Brewer's Alley 1634 Ale | Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery

79 Ratings
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Brewer's Alley 1634 AleBrewer's Alley 1634 Ale

Brewed by:
Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery
Maryland, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"1634 Ale" was created by Tom Flores, master brewer at Brewer's Alley, following research of historic recipes and raw materials available in centuries past. "We used ingredients that would have been found in the austere conditions of early colonial Maryland," said Flores of his rye-based ale recipe that also includes malted wheat, molasses and caraway. Flores says caramel and dark malts round out the flavor of the "lighter bodied ale."

Added by lackenhauser on 05-30-2009

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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 30
Photo of jmdrpi
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, no date

Light brown in color, white head. Aroma is herbal, spicy, bready. Taste is balanced, not overly sweet, finishes drier. Medium bodied.

 156 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of AngusOg
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Obviously I'm no expert, but I could see this being a fairly accurate interpretation of a historical style. I could definitely see sitting at a tavern back in the day drinking one of these out of my tankard. All the same, makes me glad I live in the modern world of beer today. Just not really my thing. The best way to describe the taste is, like a piece of rye bread dipped into a moderately strong light ale. A fun beer to try, and I'm glad I got the chance, but I'm also really glad I only had a single and not an entire six-pack of it.

 541 characters

Photo of cyber_phoenix
3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smakawhat
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep chestnut red, quite clear nearly crystal but slightly opaque but allows good head viewing from the bottom. The head only manages a simple tan two finger tall presence, and keeps a simple collar.

Very spiced dry notes, rye and caraway, surprisnngly not as sweet as I thought it would be, or much hint of molasses. Pretty solid, a bit neutral and one dimensional with no idea of what might be coming.

Palate does take the rye angle very noticeably. Pumperknickle dry, watery malt depth, and a big amount of tannic dryness on the aftertaste. Palate of rye tannic grain, watery bread, moderate bready sweetness that washes a little quick on the swallow. Not a lot of molasses character here, but not really complaining.

I am usually not a big fan of rye beer, but this is at least drinkable and not horrible to choke down.

 880 characters

Photo of Lucular
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of VeganUndead
3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Hockey_Fan
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of soupyman10
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Finger of off-white head, just a touch of head, amber color. Looks fine. Nose is a bit of dirty malt. Flavor is caramel malt, light spiciness, maybe a touch of prunes or raisins. Body is okay - a bit watery, thinner than I might like. This one is just okay; not bad for a small brewery with a somewhat unique brew, but not a whole lot going on, either.

 352 characters

Photo of sisterofba
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OzzyJoon
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Delicious beer had a dark beer taste

36 characters

Photo of EuphonicHops
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of JasonTaverner
2.89/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of BenWashburn
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

The key with this one is not to drink it too cold. Of course, that's the key to a lot of complex beers. Keep it English pub temperature (56 degrees) and the flavors come forward some. Wish it had just a touch more molasses.

 226 characters

Photo of weezarc
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of DCgolfpro
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

Photo of Bierleichen
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of biegaman
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%

True to historic form though 1634 Ale endeavors to be, it's doubtful that Cecil Calvert, the second Lord of Baltimore, would ever have seen an ale this clear and light (relatively speaking). The butterscotch coloured beer is a little murky, sure, but far from opaque and demonstrates excellent chestnut highlighting. Its head is modest but would be abundant by 17th century standards.

1634 Ale has the smell of a modern Eastern-European bakery: fresh-baked rye bread and caraway seed abounds. There's also subtly sweet notes of toffee and maple syrup. It doesn't rank high on the aromatic scale but is still a respectable medium and thus far delivers on what's billed.

The taste, too, features those things promised on the label - molasses, rye, caraway - albeit at safe levels not likely to turn away the general drinking public. There's no doubt Brewer's Alley have toned down the keystone ingredients to suit modern palates. Interesting though the flavour profile may be, it's not terribly impressionable all things considered.

That being said, I'm pleased with the restrained sweetness and, even more so, the lingering (however subtle) presence of caraway and rye - it's enough to remind me of a good spiced pumpernickel loaf, one of my favourite styles of bread. Indeed, if ever there was a beer to pair with breakfast this makes a strong candidate for creamed cheese bagels or bacon and eggs.

1634 Ale may not be every bit as unique as I'd hoped, but it's still a distinct and highly enjoyable offering that is well worth picking up if you're in that part of the country. It also makes a great beer to share with friends accustomed to the standard swill lagers; this is definitely the kind of beer that can open eyes, broadened tastes, and turn people onto craft beers.

 1,787 characters

Photo of fitz284
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Swift989
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Todd_E_Moore
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Photo of dsshuck
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of Chvck1
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Klebe
3/5  rDev -17.8%

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Brewer's Alley 1634 Ale from Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery
3.65 out of 5 based on 79 ratings.
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