what I can tell, Rare Form doesn’t seem to be a fan of traditional beer
styles, which is fine with me. Their “Sabbatical Session Ale” could be
considered a Session IPA, a pale ale, a specialty grain or – most
accurately – “other.” Plenty of hop bitterness and actual flavor, but
has a bit more body than your average highly-hopped/low gravity brew.
It’s quite enjoyable.
I poured a 16oz growler filled at the tap room into a tulip glass. It cost $6 ($0.38 per ounce).
Appearance: Hazy, grapefruit juice-like complexion of pale orange. Pours
to a thin, white, soapy head which mostly dissipates and leaves little
Smell: Sweet candy and citrus aroma, especially orange.
Taste: The palette to Sabbatical Session Ale is rather direct, as the
most dominate flavors are the hops. Fairly intense dry bitterness
crackles across the tongue right from the get-go, though the addition of
rye and spices probably has a bit to do with that as well (they don’t
say what spices are used in the brew). The rye definitely creates for
its trademark spice, though it doesn’t seem to be accounting for much in
the way of body as it does not taste like liquid rye bread. In fact,
the malt composition is a silent partner here. There’s enough of it to
give the beer true body, but not to the point of creating for distinct
sweetness. I suspect the beer is brewed with Sorachi Ace hops as it has
that distinct pink peppercorn/grapefruit taste on the finish (this would
be a great beer to pair with seafood, by the way).
Drinkability: At only 3.8% ABV, Sabbatical Session Ale definitely lives
up to its name. There’s a lot of flavor here for such a low gravity
brew, though the actual mouthfeel is noticeably thin. It is crisp and
even refreshing while in the mouth, and it’s easy going down. The hops
linger and leave a slightly dry/spicy aftertaste, but it’s easily