like it when breweries throw an ingredient into a classic brew style
(well, when they work that is). Ithaca Beer Company went this route by
brewing Embrr – a robust porter - with some rye to give it a winter-like
spiciness. I find it’s actually more sweet than spicy as the rye is
quite subtle. I don’t know if it’s any more wintery than any other
porter, but it’s certainly a good one.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 9/24/14 and cost $2.90 ($0.24 per ounce).
Appearance: Black body with no lighter edge colors. Pours to two-finger, tan, frothy head which laces and retains pretty well.
Smell: Classic porter aroma of dark malt and a hint of chocolate and fruit, though a bit sweeter than most.
Taste: I was expecting the rye to be the star of the show given the
marketing and labeling, but it’s actually used well as a background
performer. The dark maltiness is what’s prominent here; tasty notes of
chocolate, roasted malt, and some oatmeal-like sweetness (even though
there’s no oatmeal in this beer). The rye only comes through on the
finish, imparting a gentle dry spicy and light bready character. It
complements the bitterness from the dark malt and the Sybilla hops
(which are used sparingly). This palette does get a little repetitive,
though, and it’s not exactly the most delicious or amazing porter I’ve
had. Still, it’s a fine beer for what it is and should be appreciated as
Drinkability: Winter-themed beers tend to be big and bold and lend
themselves to sipping; but when a beer like Ithaca Embrr Rye Porter is
easily quaffable, is that a good or bad thing? The mouthfeel is a tad
thin, lightly carbonated, but noticeably smooth and comfortable. It
leaves little aftertaste, too. I’d probably prefer (and expect) more
body given that it’s 6.6% ABV, so it does seem a little inefficient.