Red Rye Returning
Carton Brewing Company

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Rye Beer
Ranked #58
Ranked #16,872
3.88 | pDev: 8.25%
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Very Good
Notes: There is no doubt variety is the spice of life and we love going off in all kinds of directions looking for new flavors. Like all travel though at some point your heart turns back toward home. Home, robust American ales. This route travels along a path of piney American hops, Simcoe, Cluster, and Horizon their natural course coaxed toward spicy by a touch of rye. Drink Red Rye Returning because home is where the hops is.

IBU: 50
Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 225 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SmashAdams
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's a beer that could have been a hop assault with a reddish color but instead Carton delivers a great beer with perfect balance of unique flavors. The hop flavors perfectly accent the slight spice of the rye - we get light tropical fruits behind a slightly spicy pine. As the beer warms really interesting flavors come out. I notice light coffee in the aroma which was really cool. Delicious beer overall. yb

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Photo of AyatollahGold
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. can into a Willi Becher glass this beer is a brown with copper highlights. It forms two fingers worth of very appealing, light khaki colored crown that has no rush for dissipating.

The smell is beautifully piney mixing with heavily toasted caramel and baked bread. Rye kick lingers.

The rye becomes much more pronounced in the taste. It still delivers on toasted caramels, pine notes, baked bread.

The taste is clean, while delivering a kick from the rye throughout.

Overall, this is very tasty. Nice balance between malt and hops.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Carton Brewing Company "Red Rye Returning"
16 fl. oz. can, "START @ 44F JOURNEY BEGAN 11/08/2017" and sampled on 05/24/18
$4.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Surprisingly hazy, or is it even cloudy like a hefeweizen? I wasn't prepared for that but OK, yeasty beers are in these days. It's reddish copper in color beneath a 3/4" thick head of densely creamy off-white foam. The aroma is citrusy and spicy with rye - once you've tasted enough rye beers you should be able to pick out the rye fairly readily. The flavor is much fuller than the aroma suggests with some additional fruitiness that might be from hops but is probably from the yeast as it's berry-ish and apple-like. The rye remains but it's not solidly rye so there must be a fair amount of straightforward pale malt and some caramel as well. Light to medium caramel. It's nice. Some breweries over-do the rye in the malt bill but this is right on, just enough so that you clearly get it but not so much that it dominates and becomes too spicy. And on that note, the hops are perfectly balanced as well so that they're at the same level as the rye and everything works well together whereas sometimes it becomes "hops versus rye". A noticeable bitterness balances it but doesn't overwhelm, and it still finishes dry and spicy because of the rye, and there's yeasty fruitiness and citrusy hops lingering as well. In the mouth it feels pretty full, suggesting an IPA rather than a pale ale, but it remains medium bodied; and it's crisp and biting which accentuates the spiciness of the rye and at least partially compensates for the lower level of bitterness in the dry finish - that's a neat trick! Looking back I still have a solid 1/8" of creamy foam covering the surface and some nice clods of lace rising above it along the sides of the glass. It delivers everything a rye beer should, and it has great balance and drinkability. I won't normally drink two rye beers in a row because of the spiciness but I think in this case that wouldn't be an issue at all. I've had a lot of rye beers in my day, and of course this is just one of a wide range, but for this range, the red/amber ale I think it rocks. It's one of only a few that I've really, really enjoyed. Superbly done. Well worth trying.
Review# 6,026

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a very dark amber with a tan head and an aroma that is very typically spicy from the rye. The hops are coming through on the nose but also in the very intensely and almost overwhelmingly bitter taste that lingers.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can. Pours hazy orange with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is off citrusy hops, tropical fruit, spices and caramel malt. Body is full and tangy. Citrusy, spicy hopes dominate the flavor with caramel malt and oranges provide support. Finish is long and very hoppy. Delicious brew.

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Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a hazy burnished auburn color with an ecru head that builds to two fingers; a few strands linger

Smell: Pine resin, caramel and spicy rye tones

Taste: Caramel forward with the pine resin building, the spicy rye tones emerge as the earthy hop bitterness builds; while the spicy, resinous bitterness lingers, into the finish, the sweet tones never fade

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: One of the maltier bitter beers I have tasted in a long time; this beer returns home to a style that was very popular 10 years ago

Thanks, Nichols33, for the opportunity

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Photo of farrago
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice big head, three fingers and can easily foam over if you’re not careful, light tan color, good density and retention, the lacing forms as long, thin trails. Amber to reddish-brown colored liquid, very pretty with full clarity, the tiny bubbles are dispersed and seem only visible near the surface. The rye bite comes through well in the nose, softened a great deal by bready notes and cocoa powder, has a sort of salt and pepper thing going on too, faint touch of white grapefruit, not all that complex but the elements which are there have breadth and staying power. Full-bodied, the carbonation is steady in a background manner so the texture is solid and can be bottom heavy at times. More floral here and spicier as well, peppery support of the rye. Tar resin and gets earthier as it warms. The cocoa, chocolate accents more present through the finish. Less citrus and hard to peg any distinct fruit flavors, washed out tropical flavors. Doesn’t seem concerned with harmonious choral activity as playing solos off each other. Good stuff, don’t think it would be easy to have more than two in a sitting though.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap.

A - Deep Amber red color with sticky cream colored lacing.

S - Light roasted toffee with some faint citrus.

T - Toffee malt, resiny citrus, and a lingering pine bite on the back end.

M - Medium body, the sides of the mouth waters and the top of tongue is bone dry.

O - A solid red ale.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Acquired via trade from tzieser so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized rye malts, earthy hops, citrus and some other fruits.

T: The taste starts out with a nice burst of earthy hops bitterness that is quickly followed by sweet flavors of caramel, rye spice, citrus and other fruits. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

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

O: Tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Jacobier10
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can.

Ruby color and clear with a large, frothy, light tan head. Good retention and lacing.

Biscuit and grainy malt pair up nicely with sharp, piney hops. There's a bit of spice in the flavor from the rye, along with some caramel sweetness and mild grapefruit.

Medium bodied and sticky. Nice balance throughout. The rye make its presence known but complements the beer instead of overpowering it. A great offering for the Fall.

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Photo of aoampm
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a pint glass. Canned just under two months ago.

Pours a dark amber red color. Big frothy head and a good level of carbonation.

Decent nose. Hibiscus flower, apple, and a candy caramel type of aroma.

Flavors of caramel, hops, malt, and pine.

Feel is thicker than most beers at this ABV.

Overall a solid offering! Can't say I'm a big Red / Rye fan but this is a well done beer.

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Photo of Greyvtrayn
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 9/8. Aggressive pour into a teku presented a rich reddish brown body and a sizable khaki head that left sticky lacing around the glass. Nice piney on the nose with hints of toasted malt, rye and caramel. Roasted malt flavor with a subtle yet present rye flavor, a bit of a piney resin and dry finish. Medium mouthfeel and above average carbonation. Interesting rye ale here. Love what Carton does.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5


On tap at the brewery. 5oz. sample in a small glass.

Not as good as Terrapin Mosaic, but similar and a nice red ale.

Taste is a mixture of sharp malt and Pine with an odd touch of vanilla.


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Photo of tigg924
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a growler. Pours clear, copper in color, with 2/3 inch head. Taste is big rye, caramel malt, light chocolate, and light earthy hops. Medium bodied. Nice combination of sweet and bitter with moderate carbonation. Makes for an excellent amber ale with big rye. Certainly a beer I would get a lot of if I could get it locally.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Office in Summit. Pours a ruddy, amber-colored hue with minimal frothing. Pungent, assertive, and highly tropical aroma reminiscent of tangerine. Not bad.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

DATE: March 30, 2016... OCCASION: celebrating a gift card at the Tap House in Mansfield... GLASSWARE: 16 oz. pint... APPEARANCE: pours an off-white quarter-finger head that settles to a spongy resilience atop a dark maple brown... tracings are coral finger arcs... AROMA: pine and resin notes commandeer the senses... subdued pepper and licorice... caramel and bread dough.. PALATE:medium-bodied, textured at the start, and highly drinkable for an ale, even at 6.5% ...TASTE: the hop bomb explodes with resin and pine... some floral tones too, but the impressiveness of this beer is in its balance between spiciness and maltiness... malts provide a strong backbone to the hop-forward assault... actually, the spices are not so evident, which is part off what a rye is, no? OVERALL: slight loss of score comes when one realizes the rye is not the focal point--and returning home to read the brewer's own description, I can see why... still, this is another celebration of the growing New Jersey brewing tradition...a spicy, strong, fulfilling ale... all the way to its bad-ass name....

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Madison Pourhouse in Albany, NY.

This one pours a dark-ish amber color, with a small white head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like bitter pine, dank hops, spicy rye, and some bittersweet caramel malt.

This is another well done beer by Carton, but not one of their best. The hops at times struggle to assert themselves above the rye malt, which is pretty tasty, though. The hops are mainly bitter, some spicy pine plays well with the spicy rye. There's a bit of the stereotypical dankness in the hop profile, too, grassy and marijuana-like. I get a little bit of caramel sweetness.

This is medium bodied, with a toasty mouthfeel with a good bite, and a good level of carbonation.

Not the best I've had from this great brewery, but still a great drink anyway.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear mahogany amber with minimal head that dissapates quickly to a collar. Faint grain aroma ... faint rye taste...that trail off close to instantly. Full- bodied.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

enjoyed on draft at a restaurant.

pretty good rye beer. nice spiciness and bitterness to it. easy to drink while still being complex. an enjoyable beer but maybe not a beer i'd seek out again.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draught in a restaurant. The color is an attractive reddish-brown with a creamy milk-white head and lacing. The ale was served rather cold so the aroma was not strong but featured some floral hops and spicy rye with a touch of sweetness. The taste features hops, caramel, spicy rye, and some dark fruit. It is a medium-bodied ale with moderate carbonation. It is smooth and very easy drinking at 6.5% ABV. Carton is a quality brewer and this is a very well-crafted red ale.

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite reds yet. The rye spiciness really comes though here and balances out the sweetness of the other malts quite well, also leaving the hops to really showcase here. Nice dank simcoe is noticeable on my palate. Hope this gets canned soon.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer was served on tap at Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, New Jersey. It arrived in a generic pint glass at the bar, showing a rich ruby amber coloring. Crowned with a two finger head of thick, sand colored foam, retention was excellent. Bubbly spotted sheets of lacing were left around the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be active. The aroma gave massive citric and floral hoppiness, herbal plantiness, green twigginess, rye grain grit, bitter rye bread bake, very crisp and drying pale and amber malts, cloying nectary tropical fruitiness of mango and papaya, tin, magic marker phenols, buttered wheat breadiness, plantains, and black olive brine. To follow, the flavoring came with oily and bittering citric and soapy hops, toasty and biscuity rye grain, copper, clover honey, marigold florals, soured lactic powders, ale yeast, vanilla cream, crumbly butter cookies, light pretzel doughiness, sea salt, and wisps of caramel sugars. The body was medium to full, and carbonation was active, but soft to the touch. Nice slurp, smack, cream, and froth accompanied each sip, and the mouth was left feeling the brush of crisp floury dryness, without overt pucker or astringency. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily enough to facilitate a repeat order.

Overall, there were so many beautiful things about this beer. From the look to the nose, it introduced itself and presented itself well. The first whiff brought crashing imagery of Nugget Nectar to the forefront of our minds, although the flavoring showed much more bitterness from both the hops and the big rye grain inclusions. The hops became frankly soapy, and when mixed and indistinguishable from the malts, gave a doubled bitter blend that was cleaner, but equally as robust as your west coast bitter hop bombs. Very,very tasty. The only negative thing about this one was its heavier feel and flow, but we suppose that is seasonally reasonable, and only minor given the wonderfully fresh ingredients, aroma, and taste.

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Photo of njtmayhem
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer surprised me. I got it in a taster out of curiosity and wasn't let down. This beer is very good. I picked up a growler along with a growler of Regular coffee.

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Photo of leantom
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Kind of surprising for a red rye beer. I'll explain. Here goes:

A: Reddish-brown with a large head that leaves adequate lacing. Looks pleasant enough, but somewhat murky.

S: Good, but not what I as expecting. Mostly hop forward - very herbal, flowery, and citrusy. There's also some grapefruit which is characteristic of a lot of WC IPA's. Some caramel malt, but this is a muted scent relative to the hops.

T: Good, but still hop forward. Some sweet caramel and amber malt, but these quickly give way to very grassy, floral, and grapefruit-laden hops. Good, but more like an IPA.

F: Very good. Well-carbonated, glides down the tongue.

O: Good beer. Not what I was expecting, but still good.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +3.1%

On draft at Tap and Barrel, Smithtown, NY.

Poured a slightly murky burnt copper hue with a half finger foamy off white head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell featured an earthy burnt caramel with moderate esters.

The taste offered an earthy and slightly sweet toasted malt, with a potent rye spice and herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was found and full with a dry finish.

Overall a tasty rye driven ale.

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Red Rye Returning from Carton Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 225 ratings