IMPERIAL RYE: 89 Points
Grows on you
This American Strong Ale is a limited release in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Imperial Rye is a spicy, golden red beer with a floral hop aroma. This beer is sweet up-front with a smooth, aromatic finish.”
My Description: Initially, I felt that the balance of the flavors was too conflicting but as the beer warmed up a bit and I drank more of it, I started to enjoy this ale. It begins with a large, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind spotty lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of floral hops, rye, tropical hops, and a hint of caramel. Imperial Rye is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is surprisingly smooth with an interesting balance between sweet and bitter. Upfront, there is a noticeable malt sweetness with notes of caramel and citrus hops that fades cleanly into an aftertaste that is moderately bitter and lingers slightly. There is a rye spice note that is always around and ties everything together nicely. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and creeps up slowly. Overall, this is a good beer that doesn’t necessarily bring out potent hop notes but does give a satisfying drinking experience. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with Thai noodles, dry rubbed ribs, or strong cheese.
ABV: 9.5% Color: Dark Gold Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10
RYE OF THE TIGER: 94 Points
I must drink you!
This IPA is released seasonally in the Spring in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Our Rye of the Tiger has claws. Named for its fierce hop profile and sharp rye content, Rye of the Tiger is a thrilling India Pale Ale with bite. Rye of the Tiger is crafted for the fighter in all of us, a powerful beer meant to inspire feats of strength and skill. At 7.5%, mind those catlike reflexes if your bout goes into extra rounds. If you can handle this hopped-up kitty, you’ve earned your stripes.”
My Description: This is very bitter beer but it doesn’t hide the other flavors, in fact it is the perfect finish to this ale. It begins with a good sized, white colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming and it smells fresh with notes of rye, fruity hops, and a hint of tropical hops. Rye of the Tiger is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is clean and delicious with all notes working smoothly together. A noticeable rye spice and breadiness sets the foundation with bold citrus hops coming through. Some sweet malt notes add character along with some earthiness. Overall this beer has excellent balance. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the aftertaste is moderately high in bitterness. This beauty is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fried chicken, spicy fish tacos, or jerk seasoned dishes.
ABV: 7.5% Color: Orange/Amber Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 7/10
RHYE IPA: 96 Points
Bold yet gentle
This IPA is released “now and then” in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “In craft beer, there are almost as many bad rye puns as there are bad hop puns; Smuttynose is happy to spare you from more of either. Instead, we’ll tell you about our new Big Beer, Rhye IPA. We brewed it because we like drinking hoppy American-style beers and we wanted a chance to brew with rye. The rest, as they say, is history. The result is a 7% hoppy IPA, with rye spiciness and big hop character. This beer will really get under your armor…”
My Description: This beer is smooth with clean flavors that work harmoniously together. I also feel that the rye addition works marvelously with the hops selection. It begins with a very large, off-white colored head with a great retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is very aromatic with Citra hops written all over it. There are notes of stone fruits, tropical hops, and some citrus hops; this beer smells fantastic. Rhye IPA is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The way this beer is mashed it makes it very drinkable but thins out the body a bit, however not enough to affect it negatively. The flavor profile is well executed and slightly complex. Rye spice undertones and a malty body hold up notes of pine hops, bread, and some grassiness. This transitions into an aftertaste that is moderately bitter with a lingering rye and pine hop note. This beer is delicious and an easy choice for an IPA with rye. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with beef jerky, smoked ribs, or a spicy Thai dish.
ABV: 7.7% Color: Orange Caramel Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 6/10
BLACK RYE: 96 Points
This Specialty Ale is released seasonally between January and March in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “We’ve reached into the vault and pulled out a cult classic from years ago. Before Black IPAs were all the rage, we made a dry-hopped dark ale with copious amounts of rye malt. Black Rye is a perfectly balanced blend of German- and American-grown hops, premium 2-row barley and heavily kilned rye and wheat malts. As with many of our offerings, there’s no style category that can contain this beer. It’s an original.”
My Description: An excellent brew for the season. The rye blends so nicely with the roasted malts and the bitterness level is spot on. This beer begins with a good sized, beige colored head with a great retention level that holds most of the way leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is strong and pleasant with notes of rye, pine hops, chocolate, and roasted malts. Black Rye is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. This is a delicious combination of flavors. A slightly sweet toffee note is immediately overtaken by roasted malts and rye. Pine hops, earthy notes, and some char are welcoming additions and the alcohol is completely hidden. The transition to the aftertaste is very smooth and the finish is moderately bitter with lingering hop notes. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with grilled lamb chops, roasted duck, or chocolate desserts.
ABV: 7.5% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10
RYE CUBED (2014): 92 Points
Not very bitter
This American Strong Ale/India Pale Ale is released in limited quantities in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Rye beers have been a part of our brewing arsenal from day one. “Rye”, “Rye Squared” and now “Rye Cubed” Triple IPA completes this trilogy of brewing excellence.”
My Description: Classified as a India Pale Ale on their label and their website says that the IBU is over 100; there is only a minimal amount of bitterness in this beer and it is almost misleading initially. Either way, it is a tasty beer that really highlights the rye grain. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with a really nice retention level and it leaves behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is real bready with rye notes and raw grains. There are also traces of pine and citrus hops, but not much. Rye Cubed is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Clean and very smooth, this beer is not overly complex and it is pleasing to the palate. This flavor profile is balanced with a slight lean to the sweeter side. A strong malty backbone holds up delicious rye bread-like notes with hints of woodsy hops. The alcohol is beautifully hidden but is felt. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a lingering rye spice that satisfies. I just wish this beer was a little more bitter but it is still a great beer. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with smoked beef brisket, grilled lamb loin, or blue cheese.
ABV: 10.7% Color: Amber Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3/10
MOSAIC: 94 Points
collage of hop flavors
This Amber Rye Ale is released for a limited time in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: ” Mosaic Single Hopped Rye Ale. Brewer “Spike” has an affinity towards rye malt, so this comes a no surprise. Freshly harvested from Hop Breeding Company, LLC in Yakima Valley, the hops used in Side Project 19 “Mosaic” came freshly picked from the fields of Perrault Farms, to our brewery, and into your glass. Known as hop HBC 369 before official naming in 2011, Mosaic is the daughter of Simcoe (YCR 14) and a Nugget-derived male. To get the best of all worlds from this new Humulus lupus, we used 100% Mosaic throughout the brewing process to utilize all the flavor and aroma that this world-class hop has to offer.”
My Description: It is always nice to showcase a hop on the shoulders of a great beer. I may not have enjoyed the Mosaic hop if Terrapin made a crappy beer but overall this a great tasting beer that has made me a fan of the Mosaic hop. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head that lasts for quite some time and leaves behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasing and ever-changing with notes of rye, malt, pine hops, citrus hops, and tropical fruits with a hint of peach. It is medium bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors are very clean with tasty rye spice undertones accompanied by a collage of hop flavors including tropical fruit, pine, citrus, and more. The aftertaste is moderately bitter but not harsh or intrusive. This is a great beer and is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with Arctic Charr, jerk chicken, or grilled lamb chops.
ABV: 6.6% Color: Deep Amber Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10
RYE PALE ALE: 92 Points
Great Rye Addition
This Pale Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “We Consider this an extreme version of an American Pale Ale. It has a very up front floral and citrus aroma from a late cascade addition and dry hopping with Amarillo. This beer also has a big malt background to balance the bitterness of the hops. The rye malt cleans up your palette after you swallow so the hop flavor does not stick in your mouth too long.”
My Description: This is a great pale ale because the rye addition is faint and not easily picked up on, which allows the full flavors of the hops and malt to shine through. It has a good sized, off-white colored head that lasts for some time and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant and enjoyable with notes of grapefruit hops, pale malt, and a touch of rye spice. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The texture really makes this beer easy drinking and very smooth. The flavors work in clean harmony with each other; upfront, there are notes of malt and rye which transition nicely into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter with a pine hop flavor that lingers momentarily. This is a great everyday beer. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with cheeseburgers, cauliflower pizza, or grilled shrimp.
ABV: 5.3% Color: Orange/Copper Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10