By Iron Chef Leftovers
I keep all of my reviews in a notebook, which is why you see reviews for winter beers posted in the middle of spring – even posting 2 reviews a week; I have a backlog of about 30 to post. I usually write them in the order that I drank them, unless I have a bunch of beers from the same brewery; then I will break them up. On a rare occasion, I will drink something that is just so good that the review jumps to the front of the queue. This is one of those reviews.
I have written about Reuben’s Brews several times in this space. The short version – I really like their beer. They have been doing a weekly cask series – taking one of their beers and putting one of them on cask, usually dry hopped. It has led to some interesting variations of the beers that they are doing. This event usually takes place at 3 PM on Saturdays (check their FB site for details). Recently, they did a Double Dry Hopped Imperial Rye IPA on cask. Being a fan of the Imperial Rye IPA, I had to try this. Like its regular sibling, the beer clocks in at a hefty 8.4% ABV and 90+ IBU. Unlike it sibling, the second dry hopping was exclusively with citra hops.
It pours hazy orange in color with a pure white head. Intense hops permeate the nose with a strong background of rye and hints of grapefruit and citrus in the background. When you take a sip of this beer, it takes a second for the flavors to hit you, but when they do, it is like getting smacked by an oncoming truck. The beer starts out with a light bitterness before quickly yielding to strong rye and grain flavors with notes of toasted rye bread and a slight dryness. After lingering for a few seconds, the beer almost magically transitions into a burst of citrus peel and grapefruit in a very long and pleasant finish. There is some slight bitterness in the beer, but it complements the intense flavors that are present and aids the long transition between the flavors, acting as a bridge and helping this beer be extremely balanced; you could easily forget that you are drinking an 8.4% ABV beer.
I tasted this side by side with the regular version of the Imperial Rye, a beer I dearly love, and honestly, the cask version blew the doors off the regular version. After tasting the cask version, the regular, a fantastic beer in its own right, didn’t have the same level of intensity as its sibling. I am going to go on the record here as saying the cask version of the Imperial Rye IPA is one of the 10 best beers I have ever had and quite possibly in the top 5. Yes, it was that good. Next time it makes an appearance, you should be waiting in line for this beer when it gets tapped.
Reuben’s Brew’s Cask Imperial Rye IPA steps up to the podium with a perfect 5 pedestals out of 5.
I would have scored this beer a 6 out of 5, but since I really don’t do that, I leave you with this from This is Spinal Tap.