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

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100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale
Very Good
106 Ratings
100 Barrel Series #23 - Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale100 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 |  Reviews: 95
Reviews by scarletfire79:
Photo of scarletfire79
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a reddish hue with a nice 1-inch head. subtle aromas of bread and spice. soft malt flavors, bready, with slight spice. slightly warming but at only 6.5 %, still drinkable. as the beer warms the complexity grows. a very nice beer and something i would get again.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, this turned out to be a really beautiful beer. It was an amber color with a thick off-white head that persisted throughout the time it took me to drink the beer. There was an amazing amount of lacing. The aroma was fresh rye bread. The rye dominated the taste, making it a fairly dry beer. A little bit of spice present also. Enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of far333
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orangey honey color with bubbles rising rapidly. A greyish beige tightly bubbled head sits atop and lingers long.

Low aroma of brown sugar and cinnamon and some corn.

Flavor of rich doughey malt upfront, with caramel and cinnamon mixing in. Hints of marshmallow emerge, followed by toffee and a grapefruit rind bitter. A mild but pleasant spicy finish lingers.

Full and rich mouthfeel, moderate and even carbonation. Tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewery 6/6/08

This is a red tinted golden color with a 1" dense, all-white crown that was active but solid. Excellent carbonation had no problem retaining the crown. a very vibrant color.

A very crisp,spring water and wheat scent with a wonderful earthiness, much like the scent of the earth on the first very hot day of spring. Slighty fruity hops rides just underneath that.

For such a crisp, light bodied feel this brew s packed with flavor. A wonderfully sweet flavored pale malt with a big kick of dry, rye kicks right in. The balance of slightly sweet and fruity hops with a dry rye and crystal clean tasting malt adds up to a wonderful session brew...but it's 6.5 % alc. so after about two or three the mild fealing heat makes things even more interesting. wonderful complexity for a rye beer.

Interesting enough to keep drinking for as long as you can handle the 6.5%.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red amber with alot of carbonation and a giant tan foamy head that lasts forever. The smell isn't so pungent,but you can make out bread yeast and a peppery scent. The taste is crisp and clear with bread yeast,bitter hops,and a real pepper flavor. The m/f is light with all the flavors mixing well. All in all, this is very drinkable and enjoyable.

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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 hreb
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cold 22oz bottled poured into pint glass. The beer appears to be shockingly orange colored, with lots of big bubbles, and a healthy-sized amber-white head.

There isn't much aroma to it. Slightly floral without being particularly hoppy or malty smelling. I'm used to rye beer being in the form of IPA (incidentally, CBC's Rye-PA was really good this year, and I'm sad to see that it disappeared so fast). Anyway, this is not IPA. It's very mellow in the mouth. Other than the harsh carbonation, it's more sudsy, almost soapy, than sharp. Now, is that interesting? Or just bad?

The one really thing which is definitively high quality is the presense of grain in this. Do I need a corned-beef sandwich to accompany this? Perhaps some melted swiss cheese?

Overall, it's decent, not great. It's not overpowering in any way like IPA-type rye beers often are. It just feels like it's got a big hole in the middle.

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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 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 Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty golden amber color with an average egg-shell white head that left a sparse cap. The smell is rather faint and disappointing. I only pick up a slightly spicy malt. The taste has a slightly sweet grain taste that is followed by a honey pale malt, with a kick of a rye bitterness and stale resiny hop bitterness, no real outstanding flavors. The feel is light to moderate, has an initial sweet flavoring but finishes neutral. A very nice sessionable brew. The 6.5%ABV plays well with this brew. Has some interesting characteristics, worth a purchase.

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Photo of edchicma
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful reddish brown with excellent head and nice lacing. Smell is sweet, fruity, extremely inviting. Taste is a nice blend of malt and spicy hoppiness. Mouthfeel is is equally nice, initially smooth and craemy, with a very nice dry finish. Due to all of the above qualities drinkability is very good.

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Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 650 mL foil-wrapped bomber purchased at the Houston St. Whole Foods in NYC.

A: The ale is a dark copper orange color, deeper with caramel red throughout. A finger or so of head emerged on pour but quickly dissapated to a small band and cobwebs across the top of the beer.

S: The aroma is spicy with dark rye bread aromas. Light grapefruit hops add more peppery spice to the body.

T: The ale has the general taste and body of a pale ale. The hop flavors are grapefruity with a noticeable pepper presence that is part hops and mostly rye. The start of the sip is grainy, full of dark bread that really picks up midway through (especially when the ale is warm). The rye element is dry with some black licorice flavors. The pepper remains quite intense, keeping the taste full without being too heavy.

M: The mouthfeel is zesty, lively from the first sip with a great peppery rye finish.

D: The rye presence makes for good sipping. Lots of bread and pepper keep the tastebuds alert.

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Photo of bonbini26
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of fitzy84
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured with a shiny, murky amber color with thin lacing on the sides and head. Aromas were generally spiced bready aspects with a specific malt texture. Taste was awesome: very sweet with a malty-slight citrus hint. Pretty light for its bready aspects, and the drink does have a somewhat crisp, medium body. Not too refreshing though. Overall, a good beer from Harpoon.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear red color ale with a nice foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of bitter hops with nice caramel malt profile are very well balance. Taste is also a well balance mix between some deep caramels with subtle nuts with a medium bitter hoppy finish. Body is quite full with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done overall and easily drinkable.

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

Bottlecapped bomber w gold foil purchased fm DeLuca's Market in Beacon Hill.
Great pour into a one finger head that matches the label with its beige color. Sticky islands of lace are its remnants. Almost opaque orange body with yellow hues.
My nose recalls fresh apple pie: I can smell the golden crust most prominently, on its heels is baked apple, spice, and sugar. A faint hoppiness fades as the beer sits.
The rye imparts a darkness, a dryness, and a fine-ground peppery spice--all muting the hop contribution. It's pleasantly bready, but it leaves a sweet smack on my lips. Fine carbonation is unintrusive and rather pleasant.
I've worked my way through the bomber and I want more. I would love to drink this through the winter. I know Rye beers are all over [America], but this is a great choice of style for a guest brewer: it's an established style that leaves the door open for someone to put his own twists and trademarks upon.

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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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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DrDogbeer for this one. Poured a rich and bright orange-reddish-brown (almost apple juice-like) with a thick two-finger creamy head of an eggshell color that slowly faded leaving an impressive foam collar and some beautiful dry lacing down the glass. Beautiful.

Aroma of rye dough is no surprise. More notes of sour rye dough burst forth as a citrus and apple fruitiness blend in with the rye. Pear, licorice, and some cracked black pepper round out the aroma.

Taste follows suit, with a malt caramel sweetness hitting first before giving way to an impressive rye flavor. Some of the apple and pear fruitiness come through to add a bit of complexity. The finish has a bit of hop bitterness and a fair bit of rye spiciness. There's also that drying spiciness that I love in rye beers, bordering on a dry cider. Impressive.

Moutfeel took a bit of warming up to. Carbonation is very fine and on the lower end of medium, which carries the spice nicely, almost leaving a prickly rye spice on the tongue. There's a clean dryness that makes the rye notes shine.

This is one of the more impressive rye beers I've had. Appearance is incredible and everything else is impressive and well put together. This is my first foray into the 100 barrel series, and if they're all this good, I think I need to track down a few more. Rye beers have their own style and character, and as far as I'm concerned, this one is up there with the best.

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Photo of AsburyParkJMH
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a decent looking, slightly watery but healthy nonetheless amber colour with a mid-sized head that leaves a smattering of residue on the glass.

Aroma is a blend of juicy hops, some floral hops and a bit of sweet caramel. I would say a hint of alcohol is detected here and there as well. There's perhaps a bit of a biscuit vibe here as well. Nice.

The flavour continues with the aroma but brings in a bit more harshness from the rye, which is finally apparent here after going unnoticeable in the aroma. Juiciness falls by the wayside a bit with the floral notes coming through a bit more. A biscuit/bread flavour is in the mix as well. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a bit of creaminess to it.

This one isn't bad overall, but at the same time didn't overly impress either. Sure, it's good, but at the same time it's not that memorable. Worth a try.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear golden/amber with a big head and continuous carbonation bubbles streaming to the top. Nice lacing.

S: Malty and floral/spicy/sweet.

T: Big malty and pleasantly bitter.

M: Medium bodied with a velvety texture. Great support for the flavors.

D: This is a smooth and balanced brew. Worthy of having for sure!

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Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of auxiliary
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Amber color, white head, and nice lace.

smell - Spice, and hops smell here.

tate - Citrus, spice, hops, malt, and bready.

mouthfeel - Medium body. Little carbonation

drinkability - Easy drinking, tastey, interesting taste. Worth a try. Not bad.

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Photo of erosier
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice orange-red-brown color with a tall and thick tan colored head that takes a very long time to settle. It laces the glass alot all the way down.
S: The smell is of very sweet roasted malts and a faint malted rye aroma.
T: The taste is of very sweet malts, then some spicey rye flavors, and then a refreshing hoppy bitterness at the end.
M: Very fresh, smooth, and warming with the right amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer as I finished the bomber without any problems and was looking for more.

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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 barleywinebrewer
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so, picked one of these up to see how it tasted as I've been on a fun run of rye beers as of late. I liked this one, crystal clear, dark amber color, nice frothy white head. light on aroma but high on a complimentary rye / piney hop note buttressed by a nice caramel note.

Overall, quite tasty and sessionable.

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