poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date on
the bottle, though the brewery’s website indicates it’s available
September through January leading me to believe this bottle is probably
3-4 months old. The bottle cost $5 ($0.23 per ounce).
Appearance: Beautiful dark orange/copper hue. Seeming opaque from a
distance but actually transparent when viewed close up. Forms a large,
white, frothy head which laces and retains extremely well.
Smell: Mild aroma of rye and some hop flowers. A touch of pine.
Taste: Using rye in pale ale and IPAs is a pretty common thing these
days. It gives a nice spice and additional bitterness to an otherwise
standard style. That’s a perfect description of Horseheads Rye P.A. -
pretty standard for the style, but a bit of rye to make it a little more
It opens with a smooth, gentle bitterness. Slightly dry, but at the same
time there’s considerable malt character. I do notice the rye riding
shotgun throughout the entire swig. There’s a slightly bready character
that imparts a touch of spice and helps out with the balance. I’m not
going to guess at the hops used because they’re not all that prominent
here. I get a familiar piney/earthy character, but it’s tame. Tamer than
the 56 IBUs would indicate. There’s a nice bitter bite at the top of
the swig and some starchy, cracker-like flavor in the aftertaste but
it’s not distracting and easily tolerable. Perhaps a fresher bottle
would have more pizzazz, but what’s here isn’t bad at all and is plenty
Drinkability: With a nice calm mouthfeel that’s on the heavier end of
the spectrum and a remarkably smooth finish, Horseheads Rye P.A. is
easily and highly drinkable. Though not exactly refreshing (not that I
think it’s meant to be), it doesn’t drink like the 7% ABV beer that it
is. I could see this pairing well with brewpub fare or any light to
medium meal. I had no problem drinking the entire bomber by myself.