Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Beer of the Week (Vol. CLI)

Another special holiday edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the cool-headed folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you find the good stuff you need to celebrate our country’s independence without getting over-heated.

The Fourth of July is America’s birthday. And it will be celebrated with gusto across the land today from big cities on the coasts to small towns in the Midwest. Towns like Lucan, Minnesota (pop. 220) home of Brau Brothers Brewing and Templeton, Iowa (pop. 328) home of Templeton Rye – Prohibition Era Whiskey:

When Prohibition outlawed the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in 1920, many enterprising residents of a small town in Iowa chose to become outlaws – producing a high caliber and much sought-after whiskey known as Templeton Rye, or “The Good Stuff” to those in the know. Produced from the original Prohibition era recipe and aged in charred new oak barrels, Templeton Rye provides a smooth finish and a clean getaway.

Our second featured beer of this holiday week is Rye Wyne Ale from Brau Brothers. It’s a rye barley wine that’s aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels. Minnesota meets Iowa as beer meets whiskey. As far as mashups go, it’s a tough one to top.

750ml bottle sells for $14.99. Bottle cap is sealed in red wax. White label shows one of the aging barrels and contains a boatload of information about the beer.

STYLE: Barley wine


COLOR (0-2): Copper brown and dense. 2

AROMA (0-2): Tart with vanilla and pepper. 2

HEAD (0-2): Light volume, tan color, good lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Caramel malts with sour up front, peppery rye in the middle, and a boozy finish that brings forth the full oaky flavors of the whiskey barrels. A lot of bold, complex flavors going on here and you can pick up tastes of vanilla, toffee, spices, and fruits as well. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky. Heavy bodied and definitely meant to be slowly savored. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Flavors of sour and oak linger pleasantly. 2

OVERALL (0-6): While the price may initially be off-putting, you get a lot of beer for your buck with Rye Wyne Ale. The flavors are strong and assertive yet balanced enough that the end result is a deliciously rich and complex beer. You also need to remember that with its 750ml size and 11% ABV, what you’re getting is really more like a bottle of wine than beer (don’t worry, it still tastes like beer). You’ll want to let it breathe a bit for as it warms the flavors become more pronounced and nuanced. And you’ll want to sip it to pick up all the tastes brought about by this unique partnership. 5

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 17