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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye AleHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

104 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 6
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gmann on 05-17-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For the 23rd installment of the 100 Barrel Series, we invited Russ back to brew a Harpoon beer once again. Don’t worry, not in a bathtub this time. Old Rusty’s Red Rye Ale features a reddish hue and a biscuit flavor complemented with spicy rye notes. This well-balanced and drinkable ale has an aroma profile that is a combination of subtle fruit esters and clean, fresh German Hallertauer hops.

38 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 95
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of swierczt
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of jongullotti
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of mbs11
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of bonbini26
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of rab53
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of akinsja
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of mikereaser
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a muddy reddish orange with an inch of soapy bubbles that quickly fade.
S - aroma is very sweet mixed with some spiciness along with some leftover citrusy hops
T - a bit thin on flavor, the malt backbone is somewhat present along with a bit of rye spiciness, a bit of citrus hops rounds this one out to a very underwhelming flavor
M - age probably has hurt this one a bit, the carbonation is still there but lacking a bit, light to medium bodied
D - I really don't think that the flavor would have been there even if this was fresh. Its very thin all around.

Photo of kegger22
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Harpoon Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale 100 Barrel Series #23 was amber colored with a two finger beige head and good retention.

The aroma was hop citrus and more than a bit of malty sweet.

The taste is somewhat muted, all that the aroma promised plus rye bread, but all just a shadow of what they could be.

The mouth feel was light bodied and moderately carbonated.

Drinkability was good, nothing really stood in the way of having another.

I know, a light, quenching beer has its place; but not in a specially packaged, limited edition beer. Sorry, Old Rusty wants to run with the big dogs but better stay on the porch.

Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a fairly clear amber, with several giant fingers of off-white head. Retains with a big creamy dollop of foam in the midddle of glass, leaving a huge sticky latticework of lace behind. The aroma has some definite bread and spice going on with it, along with a bit of zesty lemon citrus and some floral hop character.

The taste matches, with bread, spice, and some light caramel accents and citrus flavor adding some sweetness to this. There is some moderate earthy bitterness to this that fortunately doesn't seem overly faded considering that this is an older bottle. Finishes with a lot of dryness and residual tang from the rye. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a very easy and gentle creaminess to it that really helps out with the drinkibility here (especially for a nearly 7% beer).

An OK little rye beer here, that while not bringing an absolute ton of its namesake to the table, still brought enough to nicely compliment that super creamy body. This was a decent entry in the 100 Barrel Series.

Photo of FutureCowboy
2.88/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber into a chilled imperial pint.

A: Burnt orange, hazy pour. Not much head to speak of.

S: Big malt nose. Maybe some muted fruits in there. Not much hops, and frankly not much rye to speak of.

T: Again, malt, maybe some date/raisin flavors. Feels a little off-balance, on the malty side, but I think I was expecting somewhat of a hop bite. Is there rye in here?

M: Nice ale feel, again nothing particular oustanding.

D: Sure, it's drinkable. But, frankly, disappointing.

Photo of Durge
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bomber at room temperature into the pint glass, this shows a hazy, orange-amber colored brew with a fair off-white head and good lacing. The aroma brings caramel malt and peachy herbal hops, with a sour milk background. The flavor offers butterscotch and tart orange/herbal hop dryness. I definitely sense the rye but it blends right into the malty, caramel citrus dominance. I would call this medium-light bodied, grainy and plenty drinakable. Very satisfying.

Photo of HopHobo
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer with a couple of friends on 11/7/09.

I poured an 8 oz. sample into an oversized wine glass.

Beer pours a dark ruby color with a 1 1/2 finger head and relatively good lacing. The smell reminds me of a barleywine that could use some age, but has nice complexity. Smell sweet and boozey with notes of plums, raisin and figs. The sweetness is complimented by a nice biscut malty smell. THe taste was completely different from the smell for me. Where the smell is very sweet the taste is dry and thinned out. It actually turns much more into a sessionable red ale here for me as the rye does not come through as strong as I expected. All and All itnot under complex in the moputh, but compared to how sweet and complex the nose is the taste leaves me a biut underwhelmed. That being said it's a very nice red ale and something I would surely enough smelling and tasting any evening.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Brownish red with a foamy dirty white head. Thick lace left on the glass. Very clear.

S - Light toasty bread aroma with a fiant hint of spice. Certianly not as much rye as I was hoping for out of a "rye" beer. Underlying fruitiness as well.

T - Malty sweetness up front with some bready tastes coming through. Light spiciness and a touch of chalkiness. Faint fruit tastes underneath.

M/D - Medium bodied and a light chalkiness left behind. Very light bitterness. Easy drinking. Not as much rye as I was hoping for.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Rusty's Red is bright ferric oxide orange, which is an appropriate hue. There's a wide band of polished gold along the bottom edge of the pint glass and a good-sized crown of orangish beige foam occupying the upper third. The bubbly, lumpybumpy head and loads of lace do nothing but help the appearance score.

The nose is strangely underpowered (note: warming helps). It's hard to appreciate much rye malt and the Hallertau hops don't make much of an olfactory splash either. The best beers of this style (or at least my favorites) use citrus fruity American hops rather than German varieties.

This is a decent American red ale. Notice that I didn't say 'rye ale', because that grain still isn't very prominent. Again, time and warming bring out a little more of the earthy, spicy, bready personality that the brewer was probably shooting for. Of course, the hops could be responsible for some of that spiciness.

The malt component is toasted nutty, with a light drizzle of caramel, and has just enough rye character to get by. It's too bad that something like Simcoe or Amarillo wasn't used, because they would have added a much needed flavor hook. Sweetness and bitterness are pretty evenly matched, which aids drinkability.

The body/mouthfeel is almost... almost... not quite good enough to be considered good. If it was a little bit bigger, a little bit smoother or a little bit creamier, it would have impressed a little bit more. Laid-back carbonation is fine and dandy.

The world's best red rye ale (Founders Red's Rye) shouldn't be the least bit worried about Harpoon Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale. Given a price tag of $6.99, this 100 Barrel Series beer doesn't quite deserve a recommendation. That said, I'm not sorry that I gave it a home.

Photo of allergictomacros
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear copper with a sturdy off-white foam.

S - Grapefruit hop, tropical fruit and maltiness. A bit of a (rye?) twang and hints of caramel and cake.

T - A bit drier than I expected. Good malty body and a spicy edge. Some grapefruit and a medium bitter finish. Slight acidity and a licorice and caramel come through.

M - Moderate body has a bit of slickness. Medium carbonation.

D - Pretty drinkable and well balanced.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes, on tap in Boston. The bartender tells me that Rusty is someone that used to work at the brewery, and this is a beer that they brewed a long time ago and resurrected.

A: Standard appearance. Deep amber body beneath a frothy off white head that holds well before dwindling. Average lacing.
S: Caramelish malt. Hints of hops.
T: Malty. Caramelish. A hint of yeasty fruit. What rye is there is toned-down and just adds a little bit of spiciness, but that helps in the dry finish.
M: Medium bodied, standard carbonation.
D: A decent, approachable amber with a little bit more character than usual. Certainly a worthy pint. I stopped in for one while the girlfriend was shopping and I was not disappointed.

Photo of spointon
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 22oz brown bomber bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a light caramel-amber color with a slight amount of cloudiness and a fluffy 1.5" off white head. The head retained well, eventually settling to a 1/8" cap and leaving big rings of sticky lace down my glass.

S= The aroma was sweet and malty, with a bready and caramel-heavy character. At first smell this seemed a bit heady with a sweet/alcohol presence, but that seemed to mellow a bit and I ultimately found this pleasant.

T= The flavor profile was not over the top but rather modestly complex. Lots of biscuit/bready malt and caramel flavors melding up front, followed closely by a chewy rye note. Hop bitterness was moderate but persistent. Finish was drier but not exactly dry and back to malt dominant.

MF= Full side of medium bodied with a crisp carbonation level.

D= I started out thinking that this was a pretty pedestrian offering for a "limited release", celebration type brew. By the end of the bottle I sort of "got" this beer though. I would hapilly drink this again and the abv/flavor combination was such that I would want to!

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges a light amber color with some haze and is topped with a slightly creamy and milky off white/ brownish colored head. SOme good lacing is present down the side of the glass.

Aroma is quite malty with rye undetected. Biscuity and bready. Loads of caramel lends a sweet aroma with a touch of fruitiness and earthiness.

Taste mimics the aroma. Mostly malty with a touch of hop/rye bitterness in the finish (I cant tell if it was the rye or hops, but I would lean toward hops.). More caramel and a touch of sweetness.

Slightly thin on the body with a little too much carbonation. Decent drinkability. This one is definitely more red than rye; in fact the rye is completely missing in this one. Not a bad beer overall but I doubt I will revisit.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

G: Poured into a Yuengling pint glass.

A: Copper-amber color with a good sized white head and some decent lacing. Transparent, but not terribly so.

S: Doughy biscuit with caramel malt. As expected, the hops are a little bit faded, but there weren't too many in there to begin with. Also, not detecting much of the rye.

T: Quite sweet, and here comes the rye. It's definitely there, just slightly subdued. Lots of sweet caramel malt.

M: Quite chewy and medium-bodied. A good amount of carbonation.

D: Highly drinkable. A fairly-subdued (in terms of the rye) example of the style; but, then again, most rye beers I've had have been rye IPA's.

Photo of taez555
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 1/1/09

This beer poured a clear body with a small white head.

Nose was sweet caramel, mixed with a soft bread.

Taste was medium bodied with a lightish feel. Caramel, soft bread, garbage. Very watery with a strong citrus peel taste, but it didn't have that citrus peel bite too it. Lots of dull rye. Very muted bitterness. Some soft muted earthy citrus hop. Lemon, orange juice and some non spicy grapefruit.

A decent rye beer, but honestly I found it a bit bland, as if it was normal food that just needed some salt to kick it up in flavor. Drinkable, but nothing outstanding.

Photo of Reiksguard
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: Very nice and clear amber color with an off white head. The head stays around for a while, creating a nice lacing.

S: Smell is a little weak - moderate malt aroma with hops.

T: Not as much rye as I would have expected. bready taste with a spiciness that is derived from the rye. Finishes very clean with a slight bit of a honey taste.

M: Decent carbonation with a little bit of a slippery feel on the tongue.

O: Another good session from Harpoon. Because it finishes so clean, it is very easy to go back for another.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear amber colored with a decent white head. Great retention a some slippery lace. Looks like it's saying "drink me."

Smells of bready malt and fall fruit.

Tastes of bready, spicy rye with syrupy fall fruit sweetness. Good balance of spice and sweet although tending more towards the sweet side. No hop profile at all. Smooth and chunky mouthfeel with a little carbonated fizz. Overall I like everything about this beer but it seems incomplete due to lack of any hop.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
85 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.