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

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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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 75
Reviews by B967ierhunter177:
Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.55/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass at about 50 degrees.

A: poured clear orange/brown color with no head or lacing

S: aroma was heavily molasses with some notes of plum and smoke

T: flavor consisted of molasses with hints of raisin, toast, and pine

M: medium well balanced mouthfeel, best part of the beer

D: filling, warming feeling from pour to finish, not a session beer

Overall an average beer, matched well with a few chunks of Jarlsberg Swiss, tolerable on its own.

 477 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Ryanm1
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was bought in a bottle and poured into a glass. Frederick, MD has several breweries and this beer isn't that well known but should be.

To my knowledge you can't find this beer sold per case, only by six pack. Dark copper in color. Not hoppy. Slightly sweet in taste due to the fact that it is brewed with molasses. Also, states that malted rye and malted wheat are added much like the original beers of the colony.

Bottle says it is brewed with caraway "natural" flavor which is slightly present in the taste.

Much more surprising and likable than I would have expected. Definite recommendation if you are in the Maryland area and see it on tab or in the bottle.

Very crisp for an Ale. Goes down easily.

 716 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh! I didn't even know this was a Brewer's Alley Beer. Interesting. Of course, it must be contract brewed, but there's nothing on the bottle at all about where it's brewed or bottled. According to the TTB, if you don't sell it out of state, you can apply for a variance and not put it on the label; but I'm not sure how that works with a contract brew, I guess it's the same. On to the beer...

It pours a crystal-clear chestnut brown body with an orange cast beneath a short head of creamy tan foam. Unfortunately, the head retention and lacing leave much to be desired.

The label does mention that it's "brewed with molasses with natural flavor (caraway) added (they must be using a product that's made for bakeries to produce rye bread), and there is a little bit of it in the aroma. There's not much else though, just a bit of gently caramelish and almost toasty malt.

The flavor follows suit, and despite the ingredients it's really not that bold at all. Without knowing that the molasses was in there I'd never have picked it up. I might have noticed it, but I highly doubt that I'd have figured out what it was. And on that note, there is also some of the caraway in the finish too, which is nice. I get it in the back of the mouth and on the tip of the tongue. And although it's not really bitter, the rye helps to keep it dry with a little hint of spice.

Overall, it's a really drinkable beer. The restrained use of the semi-unusual ingredients leaves it just as accessible as any standard amber ale, but with just a little bit of something unique about it. Certainly worth trying!

 1,595 characters

Photo of Bierleichen
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of bconsidine
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

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 KMcG
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of DKHNOVA
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I liked this quite a bit. The molasses and spices were enough to make it interesting, but without being too much. The taste was complex and had a good development from first sip to aftertaste. Worth a try. Something I'd like to have from time to time, but not every week.

There was initially the possibility that this was going to be a limited production for a temporary period ( http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/youngandhungry/2009/05/28/nearly-400-year-old-maryland-beer-finally-available-in-stores/ ) but it's still around three years later.

 553 characters

Photo of DCgolfpro
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

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 ConradKenney
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of nimrod979
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub. Murky copper color with a small white head... Leaves a tiny bit of lacing.
Light malty aroma. Taste is sweet malts and molasses, Rye grains. Smooth and Slightly creamy. Small bitterness shows in the finish. Overall not bad, probably Brewers' most unique offering.

 286 characters

Photo of Swift989
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of KYGunner
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This has an almost sherry like appearance as the color is clean light and cognac brown with only a collar of fizzy film.

The nose holds a strong alcohol scent that needs to disappated before it subsides to a rye, barley and chocolate malt.

The flavor has a lot of diversity with a black licorice, pumpernickle, rye and barley malt an then a spicy peppercorn.

The feel is a bit abrasive with a spiky carbonation in the throat but it's not too off putting.

I found this to be a different and interesting beer that is a good example of a Rye.

 543 characters

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 akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the brewpub. A rye ale celebrating Maryland's 375th anniversary.

A: The ale is dark, a woody brown hue that is opaque, ruddy like a solid brown ale. A half finger of off-white head, little lace, hung out for a spell.

S: The nose has a strong caramel malt presence that is paired up with a rich burnt sugar and rye aroma. The rye is faint, lending an almost smokey mystic to the ale, but it is definitely there.

T: The rich caramel malt stands out immediately, warming with each sip. Molasses doesn't add much flavor but its heft is evident early on, beefing up an otherwise mild ale. Wheat tries to counteract the molasses but fails to. Rye waits until the last third of each sip to come through. At first is seems smoky before the caraway and rye leave their bready, spicy mark. The complexity of the ale, I really like that.

M: The mouthfeel is bold without being big. Caramel and molasses up front, followed by rye and caraway late in each sip. An interesting throwback of an ale.

D: The ale is heavy but not strong, complex with a pleasant mildness. A ale worthy of Maryland, My Maryland.

 1,114 characters

Photo of sneth019
3/5  rDev -17.8%

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 MAUEX_MFA
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Dcunicelli
3/5  rDev -17.8%

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 blackie
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pint glass serving, nice khaki head, maple syrup amber beer, decent retention

s: body features caramel and a good deal of rye, raw sugars, subtle molasses, light caraway influence, smells rich but balanced for such a light-natured beer, like it

m: first sip leaves my mouth with a subtle numbness - and a quick google reveals that caraway is indeed an anesthetic (cool), the effect actually builds and it becomes very noticeable, lively medium carbonation, light-medium body

t: malt-centric body with spicy rye and a really interesting flavor from the caraway, some caramel, rye bread, brown sugar, hop influence mild - relies just as much on the spice for balance, while the malted wheat keeps it from becoming weighed down while retaining lots of flavor

d: a solid, unique beer

brewed to commemorate Maryland's 375th anniversary, single from Ye Olde Spirit Shop, Frederick, MD

 886 characters

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

Photo of dsshuck
3.25/5  rDev -11%

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Brewer's Alley 1634 Ale from Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery
3.65 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.
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