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 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 TheManiacalOne
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 1/10/2012 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus, honey, wheat, caramelized malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of honey, citrus and caramel. Then a hearty malt and wheat breadiness comes in. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a nice stronger beer to drink for a while.

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

One of the more well-rounded wheatwines I've had. Fairly sweet malt, with a cane sugar aspect. Low hops bittering, with some woody notes toward the middle. Alchohol heat is prominent but not overwhelming. I would be curious to see how this settles down witha little age, as right now it seems to have a bit of a raw edge.

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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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Photo of kingcrowing
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a tulip.

Pours a very clear golden honey amber with no head lest a small ring on white foam 'round the ring. Nose is sweet like honeysuckle and caramel.

Right off it's very smooth, rich & creamy with a dry & sharp finish, as the nose leads on there's a lot of earthy honey and chewy malts. The alcohol is well hidden but it is detectable. Overall its quite delicious.

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Photo of Kelly88
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first wheatwine ever and I'm pleasantly surprised.
Had on tap at keystone in Covington, served in one if my favorite glasses, a Kentucky bourbon barrel ale snifter.

A- Pours like Cortez liked it, golden. Stays the same in the glass with a nice light fluffy 2 inch head of eggshell white. Head recedes mildly to a foamy wispy ring with some skim on top that is leaving tree trunks of lace on the side. Beautiful beer.

S- sweet fruit of apples and some acidity like pears or kiwi are all mingling to create an intoxicating smell. There is some alcohol esters in there that remind you that you are dealing with 10% beer.

T- almost exactly mirrors the nose. Wheat is there but only for a second. Such a smooth taste. Almost reminds me of buffalo trace bourbon without the harsh heat of bourbon if that makes any sense.

M- maybe the best part of the beer. So silky smooth. Feels uncarbonated at first then at the very end you get some sparkling effect. Buttery smooth and you could just down these before you pass out due to the high abv.

Overall a great wheatwine that I have no others to compare to since this is my first. Lots of flavor with a silky feel and great to look at in the glass = a nice drinking experience.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at The City Beer Hall's Brooklyn event last night.

A-Clear orange, two finger head with some lacing.

S-Spice heavy with some lemon and wheat notes.

T-Lemon, spices, wheat, slight bitterness.

M-Light and carbonated, very smooth.

O-The spices resembled that of a saison but with more lemon flavor and bitterness. An good beer that I was glad I was able to try once.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the brewhouse grille in camp hill. Served chilled in a snifter.

The color is a tanished golden shade with a light chill haze and quick dropping white cap with tiny bead and light lace with visible carbonation. The smell is nice with malt aroma and slight tropical fruit ester with a light alcohol presence and slight wheat toasted aroma. The nose has a mild candy/bubblegum scent. The feel is semi-dry with a bit of booziness and moderately highly carbonated with a mild fruit tanginess an subtle sweetness for the style in the finish. The alcohol influence is very mild for the abv which I like.

This wheatwine has flavors of gentle ripe banana with a slight floral tinge and mild toasted grain with hints of spice and dried fruit. There is a hint of tea(white) and mild woodiness which add to the sweetness and bring out a slight fruit and earthy blend of flavors which are light yet noticeable. The flavor of alcohol is there letting you know this is a high gravity beer, but it is light enough to be pleasant with slight tinges of graham cracker in the finish. The beer is semi-dry in taste as it finishes Overall this is a pretty high quality wheatwine and it gives a nice perspective on the style from Brooklyn. I enjoy the quaffability (?) for a wheatwine it is -possibly depends on you definition but a very low alcohol presence in the taste makes this a recommended example of the style for me.

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Photo of nickfl
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured with two fingers of white foam on a clear, copper colored body. The head fades slowly and leaves thick lace.

S - spicy yeast notes of clove and pepper. Some light herbal hops in the background.

T - strong clove and spicy wheat up front. More clove and some black pepper in the middle. Finishes with toffee and clove.

M - a thick, chewy body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - considering how rarely this style works on any level, this is a surprisingly good beer.

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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 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 russwbeck
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden brown pour with about a finger of white head. Retention is ok, the lacing is nice 4

MF: Light malts, caramel and nutty, with slight booze. The smell is very sweet 4

T: The taste is light with a nice caramel maltiness. In surprised that
the booze isn't prominent. A bit of a dry hop finish. The taste is
balanced very well 4.5

MF: Low carb medium body but creamy. Booze is noted with the warming alcohol feeling on the backend 3.5

O: This was ok, nothing special. I expected something better 3.5

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

what a great beer this is. pours a straw color with a dense 1 inch head into a brooklyn schooner. smells sweet and fruity, with wheat and crystal malts. taste is so interesting, notes of vanilla and sugary fruit are obvious, but there are other subtleties as well. i cant place it, but there is also some herb or spice in this brew, which gives it a very interesting flavor profile. the alcohol is well masked in the taste, but it must claim many victims. this beer is so smooth and easy drinking you'd never imagine it being 10%. a fantastic winter beverage!

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Photo of unclejazz
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this from a 22oz. growler, half poured into tulip-shaped glass.

A-amber with good continuous carbonation. There was a one-finger cream-colored head that quickly left no lacing.

S-ripe bananas and a short note of alcohol that faded nicely. There was a sweetness that reminded me of a Belgian dubbel.

T-more ripe banana along with caramel. The alcohol note is more in the background and does not linger. The overall flavor is smooth and warming. A god sustainable that will get you thru the winter.

M-the sustained carbonation along with a feel not quite syrupy and not quite watery is one of the best parts of this beer. Each sips beckons the drinker to have just one more.

O-The warmer this beer got, the better the experience got. This was my first time purchasing beer in growler form. It is something I plan on doing again, a lot. This beer has got me excited for BAMBoozled and the 2011 Black Ops offering. The prior is actually cooling in my fridge now.

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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 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 metter98
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with delicate lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The lacing persisted for a long time but eventually completely faded away.
S: There are subtle aromas of bananas from the yeast in the nose.
T: The taste has subtle flavors of wheat and fruity yeast and begins to have hints of sweetness as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
O: Although the alcohol isn’t very noticeable in the taste, this is definitely a sipping beer.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Pony Bar, NYC. Poured into 8oz nonic type glass...
Crisp looking yellowish color. Smells sweet, fruity, honey.
Taste of strong belgian style yeast, fruity, honeyish notes...alcohol is present but compliments nice with the strong flavor.
Excellent drinkability, and well worth a try.

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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 Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Common Table.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma has quite a bit of orange citrus and biscuit malt, with a lot of sugar as well. The flavor is more complex than the aroma. I get a lot of wheat and biscuit malt notes, as well as some alcohol, orange and pepper notes. There is also a little bit of floral notes from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nice wheatwine.

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

Growler filled at Green Growler Grocery in Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Pour is super clear, dull lighter amber, minor head, and minimal lacing.

Honey, flowers and yeast in the nose-yum

More honey on the palate, some lite smokyness, biting lime, Belgian yeast goodness, earthy hop dryness in the finish. Tasty stuff...Heady at 10%, but the alcohol is well hidden. Nice night capper kinda brew

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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 CopeTech
4.83/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful Triple. Lovely flavors and mouth feel. Rich, reminded me of Cuvee de Kaiser Blau.
On Tap at Fireworks Arlington Virginia.
Small Glass due to 10% but nice sipping beer.
Its going on tap at Flying Saucer Austin tomorrow and I suggest a pilgrimage.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from a box set with the Oxford Companion to Beer. This one was allowed to warm a little bit before being poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

The Companion pours a relatively clear orange. Backlighting results in a nice display of tangerine and yellow lacing. There's more than three fingers of off white head, and it shows very good staying power. Lacing is the only place this beer falters appearance-wise, as there's really none to be found. The nose is very fruity. Banana is what jumps out at me first, but apricot, peach, and grape among others make an appearance as well. There's also analcohol aroma present. The flavor pretty much follows that outline. Each sip is like reaching blind into a mixed bag of excellent fruit candies. The sweetness is very rounded and full, which I'm crediting to the special floor malted grains used in the beer That's all balanced by a booziness that's quite warming and integrated into the flavor profile. The body is solidly full, with a carbonation that cuts through the sweetness and adds a bit of excitement to the mouthfeel. The Companion's a very good beer, and a worthy way of celebrating the Oxford Companion to Beer. I just wish there was a way of getting my hands on some more bottles that wasn't so cost prohibitive.

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