Monday, April 29, 2013

Horseheads Rye P.A.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (866) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 29, 2013
I 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 interesting.

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 enjoyable.

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. 
Grade: 7/10