Few tears were shed, I'm sure, when Sierra Nevada's execrable Wheat Ale went out of production, to be replaced by the superior Kellerweis. And I was not overly distraught when I read the news that the spring bock Glissade was being retired after only a couple of years to be replaced by the new Ruthless Rye IPA. Yes, another hop-forward beer from Sierra Nevada might seem a little boring, but it's a medium in which they work pretty consistently well. Rye, on the other hand, isn't usually my bag, beerwise. I'm slightly dismayed by the current fashion for it. Still, hop-confident I bought four bottles of the untasted newbie to bring home.
Alas and alack the rye is in the driving seat. The hops are in a binbag in the boot, hoping that if they stay quiet they'll get out of this alive -- just a light dusting of mandarins in the aroma and a hint of mangoes on tasting betrays their presence. The rest of the flavour shows everything I dislike about rye in a big way: the grassiness that's harsh at the start of the flavour and then lingers on the palate for ages as a sharp, dry sort of unpleasant tang.
I've no doubt there are people who like big rye flavours in a beer. There must be. But for me they just spoil an otherwise enjoyable hop party. I'm afraid I won't be crying at Ruthless Rye's funeral either.
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