Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye AleHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
For the 23rd installment of the 100 Barrel Series, we invited Russ back to brew a Harpoon beer once again. Don’t worry, not in a bathtub this time. Old Rusty’s Red Rye Ale features a reddish hue and a biscuit flavor complemented with spicy rye notes. This well-balanced and drinkable ale has an aroma profile that is a combination of subtle fruit esters and clean, fresh German Hallertauer hops.

38 IBU

Added by Gmann on 05-17-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 106
Photo of mikereaser
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a muddy reddish orange with an inch of soapy bubbles that quickly fade.
S - aroma is very sweet mixed with some spiciness along with some leftover citrusy hops
T - a bit thin on flavor, the malt backbone is somewhat present along with a bit of rye spiciness, a bit of citrus hops rounds this one out to a very underwhelming flavor
M - age probably has hurt this one a bit, the carbonation is still there but lacking a bit, light to medium bodied
D - I really don't think that the flavor would have been there even if this was fresh. Its very thin all around.

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Photo of kegger22
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Harpoon Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale 100 Barrel Series #23 was amber colored with a two finger beige head and good retention.

The aroma was hop citrus and more than a bit of malty sweet.

The taste is somewhat muted, all that the aroma promised plus rye bread, but all just a shadow of what they could be.

The mouth feel was light bodied and moderately carbonated.

Drinkability was good, nothing really stood in the way of having another.

I know, a light, quenching beer has its place; but not in a specially packaged, limited edition beer. Sorry, Old Rusty wants to run with the big dogs but better stay on the porch.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a fairly clear amber, with several giant fingers of off-white head. Retains with a big creamy dollop of foam in the midddle of glass, leaving a huge sticky latticework of lace behind. The aroma has some definite bread and spice going on with it, along with a bit of zesty lemon citrus and some floral hop character.

The taste matches, with bread, spice, and some light caramel accents and citrus flavor adding some sweetness to this. There is some moderate earthy bitterness to this that fortunately doesn't seem overly faded considering that this is an older bottle. Finishes with a lot of dryness and residual tang from the rye. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a very easy and gentle creaminess to it that really helps out with the drinkibility here (especially for a nearly 7% beer).

An OK little rye beer here, that while not bringing an absolute ton of its namesake to the table, still brought enough to nicely compliment that super creamy body. This was a decent entry in the 100 Barrel Series.

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Photo of FutureCowboy
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber into a chilled imperial pint.

A: Burnt orange, hazy pour. Not much head to speak of.

S: Big malt nose. Maybe some muted fruits in there. Not much hops, and frankly not much rye to speak of.

T: Again, malt, maybe some date/raisin flavors. Feels a little off-balance, on the malty side, but I think I was expecting somewhat of a hop bite. Is there rye in here?

M: Nice ale feel, again nothing particular oustanding.

D: Sure, it's drinkable. But, frankly, disappointing.

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Photo of Durge
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bomber at room temperature into the pint glass, this shows a hazy, orange-amber colored brew with a fair off-white head and good lacing. The aroma brings caramel malt and peachy herbal hops, with a sour milk background. The flavor offers butterscotch and tart orange/herbal hop dryness. I definitely sense the rye but it blends right into the malty, caramel citrus dominance. I would call this medium-light bodied, grainy and plenty drinakable. Very satisfying.

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Photo of HopHobo
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer with a couple of friends on 11/7/09.

I poured an 8 oz. sample into an oversized wine glass.

Beer pours a dark ruby color with a 1 1/2 finger head and relatively good lacing. The smell reminds me of a barleywine that could use some age, but has nice complexity. Smell sweet and boozey with notes of plums, raisin and figs. The sweetness is complimented by a nice biscut malty smell. THe taste was completely different from the smell for me. Where the smell is very sweet the taste is dry and thinned out. It actually turns much more into a sessionable red ale here for me as the rye does not come through as strong as I expected. All and All itnot under complex in the moputh, but compared to how sweet and complex the nose is the taste leaves me a biut underwhelmed. That being said it's a very nice red ale and something I would surely enough smelling and tasting any evening.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Brownish red with a foamy dirty white head. Thick lace left on the glass. Very clear.

S - Light toasty bread aroma with a fiant hint of spice. Certianly not as much rye as I was hoping for out of a "rye" beer. Underlying fruitiness as well.

T - Malty sweetness up front with some bready tastes coming through. Light spiciness and a touch of chalkiness. Faint fruit tastes underneath.

M/D - Medium bodied and a light chalkiness left behind. Very light bitterness. Easy drinking. Not as much rye as I was hoping for.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Rusty's Red is bright ferric oxide orange, which is an appropriate hue. There's a wide band of polished gold along the bottom edge of the pint glass and a good-sized crown of orangish beige foam occupying the upper third. The bubbly, lumpybumpy head and loads of lace do nothing but help the appearance score.

The nose is strangely underpowered (note: warming helps). It's hard to appreciate much rye malt and the Hallertau hops don't make much of an olfactory splash either. The best beers of this style (or at least my favorites) use citrus fruity American hops rather than German varieties.

This is a decent American red ale. Notice that I didn't say 'rye ale', because that grain still isn't very prominent. Again, time and warming bring out a little more of the earthy, spicy, bready personality that the brewer was probably shooting for. Of course, the hops could be responsible for some of that spiciness.

The malt component is toasted nutty, with a light drizzle of caramel, and has just enough rye character to get by. It's too bad that something like Simcoe or Amarillo wasn't used, because they would have added a much needed flavor hook. Sweetness and bitterness are pretty evenly matched, which aids drinkability.

The body/mouthfeel is almost... almost... not quite good enough to be considered good. If it was a little bit bigger, a little bit smoother or a little bit creamier, it would have impressed a little bit more. Laid-back carbonation is fine and dandy.

The world's best red rye ale (Founders Red's Rye) shouldn't be the least bit worried about Harpoon Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale. Given a price tag of $6.99, this 100 Barrel Series beer doesn't quite deserve a recommendation. That said, I'm not sorry that I gave it a home.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear copper with a sturdy off-white foam.

S - Grapefruit hop, tropical fruit and maltiness. A bit of a (rye?) twang and hints of caramel and cake.

T - A bit drier than I expected. Good malty body and a spicy edge. Some grapefruit and a medium bitter finish. Slight acidity and a licorice and caramel come through.

M - Moderate body has a bit of slickness. Medium carbonation.

D - Pretty drinkable and well balanced.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes, on tap in Boston. The bartender tells me that Rusty is someone that used to work at the brewery, and this is a beer that they brewed a long time ago and resurrected.

A: Standard appearance. Deep amber body beneath a frothy off white head that holds well before dwindling. Average lacing.
S: Caramelish malt. Hints of hops.
T: Malty. Caramelish. A hint of yeasty fruit. What rye is there is toned-down and just adds a little bit of spiciness, but that helps in the dry finish.
M: Medium bodied, standard carbonation.
D: A decent, approachable amber with a little bit more character than usual. Certainly a worthy pint. I stopped in for one while the girlfriend was shopping and I was not disappointed.

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Photo of spointon
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 22oz brown bomber bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a light caramel-amber color with a slight amount of cloudiness and a fluffy 1.5" off white head. The head retained well, eventually settling to a 1/8" cap and leaving big rings of sticky lace down my glass.

S= The aroma was sweet and malty, with a bready and caramel-heavy character. At first smell this seemed a bit heady with a sweet/alcohol presence, but that seemed to mellow a bit and I ultimately found this pleasant.

T= The flavor profile was not over the top but rather modestly complex. Lots of biscuit/bready malt and caramel flavors melding up front, followed closely by a chewy rye note. Hop bitterness was moderate but persistent. Finish was drier but not exactly dry and back to malt dominant.

MF= Full side of medium bodied with a crisp carbonation level.

D= I started out thinking that this was a pretty pedestrian offering for a "limited release", celebration type brew. By the end of the bottle I sort of "got" this beer though. I would hapilly drink this again and the abv/flavor combination was such that I would want to!

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges a light amber color with some haze and is topped with a slightly creamy and milky off white/ brownish colored head. SOme good lacing is present down the side of the glass.

Aroma is quite malty with rye undetected. Biscuity and bready. Loads of caramel lends a sweet aroma with a touch of fruitiness and earthiness.

Taste mimics the aroma. Mostly malty with a touch of hop/rye bitterness in the finish (I cant tell if it was the rye or hops, but I would lean toward hops.). More caramel and a touch of sweetness.

Slightly thin on the body with a little too much carbonation. Decent drinkability. This one is definitely more red than rye; in fact the rye is completely missing in this one. Not a bad beer overall but I doubt I will revisit.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

G: Poured into a Yuengling pint glass.

A: Copper-amber color with a good sized white head and some decent lacing. Transparent, but not terribly so.

S: Doughy biscuit with caramel malt. As expected, the hops are a little bit faded, but there weren't too many in there to begin with. Also, not detecting much of the rye.

T: Quite sweet, and here comes the rye. It's definitely there, just slightly subdued. Lots of sweet caramel malt.

M: Quite chewy and medium-bodied. A good amount of carbonation.

D: Highly drinkable. A fairly-subdued (in terms of the rye) example of the style; but, then again, most rye beers I've had have been rye IPA's.

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Photo of taez555
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 1/1/09

This beer poured a clear body with a small white head.

Nose was sweet caramel, mixed with a soft bread.

Taste was medium bodied with a lightish feel. Caramel, soft bread, garbage. Very watery with a strong citrus peel taste, but it didn't have that citrus peel bite too it. Lots of dull rye. Very muted bitterness. Some soft muted earthy citrus hop. Lemon, orange juice and some non spicy grapefruit.

A decent rye beer, but honestly I found it a bit bland, as if it was normal food that just needed some salt to kick it up in flavor. Drinkable, but nothing outstanding.

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Photo of Reiksguard
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: Very nice and clear amber color with an off white head. The head stays around for a while, creating a nice lacing.

S: Smell is a little weak - moderate malt aroma with hops.

T: Not as much rye as I would have expected. bready taste with a spiciness that is derived from the rye. Finishes very clean with a slight bit of a honey taste.

M: Decent carbonation with a little bit of a slippery feel on the tongue.

O: Another good session from Harpoon. Because it finishes so clean, it is very easy to go back for another.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear amber colored with a decent white head. Great retention a some slippery lace. Looks like it's saying "drink me."

Smells of bready malt and fall fruit.

Tastes of bready, spicy rye with syrupy fall fruit sweetness. Good balance of spice and sweet although tending more towards the sweet side. No hop profile at all. Smooth and chunky mouthfeel with a little carbonated fizz. Overall I like everything about this beer but it seems incomplete due to lack of any hop.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Harpoon Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale is a cloudy amber ale with particles floating in it. The off-white head exhibits good retention. There is rye in the aroma, along with pine and citrus. It smells slightly sweet. It has a medium, maybe medium-light, body that's smooth with a crisp finish. It tastes balanced-- slightly sweet with a little grassy bitterness. There is a sharp, almost metallic, flavor at the finish. Not bad.

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Photo of cdizinno
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly cloudy copper coller.

S- Sweet aroma that overpowers the slight hop and rye scent. Some spicy overtones.

T- Lots of rye, but not overpowering like some rye brews I've had that try to over do it. Some spiciness, not sure if it is ginger or nutmeg.

M- Very crisp with a slightly dry aftertaste.

D- Very good ale. Reminds me of the 'original' Harpoons that became available regionally in N.E. during the late 80's

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drinking a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a clear chestnut with .5cm of foamy beige head that falls quickly to a sturdy edge layer leaving tight lattice as it fades. Aroma is some grainy malt with a bit of spicy hops and some rye hits of course. First sip reveals an average body and fine fizzy carbonation. Flavor is sweet caramel and some floral hops and hints of rye spiciness on the finish. The beer isnt overly complex but exhibits no glaring flaws. I was a little disappointed, but it may be the style and not the beer. I suspect if you are into rye beers this is pretty good choice for you.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Amber color, slight haze. The head is that of a IPA in that it is thick creamy and very clingy. Lots of lacing.

S- Hops are sweet smelling, very much like grapefruit. I'm getting some honey, and something very floral. The rye is coming through just a bit, but isn't a huge dominating flavor.

T- Lots of rye, wow, I've never had a rye beer that was so heavy on the rye. The honey is there mostly in the aftertaste. This taste and reminds me of this great dark rye bread my wife makes, which I like to put a dob of honey on. The hops are there and bring a great balance to the beer, but the star of this is the rye. This is a hearty beer and Surlyfest is another that has a great rye taste, but this one has better rye flavor for sure. Very tasty!

M- Good feeling in the mouth, very nice aftertaste, light and easy feeling.

D- Very easy to drink, super tasty and this goes down smooth.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this Harpoon offering pours a reddish orange with a thick rocky head, some scant carbonation is visible

S - the aroma is of fresh malt with a hoppy support structure, all this belnded with a definite rye-ness, and antoher element that seems to me to be a bit like ginger(?)

T - serious malt freshness, very crisp with rye overtones, a little much with the rye as it drowns out any other characteristics

M&D - light, smooth, and easily drinkable in any quantity, well brewed, even if a bit too rye-y

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Photo of Boto
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber: This one pours a crystal clear amber color. There is a bit of bubbles clinging to the walls of the glass. There was a small off-white head on it that doesn't linger long. It still leaves a little lacing. Malts, gains and breadiness to the nose. Taste is a touch bitter, with some rye evident. The aftertaste has similarities of commercial lagers. Not bad, but not special either.

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

A nice drinking ale, reddish in colour. Malty aroma, and the taste- well,complex malty, some bitterness, a bit of rye, no taste overpowering. Nothing too edgy, just nice with lunch, the moderate bitterness comes through in the aftertaste.Medium plus mouthfeel, a bit bready. A bit like kvas, made from rye bread.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as an extra from DrDogbeer - thanks!! Poured into a 22 oz. Terrapin glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy-as-all-hell, dirty, turgid amber, reddish brown, with a foamy, relatively sticky one-finger tan head with average retention that leaves some nice sheets of sticky lacing, a big, bubbly sheen of foam, and a thick ring of lace. Carbonation is sparse, with only a few fine-bubbled rivulets slowly creeping up the sides of the snifter.

Aroma: Citrusy, fruity hop presence and a pungent, whiskey-esque aroma - obviously the rye - are on equal footing here, presiding over a roasted bready backbone with tons of residual, heavily caramelized sugars. It's interesting and distinct, though doesn't appeal to me too much.

Taste: Bread, citrus, spice, largely nice. The relatively dry, caramelly, biscuity backbone defines this one, with hints of marshmallows, caramel, and bread, though it's accompanied by a relatively large rye quotient, which - although it does add a grassy, prickly, back-of-the-throat-spicy note to everything (particularly as it warms) - is about on par with a decidedly orange zest-tasting hop note and some definite though mild hop bitterness. It's an interesting combination.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and with enough carbonation that it's full, puffy, thoroughly pillowy. Plenty of prickle from the rye, as well.

Drinkability: A solid beer, and one I'm glad to have tried. Alcohol is manageable and well-hidden, the flavors are balanced and interesting, and though it's not my favorite array of notes, it's still a well-made beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very generous BA sent me some of these nice new releases to enjoy. I cracked into this one first, having had it on tap a while back and knowing it was pretty darn good. Anyway, served cold and poured into a large pilsner glass, this one was consumed on 12/10/2008.

The pour was decent enough. A nice warm brown color was evident right away. Nice touches of delicate white foam on the top rose up to a height of two inches before settling down into a thin film across the top.

The aroma was rich with hints of rye and bready malts. Sweet caramel tones and a touch of an earthy feel to it. The flavor carried this over very well. Rich dough like mat flavors washed across the tongue right away, smooth, with a caramel sweet finish and a touch of a pepper like hint on the tongue. Nice medium body with a full finish. Easily sippable the bottle worked ver well with dinner.

Overall another solid beer in a very solid lineup. I would do this one again any day.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.79 out of 5 based on 106 ratings.
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