By Iron Chef Leftovers
There are two breweries that drive me nuts because their names are almost identical. There is Epic Brewing out of Utah which makes some fantastic Belgian style beers and there is Epic Ales out of Seattle who tend to do some off the wall farmhouse style beers. I have seen more than one occasion where a tap last has listed the wrong brewery. In the case of the Desert Rye Farmhouse Ale, I originally just wrote Epic on my noted. In going back over them, I realized that I had no idea which Epic it was. After doing a bit of digging, I realized that it was the Seattle Epic that put out this beer. Given that it was a farmhouse beer with rye, I needed to give it a shot.
The beer pours cloudy with the color of peach/apricot jam and has an interesting nose – notes of grain and yeast dominate, supported by light notes of rye and hints of sugar. The beer is really complex on the palate, starting off with heavy rye notes before moving into a grassy farmhouse funk with lots of Belgian yeast and grain helped by very light citrus, finishing with light hops and more funk. The rye lingers thought the entire progression and is a bit harsh at the beginning, but it smooths out by the end of the sip and enhances the other flavors. The farmhouse component becomes more pronounced as the beer warms making for a very different beer by the end of the pint.
This is a beer that is really not for everyone, but is well balanced and complex to the point of being very different than most everything else out there.
Epic Ales Desert Rye Farmhouse Ale comes in out of the field with a heavy load of 4 hay bales out of 5.