Total Score: 8.3/10
Sierra Nevada again – I can never seem to get enough Sierra Nevada, I’m insatiable, like some SN thirsting beer-beast. This time SN made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and not in the twisted Godfather horse head under my blanket kind of way. They did it in the kind of way that involves adding rye to beer. Rye is one of my favourite grains – I have pumpernickel every other day (granted pumpernickel isn’t representative of the peppery characters that rye brings to beer – it does have sour notes though). Anyway River Ryed you da man. Game on!
Poured from a 355ml can into a Duvel tulip.
A: Hazed copper body with a massive dense 1 inch cream coloured head that sticks around for a while like a uni student wanna-be writer in a hipster-trendy cafe [aka me]. When it finally recedes it leaves a fantastic complex spider web lacing on the inside of the glass – I could stare at this beer for hours. 10/10.
S: Smell factor 8! This beer smells great. With notes of spicy rye, a bouquet of floral and earthy hops, a sour tinge and hints of caramel. This (so far) is a Rye Beer done well – the rye is the centrepiece of the brew as it should be (looking at you Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Route Des Épices!). 8/10.
T: Again this beer looks great – I poured the rest of the can into the glass and the resultant head came up all big and creamy… anyway, how does it taste? I’m getting to that dammit, I just wanted to look at this brew a bit longer… done. Flavourwise – Damn SN! You boys brought together a Rye Beer and IPA with complexity and class: Big peppery notes upfront lead through to a modest but tasty sourdough/caramel centre, followed by a piney/floral/earthy bitter hop finish. Balance is exactly what you would look for in a RyePA (lol, RyePA, I crack me up) and I’m not left wanting one iota… well that’s not true, maybe a little bit more rye please. 8/10.
M: Medium bodied with a creamy but slightly sharp carbonation. Sits well in my belly. 8/10.
D: If you like pepper and you like IPA hops (done to a fairly moderate level for an American brew) there is little here that can go wrong. IF you’re not into those things give this a go anyway – maybe you’ll grow to like it. In any case this brew is tops – buy it now I say. Do it. 9/10.
Food match: Pepper cheese with green peppercorn salami on sourdough bread with a hit of hot English is your meal ticket 😉