Terra-Rye'ZD | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Very Good
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 94
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of claytong
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - black with very dark red all on the edges. opaque. one finger mocha colored head. decent lacing. 6.6 beers can age well apparently.

smell - roasted malts, rye spice, caramel malts and a bit of alcohol which is also pretty funny

taste - old malts, and really quite complex array of malts, a tinge of smoke. minor rye here.

mouthfeel - decent carbonation and nice thickness but it seems a bit grainy. otherwise itd get a much better score here.

an interesting beer. i had fun saying the name at this time of the year.

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

Thanks to Mikesgroove for this, awesome trade extra

A - Don't know why it's called a black lager, it pours deep ruby red. One finger head that fades to just surface bubbles and decent lacing. Very clear.

S - Nice rye spiciness but the bitter specialty malts have more of a presence in the aroma. Zero hops and a slight boozy smell as well even though relative low ABV.

T - Ah, it's called a black lager because it has more characteristics of a porter than spicy rye lager. The bitter malts push through a lot and kind of kill the rye, but it can be tasted. Slightly acidic on the palate as well. Again, no hop presence. Big smoke flavor at the end in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body with a creamy head and low volumes of carbonation. Slightly chewy on the palate as well. Finishes dry and bitter like a sip of coffee does. Easy to drink because flavors but the acidity makes it a slow drinker.

O - Would have like to seen the rye come through more and I'm not sure how I like the dark specialty malts paired with the rye; they kind of butt heads. Overall not a bad beer but the taste is different than style guidelines.

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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 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 emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark garnet color, nicely capped off with a good finger of tan colored foam. Aromas of spicy rye bread, lightly toasted malts and milk chocolate. Very crisp and drinkable, with flavors of roasted malt, a little caramel sweetness and some late rye spiciness. A very nice collaboration, a very drinkable beer.

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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 billab914
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier snifter glass. Poured brown with a thick two inch khaki colored head. The head had some pretty good retention and left very good lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has rye, chocolate malt, toffee and some bitter roastedness to it. The taste has a moderate roasted/burnt chocolate and coffee flavor to it, while the rye comes through with a slightly spicy flavor. It leaves a nice roasted and rye flavor lingering in the mouth after each sip.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a very interesting and good tasting brew. I like the addition of rye to the chocolate and coffee roastedness, which gives it a little uniqueness from anything I've had before.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Pours a clear, dark brown with a reddish hue, big frothy light brown head, lacing throughout. Aroma is caramel and roasted malts, spiciness from the rye, nutty, and bread. Flavor is roasted malts, caramel, a hint of sweet chocolate, coffee, and nutty. Mouthfeel is medium, creamy, dry, and bitter. I really like this one, I hope they make more.

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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 TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from mikesgroove, courtesy of the Little Guy 2 BIF so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted rye malts, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out malty and creamy with flavors of chocolate, roasted coffee beans and a little bit of dark fruit. There are background flavors of spice and lager yeast. The hops presence is mild but complementary. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, different representation of style, this is the type of beer that combines elements of several different styles which gives it a good complexity, overall though it's not the kind of beer that I want to drink regularly.

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

Received in trade from KarrHeel03, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a dark brown color with beautiful garnet highlights and a good sized tightly bubbled tannish head that persists forever.
Smells of cherries and plums, chocolate, caramel, rye bread and a slight spiciness as well. Very little hops left, but I believe this bottle is almost 2 years old so they've surely faded.
Taste is a creamy chocolaty spicy fruity affair. Definitely a unique take on a black lager. Smooth with chocolate and brown sugar notes up front meld towards a fruity spicy rye character that lingers long after every sip. Super creamy mouthfeel, Medium body and carbonation level. I really enjoyed this one. I wonder how this would have been fresher, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as is.

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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 brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear root beer brown color with a creamy beige head that leaves a range of streaky lace across the glass

Smell: Crusty black bread, with hints of smoke, chocolate and licorice

Taste: Starts out with a spicy black bread and chocolate character, but by mid-palate, there is a blast of hop bitterness and rye spice; after the swallow, the malts come back to add a slightly fruity chocolate character, though the hops continue to assert themselves through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate but prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Reading through the earlier reviews, this beer's hop profile was causing some consternation; with a year and a half or so of aging, the hops have settled down and the beer is drinking with a lot more balanced complexity than may have earlier been the case

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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 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 ViveLaChouffe
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with hints of red around the edges topped by a creamy head the color of dirty sand. Lots of rye in the nose, sweet with just a touch of herbal hops evident.

Malty schwarzbier character intertwined with a persistent rye graininess. Underlying citrusy hop profile keeps the beer malty but not overly sweet. Roasty, milk chocolate, bready, grainy spicy rye and big citrusy/floral hops. An odd combination of flavors. The rye is so pronounced, I would avoid this beer if you don't care for rye beers. As it is, it's a malty, velvet smooth and perilously drinkable.

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

My last one, a 22 ounce bomber bottle, pored into my nonic pint glass. The lager appears a translucent rich brown color with about an inch of light ecru head. Nose and flavor consist of medium toasted cereal grain, dark toasted bread, sweet malt, some spicy rye notes if you really look for them. Maybe a notch better than medium bodied with ample carbonation. A well done collaboration.

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

22 oz bottle.

This beer poured a dark red-brown color. Clear. Brown foam that persisted a while and clung and coated the glass as it settled, leaving lacing. The smell was mild, lightly sweet malt, but very mild. The taste was malty with some rye flavors. Very lightly sweet with good hoppiness throughout, especially in the finish. The mothfeel was very creamy and smooth with medium-full body and moderate carbonation. Light hop bitterness in the finish. This was a very easy-drinking, creamy, enjoyable beer. Actually, quite drinkable!

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

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a very dense, tightly beaded, four-finger thic head that belies the relatively low alcohol of this beer. As the head slowly subsides it leaves lots of lacing on the sides of my glass. The head is a lightly browned, creamed-amber color. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that could be confused for black in a dark'ish bar; when held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear, deep cranberry hue. A sniff of the aroma from the freshly popped bottle yielded a signature rye spiciness. A deeper inspection of the beer yields sweet, candied malt notes, spicy rye notes, toasted, almost burnt whole grain bread aromas, as well as a significant whole grain character that seems quite wholesome. Hop character contributes a nice sweet-citrus character and in combination with some of the caramelized malt a not of berries. After smelling this for a bit, I realize that much of the candied malt aromatics seem to be induced by citrus hop notes. This is a fairly complex smelling beer, it is only a mix of grain / malt and hop character (no fermentation character to speak of), but it remains quite interesting. I like that despite the ample hop notes, caramelized malt and toasted grain character the spicy rye notes are still able to be quite noticeable.

Thick and viscous feeling as this rolls across my tongue; in fact the texture from the rye is clearly evident, this is most definitely a sipping brew despite the moderate alcohol. Biting hops contribute a bitterness to the finish as well as an orange-zest, ruby red grapefruit and tangerine flavors to the middle of this beer. The hop character is ample, but mixes with a roasted malt character that reminds me of deeply toasted grain, a touch of bitter burnt grain, and even a touch of acidity from the burnt malt; at times the roast grain notes can almost hide the ample citrusy hop character. The hops have an almost bitter citrus oil component to it that turns to pine sap like flavors at times. The spicy rye flavors seem to get a bit lost trying to compete with the dark malt and, especially, the expressive hop notes.

Despite this being ten months old that hop character is still a bit too much in this beer. I do likely a nicely hopped beer from time to time, but here it gets in the way of noticing the nice spicy rye notes and the other malt complexity (the nose was actually more complex than the flavor ends up being). Even the roast malt and the hops seem to not do the best job of playing well together; the two can be just a bit cacophonous in the integration and aren't nearly as harmonious as one might like. Having said that this is still a nice beer, as with other heavily rye-based beers, the texture can certainly take a bit of getting used to, but it makes for a chewy, hardy-seeming beer that is nice to sip upon.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into 2 perfect pints

starts off with a dark, hickory brown with fiery red highlights. thin tan head, caramel colored even.

smells like a chocolate stout with spice. first noted the roasted smell, chocolate, and rye. tastes like a rye beer with roased malts and some sweetness. the after taste is an immediate bitter rye. full bodied with a silky smooth feel. mild carbonation.

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Photo of maximum12
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mikesgroove for throwing this in as an extra to a trade a while back. Love me a good rye beer, so looking forward to this one.

Terra- is black as a good horror show. Not much of a nose on this one, faint hops, lack of hope, maybe some knife-sharpening.

Taste is a bit of a let-down. Little rye, little hops, & a healthy dose of dark spices. Creamy, but too heavy on the spices for my tastes, & the rye & lager seemed to create a rather strange atmosphere rather than playing nicely.

Pretty decent beer, but I was hoping for more in one of my favorite styles.

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

The beer pours a blackish brown color, but with some interesting red glints. Head retention is excellent in this beer, with decent sticky lacing as well. On the nose, I get some sweet roasty malt, a pronounced rye aroma, and hints of burnt toast. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, except the beer is a bit hoppier then I expected. The beer is on the dry side, with the rye flavor nicely integrated into the flavor profile. It's noticeable, but does not seem to dominate this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and alcohol is pretty well disguised. The beer is not the least bit heavy or tiring on the palate.

Wasn't sure I was going to like this beer, but it grew on me the more of it I tried. The beer delivers a lot of flavor, and drinkability is very good. The rye flavor became a bit much for me after a while, but for all that, I thought this a very solid offering from Left Hand Brewing. Not bad at all.

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