Thanks to Rich Nunez for bringing a six pack of this over while discussing label layouts for his brewery. I first got a chance to try this beer earlier this week when Paul and Scott brought it back from Omaha, NE. Again I received several picture texts from friends that this beer had arrived in the QC. Just my fortune when this beer arrived at my house Thursday night.
Appearance: Very clear and ambered with an oranged hue. The head is very minute and only standing as a thin filmed white ring. Lacing is wet and even a bit stringy. There are occasional bubbles throughout the beer, but it remains relatively action-less.
Aroma: Sweet, with a prominent rye characteristic up front as well as bready and biscuit. Some undertones of fruit (plum: from the malt). The second half incorporates a tropical bitterness with floral notes. Pineapple and grapefruit fruit zest in the finish.
Taste: The beer starts sweet, beginning with a sugary neutrality, followed by a biscuit malt base. The flavor of rye starts here, but the primary character is a frontal 2-row and victory malt. Light pumpernickel and nutty flavors. Spiced and honeyed. Then the citrus and tropical hops emerge in complement to the rye spicing at the end. Dark fruits are presented initially, followed by more grapefruit and and blood orange. Overall, this beer presents a very perceptively earthy character, in conjunction with the grain flavor of rye and citrus zest. Generally, this beer is bitter, but boasts flavor in itself. Aftertaste continues long after the beer has left the palate.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and velvety. The body is of medium stature while remaining soft, but still maintaining an enticing feel. The second half foams up and bubbles down the throat. Very drying as it is prolonged at the end. Not a lot of stickiness.
Overall Impression: This packs the flavor I desire in both an IPA and in a rye, and both are very fantastic. The rye remains prominant, even under the bittering units that are packed into this beer. Balanced and complex, but extremely drinkable! I see myself drinking this beer on a regular basis. MMM RYE!