Red Rye Returning | Carton Brewing Company

very good
25 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by bonbini26 on 03-27-2012

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Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 197
Photo of q33jeff
3.54/5  rDev -9%
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 +8.5%
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 +6.2%
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 +1.5%
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 -2.6%
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 -1.3%
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%
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 +1.8%
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 +9.3%
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 +8.2%
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 +7.5%
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 +2.1%
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 +2.8%

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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Photo of Gavage
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: mahagony red in color with a 1/2" head that slowly falls to a thick surface covering.

Smell: malt sweetness is what you can detect with the nose.

Taste: light grainy malt profile with toffee, soft spiciness from the rye, dark fruit sweetness, some mild nuttiness, and a moderate bitterness which brings it into balance.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smoother and a bit dry at the finish.

Overall: for those that enjoy red ales, the rye kicks it up a notch and creates an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Act25
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

At the brewer, in my home town, one of my favorites, how lucky.
A) Pours a deep mahogany body, with a finger of rocky off white head that lasts and laces.
S) Food beer. Smells of rye, dark fruit, bready malts, hops, and pine. Perfect food blend of hops, malt, rye.
T) - How rye I am. Tastes follows the smell, with rye, fruity malts, hops, pine hops, bready malts, grains. FInishes clean, rye and dry.

F)- Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a great beer, esp at cash temperature. One of the best red ryes.

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Photo of jwc215
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at the bar in the Renaissance Hotel in Iselin, NJ:

Pours reddish copper with a thin head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel, rye and alcohol.

The taste is sweet and minty with balancing hops. Strong on rye and caramel. It has a boozy finish.

An interesting red rye. Not bad.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Carton

Reddish-brown pour, with a lasting white head that left some spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of toasted bread, caramel malts, citrus pith and piney hops. More of the same in the taste, toasted bread and grains, malty, with notes of citrus and pine, dash of cracked pepper, and a notable apple skin finish. Mouthfeel was crisp and quite drying, body was medium. Decent beer.

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Photo of corby112
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a very dark amber/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a 1.5 finger frothy off-white head.  Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a thick, lasting cap/ring.  Glass is left coated with sheets of soapy lacing. Looks great.

Slightly spicy sweet malt aroma with hints of caramel, toffee, bread and biscuit.  Subtle hops and strong spicy rye character after it warms up a bit.  Still a little bland smelling though.

Medium bodied with a prominent rye spiciness that adds another dimension to the slightly roasted and sweet malt flavors.  Peppery and spicy with nice rye flavor countered by sweet caramel malt, toffee, hazelnut and slightly roasted coffee.  Subtle hop bitterness compliments the rye before a dry finish.  Not overly complex but there's a nice spicy rue presence that's stronger than most beers in the style.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap at Morris Tap and Grill.

Carton red rye. Pours a reddish light brown. Sticky foam. Clingy. Bready nose with rye thrownm in. Light open with a firm caraway hop flabor. Pushy bitter close. Open softer with a tight close. Good. Certainly lops of hops to please. 4 4 35 35 375

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a growler filled at Spirits, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a reddish brown color with a cream colored 1-finger head, some rings of lacing left as it goes down. The unfiltered look has plenty of bubbles.

S- A nice hop punch of citrus and pine. There are dark bready malts, dark fruits, and notes of alcohol.

T- Big malt backbone, dark and roasty. Grainy, dark fruits, some sweetness, then the hops drive the back end. Citrus, grapefruit, and pine make up the bitter end.

M- Medium feel, good carbonation and lots of body. All the flavor easily masks the 6.5% abv making it easy drinking. Very smooth for a hearty ale.

O- Smooth, hearty, drinkable, and just enough hop bitterness. Balanced.

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Photo of SammyJaxxxx
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 1/2 growler filled at the brewery

Appearance:- Pours an amber color witha very light and fluffy 2 finger head. Thick lacing

Aroma: A nice blast of resin and some citrus along with some bready malts.

Taste- Roasty spicy malt up front. Followed up with piney resin and some citrus. The pine and citrus linger on the tongue. Alcohol taste is present, more than you would expect for 6.5%

Mouthfeel- Good carbonation and a complex body. The alcohol is there but it is still easy drinking and enjoyable.

O- Good balance, easy drinking, a real nice beer

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Photo of tobelerone
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler fill from Whole Foods. Another nice brew from the guys at Carton. Pours a murky reddish-brown with a finger of quickly falling cream-colored head and some light lacing. Aroma well balanced between assertive hops both piney and citrusy and a big malty note; rye is faintly detected underneath, and there’s a suggestion of sweet and syrupy fruits as well.

Taste follows the nose, but the spicy rye flavor comes to the fore a bit more. Otherwise it’s a blend of the pineapple, grapefruit, and resinous hops and a walloping caramel malt body. Sweet and fruity as implied by the aroma. The hops are bright and fresh but don’t provide a lot of bitterness or a long aftertaste. Rather, the malty sweetness lingers in the finish so this isn’t the one for you if you’re looking for something dry. Bears a passing resemblance to both Founder’s Red’s Rye and Nugget Nectar but is maltier and sweeter than both and has a heftier body. Medium carbonation.

Overall a pretty tasty rye beer, although something of a stylistic hybrid.

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Photo of PEBKAC
2.76/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

32oz growler from Whole Foods. Faceted whiskey glass.

Very slightly hazed, cola brown body. Inch of sunken, off-white head.

Smells of brown bread, alcohol, & rind. Not very attractive so far.

Gritty/chewy, slightly charred malt. More dry then bittersweet. The beer is really dominated by a pithy, herbal bitterness that just lingers. Works better in their IPA then it does here. Toasty, tannic/tea-like finish.

Probably the weakest offering from Carton that I've had so far. Several other awesome beers in their limited portfolio though. I could drink BOAT or Monkey Chase till I vomit down . Just a bump in the road.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 07/13/12 notes. Had on tap at The Gate in Brooklyn, NY.

a - Pours a deep reddish mahogany color, with one to two inches of bright white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of rye, sweet dark fruits, bready malts, citrus hops, and light pine hopes. Rye is strong up front, and a nice mix of hops and malts in the nose.

t - Tastes of rye, strawberries, sweet dark fruity malts, citrus hops, grapefruits, pine hops, bready malts, grains. Berry flavor is nice, and a lotof rye again, but it works well together.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink, no bitterness from the hops.

o - Overall a very good rye beer. Reminds me a lot of Founder's Red's Rye PA, though I like that one a bit better as it is a bit hoppier than this one. This one has more sweet dark fruits, which is a nice touch though. Would certainly have it again.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Barcade Jersey City.

Pours a nice amber color (SRM of 12), with a foam white head. No real nose to speak of, which I've noticed for some reason that some of Carton beers lack. It is listed at 50 IBU,
Hoped with piney simcoe, cluster, and horizon hops, with a spicy touch of rye. Overall a very nice rye ale, comparable to my favorite, Founders Red Rye. A great option for hop heads and I continue to look for more great beers from this local brewery.

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Red Rye Returning from Carton Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 197 ratings.
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