Brewer: Founders Craft: Black Rye ABV: 7.5%
Founders just keeps crafting quality beer. Another solid effort. This Black Rye drinks, for me, just like a coffee stout. The roasted malts provide a nice backbone. I get some cocoa, coffee, and roasted barley notes. Founders dry hops this dark ale, as they call it. That dry hopping gives this craft a dry finish and a bitter balance to the sweetness of the malts.
The distinct flavor of the rye – that grain that you know you’re drinking because it’s spice, it’s floral, it’s got a bite, it’s sharp, it’s hoppy, it’s bitter. The rye just elevates this craft from a basic dark ale to a craft that I’m looking forward to having again. And again. I could drink this anytime of the year. It’s too bad it’s only a seasonal release. I guess I better get to the store and get some more…
Rating: Buy as much of this as you can before it’s gone…
Brewer: Lagunitas Craft: NightTime ABV: 7.9%
If you’re looking for a walk-off, this is it. This concept is one that was introduced to me by my friend Chris, who also brought me into the craft beer experience years ago. A walk-off is a craft that you make your last beer of the night – because it is that good and you don’t want to ruin it with anything else.
NightTime is a solid black ale. It has a nice malty, roasty backbone. It drinks smooth. It also has a solid hop presence that balances well with the sweetness of the malts. There is a smoky character to this craft that is unexpected but welcomed. I’m getting notes of coffee and cocoa as well, which I’m thinking are coming from the roasted malts.
I’m not surprised that this is a limited release from Lagunitas. This is a craft that I would look forward to every year. I’m also surprised that this craft doesn’t get more love. I think this might be one of my favorite dark beers right now. Go find it and buy some before it’s gone! Cheers!
Rating: buy at least one six-pack, maybe – two!