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 Brutaltruth
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rather nice wheat wine poured from a growler is a brilliant amber tinged golden color
with a nice thick white head that dissipates down to a thin layer of foam and nice light lacing.
Nose of honey, banana, light citrus fruits, apple, and sweet light malts. Flavor is fruity sweet
to the fore and middle. Sides catch a bit of citrus and a lingering banana and apple/pear like
flavor on the back. VERY nice. Almost a Belgian influence, this one has a smooth mouthfeel
and moderate carbonation that makes it highly drinkable. Alcoholic warmth will show itself
with warmth. Another great Brooklyn ale, one I would try again, especially on tap.

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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 KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful hue of bright golden this poured with a flashy bright white head that was thin but steady.

The fragrance was soft with obviously wheat and wine. The malt was sweet with a fruity note of Apple and pear but maybe even some honey.

The taste is also very soft, almost weak but smooth with honey, wheat, pear and caramel.

This is peppy and effervescent on the tongue and very light. This does not get prickly as its swallowed despite the perceived carbonation.

I like this but felt that it was a bit tepid in its approach. The ABV would suggest that plenty of wheat was used but it simply never grabbed hold.

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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 tdm168
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Wine 101 in Wake Forest

A - orange with a short, white head that has little retention

S - wheat, pear

T - peach, apple, white grapes, wheat

M - medium bodied, a little warm, little carbonation

This is a decent beer. It's a simple beer dominated by esters and juicy fruits, but it has a nice flavor profile and good drinkability for the ABV. I won't be looking for this again, but I'll definitely never pass it up.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11 oz pour at The Avenue on Allston.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a cloudy orange brown color with some visions of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: fruity, bready, grainy, and malty in the form of caramel and toffee. I little funkiness in the aroma too.

Taste: Super delicious. Boozy alcohol, caramel, toffee, fruity, slight bitterness, and very tasty.

Mouthfeel: creamy and silky smooth, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, and a nice sipper.

Overall: This is a new style I'm trying to learn about. I have only had a few, but this one is pretty good stuff.

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Photo of Amalak
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got from the Beer Boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

A. It has a copper color, fairly clear, with a few bubbles in the middle. It has a limited white foamy head. No real lacing.

S. A nice wheat scent with a fruity undertone.

T. It has a smooth fruity taste. Grape mixed with a hint of lemon. Not nearly as much of a wheat taste as I was expecting. An alcohol hit at first.

M. A bit tart, but only slightly. Medium-to-full body.

O. Surprisingly not as flavorful as one might expect. It's good, smooth. Even refreshing. But nothing really jumps out, either.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip at Driftwood--Plymouth

Appearance: copper in color, clear, minimal head, moderate carbonation

Smell: caramel, toffee, wheat, and alcohol

Taste: caramel, toffee, wheat, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: very sweet with alcohol burn, low carbonation, heavy bodied

Overall: A nice malty treat. Very heavy bodied, this is a beer I could sit with for a while. I will look for this again if I can find it on tap.

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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 ElCommodoro
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't say anything about the appearance of this because it was served in the dark at Alamo Drafthouse. It was described to me as a sweet, strong, and malty ale. It wasn't malty, which makes sense now that I know it was a wheat wine. It was surprisingly sweet, though, and certainly strong. The alcohol was very well hidden, though. The taste was fruity and orangey, and quite yeasty, but not overly so. It was just right. Right on the edge of almost being too yeasty. I don't normally like wheat beers, so I'm glad I wasn't told what this was before I ordered it. Very good stuff.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours surprisingly clear. Full light penetration. The light intensifies the absolutely magnificent color of the beer. This one blatantly glows. Fluffed head retains quite well. Head is a sudsy consistency. Looks amazing.

S-Light nose. I can tell there is a lot going on in the glass, but I was expecting much more intensity. Sweet and complex, but the aroma is soft and subtle. Alcohol is pretty much a non factor in the nose.

T-The flavor outshines the nose. The flavor is rich and deep. The all-malt bill is one of a kind. Almost tastes like a honey aged in some sort of barrel. Bath soaps. Complex caramel waves. Light citrus. Everything tastes dipped in honey and elderberry liqueur.

M-Very rich. Mellow carbonation. Sticky and but still light. Easy going down, but I can feel the warmth growing in my gut. ABV is more noticeable here that in the nose.

O/D-Very unique. Well worth a try. Never had anything quite like it. Welcome to the Wheatwine style. Kind of an eye opener.

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Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a clear light gold with a fluffy white head that slowly fades into a gentle cap and collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of apricots, light citrus, honey suckle, freshly baked bread, caramel, and black pepper.
Taste mimics the aromas with a very drinkable blend of light sugar and a honey and floral flavor that is lightly fruity in the finish.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth, delicate, and easy drinking despite the listed abv of 10%.

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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 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 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 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 aerozeppl
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wheatwine made with floor malted wheat.

A: Deep golden amber color. When I first had this beer it was more clear. As it has some time on it it is getting a little bit darker but that is fairly normal from my experiences with the style. A thin covering of white head with just a touch of lacing.

S: This is one area in which the style finds a hard time gaining fans. Faint floral notes. Almost like lingering perfume. The smell of wheat is there but not like in most wheat styles. There is no alcohol at all in the nose. Just a pleasant sweetness.

T: They really let that floor malted wheat shine and shine it does. Very clean example of the style. No hint of the ABV at all. Very clean. Well attenuated.

M: As dry as a beer this big can be for the style. Carbonation is soft. Not as thick as some examples of the style which helps drinkability.

O: A damn fine example of the style. Reminds me of Smuttynose Wheatwine with around a year on it. The ABV is masked masterfully.I enjoyed a few of these the last few months and wish it would be around more.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Shango

This beer pours a clear, dark amber with a fluffy head that fades fast. In the right light you might think that you were actually drinking an effervescent rose (ros-ay) given its light body, and potent alcohol. However, when it comes down to the beer's warm, sugary aroma and herbal, honey taste there's no mistaking this for any wine...although maybe a mead.
This is not like any wheatwine I've had either. Its got an intense honey-like taste and mouthfeel. The alcohol provides the necessary bite. I'm really impressed with this beer, it may be one of my favorites by brooklyn thus far.

Round #2 on tap, banana split and chocolate sauce. Almost a totally different flavor.

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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 argock
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint glass at Beer Run, Charlottesville.

A: Caramelly amber with short cap of off-white head with decent retention and a few spots of lacing.

S: Caramel cotton candy is the best descriptor I can come up with. There is mild herbal hopping, but the sweet toffee malt carries this beer.

T: The caramel cotton candy maltiness is prodigious and tastes great. The sweetness is not overbearing and is complemented nicely with the earthy, herbal, and slightly floral hoppiness.

M: Despite the wheat, the feel is still pretty heavy and makes drinkability a little less than it should be. All in all though, for a wheatwine on-tap, this is damn drinkable.

O: The Companion is a great beer with a lighter feel than most 10% ABV brews. It is very sweet, but the lighter feel helps to make this a very good beer.

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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 jamescain
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Brooklyn tulip glass.

It pours a very clear light orange with a thin white head that fades into a thin lacing. The aroma is reminiscent of an impending malt bomb with toffee, caramel, bready notes. The body is medium light and surprisingly easy to drink with no apparent alcohol, even at 10%. The finish is sweet and lingering. The beer taste like I suspected, its a malt bomb, but what else would you expect from a wheatwine. The taste is very similar to the aroma, caramel and toffee dominate. The nice thing about this beer is that it leaves the impression of a barleywine, but without the chewy body and booziness. I would recommend seeking this one out if you have the chance.

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Photo of cvm4
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Light, clear amber in color. Not much of a bright white head and some faint lacing.

S - I got some sweetness, may'be stoned fruit. I picked up wheat and malts as well.

T - You definitely pick up the citrus notes. As well as the sweeter wheat taste with a malty and faint hops backbone. It hides the alcohol well.

M - For a bigger abv beer it's light on the palette.

O - A very drinkable beer. The alcohol is hidden well.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pretty solid appearance: Lightly hazy medium orange color, with a very minimal off-white head. Aroma was slightly fruity, with a wheaty sweetness, slight citrus. You get NO alcohol in this. It's fruity, with a sweet wheat note, some citrus tones and maybe a faint honey character. It's lighter bodied, not too thick for it's bigness.

Pretty good, nicely drinkable.

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4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft serving into a snifter. $5.25 for a 9oz pour. Sampled today, 1/21/12.

A: Drop dead gorgeous. A solid finger of thick, compacted bright white foam sits atop a clear golden yellow-orange body. The head doesn't move for quite a while, then settles in to a nice collar and film. Only deduction is from the lack of lace.

S: Again, fantastic. Bready, biscuity malts with mild honey-like sweetness and an underlying apricot inclusion, faint but noticeable - and very important to the success of the nose. The dominant aroma is a mix between toffee and caramel plus light vanillin.

T: A little more straight forward than the nose suggested, but nonetheless impressive. Juicy malt backbone. Room temperature tea, toffee and a short lived graham cracker flavor on the back, just before drying out. The fruit flavor is either minimal or didn't make it's way to the palate.

M: Wheatwines generally finish on the drier side, and The Companion is no exception. Very light on the tongue and crisp on the finish. I was hoping for a juicier mouthfeel to match the aroma and flavor.

O: Best wheatwine I've sampled to date - next to, of course, Founders Nemesis '09 - but that is an entirely different animal. For a straight wheatwine, I don't think it gets any better than this.

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