Brooklyn Manhattan Project | Brooklyn Brewery

very good
88 Ratings
no score
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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

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Ratings: 88 |  Reviews: 75
Photo of chuckreece
4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a tulip glass at Leon's. Genuinely one of the finest beers I've ever tasted. Note that I am indeed a big fan of the Manhattan (the rye/sweet vermouth/bitters concoction), and that I had this beer after enjoying Leon's version of the Manhattan. But I can't imagine a richer, malty approximation of the Manhattan, and even though this is a rye beer, it stands up to the taste of the great sweet stouts (i.e., Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter). Not sure how they pulled it off, but this one is fine, fine, fine. Too bad I can't take some home. Keg only.

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Photo of gilman
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown a very nice thick tan head
Tastes sweet with a lots of cherry flavor dominating. A slight rye, slight bourbon in flavor, its flavor really grew better as it warmed, also tasted lots of spice and malt with very little hop present, a nice not overpowering sweet finish

Has a very thick and heavy feel
Overall pretty much enjoyed this beer and was very happy I tried it. it was very interesting beer that I would certainly seek out again

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Photo of rfgetz
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow... pours a nice rich brown color with ruby highlights. Minimal head on this one. Smell is a crazy combination of carrot cake (bready, brown sugar, sweet cream, vanilla, nutty, slight spicing) and banana... booze comes through as it warms. Taste is banana forward with the carrot cake thing going on in the background again (bready, brown sugar, sweet vanilla, nuts, slight spicing). The background give hints of wood, dark cherry. Slightly boozy, and after Garrett Oliver mentioned it, i did notice there is a true Manhattan cocktail like charachter to it. Full bodied without being syrupy or sticky. An excellent, original and complex beer. Had 2 glasses and still want more.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the House of Beer in Orlando.

Appearance: The beer was a nice amber, brown color with an off white head which dissapated quickly. Lacing was present throughout.

Smell: WOW! Very interesting aroma of cherries and spice. A lot going on in this beer.

Taste: Again WOW! A lot going on in this brew. Picked up cherries, interesting spices and maybe caramel? Nothing rye about this ale at all. Very malty with a slight hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Insanely good! Really glad I was able to try this brew!

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Photo of smithmd4
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

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 alpinebryant
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark ruby amber color with a large white head off the tap.

The smell completely took me by surprise. Gumballs and cotton candy smell. I had not read about this beer or expected to find it at the bar and had to try it out of curiosity.

Tasted just as it smelled, a sweet medicine y flavor with unknown spice. Later after finding out exactly what this beer was it made sense that the medicine flavor was actually cherry, reminding me slightly of cough syrup but in a good way. The rye seems to balance out the sweetness a little bit so that it is not overpowering. Very interesting beer, one that I had not considered was out there until drinking it. a thick mouthfeel to it, this is one I would put in the 'chewy' category almost. A rich beer, could almost be a dessert beer.

Drinkable - yes, if it were not for the amazing tap selection on hand, I would have had a few of these. good stuff

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Really nice looking red color. Nice and deep. A half finger of white head with lacing on some pours while none on others.

S: The cherries really come through. Then a nice touch of spiciness. You do get a little bit of the bitters and a touch of the barrel as well. As it warms you do get the vermouth coming in. Quite complex.

T: The cherries and the rye really shine. The malt is really nice and shines through as well. The rye spikes it and gives it a nice kick. Nice spice balanced out by the sweetness.

M: Little bit syrupy but well carbonated for a growler pour.

D: I have been looking forward to this beer for months and it did not disappoint. Totally an extreme beer in every sense. A really nice beer all around. I will probably be able to try this on tap this week and I cannot wait. Get this while you can.

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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 Hefe
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

the Brooklyn Beer Dinner @ Brasserie Beck. 10/27/2009

Presented in a snifter, holds a decent tan head that slowly fades to thick and sticky lacing. Smells initially very spicy, with herbal undercurrents and touches of whiskey. Tastes very much like the Manhattan it was modeled after, the rye is prominent but not overpowering, some caramel and toffee malt flavors, tart red fruit, and an even bitterness from the gentian root. Very full mouthfeel with a slick texture. Comes off well balanced, maybe just slightly heavy, but that's not really a bad thing, is it?

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Photo of steveshields
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy sh___ is this a tasty beer.

Like a previous reviewer said, this is a beer that has been made to taste like a sweet manhattan . I like bourbon and I don't drink manhattans but I know one when I taste one... and this "efffing" beer tastes like a BETTER manhattan. I give it a 4.5 and recommend getting it at Rootstock on draft with all the greatness the place as to offer.

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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: deep reddish amber in color, capped with a finger-thick layer of carbonation that recedes to a thin coating

s: pretty intriguing aroma - knew there was something unique about this one, but "bitters" didn't click until about five minutes in, and then the "oh yeah, I heard about this" moment, rich and assertive rye base drizzled with cherry syrup and infused with an herbal blend that perfectly replicates that of a good bitters, sweet orange peel lingers in the back, has the sour-sweet interplay of cherry-rhubarb pie, a joy to take in

m: medium-full body with a very light, delicate carbonation

t: the malt body is of a moderate sweetness and carries a heavy rye spice alongside cleaner base malts, the bitters flavor runs straight through the middle but is very much complimentary to the beer as a whole, strongly herbal and fruity, dried cherries, finishes with a great astringency from the gentian

d: highly enjoyable but really one to savor, Brooklyn can call this experiment a success as they've created something entirely fresh and challenging while doing so with style

10 oz. tulip at ChurchKey, DC

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Photo of koopa
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler (1 of 3) purchased at De Ciccio's in Ardsley NY.

Appearance: Deep garnet to brown body with minimal off white crown. No retention or lace. The body is slightly radiant and attractive.

Smell: Nice notes of vermouth, cherry, lush malt, some type of spice...seems like cinnamon, bitters, etc. Lots going on here.

Taste: A touch malty up front but that quickly gives way to the spice, bitters, and vermouth. A light cherry syrup makes an appearance towards the end.

Mouthfeel: A touch under carbonated but that is probably due to the growler being a week old. As I got towards the bottom of the growler the carbonation concentration seemed to increase. The last few pours even had an off white crown and showed some lace!

Drinkability: Fairly good and probably would have been better when the brew was fresh.

Definitely pushes the envelope of what beer is. I'll lift my's to you Mr. Oliver! Jesus loves you more than you will know...oh wo wo wo.

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Photo of StephenRich
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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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 rhinos00
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I think I have found a hidden gem. Bought this growler for $6.99! Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark brown with garnet hues throughout. Produced two fingers width of cream head. Reduced to a ring over time.

S- Very strong potent scent of cherries and spices. Noticing a little bit of rye in the nose as well. I really enjoyed the cherries because they seemed natural, as opposed to the fake candied cherry aroma that you sometimes get.

T- Very taken aback. Definitely did not expect as much cherry as I tasted. Still very solid. Lots of cherries and spices. Definitely a classy take on a rye beer.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- I could drink this all day. I can't believe this beer is 8.5% abv. Definitely not noticeable.

Overall, for the price I paid this was quite the investment. A very nice beer that I am glad to have finally tried. Another great brew by Brooklyn.

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Photo of generallee
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of muskiesman
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
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

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Photo of Stunner97
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- dark brown a very nice thick white head

Smell- lots of sweetness, malts, rye, caramel, cherries

Taste- very sweet more then anything, alot of cherry flavor dominates with tons of malts and slight rye, slight bourbon shows in flavor, its flavor really grew on me and got better as it warmed a bit, good spice and malt with very little to no hop presence, a nice long sweet finish

Mouthfeel- very thick and heavy feel

Drinkability- I overall did very much enjoy this beer and was lucky enough to try two of them on tap, but they are certainly a very sweet desert beer in a way, hard to drink alot of this just because so sweet, but it was very interesting unique style of beer that I would certainly seek out again, myself and the group of guys I was with did overall enjoy this beer overall

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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 brentk56
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives with a dark pumpkin color and a modest head that leaves a few squiggles behind

Smell: Black cherry syrup with bitters and bourbon; smells like a Manhattan lite

Taste: Black cherry, up front, with the bitters arriving by mid-palate to offset the sweetness: the bourbon element also sneaks in underneath and builds a bit, after the swallow; interesting herbal flavors add complexity through the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and slightly syrupy with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fascinating beer, though not something I would seek out again; this really shows of the skill of the boys from Brooklyn to create a faux cocktail using barley malt and rye

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Photo of Nickls
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark amber in color with a no real head.

Smell: malt sweetness, hint of cherry, and a bit of alcohol is pleasant on the nose.

Taste: smooth malt profile with some cherries, soft vanilla tones, and a hint of bourbon flavor. Light alcohol flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is short.

Drinkability: this beer was unique and somewhat complex. It is a slow sipping beer, but I had two glasses of this while at the bar, and probably could have had another. Worth seeking this one out.

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Brooklyn Manhattan Project from Brooklyn Brewery
3.92 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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