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Rayon Vert

Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
4 / 6
34 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

During its explosive growth and a move into a massive new, purpose-built facility, Green Flash’s Mike Hinkley and Chuck Silva continue to crank out top notch brews with a distinctive San Diego twist. Rayon Vert, a foray into the often quirky world of Belgian pale ales, is packed with juicy tropical fruit and bright, zesty spices. Pete picked up a faint sourness underneath the “beautifully perfumed lavender and lemon thyme” notes, floating over a sweetish JuicyFruit base. Tim dove a bit deeper under the intense fruitiness and discovered an earthy, lightly horsey Brettanomyces tang riding in the background – a character he felt added “wonderful complexity that tames the overriding sugary sweetness.” Crowned by a prodigious mountain of meringue-like creamy foam, this beer is unabashedly hazy, pouring a pale, gold shot through with milky white highlights. Contrary to what the nose might promise, Rayon Vert hits the palate dry and quenching, with some spicy notes skulking in the background. Tom picked up the Brettanomyces in the flavor, but only as a base note, while the “mélange of fruit flavors – honeydew and pear” rode over the top. To a man, the judges enjoyed the brewers’ deft handling of bold flavors and aromas, yet felt the malt lacked the complexity of the style’s truly classic examples. Complex yet accessible, this beer will work at a backyard cookout or for white linen dining.