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Beer #44 – February 13, 2010: Rugbrød

February 13, 2010

Beer: Rugbrød

Brewery: The Bruery, Placentia, California

Style: Rye Beer

Serving Type: 750 ml bottle

Price: $8.99

Availability: Limited, occasional release

Glassware: Mug

Strength: 8.0% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Complex, interesting, delicious, but a little strong, so split the big bottle with a friend.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: This one pours a hazy, dark, root-beer brown with a big foamy tan head and a constant bubbling of carbonation.

Aroma: Bready, spicy/herbal, a little yeasty

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly creamy, with a medium but soft carbonation

Taste: Even without knowing the story behind the beer, this brew starts off bready, doughy and slightly sweet.  The sweetness grows with caramel and molasses flavors coming through.  The sweetness fades into a tangy, spicy middle where you can clearly taste they rye in this beer.  The finish becomes even more dry, with a bitter flavor reminiscent of the char on the crust of a wood-oven baked bread, and a little sourdough tang.  This is one of the only American rye beers I’ve tasted without a predominant hop flavor.  While the spicy rye pairs nicely with bitter hops, it is a nice change of pace to have a beer focus just on the delicious flavor of the rye.

Pairing: Would a pastrami on rye be too redundant?  I’ll have to try and let you know.

Trivia: Rugbrød is a Danish rye bread, and accordingly to The Bruery website, this beer is brewed with three different types of rye malt in a style reminiscent of a Scandinavian Christmas beer.

While rye is not so commonly used in beer, it is very common in Canadian whiskey.  Rye whiskey starts off much the same as a rye beer, with a blend of rye malt and barley malt.  Yes, like beer, malted grains are the backbone of whiskey (think “single malt” on classic whiskey labels).  In both beer and whiskey, the malted grains are steeped, and the wort is boiled converting the starchy grain to sugars.  The wort is then cooled, yeast is added, and the fermentation process begins.  The two differences in the process of making beer versus making whiskey are: (1) hops are added to the wort when making beer, since beer has a relatively low alcohol content, and benefits from the preservative qualities of the hops, and (2) the fermented wort in the whiskey process is distilled in order to concentrate the beverage to increase the alcohol content.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 14, 2010 11:51 am

    Great Idea!

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