In case you ever needed to whip out some quick Danish, Rugbrod means Rye Bread in the native tongue. Is that useful knowledge? Probably not. Would it be better if you learned about a delicious offering from Orange County CA? I would think so.
I don’t generally go on and on about a particular brewery because I figure anything you really need to know you could find out on your own. If there’s something of particular interest to me though, sure, I’ll pass it along. With The Bruery, I’ll simply paraphrase two profound statements from their website. One, they make beer with character and depth using the simplest and purest of ingredients. Two, they make it a point to tell you what’s in their beers. Those two statements sound simple enough, but if a brewery can come out and say that and get their beers right, they make you want to support them. After my first taste of The Bruery, I’m a supporter.
Poured from a 750ml champagne bottle, this dark rye ale oozes into my Westmalle chalice taking with it thousands of tightly knit bubbles that form a net around the beer within. Very dark brown in color with an opaque head, there’s barely a reflection coming off the glass. On the nose there’s some nice roasted notes mixed in with some spiciness and a bit of funky cellar on the end. When I pull up some aging Belgians from my basement this is exactly the smell that I want (I’m talking about beer by the way, not a dude locked in a trunk with a gag ball). Might just be the name, but I’m going with bready for the final description. For a malt-bomb, the mouthfeel is actually pretty dry (Again, what you’d expect from rye bread, right?). Much of the mouthfeel has to do with the massive head so it’s tough to tell on this one (Mouthfeel & head, did I really just put those two words in the same sentence?).
Now that I’ve got all my inner thoughts and parentheses out of the way, I’m going to devote an entire paragraph to taste. After all, that’s why I bought the damn thing. First sip, once you get past some pretty heavy carbonation, is simply phenomenal. You get a bready, spicey hit, followed by some sweet malts, then finished by a touch of alcohol that clears everything out. What you’re left with is a good couple of minutes of bliss all around. Seriously, I waited two full minutes and I could still taste every bit of my last sip. This is the kind of lingering finish that you expect in a Scotch, not an 8% Rye Beer from Cali. Each sip going forward is better than the last. On one sip I’ll pick up roasted coffee notes, the next toffee, the next an earthy/nutty mix, and the last a slight touch of sourness. Complex doesn’t begin to describe these tastes, and from what I’m told, I didn’t even come close to picking the best that they have to offer.
To no surprise, this will be the first of my reviews that gets the reserved 4 hop treatment. We tend to rate things a little differently at Aleheads, and my theory on the 4 hop beers is that it’s a beer that you can’t find any faults with. With The Bruery’s Rugbrod, I simply can’t find anything that I would improve on other than letting it sit in my cellar for a couple years next to the Belgian gimp. Oh wait, that was a joke before. I’m still just kidding.