12oz can purchased from Bottleworks in Seattle. No obvious best by date.
Pours a pleasant wood-brown colour, with a very pronounced head of beige, caused by some furious carbonation. Lacing forms in sticky clumps. The body has some weight to it—despite being forcefully carbonated, the bubbles form slowly and languidly when tilted. Looks pretty good.
Nose is pleasant enough. There's a more pronounced woodiness to it, that I think partially comes from earthy hops, and partially from the additional layers of malt. The rye gives a crackling grain note to the mix—somewhat savoury and somewhat spicy, with a slight grape must undertone. It's not bad.
Taste starts off similarly, with a pleasantly put together toasted grain character, a little like you'd get in an Altbier. But it's much more bitter, with a pronounced hop bite that almost turns acidic and ashy in the mouth. Carbonation is also a low point, with a frothy, fizzy heaviness to the back.
It's a bit of a shame that this is so out of whack, because it's a nice idea, and the malt structure in particular is nice. But this isn't a great beer as it's presented here.
Pours a burnished orange colour, with slight haze. Head is off-white and beautifully whispy with thick billowing sheet of lace left behind. Looks malty and gorgeous.
Smells fruity and tangy. Citrus, passion and stone fruit. Nice malty undertone as well with caramel toffee. Sweet and tangy.
Taste is fairly typical IPA. Hops make their presence felt early but there's a really rich solid malt backbone with a sweet caramel toffee note that continues on the back. Hop oils with citrus and dank resin notes. Quite heavy and full on with that dark sweet malt, and the resinous oils but the flavours are all nice, even if they're a little emphatic.
Little bit too much pull, the malt presence is big on the palate and less on the feel.
I feel like it's not that nuanced or maybe not so skilfully constructed, but it's tasty enough so you forgive it a bit of unbalance. Overall it just feels like another IPA, and finding out later that there's rye in there I feel more could have been done with it.
74 / 100
22oz brown bottle purchased from Chuck's Hop Shop in Seattle.
Pours a relatively clear pale amber gold colour, with a fine, pocked head of pure white that leaves, thin streaming lace. Body has a good amount of weight to it, and it holds very fine, static carbonation when tilted. Looks like a nice beer.
Nose is weirdly malt-based. There's a structure to it that lends some caramel and toffee notes, with only a light, generic hop fragrance that gives a little herbal rosemary. There's something savoury to it as well, almost with a suggestion of smoke. It's quite nice.
Taste is better. Here, the body is pretty rich and thick, which allows the savoury notes of the rye to come through. The hops provide balance, but they're also not prominent. The back is slightly toasty, which is a surprisingly pleasant way to finish. Feel is smooth and slick.
Overall, I do like it a good deal. It's not a really stellar beer, but it's well thought through, and there's nice balance and structure to it.
22oz brown bomber purchased from Marketime Foods in Fremont, Seattle.
Pours a deep golden colour, with very good clarity. Body is fluid and swift-moving, but holds a bit of weight suitable for its 6.8% ABV. Head is a pocked cap of off-white that settles in to a fine ring that leaves streaks of lace. Carbonation is fine and swift moving when the glass is tilted. Looks good.
Nose is sharp, weedy and green. Slight astringent vinous characters, tending towards the cat pee aroma you can get from Nelson Sauvin. It's almost a slight skunkiness. There's little else balancing this. It's not a bad aroma, but it's one-note, and quite direct.
Taste is also a little limited. There's a sharpness on the front, again suggesting a green, vegetative quality. Towards the back, there's a slight grainy malt note that turns savoury, giving hints of toasted sesame and oregano. There's not a lot of coherence between the two characters though, and they feel at odds: both oddly aromatic in ways that aren't necessarily what you'd expect.
Overall, it's not bad, but it's at most par-for-the-course as an IPA. Some of the reedy, weedy green notes are interesting, but it doesn't manage to structure a particularly coherent beer around those characters. And in some ways, it fails to accentuate what should be its best character.