Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sweetwater LowRYEder IPA

Using rye in pale ales and IPAs is a fairly new trend in the American hoppy beer scene. It’s definitely a finesse job for brewers to make the synergy of the spicy dryness from the rye, the citrus bitterness from the hops and the sweetness from the malts all work together. Sweetwater LowRYEder IPA is a good example of how these flavors really can work so well together.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (754) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 11, 2012
I received a 12oz bottle in trade with Ding. I poured it into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Orange colored body that’s quite hazy, though there’s no sediment in it. Forms an average size, white, frothy head which doesn’t completely dissipate and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Orange juice concentrate plus and underlying rye bread scent.

Taste: While Sweetwater LowRYEder IPA does make good use of its rye character, it’s thankfully not a rye bomb. It’s also not the absolute best rye IPA ever made, either. Not that it’s a bad beer, just a plain good one. It’s actually surprisingly mild considering the style. The brewer’s website indicates it’s only 45 IBUs which would make this closer to a pale ale than a proper IPA.

It’s a bit mild up front, at least after the first few swigs. Light orange candy flavor followed by dry bitterness and a bite of rye spice just as it finishes. I do enjoy how the flavors work together, though. There’s a distinct sweetness to the palate that imparts a slight candy taste, but it’s a bit too short lived. It’s a tasty palate to be sure, but a rather dry and mild one. Perhaps opting for more of a juicy citrus taste rather than sheer dryness would make it even more delectable.

Drinkability: If you approach this as a pale ale you’ll find it’s as drinkable as a pale ale. The mouthfeel is medium, fairly comfortable, and not over carbonated. Despite the noticeable dry bitterness the aftertaste is on the cleaner side with just the faintest trace of starch. At 6.2% ABV Sweetwater LowRYEder IPA has as much flavor as possible from this body, and it’s light enough that it would work well with a meal or worth drinking a bottle or two on its own.
 Grade: 7/10