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:
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Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 94
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

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 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 nickfl
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - One finger of medium brown head, settles quickly and leaves a little lace. The body is dark brownish-black with good clarity and some dark ruby highlights.

S - Light, fruity malt aroma with hints of caramel and sweet chocolate. A big toffee note comes out once the beer has had a chance to warm.

T - Surprisingly big roasted grain character up front with lots of spicy rye. Mild hop flavor in the middle with a clean yeast profile. The dark grains dominate the finish with big coffee notes along with tobacco and light smoke and moderate hop and malt bitterness to balance.

M - Thick, viscous and oily body with moderate carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable though a bit overly intense for a black lager. The robust flavor is unexpected after the somewhat subdued aromas. The mouthfeel is extraordinary, easily the thickest beer I have ever had, and it helps bring down the almost excessively intense roast character. Unique and worth trying, but I don't feel like I need more than the one bottle that I have.

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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 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 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 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 ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Terrapin is staying relatively busy these days. Oak-aging just about their entire lineup, there's always the Side Project series, and now they've started up the Midnight Project Series, a collaboration effort with Colorado brewery, Left Hand.

$7.99 22 oz. bottle from Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with a full, frothy, beige-colored head. Fine layering of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Roasty, nutty, chocolaty nose predominately with large background notes of spiced, bread chock full of grain. Lesser hint of dried fruit.

Taste: Roasty malts with flavors of burnt caramel, baker's chocolate, roasted nuts, and licorice witness transient hints of malt sweetness before the thriving rye spiciness and resinous hop kick. Slight touch of dried fruits. Bitterness goes round and round with the roasty, increasingly coffee-ish malts and overall ample taste of grainy, fresh-baked bread. Finishes dry with a roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Quite the chewy, velvety body!

Drinkability: I would generally recommend this, sure. I'm typically more of a maltmouth instead of a hophead, but I didn't find this unacceptably or objectionably bitter as some seem to have. Lookin' forward to the next Midnight Series release, which seems to be in a year, so please blast me out a polite reminder e-mail sometime beforehand.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bloody chestnut brown that becomes dark ruby with fiery orange highlights when sunlight is allowed to enter the glass. Head and lace look fantastic as well. The good-sized cap is the color of coffee ice cream and glass decoration is abundant.

One of Left Hand's press releases calls this beer an Imperial Roggen Schwarz Lager. That's pretty much what it smells like too. It's hard to be sure until the buds get into the act, but this might be the most spicy, rye-like beer that I've had yet. That, along with the black malt and the hops, makes the nose all kinds of enjoyable. Should be a wild ride.

Terra-Rye'zd is my kind of beer because it's packed full of flavor from both malt and hops. It almost dares you to like it. I do, I do, I really do. The fact that it's an original creation in the world of craft beer is a good thing as well. Way to push the envelope, guys.

If you don't like rye beer, then stay the hell away. The pungent, earthy, spiciness of that grain is the biggest reason why this brew will probably be a polarizer. There must be two tons of rye malt in here. The citric-floral hoppiness is almost at IPA levels. Black Rye IPA might be the most accurate 'style' in the end.

In addition to the flavors noted above, there's a fair amount of bittersweet chocolate and crushed coffee bean. Talk about a cornucopia of flavor. It's amazing that such disparate elements come together as well as they do. Toasted pumpernickel and rye bread sprinkled with cocoa and shredded hop leaves? An underlying sweetness doesn't *quite* get lost in the blast of hops.

The mouthfeel struck me as too light at first. By mid-bomber, though, it's just about right: slightly lighter than medium, with the silky smoothness that all good lagers tend to deliver.

Here's hoping that all subsequent offerings in the Left Hand-Terrapin Midnight Project Brew Series are as good as Brew One. Terra-Rye'zd is a beer that I'd love to enjoy again and again and again. Two thumbs way up. Thanks to SiriusAth for the bomber.

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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 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 GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

06/07/09- Shared at a recent tasting.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, not sure of a release date or freshness. Poured into my Orval chalice.

Appearance- Black in color with a nice 3/4 inch head and some light lace markings.

Smell- Smelling both a lager style malt as well as a touch of burnt chocolate malt. Seems like a bunch of hoppy aroma in the nose as well.

Taste- A mixed bag beer for sure. You can definitely tell you are drinking a lager from the first sip...a quality lager with great tasting malt. You can also tell there is some dark chocolate malt as well as a buttload of hops. Lots of flavor which you wouldn't think would meld well, but it does.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level, but rather creamy and nice aftertaste.

Drinkability- WOuld like to try an entire bottle of this myself. Liked it very much from the limited amount I had.

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

Thanks goes out to MSchae1017 for this brew.

Pours a very nice thick black color, nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, bitter, nice caramel notes. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very tasty brew.

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Photo of jwc215
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. It doesn't really get to black. It has a very thin tan head.

The smell is of chocolate, mint candy and roast.

The taste is not as pleasurable as the aroma. Rye dominates just a bit too much. The chocolate and roast fade away as it progresses. The mintiness holds up. There's a bit of acidic astringency for a lager.

It is somewhat creamy, though a bit swishy.

Could be a great "something different" beer. But a little too acidic, and a bit overboard with the rye - masking the maltiness. Still - different, not bad at all - certainly worth "checking out".

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

A great beer came out of this collaboration between Left Hand and Terrapin. This is a beautiful lager, and I love the deep flavor of the rye in this beer. It reminds me a bit of Founders Black Rye. Pours a dark reddish brown with a decent tan head that settles to a ring. Smells spicy and rich with rye and with that characteristic rye fruitiness. The taste has that same rye presence with an additional deep roastiness that also contains a hint of smoke. A nice nutty flavor rounds it out. Very nice deep flavors here. Delicious! Quite dry, and smooth, slightly thick, and chewy in the mouthfeel. A wonderful beer and a nice Autumn surprise.

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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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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 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 KAF
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

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 Brad007
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from Ding

Color is medium-black with a very thin brown head.

Aroma is full of chocolate with a bit of spiciness from the rye. Can detect some sweetness as well.

Taste is strong with a decent amount of chocolate, caramel and spiciness from the rye.

Mouthfeel is full of sweetness and caramel/rye flavors that linger. Some alcohol heat lingers as well.

An interesting beer that I feel is easy to drink and has an interesting mixture of flavors. I can't easily get this beer but I would probably seek it out again because I enjoy any type of rye beer out there.

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Photo of DrJay
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
Tight tan cap of fine bubbles. Lots of lace, good head retention. Quite dark, clear, with crimson highlights when held up to the light. Malty aroma, burnt and smokey notes, a bit fruity, dry cocoa. Moderate bitterness, malty with mild sweetness, roast, burnt and smoke, spicy towards the end with some fruit mid-palate. Mild chocolate as it warmed. Lingering bitter roasted malts. Very creamy texture, moderate carbonation, medium bodied. Good stuff. Quite drinkable and a little out of the ordinary.

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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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3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

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