Tag Archives: rye

Sixpoint Righteous Ale

Six Point Brewery
Brooklyn New York
Righteous Ale
6.3% ABV / 57 IBU

I don’t usually include the ABV or IBU, but since they are so keen to include it on the can (along with SRM, no less), I figured I’d add it. Six Point has found their stride with recipes, and with their new can design branding, it looks good too.

The pour is surprisingly quiet though with a little help, a frothy faintly beige head emerges, maintaining at a half inch.

The clarity is low, but the beer is murky, not opaque. Reddish-brown mahogany and cherry wood colors predominate, letting some amber light through. It’s basically like an Irish setter, but it smells better.

The nose has a heavy wort grain aroma – rich and oaty with a bitter pop like an ESB. That segues into the hops, which are resinous and herbal, but not overly floral. The mouthfeel is good (though I think I poured this particular can when it was too cold). The woodsy hop character shows up gradually atop the palate, spreading outward with peppery rye and some clean lemongrass. A green apple skin tartness is accompanied by brown sugar maltiness.

The beer never cloys, but the finish has a slightly dank cling that hopheads and ale lovers will recognize and adore. The rye is relatively quiet, so it comes across more as an APA – and a good one – but I was expecting just a little more twang from the malt.


Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Chico, CA
Ruthless Rye IPA

Much-maligned rye has made a serious comeback and I am a huge proponent of its revival. It’s most commonly added to IPAs to impart some peppery spice to the bitterness already present. So, in the hands of Sierra, this is an exciting addition to an already strong seasonal line.

Pour carefully: a billowing, crackling, faintly tan head explodes over the top of the beer. As it descends slowly, it sticks to the inside of the glass. Extremely fine carbonation can just be seen – the clarity is excellent, but the beer is dark. The color is a clear toffee brown, like burnished oak.

The aroma is initially a bit like wet socks. There is pine sap, faint lemon, and the contradictory aromas of damp wood and burnt pumpkin seeds. The mouthfeel is very good, starting off with a creaminess that coats the mouth, but which is instantly stripped away by an intense woody bitterness, like a dortmunder. That drifts backwards with the swallow, giving way to a combination of intense citrus bite and the nuttiness of those toasted pepitas from the aroma.

This is a fascinating beer – it is neither pure hop bomb, nor just a peppery rye ale. It has the lager-like qualities of a German pilsner, but the piney tartness of an IPA. Certainly, it’s one of the most interesting beers I’ve had in a while, and it’ll wreck your palate for anything milder to follow, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t badass. I’m biased: I love Sierra, but this really is a sick brew.

Real Ale Pale Rye Ale

Real Ale Brewing Co.
Blanco, TX
Full Moon Pale Rye Ale

Well, after a reasonably successful review of Real Ale’s Rio Blanco yesterday, why not try another?

The pour yields a rocky, slightly yellowish head that clings to the side of the glass as though the beer were wearing grampons.

The color is an impeccably gorgeous light coppery orange. There is plenty of turbulent effervescence circulating up from the center etching of the glass.

The nose is wet grain, all the way, though some slightly vinous stone fruit comes through just before a subtle but present aroma of oily hops.

The mouthfeel is pleasantly milky and the rocky head and fine carbonation helps. The first sip gives you almost all hops – it’s wonderful. Grapefruit and some bitter tobacco residue hit you first and foremost, though the rye shows up with a slightly spicy-yet-smooth breadiness towards the back and helps temper the bitterness just a tad. The finish relies on the hops to seal the deal, and they perform nicely.

All in all, an excellent RyePA, with good body, plenty of hops, and some really nice lace curtains.

Lancaster Rare Rooster Rye

Lancaster Brewing Co.
Lancaster, PA
Rare Rooster Rye Ale

The color is a copper-honey deep orange, that pours with slow and steady carbonation, providing a decent, but quick to deflate, off-white head. The clarity is perfect – a very limpid amber ale.

Lancaster Brewing Co. Rare Rooster Rye Ale

The nose is sweet, with warm honey notes, touches of overripe orange, dried caraway, and celery.

The mouthfeel is decent, with some malt that isn’t really chewy, but whose sweetness has more body than cloy. Some peppery quality at the start of the sip is surprising for such an amber ale, but perhaps not for one with rye in it. Mellow caramel notes rise through the fairly flat effervescence, leaving you to think it’s all over.

At the end of the swallow though, a bitter hop tang hits the tongue quickly and the dryness of the rye flavor comes out just subtly enough. Some traces of orange peel show up in the back, perhaps, but the end is altogether smooth, if not a bit on the sweet side.

This is a really nice example of how a session beer can have some complexity. Try this with some rye bread, mustard, and ham or sausage I’m sure you’ll be tempted to have a second.

Saranac Rye IPA

Matt Brewing Co.
Utica, NY
Saranac Rye IPA

The pour is lively with a nice sudsy white head that clings well as it crackles and subsides. The color is that of golden honey – a lot of orange and deep marigold. The carbonation is well dispersed and steady, but not torrential.

The nose is that of a malted lager, not an IPA. There are faint plum notes disguising what seems like it would be a nice ABV bite. Some citrus rises up, but it’s more acidic and not set as you might expect from an IPA. The malt aroma is nice, biscuity but not quite like sourdough, nor so strong as to be termed phenolic. There is no real rye aroma at all as there is in, say, Blue Point’s RastafaRYE or Sixpoint’s Righteous.

The mouthfeel is decent but – wow, not what I was expecting. The beer tastes a bit sour at first. There is a real bitternes – I hope it’s hops – that leaves a taste that is a bit unpleasant at first, like lemon concentrate, on the sides of the tongue. The finish of the swallow is metallic and sere. There’s a certain amount of that snap of biscuit, but there is a real problem with the citric back of this beer.

To be perfectly honest, I hope this bottle is skunked. I really like MBC/Saranac and this is not impressing me., but after a few more sips, the beer is coming around a bit, but that may be me getting used to it. A slightly calmer citric/floral twang hits the top of the palate, as though this beer were aggressively dry-hopped, and perhaps rye was added in the fermenter, but this is not doing it for me. I’ll try again at a later date, but for now I can’t say I’m wild about this one.

That said, the lacing is very pretty and dense, and the overall aftertaste is one of very dry hops, so not all is lost.


Finished. Not a moment too soon.