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Monday, June 23, 2008

Get Thee to Lucky Lab for a Quality Rye

The Lucky Lab, bless their hearts, seem to have two speeds: hoppy and dark. It is sometimes amusing to consider the style designation as you quaff a pint of, say alt--for the Lab, style is a state of mind, nothing to get too worked up about. (Pity the Dusseldorfer who expects something familiar in his alt.)

That's why I urge you to try out a very un-Lablike offering on tap now--Quality Rye. I'm certain I've seen and tried this beer before, but either it's changed or I've forgotten how good it is. At 4.5% and 15 IBUs, it probably doesn't get a lot of love from the regulars, but it's a very subtle, well-made beer. Rye contributes a kind of spicy quality, and dries a beer at the finish. It's not always easy to identify, but in this very svelte little ale, you get a good sense of it.

Quality Rye is slightly hazy and pours with a frothy head--nice for a beer of this weight class. I get a bit of a lemon from the combination of Fuggles and Hallertauer hops and the rye malt--or perhaps lemongrass is a better description. It's creamy but very crisp, a nice combination for a summer beer. A great example of how complexity and interest can come in spite of few ingredients. I'd love to see the Lucky Lab brew with this kind of subtlety more often.

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