Big Eddy Ryewine Ale - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
2.84/5 rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25
12 fl oz 2013 vintage brown glass bottle with classy label art (especially for Leinenkugel's!) and branded black pry-off pressure cap acquired for $3.49 at a local (and overpriced) bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery, which tends to disappoint. Reviewed as a barleywine/rye beer hybrid since the label identifies it as a ryewine. Normally I'd go with the brewery's classification, but this is Leinenkugel's we're talking about. 10% ABV confirmed. From the neck: "12614. A21011228."
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption as I don't like my barleywines too cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Doesn't quite pour a true head, but it does have a floating semi-circle of near-head which is pale khaki in colour, thin, and lacks creaminess. It fades within 15 seconds, leaving no lacing.
All that's left to look at is the unappealing body which is a strange murky amber-brown colour and is painfully dull, lacking any vibrance or glow whatsoever even when backlit. Nontransparent and quasitranslucent. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.
Presentation overall is rather poor. This doesn't appear to be alive nor is it appealing; I'm a bit turned off. Appears undercarbonated, but I'm expecting overcarbonation given the brewery.
Sm: Toffee, caramel, marshmallow, the seeds of that stale cardboard note that tend to pop up in barleywines, brown malts, heavy residual sugars and a moderate accompanying sweetness, English biscuit malt, and cream. There's also some prominent prune and a hint of grape.
I search for rye (and/or its trademark subtle spiciness) and don't find it. I also have trouble identifying any discernable hop profile or yeast character. I do pick up some alcohol, but there're no other overt off-notes.
The toffee and marshmallow play well together and are a highlight for me personally, but I have my suspicions about how this will taste. It's a generally inoffensive aroma of mild strength. The aroma suggests a definite fruity stickiness.
T/Mf: The prune and grape dominate the flavour profile, obscuring the marshmallow and toffee notes - to the beer's detriment. The caramel also gets buried beneath the unbecoming fruitiness.
It has a plump, wet, sticky feel on the palate, which isn't a good presence for a style which excels with a lightly dry coarse texture. Carbonation is off, but I can't tell in which direction. It's filling, medium to full-bodied, and thick. Also a bit syrupy. The texture doesn't seem well-tailored to the taste, nor does it suit the style. I will say that it isn't as heavy on the palate as most beers in the style.
I pick up a bit of bread crust/light bready malts. Some vague nuttiness. Plenty of brown malts and a bit of English biscuit malt. I search for rye but the eponymous malt never shows up, nor does its trademark subtle spiciness.
Speaking of subtlety, there is none here. Nor is there much complexity, intricacy, or nuance. What little I was looking forward to after the aroma (the marshmallow and toffee primarily) got buried in the flavour profile. Grape rarely works in a barleywine, and Leinenkugel's sure isn't the brewery to brew the exception to the rule. Below average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.
No hop profile comes through. I don't pick up on any yeast character either. It has some alcohol presence, but I wouldn't call it boozy or hot.
Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, or rough.
Dr: Not quite the sipper I expected, but the syrupy thick mouthfeel does restrict drinkability and holds the beer back. I definitely wouldn't pick this beer up again (especially at this price point). Far from Leinenkugel's worst effort, but it's a pretty lackluster barleywine and has little to offer the discerning drinker. Even huge fanatics of the style are unlikely to be satisfied. I'd caution friends against purchasing this and doubt I'll remember it in a couple weeks. It's just a forgettable middle-of-the-road barleywine and feels like a Leinenkugel's attempt to squeeze some bucks from craft drinkers. Hey, they got my money.
Uninspired mediocre stuff.
Serving type: bottle
02-12-2014 03:47:27 | More by kojevergas
3.88/5 rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
On tap at Harrah's Casino in Philadelphia. What am I doing drinking this at a casino? Why is it in a pint glass?
Appearance: Deep dark ruby red, with minimal head and minimal lacing.
Smell: A slight whiff of rye, mostly dominated by brandy and sweet cherry.
Taste: Notes of molasses, lots of brandy, and a slight hint of prune juice. Not as much spiciness as I would expect from the rye. Very sweet.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light body. A decent dry finish. Very smooth though.
Overall: This is pretty OK, and definitely worth trying, but not mind blowing. Tastes like a middle-of-the road Barley Wine to me, and not much to differentiate it as a Rye Wine. Overall, not bad.
Serving type: on-tap
02-08-2014 03:48:48 | More by weltywm
3.83/5 rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
12-oz bottle into New Belgium globe
A - a finger of tan head rests atop a beautiful body of dark ruby brown; head disappears fairly quickly leaving no lace
S - very fruity, grains (rye et al.), alcohol
T - tons of sweetness up front with lots of raisins and dark fruit; some grains; hint of wood; strong peppery spice, probably from the rye; hop bitterness cuts in toward the end, combining with the spice for an almost balanced (but still pretty sweet) finish
M - thick medium/full body, smooth with a little stickiness, highly carbonated, alcohol warms
O - Ryewine Ale is certainly on the sweet side. That said, it is a pleasantly complex and flavorful barleywine.
Serving type: bottle
01-15-2014 23:07:35 | More by lwillitz
1.93/5 rDev -49.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1
For some reason this has been languishing in my beer fridge for the past couple of months, which is about ten weeks longer than anything involving the word 'rye' usually sticks around. 12 oz. bottle from the Big Eddy series, which I've enjoyed in the past.
Pour is a deep red that wouldn't look out of place in a Silpada party necklace, with a fair amount of bubbles. Smell doesn't rep the name very well, just a straight shot of sweetness right in the brain pan.
Big Eddy Ryewine tastes more like MD 20/20 than a rye or barleywine. Overbearing sweetness brings the palate to its knees, & I can feel my dentist's hands twitching over his wallet. Bit of raisin, perhaps toffee, plum, but it's all drowned in the cradle by the domineering wash of sugary obnoxiousness. Too much to drink, really.
The first miss from Leine's that I can recall in a long time, but this is a doozy. Six times as much sweetness as necessary & no hint of rye. Ony because I have about twenty sweet teeth am I going to finish this.
Serving type: bottle
12-17-2013 03:50:43 | More by maximum12
Big Eddy Ryewine Ale from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.