Monday, May 24, 2010

Blue Point Rastafa Rye Ale (2010)

Dave and Eva join me for a back-to-back episode. This time we review a beer made here in New York: Blue Point Rastafa Rye Ale. I've heard a lot of good things about it so I thought this would be a good time to try it. It's a hoppy beer made with rye (although the beer nerds of the internet can't agree on what style it falls under). Thanks again to Dave and Eva for coming by for the reviews!

NOTE: Here's my 2013 re-review:

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (951) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 22, 2013

I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date. It cost $4.99 ($0.23 per ounce).

Appearance: Murky copper-colored body. Forms a large, white, frothy head which laces and retains well.

Smell: Rye is quite prominent (not surprisingly), but there’s a sweet maltiness to the aroma as well.

Taste: It’s hard to have expectations about Blue Point Rastafa Rye Ale since it doesn’t really conform to any style per se. I’ve had plenty of pale ales and IPAs with a strong rye character, though there’s not enough hop presence for this to be an IPA and the body is a bit too big to be an ordinary pale ale. So what is this beer? Well, it’s technically a "Specialty Grain", as the rye definitely is the star of the show. Though a better description might just be "a very good beer".

The palette opens with a strong malty presence, not unlike that of an amber ale. Slightly sweet flavor of caramel are prominent, but they’re quickly obscured by the beers strong rye character. It’s a dry spiciness and works well with the malts to create for a slightly bready-like flavor (ya know - rye bread?). Significant bitterness comes out in the second half of the swig. It’s slightly flower-like, but more on the spicy/earthy side. Rye flavor returns on the finish and in the aftertaste, but so does the malty sweetness. Overall, this is a really well-balanced beer with an enjoyable taste palette. It’s a tad repetitive, but what’s here is quite enjoyable.

Drinkability: Blue Point Rastafa Rye Ale does not nearly drink as big of a beer as it is at 7.5% ABV. The mouthfeel is firm, but soft and smooth with no alcohol presence whatsoever. I wouldn’t call it refreshing, but it’s certainly no challenge to drink. You don’t have to be a hophead to enjoy this since it’s only 48 IBUs, and only leaves a subtle aftertaste (though I wouldn’t consider it refreshing). Paired with the right meal, I think this could be enjoyed even more than as a stand-alone beverage. 
Grade: 8/10

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