Tasted following a 10 hour day at the brewery. I can successfully say I've learned to clean and prep the fermenters on my own, filter and back flush on my own, and run an acid loop on the kettle...on my own! This was tasted following another organic rice mix with my garden vegetables. Pint served. Purchased from (and new to) Rock Island Hy-vee.
Appearance: Shady brown with a faint red tinge. The head is very strong maintaining a cream color and a fine micro bubble density. Lacing is netted along all sides of the glass. It is generally somewhat hazy, though carbonation is somewhat visible.
Aroma: Clean but with a splash of tropical citrus and orange peel. A bit floral and earthy. Malt profile is basic caramel. A faint rye scent is permeable to the nostrils, but is seems to meld with an underlying grassiness at the very end of the smell. Perhaps some plum is present.
Taste: Nicely balanced between a ever prominent caramel malt bill, with notes of brown sugar sweetness, but then equalizes a much floral hop bitterness. One can draw orange and bitter grapefruit, but also apparent notes of pine and other resinous flavors. Between all this, the rye helps a developing oak flavor blossom from the depths of the layered complexity. Near the end there is a bit of spicing, probably from the rye adjunct. The finish is grassy, while the aftertaste remains in a state of stale alpha acids and leafy dry hopped complexion, almost astringent. Subtle hints of plum and other dark roasted fruits emerge in an overall afterthought
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but the fine carbonation could give the misconception of being bigger than it really is. Mouthfeel is soft, and a bit heavy in texture. The finish is very dry and astringently resinous leaving a bitter feel/taste in the mouth long after.
Overall Impression: I think this beer goes overboard on the bittering hops in the boil. Perhaps too alpha-acid-happy with Warriors or Noble hops? The Cascade just don't give this beer what it should have... The rye idea is cool, but had this beer used maybe..liberty? or Simcoe? Then I think we'd be in business! Otherwise it's just too plainly bitter at the end. Body is interestingly deceptive.