There are few rye-related beverages that I enjoy nowadays. Frankly, I stick mostly to the dark stuff, and by dark stuff I mean whiskey. Bulleit has a smoky standard that does exactly what it needs to. That being said, there are a few brewers that brave the malty maelstrom and shoot for that dark rye beer goodness, and even fewer that pull it off.
On the Nose
I’m not sure of the grain bill on this one, or really any reason why it should be rye-relevant, but I saw it on the menu and had to put it to the test. Joy Rye’d from Historic Brewing Company out of Flagstaff, AZ is an approachable pale ale malted with an approachable, slightly spicy rye backbone.
This rye has a bit malty aroma, heavy on the nose but not bitter in the least. The big difference between a good rye beer and the run-of-the-mill sort is the first taste. So many brewers nail the bouquet and unfortunately fall short on the first taste. In this regard, Historic does not disappoint.
Build and Taste
Coming in at an easy-drinkin’ 5.5% with the ever-popular Chinook dry-hop addition, this rye is a good starter beverage for beer lovers who don’t want to dive headlong into bitter hops or into some of Historic’s more adventurous staples (Undercover Cucumber, Piehole Porter, How Now Brown Sour, Blood Orange Sour, etc.).
I downed mine alongside a Cubano Sammie from the Historic kitchen, and it was not too much for my stomach to handle, malt and all.
Need to Know
All that to say, I’d give the Joy Rye’d a solid 4 out of 5. Good malt (tough to do properly in a rye), strong taste, and light kick.
I’d recommend this one for a friend who wasn’t ready for the dark stuff and thought an IPA was too punchy.