Terra-Rye'ZD | Left Hand Brewing Company

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97 Ratings

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black rye lager

Added by JMBSH on 10-13-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 94
Reviews by abents:
Photo of abents
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this 22oz baby from Sebletitje in a trade. It pours out a deep reddish-brown with a light tan head that laces fairly well. This is one rye laden beer. Smell isn't too extreme little roasted malts, rye, and chocolate. Taste is a rye bomb, very nice sweet roasted malts backing it up, with a crisp hop bitterness holding it all together. Very creamy brew that is very easy to drink. Man it's a lot of rye, I like this one though. Good brew.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into .5 liter stein a deep chesnut brown with a bit of ruby tint,a great 1 1/2 finger almond colored head atop that settled oh so slowly into a creamy mass.A mix of chocolate and green apple tartness in the nose,a subtle leafy element is noticed as well.A nice mix of dark malt and refreshing tartness on the palate,slightly grainy and prickly but its refreshing as all get out.This is great,its dark but refreshing,something you dont see enough of,this is a really nice hybrid beer by two fine breweries.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue X:

Collaboration beers are all the rage now--not a bad thing at all. This one is by Terrapin and Left Hand.

Very quick to froth with a massive towering head that leaves a blanket of tan lace down the glass. Tiny bubbles slowly push their way through the rye liquid, a shade away from complete black ... faint garnet highlights when put up to the light. Amazing, this beer has legs! (Meaning swirl it around in the glass and watch how slowly it slides down the side.) Spicy and grainy with sweet brownie and black currant, faint anise and licorice root in the nose. Slick and creamy full body, which shows off a lot of rye residuals. Carbonation is light and all smooth. WOW! Talk about a rye explosion, rustic and spicy from start to finish with a stand-out sweetness that obviously is a very distant likeness to a good rye whiskey, but it is there. Sweetness ranges from dark chocolate to a bowl of all-grain porridge. Earthy with some wet char in the middle from a nugget of roasted grain. Lots of bitty dextrin action in the semisweet finish.

While not the most drinkable beer to hit the streets, it is certainly one of the most original--extra points for creativity here. Unlike most lagers, where they taste best somewhat cold, this beer really blooms when it warms up. A sipper for two.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a dark reddish brown with a creamy reddish tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is rye malts, some candy-like sugars, some chocolate and a touch of fruits.

The flavor is sweet sugary malts, lots of rye, some fruits and some metallic hop/rye notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little watery.

Overall, it's not very well balanced - lots of sweetness and rye. I remember it being better on draft.

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Photo of merlin48
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber pours a very dark mahogany body that is clear when held to strong light. Healthy tan head has a lot of legs and laces lavishly.

Aroma has toasted rye bread, chocolate, spicy hops, and hints of red apple skins and black pepper.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy on a medium body with a spicy bitter rye bite. Nice.

Taste oppens with a sweetish malty caramel and cocoa element. Spicy hop bitterness quickly jumps in and opens the door to the rye complexities of pumpernickel, anise, and black pepper. A hint of red apples adds to the joy ride.

I suppose I'm a sucker for well done rye beers and this one hits my soft spot.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle Into a Pint Glass

A: Very bark brown, nearly black. Nice looking off white head, receding into a thin layer.

S: Muted hops. Some spice, perhaps some earthy rye.

T: Initial taste is creamy and slightly hoppy. Aftertaste is a touch spicy and alcoholic. I'm sure this beer tasted different a year and a half ago when it was born, but it is drinking very well right now.

M: Excellent mouthfeel. Creamy, reminiscent of Left Hand's Milk Stout.

D: Solid drinkability. I could go for a case of these. Too bad I got the last two in Athens.

Overall, this is a great initial entry into the midnight brewing project. I look forward to seeing what Left Hand & Terrapin cook up for Volume 3.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to my Aventinus glass-narrow base,big bowl top. Very thick, viscous. It displays the color of medium brown with some reddish hues. Produces a beige one-finger thick head. It falls just a touch but maintains a cover atop the brew.
Aroma-Bready, and I get some hops and that general lager crispness is present. Intriguing combination of rye bread plus hops.
Mouthfeel-Medium carbonation delivers a thick coating to the tongue. The rye gives a nice bite at first, then some mnalty flavors emerge but quickly fade and the hops linger at the finish. As this one warms up, the malt sweetness comes through a bit more and the rye bread flavors are more evident. I like any beer made with rye and this one is good. Not as complex as the label touts, but definitely unique. Just right, glad it was not over the top via the malt bill or the hops. Great collaboration.

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Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear black with dark ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is one-finger of creamy off-white goodness that dissipates into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. There's not much lacing.

Smells mostly of mildly spicy rye and roasted malt.

Tastes similar to how it smells. A sweet spiciness up front followed shortly by roasted malts. There's a mild bitter aftertaste that contains notes of coffee.

Mouthfeel is great. Very thick with subtle carbonation. This goes down just a bit smoother than the bottle version.

Drinkability is good. The flavors aren't amazing, but once again the thickness really delivers in this beer.

Overall it's not that much different than the bottle version with the one exception of the increased smoothness. Worth a shot in the bottle or on-tap.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Left Hand brewery in Longmont.

The color is very dark brown but it is apparent there is good clarity around the edges. Almost no head to speak of other than a thin band around the rim of the glass.

Not much aroma here but a faint sweetness in the nose.

Flavor is very distinct with a sweet fruit taste like orange candy. It's an unusual taste but probably characteristic of a rye beer. I know that's not a great description but I can't think of anything to compare it to. As it warms, a grassy note comes forward but it's basically a sweet and fruity porter.

The mouthfeel is good and clean with low carbonation making it an easy drinking dark beer. The ABV is a little high but otherwise it would be a good session candidate.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a finger-thick tan head that sits on top of a glossy brown with reddish hues. Black? Not really, but quite a looker nonetheless.

Really grainy, earthy aroma--obviously the rye talking--with some spices buried in back and just a hint of chocolate cake. Not all that exciting, really.

Flavor is mostly chocolate-flavored coffee grounds, very roasty and the rye makes itself known with a coarse, bitter character. Then comes a sharp, astringent hit in the finish that must be hops battling against the intensity of the rye. Anise, smoke, milk and salt come in with some warming. It's a very different flavor that's not easy to acclimate to...takes some time and consideration, and by the time I thought I'd gotten my head around it, it was almost gone.

Texture is very slick, medium-bodied with ample carbonation. Gets kind of creamy as it warms. Does the job and matches well with the flavor it delivers.

Drinks a lot like a super-toasty porter or schwarzbier. Definitely unique and interesting, worth at least a try.

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Photo of prototypic
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Rbald42 for the bottle. Much appreciated, Ryan.

Terra-Rye'ZD pours a dark cola brown color. Plenty of light cuts through revealing cherry highlights. A light tan head caps it off. It stands a couple of fingers tall and recedes at a rather slow pace. A sticky coat of lace was left trailing down the glass.

The nose is a little weak and would greatly benefit from more strength. There's no question as to the rye presence. It's spicy and rather prominent in the overall scheme of things. It has a nice earthy quality to it. Yeast is also noted. It has an interesting bread-like vibe going. Hints of chocolate are noted throughout. It's not bad at all. Just needs more strength.

The flavor is easily a step above the nose. Initially, it features a nice cocoa-like chocolate flavor. The malt base is more substantial than I expected. More on that later. Rye spiciness is very pronounced. I'm a rye fan, so that flavor is working for me. For non-rye fans, it might be a little much. It is grainy and very earthy throughout. Yeast is less noticeable in flavor, but is there. There's a touch of coffee rounding it out nicely. Alcohol is never noticeable. This isn't very big, so no shock there. Finishes spicy and earthy.

Terra-Rye'ZD has a nice medium body. Much bigger feel than I expected. Very impressive in that regard. It's very lush and smooth. Frankly, I'm damn impressed with the feel. I suspect the sturdy malt base really helps it excel. Drinkability is good. I like the flavor quite a bit. A bomber is no trouble at all.

Left Hand and Terrapin did a very credible job with Terra-Rye'ZD. I didn't really know what to expect. I'm impressed. The body and strong rye flavors really make it tick. I'm curious as to what a fresh bottle tastes like. I didn't get a great deal in terms of hops. I suspect a fresh bottle might really be rockin' with a stronger hop presence. Nonetheless, this is good stuff. The nose needs a little work, but it's solid otherwise. Thanks, Ryan.

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Photo of russpowell
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this today at old chicago

Poured mahogany with a finger of tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Peppery rye & a bit of cocoa

T: Peppery rye, charred grain & licorice up front. Chalky dryness & burnt rye toast dominate as this warms, along with hints of cocoa & licorice. Finishes semi-crisp, but the burnt taste holds this back a bit

MF: Medium bodied, slightly over carbonated & chalky

Drank pretty easy, but the over carbonation & charred grain taste would get to me after a few pints

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, clear, amber, with 2 big foamy fingers of mocha colored tan head. Rich and frothy retention, which leaves a huge latticework of sticky lacing behind. The aroma has a big sweetness to it of cocoa powder and toasted bread. Floral and citric hops gives the nose a green edge. I'm getting some real subtle spicy tones as well. Overall, the aroma here is fairly subtle and understated for the most part.

The taste is chewy with toffee, bread, and dark roast. A steady spiciness that lingers long, mixing with a moderate amount of biting hops. Roast hangs in the finish, along with notes of spice and sticky malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fuller creamy crispness. Pretty sharp overall in the mouth with a bit of heft.

Not bad at all. A bit too much hop activity actually seemed to get in the way of the rye flavors at times but this mostly stayed flavorful and easydrinking (especially for the size).

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quick review from the bar into my Blackberry.

A. Dark black, with some lighter highlights as well as some redness with moussy light brown head. Lacing is very thick. 4

S. Chocolate malt, roasty, a touch of smoke. The rye is pronounced, but not as in your face as I thought it would be. 4

T. Very spicy from the rye initally with chocolate and smoke kicking in to balance..or at least, try to balance. 4

M. Thick and stout-like in body with high carbonation. 3.5

D. A little too rich for sessioning, but definitely something different.

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Photo of Bung
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. Somewhat transparent black pour. Frothy white head. Burnt malt, light chocolate and some piney hop aroma. Surprisingly creamy mouthfeel, rather pleasant medium body. Grainy, smokey roast malt flavors. Just slight lingering bitter at the finish. The frothyness is almost too much. Otherwise, this is a real nice brew and quite drinkable. If all dark rye beers are like this, I will seek them out.

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Photo of theghost3
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby brown with a 2-finger off-white head. Minimal lacing.

The smell is mainly sweet malts, molasses & hazelnut. The taste is sweet of brown sugar along with rye & a faint hoppy quality. Mouthfeel is smooth & sticky.

This is a nice rye lager; darker than other ryes & therefore, sweeter.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into wine glass (best glass at the parents' house) shared with dad.

Very deep brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. A thin one finger tan head slowly settles to a thin cap that covers most of the beer. Stringy lacing.

Oddly, the aromas seem almost non-existent. If I try to smell any harder I'll suck beer into my nose. A touch of tart and burnt rye aromas.

Smokey and slightly toasty rye flavors with a little bit of tartness. Some light spiciness is in the middle. The hops add a little bit of a herbal flavor to the background. Full bodied.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22 received in my most recent trade with RustyDiamond... big thanks Rusty... I wish I would have cracked it sooner.. but too many other brews made their way in front. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

The pour actually looked "silky". The beautiful 1" tan head lasted easily 5 minutes before allowing me to get a sip... the lace is phenomenal... The brew is jet black until held to a lamp and it reveals perfect deeeep ruby highlites.. very deep red.. almost red wine.

The nose has alot of cocoa.. some bready notes.. but the chocolate has it beat by a mile..

Flavor = Schwarzbier... very very clean with chocolaty, dark malt flavors that never become "burnt".. very very clean.. no lingering flavors.. no esters or phenols..

The only way I can begin to guess there is a significant amount of rye in this brew is the mouthfeel.. it is sooo smooth and so is the carbonation.. nearly perfect.. pretty much perfect.. yeah... it's perfect. Smooth lite side of medium.. silky and the carbonation is definitely there, but the mouthfeel sorta hides it... as it warms... I guess, I can describe the finish as a "dark rye" bread essence.. dry with chocolate and a mild rye breadiness.

I would have guessed this a Schwarzbier blind.. hands down.. the rye does lend a great deal to the overall package.. just not as much as would be as expected in the nose or palate... I am gonna give it a "personal" knock on drinkability.. sorry.. but even though my above review is stellar, I rarely if ever want this much of a Schwarzbier and I am only about halfway through my glass.

Thanks again Rusty.. this was a truly unique take on a classic style.

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Photo of humanawho
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - a very nice looking dark ruby color liquid and a nice strong cream colored head

S - nice melty smell, sweet, can see the rye come through

T - very sweet, like a highly sweetened ruby grapefruit interesting and good

M - a little syrupy mouthfeel that sticks to your palate

D - the syrupyness hurts the drinkablity but overall a bottle for one person is a good serving size

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having picked some of the bottles up recently, I wanted to actually try this one for the first time on tap, so it was onto Barleys I went. Served in a pint glass, I used this one to start off the night. Consumed on 10/29/2008.

The pour was rather nice. A very rich looking, and very dark brown colored beer then emerged. Nice head here, maybe two inches of off white foam on the top that settled down into a small pillow on top that never did fade. Nice retention as well, with some light hints of red coming through on the sides and bottom.

The aroma was rich and dark. Big nose of dark and roasted malts, hints of light hops and a dark fruity vide going on as well. Very complex. As it warmed I started to pick up on a bit of a smoked, or peat like aroma coming off of it. Then came the taste, very solid here, with a rich flavor profile and smooth, easy, medium bodied feel. Nice touches here of roasted malts, and sweet molasses like flavors. There all rolled together to give a dark and foreboding flavor on the first sip, before the pepper like rye flavor snapped back on the back end and whisked away into a fresh hop flavor. Smooth, and clean, dry finish that really just confused me the more I drank it.

Overall I have to say first off this was good. However it was kind of a mixed bag. I have to revisit this one as it was really hard to get a good grasp on what it actually was. Still something that should be sought out for the interesting factor.

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Photo of Thiestru
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Hobgoblin pint glass.

Appearance: Probably the best aspect of this beer. It seems kind of thick as it exits the bottle. Very dark brown (almost black) with a light caramel-colored two-finger head at the start. Very tenacious lacing; there's about half a glass of beer left, and the lacing still reaches all the way to the top.

Smell: Dark roasted malt is what I notice first, then the rye. Not an exceptional smell, but pretty interesting anyway.

Taste: My first thought was that it was like the malt and the hops were fighting each other for the upper hand with neither succeeding. There's surprisingly little aftertaste. My second thought was that it tastes a lot like a dark Terrapin Rye Ale. I love Terrapin Rye, so a maltier version of that suits me just fine. There's just enough hops to balance the malty sweetness, nothing more. This is growing on me.

Mouthfeel: Creamy yet tangy. Hardly any aftertaste; what there is lasts about two seconds, and it's just a sort of bitterness on the tongue.

Drinkability: For such an odd-tasting beer, this goes down quite well, and I think I could have another. I wouldn't want more than two in a row though.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Somewhere between a deep ruby and blood red. A nice, sparkling, khaki head forms on top... about 2 fingers tall with a little additional for a lip over the rim. There's something slightly viscous looking in the pour.

S: Aroma seems a little mild... softer malts, a little chocolaty. Perhaps just the slightest bit spicy, but not as robust as I may have expected.

T: Roasted malt flavours with a peppery note. The rye is modest and pleasant and a hoppiness comes out on the finish to add some character. As it breathes, some dark chocolate flavours are more apparent.

M + D: The carbonation is enough so to make it pleasant, but it's not quite crisp. It's got a slightly thick and syrupy body to it... doesn't do any harm, but it seems like it should be a little lighter feeling. The alcohol is low enough to enjoy this one a little more freely. Not bad at all. I'd happily pick up another.

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Photo of jkendrick
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Nice brown to red color with an impressive head and tons of clumpy lace.

S: Very malty with a nutty presence and of course the rye.

MF: Was too thin for me and the carbonation was just off somehow.

T: There is initially some sweetness but it doesn't last long as the rye comes in full force. If you like rye flavors, you'll like this. I enjoyed the rye, but the bitterness was not as enjoyable. Didn't feel balanced. there is a lot going on, but it is hard to discern over the intense rye and bitter hops finish.

Overall: A for effort, but the rye and unpleasant bitterness needs to be toned down a bit for this to have good drinkability and to allow for the complex flavors that ARE THERE to shine through a bit more.

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Photo of Rudgers73
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to raverjames for my very first traded beer. (a bonus beer nonetheless!!)

Pours with a little bit of thickness into my Boddingtons imperial pint glass. Deep mahogany in color with mild carbonation. Light tan head that sits at a thin covering over the beer. Interesting in the nose: Sweet, dry, herbal, pot smoke (not joking), grassy hops. Big burst of deep flavor in this one. Dry and bitter with a slight sweet backing. I can taste the rye along with some black patent malt, and herbal hops. I can still taste a marijuana character, but as the drink progresses the rye begins to push it out of the way. This makes me believe that the hops were actually the source of this flavor, as the tongue gets numbed with alpha acid and "loses the taste" after a while. Still, a nice smoky flavor comes through to keep this one interesting. Heavy in the mouth and saturated with flavor, this is a big beer regardless of it only have 6.6% ABV. Truly an American beer.

Glad I got to try one.

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Terra-Rye'ZD from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 97 ratings