For my last post, I was at my homebrew club meeting, having a Bell’s This One Goes to 11 Ale. Today, I’m meeting with a small group from my homebrew club to discuss a “barrel project” where we can all brew a beer and age it in an old Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrel for a year or so. During out meeting, I decided to have this beer since I’d only had Laughing Dog’s Dogzilla Black IPA, and was sure I hadn’t added this one to this list yet.
Location: On tap and served in a regular tumbler pint glass at Medici in Normal, IL.
Numbers: 6.9% ABV, 215 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s golden in color with some orange highlights, and it’s slightly hazy. It’s got a big, creamy, white head on it, which retained for several minutes and left some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma was floral-citrusy and slightly lemon-like from the hops with a good amount of rye spiciness.
Taste & Feel: The body was medium and the mouthfeel was a bit crisp from the carbonation. The flavors up front were mostly the rye spiciness with hints of bread and honey. In the middle, there were some herbal flavors which joined the rye spiciness, along with some floral and lemon-like hop flavors. The finish was mostly floral and grassy hop bitterness, which lasted briefly in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer had a lot of floral, and lemon-like citrus flavors, with some grassiness in the finish. While I wouldn’t normally recommend a rye IPA with a fish dish, I think this one would go nicely with it, especially if the fish is seasoned in lemon, butter, and dill – as I think those flavors would mix nicely with this beer.
Overall Impression: It seemed like there was a good amount of rye in this beer, as it was fairly apparent in the nose and in the first part of the sip. To me, it seemed to be a bit of a contrast to the floral, lemony, and grassy hop flavors, creating a unique herbal flavor to come through in the middle. I would have liked the rye and the hop flavors to match a little more closely, similar to Terrapin’s Rye Pale Ale. Overall, I’d recommend passing on this beer for something else, but if you do have it, the flavors certainly aren’t offensive, and it’s still a very drinkable beer.