Rye Barrell Rye
Hermit Thrush Brewery

Rye Barrell RyeRye Barrell Rye
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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #75
Ranked #10,022
4.14 | pDev: 13.77%
Hermit Thrush Brewery
Vermont, United States
Very Good
Rye Barrell RyeRye Barrell Rye
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A couple years ago, I went to a sour-beer-focused fest in Walpole, MA put on by Jack's Abby and Springdale. Amongside some of the best beers I had there, including the phenomenal Duck Duck Gooze by Lost Abbey, were a few surprises that I really enjoyed and which impressed me so much that I still recall first enjoying them vividly several years later. The first brewery was DESTIHL, who had a small tent in the back and never had more than a few people in line. The second is this small brewery from Vermont. Though I've had some of their beers before (and they can be hit-or-miss, to be sure), their Rye Barrel Rye was probably, in my opinion, the most underrated offering of the fest. And now, several days before this year's iteration of the aforementioned fest, this beer has found its way into my hands once again... this time from a can!

Pouring a beautiful deep mahogany color with a khaki colored head into my stemware glass, RBR immediately dazzles the senses with its gorgeous hue and excellent foam retention. Good legs and moderate soapy lace appear as the head dissipates down to about a half-finger, though those suds stick around for the entirety of my drinking experience. I can't get over what a great coloration this beer has, it's just gorgeous. Hazy, of course, but very translucent, and more like a deep, radiant brown than any kind of red ale. I love how this looks. So great!

This having been aged in maple rye whiskey barrels comes through quite apparently on the nose, with a helping of stiff maple sugar, baking spice, leather, tannins, earthiness/tobacco, slight/appreciable touches of acetic acidity, and light aspects of stone fruit mingling with ripe grapefruit tartness. This is a strong, darker sour ale, of course, so there is definitely some crystal/brown malt going on here. I don't know the recipe, obviously, but it wouldn't surprise me to find out this has some rye malt in it as well, just to follow the concept of the barrel aging. This is a very complex and intense-smelling sour beer, though, that much is certain.

Immediate hit of puckering acidity on the tongue followed by flavors and elements of brown sugar, chestnuts, spice, passion fruit, leather, oak/barrel character, and toasted bread followed by a warming ethanol presence and a slightly-malty caramel finish. A touch more acidity follows the intense finish, lingering well past each sip's fading moments. Though at first the carbonation seems quite intense, it evens out once the second half of my can wanders into my glass. This is very well-crafted beer, and may be the best "Autumn sour" ever, dethroning Jolly Pumpkin's Fuego del Otoño. Wait, "Autumn sour" isn't a style, you say? Nonsense... take one sip of this bracing, complex, malty, flavorful wonder and I'll challenge you to find a better season suited to enjoying it. Wonderful stuff.

Sep 12, 2019
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Tadzik from Massachusetts

1.94/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Well, it looks like beer, it smells like beer but it’s so sour you might as well just go buy some vinegar.

One friend says “it tastes kinda like when you drink too much whiskey and then vomit up the acid from your stomach “

Jun 30, 2019
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

2.72/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip, the appearance was a ruddy brown color with an ever so sly film of a white head. Stringy lace quickly slides. The aroma starts off with the sour to semi-sweet apple vinegar normally associated with their beers. Some faint rye underneath. The flavor leans puckering sour with a sparkle of the dry woodiness. Green apple sour aftertaste and quick sour dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body. Mild carbonation. Very puckering sour exacting some tart dry woody feels along my tongue. Overall, as a sour ale it works for it’s simplicity but fans of rye barrel beers are probably going to be disappointed.

Jun 17, 2017
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice fizzy head, semi hazy auburn

Nose fair sour funk, sweet caramel rye, biscuit and caramel candy,

Taste tart sour rye, caramel rye sweetness, toffee candy, hint barrel vanilla nougat, big acidity and sour lactic acid funk, little bitterness.

Mouth is med bod creamy ad big acidity, little booze

Overall very nice.

Apr 08, 2017
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papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 16oz can, undated. Served in a nonic.

Pours a thin-looking translucent maple syrup color with less than a finger of short-lived head, minimal retention and no lacing.

The nose is tart, sharp and fruity and the taste is the same. Raisins, dried cherries, cranberries, cinnamon, pipe tobacco, and apple cider vinegar. Yes, it's sour but not brutally sour, more like just very, very tart.

Feel is clean and refreshing and light-to-medium bodied. Although the beer looks dead-flat in the glass there is a light, fizzy effervescence that keeps things moving along.

Overall, a really nice, super crisp and clean beer. I usually don't much care for sours but I get a craving now and then just like I don't really like liver and onions but I feel like I have to eat it once every few years... I forget what point I was going to make with that but, at any rate, good beer.

Mar 08, 2017
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bobv from Vermont

4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Moderate to vigorous pour yields a 1/2 inch head that dissipates down to a ring in a few minutes with a mahogany body. Nose of grapefruit, candied lemon, and oak. Taste follows very, very nicely with a nice mouthfeel. Overall, their finest moment!

Jan 09, 2017
Rye Barrell Rye from Hermit Thrush Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 26 ratings