Red's Rye IPA - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Founders Brewing Company

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Rye Beer
4.16 | pDev: 8.41%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 174 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of PaulyB83
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap in a straight tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark garnet some slight light coming through. Nice small khaki head.

S- Nice slightly spicy with some light vanilla, coconut, and oak notes.

T- Coconut, light vanilla, oak, spicy hop notes, a smooth not overpowering bitterness.

M- On the heavier side of medium.

O- This is fantastic and the benchmark for me as far as bourbon barrel aged hoppy beers are concerned. The smoother hop profile and spice notes really complement the barrel and really give this beer a sort of pina colada flavor. This is much better that BA Double Trouble (Doom) which was too dank and piney for the barrel aging IMO.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Crafted Keg. Served in a snifter.

Appearance - Deep red. Nice off white head. Very nice sticky lacing and a thick collar.

Smell - Pungent grapefruit hops and oak. Lots of oak. Bourbon blends in with the grain flavor. Vanilla. Caramel.

Taste - Much more vanilla and bourbon flavor. Really dominates. Hops don't really fight through until the back. Lots of caramel. Bitter grassy hop finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Feels a lot more viscous than base Red's Rye. Bitter.

Overall - Totally different from Red's Rye. The barrel character is nice, though. Drinks like a small, hoppy barleywine.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on draft at Fireworks Pizza Arlington on 4/1/14

A-Pours a distinctive ruby red with a 1 finger white head. Great lacing!

S-Aroma is bourbon, citrus, and caramel.

T-Flavor is much more subdued, with a sweet citrus, boubon, and caramel, as well as some mild hops.

M-Has a medium body feel and goes down smooth. Great carbonation.

O-Overall I say if love Red's Rye you'll really love this one.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Where Pale Ale are to showcase their fresh talents with the most vibrant but delicate aromatics, flavor and clean bitterness; barrel-aged beers do the opposite- they develop richer tones, higher complexity and mellow taste with time. Can equal footing be met?

Much like Founder's standard Red's Rye Pale Ale, the barrel-aged version pours with a deep chestnut color, equipped with the classic dry-hopped haze. Its creamy, off-white head caps the beer with stubborn staying power, reluctant to relax as its lacing creeps up and shadows the glass.

Where the common aromas of toffee and grapefruit were expected, the barrel influences are readily apparent- Oak spice, wood caramels, bourbon, cherry and a kiss of toasted char and peppercorn fill the nose and gives a greater sense to the beer's underlying malt tones but dampen the vibrancy of hop aromatics.

Toffee-laden sweetness layers on the tongue with a plethora of malt sweetness of spice cake and bourbon-soaked dark fruit that welcome notions of honey and maple as the wood flavors pile on. Its rye bite is noticed immediately and really pop as the wood spices join forces in the middle. Grapefruit and orange character has turned pith and exacerbate a deeply resinous bittering in finish. Echoes of caramel, toast, oak and grapefruit trail into a medium-long linger.

Its body is somewhat lightened by the extra drying that both wood aging provide and the tannin character offer up its powdery texture. As the sweetness, though, is slow to dissolve, the peppery and husken rye balances its sweetness as the hops facilitate dryness as well.

I really enjoy the complexities that the barrel brings, however the bright hop character of the Pale Ale has been slightly compromised. But the balance remains in tact- just rearranged slightly. With all the pluses and minuses- I call this one a wash!

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Photo of gogreen99
2.58/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Reds rye has a very deep amber color that appears red hence the term reds rye. End with a bitter taste - looks like a welcoming beer but doesn't taste that way... If I had to say something pleasant I would say it has vanilla notes. Overall I would not recommend

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Photo of barczar
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep amber with a modest khaki head that lingers as a ring of foam.

Oak, maple, bourbon, figs, prunes, and soft raisins, and a hint of citrus form the aroma. Lots more barrel and bourbon instead of hops. Notes of chocolate emerge.

Flavor reveals a lot of oak, finishing charred and a little bitter. There are underpinnings of muted citrus complementing the spicy rye well. Notes of vanilla emerge. Prunes and cola add complexity.

Body is moderate to a bit thick, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth. The finish is fairly harsh, likely due to the combination of rye and alcohol.

Not my favorite combination. I like red's rye, and I like bourbon barreled beers, but the aging should probably be limited to allow the base beer to shine through more. Wish the citrus presence were more pronounced and alcohol were more subtle.

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Photo of phisigben
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep ruby color with little to no head. The nose is fantastic the hope comes through with a little spiciness and oakiness from the BA. This has great flavor just like the nose the hops are up front but then the spiciness of the rye and barrel aging are very well balanced. The mouth feel is a little thin but for the style its pretty good. Overall I'm very happy this is a very good beer.

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Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beige head. Color is a copper brown. Some lace left.

Flavor profile: a lot of caramel malts up front. The rye shows a lot and there is a nice amount of spice. Floral and grassy hops. A lot of vanilla and oak comes through in the finish. Bourbon throughout the beer.

Mouthfeel: bitter, but warming. Medium bodied. Good amount of carbonation. Ends with some candy like malt sweetness.

Overall, I like how this beer tastes like reds rye and has the barrel flavors. The hops are still present which is great. It isn't overly malty like a lot of BA pale ales are.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Too dark to get an appearance read...looks reddish with a bit of cloudiness.

Barleywine smell with some spice. All kinds of malts.

Smooth flavor with a mix of rye and maltiness. Toasted grains and a mild sweetness.

Smooth in the mouth with a full feel. Very nice.

This is very interesting and worth a try. Solid all the way around.

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Photo of ntatum
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an "amberish" brown (kind of like expensive dark honey) with some lacing.

Smell comes through with citrusy hops balanced with oak and sweet malts.

Taste starts off with oak, sweet vanilla and caramel (I get more caramel than vanilla) malts. It finishes with a spiciness from the rye and then some bitter hops.

The rye gives the mouthfeel a thin and lighter feeling.

Overall its a good beer. I'd like to take the time and match this one with a good cheese as i think it may pair well with several different varieties.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap poured into an oversized wine glass.

A- It poured a deep copper. Decent rentention and stick.

S- Much like the traditional "Red's." It's definitely a rye beer, but it's also definitely barrel aged. It had a kick of vanilla and something of an infusion of residual whiskey.

T- Again, much of a ratcheted up Red's Rye. Bold flavor from the rye, but a solid infusion of woody, vanilla, booziness from the barrel aging. In this case, the aging certainly adds to the traditional qualities of the beer versus taking away or masking it in a way that the base beer is unidentifiable.

M- Rich feel. Higher ABV adds a pleasant warmth to each sip.

D- It's definitely more of a sipper than the traditional Red's Rye, but something I savored and would definitely drink again if given the chance.

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Photo of Crittervision
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

good grief founders has a lot of current beers. i hope this is well-placed, as i was told it was founders rye porter aged in bourbon barrels. [?]

deep dark brown body with maroonish edges. great lacing early on, but as the white-ish head falls, the lacing becomes disparate.

whatever bourbon barrels founders uses, they seem to be particularly founders. ba boris, schlaflys ba is, orf, ba sexual chocolate, among others, all have their own, albeit less intrinsically noticeable bourbon or whiskey flavors. founders has one that immediately reminds me of backwoods bastard or a sliver of kbs. it automatically makes me think im about to take a sip of backwoods bastard.

taste is coca-cola or doctor [doctor!] peppery, clean bourbon flavor, but typical founders.

mouthfeel is smooth, just a bit thin, certainly not kbs mouthfeel, but still pleasant, not quite creamy. between thin and creamy.

typical founders [insert barrels they use] flavors, drinkable without question, and delicious. the barrel-aged founders (after having sappy slappy [?] bastard and backwoods bastard [with kbs as part of a supporting argument]) are becoming a bit predictable as the barrel overwhelms the beer, but id be a liar if i said this wasnt delicious.

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Photo of tpd975
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to markwise for this one.

A: Pours a nice shade of amber with a tight creamy head. Good retention and leggy lace all the way down the glass.

S: Lots of barrel notes. Fresh cut oak and vanilla are prominent. Lots of sweet malt beneath.

T: Tasty as hell, great use of a barrel in a non stout style of beer. Vanilla and oak once again stand out. There is a nice caramel brown sugar sweetness as well. Hints of summer fruit and just a touch of spice from the rye to play off the barrel. Wonderful beer.

M: Medium in body, smooth, with great carbonation to carry the flavor.

D: Awesome. One I could sit down and sip on for hours.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Founders Brewhouse in July 2009.

Pours a dark rust/amber color with a nice white head. The nose has plenty of citrus hops, hints of oak, as well as plenty of rye. The taste is much the same but with the barrel flavors taking over a little bit for the hops. Medium body with smooth drinkability, though not quite as great as regular Red's Rye.

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Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I approached this choice with a bit of trepidation as Founders Red Rye is right at the top of my list as far as accesible beers go and barrel aging is a mixed bag in my opinion. The appearance and smell were great, but once again a bourbon barrel adds a sweetness that I just don't care for. It did make an already creamy delight even more creamy, but the sweetness was just a bit too strong for me. I love me a red rye so I can't score this too low, but I'll stick with the original. Fun to have at the brewery though.

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Photo of maximum12
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Great Taste, then we had to have it again at the Founder's brewpub. Share with the wife, who is an even bigger fan of this than I am.

Pours red like the regular Red's, but this is a whole different beast. The nose is sweet, & bourbon, with the rye only setting up underneath.

This is an absolute masterpiece. No idea why more folks don't barrel-age things other than stouts; this could be the standard. The bourbon plays with the rye perfectly, bringing out the remaining hops, the rye, with a delicate sweetness and the bourbon/wood creeping along underneath it all & lending it a wonderful flavor. And after all that there's a bitter tang at the end to balance out that sweet kiss. Yikes.

Founder's seems to have mastered barrel aging. This is one excellent brew. Try it if you can.

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Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. Bourbon aroma. Nice looking, significantly lacey. A bit cold and assertive carbonation, still above-average mouthfeel. Getting more coconut than wood from barreling.Not the hoppy bon-barreled version, this is something very different.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Founders

Arrives in a snifter, in all it's reddish glory!

Smells amazing! You get all of that Red's citrus hops with grapefruit leading the pack and the barrel aging is doing this beer very well. More tastes include vanilla, rye and pluot.

It's extremely sweet but still rather drinkable. The oaken qualities enhance the drinking experience and I wish I had room for another.

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Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub, served in a snifter. Reds Rye = good, BA Reds Rye = better?

Pours a clear dark reddish orange, pretty neat, thin slightly off white head forms, drops to a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots, looks okay. Smell is awesome, grapefruit, rye, big vanilla and oak notes, pine, alcohol, caramel, bourbon, very complex and hoppy, very nice. Taste is similar, tons of grapefruit up front, caramel maltiness, toasty, lots of vanilla and bourbon, touch of rye spice, floral, oak, big bitterness, but a touch of bourbon sweetness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth going down. Very drinkable, and I always dig Founders barrel character. I love Reds Rye and this didn't disappoint!

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Photo of grub
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at founders june 12/09.

pours a great deep red - garnet and ruby at its widest point and dark orange down the middle. crystal clear. a thin layer of very fine white head clings to the edges of the glass and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. light vanilla and bourbon. tons of grapefruit and pine. light alcohol. whole wheat bread and biscuit. caramel and toffee.

taste is great. the barrel comes through a little more than it did in the aroma, but doesn't keep the hops at bay. grapefruit and pine mixed with vanilla and bourbon. whole wheat bread and biscuit. bit of tangerine and orange, but the more assertive american hop character tends to come through vs the barrel. bit of alcohol.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. silky smooth medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. the ipa and barrel character work pretty well together. still has a nice balance, with added depth and complexity. good stuff!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at the Founders brewpub. The beer is dark red, almost light brown, with a thin film of white bubbles. The aroma is hops and maybe a little liquor, this promised to be a strong DIPA based on the nose. The taste is what I imagine Red's Rye tastes like when mixed with a small amount of bourbon. The rich hops and alcohol flavors sort of overshadow any rye presence, it was tough to taste it anyway. Overall this is a great one-and-done beer, more than one would be too much.

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Photo of sarahspat
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Founders 4-15-09

The liquid is a dark rusty reddish brown color. Tiny bit of white suds floating on the top when it was served to me.

The strongest scent, to me, is coconut. Bourbon is also present. As a whole, the nose is very rich and deep. Nice.

There is a considerable alcohol taste. But, honestly, what do you expect from a beer like this? Coconut is huge here as well, with some fresh pineapple, peaches and, in the background, bit of tart cherries even comes through. It's very spicy. There's a great complexity going on here.

This brew blurs the line between beer and fine liquor, but is still surprisingly drinkable considering. I had one of these a while back, and in comparison I think this one was a bit more boozy. Maybe it's the age? Mouthfeel is medium thickness with low carbonation.

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Photo of ndekke39
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on-tap at the Founder's brewpub. Served an 8 oz. portion in a snifter. Poured a clean tawny red with a small white head. Smells are really sweet, balanced with citrusy hops, heavy on the grapefruit. Hints of maple syrup, apricot, and oak. Taste is sweeter overall, but with a definite bitter finish. Moderate body. Very, very good - nice, dynamic use of the hops. They're taking a great beer and adding an interesting spin with the barrel-aging.

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Photo of mcallister
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much like normal Red's Rye but with just a hint of oak and bourbon.

Looks like it should. Ruby reddish with very little head. Orange hints as well.

Caramel malts citrusy hops with the great presence of oak. Bold caramel and toffee really show through with a hint of bourbon.

Agind seems to have tamed the hops. A slight bourbon bite yet still good hop bitterness and wood tannins on the finish. Big on caramel and toffee with a citrusy twist. Easy to drink.

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Red's Rye IPA - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 174 ratings