Mary's Maple Porter (Brewmaster's Series)
Brooklyn Brewery

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English Porter
3.69 | pDev: 14.09%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Mary Wiles joined our brewery team after spending 30 years brewing and doing quality control for a Very, Very Big Brewer. Mary evolved into a craft beer brewer, and now she’s doing our quality control, having fun while helping us make sure that Brooklyn beers are tasting great and ready to make you happy. But Mary has a bright thing lurking in her past, present and future – Mary has maple trees. A lot of maple trees. Actually, a ridiculous number of maple trees, acres of them, right northwest of us in upstate New York. And her family farm makes 100% real New York State maple syrup.

Real maple syrup tastes great on pancakes and waffles, but it’s awfully good in beer too. Porter is a classic British ale style that traveled to the United States, sustained George Washington during the Revolution, and later built London’s great breweries. Mary’s Maple Porter is a rich, dark ale featuring a large portion of her maple syrup in the kettle. After fermentation by our house ale yeast, the syrup is no longer sweet (yeast likes to eat maple syrup too), but the maple flavor shows through in a complex interplay with caramel, chocolate, and cof fee flavors from our blend of roasted malts. An earthy hop note rounds it all out.
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 223
Photo of DapperGrowler
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer on tap at Meridian Pint in Washington DC.

A: this beer was a dark brown color with light head retention.

S: Malty / sugar / very faint maple syrup smell.

T: Slightly bitter on the front of the pallet; sweet, maple syrup taste on the back of the pallet.

M: Not as heavy as I expected when I ordered this beer. Great mouthfeel and nice malt taste.

O: This was a solid beer. I would order it again.

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Photo of Billolick
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

32 ounce growler filled at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

Pours basic black, dark tan head, initially hige, slowly going to a thick film and leaving respectable larger bubble lacing.

Sweet malt nose.

Sweet and malty porter, some moderate roastyness. Notes of vanilla, but not getting much if any of the advertized maple. Sweetness continues and continues, where is the drying and balancing hop component? anywhere?

Ehh, not my favorite and yet another disapointment in this "brewmasters series" of oddball and dud beer after oddball and dud beer...c'mon Brooklyn... this is getting kinda lame..first concoction and now this tame, sweet and on the lame side porter...puzzling...def would not go for this one again, with so many tasty, balanced and enjoyable beers out there and readily available

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Photo of Brent
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice old-school aspect to this porter. Poured very dark, deep brown. Malt profile is on the sweet side. I did not detect much of a distinct maple flavor, but there was a caramel note, with hints of dulce de leche. More roast in the malt moved in toward the finish. The ETOH did not stand out in the flavor.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Sunswick 35/35 in Astoria, NY on 2/7/12.

Review taken from notes.

This beer pours a really dark brown color. There is a little more than a finger of tan head resting on top. The head has good retention, and it leaves some scattered lace behind on the glass. The nose has some roasted malt and coffee. There are some aromas of cherry, chocolate, and some vanilla. The taste follows. It starts off with some roasted malt flavor. There is some maple sweetness that almost seems to turn into a dark fruit and cherry flavor. There are also some flavors of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and a very mild hop presence. There is some lingering roasted malt, chocolate, and dark fruit behind on the palate. This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a nice smooth feel to it. The body is actually a little thinner then I was expecting, but it is still nice. There is some sweetness, as well as some roasted malt that helps it achieve a nice balance. Also, there is just a little bit of hop bitterness on the back end, just a little bit. This has good drinkability. I would had no problem having a few glasses of this. The flavor is nice and it goes down smooth. Overall, I think it is a solid beer and a nice representation of the style. I just wish there was more maple flavor going on. I recommend trying it out, I would get this again.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft poured into a nonic pint

A: Pours a dark brown bordering on solid opaque with a thin, dark tan layer of tight bubbles.

S: Smell is chocolaty and nutty, not overpowering but potent enough to be obvious.

T/M: Feels reasonably thick on the tongue with little bite from the carbonation. Sweet malts approach up front with a faint bitter twinge from other roasted malts, a bit of nuttiness near the end finished with more lingering malty sweetness.

It’s hard to discern the malt from the maple, but they’re similar as it is so it’s expected. A great porter but almost too sweet for what it is.

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Photo of stakem
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft, served in a nonic. This brew appears dark brown in color with a dark tan finger of froth across the top. The creamy topping holds while swirled but drops to a thin film fairly quickly. Some patchy patterns of lace stick to the glass. When held to the light, some brown clarity is seen around the edges.

The smell is sweet with chocolate grain. Minor roasty quality with a hint of vanilla bean inclusion. Roasty citrus almost like coffee beans is present with more accenting character than the beers description. Overall the nose is quite muted despite letting it warm up.

The taste comes across mildly reminescent of artificial vanilla extract with some minerals and a green yeasty quality. Roasty to slightly musty grain inclusion fills the void mid-palate. The more sips I take, it almost has a bit of cola quality about it reminding me of root beer or faintly of sasparilla. A mild bitterness mixes with a toasty grain flavor towards the back which brings this back into the expected flavor realm.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol is fairly well integrated considering it is above 7%. However, overall this is an awkward arrangement of character that just didn't quite work for me. It's not a bad brew by any means, it's just not something I would be terribly interested in trying again.

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Photo of xenjoiii
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Black Sheep Ale House - poured into a tulip.

A - Poured jet black with a dark tan head.

S - A collision of roasted coffee, malts, and subtle maple syrup. The aromatics of this beer are fantastic.

T - A nice balance of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts. The maple is well hidden, and provides a nice sweetness to the beer; however, as the beer warms up the Maple notes slowly emerge.

M - Extremely smooth.

Overall, I was very impressed by this beer. I'm always intrigued by brews that incorporate maple syrup. What I really liked is that the Maple is there, but it does not overpower/stand out among the other aspects of this brew. I thought this was well balanced. I would most certainly drink this again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderately-dark brown color with a thin off-white head. The nose carries a bit of maple as well as a bit of malt. Some roast and sweetness. Flavor has a touch of maple and some underlying porter notes. Medium body with slight chewiness and just a bit of sweetness. Maple is not terribly pronounced. Okay, but a bit wanting.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer nails the aroma in my opinion but falls flat on flavor, served in a snifter at Churchkey in DC. Beer is brown with a haze and a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is maple pancakes, bready, sweet, syrup, trees, nice.

Beer is sweet but thinner than expected, no roast really at all, hard to tell what kind of beer this is, the maple flavors are well integrated into the overall malt backbone but there is no bitterness from roast or grain or hops or anything, no flavors on the finish at all. Interesting but not a repeat.

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Photo of barczar
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown into the pint glass with a half inch tan head that dissipates rather quickly into a ring of foam around the glass edge and a half-circle pool on top.

Chocolate and roast dark grain aromas dominate, with hints of anise and caramel sweetness. Earthy hops are subtle.

Roast grain carries the flavor, with vanilla, chocolate, and lightly burnt toasted bread rounding out the taste. A slight coffee bitterness is apparent.

Body is a bit light for the style, possibly due to the rather high alcohol content. A moderate carbonation level accentuates the light nature of the brew. Alcohol contributes a finishing warmth. There's a slickness that was not expected.

Overall, a fairly solid porter, but I expected much more maple flavor. May not have been able to detect it if I didn't know to look for it. But I wouldn't kick it out of bed for eating crackers.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An excerpt from the brewery's website reads:

"Real maple syrup tastes great on pancakes and waffles, but it’s awfully good in beer too. After fermentation by our house ale yeast, the syrup is no longer sweet (yeast likes to eat maple syrup too), but the maple flavor shows through in a complex interplay with caramel, chocolate, and coffee flavors from our blend of roasted malts. An earthy hop note rounds it all out."

With a hint of that "something extra" that's difficult to put your finger on, the maple additions to this easy drinking Porter is a welcome variation from the norm.

Like most well-crafted Porters, Mary's Maple opens with a dark, bark-brown hue and largely bright clarity despite its dark sheen. Building a froathy tan head and lacing impressively, the beer leaves behind decorative patterns of lace. Handsome and stately, the beer represents the style properly.

Deep malt aromatics fill the nose with toffee, toast, coffee, chocolate, and yes- a hint of maple. Modest on fruity notes the beer seems to carry and neutral yeast profile, thus allowing the Porter and maple dialogue to dictate the nose.

Similarly, the flavor spread delivers a rich malty balance of mild roast, caramel, and chocolate but without the associated sweetness from them. Yet elements of nutty and earthy Columbian coffee, bittersweet chocolate, walnut, toast, slight smoky roast, and malted milk all support the maple additions in a stern and structural way. No frills, esters, spices, or sweetness are needed and would simple muddle the waters... er, wort. Only a mild earthy bitterness from hops easily resemble that from roasted coffee or cocoa.

Medium bodied overall, but the beer seems to have a fuller start due to the creamy and expansive carbonation. As the carbonation releases at mid palate, it ushers in a dry toasty-malt finish that allows a whimsy of maple to return just before fleeting into a long and toasty aftertaste.

While a tasty Porter here, if the branding had not told me that actual maple syrups were used, I may have dismissed those flavors of that of high caramel malts or of long boil. It certainly makes me want more!

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Mary's Maple Porter (Brewmaster's Series) from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 223 ratings