|Highest Rated||Nordic Rye Ale (92 / 100)
||Average score||75 / 100 (Excellent)|
|Lowest Rated||Roggen (67 / 100)
500ml brown bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. Believe it or not, this is my first Roggenbier I've had from the style's home country of Germany.
Pours a deep, dusky brown colour, with a firm frothy head of beige that stays pretty persistent even if it loses its shape a little. Haze is pretty full: like you'd get in a dunkelweizen, I guess, although the colour here is darker. Some coarse, meandering carbonation and a fairly full body. Looks good.
Nose is fairly light, unfortunately. It's not unpleasant, with a mild grain tone laced with some subtly spicy-sour rye characters. But it's fairly weak, meaning I feel like I'm missing out on the full roggen-experience. As it warms there's a suggestion of vanilla and a hint of lavender. But it's still light.
Taste is also fairly light: I guess in a hefeweizen, for example, a lot of the flavour profile is generated by the yeast, and the yeast character here is really very neutral indeed. Instead, we get a fairly flat, if smooth body, with just a tingle of rye towards the back—the rye actually flattens some of the sweetness out of it, meaning the beer ends up being a little crisper than even some low-range German lagers. It's certainly not bad, but it's quite different from what I was expecting.
Overall though, it's very drinkable, well-crafted and undoubtedly interesting. It's not as complex as it could have been, I feel, but who am I to say what a roggenbier should be. At least now I have a legitimate benchmark.
73 / 100
650ml bottle purchased from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA. Shared with Sam and Rich in Sydney.
Pours a very deep, but also relatively clear brown colour, with a truly excellent head of beige. The head stays solid right to the bottom, and is formed of a pleasant creaminess. Body is quite light, and the carbonation is furtive. It looks decent enough, especially the clarity, the head and the colour.
Nose is pleasant: solid toasty malts with a firm richness behind them, spiked with the unusually spicy and lightly tart character of rye. There's also some sweet, slightly fruity hop notes that come through, giving a slight overtone of tropical fruits to the aroma. Yes. Certainly pleasant.
Taste is smooth and full-bodied throughout, but a little light on flavour. This helps it retain a certain pleasant drinkability, and the hop character is also similarly muted, meaning the balance stays about right. Some slight spicy characters towards the back, and even a hint of smoke. It's quite good.
Feel is great: very smooth and rich throughout, despite the relatively low ABV.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this beer. It had a lot going for it, and managed to package it into a very neat and coherent brew. Another sign of the solidity of Rogue.
Pours a rich red colour with slight bead. Head is beige, nice and dense but doesn't quite hang around. Lace is OK, but also doesn't really stick. Nice colour, though.
Smells intriguing, as you'd expect. Lots of caramel with mildly tart fruit - banana, apple and a touch of copper. Light rye spice, slightly peppery. Yeah, pretty nice and interesting.
Taste is quite sweet, really. Toffee underlying it all with distinct fruit coming through early-mid, notes of banana, peach and pear. Some light spice notes late, a touch of nutmeg, clove and green pepper. The rye is an intriguing counterpoint to typical weizen notes, but it's not quite enough, so it sort of tastes like just a dirty weizen. Nice, but not amazing.
Smooth, good body. Just like a German ale should be.
I like the idea, and it's pretty well put together, but it does feel like a bit of a blind-man's-bluff experiment, and they could have leaned a bit heavier on some elements to make it pop out.
92 / 100
Pours a gorgeous, rich pinot noir colour, clear and red throughout. Slight pink tinge to the head which is lovely and thick, nice and tightly packed together. Awesome retention. Just looks magnificent.
Smells lovely as well. Quite dark, with a slight roasty edge, mildly vinous but very rich. Lovely rye spice coming through strongly, giving earthy, peppery notes and a slight acidity on the back. Sultry and inviting, for sure.
Taste is dark, and quite brooding. Spicy rye notes combine with mild roast to give a piquant espresso character midway. Big grain bomb, then the yeast takes hold towards the back, twisting towards a slight earthy funk and a touch of acidity. Mild resinous note as well and a touch of booze towards the back. The two halves are distinct, but blend well and complement each other beautifully. Great balance, and great contrast as well. This is a wonderful, exciting beer.
Smooth texture. Booze is not noticeable on the mouthfeel at all, or if it is it's just to warm the cockles. Gorgeous.
I enjoyed this brew on a midsummer evening, but the weather was on the cooler side. Even still I can see this being enjoyed year-round. It's got the spice and warmth of a winter beer but the fresher saisony notes as well. Absolute cracker.
500ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer.
Pours a goopy red-brown colour, with a generous heft to the body, and almost no head to speak of. Actually, that's unfair, as a vigorous pour gives a tenuous ring of white bubbles around the edge of the glass, and some fine filming across the top. Body is insanely thick for 5.7% ABV. Carbonation is fine. It looks, just a little bit too odd.
Nose is pleasant with a slightly sour rye spice and a hint of smokiness. Pleasant savoury notes come through, and a touch more roasted than the colour suggests. Not bad.
Taste is very pleasant, if light. There is indeed a smokiness to the palate, but it bounces off the light flavours of the rye, giving a spicy, smoky melange that is surprisingly refreshing. Minimal sweetness, and surprisingly little body, despite what it looks like.
Not a bad brew, if a somewhat subdued one. 3 Ravens do tend to brew pretty mild beers, even ones that are oddities of style like this one. But although they're simple in characters, I don't think I've ever disliked one, and this is no exception to the rule.
74 / 100
Pours a lovely red-brown colour, quite clear, but deep in hue, with a fine but subsiding head of mocha beige. Body is quite light, and extremely fluid, which is something of a shame. Looks pretty good overall. The colour is particularly nice.
Nose is spicy with rye, but also with a touch of booziness. Hints of estery fruit come through as well, mostly dark dried plums and dates which work with the booze character, and some slight banana notes. As it warms, a more pronounced pepper note arises as well. It's interesting.
Taste is dark and indeed spicy, but with a definite bite of booze. Slight phenol on the back, but it's smoothed slightly by the estery characters. Some fresh fruitiness comes through at places towards the back, giving slight red apple and plum flavours. Feel is very light, but it does add a certain rustic saison-like charm.
Overall, a good beer. I like some rye in my beer, and I particularly like a lot of rye in my beer. This one gains spice, light acidity and bite from the addition, perhaps at the expense of body.
76 / 100
On-tap at the Sail and Anchor in Fremantle.
Pours a very deep amber colour with a lovely creamy fine head. Very light body to it, and it has minimal lacing. But the carbonation is very fine, meaning it stays static when tilted. Looks good.
Nose is a little sharp with some rye sourdough acidity, a little grainy, but all well integrated and smooth. It almost has a sourness or a spontaneous fermentation character. Lovely. So unique.
Taste is similar. Smooth and grainy, but with the slight rye grain acidity. It's thin, again, but there's complexities to it. Hints of grape skin, spice and pumpernickel. It's really interesting and different.
A really unique beer and a very tasty one. I think everything I've had from Mash has been very good, and most of them have been interesting as well.