Beer 27 of Spring – Stout?

Founders Black Rye

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…

Beer 11 of Spring – Collaboration!

DBB and Ninkasi

Brewers: Devil’s Backbone/Ninkasi       Craft: The Devil Went Down to Oregon       ABV: 7.2%

I’m back!  Sorry for the hiatus.  Sometimes life gets in the way of life.  But I’m back on the blogon.  That’s the blog wagon if you weren’t sure.  And I picked a solid choice to get back in the game.  I was just in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend visiting some family.  I spent most of Saturday drinking.  And it was awesome.  Before we returned home my uncle gave me some local crafts.  Thanks, Gubby!  This is one of them.  An Imperial Rye Ale.

I could drink this every day.  I’ve had a few crafts from Devils Backbone before and just one from Ninkasi.  But everything I’ve had so far has been top notch.  And this collaboration craft does not disappoint.  The malt backbone (see what I did there?) is solid and gives this craft a sweet, smooth base for the rye to compliment.  The rye is subtle at first, but builds as I drink it.  Towards the end of the craft, the rye has made its presence known.  The bite is not too much or too little.  It’s just a nicely balanced craft.

If I had a complaint or two, albeit minor ones, it would be that I would have expected more of the rye to be present; and the imperial character only gives 7.2%.  I don’t need every craft to be 9%.  But if its imperial, I feel like it should be at least 8%.

Don’t get me wrong.  I really like this craft.  It’s easy to drink.  And it could certainly appeal to a variety of palates.  Give it a try, if you can find it.  And check out both breweries.  They’re doing it right.

Rating: This comes in a variety 12 pack.  Buy it.  You’ll like it.