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Brooklyn Manhattan Project | Brooklyn Brewery

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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

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Ratings: 88 |  Reviews: 75
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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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 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 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 bhalter8
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was glad to happen upon this beer at Leon's after a Belgian dinner at the Brick Store. What a nice desert! Served in a Brooklyn stemmed glass, the beer has a deep brown hue, with a slight ruby hint around the edges where light brightens the beer. A white one finger head rests atop, and thankfully stuck around for a while, as this beer turned out to be a sipper. Aroma is a mix of alcohol, rye, and a hint of cherry, but not very potent in any of these characteristics. Drinking this beer, I had mixed feelings. On one side, I have to give it credit for accomplishing the essence of a Manhattan in beer form (I am not much of liquor drinker, but this happens to be the one drink I order). The botanicals and rye whiskey barrel aging have given the beer the necessary hints that vermouth adds the mixed drink. The rye itself is not as strong as I had anticipated, and is a bit overtaken by the alcohol and cherry flavor. This is the other side, I felt the cherry presence was just too intense, it added a syrupy sweetness that was a bit much for me. In the end, an amazing blend of flavors, but maybe a bit much of the one. Despite the ABV, and mix of contents, the beer itself is rather thin and light in mouthfeel, however, the intense flavors, and maybe its youthful boozy character make it a sipper for sure. I enjoyed this as a night cap, just like the drink, and would suggest others do the same with this beer's big, complex flavor.

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

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

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Photo of MaxBrews
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: On tap into a snifter.

Appearance: Very little head rendered by the stadium pour delivered by the bar tender. (Sigh!) Well with the little head retention or head for that matter there was a firm white lacing. The color was a brownish red, almost eggplant purple in the right light.

Smell: Very aromatic. Many spices; Orange peel, dark fruit, delicate hopping, dark cherries, rye and faint alcohol.

Taste: Taste lots of rye and dark cherries. a touch of orange peel and corriander, a delicate note of alcoholic warmth.

Mouthful: A bit chewy on the palate. A sour bitter note towards the end. It only leaves the mouth.

Drinkability: A very interesting aromatic and herbal and fruity tasting beer. Never had a proper manhattan but now I don't feel the need to. I would like to sample this again as it really is something special and different. I think a few of these is in need to really sort out all the nuances in the beer. If they have this at your local pub by all means get one or two maybe three just keep in mind its 8.5 ABV.

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Photo of John_M
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's during Baltimore Beer Week.

The beer pours a golden brown color with fair head retention and lacing (not really a lot of either). The aroma profile is interesting, but is clearly dominated by a considerable amount of cinnamon. There is also some underlying rye on the nose, and the beer smells as if it will be pretty sweet. In fact it is, and once again I get a considerable amount of cinnamon along with the rye flavor. This is very much a full flavored beer, with a full mouthfeel and a long, sweet finish. As is often the case, the combination of sweetness and noticeable alcohol detract a bit from this beer's drinkability.

An interesting beer, but I cannot imagine ever having more then one small glass of it.

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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 d0ggnate
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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