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Founders Red's Rye IPA | Founders Brewing Company

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1,662 Reviews
Founders Red's Rye IPAFounders Red's Rye IPA

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with four varieties of Belgian caramel malts and 100% Amarillo hops.
70 IBU

Formerly called "Founders Red's Rye PA"

Added by Todd on 02-22-2004

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Reviews: 1,662 | Ratings: 5,196
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A splendiferous shade of luminous, dark coppery, reddish orange with a huge number of suspended particles. The crown is nearly as impressive. It's orange-tinted light caramel in color and milkshake creamythick in consistency. The lasting rockiness of the lid, as well as messy rings and small scraplets of lace, put the final touches on a masterpiece of an appearance.

Founders Red's Rye smells like a DIPA... all brassy, sassy hops and caramel malt. It's hard to appreciate much rye given the significant hop load, but I'm not complaining. As long as I get some spicy rye on the palate, I'll be a happy man. The aroma is amazing, with power and personality to spare. Chinook (among others) is in the house methinks.

Upon drinking, I'm still reminded of an IPA/DIPA hybrid. The hops aren't quite up front enough for it to fit comfortably into either style, but then it was never meant to be anything other than a kick-ass rye beer. And a kick-ass rye beer it most certainly is. The huge, rock-ribbed malt backbone is composed of sticky caramel and tantalizingly spicy rye. I repeat my oft uttered plea: 'please craft brewers, use more rye in your beer'.

There's an intoxicating (both literally and figuratively) interplay between bold, caramel-soaked chunks of candied grapefruit and earthy, pumpernickel-spicy toasted rye. Red's is lusciously sweet with a countering, resinous bitterness and a candy apple zing. It all adds up to flavor perfection, especially since new vistas of flavor are opening up as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is medium-full, lightly syrupy and delightfully chewy with a perfect amount of subdued carbonation.

The finish is ultra-long, which gives me the chance to contemplate this beer's many charms without hastening its departure. But all good things must come to an end and I am compelled to continue drinking until my single bottle is no more. Rarely have I been so despondent to see an empty (although nicely lace-encrusted) glass before me.

I haven't yet sampled all of Founders's offerings, but I'd be amazed to discover one that I like as well as Red's Rye. It's easily the equal of Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye, if not quite as assertive. An insanely hopped ale spiced with rye is the stuff of my beery dreams and I wish to thank Founders for making those dreams come true. And deejaydan, without whom this would not have been possible.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish body with a small, white head.

Smell: Caramel malt nose marked by a distinct rye component and full hop notes of grapefruit.

Taste: Pleasing caramel maltiness with a very mild sweetness interrupted by a sharp, spicy rye jolt and held in its track by a firm bitterness and flavors of grapefruit pith. Spicy, raspy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's all kinds of okay! I'd go for another, really I would.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, hops, spice and caramelized malt.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with sweet flavors of citrus and caramel; a strong hops bitterness and a background of rye and spices. There's a very hearty malt character that brings good substance to the beer. The after-taste is hoppy and bitter.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, I had heard this beer was similar to an IPA and that it was highly acclaimed but I was still surprised at how much I liked it. This is a beer that I could drink several of over the course of an evening.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: ?
Review from recent tasting at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Slightly hazy pour, a medium brown/amber color with a finger or so of foamy white head; decent retention and lacing. Pine and citrus in the nose, stone fruits, bready malts and rye notes. Good mash of all those components in the taste, bready malts, caramel, stone fruits and citrus, pine bitterness, and a mildly sour twinge. Medium body, well-balanced, a very nice drink overall, and a great, easily-obtainable selection from Founders.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a very nice light brownish colored amber with a very nice clarity to it, allowing you to be able to see some nice chains of carbonation rippling up toward the service throughout the session. A very nice three finger high head of white colored foam appeared on the top of it and hung around for a good few minutes before settling down to a thin layer of perhaps a half and inch and leaving behind really tons of thick spider web like lace on the sides of the glass that gave it a thorough coating throughout the remainder of the session. Very nice overall look to it with a great slightly reddish hue overall.

S - The aroma was loaded down with hops, what a wonderful thing to pick up upon on the initial smell. There was definitely a nice light malted base here; the rye ale aroma was prevalent giving it a somewhat grainy and spicy note to it and really quite a bit of depth to the profile. The big floral hop nose blended in very well with this, giving it a nice amount of orange and tangerine hints to it, merging with the earthy spiciness and really being quite sharp and crisp to the nose. I was really quite pleased with the aroma here, and to be honest the more I smelled it the hoppier it seemed to get, really coming off quite strong actually. I was really beginning to like the direction in which this one was headed and could not wait to get a taste of it.

T - The flavor was much better then I would have expected, and I knew this was a good one going into it. The hops profile was coming through wonderfully, really putting a big bitter floral taste in this one and that was easily the first thing that I picked up on. Big notes of orange and pine were mixing throughout, really creating a very nice and strong bitter opening. Layered on top of that was a very nice layer of spiciness, notable tastes of Rye, nutmeg, even cinnamon making a guest appearance were quite readily available here. The overall profile getting thick and more complex with each sip. Very nice balance here with some earthy grain like malts making up the foundation and really just letting everything else layer itself upon that. Really quite nice and complex with really no hint of harshness. The finish was very dry and bitter with the hops really breaking out of their mold here. Drawing out that last drop of moisture from you before letting go and leaving you with this nice spice like taste to finish it off.

M - Very smooth one here. The carbonation profile was outstanding, never getting dull or flat at all, rather it was really coming across quite well and giving it that little bit of an extra bit of punch toward the end. There was a very nice crispness to it, especially in the finish that really gave it that little bit of lightness in an otherwise medium bodied ale.

D - An absolutely outstanding session ale I really could not get enough of this. It had enough of the complex malty profile to really peak your interest but at the same time was loaded own with a bitter hop twist that was utterly fantastic and really made all the difference. Not sure what the ABV here is but there is no hint of alcohol in it whatsoever and the carbonation was outstanding, offering up some really nice refreshing characteristics. I am really not sure what could be bad about this one in this area; this was easily something I could have for dinner every night.

Overall I was literally blown away by this one. I was not quite sure how good it was going to be, as I have loved almost every Rye beer I have tried, but this was by far the best. It just had that great hop profile and the spicy notes that really but it in a class above the rest., I would love to get as much of this as I could and have one every night. A fantastic beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap @ Al's of Hampden, served chilled in a standard pint

A- The color is deep tarnished copper w/ thick 1/2 inch of light tan, a good amount of clarity for a hoppy rye w/ some spotty lace collecting w/ a tight bead

S - The smell is full of citrus notes w/ juicy orange and lots of grapefruit w/ slight grassiness and subtle caramel fruitiness w/ light toasted note

M - A strong bitter quality in the feel is complimented by rye spice and moderately high carbonation giving a slight sharp edginess on the palate which is pleasant w/ a dry acidic finish

T - The flavor has a sweet grassy taste w/ bitter citrus flavors from the hops and slight aspirin tinge of Amarillo w/ mild grapefruit edge and light tannic rind notes w/ moderate acidity. The malt adds nice contrast w/ mild toasted rye accents and the grassy hop taste plays of the spice in the rye malt w/ mild woody tinge in the peripheral. The gentle bitter decline and tangerine notes in the finish are very pleasant w/ a dry leafy end

D - I LOVE this rye - the hoppiness fits the style well and compliments the hop profile is great with just enough spice to keep you coming back - drinks very smoothly for such a bitter ale - wonderful - Kudos Founders!

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Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I guess I lost my review of this awhile back. I'm not sure how/when, but I just happened to come across this beer and realized my review is missing. Here it is again...

A: The pour is a hazy amber/red color with a fluffy off-white head which sticks around for awhile and has some nice lacing.

S: A very nice grapefruit and pine hop aroma. It goes quite well with the spiciness of the rye and the mildly sweet caramel aroma.

T: The bitterness of the grapefruit and pine, once again, blends well with the rye and sweet malts in the beer. The citrus is definitely the more prominent of the hop qualities and works incredibly well with this beer.

M: The carbonation level is moderate and the body is full.

D: Founders can do no wrong in my eyes and this beer is just another reason why. A really good RyePA.

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Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another stellar beer from Joe1510, I owe ya big, ein prosit to Joe!

Pours orange/caramel with 3+ fingers pf sand colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Peppery rye, caramel & citrus hops

T: Peppery rye, citrus grapefruit & caramel up front. Dryness, biscuitty malt, & more spicy rye as this warms. Finishes crisp with nice biscuitty malt

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation & great balance

Drinks very easy the crispness keeps the ABV in check. I could happily session on this, in the upper echelon of rye ales I've had!

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Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle, no freshness date.

A- Awesome head, the retention show its best by leaving big sticky patches of off-white lace on the glass. The center part of the head is a multi-sized bubbly mass of a plateau. Mildly hazed orangey brown color.

S- Big aroma of ruby red grapefruit and evergreen hop. Kiss of spicy rye and a big juicy fruity maltiness in the back.

T&M- Oh so very smooth, thick malty body. The bitterness tingles with small sharp bites into the maltiness, big herbal, tobacco, pungent citrus and mint hop flavors flail about. Warming alcohol hits in the middle. Clean spiciness from the rye ... solid maltiness middle to end with a lingering sun-dried herbal hop flavor.

D- My oh my, this is one tasty treat. The rye and hops complement each other well. Paired well with some aged Irish cheddar cheese.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 1/17/2012

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark amber to garnet red in color with some very light visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall off-white head that quickly reduces to a couple of small thin patches and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: The smell of the rye is very detectable in this beer even through the fairly intense citrus/orange hop aromas.

T: Very much follows the smell of the beer, there is quite a bit of the rye spiciness that I would expect followed by the citrus/orange hops. The hop bitterness is not too intense and pairs nicely with the rye spiciness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp.

O: This is a very pleasant drinking beer that could easily be a session beer for me. I enjoy the aromas and the flavor of this beer quite a bit. Definitely one to get another time.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Who's Red? Probably some filthy Commie... This beer pours a clear ruby-amber topped by nearly two fingers of ecru froth. The nose comprises pine needles, tangelos, creamy caramel, and a touch of peppery rye. The taste kicks up the rye a great deal, though it is still not allowed to take any position of preeminence. Instead, it shares the spotlight in a vigorous tango with hop elements that themselves gracefully combine the talents of pine and ruby red grapefruit. It's quite a dance, particularly set against the backdrop of sweet caramel. The body is a fluffy medium, with a light carbonation and a very creamy feel. This beer begs to be continually consumed and returned to. Thankfully I've got the rest of this growler to help me with that...

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Photo of orangesol
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours deep amber orange, with a few ruby undertones, with a nice pillow of one finger tall off-white head leaving thick rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Lots of strong citric hops up front mix well with the spicy rye and caramel malt core. Hard to tell if it is an IPA or a Rye beer. Very nice.

T - Plenty of strong citric hops dominate the start and linger long thru the finish. The lightly toasted caramel malt, biscuity rye, and dulled citric fruits offer some contrast to the strong hop presence as best they can. Finish is a mix of bready rye and hop bitterness, lingering for some time.

M - Medium-heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice smooth feel with plenty of lingering rye and dulled hop bitterness in the finish.

D - Not too bad. I enjoyed this one but the overall bready feel really brought the drinkability down a few notches. I felt like I ate half a loaf of hoppy bread after only one glass.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a cloudy amber color, also has a slightly ruby red color. Smallish head, but very nice sheets of lacing down the sides.

S: Lots of grapefruit upfront from the hops. It has a spicy finish form the rye. Very nice.

T: Spicier than the nose. Has a hop kick upfront and then there is a combination of malt and the spices. Leaves a bitter flavor on the tongue.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Goes down smooth, very drinkable. Overall a very nice beer. Even though its a rye beer, the spiciness was a little surprising.

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Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish amber with a slight cloudiness. Good head that did not translate into lace on the glass.

I love the smell of fresh hop, particularly after it has been added to the wort after it has cooled. This is an excellent example of dry hopping. The malt is present but muted.

This is a predominately dry beer. While the malt is present, there is absolutely no sweetness. The hop bitterness quickly takes over and lasts long after the swallow. The body is wonderfully full and the carbonation is perfect.

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Photo of billab914
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Surly shaped glass. Poured a dark caramel, almost copper color. It had a very nice dense and rocky head to start with, which also lasted pretty well into drinking it. Some nice layers of lacing were left as I drank it as well.

The aroma is a great mix of hoppy, citrus, grapefruit flavors, bready, spicy rye, and sweet caramely, malt. Very good aroma, everything seems to mix so well.

The taste has a nice amount of citrusy, grapefruit hops to it. The rye is particularly nice and comes through with a bready spice. It also has a pretty big malty, caramel base for all of these wonderful flavors. Like the nose all the flavors work so well together and make for a fantastic tasting beer.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is great, I really love this beer. This is one of those can drink any time beers. This is one of a few that is on my regular purchase list. Great beer overall.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 08/21/10 notes. Got a bottle at Monk's Cafe in Philly.

a - Pours a dark amber color with 2 inches of white head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit, floral hops, soap, and caramel malts.

t - Tastes of bitter citrus and grapefruit hops, bready malts, caramel malts, and fruity malts.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good rye beer. Lots of hops in the nose, but more malts in the taste. Would have again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a clouded amber red with a large beige head, large bubbles with scant lacing all around my pint glass. Aroma is wonderful with spicy rye edges and pine and citrus hop layers built around the bready malt base very nicely blended. Smell is really piercing with the sharp rye and alpha acids from the hops it really tickles the nose hairs. Flavor is great with upfront bitterness spicy bready malt layers touch of caramel and biscuit tones with a current of hop flavor including citrus peel, pine cones, and herbs. Touch of alcohol in the finish but it's hard to say where the abv is at in this one. Mouthfeel is medium bodied creamy oily textured and evenly carbonated not bad at all. Drinkability is great one of those beers that is definitely case worthy, I wish I had another to follow this one.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper hued, slightly hazy with a 1/2 inch head that recedes somewhat quickly, leaving a nice lace ringlet around the glass.

S: Fresh hops and rye. Shocker.

T: Great fresh taste with a nice balance of malts and hops. The rye aspect of this beer is a pleasant surprise to the palate, as the nose leads you to believe this would be an IPA. I wish the rye/hop balance did not favor the hops so heavily, as the rye component is being overshadowed. There is a bitter hop finish and lingering hop aftertaste, with no astringency.

M & D: Really smooth and easy to drink. This would make a great session/summer beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice very slightly fogged amber with ruby hints when held to light. Minimal tan head does not stay long at all. Nose is nice and fruity with a decent amount of sugar/candy in the mix as well. Flavor is pretty robust. I guess the rye really comes into effect here and gives a fairly bodied experience. Seems like the profile is mostly of wood. Nice and hearty really. Feel is good on the liquid and the carbonation is fairly full. Smooth and drinkable, but slightly more of a sipper than one to pound down.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My dream afternoon - a holiday spent drinking rye beers. I must continually thank Sopor for turning me on to the style. It was truly an epiphanic moment when we were sitting at Founder's and he was explaining what rye imparts to a beer and the light bulb came on.

This began with a good, medium-tan head, but it didn't last and became just a light coating on top of the beer. The color was a reddish-orangish color with a slight cloudiness. The nose was both hoppy and spicy, like pepper. The mouthfeel was medium to thick with a huge mix of flavors on the tongue. Malty sweetness, hoppy bitterness and a peppery bite, all on the palate. The finish had that characteristic bite of rye, making it the lingering, prevalent taste. I'd drink this on a regular and continuing basis, if it were available in my area.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Standard 12oz brown stubby founders bottle. Poured into a snifter this brew appears a fairly clear burnt copper to orange color. A proud finger of yellowish stained head sits atop the brew composed of rather large bubbles. Bubbles of carbonation rise to the surface in support of the well retaining cap. As the head slowly fades it leaves spots and patches of lacework clinging to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is bright with fruity and floral notes. Quite juicy smelling with pleasant hop character that has a toasty grain base and presents a slight mineral touch. Some alcohol makes itself known right away in the aroma with an accenting fruity ester component and slight tingle to the back of the nose. A faint touch of stinky cheese and a catty aspect that only emerges once this brew warms up.

The taste is toasted bready grain which provides a mild sweetness before becoming dominated by resinous hops. Herbal bitterness resonates throughout the mouth with a touch of minerals, pine, cheese and bitter fruit rinds. Alcohol is fairly evident with a fusel touch of warmth down the back of the throat. The alcohol flavoring is equally matched and paired against the toasted grain and bitterness of the hops. All in all a very sound brew.

This is medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Easy drinking with a nice toasted grain flavor backing instead of the typical sweet caramel malt undertones. I felt both the bitterness of this "pale" and alcohol hit home a little harder than what was listed on the label but no complaints here.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Guanabanas. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep red body. Not really transparent, although I can't tell because it's dark out. Big creamy head. Nice lacing.

Smell - Grapefruit hops, lots of caramel malt, and a distinct spicy rye character.

Taste - Grapefruit hops joined by some resiny pine. Rye is much more prominent. Spicy finish to the malt backbone.

Mouthfeel - A little heavy for me. Thick for the style. Creamy carbonation.

Overall - Great rye character, but its body made me struggle through the whole pint.

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Photo of jwc215
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper/mahogany with a rich head that settles to a lasting cover. Concentric rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of a huge amount of citrus and some pine with a caramelish, rye, bready backing. This is one amazing aroma.

The taste matches it well - bitter citrus and resiny pine with a sweet balance and rye dryness. The flavor is very delicious with an amazing bittersweet balance. Long, long finish.

It has a smooth, firm medium body.

This has alcohol? Covered very, very well. This just disappears. Very hoppy, but shows a nice malt base. Great use of rye. Unique and very well done.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear reddish orange color with a huge bubbly off white head that persists forever. Smells of spice, and pine, with bits of citrus and caramel coming off of the edges. The taste follows the aroma to a tee.Medium to thin body with a moderate level of carbonation and a watery resinous mouthfeel. This is a nice beer, it smells great! For my tastes I would have liked a hint more body though.

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Photo of tdm168
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with subtle carbonation bubbles rising to meet the 1/4" of frothy head which quickly fades to a thin lacing. Nice citrusy, floral aroma in the nose with just a hint of peppery rye. Very complex taste; bitter with piny hops with a hint of citrus fruit, strong malt character that is a combination of biscuits and pepper from the rye. Faint alcohol esters are noticeable as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth, and refreshing.

Very complex beer here. The rye is noticeable but this is definitely closer to an IPA than an all out rye ale with the intense hop character. Nice twist on an IPA though. A must try for all hop heads.

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Founders Red's Rye IPA from Founders Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 5,196 ratings.
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