Brooklyn Monster Ale is my foray into barleywines so I was pretty excited to try it. The four-pack I picked up is a 2010 bottling so it has aged for over a year. It poured a hazy, copper color with about a finger and a half of off-white head. There was little head retention but the over-all look of this beer was quite stunning.
Being my first barleywine, I have no comparison for aroma or taste, so I can’t vouch for true to style it is. The aroma was pleasant with notes of dark fruit, such as dates, raisins and figs, caramel malts, and perhaps a bit of citrus. My nostrils were also stung by a bit of alcohol in the aroma.
The taste is very true to the nose. It’s malty with notes of the aforementioned fruits. It starts off sweet by finish dry with a bite from the hops and alcohol that lingers for bit on the tongue. This beer is 10% ABV, and the various flavors present do not do much to mask the alcohol taste, but it is not at all unpleasant. Body was medium was medium carbonation.
Given the name, I was expecting a bit more complexity to Monster Ale, but I’m not all disappointed. In fact, I’m quite looking forward to the other three (I may continue to age at least one of them). I will definitely by be trying some other barleywines, though, so I will have something to which to compare this. Let me know if you have any suggestions.