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 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 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 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 donniecuffs
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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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 corby112
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

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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 chaz410
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of ozzyCobblepot
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of Jayli
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of almychristopher
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 ShogoKawada
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Sunset in Allston. Before I went and saw GHOSTFACE KILLAH, stopped off for a few pints.

A- Murky, dark brown with no head. Served in a 13oz tulip.

S- Smoky, funky, caramelized sugar. Interesting, rye/pumpernickel combo.

T- Follows the nose. Rye/pumpernickel, a bit of candied ginger, a sweet and spicy combo that is very interesting. I was on the fence at first but by the end of the tulip I was really enjoying it.

M- Low carbonation, would have liked to see a bit more, but the mouthfeel in general was pretty thick, smooth, and lingering.

D- Moderate. I'd have another one, although not back-to-back. This is a special beer, a unique beer, and I'm glad I got to try it. Really different from anything I've had before.

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