Brooklyn Brewery “Monster Ale (2009)” Review (#058)

Brooklyn Brewery
“Monster Ale (2009)”
Brooklyn, New York

From The Brewery:

Available from December through March. Brooklyn Monster Ale is a classic barley wine, a style of ale originally brewed by the butlers to the English and American aristocracy.
It is brewed from three mashes of heirloom British malt and spiced with aromatic American Willamette, Cascade, and Fuggle hops. After four months of aging, it has a magnificent burnished copper color, an aroma redolent of sherry, citrusy hops and fruit, a soft, warming, complex palate, a spiritous finish, and strength of 10.8%. It is vivacious when young, but will age gracefully for many years, becoming more complex over time.

Style: Barley Wine
Malts: Scottish Floor-Malted Maris Otter and English Two- Row Malts
Hops: Willamette, Cascade, American Fuggle
ABV: 10.8%
OG: 1095


Appearance: I enjoyed this beer in a Brooklyn Brewery imperial pint glass, which allowed for a large amount of headspace. It is a glowing copper orange, with a white chunky head on top, providing nice lacing all the way down.

Smell:Strong liqueur smell; alcohol and yeast esters, with scottish malt sweetness and notes of hops.

Taste:This beer changes greatly through the progression of the beer. I drink beers slowly to see how it changes as it warms. This is one that you should take your time with as it progresses extremely well over time. Sweet malt opens up and moved to fruity esters of raisins and plums to brown sugar and soy sauce. As it warms, the alcohol picks up a bit, changing the flavor to more whiskey and scotch; also some breadiness from the yeast, leaning towards the English barley wine over the American style; in my opinion.

Mouthfeel:Big and full weighted. Perfect carbonation for my preference.

Drinkability/Palitability:Low to medium. This is a sipping beer; it is a time consuming, enjoyable brew, that should be enjoyed like an after dinner liqueur. It is a little heavy handed on the heat, but that is part of the style.

Notes:I really enjoyed this beer; next time, I am going to try it out of my tulip glass. I love the Brooklyn Brewery pint glass – looks great in the pictures – but I think it will be more enjoyable in the other glass.


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