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Red's Rye PA

Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Our lone Michigan entry in this issue’s tasting, Red’s Rye PA, presented itself very nicely amid a sea of heavy contenders. Known for their sometimes quirky take on classic beer styles, Founders has developed a devoted following wherever their beers are found. Red’s certainly deserves its devotees, as it pours a deep, saturated amber that drifts almost to crimson. The beer produces a medium-sized off-white head that seems to collapse rather suddenly but leaves forests of Brussels lace as the beer is drunk. The aroma is at once dry and spicy yet luscious and fruity, with gobs of grapefruit juice notes. Nick was captivated by the peppery and piney aroma punch, calling it “sticky as fly paper,” and Tim was partial to the subtle tête-à-tête between the aroma’s herbaceous rye notes and biscuit-like underlying malt. Although Red’s is a rye-based ale, the flavor profile is unapologetically hop-accented. The spiciness – derived from hops and judicious additions of rye in the grist – balanced harmoniously with the sweetish, caramel-like Crystal malt character, with just enough hop bitterness to remain true to style. The balancing act really resonated with Lee, who likened the hops and malt to “high school sweethearts who were meant to be together.” If you are a fan of rye ales, this beer is right where you need to be. If you’re not into rye ales yet, try this one and you’ll be an instant convert.