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Gravel Road - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gravel RoadGravel Road

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

34 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 34
Hads: 106
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 6.69%
Wants: 1
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  7.25% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sweasty on 07-09-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 34 | Hads: 106
Photo of Premo88
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into "craft beer glass" (wide-mouthed stick)
[no dating on bottle; drank on 12/4/13]

L: dull murky brown that turns orange-amber up to light; minimal head of caramel foam that dissipates quickly; lots of floaties that turn it opaque

S: caramel; sweet sugary malt ... vanilla

T: caramel ... perhaps an older malty mess, very sweet but you can taste the alcohol

F: solid all around, good carbonation

O: if somebody told me this was an American imperial IPA, I'd have believed them. it seems to follow none of the altbier's textbook characteristics other than it's definitely a malt-forward beer -- but here the malt seems very mangled up and messy. it's possible I had this particular bottle well past it's prime (736 characters)

Photo of brurevu
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From my tasting notes: The Gravel Road was a deep reddish amber color that’s not too heavy despite its 7% alcohol content. I tasted a malty sweetness and slight caramel as well. It went down fast and easy and was a good introduction to Rahr & Sons. Not a great Alt but not bad either. (286 characters)

Photo of ranger7
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought in a pick 6 from Central Market.
Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.
(Review from notes)

A - Dark red/brown, thin white head, good retention.

S - Sweet and roasty smell.

T - Roasted hops is the dominate flavor, but it's not overly hoppy.

M - Smooth and thin, hoppy.

Summary - Very nice Altbier. This is becoming one of my favorite beer types. (360 characters)

Photo of stinkydaddy
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a –clean with little hop presence. picking up slight oxidization. this beer was further down the flight so some of the aroma may have escaped (though I gave it a nice swirl) and my nose may have been shot.

a – very thin off-white head. copper/mahogany hue. some haze.

f – sweet malt with spicy hops. toffee. hops shine through on a nice malt backbone

m – well carbonated. medium body. no astringency

a – nice alt. reads as a Dusseldorf. good balance. though oxidization detected this is a very drinkable 7.2% (524 characters)

Photo of rinhaak
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at DFW airport.

Pours a ruby brown with no head. Full fruity-malt flavor: prunes and caramel. Despite other reviews on BA, I found the hop presence to be very much in the background. That said, it's entirely possible my airport pint wasn't at its freshest.

All told I enjoyed the beer finding it tremendously drinkable though not overly exceptional. Certainly a good accompaniment to pizza while waiting for my flight. (427 characters)

Photo of bigolbeerbelly
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Dark brown in color, head dissipates quickly.

Smells of burnt caramel and malt

Taste is very bitter and overwhelming, not getting much other than that. Extreme hop presence

Average mouthfeel, nothing to write about here

Has an IPA bitterness but without the good citrus or floral smell and aroma. Not my cup of tea. (359 characters)

Photo of pgfault
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice 2012 altbier. I had this earlier in draught and it seemed a bit sweet. Not so from the bottle!

Pours from the bottle into a std pint tumbler with about 1/2" head, which quickly dissipates. Color is a dark, roasted brown, as expected. Initial taste is fairly bitter with considerable roasted malt. The hops really present themselves on first swallow, but the malt remains to let you know that you've had a serious alt bier.

The season is winding down for this. Grab a couple sixes if you can find 'em. Great brew for the Fall. (534 characters)

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(from notes)

Pint on tap

Look- Brown/ruby brown, crystal clear. Burnished mahogany- Nice red tint. Served without head, sparse lacing.

Smell- Nutty, raisin, rye toast, maple.

Taste- Roasty-toasty, caramel maple. Brandylike, lightly sweet, caraway seed, sarsaparilla, marshmallow, chocolate covered raisins. Delicious.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full, slick, rish, chewy. Mild booze on the back end. Rich feel, medium carb.

Overall- More of a stickebeer than what I would consider an alt, I almost passed, but I'm glad I didn't. Rich, malty, substantial, almost Scotch ale-like. I'll keep an eye out for this one. Recommended. (622 characters)

Photo of abeerwiseguy
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a chance to try Rahr’s Gravel Road which is their rendition of a German style brown ale (a.k.a. Altbier) on tap yesterday.

The very dark brown beer was served in a frosted schooner with a large head of light brown foam that persisted for some time. The thick head provided aromas of roasted malt and coffee.

Rahr lists the beer at 7.5% ABV on their website. I have to keep reminding myself that, while thankful for the richness the micro brewing industry has bestowed upon us, the higher ABV percentages do add up quickly and 7.5% means we are consuming almost a full ounce of alcohol with each 12 ounces of beer.

The rich taste conveys roasted malt, coffee bean, and hints of chocolate and a bit of spice.

All of the flavors meld to create a very slightly sweet, malty, rich, full bodied, and lingering mouth feel balanced by a slight hop taste with low carbonation. Very balanced.

I like this beer and will be drinking more of it. (945 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy dark amber in color, with a large, tan head, which persists quite well. The head is sticky, rather dense, and resembles a cloud top. The lacing is thick, sticky and Belgian in its appearance.

Aroma: Lots of toasted and dark burnt malts,with toast notes as well. There is a mild herbal hop presence.

Taste: Opens with a toasted malt, or toasted dark bread note, soon followed by a mild current of sweet caramel. This segues into intensely roasted, almost burnt notes which carry to the end of the taste. Finishes with a lingering, sharp metallic hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Seems a bit off-style, the grains seem over-toasted.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass. (838 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Rockwell Tavern without knowing the style. Pint glass served a dark crimson color with a dense, tight off-white head. Good looker, pretty clear.

Nose is malty, lightly earthy. Some dark fruits showing through with a burnt caramel aspect. Very little hops…my first guess was a Scottish-style ale.

Taste leans heavily towards the malty end of the spectrum with a nutty yeast flavor and bold, near-burnt toffee…almost like licking a coffee bean….roasted and husky even. Sweetness is low and shows barely a light dusting of cocoa powder. Alcohol is up there, feels around 7% or so. Not bad, not bad…an interesting bockish-scottish ale that drinks pretty decent. I see this is an Altbier here on BA...I can see that, maybe like an Imperial ALtbier of sorts :) (774 characters)

Photo of SuperSpy
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark copper with only the slightest hint of a head. However, a constant rise of carbonation bubbles keeps plenty of small foamy islands floating across the top of this beer.

The aroma is bready and toasty. There are plenty of sweet malty smells with hints of chocolate and caramel.

A smooth and thick medium body, but on the heavy side of medium with just enough carbonation to let you know that the beer is alive. The flavors are all sweet and malty. There is caramel, toffee, toasted dark bread, and a hint of maple. All of this smoothly transitions to a slightly bitter finish that's just dry enough to make you really want that next sip. I'm really enjoying this beer and wishing that altbier was a more readily available style. (740 characters)

Photo of mjurney
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Deep copper color, touch of haze. Mild carbonation. A little head.

Aroma:
Good amount of malty aroma... Bready, toasted, some hint of sweet chocolate.

Taste:
Sweet malts up front along with bitterness at the end. Malt character is almost like a Doppelbock style, I'm getting lots of sweet malts, caramel-toffee, maple, just a touch of milk chocolate. Floral-citrus hop character towards the end.

Body:
Medium bodied. Well carbonated.

Finish:
Bitter finish, yet very smooth. (489 characters)

Photo of deepchills
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper to brown. Very little head.

The nose is a giant mixture malts. With 4 different malts in this beer there is no way around the heavy, sticky sweet variety of maltyness in the nose. Lots of toffee and caramel, with a little underlying roast. I also note a slight sourness.

Everything the nose led you to believe is in the taste. Sticke sweet, toffee and caramel are dominate. It would be to sweet if it weren’t for a combination of the Carafa Special 3 malt bringing some delicious roastiness to the game, and 2 different hops adding a light green bitterness to the finish.

This beer is particularly easy to drink if you have one or two. Not a beer to session in my opinion, as the incredible sweetness would weigh on you after a short time.

I also find it to be ever so slightly under carbonated, which is a common complaint of mine from Rahr beers in general. (883 characters)

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber hue with a big fluffy head. Nice lacing throughout the drink as well.

The aroma is of caramel, smoke, roast, and some hops. I see where the alt comes in. There is a hint of staleness in there and a slight hint of bile.

The taste is mostly sweet malt with some roast and a bit of hoppy bitterness to balance. Not bad at all. Very wasy drinking.

The feel is a bit light, yet maintains a creaminess.

Overall, pretty good. This would pair better with food than it stands alone. (496 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brownish-red color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of toffee with some dark fruit added. The flavor is similar. I get a lot of toffee and hazelnut notes, with some dark fruit thrown in. Light mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I don't have much to say about the beer because there is not a whole lot going on. A decent, easy drinker but nothing too exciting. (385 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up at the Central Market in Fort Worth. I have never seen this one in Houston. I don't see that it is 7.25% marked on the bottle, so I wonder if that was a mistake as that is pretty big for an Altbier. Let's give it a shot anyway. Here we go:

Appearance: Pours quite Alt-like being a very clear brown color with a small head of barely off-white bubbles that were small and compact. The head was only on the beer for about 30 seconds and ended as a small ring where the beer meets the glass. There are a few bubbles rising and they stick for a second or two before bursting into oblivion. The color is based a little more on Brown than Red, like most commercial Altbiers, but it is still inviting for the style. There is some lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: The aroma is also pretty good for the style. There is mostly malt in the nose and it gives the toasty notes like you would expect. There is a little bit of hops noticeable in the aroma, but it is reserved as it should be. I am getting a little bit of cherry as the beer sits a bit, which is a little odd. Overall the grain is in charge, but it isn't coming across as grainy, which is good.

Taste: The flavor also reminds me of an Altbier, but it is a little more out of line than the other attributes. The hops is still pretty noticeable in the finish indicating that this beer is a little bit young. It leaves a mild grassy impression on the back of the throat that lingers for quite some time after the sip. The carbonation is appropriate to a tad low, and the body is appropriately medium. The finish is definitely toward the hops, but it seems to be working with the water pretty well.

Opinion: This is a pretty decent representation of this style, and this is definitely one of my more favorite beers that I have tried from Rahr (Their Barrel Aged Winter Warmer is my favorite so far). This one is a little green, but this is a hard style to do well, and they did pretty well. If you are a big fan of Altbiers, like I am, I would give this one a "day in court". (2,062 characters)

Photo of gtermi
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: I poured the beer from a 12 oz bottle into a glass and it has a a dark brown color with not much head

smell: I am getting a lot of chocolate malt scents from this beer. Also have some caramel scents

taste: The taste was super unexpected. It hits your pallet with a toffee flavor with a slight chocolate flavor after taste.

M: The mouth feels is amazing. Super smooth and just as perfect as it gets for a beer.

Overall this beer is okay. (443 characters)

Photo of videofrog
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle from a six pack into a stange.

A: Hazy dark brown with ruby highlights. Not much carbonation visible. Thin head dissipates quickly leaving no lacing.

S: Slight roasted malts, grassy hops.

T: Great balance of grassy hops and caramel/toffee malts. Both represented well in aftertaste.

M: Medium and a bit slick and creamy.

O: Great representation of the style as the hops and malts are very well balanced, it's easy to drink, and the subtle flavors don't overpower one another. (501 characters)

Photo of zdk9
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours pretty dark brown, like a piece of black maple wood. Not really a head which seems somewhat surprising. Maybe I shouldn't be?

S- This smells kind of porterish, with smoke notes, and roasty toasty malt notes. And a good deal of spiciness like there's some wheat or rye in there.

T- Light smokiness. Bready. A woodfire. Maple syrup sweetness. Some hops, especially coming out in the aftertaste.

M- As I anticipated because of the head, this could use a bit more carbonation. Perhaps the style doesn't need a ton, but I think a little more liven up the beer a bit.

O- Smoky, interesting, decent. (605 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Rockwells in Cypress, TX.

A: Pours a dark brown color. A tiny tan head forms and recedes to nothing. No lace.
S: Toasted malt, light chocolate, and some hop bitterness. Pretty standard.
T: Toasted malt, bread, biscuit, chocolate, and some hops. Not bad.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Fairy creamy and smooth. Easy enough to drink, but not something I would come back to.

Like most everything from Rahr, just ho hum. Nothing particularly wrong, but boring. Nothing I would recommend, but nothing bad either. Once again, I am still trying to find out what an Altbeir acutally is. I don't thing this is one. (622 characters)

Photo of layinbrix
2.38/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at a local pub, during the last few rounds of trivia night.

A: Dark, ruby brown color. Red tinge from the CaraRed malt.

S: Toasty, woody smell. Lots of malt, possible slight tinge of raisin.

T: Heavy toasted malt, slight hint of sweetness. The more I drank, the more I was convinced the batch had been kilned just a bit too long. Bitter note, not from hops, but from burnt taste.

M: Very drying, bad burnt aftertaste.

I'm all for supporting the Rahr Brewery, but I felt this brew was below their standards. I'd be willing to try another one, and give Rahr the benefit of the doubt. (594 characters)

Photo of roblowther
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My buddy Scott stumbled across this, cheers. It is dark, translucent brown with very little head. The smell gets things going, though, with caramel, wood, and a biscuit smell. The taste is slightly sharp and almost smoky with a kind of earthy aftertaste. Very easy to drink. See? I just did it. The mouthfeel is thin and a little slippery. Overall, definitely a refreshing beer with a noticeable but not overpowering character. I'd like it with BBQ, I imagine and I like it in me, I'm sure. Somewhere between "buy another sixer" and "buy a keg" I'd say. (553 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours amber in color with a finger or so of khaki head.

S: Like a lot of altbiers, this one smells like grapes to me. There is some toast and bread, along with some yeast. There is a mild fruit note, and that's about it. This beer really doesn't smell like much.

T: The flavor isn't all that intense either, but it does have some sweetness to it. A bit of toffee along with the bread and toasted malts. There are very light hop notes as well as some hints of fruit (mostly grape).

M: The body is what I would consider medium, as is the carbonation.

O: I found this to just be "okay". It wasn't all that aromatic or flavorful. (678 characters)

Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.45/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My first experience w/ Rahr and Sons

Poured into a pint glass..

Appearance-Dark red, mahogany. About a one finger off white head that dissipated quickly and left no laces. Very unapealing.

Smell-Very subtle aroma. Light dark fruits and some bitterness. Really not much here.

Taste-Follows the nose. The primary flavor is bready with some slightly sweet fruits. Towards the end a pretty big floral hop bitterness cuts through. Not horrible I guess.

Mouthfeel-Light bodied, easy to drink. Watery.

Overall-Altbier's are not a style I prefer, but have enjoyed the others I've had(Spoetzl, Long Trail) but this one didn't really bring much flavor or anything to really savor or enjoy. Not for me, and probably won't be for you either. (736 characters)

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Gravel Road from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.