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Brooklyn Manhattan Project | Brooklyn Brewery

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very good
75 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 88
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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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 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 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 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 tpd975
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Bierkraft.

Brooklyn took a swing a being unique, lets see how they did.

A: Pours a nice brownish amber hue with a small white head. The head dies to a thin ring and leaves no lace.

S: Lots of cherry in the nose. More sweet than tart with a nice herbal spice as well.

T: Wow very much cherry. Very sweet up front like drinking maraschino cherry juice. A light medicine like componet with a hint of black cherry juice. There is a very herbal spice that I can no quite put my finger on. Light bourbon, the actual booze, not really the oak or vanilla. If they were going for unique they hit the nail right on the head.

M: Medium in body, light carbonation (from a growler).

D: Good, I put down the bomber all by myself. That being said 22 ounces is probably enough, but this is one unique sweet treat.

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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 gford217
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Brick Store.

Pours dark brown that looks almost like tea when held up to light. There's a solid creamy beige head that shows very good retention and leaves bits of lacing.

The aroma is sweet and tart cherries with with some brown sugar and a little bit of toasted malts. I don't get much rye in the nose but there is some bourbon and a surprising amount of spiciness that seems to approximate the vermouth of a real Manhattan.

The taste is more of the same but adds a little more tartness to the cherries sweetness and the bourbon is a little more evident in the finish. There's still quite a bit of sweet sugar and spices, maybe a little more rye.

The mouthfeel is super smooth with good carbonation, though it gets pretty sugary sweet after a few sips, bordering on too much.

This is an extremely original beer from Brooklyn and I liked it quite a bit. The mixture of sweet and tart cherries with the spices and rye really seem to come together well.

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