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05-06-05

Beer Review #290 Terrapin Rye Pale Ale

05-06-03On my last visit to the beer store I saw a large display of a new beer to the area, Terrapin Beer Company of Athens, Ga. I never tasted their beer and a Rye Pale Ale sounded delightful, so I picked up a six pack along with a few other beers.

This Rye Pale Ale pours a light copper color with a thin white head. It is perfectly clear and looks really nice in the light. The nose didn’t give me the sense of hops. I got a strong dose of honey-like sweetness and some bready notes. There was a slight rye malt, but not as much as what I was hoping for. After a bit more smelling, I finally found a light citrus hop odor. I like my pale ales a little more malt forward, so this one fit the bill.

The honey carries over to the flavor and the rye/honey combination really plays nicely. The bread also comes in and adds a nice roundness to the taste of this beer. Hops come in at the end and provide a light hop bitterness. I mainly got pine from the hops and oddly no rye spiciness. I know that some say that rye doesn’t deliver a spicy component, but I would argue that it does, especially when given a proper hop profile to work with. It’s one of those flavors that can be masked or enhanced depending on what is around it. This beer doesn’t add to the spicy notes that I’m used to at the end, but it does allow for the rye to shine upfront.

This isn’t a bad pale ale, but I do wish it had something more to it. There is a lot of potential there, but it tastes a bit watered down to me. I’m going to contradict myself from earlier and say that I wanted this beer to be more aggressive with the hops. Malt forward is great, but in a pale ale, the hops also need to shine. I have a few other beers from this brewery to review but I think I will pass on this one next time around. It’s not a bad beer by any means, it’s just not one for me. (more…)

Beer Review #107 Copperhook

Another spring seasonal from Redhook Ale Brewery for today. This beer is actually a year round beer on the west coast, but here on the east coast it is only an option for April and May. It came bottled in Redhook’s new bottles. They are partially a marketing stunt, but I really dig how they look and feel. One note about them, they pour very differently compared to a traditional beer bottle. The neck is much shorter so the angle of the pour needs to be altered a bit or maybe I had a few too many on tap for review.

Copperhook pours a light copper color and comes with a thin white head. The nose had a slight sweetness followed by some herbal notes. The taste was a strange mix of flavors. There was some caramel and toasted malt in there, but then that herbal flavor kicked in. It was reminded me of a cross between mint and spruce. Their other spring beer had similar flavors, but had a better malt backbone to stand on.

The bottle says “things gold and silver are way overrated.” If I am basing that saying off of this beer I wholeheartedly disagree. It does come in at 5.8% so it is sessionable, but this one just wasn’t for me. I did get a cool bottle out of it though. (more…)