808. Great Lakes Brewing – Rye of the Tiger IPA

808. Great Lakes Brewing - Rye of the Tiger IPAWe’re getting ready for a murder mystery party at our neighbor’s house tonight and I thought I’d have a couple beers before going over. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m trying to clean out the beer fridge and finish off as many of the IPAs as possible, since fading hops are probably the quickest to change the flavor of a beer. I picked this one up as part of a mixed 6 pack I picked up while in Minnesota last year.  The bottle says to enjoy by 6/22/14, so it’s a bit past due.  It also says, “Like tigers creeping through tall grass, hopheads will stalk this majestic golden brew, rising to the challenge of its bold flavor attack. Full-bodied and loaded with hops, our Rye of the Tiger IPA is brewed with rye malt, adding a spicy complexity to every sip. It’s an ale meant to inspire feats of strength and skill, a worthy contender in the bout against the flavorless. If you can step into the ring with this hopped-up cat, you’ve earned your stripes.”

Location: Poured into a TEKU pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL

Numbers: 7.5% ABV, 92 IBU, ~230 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s amber in color and a bit hazy. It had a soapy-textured head on it that fell after several minutes to a thin ring around the glass, but left some nice lacing. It has a malty aroma with with some earthy hoppiness.

Taste & Feel: The body is medium and the mouthfeel is fairly crisp. The flavor up front is a little malty sweet with an equal dose of earthy hop bitterness. In the middle, the spiciness of the rye kicks in along with some tropical flavors joining the earthy hops.  The finish is a bready sweet and spicy rye maltiness along with some earthy hop bitterness and hints of tropical fruitiness. The aftertaste is mostly a rye spiciness and bitterness that lasts for a minute or two.

Food Pairing: With the spicy rye flavors and bitterness, I’d probably pair this with a nicely seasoned steak. The savory steak stands up flavorfullness of the beer and the flavors get even more complex with the seasonings.

Overall Impression: I blame myself for not enjoying this while it was still more fresh. I’m certain the tropical flavors were more pronounced when it was fresh. However, I still found it to be a tremendously complex flavor with some sweetness, spiciness, and bitterness. The rye spiciness mixed nicely with the earthy hoppiness and bitterness. Overall, I thought it was a good, complex beer, that I need to try fresh.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Author: kkozlen

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