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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:
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Ratings: 88 |  Reviews: 75
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 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 phattysbox
2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at Dive Bar on 96th st. in NYC.

Pours an immediate copper-brownish and absolutely clear. Minimal head and hardly any lacing - extremely fine carbonation. The brew looks OK, but thats about it.

Smells of rye and sour notes with minimal hop profile background as expected. Anyone make a Manhattan with hops? There is a caramel and toasty background as well and could very well be from some modified rye malts. Some whisky notes, slight vanilla and vermouth are there in the nose.

Disclaimer: I'm not fond of Manhattans

That being said, the taste was a real let down for me. The rye (30%?) is really apparent with bready, spicy, and sour flavor. The melding of the vermouth notes and rye however really clash for me and is not to my taste. There is a sharp twang that is hard to describe and just rides through the whole experience. Maybe if the beer had less rye or vermouth character one could be more upfront and the other give support. Kinda like a backup singer. This brew is like two rock singers on stage vying for the spotlight - unbalanced. There is a Marris Otter malt profile in the back there as well, something that Garrett does quite well.

Mouthfeel was a bit average as since the carb. was kinda low. I'm sure the drinkability from other that review would be better but from the ABV to the taste - not for me.

An interesting attempt at replicating a cocktail and I'm glad I tried it but won't be seeking it out.

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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 Damian
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Drank on-tap at Bukowski's Tavern, Cambridge, MA
Served in a pint glass

The beer poured a deep, crimson-amber color with a creamy, light tan, one-and-a-half finger head that faded to a lasting ring of froth. Spotty drops of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was rich, sweet and malty. Toasty and biscuity with a notes of ripe fruits, spices and honey.

The taste was similar to the aroma. Toasted malts and a super sweet, toffee-like presence came through strong up front. Fruity and spicy in the center. The finish contained a mix of sour rye notes and a cloying, syrupy sweetness.

The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy and fuller bodied with a fine, moderate effervescence.

This beer was a sugary sweet mess. It seemed like the brewers forgot to add the hops to the brew kettle. An interesting "project" for sure, but not something I would want to try again.

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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 DawnL
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brown hue with ample lacing that dissipated into thin sticky lace at the sides.

Not much of an aroma. I was hoping for more of a Rye kick - or at least an herbaceous nose.

The palate was tame. Some Rye characteristics - but again, I was hoping for something more like Black OPs and less like a watered down cocktail.

The mouthfeel was good. The drinkability here is decent, since the rye does not overwhelm the palate. However, I found this brew to be underwhelming and was glad that this was a sample.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Sunset Grille in Allston. Served in a 13 oz tulip glass. Dark mahogany color. No head at all. Minimal carbonation to the point of looking flat. No bourbon smell detected. Taste was much less pronounced than I expected. No real bourbon, rye, or cherry flavor. Reminded me more of a bland winter warmer beer. I just don't get what Brooklyn was trying to do with this brew. They took a nice shot, but I think it missed the mark.

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Photo of number1bum
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the House of Beer, Orlando, FL.

Came in a Delirium tulip glass. Dark cherry red color with a brown tinge to it. Had very little head on it when served and it disappeared completely quite quickly. No lace whatsoever.

Smell was quite sweet, with lots of cherry. Like sweet maraschino cherries. A big of bourbon and vanilla, as well. I really didn't get any spicy rye.

The taste was also very sweet - just a ton of cherry sweetness. As it warmed the sweetness did mellow a bit, and the bourbon came on more with a bit of vanilla flavor as well. I felt it was out of balance, though, and like the smell I just didn't get the rye coming out of this.

Mouthfeel was between a medium and full body with soft carbonation. Was pretty smooth. Didn't taste any hot alcohol which was good.

I really don't think this beer was much of a success. I liked the concept but it just didn't work very well. It was overly sweet - much too sweet - with the cherry flavor dominating and reminding me of maraschino. The bourbon quality was stronger in the nose than the taste, and it's not often I say this because I think bourbon is more often than not overdone, but this really could have used more bourbon character. It also really needed some balance in the form of spice or bitterness - which is why the lack of rye spiciness was so sorely missed. Maybe they should have used a noble hop to complement and bring out the rye spice. Regardless, it didn't come through and it really needed to. More bourbon or more rye character (ANY rye character) would have helped cut the sweetness and balance this out a bit. Maybe with some tweaking they can make this one work, but as of right now I wouldn't go back for more. Has potential, but not a great beer right now.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.45/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of DNICE555
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Plan B

A - Amber, almost brown. White head.

S - Cherries, spice, nutmeg, vanilla, rye.

T - Cherries, spice, rye, nutmeg, vanilla, orange.

M - Medium body, very full flavor.

D - A lot going on in this beer. A bit too sweet for me to have more than one.

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Photo of sholland119
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
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.


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Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of david18
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When i asked what style this beer is i was told it was an "ale" so I had to base it on my own ability to detect styles. I assumed it was a belgian dark ale but I guess i was way off. It was a good beer, I guess I misinterpreted the rye for beligian yeast effect but in either case it was very enjoyable. Good dark color, very good carbonation, didn't notice the aroma but the taste, mouthfeel and drinkabilty were all good.

Had another one and now i've learned that it's not just a Rye Ale either. It's a rye ale infused with the other flavors that go into the drink Manhattan (bitters, cherry, etc.). Not bad but not too often for me.

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Photo of m1ked
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler from the WF Bowery

A- Pours a clear dark brown red, like root beer. The head was never that big, like maybe 1/4 inch ogf white micro tiny bubbles that turn into a ring around the rim. No streamers seen.

S- A spicy grain, like all-spice, ginger and a hint of banana and bubblegum- not in a hefe sort of way though. There is a hint of booze in there at the end, can't really put a finger on it though. I like the smell, its just not very pronounced.

T- Has a cherry cough syrup (not in a bad way??) sweetness with that allspicy, subtle ginger flavor. It really reminds me of the cardoz batch, but not as light/bright. I am not getting any rye beer or rye whiskey flavors here.** This just in, let it warm up and the rye whiskey notes start to show up**

M- Good crisp sharp bubbles for a brief moment, then gone. Medium bodied. Does seem to leave a coating of the cough syrup flavor that lingers.

D- I'll start off by saying I love the experimentation with themes. I may have been my own worst enemy in as much that I was reallly looking forward to the rye/rye combo inspired by some fancy mixologist guy... I get more of a maraschino cherry flavor than anyting else....It is it supposed to be Manhattan project as in like the drink Manhattan, right? I just wish it had some rye beer flavor, I didn't get any of that- bummer. Cool idea though and a cool beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a really odd beer. It was very difficult for me to get my mind around it.

Served on draft at a local beer bar. Beer is hazy and has almost no head. The head is only a few thin yellow bubbles but they somehow manage to leave some lacing behind, which is impressive. Carbonation is really low.

Aroma is complex, fruit, alcohol, tartness and/or sour notes. Its really difficult to nail it down. No hops that I can detect, just this weird interplay of fruity esters and some alcohol.

This beer as the weirdest flavors I have experienced in a long time. There is some sourness, cherries, coconut?, beer is a little dry. Buttery and creamy, smooth, kind of coats your mouth with this stuff. A very odd feeling and flavor. Drinkability suffers due to the odd nature of the flavors. At times it tastes like cherry cough syrup.

I would not have guessed (if I didn't already know) that this was a rye ale.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Growler poured into a Unibroue tulip. Many thanks to huey782 for the trade!

Very excited to try this beer--after reading about its inception and brewing procedure, I knew I had to try it. Manhattan Project pours with a thick, semi-hazed body that takes on a caramel color with tints of ruby red & copper in the light. Slowly, a creamy tan head develops on the surface and settles to a thin veil of foam. Intense, sweet cherry juices leap out of the tulip, backed by vanilla bean & banana ice-cream, toffee, and a hint of vermouth. Rye and rye barrel-aging not immediately apparent, but show up in the background as the beer warms.

Oh my...this is quite the complex brew. Starts off with a creamy sweetness of caramel and toffee malts which give way to a near-medicinal cherry cough syrup flavor. Wormwood and Bitters blend with a touch of rye to sour & spice up the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and heavy on the tongue, with a booziness that works well to warm the stomach and throat.

Entirely too much going on here, and the flavors seem to compete against one another, instead of complimenting each other. Although I admire the creativity behind the Manhattan Project, I fear that what makes most of Brooklyn's offerings great (simplicity) got lost in this one. Not sure if the "Rye Beer" classification fits, either, as Manhattan Project struck me more as a Herbed/Spiced Beer (with rye added). An ambitious swing by Brooklyn, but it narrowly misses the mark.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's on 11/7/09. Served in a tulip.

A - Deep auburn body with ruby red hues and half a finger of creamy beige head that reduced to a wispy film and yielded thin, sheet-like lace.

S - Very subtle aroma surprisingly, with only a hint of cherry and mild spicy rye notes.

T - The initial sweet cherry flavor quickly segues into a slightly tart character with a subtle rye spiciness. A hint of ginger persists through the middle to the backend. Finishes with a mild syrupy cough syrup or cola character that is sugary and somewhat medicinal.

M - Medium to full-bodied with a really syrupy texture and modest carbonation. Hint of tartness and subtle spiciness on the palate. Not much hop bitterness at all.

D - Interesting take on a rye beer. Although this is quite thick and syrupy, I think the subtle tartness of the cherries works well with the rye character. I'm not completely sold on this beer, but I thought it was pretty tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of Amalak
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Manhattan has a rusty brown look with some slight red highlights up towards the light. A nice tan head that dwindled down and leaves loose lace on the glass. The smell brings up rye along with some spices, nutmeg and vanilla. I also got some light pumpkin like flavors making me wonder if I got the right beer. The taste brings more malt than the nose leads, caramel sweetness. The rye is there but not 'There'. A nice spice backing with a slight hop bite. Fruits such as cherry in the mix. I think there is a bit to much going on here. The feel is medium with ample carb but this project leaves a funny taste in my mouth afterwards. A little spiciness in the middle with just a bit of alcohol, minimal. Im glad I tried this project, not my favorite rye beer as I think it's trying to be a bit more. A great idea from Brooklyn, this is kind of different.

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