By Iron Chef Leftovers
For our loyal readers, I am going to take us back on a trip to January in my beer of the year post:
This really was a challenge – I had about 15 beers that I scored 5 points so I took down my list from there to 4 contenders for the best. It was actually going to be 5, then I realized that the one that would have been in the 5th spot has not yet had a review posted, so, it is an early contender for 2014 (and no, I won’t tell you what it is).
Well, I am ready to reveal what that 5th beer is since this is the review for it. In some ways it is better that the review slipped to 2014, it would not have won in 2013, but it is really the front runner for 2014’s title of beer of the year.
From the NW Peaks website:
Cave ridge, fresh hop, rye. Cave ridge rye features fresh simcoe hops, imparting a beautiful/delicate piney aroma and acidity in the beer. To feature the simcoe hops, we put the hops on top of a light, dry pale. We used ~35% rye, which aids in drying out the beer, but also adds a little complexity complementing the simcoe. Some might find this a strange pairing, but they work really well together in Cave Ridge rye.
The beer pours a very pale yellow in color with strong notes of berries, grain and mild notes of rye on the nose. The beer starts out quickly with a quick hit of hops showing some light resin and pine before moving into heavy rye notes with a mild fruitiness before finishing off with a tinge of very pleasant bitterness, pine needles and more rye dryness at the very end of the beer, showing notes of raspberry on the finish as the beer warms. Layered and complex, the beer doesn’t have the strong bitter/citrus hop character of most fresh hopped beer, but is much deeper and show how the hops can play with several other complex players, making a the hops an important member of the symphony rather than the star of the show.
NW Peaks Caver Ridge Rye stirs the cauldron and makes a prediction of 5 oracles out of 5.