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Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Ry(e)an AleSmuttynose Ry(e)an Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed exclusively for Julio's Liquors. This is an Imperial Red Rye Ale, aged in bourbon barrels hand-selected by Julio's Loch & Key Society.

Added by Bierman9 on 05-17-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 207
Photo of techcommdood
2.13/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was finally able to make a run to Julio's when visiting family over the holidays, and grabbed a bottle of this along with quite a few other beers I can't get or haven't seen in NY. I was particularly interested in Ry(e)an as apparently you can only get it at Julio's. Of note, this was from batch 2 (purchased December 31, 2011).

Appearance is solid. Nice dark copper beer with a dense shallow head that sticks around a while.

This beer, to be honest, smells like a caramel apple. None of your typical floral or citrus notes on the nose in this beer. I had caramel apple on the nose, and orchards on the brain when smelling this.

What can I say, I wasn't happy with how this beer tasted. I found it to be overwhelmingly sweet (and I'm a big beer lover) and off balance. If there are hops in this beer, I'll be damned if I could taste them. I got a heavy onslaught of caramel sweetness and some tartness on the back with a bit of a lingering boozy aftertaste. I don't know why they bothered making this a rye, as I couldn't find any of it in the flavor at all. I love a good rye beer, and this was just disappointing.

Mouthfeel was very heavy and thick, like a thin syrup. No carbonation on the tongue at all, though it's lightly present in the glass. I felt like there was a film left in my mouth, on my teeth, on my tongue, upon finish. The boozy aftertaste did nothing to dry things up between sips.

Overall I was very disappointed in this beer. I know and enjoy Smuttynose, and this is just not one of their better batches. Maybe I got a bum bottle, or maybe batch 2 just wasn't up to snuff. I don't know, but I was shocked that this beer rated so well given my disappointment with it. I'd split it with my father on New Year's Eve, and he passed his glass over to me to finish. It's just not an enjoyable beer, unfortunately.

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Photo of mikeyv35
3.12/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Date: 02/17/2011
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a light brown mahoghany w/ a 2 finger tan head that left medium lacing. Aromas of caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, bradiness, and spices. The appearance and nose were definately the best aspects of this brew. Taste was the same as the nose w/ an extremely heavy bourbon booze character. Mouthfeel? I could not really determine that because I was so overwhelmed by the bourbon. As far as drinkability, I would say this is not very drinkable at all, dut to being a disjointed boozy mess.

Highly disappointed by this brew! It pains me to say that as I believe this is the first beer I have ever had from Smuttynose that I disliked. Will not be revisiting this one.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.37/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A clearish light brown beer, ugly. A light tan head ok retention, but watery lacing...The aroma is tons of bourbon, with rye and touch of spice. Too much bourbon for me, not balanced...The taste is more of the same, generic bourbon that most ok ba beers taste like, woodford reserve anyone? The bourbon dominates and I'm just not into it at all. Way to hot.

Not worth trying.

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Photo of claspada
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter brown color with a slightly reddened tint along the edges. There is a small off-white head that recedes rather quickly.

Aromas begin with strong amounts of rye bourbon, almost completely dominating. There is a bit of sweet caramel maltiness to help to balance the boozy rye.

The tastes follow the nose pretty much with a small amount of sweet caramel malt but the spicy rye bourbon jumps right in to assert itself. Oak, vanilla and whiskey continue to emerge and dominate the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is slightly hot and boozy from the barrel aging.

Overall this drinks much boozier than any beer of this low an ABV should. The base beer is almost undetectable because they barrel aged an amber ale; maybe partial barrel aged would have been a safer voyage but this basically drinks like a boilermaker (shot of whiskey dropped in a beer).

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Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a light brown and cloudy. The initial head is literally over-the-top of my 24-ounce glass. Leaves light lace on the glass.

Lots of darker, sweeter malt aroma. Smells like brown sugar.

Very sweet, like a light barley wine or a scotch ale--lots of molasses. I do not detect any rye. Very low to no hop in this beer. Very rich from malt sugars in this beer. Low alcohol, perhaps due to the high malt sugar level.

Not a style for me, it's like a super strong Scotch ale and it's a little too sweet for that.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Pours a dark mahogany with a small reddish hue. No head, just a thin ring of beige foam around the rim .

Lots of bourbon in the nose with hints of caramel. Very strong boozey nose with a little bit of sweetness rounding it out. Distinct rye flavors with some fresh berries on the pallet. Nice oaky bourbon finish with some sweetness rounding this out.

Medium body with sharp carbonation. A little bit hot. Overall I think this is an example of the barrel overpowering everything else a bit much. Tasty because I like bourbon but
some of the flavors seem to get a little lost.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.57/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I stopped by Julio's on the way back from Mohegan Sun and there was a line. So I stood in it. Lo and behind there was a beer tasting and release of an exclusive Smuttynose beer. I think Forrest Gump had a thing about if you see a line, stand in it. Especially if said line ends at a liquor store.

Cloudy red clay brown. Thin white head never diminishes and just takes the ride down mine glass. No retention but the stubborn, elevator-esque head more than makes up for that. Ugly color though.

Aroma is great. Rich caramel and toffee with a bourbon, rye spice. Not necessarily alcoholic, let's call it a boozey sophistication. Barleywine fruity esters spring up as the beer warms.

Aggressive and forward at first, the rye hits first then is immediately followed by a bourbon kiss. A caramel and molasses sweetness calms the bourbon and rye down. Eventually the two blend and compliment into a compensatory relationship. Richness ensues.

I like a lot of things about this beer; the bourbon, the molasses, rye etc, I just don't think it comes together as a whole in an easily accessible package. Raw and ADD.

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Photo of pwoods
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to rpstevens for this in my Secret Santa package.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a RR wine glass. Shared with Kels.

A: Pours a murky orangish rusty brown. Moderate head on the pour, without much retention or lacing.

S: Quite a bit of alcohol in the nose and some tart fruitiness. Plenty of barrel as well. Sweet malts, not really smelling the rye.

T/M: Still a good bit of alcohol but not too hot. Alcohol has a bit of citrus like pungency. Lots of tart fruits... not so much barrel infection but I'm not sure where it would be coming from. More of the sweet malts with some deeper flavor and some of the rye coming out with light spiciness. Body is only about medium with mild carbonation.

D: 7.7% is surprisingly low considering all the very present alcohol. I would have guessed this at over 10%. Not the easiest drinker, especially since it's only 7.7%.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle at a tasting, courtesy of thickerfreakness.

Ry(e)an pours into my snifter with a deep, rustic copper hue that has a nice breadth to its color. A well-retained khaki head floats up top, but doesn't last long. The aroma is almost overwhelmingly green with wooden barrels, Pinesol, and lemongrass. Toffee sweetness from the malts lurks in the background with some orange peel, but this Rye Beer is dominated by the smell of fresh bourbon barrels.

The flavor tones down the younger qualities displayed in the aroma and replaces it with a healthy backing of rye and toasted caramel malts. Lots of tropical fruitiness in the middle. Booze is spicy on the finish, but not too hot or over-powering. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and almost fluffy with a tight, yet effervescent carbonation level. All in all, Smuttynose has delivered a unique Rye that's pleasing, but has a little too much going on upstairs for my palate. Be interesting to see how this one ages, but the fresh bottle wasn't up my alley.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Foamy/Creamy 2 fingers of head top this mostly brown beer. Some lacing left behind.

Aroma is totally bourbon/vanilla... with a sweet caramel note to it.

At first I enjoyed it, but it became too sweet. Tons of vanilla, bourbon and caramel just like in the nose. Just a touch of spice from the rye, but I thought it's character was masked by the almost overpowering caramel sweetness.

Medium bodied, not really sticky but almost makes me consider it so...

I lost steam as I worked through the glass. I think there is something here if they tried again.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogony in color almost 1-finger head that fades to just a ring of fizziness around the perimeter. Looks a little lifeless. But a little lacing does occur.

Aroma gives off bourbon right off the bat. Big notes of vanilla as well. Rye is then noticeable underneath that.

A medley of favors bring to mind fig, cherry, brown sugar, bourbon, with rye sitting underneath its all. It's quite sweet. Some bitterness is lacking.

Mouthfeel is a little thin but it also feels slick and syrupy so that prevents it from being too thin, I think.

Overall the layers of flavor and aromatic notes are interesting and fairly impressive, however, it's quite syrupy and the levels of favors here need some modifying. The bourbon overtakes the flavor profile a bit too much and some added bitterness and dryness might do this some good. Worth trying once but I won't get it again.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy copper color beer with a finger of off-white head that had some moderate lacing and decent retention.

S - Malt, rye, bourbon, some notes of spice. Somewhat unique with a bit of wood, and some amber hints. Not bad.

T - Fair bit of bourbon for something that is 7.7%, kind of overwhelms the base beer a little bit, although the rye does come through. Some vanilla and oak, this is not great, but it's decently tasty.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, not a great beer, but was happy to try it. I think this might really agree with some people.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle.

Appearance: Not really impressed so far. Pours a murky orange-tinted brown with some cream-colored head that fades quickly and no lacing/spotting.

Nose: Big, salty, sweet rye malt. Lots of vanilla too, and some leather. Sea weed comes to mind too, strangely enough. And nutmeg. Odd and densely packed with aromas.

Palate: Good tight carbonation, and some alcohol prickle right off the bat. Medium-bodied and somewhat sweet but not cloying. It seems to me that barrel-aged rye's tend to be drying on the finish. That salty note is there but citrus juice and flowers join the party. Notes of rawhide, cream and pumpernickel round things out and the finish is almost tannic and closes on a sharp alcohol note.

Notes: An interesting beer for sure and well made to boot. Better than the Lenny's RIPA on Rye. I'm not convinced that hoppy Rye beers are better for oak ageing, but it's a new style and I'll need to try more as they come out. Grab this if you see it though, for sure.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to BigBalls for this generous extra. Cheers!

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy chestnut with two fingers of frothy beige head.

Smell -- Whiskey, vanilla, oak, coconut, pineapple, and lots of spicy rye. Plenty of barrel presence, but no sharp or overwhelming alcohol presence. Good stuff.

Taste -- Spicy whiskey, toasted malt, rye, vanilla, coconut, some pineapple, woody oak. Lots of whiskey in the finish, but not necessarily boozy.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with a good amount of frothy carbonation. Pretty nice.

Drinkability -- Very unique, but it didn't quite do it for me. Still, a great sipper.

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Photo of mothman
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into chalice.

Pours almost 1 finger of a yellow hued tan head. Pretty thick and creamy. Good retention with some lacing. Color is a dark hazed amber copper.

Aroma: I can definitely smell the imperial red ale components (or what is left of it). Very malty, but it actually works well with this beer. Rye and spice. A decent blast of bourbon and oak.

Taste: The bourbon is the spotlight here. Tons of bourbon with hints of oak and vanilla. I would have never guessed this to be an imperial red. The rye shows a lot. Still pretty malty, but overall just a lot of bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Warming and smooth. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean, maybe a tad dry.

Overall, a really awesome rendition on an imperial red ale. Normally I hate when those beers get a few months old and lose their hop bite. This was an exception. The bourbon came in and overpowered the malts (in a good way). Kind of one dimensional, but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, rye, caramel, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but the smell is slightly better in my opinion.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mike opened this bottle to share, thanks Mike. Beer is brown and kind of hazy with an offwhite head of small and large soapy bubbles that leaves very little lacing on the glass, its well carbonated.

The aroma is strong with rye and some sweetness. Its also kind of liquory and has some mild spice.

I'm not sure whether or not this was aged in a barrel but it sure as hell tastes like it. Its got a great rye character to it but there's this alcoholic / liquor sweetness to the front end that is a little off putting to me at least. Its got a nice body and is relatively easy to drink. I would cautiously split a bottle of this again in the future but I won't be out trading for it anytime soon.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dull looking mahogany brown with a thin yellowish head that fades quickly. There is a slight lacing and almost no head retention. The nose is modest and presents mainly notes from the barrel aging ie. caramel, vanilla, plumb, coconut. The taste presents a huge amount of sweet coconut with barely any rye...except a touch in the lingering, spicy aftertaste. Not much of a rye beer...in fact it would be hard to find any rye if I didn't know it was technically a "rye beer" and therefore had to have rye present. The mouthfeel is a medium-full body beer with a sweet lingering bourbon aftertaste. Good beer, but it completely masks the rye taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been on the fence about buying this since the release, decided to finally pick one up at Julio's.

Appears to be dark brown, but is actually pretty light with red and orange highlights when held to the light. Light beige head is huge and sticks around forever, almost looked infected at first. Eventually stays at a finger leaving decent lacing.

Brown sugar is big in the scent here, the bourbon smells great as well, lots of vanilla and caramel. Unfortunately it seems to lose alot of it's potency with warmth.

Taste pretty much follows the nose, brown sugar is a major presence. I get the bourbon flavors but not much of an oak/barrel taste. Definitely raisins/dark fruit. Not much rye at all at first but starts to show through alot about halfway through the bomber. Earthy and grassy hop notes. Unlike the smell, the taste improves as time goes on.

Pretty smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is about medium. This beer is hotter than expected, but I wouldn't call it boozy. Sweet to begin with, grows as it warms.

A good beer, winds up being pretty dessert-like. A minor complaint is the bourbon kind of dominates, I'd like to try the base beer (if it exists.) But the combo of a rye ale and the bourbon presents some interesting flavors for sure. Good price for a barrel-aged beer too.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Very deep, dark copper, the color of the RY(e)AN Ale reminds me of some sort of chocolate caramel. A big, fluffy, white head rested on top with lots of big bubbles. Retention was so-so, but it was very pretty when first poured. No lacing to speak of.

SMELL: Just like bourbon, the smell warms from within. Toasty malts, caramel and a hint of vanilla combine with a bit of sour to create a very appealing aroma.

TASTE: A strong hoppy, bitter and yet somewhat malty flavor greets the palate at the start before a moderate sized wave of wild, sour flavors kicks in. The finish is dry and hoppy and bourbon flavors are noticeable throughout the sip, but they are more of a backbone rather than the feature. I'm surprised no one else has mentioned the sour flavor, it is CERTAINLY there, unless I'm crazy, which is possible.

MOUTHFEEL: This is a very well carbonated beer, especially for a bourbon barrel aged ale. I expected more of a creamy feel to it, but was delighted by its sparkle.

OVERALL: I went back and forth on how I felt about this beer throughout the glass, but generally, I liked it. The combination of bourbon and sour was certainly interesting, and a little tough to get used to, but by the end of the glass, as it warmed, I was looking forward to each sip. This is a solid beer and an excellent change of pace.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a nice dark reddish brown. Constant streams of carbonation rising from the bottom ending in a off white 1 finger foamy head. Head clung very well and lasted a long time. Aroma was slightly spicey sweet. A bit of sugary pepper. Flavor was complex and changing. At times it was bitter, other times it was sour, and some times it was sweet. Sweet brown bread with a bit of pepper was noticed. Wasn't so hot in the mouth. Seemed overly carbonated, and perhaps a bit to sticky in the mouth. Overall it was a well balanced nuanced beer.

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

Pours a deep amber, with a subdued head of fine bubble that show up late to the party about two fingers deep. Smells like spiced rock candy, a wee bit boozy and very inviting. Reminds me of a good scotch ale, although the the rye here shows up to make it a bit diverse/off centered.

This is the rye-i-est beer I've ever tasted. I've had others and fought to really pull out the rye, but this is front and center. The rye gives this beer a tannic backbone in what would otherwise be a very good although common scotch ale. Hops hit you on the way down but they are quickly silenced by the bourbon. As it warms the rye hides away as the bourbon and candy put it down a few notches.

Viscous and smooth as top shelf bourbon, gets thicker as it warms like many ales. Feels great and right on point.

This mother drinks just like a great scotch ale to me, I can't resist the comparison. Goes down smooth as hell. The only thing that would make this better is a late December nor'easter and a good roast. Great beer, pick it up if you can git it.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Julio's on my way back from Portland. Served in a Sam Adam's perfect pint glass.

A - Two fingers of light tan foam that settle to a thin cap, and leave behind nice solid lacing. The body is a nice hazy brown color.

S - Big earthy bourbon, roasted grains, light cocoa, and kiss of zesty rye when the beer warms up a little bit. Reminds of Three Floyds beers where the barrel largely obliterates the base beer.

T - Chocolate and caramel malts, oaky vanilla, toasted grains, light rye, and a bit less bourbon than was found in the nose. Finishes with some light roast bitterness and some barrel tannins.

M - Smooth, medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation, with a sticky finish. I thought this was stronger than 7.7%, would have guessed more like 10%.

D - I went for a second pour of this one, and liked it more than most at our tasting. It was significantly better than the Scotch Ale.

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Photo of nickd717
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at a tasting by someone in the local BA group.

Pours a great clear dark reddish-brown color with an off-white head and good retention.

Aroma is rye, caramel, fruity notes, and mild bourbon.

Flavor is slightly sweet, caramel and toffee malt, rye, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. More oak than bourbon.

Palate is decent. Medium-bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of jegross2
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale from the Smuttynose Brewing Company.
Score: 87

Bottled on the 265th day of 2011 (October 23, 2011). Served in a Three Floyds' teku glass and enjoyed on 06/03/12 with Robbie Moy.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark mahogany color with a finger of khaki head that settles to a thick bubbly ring around the glass. Good lacing, good retention, good cling. 4/5

Smell: Rye, caramel malt, and ample creamy vanilla. A little sweet onion and sugary molasses. 3.75/5

Taste: Lots of sugary sweet caramel upfront followed by some creamy vanilla flavor. A nice rye kick on midpalate. Lots of sweet malt. Lingering sugary molasses flavor. Mild red grape flavor too. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel. Malty finish. 4/5

Overall: A solid malty beer that isn't cloyingly sweet by any means, but it certainly teeters the line of "pretty malty sweet" at points.

Recommendation: Not particularly worth seeking out, but definitely worth trying.

Pairings: Goat cheese salad with pecans with balsamic.

Cost: $8 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 207 ratings.
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