Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
2,075 Reviews
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,075
Ratings:
4,687
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
14.62%
 
 
Wants:
277
Gots:
365
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,075 | Ratings: 4,687
Photo of chinchill
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a brownish dark amber. hazy, with a rather creamy and irregular tan head. The head has good retention. Generous sticky lacing is left behind.

The rye is evident, but not pronounced, in the aroma. In contrast, there's a good bit of citrus in the nose but not much in the flavor. The rye seems light in the taste at first but ramps up and leaves plenty of spicy impact from mid-taste on. Has a fine and lasting aftertaste that features both hops and rye. This is more like an imperial rye IPA than a rye PA. The taste is earthy and spicy, with only a faint citrus component, but with a nice hint of dark fruit.

M: excellent, moderate carbonation; slight dry finish.

O: Even though the bottle was left out for about 15 minutes of warming before opening, this beer did improve a little with further warming.
A fine beer no doubt, but I had a newly released Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada last week that was fruitier and better overall, IMO. The Hop Rod has more rye flavor.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/22/2013. Pours lightly hazy deep ruby copper color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, caramel, bread, spicy rye, floral, pine, grass, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, pine, caramel, bread, spicy rye, floral, grass, and floral earthiness. Good amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pine, caramel, bread, rye, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome balance and complexity of hop flavors with moderate rye presence; with a fair amount of malt balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy, crisp, and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent rye IPA! All around great balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a thin but foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is hoppy and very fruity with a little bit of carmelized malt. The citrus sweetness and floral hops are very complimentary.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with a good, strong hops burst, some citrus sweetness, some dry rye breadiness and a good hearty malt character. The after-taste is heavy with hops bitterness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easy with no hint of the ABV, despite the description on the label (“alcohol burnin’ monster ale”), very good representation of style. I took out the bomber rather quickly. I was a little hesitant because I’ve have both good and bad experiences with beer that have the word “rye” in their names. This beer was certainly a good experience.

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Photo of mothman
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours 1 and 1/2 fingers of slight tan head. Color is a dark copper brown. Decent retention, but leaves great lace walls. Some sediments managed to sneak out of the bottle.

Aroma: A big nose of caramel comes off first, and then a ton of floral and earthy hops hit. Seems to have a mix of citrus flavors, but the hops are fairly dominate here. A decent amount of rye is present as well.

Taste: A much bigger rye taste here. Caramel malts. Hops aren't as bitter here as I was expecting, they are mainly earthy tasting. A lot more malty than I was expecting, but I don't mind it.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice bitter bite, but it isn't overwhelming. A little booze shines through at the end, but other than that there is really no presence of it. This beer ends with a hoppy rye, slight dry aftertaste. It is medium bodied with decent amount of carbonation. I am liking the mouthfeel for this style of beer.

Overall, I am liking this beer. It is drinkable and has a big hop flavor but isn't overdone. I shouldn't have a problem with my bomber. I didn't even realize the abv was 8%. This drinks incredible for that high of an abv. Bumping drinkability to a 4.5.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber color with a good white head (pretty good lacing, too).

S: Very citrusy from the hops with some pine as well, you can smell the rye in this (well, I'm assuming that "different" smell was the rye, as this is the first rye beer I've had), and also some caramel.

T: Very hoppy at the beginning, but a very pleasant switch to caramel/sweet and then bitter on the finish. A very different taste from the rye, and I found this to be quite enjoyable.

M: Not too much carbonation and a nice medium-to-full body on the beer.

D: Excellent. Well, it's not exactly an easy drinking beer, but it's really tasty, so you will want to drink more of it.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this growler at Cobbblestones in York. Poured chilled into a Guinness tulip.

A - a beautiful garnet color with very good clarity and foamy light tan head .

S - Buttloads of citrus w/ a high amount of grapefruity goodness and a subtle caramel malt sweetness in the nose

M - For an agressively hopped beer there is a nice amount of creamy and sweet texture from the malt.

T - A nice sweet orange rind sour and bitter hop flavor up front that relaxes slowly into a spicy and grapefruit-like flavor. The light caramel and a lovely floral hop layered beneath the citrus and subtle rye edge is splendid

D - The drinkability of this beer is extremely good. I drank several pints from the growler in one sitting. I consider the combination of flavors delightful but the abv is the only thing that keeps it from a '5'

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Photo of russpowell
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a impressive amber to red color with superior clarity! Fluffy white head retains well all the way down.

Smell: Hops & More hops, floral and spicy with some maltiness coming through with each pop of the bubbily head.

Taste: Bitterness is best descibed as piney and tart (may be attributible to the rye). Malty swwetness and some smokiness (hickory) sneaks through.

Big fat maltniess and and prickly hopiness provide ideal balance

Despite its strength I could drink this until sleepy! Only had 2 from bear republic ( black bear stout, being the other), but Iam ho(p)ping for more!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.81/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I looked at Barnes and Noble, but I just couldn't find the newest issue of Hop Rod Magazine... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of off-khaki foam. The nose comprises pine sap, grapefruit zest, rye spice, and a touch of lightly-toasted biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, with the pine coming through a tad sharper. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a solid, tasty rye-ish IPA, good times despite the relative lack of balance in favor of the hops.

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Photo of Jason
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Anam Cara, stated that it was 7.7% abv … I have seen people say that it is 7.5%-8.0%.

Superb frothy head with an unyielding retention. Perfect clarity showing a deep reddish mahogany colour. Massive hop aroma, clean and pungent going from piney to grapefruit rind. A hint of spicy rye in the nose as well.

Lush crispness with a creamy back in the full body … I swear it was massaging my tongue. I felt the malt covering the palate but the hops are too much to handle … in a good way. So much hop flavour and the bitterness was spot on, when the beer warmed up a bit the spiciness of the rye came through as well as some caramel maltiness.

By far one of the best west coast beers I have had to date.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep amber to light brown in color and crystal clear. Finger tall foamy light tan head with moderate amounts of retention. Some lacing is observed.

S: Grassy, citrus, and floral hops are all present along with the malts. Hints of grapefruit, caramel, and rye.

T: Lots and lots of wonderful hop flavors combined with sweet bready malts, caramel, rye. The hops is in the finish and is citrus followed by the more dominant grassy flavors.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy and none of the stickiness that I sometimes get from Bear Republic beers.

O: Nice complexity and nice balance in the smell as well as the flavors. I really enjoy rye beers and this is a great example. I could drink many of these and hope to do so in the future.

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Photo of smcolw
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Four finger beige head with large bubbles. This condenses into a long lasting tight head that leaves decent lace. The brew is reddish-orange brown and clear.

Very strong hop bouquet--fresh! Very inviting.

Full bodied and flavored with excellent malt flavors that quickly recede to the hop bite. I don't really detect the rye, but the liquor is quite dry and astringent. The aftertaste is long-lasting hop bitterness--my breath seems to have become the hop bouquet of the aroma.

An excellent double IPA--hop-heads rejoice.

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Photo of billab914
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a dark copper color with a nice creamy head. Laced nicely down the glass as I drank it. The sweet maltiness hits me at first then followed by the bitter dry hops. Awesome hoppiness flavor in this one. Very smooth for a 8% beer. Will be buying this one again when looking for a hoppy treat.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass

A: Pours a deep maroon/mahogany color with a nice off white head. There is thick patchy lacing down the side of the glass.

S: A really nice combination of hops and citrus along with malt and thick caramel aroma.

T: Like the nose, a great combination of hops and malt, with the citrus upfront and then the malt with notes of the caramel and rye to balance it out.

M/D: Medium bodied beer with good carbonation. Overall I really enjoyed this beer, there is no evidence of the 8% abv at all, and drinking this one could get dangerous fast. I look forward to getting it again.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep red/amber color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of pine and citrus hops, sweet malts, and some fruit. Apples come out a lot.

t - Tastes mostly of the pine and citrus hops. Decent amount of bitterness in the taste. Little bit of fruity malts towards the end.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good IPA. Lots of nice pine and citrus hops in the smell and taste, but defintely well balanced and not a hop bomb. Very easy to drink and would definitely try again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This one pours a copper ruby tone with something floating inside could be yeast could be hop particles and forms a decent thicket of cream toned head with brilliant patches of lacing spread thick and evenly. Aroma: The combonation of piney and floral hops blended with the rye are such a great combonation here, this is one of those classic beers buttery hops in your face but not over done what a great scent I would buy soap that smells like this if it was available. Taste: So much hop flavor yet not too much bitterness it's like they added hop extract or something to make the perfect blend of pine, this isn't all hops the malts make an appearance here they act as sweetened butter coated on lucious steamed hop buds with the rye here to accent all of the flavors this is by far the best rye beer I have ever tasted b/c they didn't try to make the rye the dominant flavor. Mouthfeel is medium in body but the smoothness of this beer going down is impeccable perfect amount of carbonation so easy drinking this one deserves awarded across the board. There is no hype behind this beer and by the quality and great flavor of this beer I am sure that the rest of the Bear Republic lineup in my fridge is going to be just as prosperous. A 22oz. bottle of this goes down effortlessly if this ever made in a keg to the east coast it would be first in line for my newly converted kegerator, awesome brew a hop suspension is going on with specks of hops floating but oh the joy that comes from sampling this beer, thank you to whoever brewed this fine nectar for the beer gods of blessed thee.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark amber brown with a sizeable dark crème head. Nose is strong with hops of course. But it is not so much that it is overdone. I say it is well balanced and even. Flavor is rich and smooth. Heavy hop influence with a touch of sweet and basically no alcohol seems to be present. Smooth and even are the key words here. Feel is great. Good carbonation and a thick level of ingredients. Very drinkable. Worth trying and trying again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown color with amber highlights. This beer has a monster head that cakes the glass with lacing.

S: A bouquet of hops, bread, malt.

T: This is a seriously tasty beverage. I am not normally a fan of a hoppy "balanced" beer, but this is just fabulous. The hops are present, but integrated beautifully into a bready, brown beer with a solid malt backbone.

M: Nice feel. 8% alcohol is noticeable, but not harsh.

D: One bomber was plenty. I've always liked this beer, and I plan on drinking it again.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My local trader, tone77, and I did another pick-up/drop-off the other day and this time our roles were reversed - I dropped off while he was at work. More bottles for me to keep the numbers aligned with The CANQuest (TM). So be it!

From the bottle: "Hop Rod Rye is a high performance, turbo charged, alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection, made with 18% rye."; "Brew Master Notes - Don;t drink & drag. Sediment at bottlom of bottle may be the result of the truckload of hops in this non-filtered ale."

I do not understand how I have never reviewed this beer until now. I even visited them with UncleJedI and PurpleHatJoan and they sent me a patch for the latest jacket. It is time to make this right!

My slow, gentle pour still got me a finger of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity, thanks to my pour. I will stir up the lees at the end to see what I get. Nose was grapefruit and black pepper, owing to both the copious hops and all of the rye. Man, but the mouthfeel was full, with a spicy intensity that makes me want to remind you to be sitting down when drinking this beer! That was a Public Service Announcement, courtesy of yours truly. Stone likes to think that we are "not worthy", but even as a self-avowed hophead, I may not be worthy of this one. It just exploded in my mouth with citrus and black pepper and swallowing did not help, since it was so dry that I immediately gasped and reached for the water. Oh my! To say that this was good would be an understatement. Put another way - it may not be for everyone, but if you like American IPAs and you appreciate what rye can do for a beer, you should try this beer, if you haven't already. I have a feeling that this review at this stage is either a) gilding the lily or b) preaching to the choir or c) some of both.

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Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. This brew appears a clear amber burnt copper color with a finger of yellowish stained head that is composed of large bubbles. A light swirl revives the cap and lacing sticks to the glass is stringy patches and spots.

The aroma of this brew is bold and hoppy with a scent of pine-like resins and some herbal quality that is lightly minty. There is a sweetness present that comes across a bit caramelized, floral and citrusy as well. The alcohol's presence is felt in the nose with a seemingly cooling effect and light astringency. As this brew warms more a citrus aspect of the hops come out.

The taste of this brew is modestly bitter upfront with a flavor of pine, herbs and grass. Through the body is a toasty malt quality that really accents the bitterness of this brew with a short lived type of light sweetness. The alcohol is readily apparent with a lightly solvent quality that pierces the hops and warms the back of the throat with every sip. Long, lingering clingy aftertaste of herbal and pine hops meld well with the toasted malt character inside the mouth. As this brew warms up, it picks up more of a citrus hop component that is lightly rind-like in it's bitterness and flavor somewhat reminiscent of grapefruit.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The bold alcohol and toasted malt quality really made this brew stand out to me. I feel like an ass for seeing this beer on the shelf for more than 2 years now and always passed it by in favor or something new or different. This is a solid brew that I will be returning to again.

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Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish copper with a huge foamy head that descends to a rocky, then frothy, cover that lasts, leaving broken rings and patches of lacing.The smell is citric, piney and very resiny - spicy hops assault the nose.  Some carob/rye in the back.The taste is resiny, piney, grapefruity, spicy.  Hops are aggressively in the forefront.  Rye backs it up, as does a pinch of caramel sweetness as it progresses. Alcohol is there, but mellow.  Finishes very dry.Full-bodied with an adequate amount of carbonation keeping it from being too thick, though it does have a stickiness associated with a DIPA.

This is a hop-head's delight for sure!  Plenty of hops in this one!  A nice use of rye gives it a unique character.  One bottle was not enough!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to GrindfatherBob for the bottle!

Appearance - Deep amber body with a nice off-white head. Lacing is good. It's quite dark. I guess I think it's an IPA, but it doesn't look like an IPA.

Smell - Strong hops of pine and citrus, but quite a bit of caramel malt as well. It's interesting that both flavors manage to come out quite strongly. Behind the front flavors is a biscuit and toast malt aroma.

Taste - Hops, of course. Citrus hops, but the pine hops are accentuated by the rye spice, so it doesn't taste quite as fruity. There is a hint of sweetness that is balanced nicely by the rye as well. It's an interesting addition. The bitter finish also complements the toastiness.

Mouthfeel - Feels like a DIPA, but apparently it isn't. Nice and thick. All the flavors linger.

Overall - Tough to categorize this, but the flavors all work together nicely. It doesn't look all that appealing, but it smells great and goes down nicely.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: brilliant red color, with an off-white, big and bubbly head. Aroma: sharp hops, fruit: grapefruit, pineapple, and pine.
Lush, delicious mouthfeel, and a lingering, long-lasting finish.
Hops are emergent throughout, with the deep, dark, fruity, delicious flavor ringing through and through.
At first, the hop attack is harsh and spiney, but ultimately this brew gets rounded out quite nicely.
The notes I construct this review from are not perfect, they were scribbles and scratches jotted down while sharing this bottle with a friend. Rest assured, though, that it made an indelible impression on us both!
Another great one from the Bear!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass

Pours a beautiful dark copper with a fluffy head that never totally disappears. Aroma is Grapefruit, Pine and some sweet and caramel malt in the background. Taste hits with the citrus and pine and lingers long after each sip. There's a bit of bite from the rye somewhere in the middle. Medium body lots of lacing. Nice IPA.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this with the family during dinner tonight - my father-in-law loves the bottle. No discernible date on this bad boy - wish all makers of IPAs would give freshness dates.

A - Golden amber color, largely opaque, with generous creamy head that dissipates quickly to a complex lace that lines the sides of the glass.

S - Hops, sweet malt, rye whiskey - I think this is an older bottle because I remember the hops being stronger. The age actually balances this one out quite nicely. There's a nice array of bitterness, sweetness, and sharpness to the smell.

T - Fruity and malty, the hop bitterness only really makes an appearance in the aftertaste. I get lemon most of all out of the citrus notes. Not tasting that much rye - there's just the slightest hint of whiskey and wood at the top of the palate. Not at all boozy - wish this had a little more depth to it.

M - Good density, not overly carbonated, smooth and creamy. Leaves a resinous feeling afterward.

D - Might be a little too sweet for me to have all the time, but it's easy to down a bomber.

Very solid, and the rye and bottle label make it stand out from what is otherwise a very crowded genre (American IPAs).

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Photo of tdm168
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish amber. There's a 1/2" of dense, foamy head that cascades when first poured. Great retention. The nose has notes of deep, bready malts; peppery rye; and floral, citrusy hop aromas. The taste is deep, rich bready, biscuity, barley malts with some rye undertones. There's a great hop character that is balanced and adds floral, spicy, piny notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and perfectly carbonated.

This is great. Perfect balance, nice hop character, intense, smooth malt character. Nicely done Bear Republic.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,075 ratings.
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