Great Lakes “Rye of the Tiger IPA”
This is an IPA brewed with a healthy addition of rye, a ryePA released in April (yes, I realize my bottle isn’t the freshest). Aromas include tropical fruits, grapefruit, lemongrass, pine, and some spice. On the palate, citric hops quickly jump in, followed by the onset of bitterness. Things slowly grow more pine-centered as bitterness escalates. Midway, sweet flavors of honey drizzled biscuits and multigrain bread rush in to bolster a malt backbone for balance. Spicy rye gets its time to shine, blending together black peppercorns with bitter pine sap and grapefruit rind. On the finish, semi-aggressive bitterness settles in, lingering with long sustain. Pine is the dominant force here. Mouth feel is clean, smooth and crisp. Bitterness makes it come across heavier than it actually is, but it never reaches a mouth coating, oily hop bomb experience.
The rye is pronounced and biting in a way that definitely sets it apart from the standard IPA flavor. It’s sure to get your attention. I think it adds a greater degree of complexity, where the earthy combination of herb and spice are complementary. It’s difficult to discern how much of the total spice flavor is coming from hops, but it tastes like spicy hops being multiplied by spicy rye. This is a little dirty and bitter, but the combination of hops is nice. It’s an enjoyable brew, but it’s a properly bitter IPA that I only recommend to the hop heads out there.
Malt: Harrington 2-row, crystal 45, biscuit, rye
Hops: Columbus, Warrior, Simcoe