Rye-on-Rye - Boulevard Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,257 | Reviews: 332 | Display Reviews Only:
3.5/5 rDev -17.5%
2014 vintage 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded red hood-and-wire cap over a cork acquired at a local bottle shop and served into Stella Artois stemware in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery as well as this beer's current 94 rating. Batch number RR13326-2. Best by: 11/2015. Reviewed begrudgingly as a rye beer. 12% ABV confirmed.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of nice white-khaki colour. Good thickness. Nice even consistency and smooth complexion. Head retention is very good for the high ABV - about 7 minutes. Nice consistent albeit uneven lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head slowly recedes.
Body colour is a rich tawny orange-amber of above average vibrance; it has a brilliant glow when backlit. It's got brilliant cascading upward bubble trails indicative of sound carbonation. Yeast particles are visible floating in the body.
Overall, it's a pretty gorgeous beer. A special appearance which reveals the beer is alive and intrigues the drinker. I'm very excited to try it, and don't notice any flaws.
Sm: Lovely. Charred oak barrel, hints of burnt sugars, bursts of citrusy orange flesh and zest, toffee, complementary floral hop notes, subtly spicy rye, marshmallow, and a notably subtle rye whiskey spice. The whiskey and oak lend it cohesion throughout the aroma. It's got a pleasantly tangy fruity hop profile. Not your everyday whiskey barrel aroma, nor is it merely a rye beer. There's much more going on here, and I can't wait to try it.
A pleasant, bold aroma of moderate strength, yet it's somehow still subtle and subdued. No yeast character is detectable.
There is some light alcohol warmth which I find attractive. I don't find any overt off-flavours, but the citrusy orange does seem a bit out of place and I'm curious how it'll fit into the flavour profile.
T: The rye malt is woven throughout quite nicely, but what really works well here is the charred/burnt oak barrel, which immediately differentiates the beer from most other oak barrel brews; it's a refined sophisticated oak presence and has its own almost unique character. I would like it to feel a bit more toasty, but that might just be personal preference. Given both the rye malts and the rye whiskey, you'd think this would have more spiciness than it does.
It's actually strangely sweet, at least up to the midpoint, but never quite cloying. Just as I feared, the citrusy/orange fruit hop build doesn't really work very well alongside the more refined notes of oak, rye, and whiskey, and feels out of place. The choices of hops here are far from ideal; that's my biggest criticism of the flavour profile.
I keep convincing myself I'm finding vanilla (or at least vanillicin) but then I think it's only because I'm looking for it. In any case, if it is present, it's far less prominent than you might expect in say, a bourbon barrel aged stout.
Caramel, light toffee, maybe some biscuit malt? I'm having trouble identifying the malts used here beyond just the rye. It's also got almost a honey or faint butterscotch note buried in the second act that I can't quite place.
I'm still hung up on how wrong the fruitiness feels here. But disregarding the hop-derived fruitiness, it's also got some plum notes which work decently.
I quite like the beer, but I really want that pesky fruitiness gone, as it really holds the balance back. It's a cohesive and almost gestalt build. Certainly this brew boasts some notable complexity and subtlety. Hell, I'd say the spice is too subtle. It could be more intricate and nuanced, but what's there is good. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.
Some boozy warmth does manifest. No yeast character comes through.
Mf: A warm, lightly dry, and lightly coarse mouthfeel which has a full body and a good presence on the palate, but not as much weight as you'd expect. As a result, it's a bit more approachable than most barrel aged beers at this ABV, and it slides down a bit easier. Almost chewy. I'd prefer it more coating than it is. It's rather filling in any case. Perhaps a bit overcarbonated as well, to its detriment.
Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, or stale.
The texture suits the taste generally well, but doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to it.
Dr: It's a hell of an inspired brew; very few breweries would think to try something like this. The subtle char is a highlight, but the awkward fruitiness is a drawback. While not the world-class mindblowing beer I expected, it's a very enjoyable and inventive beer with a lot to offer the discerning drinker. Solid work from Boulevard, but not a world class effort. I'd recommend it to friends.
02-06-2014 06:37:27 | More by kojevergas
4.38/5 rDev +3.3%
On tap at Haven in Orange, CA.
Ok, well, like... Rye on rye! The main man means, think silk on silk, gold on gold, Adriana Lima on Adriana Lima... This is that beer. Thing was creamy, lush, smelled like the heavens... Just straight goodness.
Sip and enjoy.
02-03-2014 23:47:52 | More by RaulMondesi
Rye-on-Rye from Boulevard Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.