation but a good velvety texture in the mouth. This beer is like a Manhattan lite, but with carbonation and less booze. Real good.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With the Manhattan Project, Garret and Andrew have reinforced the fact that the United States is the leading beer country in the world!

It is unlike any other beer ever made - totally unique - and it pushes the envelope a little bit further. In Brooklyn style, it also does it with style and grace.

It's an exceptionally tasty beer, and yet it almost doesn't even taste like beer. In fact, I guess I'd say it doesn't taste like beer... what kinds of roads this might lead us down I don't know.

It's a hazy brown beneath a creamy off-white/tan head. The retention is good and it leaves average lacing about the glass.

It's herbal in aroma with a hint of dark fruit and cherry.

The flavor is more cherry-like, and less herbal, although it's still there, and it has just a hint of sourness.

I was given a taste of this blind by the bartender and asked what I thought it tasted like. I said Bourbon and cherry syrup. Then he revealed to me that it was The Manhattan Project. I think they've really nailed it. Amazing!

It finishes with sweet cherry syrup and herbs left on the palate.

Amazing! This is original in all of the world of beer. I find it closest to a kind of Oud Bruin with herbs added, but who knows. All I know is that I paid $10 for a small glass (10 oz.) at the Cafe D'Alsace Manhattan, and I was glad to have it. I'd have enjoyed another at that price without question had I not had to move on. Absolutely worth seeking out just for its uniqueness! Brilliant!

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Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Bookstore Speakeasy in Bethlehem, PA for $7. Served in a tall goblet, the beer appears orange with a soft white head. Most rye beers get a generous helping of hops, but this beer focuses on the rye malt and spices. My first thoughts were that it tasted like a sweet rye cake, in part thanks to the light cinnamon and dessert spices added. I didn't detect the barrel aging, but still found this to be a tasty and smooth strong ale.

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Photo of HopHed
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: A burnt redish brown, slightly hazy, little to no head on my pour from keg to pint glass.

AROMA: Very noticeable malt smell with heavy clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and noticeable coriander

FLAVOR: Malty, extremely smooth & rich, very sweet and pretty heavy on the caramel notes. Noticeable spice of clove, and a flavor that reminded me of banana, but that I am guessing was the orange rind with the caramel sweetness of the malt.

PALATE: This is very rich, creamy, and viscously sweet. It fills your mouth with beautiful flavor, and the richness and viscosity coat your tonge for a bit.

NOTES: I feel honored to have had the opportunity to try this, and could drink this stuff all day... and did. The beer very enjoyable, and its 8.5% ABV caught me off guard. It was well balanced, albeit a bit sweet, but not so much that it took away from the complexity of the flavors.

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Photo of mikey711
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: amber color mild carbonation half inch head. Ok lace.

S: some rye, vermouth, a bit estery as well.

T: rye woody some spices, cloves and pepper. Mild whiskey notes and a hint of fruitiness.

M: nice and creamy with a dryness that coats the back of my mouth only mildly boozy.

D: goes down very quickly and does have that manhattan essence

Edited later in the night from a growler:
After having another taste of this beer it grew on me quite a bit. I am not a big liquor drinker but I do enjoy thr occasional manhattan. I really enjoy the vermouth characteristics in the beer. It also gets way better as it warms up. Still not the most aromatic beer, but its uniqueness is great and shows the limitless potential of beer

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Photo of nickd717
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of Gmann
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Tiger. Pours a pretty dark red/purple color with a soapy head that quickly dissipates into nothingness, flat. The aroma is nothing crazy, peppery & spicy from the rye. The taste is peppery with rye spice/sour flavor. There is a nice berry flavor towards the end, perhaps cherry or raspberry. A solid malt body supports the spicy and fruit flavors. Despite the flat look, the brew has decent carbonation with a light to moderate body, well balanced. A very tasty brew; nice combination of spicy/zest and fruit flavor.

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Photo of Minotaur
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of Bung
2.26/5  rDev -42.3%
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.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of jfmorey
2.36/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pint glass on tap at RFD in DC. The look (good amber color), smell (light malts, citrus), and good initial taste (the rye malts I was hoping for) was soon swept away by the unpleasant aftertaste of alcohol. Not drinkable, I was ready to stop half way, only had a few more sips for this review.

(The above was my review from just drinking the beer, after reading other reviews I see that this was supposed to be a beer that tastes like a mixed drink? Sorry, I only drink beer or wine, not "alcohol" and reacted accordingly. This needs to be served with a disclaimer to warn beer lovers.)

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Photo of TheViceBlog
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rattle 'N' Hum at last night's event where I also had the pleasure of meeting Garrett Oliver.

A rye beer aged in Rittenhouse Rye whiskey barrels and then infused with botanicals from sweet vermouth and bitters, this beer smells spot-on like a glorious Manhattan and the taste is right there too. It is a most interesting execution, something maybe only Garrett could come up with. Really boozy, you can feel the rye. A little too sweet in a cough-drop type way, but that's a minor quibble. A slightly uneven blending, with a tart cherry finish, this isn't quite as seamlessly smooth as I'd like and I'd probably enjoy a thicker mouthfeel. Or, maybe, I'd just enjoy a straight up 100 proof Manhattan. Naw, this beer is great, a truly sui generis offering. I hope it's around for a long time to come. It's a beer I'm gonna remember for a long time.

I hope Garrett continues pushing the envelope. Maybe he'll whip up a mint julep beer next!


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Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another gem that I never thought I would have the chance to try. This one courtesy of Dennis who rushed it down to me for a weekend delivery. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, it was consumed between me and my brother in law on 10/11/2009.

Very dark pour here, dark garnet brown with a huge tan head on top. Slow receding left tons of lacing down the sides of the glass and really gave it a very nice and very complete look. Aroma is huge, lots of spice at first, caramel, molasses, hints of brown sugar and earth, deep hops. Warming brings out some touches of dark fig like fruit notes but nothing like that warm rye touch that really adds to it. As I take the first sip a really wave of caramel and light peppery rye hit the tongue. Light notes of chocolate that come over it wave after wave. Really quite complex and I have to admit not at all what I was expecting. Still very well done. Warming brings out much more sweetness and balance but at the same time it maintains a big profile. Light booziness kicking in now and the sweet finish has a night light hop bite to it.

Overall this was pretty damn solid I have to admit, I was quite impressed with the way it held its own and is definitely a unique offering. Would do this one again.

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Brooklyn Manhattan Project from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 88 ratings