Left Hand Rye Bock Lager | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Left Hand Rye Bock LagerLeft Hand Rye Bock Lager

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TexIndy on 03-05-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 63
Photo of silentjay
3.22/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle which was bottle conditioned in 2008.
pours a reddish-brown which you can barely see through. generous head, over 1" on the first pour. good looking brew!

The smell is kind of off-putting. I have had this beer before over a year ago on tap a few times. I remember really enjoying it, but never noted this. It smells like a skunky lager. Like a Corona with no lime left in the sun for a couple hours.

The taste is much better than the smell. The first sip shows off the malt. Smooth and caramelized. Not as much of the dry rye finish that I remember and expect on a beer with rye malts, though its not overly sweet like a lot of doppelbocks, so the dry, peppery rye helps to balance the barley. Hops show themselves subtly. As it warms, chocolate is picked up, though it shows on the tongue, rather than in the aftertaste like a chocolate stout or porter. The aftertaste is of caramel.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Bottle-conditioning is apparent and well done. Velvety on the tongue.

Drinkability is good. Not wowed by the beer, but before I notice the bottle is empty.

Not a fan of Bocks normally, though I do like Rye beers, so this balances out to a very decent beer for my tastes. From what i remember, it had a more pronounced rye finish on tap which I would have enjoyed a bit more. Don't know if that is due to bottle conditioning, freshness, or just my memory being inaccurate.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, caged and corked. Pours a beautiful brownish ruby red with a creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass. There's lots of sediment in the last pour.

The aroma is metallic alcohol (rye trying to come through?) initially with some sweet nutty grains and tobacco and cinnamon and dark fruits.

The flavor is sweet nutty caramel malts with a dry, slightly bitter rye finish. The alcohol is tinny and medicinal and becomes a little overbearing as it warms. The mouthfeel is pretty fully and creamy.

Overall, a decent beer. The flavors just don't do it for me. I'd much rather have an FCB doppelbock.

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Photo of udubdawg
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml corked and caged bottle

I could NOT get this cork out. My friend couldn't either. It wouldn't budge. I even use a corkscrew but amazingly it just tore through the cork when I pulled it out...so all I could do was use a knife and dice the thing to death, cringing as pieces of cork fell into my beer...

...thankfully the beer foamed a bit when the last cork came out, which floated the cork chunks to the top and I was able to remove them easily. Anyway, the beer poured a nice dark amber color, with a very large tan head that recedes slowly and leaves sticky lacing here and there.

My second glass was better than the first, but I'd still have to call the aroma light. Bready malt, a bit of brown sugar, and a vague spiciness I assume is the rye are pleasant, just a little lighter than preferred.

Pretty decent tasting, and I enjoyed the spicy rye finish in each sip. I enjoyed this better warm, and I mean really warm: I was uninspired and forgot about this beer for a while, only to find the aroma had opened up and the caramel sweetness and rye spice seemed fuller at room temperature when I came back to a room temperature beer. Not overly sweet (thankfully) and perhaps I'm being a touch too hard on this beer, but it WAS $12.99, and I do love bocks and rye, so you'll have to forgive me for the high expectations. Mouthfeel isn't bad, but could be a bit more full, and initial carbonation was too spritzy before settling down nicely. I'd have it again, especially if it was cheaper, but I doubt I'll plunk down that kind of cash very often for something that isn't special. Still, I'm glad I tried it, and there is a shortage of both decent bocks and rye beers, so this is appreciated.

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Photo of WesWes
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a brown color with a towering tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry roasted malt scent along with a light rye spiciness. It's rounded out with a mild caramel malt aroma. The taste is decent as well. It has a dry roasted flavor that's complimented with some caramel malt sweetness and a fine rye spiciness in the finish. The rye and roast malts provide a weird bitterness in the taste. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium/full bodied beer with way too much CO2. This is a pretty good beer, although I'm not totally in love with it. The mouthfeel ruins it for me. It doesn't appear to be an old beer. Why so much CO2?

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Photo of phisig137
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, with a hard to remove cage, much like many of Left Hand's beers. Pours a deep brown mahogany color, with a 2.5 finger head. Good retention leaves behind decent lace and a thick blanket of foam on top of the glass.

Aroma is a bit on the mild side, with hints of toffee, toasted malt, and a bit of spicy rye. More balanced on the palate, with great toasted malt and biscuit flavors, well matched by the tangy, spicy rye. Dry from front to back, but only a tiny hint of hops on the finish. Moderate mouthfeel, and well carbonated. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, not bad. Usually, I'm not overly impressed by Left Hand's big bottle series, (aside from the Smoke Jumper), and this s no exception. It's good, but not great. This would almost be better labeled as a saison than a rye dopplebock. Not enough nutty flavors, dark fruit, sweetness, or thickness. The spiciness of the rye along with heavy carbonation and thin mouthfeel just don't add up to a dopplebock for me. That and the fact that it's a bit pricey, means that I won't plan on buying it again.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served at between cellar and fridge temperature in a Celebrator Doppelbock glass. Interestingly, this lager is bottle conditioned (Vintage 2007) with a nice dusting of yeast at the bottom. I thought it was hysterical that the cage twists off clockwise... I did chuckle to myself.

Appearance- After winning a good fight with the cork, bubbles race to the top of the bottle... and the head begins its climb up the neck. Color is consistent with most for the style, a medium to light caramel that's almost completely clear. The crown is absolutely amazing, billowing a full five fingers tall and reducing ever-so-slowly while never losing body. More than 5 minutes are behind us and there's still 3 inches of head. Wide trails of sticky lacing lie in the wake. A fantastic "5".

Smell- Immediately upon opening, huge scents of toffee and malts fill the air. Nougat, caramel, flan, all of which express themselves, are in abundance. After getting into the bottle though, all of these attributes diminish and the spicy rye elements and hops take over.

Taste- First thing I notice is the forward hop attack, much more American than German in its character. I'm also now getting the rye, which adds a zippy, whip-like, stinging sensation that accentuates the hops rather than rounding out the malts. The finishing bitterness is far more intense than any bock I've ever sampled. Bottle conditioning this for another year or two would most definitely be worth exploring.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Initially quite sharp on the tongue, this beer improves with a good swish in the mouth... but never to the point of being really enjoyable. There is a gassy, belly-filling quality that could use some taming.

The final pour incorporates all yeast sediment. The resulting beer regains its malty edge on the nose, tastes a whole lot more balanced, and has a smoother mouthfeel. It's still got the wicked bitterness, but the experience improves measurably.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice beer and I must say that I am thrilled to be able to drink this on tap at Maduro for $3 a pint since the bottle has been selling for quite the King’s ransom around here.

Attractive dark, almost porter like body with a thin dark head that dissipates rapidly to nearly nothing at all. Lacing is very minimal.

Aroma is sweet with brown and candied sugar, a vague nuttiness, and unspecific dark malt. Oddly, I don’t find anything very rye or doppelbock like in the aroma.

Flavor is pleasantly lacking in the fruity (strawberry like) esters that I have found in many Left Hand beers on tap. Sweet dark malts dominate with touches of cherry and breadiness here or there too. Generally speaking, however, the beer is very focused on just big dark malt, Munich and otherwise. Once again, I don’t see much Doppelbock or Rye in this beer.

Slightly sweet but not unbalanced, smooth, body and quite drinkable.

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Photo of BrewerB
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ArrogantB for the hookup on this brew!

A - Poured into a Trumer Pils glass. Massive, somewhat rocky off-white head tops off the copper colored brew. Plenty of visible carbonation streams its way up the body of the beer. Good clarity.

S - Loaded with toasty malts, caramel, and melanoidins. Rich and malty. Slight prune character.

T - Mildly spiced. Again, maltiness is dominant. Caramel and toast. Slight grape-like fruitiness. Moderate bittering but hops aren't making themselves known. Enough bitterness to keep it from being cloying.

M - Medium-bodied, moderately-high bordering on high carbonation. Definitely too much carbonation for the style. Touch of creaminess.

D - A little too much carbonation is interfering with the mouthfeel and the malt character could be richer and more focused with melanoidins. Not the sort of brew I'd go to repeatedly but I won't be wasting a drop tonight.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It has a cool bottle. It has a red body with a two-tone head that is very light at the top and tan towards the bottom. It has a roasty malt smell. The taste starts off grainy and beany. Then it becomes roasty and metallic. There is slight bitter aftertaste. There is a strange alcohol warmth with this beer considering it is only 7.6%. It has an has medium body with quite a bit of carbonation.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Publick House in Brookline, MA on 11.03.07.

My first trip back in a long time to what I believe to be one of the best beer bars/restaurants in New England, so I was wise to select my beers carefully. I previously had not tried any of the brews from Left Hand, but had heard lots of good things about the brewery so I was excited to do so.

Served in a pint glass, the pour was dark brown with a one-finger light tan head. Aroma was lacking slightly but I did get a decent whiff of dark caramel and toasted malt. Nice taste that leaned towards the malty side (as a bock rightfully should). Slight coffee and caramel notes. The mouthfeel was slightly chewy but still very good. Drinkability wasn't bad but I was ready to try something else when I was finished.

I was hoping this beer would have a little more oomph to it, but there is something to be said for its balance. It paired wonderfully with a main course of meatloaf and mashed potatoes with a dark beer gravy.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a hotel water glass.
The cork was really difficult. I almost gave up.

A - Pours a dark amber with TONS of creamy, foamy head. Retention is good. Clumpy as all get out. Vigorous bubbling.

S - Sweet malt and rye. MMMM. I want a patty melt.

T - Caramelly, rye is present, kinda a dry astringent component. Bitterness kind of overly rye in the finish.

M - Medium balance, plenty of carb, rye a little out of whack at finish.

D - Would tire after one.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy cranberry color with a dirty white head. 7%abv.

S: A little spiciness on the nose with some light rye, caramel sweetness and dried fruit.

T: The flavor is very spicy and not as dry as I was expecting. Theres some burnt caramel, toffee, and rye bread. The palate is very clean for a lager. Some spicy caramel, light woody notes and a dry finish round out this beer with a slight smokiness in the end. Overall a very good and drinkable rye and definitely one of the better lagers ive sampled with the rye giving the beer a distinct crispness.

M: medium body, slighty chewy, with a warming alcohol and viscose caramel nature

D: good drinkability with a unique flavor makes this a curious try.

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Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of toasted malt and toffee, initially, followed by some figgy/date notes. Not picking up any rye of hops and wouldn't expect to on the hops since this is from 2008.
Taste follows the nose with excellent bock characteristics. Bready, doughy, toasted caramel malts, with sweet toffee to add a slight bit of bitterness. Could also come from the rye malt as well. Dark fruits really explode on the backend here; mouthfeel is slightly slick and sweet but the lager yeast helps to allow this to finish somewhat dry. No alcohol detectable at all. Overall a very good example of a doppelbock, not too thick or malty or yeasty (banana/clovey) at all, with I had sampled sometime closer to bottling so I could get more of the rye maltiness that I have come to enjoy a lot recently.

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Photo of tmitch75
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolatey brown with huge creamy head... it's too big. Bottle foamed over.

Bready caramel smell with a spicy musty funk. Distinct, but I'm a little nervous.

A good but unusual bock. Bready malt with a spicy kick and floral hop finish.

Nice medium body as needed for the style.

A good distinct beer, I like this one.

Tasted on 4/10/08.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Great dark amber body with an off-white head that sits low, but hangs with a nice retention and lace.

S – Untoasted brazil nuts with light raisin and brown sugar.

T – Faint hazelnut with bready malt and with rolling notes of brown sugar, maple. Deeper in the profile the nutty flavors take center stage and drive a lightly sweet, roasted nut backend.

M – Touch of booze and rolling roast finish. Medium body. Touch watery at times.

O – While it's not a spectacular doppelbock, it’s not a bad beer. I definately enjoyed it.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Brick Store. A very dark copper color, opaque, not quite brown. head dissipated quickly leaving some fine spotty lacing behind.
Aroma-roasted malt notes with a slight smokiness.
Mouthfeel-A medium bitterness is first, then gives way to some sweeter malt flavors. The rye malt squeezes in a nice bite as well. A very big spectrum of flavors are tasted as I took my time with this one. Sweet, bitter, smokey. This brew finishes with an astringent bitterness that lingers-cool! As this warmed up, the sweeter flavors became more prevalent with a taste of sherry or port.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a brown color with a huge head (lots of carbonation). The smell is mild but malt, grain and rye are noticeable. The taste is malty and sweet with grains noticeable. There is an undertone of bitterness. The mouthfeel is full and creamy. This beer is well balanced and smooth – goes down easy.

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Photo of ricke
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008.

Serving date: 2009-01-09.

Served in snifter.

Presentation: 750 ml bottle, corked and caged. No freshness date to be found on bottle. Nice bottle artwork - no paper label, only print directly on the bottle - with a bock head with mesmerizing eyes. Some information on the beer and bock beers in general in the back.

Appearance: Dark and ruby color with a big 3-4 cm off-white head that very slowly settles into rather thick lacings. A good looking beer.

Smell: Grainy with hints of grass and weeds. Lots of caramel malts.

Taste and mouthfeel: Very sweet. As with all doppelbocks, this one packs a lot of malts. Caramel malts dominate. Some toffee notes are also present. The sweetness also has a fruity character, primarily blackberries and raisins. A gentle hop bitterness that balances the malty sweetness appears in the finish. Towards the end, when it heats up and the originally lively carbonation is reduced a little, the beer has a slight change of character: Its body - which is medium at first - becomes a bit more full and the taste of toffee becomes more accentuated.

Drinkability: The alcohol is well hidden beneath the malty sweetness. All in all, it's a very good beer, perhaps a bit to sweet for a full session though. I really like how it held up and developed all the way to the end. Would absolutely have one again if I was offered one. The price is a bit high though (in Sweden).

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Photo of BeerSox
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into goblet.

Ruby red w/ a touch of brown. A one finger head starts off then settles to a thin cap. Sticky lacing.

The aroma is a light dark candy smell, along the lines of brown sugar. Hops are limited, and the grain aroma is light.

Light flavor w/ a bit of brown sugar and caramel. Mostly smooth malt with a bit of hops in the very end. Medium bodied with good carbonation. The alcohol can be tasted in the end, especially as it gets a little warmer.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer arrived in in a corked and caged 750 ml. brown bomber that sported red and white painted on labeling similar to other Left Hand big beers. The glass ware chosen was a Paulaner flute. The beer looked amber to brown in color, which was pretty typical for a bock, but the large head towering above the rim of the glass was definitely not. The aroma was restrained and malty with a spicy rye edge. Hops were clearly German or influenced by them, as they were earthy and spicy with none of the citric flourishes typical to other Left Hand products. The taste was sweet and rich, to which the hops added a bitter edge. The rye added a spicy character, while the carbonation was quite prickly on the tongue. Mouthfeel was creamy and soft, and the alcohol was soothingly warm. This one did a lot of things right, and made this a memorable night of imbibing.

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Photo of Amalak
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this out of a bottle that was corked and aged for three years.
A- It was very bubbly, with a good head a excellent lacing. Reddish brown in color. Relatively clear.
S- Very nice malt scent.
T- It has a very sweet malt taste and its quite carbonated. It has a very slight bitter, sourness to it. It leaves a dry taste.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up today at the recommendation of the guy at Hop City in Atlanta. I am not normally too big on Rye beers, but I really like DoppelBocks. Left Hand also brews some pretty good beer, so let's see what the Hop City guy knows about Rye Bocks:

Appearance: A bold pop from the cork when opened. The beer poured a pretty cloudy burnt orange color with a small head of tannish bubbles. There are quite a few bubbles rising as you can see from the active little islands on top of the beer.

Aroma: Man, the Rye is absolutely obvious in this beer! There is no doubt it is a Rye beer. Otherwise, I get some sweet caramel and some reserved toasty notes. Other than that...the Rye is king. No hops or anything else going on in the nose. As the beer is warming, the Rye is starting to soften up some, but there is some oxidation starting to show up. This isn't bad, but notable.

Taste: The flavor isn't dominated by the Rye as the aroma was. It is still a huge player, but there are other malty components co-existing with the Rye. There are sweet caramel and some toasty notes and bread crusts. The sweet malt and Rye are mixing together in the flavor to come across to me a bit like soggy bread...I don't know what that is, but that is what I think when I am drinking it. Overall the body is medium to full with a little bit of velvet in the mouthfeel which is nice. There is lots more caramel noticeable in the finish as the beer is warming up. After a few ounces, I am starting to get a little warmer, so the alcohol is reserved, but definitely present. The caramel and other notes are becoming a lot bigger player as the beer warms up further. There is some significant caramel coming out at the beer warms up further.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer overall. I was quite concerned from the aroma at first, but as the beer sat and stabilized and warmed up, it redeemed itself. I guess all things considered, this is probably the best Rye beer that I have tried to date, so it is among about 10 or more. That said, I am not sure if I would try this beer again, but I am glad that I did. If you really like Rye, by all means, try this beer if you can find it. Otherwise, check it out if it is convenient.

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

The beer vacates the bottle and takes up residence in the glass a cloudless deep mahogany color with the head super-sized and light tan in color, the texture creamy, with the residual lace a thick blanket to cover the glass. The nose has a touch of sour mash aroma hints of caramel, and a touch of yeast, quite crisp and pleasing to the senses, start is sweet, nice malt and rye profile, the top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is stinging in its acidity, the hops kind-hearted in their spiciness, quite dry aftertaste that lingers long on the palate

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Photo of glid02
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this on tap at the Brickstore Pub.

Pours a good dark brown color with a one-finger tan head. Somewhat cloudy with decent lacing.

Smells pretty good. There's a lot going on: some hop aromas, some sweet malt, and some toastedness. Some grassy notes as the beer warms up.

Tastes good. I really taste something different almost every sip, and they're all pretty nice. There's some toastiness in there, a hint of chocolate, some sweet malt, and some hop bitterness at the end. When the beer is freshly poured the sweet taste is up front and the hops finish, but as it warms it changes, with the hoppy taste up front and a sweet/roasted/chocolate taste at the end. Really interesting.

Mouthfeel is very good. Carbonation is just right, and it really coats your mouth. Smooth on its down.

Overall this is pretty drinkable. Could be better if the very good flavors were as consistent as the good flavors.

Overall a very interesting beer. If you see try it out and see what you think.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok this one was a bit of a foamer at first . A nice clean coppery brown beer Had a big foamy head that dwindled fast, but left a little bit of lace. A slightly sour cereal grain character followed by a hint of smoke. A light caramel malty note starts out the taste. But the mouthfeel is somehow lighter and drier than expected. Almost like an Alt, with a light fruitness on the finish drying out with a nice bitterness.

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Left Hand Rye Bock Lager from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 63 ratings.
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