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RATINGS: 2003   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.91/5   IBU: 80   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character. 2009 California State Fair Ė GOLD 2003 California State Fair Ė GOLD 2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) Ė GOLD


4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 12, 2004
This is a fantastic beer. Pours a deep copper/red color with a nice white head. The aroma and taste are dominated by hops of which are very flavorful. A wondeful beer and highly recommended.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
mjg74 (3015) - La Mesa, California, USA - AUG 11, 2004
Pours a dark amber color with a long lasting, creamy off-white head. Aroma: I can smell this stuff from over a foot away. Smell is sweet, hoppy, and fruity. Huge aroma. Very hoppy, very smooth. Alcohol seems to be well masked.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ross (2146) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - AUG 10, 2004
wow hot damn. smells like an IIPA, pours like an IIPA, and you guessed it- bitter like an IIPA. pours out dark brown color witha nice white head that just sits there and doesnt show any signs of leaving the beer. smell is very hoppy. smells like great divide hercules. taste is hoppy and dry on the finish, goes down very well. a nice smooth drinking 8% ale. this could get me floored if i had cases of it. i think i found something that i would buy all the time if it were in this state. cheap (3.00 a 22), potent, and excellent. a combo that is rivaled by few. awesome beer.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
skaughty (652) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - AUG 9, 2004
Thick, dark, unfiltered. Even darker than expected - almost menacing. Heavy hop aroma that carried all the way thru. The sequence goes like this: Smell hops, Taste hops, repeat. There is NO finish in this one. The carbonation just dries on the tongue and the beer instantaneously disappears.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Crockett (1089) - Southampton, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 9, 2004
Pours light mahogony. Big creamy head settles into a firm rocky foam. Lots of hop in the aroma with a light licorice scent. Toasty and chewy. Grapefruit, rum, butter, lemon rind, burnt sugar. Long bitter finish with lots of citrus. Should have a more pronounced rye character. Alcohol is very well hidden.

2.4
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
shadey (2079) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - AUG 6, 2004
Well I should have known. When itís from California and it says hop on the label, I am prolly going to think it is way over-hopped. I just donít get it and I probably never will. What is with all the hops?!?! The head and lacing on this beer were amazing however. The head was a soft pillowing fluf that just never quit. Even after I started drinking there remained big snowy puff of head on the inside of the glass. Unreal.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sven (229) - Lancaster, California, USA - AUG 6, 2004
Brilliant reddish-amber colour, excellent head retention obviously from the rye. Hoppy aroma. Well balanced flavor of hops and malt. Dry finish, big, well-rounded mouthfell. Rich aftertaste.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
cherr (162) - Rochester, New York, USA - AUG 2, 2004
I had this on tap. The beer is a nice amber. The smell is of hops. The taste is balanced with with malt/hops. The taste isnít as hoppy as I had expected, but is above average for IPAs. The alcohol is not noticeably high in the taste. I had this on tap at MacGregorís Rochester, NY.

4.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ElGaucho (2391) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - JUL 29, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2007 12/2/07: Re-rate. Draught at brewpub. The standout beer in the 10-beer sampler I had. Caramel malt notes in the aroma with substantial hop. Very dark amber color with off-white head. Excellent lace. Strong with rich hop. Delicious! Hard to top this brew. Lovely. 7/29/04: Another winner from the folks at Bear Republic! Hoppy & sweet aroma. Beautiful, cloudy red color with excllent lace. Despite less than ideal head size appearance is one of this beerís strong suits. At first sip, the substantial ABV is noticeable. Nice perfumy hop profile as well. Really nice flavor with some subtle hints of caramel and chocolate. Warming and very good. Ar 8, Ap 5, Fl 8, Pal 5, Ov 17

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Frank (4007) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 25, 2004
I feel a rambling a-cominí move on to the next review if you want something to the point.... I gotta wonder if a big, hoppy brew is the best way to showcase the unique flavors rye can add to the beer. I mean--and maybe this is just my virginal palate speaking--I cannot for the life of me figure out exactly what character rye adds to this beer. Maybe itís that hint of molasses and spice in the nose or the earthy overtones in the finish. Maybe thatís the hops. Who knows? What Iím wondering here is: should I rate this beer lower because I canít discern the rye character even though itís labeled as a rye beer? If a beer were labeled as an IPA but didnít have a nice hoppy signature, I think that I would be tempted to rate it a little lower than if it were labeled simply as a pale ale. I guess in the end--style and labeling be damned-- Iím rating beers based on if I like them or not. And I found Hop Rod to be rather good, as a matter of fact. It pours a delectable mahogany color with wisp of a white foam that lingers and leaves a couple delicate spots of lace on the side of the glass. The nose is hoppy, slightly earthy with hints of honey and molasses. Those hints are really what make this beer enjoyable as they add balance to what would otherwise be a simple hop-monster. Yay for balance! The palate is full and somewhat sticky. I think a little more assertive carbonation would have helped to give this beer a little more zest on the tongue and stopped it from feeling so heavy. But, overall, it was really very enjoyable. I might have another should the muse strike for me to drink something brewed with rye that doesnít taste like rye. For the record, I liked the Racer 5 I tried earlier today better.


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