Historically, rye was used by the Germans in the same manner as wheat was used. In other words, old-style German rye beers were Hefeweizens with rye used instead of wheat. The rye malt imparted a bit of a spicier flavor and they typically used less hops, but the beer still had hints of clove and banana in the flavor.
This, however, is an American-style rye beer. There is no singular method or style for this beer, so I had free reign to do whatever I wanted. I chose to brew this beer as an ale, as I wanted some balance to the spiciness of the rye. However, I still wanted the spice to show through, so I balanced the malt bill with sweeter and dryer malts. It is hopped slightly assertively – you can taste the hops but they do not overwhelm the beer’s body.
Though an ale, this beer was lagered for a little over a month. If you remember the cask, it was on the sweet side and fairly fruity. I did not want this in the final product, and the lagering did the trick.
Upon the first taste, you should notice a touch of sweetness that quickly yields to the flavor hops and a touch of rye spiciness. These flavors continue on into the finish, where you will notice a little more bitterness. Overall, the beer should taste clean and smooth. It is lighter in gravity and lower in alcohol so the flavors can shine through.
cheap (5086) - Beaver Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 3, 2007
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Slightly fruity aroma. Darker than a ubiquitous pale yellow american lager. A little more orangish brown. Has a smallish thin off white head. Good fruity initial flavor and this is much less offensive than other specialty grain brews I’ve had from Founders. This is very friendly and gentlemanlike, easy to enjoy. Interesting earthly background flavors. Happy and fun, not bad. Medium low carbonation. Has a nut brown flavor to it that makes it rather unique. The finish is short without any ill tempered bitter charactaristics.
Delirium (644) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAY 17, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught at the church. Pours amber with a small off-white head. Aroma is caramel malt, a little rye grain, and some floral and fruit flavors. Flavor is broadly similar, with a hint of hops in the finish. Not bad, though a bit light.
zebracakes (1339) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 31, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
At the Church. Cask conditioned. Hazy caramel, off white head. Aroma is caramel, malt, apricot, pear, faint grain. Flavor is apricot, rye, wheat, pear, slight wood. Nice body, rolls on the tongue.
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