Companion Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

very good
76 Reviews
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Companion AleCompanion Ale

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John_M on 09-24-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 196
Photo of champ103
2.06/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at the Anvil in Houston TX

A: Pours a dull and murky golden/orange color. A two finger white head forms with good retention. Lots of lace is left behind. The color is really a turn off.
S: Dank moldy cloths. A honey like sweetness. Wet cloths and dirty malt. Blah.
T: Follows the nose, and I am not liking this. Dank wet socks. Some honey sweetness. Very muddled with some dirty/moldy like flavors.
M/D: A medium body that has high carbonation. Fairly thin however. Not clean at all. More like sipping dirt. The alcohol does not show much, but this is not enjoyable to drink at all.

To say the least, I am not a fan. I think this is worse than the Concoction. Which is saying something. There is no wheat flavor at all, and everything else is just muddled and tastes like dirty cloths. I do not know how Brooklyn can call this a Wheatwine? Just bad IMO. Avoid.

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Photo of speter
2.91/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear bronze with a one-and-a-half finger fluffy white head that lasted for the duration of the drink. Little lacing (but I think that may be the bar's fault).

S: Take a banana split and pour high-proof rum on top. Light it ablaze, and that's what this smells like to me.

T: Unfortunately, the taste closely follows the nose. Lots of banana and booze without any real development.

M: The body and carbonation are very nice. The ethanol burn would be welcome on some nights (think heavy snowfall, roaring fire in the fireplace, etc.).

O: I really wanted to like this one going in. However, the taste really was one-dimensional and not overly pleasant. This might prove to be a decent beer if the banana and rum were toned down somewhat.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16 ounce pint - $9.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Light copper-hued body, good clarity, and with a smallish, white head that thins out into a lasting ring.

Smell: An aroma of half-chewed gum, still leaking out a bit of fruitiness and implied sweetness atop a squirt of liquor and modestly bready malts glazed with golden syrup.

Taste: Lightly malty, with only modest touches of delicately toasted wheat loaf. Then, here's a sweet taste of Bubblicious bubble gum, carrying hints of lychee, white peach, and bland apples. The beer seems to forgo hops and bitterness, leaving you chewing on this gum quality until the lightly warming finish. A curious beer, every cautious sip has me coming up with gum.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Not so much a treasured, dear old Companion and more of an Acquaintance, one who you wouldn't hesitate to duck down behind a soup display in a grocery store to hide from. Yes, fellow shoppers, I'm squatting down behind a pyramid of Campbell's fine condensed soups.

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Photo of corby112
2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draft at The Blue Monkey in Merchantville, NJ.

Pours a dark golden orange, almost copper color with a one finger foamy white head that slowly settles into a lasting cap.  Rings and streaks of lacing left behind.  

Slightly earthy aroma with some zesty spice and light fruit notes.  Floral and perfume like with hints of pepper and faint hops as well as some apricot and other light fruit.

Medium bodied with a strong spice presence up front that lingers into the finish.  Slight creamy texture mid palate with sweet boozy alcohol and light fruit notes.  Hints of apricot and light berries give a sweetness that somewhat counters the spice but overall they dominate the flavor and you can taste all of the 10%.  Still somewhat drinkable but a bit one dimensional and boozy.  

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean yellow to orange-ish color with a small off white head. In the aroma, a bit fruity and boozy. In the taste, fruity and a small alcohol note. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry fruitiness in the aftertaste. A nice fruitiness all the way through with a note of alcohol.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.21/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Lunar.

Admittedly, this beer was the reason I even stopped at Lunar this evening. It pours a clear golden amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises banana, wheat, mushroom, honey, and tin. Something seems a little weird here, but it's not really offensive; just unexpected. The taste holds notes of honey, lots o' cracked wheat, light rye bread, light greens, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and a vague sense of mustard greens. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta syrupy feel. Overall, a bit of a disappointment. It's got some strange elements mixed in there, but none of them are truly offensive, but rather off-puttingly odd. That said, I still ended up enjoying this beer for the most part. Weird, right?

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.21/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap, I've been looking for this for a bit, glad to track it down.

The Companion poured in the glass a bronze light gold shade with a nice amount of active carb forming a cap of white stuff up top, spotty lace.

Smell is boozy with a bit of grape skin and some wheat with berry and weirdness. Not sure the ingredients used, but knowing Brooklyn and this series, it's gotta be different than the norm.

Taste is not your average wheatwine. The wheat is up front with an odd flavor. Their is a fruity thing going on reminding me of grape. Booze is there yet this aint hot. Small honey in the finish.

Feel is solid, it's above medium with semi prickly carb going for it. Not digging the aftertaste, it's long and drawn out and that's where most of the booze comes out.

Drinkability is not off the charts, I would have a hard time taking down 10oz's of this stuff. 5oz was plenty. This change in scope of having cocktail inspired beers is intriging and are designed to pair well with food which they probably do, but not a lot of ounces.

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Photo of mltobin
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at The Spring Lounge in NYC.

The appearance is light golden color with a short white head. It has an aroma with banana, toffee and lemon. The notes are more subdued than I expected. Upon sipping the wine glass that the bartender served it in, I taste wheat, booze, candy, some bitterness. Again like the nose, the taste is much more lowkey than some other Wheatwines I recall over the years. Mouthfeel is full, with a warming alcohol quality to it. I was hoping for more from this beer, especially since it shares the name with the recent book release. But, it is solid and worth checking out.

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Photo of barczar
3.37/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a fairly clear golden copper with minimal ivory head.

Honey, floral hops, and a touch of wheat form the subtle aroma. Citrus is muted.

There's a candy-like sweetness throughout, initially reminiscent of children's chewable vitamins. Orange is fairly muted. Grain and floral hops make up the backbone. Banana lingers in the aftertaste.

Body is moderate to full, with carbonation on the low side, and a fair amount of alcohol warmth.

The sweetness is overdone, and the citrus just does not jive well with the banana character. I think the wheat missed the party.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.37/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tamed and generic wheatwine missing, or hiding, quite a bit of character.

Presentation: 12 oz draft pour. Menu offers a promising note describing rich characteristics of the brew. Shows 10% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Clear amber pour, thin creamy head, with faint retention, minimal surface memory and no lacing.

S - Soft sweetness with a remote spicy touch... Too cold early on, the brew did not actually do much with its aroma as it warmed up.

T - Wheaty range, light boozy dash with a faint fruity range punctuated by very small spicy touches. The caramel holds a bit of a broader emerging personality as it warms but not much really.

M - Medium to medium-light feel at points... Good soft creamy feel over the small carbonation.

O - Subdued and generic, while pleasing this is not much of a notable wheatwine.

Notes: Maybe the goal here is to do an approachable wheatwine for the uninitiated to coincide with the book? If not … I obviously don´t get it. Sure, quality and quaffable but well short of the mark for anything usually called "Brewmasters Reserve" Too soft and generic in any case for the baseline I expect of a wheatwine. The volume remains recommendable though.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer is served a golden color with a one finger of pure white foamy head. The head has a fantastic level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is on the slighter side with the biggest aroma being that of a wheat bread smell. Along with this aroma is a little bit of lighter fruits with some apple, pear, and grape.

Taste – The taste begins with a wheaty and somewhat cracker like taste with a bit of a white wine grapey taste. The wine grape taste is on the slightly sweeter side upfront and is combined with a bit of apple and pear to give a somewhat lighter fruit fruitiness to the taste. The apple gets stronger as the flavor advances bringing with it more of the sweetness. At the same time however a bit of a more boozy white wine taste begins developing on the tongue. The wheat, which was slightly smoother upfront, also begins to gain more graininess around the same time. With the booze getting stronger, the fruit getting bigger and the wheat grainier, one is left with a warming, wheaty, wine taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium to slightly chewier side with a carbonation level that is rather average. The thicker body is actually very nice for the wheaty flavors of the brew, but not quite as nice for the fruit and wine flavors. The average carbonation is a good level road for the mix of flavors, producing a feel that is overall pretty good.

Overall – A rather interesting brew. It has a somewhat odd combo of a wheat beer combined with a white fruity wine. A good one to try, but nothing I would likely go to again and again.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap last night at Meadhall in Cambridge. Served in a Brooklyn Brewery tulip. Dull orange colored body. Not much head, but a good amount of lacing. Smell was mild, with notes of brown sugar. Taste was mostly malty, with a hint of citrus. No real hop characteristics stood out on my palate. Mouthfeel was surprisingly mellow. Very smooth, and no trace of the 10% ABV at all. Not a bad beer, but it was slightly underwhelming. I was hoping for more from a wheatwine from Brooklyn, and wasn't overly impressed.

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Photo of raveskdr
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Meridian Pint. Served in a snifter.

A - Straw hay color with medium head.

S - Eh, it's there. It smells like beer. Nothing really stands out at all.

T - No wheat, just very blah. It is light and easy drinking for a 10% beer, though.

M - The beer does drink well. Good carbonation and very little alcohol on the back end.

O - Well, I tried it. but I'd never seek this beer out again. A total meh.

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Photo of jlindros
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Nice fluffy 1 finger head stays forever, thick lacing, very clear golden tan color.

Nose is interesting, a nutty hazelnut like, a light cordial like booze maybe amaretto, light syrupy sweet malt, light floral rose like with hint of candy, and some light wheat and barley like malty base.

Taste brings wheat, light fruity, hint of apricot and peach like fruits, light sticky syrupy candy like, light malty and fairly thin overall, light booze, hint of honey candy, like honeysuckle, hint of esters, with the booze and even dabbles phenols, light bready malt comes through on the finish, a belgian yeast, grainy and boozy on the finish, with more sticky sweet syrupy candy.

Mouth is thin and lacking, decent carb.

Overall not impressed. it's a wheatwine with some decent malts and wheats but not a lot, some sweeteners, and fruits all decent, but overall just way too thin and lacking in the overall malt category.

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Photo of DrStiffington
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the second time I've had this out of a growler, the first being New Year's Eve. Everyone really liked it. The second time was for a beer tasting party. It pours a very clear golden color into my tulip glass. Has a strong aroma of honey and booze. Slightly sweet and inviting. I don't get a heck of a lot off the taste. It's pretty understated for a 10% brewmaster type beer. I thought the taste would be more over the top. I have to say, I like Brooklyn's monster barleywine much better. This was not bad, and reasonably priced.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served from the tap at The Ginger Man in Greenwich, CT. It arrived in an oversized snifter, and glowed a reddish honey color. A light ring of bubbles sat around the top, with no real head. A swirl gave a film of amber bubbles, but little else. Carbonation appeared light, and there was no sediment or hazy hue. The nose was big and fusel. Booze mixed with fresh fig and raw cherry, giving a syrupy sweetness. The grain bill was complex, with wheat, barley, and rye all coming into play. Warmth showed a white wine grapey quality, and a light oaky musk. Our first impression was that this guy was very fruity, and very boozy. As we sipped, malts of thick caramel and rye came through. The booze was present from the start, but began on a milder, more hollow, note. Cherry sweetness came in right as the malts peak through the middle. Pepper, mustard seed, and spicy, musky booze cut everything, pulling us to the finish, which was characterized by more souring grain, syrupy honey, and a continuation of those huge fusel alcohols. The black pepper bite and cherry sugars made a brief final appearance, adding some balance. The aftertaste breathed of big booze, but this drowned out most other flavoring. Once the fire cleared there were hints of white wine grape and residual malty sugars. The body was medium to full, and the carbonation was high. The beer was sticky and syrupy, coating the mouth. This sensation actually decreased with warmth. There was little slurp or smack to each sip. The abv is high on this guy, so he was more of a sipper. Otherwise he drank decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the flavor balance in the finish. The booziness was ever present, but the refining bite from the spice and fruit made for a tasty dip in the last drops of the sip. There was a very interesting presentation with the booze, in that it grew throughout the sip, helping to progress the flavoring. That being said, the booze was overwhelming at times, most notably in the aftertaste. This was our first for the style, and we were certainly interested by it.

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Photo of jsanford
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA.

Pours a hazy gold with a creamy white head that settles to a slight cap. Aromas of sweet malt, toasted wheat, and sugar dominate the nose. Taste is pretty similar to the nose, a big wheaty, malty beer with baked-bread flavors and a slightly bitter finish that smacks of European hops. Mouthfeel is slightly sticky but smooth, with good carbonation and a slight alcohol burn. Overall a very nice, "English"-style Wheatwine, but nothing too memorable.

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Photo of Durge
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A surprising find at Backstage in Torrington, Ct this 10% ABV wheatwine shows a slightly hazy golden hue with a solid velvetty white cover that holds very well. The lacing is outstanding as well. The aroma offers a polite bubblegum sweetness that blends into floral fruitiness. Not bad but a tad surprising for the style. The taste is immediately boozy but it preserves the bubblegum flavor and brings along some floral hop highlights over wheat grain lemon. The body is medium with a lightly crisp feel, fully carbonated but with very tiny bubbles. This brew was highly disappointing in that the flavor was both odd, atypical of wheatwines in my experience, and over boozed. The alcohol defines this brew which I never find very endearing in any kind of beer. Surprising from Brooklyn.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer on tap at Meridian pint, served in a taster glass. Beer is amber and clear with a thin tan head, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet with this sort of biting sharpness to it, yeast character.

Beer is medium to light in body, dry finish, strong wheat and yeast flavors in the front, sweet, not cloying, this beer is fine but probably not a repeat for me.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a clear golden amber color. It has a nice fluffy 2-finger white head on it. The head has good retention, and it leaves some scattered lace behind on the glass.

S - It smells of caramel, oak, and vanilla up front. There are some nice light fruit notes and a bit of booziness. Also, I'm getting some citrus.

T - The taste pretty much follows the nose. Vanilla, caramel, oak, and cherry are all present. There is a nice mild hop flavor that adds a bit of bitterness and spice. Some booziness is also present. The finish leaves some lingering hop spice, alcohol, and oakiness.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a smooth velvety feel to it. There is some mild bitterness and spiciness from the hops. Some boozy warmth is present in the finish.

O - This has good drinkability. Even though it is 10% ABV I could have a few glasses of this in an evening. It goes down smooth and has a nice flavor profile. Overall, I thought it was a nice wheatwine. This isn't a very common style so I'm glad Brooklyn decided to put one out. I recommend checking it out.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

picked up 16oz growler locally a few hours ago.

a - poured into my southampton RIS snifter. brew poured a crisp yellow, but settled in the glass more of an apple juice looking orange. brew is semi transparent and has a nice finger or so of bubbly white head. the head fizzled away slowly leaving a ring around the surface and small spotty bubble islands on the surface. lacing was spotty and slippery.

s - strong wheat earthy sweetness. some banana and a hint of clove. smells nice...sweet. you can smell the booze a bit as well.

t - much like the nose, wheat. strong boozy sweet bananas. some earthiness as well. the booze is heavy at first, but then settles and my palette warmed up to the beer. the flavoring is pretty good, but i'm not sure if it is complimented by all that abv..

m - pretty soft and slick. medium bodied. you can really feel the heat.

o - overall interesting beer...and style. the strong booziness of this beer doesn't go that great with the overly sweet wheat style in my opinion...and it makes it really big and almost moonshine like. once you get used to the flavoring, it is pretty decent, but it is a sipper (and i rarely call anything a sipper). very glad i got to try this in a small pour. this beer is being released as part of a pricey gift set so it is a treat to try it without having to get the set. it is a pretty good beer, but way hot right now for my taste buds.

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Photo of mscudder
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler from HopCity @ $12. On to the tasting...

A - Nice golden straw yellow with an average head and no retention.

S - light malts but more boozy than anything else. Purely average.

T - A lot of malty wheat and some strong alcohol warmness towards the end. That being said, the booze is well hidden given its 10% ABV, but there is certainly some high drinkability with this one.

M - Nice strong medium body with a tingly progression throughout. Good carbonation.

O - Overall this is a fine wheatwine. Definitely a unique brew with some good things going for it. If you are looking for high drinkability, solid malty wheat taste and high ABV this one is for you.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: On tap in to a Bell's tulip

A: SRM is dark straw yellow. Translucent and clear filtered. Head is off white, 1.5 in, dissipates to 1 cm. Medium/heavy carbonation. Appears to be fermented with champagne and another yeast as there were small fast rising bubbles and big (abt 10x the small bubbles) slow rising bubbles. Medium/heavy lacing.

S: Banana esters. Smells like Belgium yeast is the other yeast used to ferment this beer. Malt and sweet notes are also apparent and hints of carmel, fruit, and alcohol.

T: Tastes like a Belgian wheatwine. Banana notes mix with malt base and caramel undertones. Mild sweetness and some alcohol is noticable. Aftertaste is a bit earthy and sweet, yet flavors finish sharp.

M: Medium body. Malt gives a bit more viscosity to the beer. Alcohol sits a bit on the palate. Banana notes give a contrasting tone to the mf.

O: Interesting. Not bad by any means, but this beer did not "wow" me. Definitely a bold approach and the beer turns out well balanced and thoughtful, which I respect. I would drink this beer again.

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Photo of CHickman
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from 10/13/11, on tap at Eleven Madison Park in NYC; poured dark hazy amber in color with a 1 finger frothy tan head that faded slowly; the head had a ton of bubbles in it and left very good spotty lacing.

Smells of wheat, cherry, funky yeast, caramel, gummy bears, sweet malt, candied sugar, sour apple and a sweet wine aroma; the nose is very funky, fruity and odd, and it almost smells sour.

Tastes of sweet malt, wheat, cherry, mango, funky yeast, grains, caramel, light syrup, candied sugar, sour apple, herbs, tea leaf, floral hops, white wine, sherry and tart tangerine or pear; this tastes a little like a Shirley Temple, but it's quite complex and tasty with a strong yeast funk and a sweet grainy flavor. Very unusual, and not for an average beer drinker, but enjoyable none the less due to the complex and very odd flavor profile that does make it taste like a wine.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth, with low very carbonation, a light watery feel and a dry sour/bitter finish. The body is medium and there is a hint of alcohol that comes through, but the alcohol is mild and the flavor is sweet and funky overall.

Not sure I'd order it again, as it was different in a way that I can’t decide was good or bad, but it was decent enough and very interesting and this is a new style I need to explore, so I will trust that Brooklyn Brewery did this wheatwine right as they do with most other beers. This scores extra points for hiding the high ABV so well and I will look to revisit this if possible. Definitely worth trying this beer for it’s originality alone.

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Photo of capra12
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed out of a growler into a medium snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours a 1/2 finger head that dissipates into a slight film. Golden brown with a tinge of yellow.

Smell: Not too prominent of all the areas to review from, but from what I do smell candied sugar, faint caramel, fruit esters.

Taste: Opens with a strong malt back bone. Not too much hop detected on the palate. mid palate the malts subside to unveil a unique Belgian yeast profile that melds with damp alcohol soaked wood. Almost taste as though the alcohol created from the fermentation penetrated an oak barrel drawing away some earthy tones as well as some undertones of vanilla. A bit of heat on the back end, barely noticeable ABV. Leaves a yeasty aftertaste on the palate.

Mouthfeel: light bodied with moderate carbonation. this leaves a bit of dryness on the tongue.

Overall: I would have this again but only one. I would recommend this highly to those who enjoy wheat wines and want their bang for their buck for ABV and taste.

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Companion Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 196 ratings.
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