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Rye Hopper - French Broad Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Rye HopperRye Hopper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

134 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 134
Hads: 241
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 13.28%
Wants: 15
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
French Broad Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ncvbc on 09-22-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 134 | Hads: 241
Photo of krisandajt
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to number1bum for bringing be back a bomber of this to try.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, deep amber color with about half an inch of fluffy white head. The head fades somewhat quickly leaving behind some nice soapy lacing.

Smell: Somewhat subdued, picking up hints of rye and biscuity sweetness from the malt.

Taste: Wow! From the smell I did not think that the rye would burst out of this beer like it does! Big rye flavor mixed in with just a bit of sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, and smooth. Very easy to drink.

Drinkability: I have had me some hop bombs, I've had me some malt bombs, but this is my first real rye bomb. It's a different taste, albeit a good one. It's a unique flavor that I can see myself drinking again, though probably not more than one in an evening.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - medium clear amber body small boring white head.

S - rye and grapefruits. Good nose.

T - bitter. Citrus. A bit of spice and grapefruit. Nice tasting. Tastes along the lines of a rye ipa.

M- pretty smooth, medium bodied.

D - quite drinkable. Tasty. Good things.

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Photo of beer2day
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with little to no head. Decent lacing. Minimal carbonation.

Nose hints at rye and hops, but not as strong as I would like. Somewhat flowery, but very mild. Some breadiness as well, but not yeasty.

Malty sweet on the hit, but the rye zing quickly kicks in. Nice dry rye finish. Mouthfeel is just chewy enough for the style.

Overall, very good and worth seeking out if you like rye's.

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Photo of jera1350
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New brewery to the state of MN I believe. New to my beer store, that's for sure.

Deep amber hue that is crystal clear. Soap sudsy head is about one finger high and light tan in color. Leaves some lace.

Dominant rye fills the nose. Their is a light hop smell, but the rye is so robust that it's hard to pick up.

The rye is definitely the star of this show. After the rye the nice bitter hops kick in. It's almost like tasting two beers.

Medium body, very smooth, maybe undercarbonated actually.

Great drinkability. Big on the rye malt, but a nice hop kick to please just about any beer drinker. This would make a nice session beer.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber shared with friends on 12/22/09.

A - Poured a hazy orange/copper-tinged body with moderate carbonation and a thin, off-white head that reduced to a patchy veil but left a splash of sticky lacing.

S - Hint of spicy, peppery notes followed by rye malt and some citrusy hops. Overall, the nose features lots of grainy, bready malt notes and spicy fruit attributes.

T - Bold rye presence right from the get-go with spicy notes and citrus hops backed by a hefty grainy malt backbone and an apparent rye profile. Finishes with a fairly assertive hop bite.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a mild syrupy texture. Finish is quite dry and bittersweet on the palate with a hint of spice.

D - Rye Hopper is a really flavorful and drinkable rye beer, and is quite dry and spicy with more of a hop presence than I was expecting. My first experience with French Broad and I was not disappointed.

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Photo of everetends
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber I picked up from Hop City. Sounded interesting and I am always intrigued by Rye beers. Served this one up in a standard pint.

A: I really, really like the look of this beer. Had a nice medium to dark brown color. Held to the light, you get more of the yellows coming out to mix with the brown. Plenty of light gets through this, but this brew is far from clear. Has a really nice cloudiness to it thanks to a good amount of debris in this beer. A nice amount of sediment sitting at the bottom of this glass. The head is friggin awesome. Fluffy ass, pillowy ass, creamy ass white head. This stuff is thick and very fluffy. Has a lot of texture to it. Throws up some of the thickest and stickiest lace I have seen. Damn this is a good start.

S: Well, all I can say its about average in this category. Has a good amount of rye in it and it should. Nice and spicy, dark rye bread presence. Very bready and very hearty. Behind that, not a whole lot happening in this beer. Maybe in the very back there is some citrus peel in here with some tangy and slightly metallic lemon and grapefruit rind. Behind that . . . well thats it. Just a bit above that mediocre line.

T: Better, much better going on in here. Rye is up front, making this an earthy delight. A little spicy but absolutely nice and dark rye bread coming out. Bready malts are very close to perfect with all this rye kickin. Then comes the hopper portion of this beer. Has a nice grapefruit and orange presence coming out of these hops. Its rind and meat flavors coming out. Slightly bitter, slightly fruity sweet. All good. There is just an ever so light chocolate malt presence coming across every once in a while and it works so well bringing just the right amount of sweetness. GOOD.

M: Medium in feel and is spot on. Has a nice weight to it that is slightly creamy, but this has a nice carbonation to it, keeping it fluffy and easy on the way down. ABV is not an issue. Slightly bitter at times but also sweet at times. Aftertaste is that dark rye, toasty bread. Nice.

D: Damn this was a lot better than I expected. I picked it up only expecting a mediocre beer at best for some reason, but this beer is far better than that. The appearance is ridiculous and I can't get enough of it. Spot on. Flavor is good as well as that feel. Could be better in the nose but screw it, it more than makes up for it. It has a good weight to it but it is still easy drinking which is something I love in a beer. A lot of times a beer can have great flavor but the feel just makes me feel like I am drinking swill. This doesn't leave me with that at all. Very good and WILL drink again.


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Photo of blackie
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: dark, nutty amber in color, capped with a low, lightly retained head

s: big note of rye to start things off - sweet and rich, fruity and spicy with a pungent body of that unique rye character, caramel and some carob, nicely hopped with sweet citrus and pine, dig how the rye really comes out here

m: carbonation on the low side, body medium-heavy

t: again a big rye presence, sweet and spicy, bready caramel, complex grain, earthy pine hop flavor with a nice finishing bitterness

d: just fine - unique and flavorful, bomber with no problem

bomber from Bruisin' Ales, Asheville

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Photo of merlin48
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Twenty-two ounce bottle pours a hazy, burnished copper body with a two finger khaki head. Good retention and very sticky lacing drapes the glass.

Aroma is a bit subdued, but boasts some sweet citrus(pink grapefruit), spicy rye, and earthy and leafy pinecone.

Very good mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a medium body and carbonation.

Taste is interesting. Earthy, spicy, and peppery rye malt is the star here, but the hops stand out, as well. Pine and grapefruit notes weave in and out. Just a touch of caramel to keep things interesting. A touch of toasted rye bread and hops earthiness at the finish.

I'm very partial to a well done rye ale and this one hits the mark on all accounts. It's a bit too filling to want more than one at a single sitting, but this is my favorite French Broad product to date. Well done!

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Photo of dirtylou
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, $4.25 at bruisin ales, brought back via NW airlines

appearance: poured into an imperial pint...great looking brew - rich amber body with a full creamy, frothy beige cap and fluffy retention. very nice indeed

smell: aroma is fairly hop-driven, pine and citrus play equal parts, definitely some nice spicy rye notes in the background, a touch metallic, but very solid

taste: in my limited experience, this is my favorite french broad offering. the balance between bitter hop and spicy rye is wonderful and its got just enough bite to justify the addition of rye to what seems like could have been a great base-APA as well.

mouthfeel: creamy and medium bodied, nice spicy dry finish

drinkability: a bomber of a spicy rye is hard for any man

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a E&J Cask & Cream glass on 1/3/11

Many thanks to PDXHops for the French Broad hook up

Medium tobacco brown color, boasting excellent clarity. One finger head thinned quickly leaving a small patch of bubbles amid a skim of foam. Impressive swaths of lace. Looks great.

The aroma is very well structured; the use of rye in the nose is quite impressive. With an overt dryness there is a fine balance between breadiness & spice. Accenting the rye are notes of American hops; piney & citric (think orange peel).

Similar to the aroma, the taste is plenty dry though the structure seems to differ. Piney bitterness hits first, in moderate quantity, followed by an earthy notion & subtle spiciness. The rye is seated further still, making a solid backdrop of toastiness.

Medium bodied wrought with dryness. I find the carbonation to be a speck below average; certainly appropriate for the beer. As it warms a bit of a coating feel takes hold. Dry finish with lingering bitterness & rye.

French Broad has a good thing going on with this one; rye is showcased without going overboard. At 5.9% abv, not only is it tasty, is goes easy on the palate. Recommended.

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Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared 22oz bomber shared with 2 friends. Served in large wine glass.

A: Pours with a very attractive copper brown color; sparkling clear with barely visible fine carbonation. A small white head reduced to a ring that left little lacing behind.

S: There's rye in the nose, and plenty of sweet malt, but the hops come through first and foremost, making this pleasantly citrusy.

T: This is a rye pale ale with a strong malt base and enough rye to significantly modify the flavor. There's plenty of hops in the flavor, like a typical Amer. PA, and the hops are the main contributor to the fine and lasting finish.

M: very good carbonation level; medium body

D: A good bomber to share; plenty of flavor but not extreme.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color, moving a bit to brown, slightly hazy with a huge head, kind of off-white/yellow colored. It looks a little loosely packed, but it stays around, leaving nice lacing. Though eventually, it sort of collapses to a pillowy mass and then sort of disappears slowly. The smell comes across with mostly powdery malts, and quite a bit of rye. Like rye bread, a little spicy, a little earthy. There also seems to be some spiciness and leafy-earthiness from the hops as well. Otherwise, their presence is mild in the smell. Something smells a little like cinnamon in here as well, a little spicier though. The taste comes across with a kick of herbs, like herb bread, with cloves, and a bit of mint, some basil, maybe a taste of garlic, actually there seems to be a little heat to it. Very interesting. Then there's a kind of toasty malt presence, with a bit of sweetness, liek caramellized sugars. I can also sense a bit of an estery presence, but it's barely there. There's quite a bit going on here - I'm not so sure I have anything to compare it to, but I'm really enjoying it. The body is nice and full, almost chewy from the proteins in the rye. Makes it almost hard to swallow. The alcohol warms a little, but isn't really noticeable. The carbonation hardly bites, but you can feel it there, helping to rush the beer down. Really enjoyable. It's a bit out of the ordinary - not because of some strange ingredient, but just because I haven't really tasted anything quite like it, and worth a shot if you can get it. I could see myself purchasing this again.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another solid beer from French Broad. So nice to see these available in Atlanta now. Pours a slightly hazy dark amber with very little head and relatively low carbonation, but with some scant lacing left behind as the beer is drained. Smells of spicy rye, piney hops, and a touch of malt. Fairly well balanced in the nose. I wouldn't call the taste balanced, but it's delicious nonetheless. Starts with a bang, with a big blast of rye and piney hops intermingled to create a quite spicy, dry, bitter, prickly mouthfull. I like it, and the rye and the hops work well together. Bone dry with very little noticeable malt makes this almost tannic, and approaches rye whiskey in its flavor profile, without the burn. Big and spicy in the mouth, this one surprised me when I poured it after working in the yard expecting a lawnmower beer. That it is not. My only real complaint is that it's a bit one-dimensional, but this is one of the better beers out there for showcasing the beauty of rye, so I'll forgive it its singlemindedness. Nice, I'll be buying this again.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, Mike. You've hooked me up with a good number of good beers

A: Crystal clear deep amber with a large, off-white head, leaving nice lace as it slowly recedes

S: Nice, spicy rye character to open things off with a pleasing citrus/orange hop aroma. The combination is quite enjoyable, and the mild caramel sweetness balances things quite nicely.

T: The spicy rye character is beautiful. Crisp, and with the mild caramel sweetness, this is very tasty. The hop character lends a mild bitterness along with the spiciness, along with some juicy hop character. Finishes dry and spicy

M: Fairly light, crisp carbonation and an excellent finish

D: Very very drinkable, the bomber's gone in 15 minutes

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Photo of allthatAles
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Deep red with khaki head. head breaks down but only to a thick lacing the head over.

Nose: bready fruit malts, rye spice notes blend with hop profile, and lightest touch of bittersweet cream at the end

Mouth: you can hardly tell its 59 IBUs the spice of the rye are either dominant or blended to a level where hops an rye are nearly indistinguishable. bit of fruit then spicy bread to hops to that bittersweet cream advertised in the nose.

This is my first french broad and pretty damn tasty. i think this does well as the 'medium' of the genre. would lend its self to an american session beer, though purists will whine due to the 5.9% ABV, too hard core you know.

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Photo of Bartrob6
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 22oz bottle into pint glass. gorgeous reddish/orange color, very clear. small head with good lacing.

smells nice with good amount of rye and a little citrus hops and earthiness too.

very nice spicy rye flavor in this beer. some sweetness and the bitterness balances it out nicely.

great mouthfeel for this beer. very smooth. not to much carbonation.

I could definitely drink this all night.

highly recommended. good beer at a good price.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 22-ounce bomber bottle with the presence of both rye and hops denoted on the label is an easy sell to someone like me who happens to love both! Decrowned and poured into my DFH shaped pint glass, Rye Hopper Ale is clear copper in color with a huge ivory cap of foam atop. The head is persistent and fine-bubbled, and as it slowly relaxes, copious lacing remains plastered onto the sides of the drinking vessel.

The smell is richly bready and grainy brown-sugar sweet with just a spritz of citrusy hops. The rye malt is front-and-center in the aroma profile; the effect of that placement is husky-scratchy, syrupy and mouth-wateringly savory. A more toasted effect gains purchase as the drink warms.

The taste is more sugary-rich and bready rye a-go-go. The maltiness is mouth-filling and sweet with a branlike, peppery rye backing. Mild herbal hoppiness arises in the finish but is quite subdued, and really does more flavoring and balancing in the brew than it does any real embittering.

The drink is surprisingly fullish-in body with a silky syrupiness nicely complemented by fine-grained carbonation. Plenty drinkable.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rye Hopper pours a much darker amber color than I was expecting. I guess I pictured a lighter rye ale, but this one is almost brown in appearance with some lighter shades of yellow and orange. The head is big and thick and slightly off white in color. Looks good!

The aroma is excellent. Lots of toasty, bready malt along with a good dose of fresh, piney hops, a bit of tobacco as well as some nice spiciness to round it out. Plenty of great stuff going on in the nose of this beer.

This is one flavorful beer. Wow. Lots of sweet malt up front combines well with the spiciness that the rye imparts. After that is a nice dose of piney, resiny hops and a touch of smokiness seems to come in as well. My tongue is dry but asking for more. Plenty of depth with this beer, I really, really like it.

Letting this one breathe a bit really brings out the flavors of this beer. If you like hops and you like what rye can do for beer, this is one you won't want to miss.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 20 oz Draft of a clear amber body below a thin white head that dissipates quickly.

Aromas of bitter hop character with a slight hint of rye.

The taste is great with a balance of malt, hop bitterness and a slight rye spice. A caramel malt character that gives some sweetness lies just beneath the surface of flavor.

This is probably one of the best rye beers I've had.

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Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Village Draft House in Raleigh

Arrived a dark amber with little head. Smells of roasted malts and peppery rye. Taste is predominantly rye, but with a nice malt balance. The rye sits on the tongue and offers a good bite, but isn't overpowering. Reminds me of a good pastrami sandwich. Medium bodied and well carbonated. I don't think I could have too many of these at once, but this one was good.

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Photo of number1bum
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Green's in Atlanta while in town on business.

Pours a cloudy medium-brown color with some reddish highlights. Head builds quickly and forms a dense three finger layer of light beige foam. Keeps a full, thick, and chunky lace and leaves a few splashes of stick on the sides.

Smell is initially quite hoppy, with a pleasant citrus and pine aroma. That seems to pass and get overtaken by an equally pleasant biscuity, sweet caramel malt aroma with some slightly buttery notes to it. There is also some rye but it's a complementary aroma.

Taste features a lot more rye than I got in the nose - the sweet caramel, bready malt base is here but there is lots of spicy rye along with it. Hops are very earthy and slightly spicy, which goes nicely with the rye. There's a hint of citrus but nothing like the initial aroma I picked up. As I get deeper into this glass the rye and hop bitterness continue to build, and form a very nice combination. It's nicely balanced, plenty hoppy, and really tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite creamy, with a slick and slightly chewy feel to it. Carbonation is moderate and it feels soft on the palate overall.

This is really quite good. The rye flavor is very pronounced but there's enough hoppiness to complement and balance it out nicely. This is a must for any rye fan, and worth trying for all the rest of us, too.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur GA. The beer was hazy dark copper color, thick rich looking off-white head, lots of wet lacing on the glass. Spicy rye and earthy hops in the aroma. The taste had a nice bite of rye and bitter hops, caramel malt througout but the spiciness sets the overall tone. Very good, as drinkable as any rye beer I've had to date.

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Photo of prototypic
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I can always count on kkipple to send me something new. Thanks, Dan!

Rye Topper pours a nice copper/amber color. It's clear, and looks a little orange when held to light. Carbonation looks to be very active, yielding a foamy, off-white head that's over three fingers tall. Eh. It's a little annoying. Needless to say, it takes a while to dissipate. Lacing was quite thick and sticky.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a nice caramel malt scent. There's a hint of toasted malt, as well. Rye is rather prominent and very effective. It's similar to a really interesting rye bread. There's a healthy amount of hops, as well. It certainly lives up to its name. The hops are noble-esque and citric. A little grapefruit and orange are noted. Alcohol isn't noticeable.

The flavor is very impressive. The caramel/toasted malt base is excellent. The toasted flavor is more prominent here, and blends well with sweet caramel. The spicy rye flavor is nothing short of tremendous. It's an excellent complement to the hops that emerge. The hops seem noble. There are some citrus grapefruit and orange flavors, but there are some floral and grassy notes. It's bitter, but not overly so. Alcohol is very light in the mix and goes largely unnoticed. It finishes spicy, bitter, and dry. Excellent!

Rye Hopper has a medium body that's surprisingly smooth. Carbonation is active, but the bubbles feel light. Nice job. Drinkability is extremely high in my book. This is damn tasty stuff. At sub-6% abv, it's inviting. I wish I had more than a bomber! No joke.

This is my first beer from French Broad Brewing Company, and I'm damn impressed. Rye Hopper has a ton of flavor crammed into a small package. The only small complaint I have is that the carbonation might be a tad high. It's not so noticeable since the bubbles feel small, but the head is annoying. Yes, I'm nitpicking it, I know. Excellent beer that's well worth seeking out. Thanks a ton, Dan!

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Photo of CBlack85
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours a slightly hazy, copper/amber/orange color with a fairly large tan head. Head dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing.

Not as bold as I had expected. The rye dominates the fairly subtle nose. Hints of bread and spices keep it interesting, and the citrusy hops are very nice, not overpowering, but definately pleasant.

Really well balanced. Sweet and malty, slightly spicy, earthy and toasty, with a nice hop presence. The carbonation is spot on, mouthfeel is very good...Really good stuff

I have been very impressed with French Broads offerings, well crafted, flavorful, and always interesting. keep up the good work

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Photo of Tilley4
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A new addition to the Nashville market here so I picked up a couple of bombers on my way through...

Pours an almost brown with a thick creamy head on it... Wow, this is an awesome looking brew actually. I'd swear this was a Marzen from the looks of it...

Spicy rye aromas mingle with a surprisingly citrusy hop presence here. I'm a little shocked at the hoppiness present here but pleasantly....

Biscuity malts up front followed swiftly by the hoppiness that soon takes over and mixes wonderfully with the spiciness of the rye... This is delicious... A little thin on the palate is my only complaint here..

This brew shocked the hell out of me... I loved it and will definitely be picking up more...

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Rye Hopper from French Broad Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.