Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Beer Review: Brooklyn Monster Ale
Brooklyn Brewery Monster Barleywine Ale
Finally found a six pack of this rarity (at least where I shop). This an intriguing beer to me because while it is truly a big beer (10.1% ABV) it is not as big as Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout (10.6%). I figured that with a name like "Monster" that it was going to be the biggest and baddest of the Brooklyn lineup. Is this Godzilla? Or is this the lowly insect Mothra? Let's discover. The monster pours a translucent dark brown color with a very robust tan head. Lots of lacing and head retention. Aroma is of sweet malt, alcohol, and maple syrup. So far so good.
The monster bites with loads of malt. Where the Black Chocolate Stout delivered roasted coffee and chocolate goodness, the monster delivers loads of amber malt. The hops certainly take a backseat to this malt monster, few recipes can fight this. The flavors constantly evolve as the solvent heavy brew evaporates off your tongue. Cake, rum, biscuits, and even a little bit of maple syrup like flavors await you. Although balance seems out of reach, maybe that wasn't the intent. Brooklyn created a malt monster that can't be stopped even with the copious amount of hops that I am sure were thrown into the mix. Why get balance when you can fuck shit up?
There is no balance. No attempt at peaceful reconciliation. This is war on hops and the monster sure seems to be winning. If you want a beer that will teach you to fear malt this is the one. Anyone who doubts the possible complexity of beer needs only to try a barleywine like this. If you see this in the store I highly recommend picking it up. It is more pricey but in this case you really get what you pay for. To answer my original question, the monster is Godzilla.
Final Score: 90% (The Monster has Malt Bite to Spare.)