Templeton Rye Stout
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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Beer Geek Stats:
Stout - Foreign / Export
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4.04 | pDev: 0%
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States
Notes: American Rye Stout fermented with Belgian yeast and aged in a Templeton rye whiskey barrel.
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque onyx with a small, golden khaki colored head that faded to a broken film inside of two minutes. The foam was neither creamy nor sticky and left almost no lace on the sides of the glass. Appearance was not this brew's strong suit.

The nose started out at 3.5, increased to 4.0 by the midway point and finished at 4.5. A too cold starting temperature was most likely the culprit. In the end, each sniff resulted in a glorious cloud of black malt, burnt sugar and rye whiskey. The tapering top of the glass helped by concentrating the aroma.

Templeton Rye Stout is Rock Bottom's Low Country Stout that has been aged in barrels that had previously held Iowa's finest spirit, Templeton Rye Whiskey. If that sounds like a recipe for success, it is. Only a somewhat disappointing body/mouthfeel held this beer back from potential greatness.

The flavor profile, although broad, was not very deep. TRS did as much as possible with the cards it was dealt. First of all, the relative proportions of stout and rye whiskey were pretty much perfect. Any more or any less time in the barrels wouldn't have worked as well. On second thought, a bit more whiskey would have been fine too.

Specifics included rye toast covered with melted bittersweet chocolate, caramelized sugar, chunks of charred coffee bean and a few flakes of toasted coconut. I would have killed for roughly twice the malt and another 3.0% on the ABV, idoitic Iowa alcohol laws be damned. A moderate sweetness and a moderate bitterness stayed neck-and-neck throughout each mouthful, with bitter inching ahead at the wire.

This offering was too thin and too carbonated right after the pour, improving just enough to avoid disappointing by the tail end of a patiently nursed glass. This is an ale that should give pleasure by the sip, not one that should be built for quick consumption. A significant improvement here might have bumped the scores above and below.

Templeton Rye Stout needed to be bigger in order to be better. It smelled like a dream and tasted almost as good. In fact, other than the body, I have no major complaints. It's just that I kept sipping and wondering what might have been.

Jun 20, 2009
Templeton Rye Stout from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 1 ratings