Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brooklyn East India Pale Ale (2008 original review)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 25, 2010
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2012 Mainstream beer drinkers often ask connoisseurs what the appeal is in drinking a beer that’s intentionally bitter like an IPA. I would respond by asking why pretzels and popcorn taste better with more salt. I guess that’s the closest analogy I can come up with. And in the case of Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, which is very bitter, it’s a fair comparison.


This beer pours smoothly to a dark amber/light orange clear body with a little bit of noticeable carbonation. It forms a rather small, white, soapy head which lingers throughout the beer and leaves some lacing on the glass.

The aroma is a bit more generic than most American takes on the IPA style. Notes of grapefruit and/or lemon are detectable, but much more subdued than others of type. It’s evident from the smell alone this will be a bitter beer.


The best way for me to describe the taste of Brooklyn EIPA is the citrusy taste is toned way down but the bitterness is significantly emphasized.

Bitter beers are nothing to be feared since they have a strong hop bite to them. Brooklyn EIPA is a good example of what makes a beer of this type so good. It is strongly hopped (and dry hopped at that), but it has a subtle level of citrus flavor to keep it from being an all-out hop assault on your taste buds. It’s not exactly sweet or sour or even entirely bitter, but a good compromise somewhere between the three.


The problem with American IPAs that are strongly flavored with citrus is they tend to have a tart, dry finish to their taste and overall drinkability which makes them almost gimmicky in a way. Brooklyn EIPA is well-balanced so its finish is not nearly as noticeable as most of the sort. It’s not exactly smooth, but it’s not exactly dry, either.


I cannot recall a beer that was as highly potent at Brooklyn EIPA that drank and felt like a lighter beer. Weighing in at 6.9% ABV this beer is bound to have a significant impact on the drinker, but after two bottles in less than two hours I was pleasantly underwhelmed.

The brewery’s website did not list the amount of calories per serving, but considering the amount of alcohol I’d guess it’s at least 200, and yet it didn’t weigh me down or fill me up in the least. If nothing else, Brooklyn EIPA is a marvel since it should be a full-bodied beer and yet it drinks like one so much lighter.


Brooklyn East India Pale Ale is a niche product for the serious beer snob since it doesn’t have the gimmicky taste of other microbrews of the style. But then again it’s easy to drink and easy to digest so maybe the everyday drinker could appreciate it. Either way, it’s worth taking a chance on.

Grade: 8/10

NOTE: See my 2017 re-review to BJCP specs here: