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 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 Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown with a slightly reddened tint. Off white head. Smell is very nice and quite strong. Rye whiskey is really apparent in the nose, almost completely dominating. A bit balanced out by some sweet caramel. Taste is quite similar although not as well integrated. Body is the one drawback, as it is a bit thin and undercarbonated. One of my favorte Smuttynose beers to date.

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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 jlindros
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been waiting for this beer for about a year. I was one of the lucky few who went down to Kentucky with Ryan and Julios to pick out the barrels of bourbon. He then mentioned to me a short time later that the barrels would be dropped off at Smuttynose to make some type of awesome beer. I knew Smuttynose would do it justice, and here it finally is, and I have to say it lived up to the hype!

A: Served just slightly chilled into my Smuttynose Big Beer tulip/snifter glass it makes a large 2 finger head of fluffy and fizz which fades at a medium pace and slows to a crawl after a few seconds. The beer is a slightly clear dark maroon reddish brown color with lots of dark shades but nice light coming through, and I can almost swear to see little flecks of oak char, but I think that's just my imagination. I can also see light refracting through like sunlight beaming through clouds from the heavens.

N: Beautiful nose, especially if you are a bourbon or rye whisky drinker. Lots of malts to start, very rich, some darker malts but mostly crystal malts. A nice rye malt aroma as well adds a touch of spice and fruit. I do get a hint of roasted malt though. Then comes the really nice part, all the bourbon and oak. I get a nice bourbon aroma, not strong alcohol, just the nice caramel and rich bourbon soaked oak aromas. The oak is lighter with a little charred oak aroma. The oak also brings some vanilla to the table, adding a nice subtle balance to the spicy rye and heavy rich malts. There is a slight rye whisky aroma too, for anyone familiar with them. With all that there is almost no hint of booze aroma.

T: The taste starts very rich, with tons of malts again. Lots of crystal malt, caramel flavors, a little sweetness but not much. There is a dominate spicy rye flavor too, with some fruit qualities. The rye also seems to dry the flavor quite a bit, especially as it warms. As it warms the thick slightly syrupy malt seems to melt in my mouth like candy, and turns almost to a fluffy caramelized bourbon flavor. The bourbon comes through after a few seconds, adding some bourbon flavor, but not as much as the nose had. It adds some caramel and rye whisky flavors, and the slightest hint of booze. The oak also shines as it warms especially, adding more caramel and toasted oak flavors, no woody resin though, and more vanilla imparted. The layers of malts, to bourbon, to rye, to vanilla and oak are crazy and very tasty.

M: Starts a little thick and slightly syrupy but as it warms in the mouth, it melts like butter into a soft and slightly velvety nice body, and has a good amount of carbonation.

F: It finishes pretty dry, as I could tell it would. The longer it sat in my mouth the drier it got, and is a characteristic of the rye. The rye dominates part of the finish, with the initial spicy rye taste. It then turns to a slight woody esther finally, but not too much, with a slight more oak. Somewhat sticky as well with residual syrupy feel, but not sweetness left. It also leaves a long lingering fruit flavor on the back of the tongue. Most of the malt and bourbon flavors disappear quickly though, which leaves a little to be desired on the finish, as the rye just takes over and kicks everything else out the window.

As I expected with our hand selected barrels, Smuttynose delivered, and perhaps even better than I expected. This is such a complex and delicious beer, and is more drinkable than you would expect. I only wonder how the 2 cases I plan to buy will age. As we get ready to head back down to Kentucky again this coming Monday, I look forward to amazing whisky selections we can pick, and whatever amazing beer Ryan has in store for us next year.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, fruit, rye malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of bourbon, caramel, some fruit and some spice. Then a hearty rye malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style with a small variation as I haven't seen too many bourbon barrel-aged rye beers, this is a decent beer to drink for a while if you want something different.

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from LarryG, cheers Larry!!

Pours an effervescent orange/chestnut with 4 fingers of mocha colored head. Crazy lacing & very good head retention

S: Brown bread & bourbon sourness once warm.

T: Brown bread, apricot, peppery rye & dryness up front, plus sour Bourbon notes. Richer bourbon notes, boozey apricots & figs, some caramel as this warms, plus rye crispness & dryness. Finishes spicy, crisp, boozey with nice bourbon notes, pretty dry & nice sour-wood honey notes...

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation, becomes warming over time

Great drinkability not as good as Rye on Rye, but on its heels

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes 11/20/10.

A: Pours a dark brown/copper color. One finger light tan head with moderate retention with some nice lacing, leaves a nice ring around the glass.

S: Nice vanilla aroma. The brown sugar and molasses are very strong from the barrels. There is a little bit of woody oak and caramel malts.

T: Nice dark fruit and the bourbon hit you upfront. The vanilla and rye blend together nicely in the midpalate. It is rounded out with some caramel malts.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. You can taste the alcohol a little bit, but in a good warming way. Overall, very nice, easier drinking than other similar beers I have had.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

decided to end my night with this one last night, simply stated one of the best beers i have ever had. served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter this one was consumed on 11/06/2010.

the pour was perfect with a deep reddish brown color and a wonderful head of creamy tan that i swear just would not relent in any way at all. coating the sides and obscuring the other side of the glass completely, i could not imagine this beer looking any better then this.

aroma is instant barrel, loads of light rye, vanilla, hints of caramel and molasses, simply amazing flavor and consistency here. i am blown away by how well this comes across. each sip was like a toffee, caramel, and just wonderfully brilliant flavor explosion, i really count not have asked for this to taste any better. smooth, creamy filling finish was just perfect. i could have an did sip on this one all night.

overall one of the beers that truly lives up to the hype for me. a superior offering for sure.

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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 Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks akorsak for this bomber, shared with tenderbranson69. Poured chilled into a duvel tulip and a snifter allowed to gradually reach cellar temp.

A crimson color with translucent clarity, the head is smooth and tan w/ bb like bead and lace that sticks well. The color is much like a ripe deep red cherry. The smell is really fruity w/ some cherry and bourbon notes and mild wood aroma w/ very malty backing. The slight bready odor from the rye w/ strong bourbon adds complexity to the nose. The feel is semi-full bodied with smooth sweet texture and lots of bourbon influence w/ dry strong texture and moderately high carbonation w/ woody tannic finish.

The rye has a fruity tasty quality with some cherry and juicy sweetness w/ malt fullness which is bready and thick. The caramel malt flavor comes through w/ some subtle grainy notes of rye and moderately strong bourbon with oak flavor joining the blend. There is almost a coconut like nutty fruit quality w/ toasted taste and warming mild alcohol in the finish. I found the mild hop and strong sweetness level makes it seem very candy-like but still very drinkable and has plenty of strong bourbon to sort of balance the caramel presence. The barrel certainly works as an ingredient in this beer, I am not sure I would have liked it as much without it. The flavors are deep and I find this to be a good example of a rye beer aged in a bourbon barrel, the experience is unique.

I am appreciative of the chance to try this, again Thanks Adam!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a dark amber color with about a finger's worth of khaki colored head.

S: Lots of barrel influence is detectable right off the bat. Vanilla, oak, and bourbon really dominate that aromas. I get some rye as well as a subtle fruitiness behind all the barrel.

T: More bourbon and vanilla to the flavor with a mild warmth to the beer. A lot of rye and what seems to be candied orange peels along with caramel and brown sugar.

M: Medium in body with a surprisingly lively carbonation, but I appreciate it.

D: This beer was good, but it's completely overwhelmed by the barrel/bourbon. I was left to wonder what the original beer really tasted like.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 7/9/10 notes. Brought to a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark brown color with no head and light carbonatioin.

s - Smells of vanilla, whiskey, and oak. Little bit of grain of wheat. Very enjoyable.

t - Tastes of vanilla, whiskey, oak, and tropical fruits.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, with a tiny bit of heat.

d - I thought this was a really good rye beer and I really enjoyed the vanilla and whiskey in the smell. Would like to try again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Big thanks to monsterzero for this bad boy!

I don't get all the parentheses, but anyone who knows me knows I use 'em enough to allow this. This brew pours a translucent ruby-garnet topped by a finger of off-white micro foam. The nose comprises plenty o' bourbon and oak, walnut, vanilla, and peppercorns. The taste holds notes of bourbon, oak, ginger, brown sugar, light maple syrup, vanilla, and a bit o' rye. I honestly expected more rye, but the subtlety in that department balances out the more up-front bourbon barrel flavors. Tne body is a heavy medium, with light carbonation and a thick, almost chewy feel. Overall, a tasty treat, but the lack of rye holds it back from being great. Definitely worth a try, though, especially if you like the barrel-aged goodies.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A: The beer appears slightly hazy and is chestnut brown in color. Atop the beer sits a half inch of head that leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is an enticing mix of bourbon, rye, vanilla, malt, oak barrels.

T: What a fabulous beer! I was completely taken by surprise. Everything found in the aroma shines through in a masterfully crafted beer with balance, subtlety and complexity.

M: Medium bodied and packed with flavor throughout. Alcohol presence is there, but I wouldn't describe the beer as hot.

D: Very drinkable. I would really like to have this again.

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Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber into a snifter. The brew appears amber in color with a slight haze. A yellowish stained finger of froth rests atop slowly fading leaving a full wall of patchy lace on the glass.

The aroma includes notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee and coconut. Some toasty biscuit grain inclusion is present underneath alot of barrel presence which almost trumps all the underlying character. A slighky fruity whiskey note emerges across the back. Overall a solid smelling brew with huge barrel influence.

The flavor includes a note of bready grain upfront mingles with some touches of fruity alcohol. Like the aroma suggested, it displays a huge amount of barrel character but not in a boozy sense. It is soft and enjoyable with flavors of vanilla, coconut and caramel.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth and easy drinking with lots of barrel character that integrates quite nicely with the rye but at times feels almost like it dominated the base instead of complimenting it. Regardless, a very enjoyable brew.

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

Bottle picked up at Julio's courtesy of mixylplik3, thanks for the opportunity Matt.
Pours a deep dark brown with deep garnet highlights and a huge off white head that slowly dissipates but never totally falls. Nice nose. Smell is sweet with candy sugar and dark fruit mixed with some vanilla oak and bourbon. Some light caramel/toffee in the aroma but no hint of rye that I could find. Taste is sweet up front, kind of reminds me of an old ale at first. Light caramel, toffee, and sweet cherries lead off the race but are quickly overcome by bourbon and oak. Spicy rye pokes its head up quickly but is shut down by a mild higher alcohol burn. Long lingering sugared dark fruit sweetness in the finish. Medium body and a surprising level of creaminess in the mouthfeel. Light to medium level of carbonation. I love what this beer can become, but I feel that right now the flavors are less than harmonious. The alcohol burn needs to mellow a bit and the flavors need to meld. I enjoyed this beer but I think with a little age this one will become fantastic. I wish I had more of this to age.

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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 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 Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice dark golden copper color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with some thick sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, sweet, slight bourbon note, and caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, very nice bourbon note, and a nice touch of caramel. Medium body. Very Drinkable, this one is a gem, glad to have gotten a chance to try it. Thanks Wayne.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is very nice. I get notes of alcohol, maple, oak, rye and vanilla. The maple seems to be the most dominant aroma. The flavor is maple, vanilla, bourbon, rye and oak. The bourbon and maple really come through in the flavor, but the beer is still very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very good.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks again, Jason. Brewed exclusively for Julio's Liquors

A: Light reddish brown with a beige head

S: A nice blend of caramel, bourbon, and rye. The spirit character is great. Faint oak and a little apple. Vanilla peeks out as the beer warms.

T: Caramel, oak, bourbon, and rye. All elements are balanced. The flavor is smooth and mellow, with no harsh notes. Finishes exhibits caramel, apple, and a mellow alcohol presence.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth, sticky, and creamy.

Overall: A nice beer. Best beer I've had from this brewery, actually.

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Photo of rudzud
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Simply an excellent beer. Bought 3 bottles at Julio's Beerfest. This is the first one I've cracked.

Appearence is a deep mahogony color. Nice fluffy two finger head that seemed to hang around for the duration of my beverage.

Sugary smell with buterscotch and huge notes of bourbon. The aroma of this beer keeps bringing me back for more!

The taste was just like the smell, only subdued. nice warming bourbon taste, sweet malts. I would drink this every day if I could.

Mouthful was pleasant. Typical stickyness one would expect

Dangerously drinkable! So smooth at that alcohol level that one simply cant stop drinking it.

This is my favorite smuttynose by far. I wish they would add this to their lineup somehow. Want to drink this every night after work. Just excellent.

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Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours two-finger light tan head that fades slowly and leaving a good lace. Hazy amber color, hints of yeast. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Bourbon nose, and strong bourbon flavor, just hints of rye. One could imagine a lot higher ABV than 7.7%. $8.99 for a 22 oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to nonstick for this 650 mL bomber.

A: The rye beer is a dark brown color that approximates, well, a loaf of rye bread. An off-white head, a bit of tan to it, ran up to 3 fingers and left plenty of lace behind.

S: Now that's a nose, pungent and strong, plenty boozy! Rye bread, spicy, is here, along with a bit of brown sugar. Vanilla notes round out the aroma, which is bold and intriguing.

T: A spicy combination that I really like. The bourbon, strong and flavorful, delivers sweet brown sugar, vanilla and coconut. The bourbon isn't overpowering, allowing the spicy sweet rye malts to come through. The bourbon is very distinctive, sweeter and spicier even than most barrel-aged offerings. The blending of rye and bourbon nicely accentuates both flavors, a sweet, spicy, strong pairing.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth and sweet, interrupted sporadically by a fresh dose of boozy heat. The rye beer and bourbon barrel pairing works very well.

D: Really? Only 7.7%? The bourbon side makes the ale feel huge. Hell, the psychosomatic aspect of rye beer in bourbon barrel already has my head spinning. Well done by Smuttynose and the Loch & K(e)y society on this one, a strong barrel aged beer for Julio's.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a rather clear mahogany--amber color with some tiny bubbles forcing their way to the top. A thin ecru cap rose and fell rather quickly. Stray dots of lace here and there.

Big nose on this one. Toffee, sweet cherries, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and spicy rye. The bourbon influence is well attenuated and adds layers of complexity.

Sweet cherries hit my palate first before the bourbon takes over. Dry oak, bourbon, and vanilla lend a nice depth to the profile. Spicy rye comes through in the end with a bit of booze. The finish is spicy, sweet and dry from the oak.

Medium body with a mild carbonation that works perfectly. Slightly creamy with a nice dry, spicy finish.

This was a pleasant surprise for me. Every sip brought on deeper layers of complexity and flavor. My only complaint is I didn't buy more.

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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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