Terrapin – Rye Squared

terrapin rye squaredIt was a good day when I strolled into my bottle shop to find the Terrapin Rye Squared, a beer I haven’t seen in this market before. I love the Terrapin Rye Pale Ale and an Imperial version sounds perfectly awesome right about now. I grabbed a 4-pack and hustled home to get it chilled down and ready to drink. The pour was a deep, brownish-orange with a little haze and an off-white 2 finger head – very nice-looking beer. On the nose there was an abundance of orange and deep citrus, a sweet malty breadiness and spicy rye (go figure). From the first sip I was greeted with that spicy pop from the rye and hops, with a punchy, floral citrus burst. The flavor quickly turned toward the malt, however, and the mouthfeel was rich and smooth, with flavors of spiced bread and caramel and a slightly oily quality which made it easy to drink. It’s a big beer, no doubt, but very easy to drink and well balanced all the way through. I really like the complexity of the hops, from the spicy and earthy qualities of the Fuggles and Goldings to the more American-style cirtus, courtesy of the Amarillo and Cascade. That, on top of the unique character of the rye, makes the front end of this beer really interesting and refreshing, while the weight and density of the malt provides the drinkability that isn’t always present in the huge-hop beers out there. I’m really impressed with this beer and will definitely pick up more next time I see it on the shelf.

Cheers, ~G

4 and a half – score 4.5

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flying dog – double dog double pale ale

beer-spec-doubledog3.gifYou need to have a seat for this one. This is not a tailgate beer or something you drink just to wash down some buffalo wings. It’s large (10% abv) so moderation needs to at least be considered. As with most Imperial style beers, it’s a sipper to say the least. I’d classify the pour as kind of a creeper. The head seems to appear out of nowhere and will suprise you a little. Mine had a pretty heavy amount of residual settling in the bottom of the bottle, so be careful with yours, unless you’re partial to your pints looking like a snowglobe. The aroma is a little misleading, as it’s not the hop explosion that you would expect, but rather, a heavy and bready feel is the most noticeable characteristic. The more subtle overtones, however, of fruit, brown sugar, maybe something pineappleish in there somewhere are nice and hint at the complexity to come. The flavor is heading in a barleywine direction, with a heavy fruit and dense malt texture. The bitterness of the double hopping and the high alcohol content makes the back end nice and sharp, with a nice lingering, bitter finish. Probably the most intense and complex beer I’ve had from Flying Dog, and I like it a lot. I’ll probably only opt for one at any given sitting though. Cheers ~G

4_25.png score – 4.25