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Currently On Tap

Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale

Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale

Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale

Jim, a longtime friend of mine, and I came to the realization that we’re both fairly serious beer geeks while talking beer in an internet forum and started tormenting each other with our respective selections of local beers.  As he lives in Massachusetts and I’m in Georgia, there are a lot of beers that he has available to him that I don’t and vice versa.  After a few back-and-forths about the subject, we decided to start swapping beers so that we could sample some of the finer brews that weren’t accessible in our respective home states.  Today my first box arrived and, if the first beer is an indication of the other five, I think I definitely came out on the better end of the first swap.

If you happen to live in or around Georgia, you’re probably asking yourself, “WTF?  Smuttynose is all over the place here!”  You would be very correct in questioning my knowledge of beer distribution with one catch;  While Smuttynose is indeed available in Georgia, this particular beer was brewed exclusively for Julio’s Liquors, which happens to be in Westborough, MA.  From what I understand,it was an extremely limited brew and so far only two batches have been released.  So, if you’re not near Julio’s or have a good friend to hook you up, you’re probably missing out on a great beer.  Oops, should have tossed in a “SPOILER ALERT!” there…my bad.

Enough babble, on to the beer…

First off, let me put a disclaimer out there…I love rye beers (in case my love affair with Terrapin’s Rye Pale Ale wasn’t an indication) and I love barrel-aged beers.  Naturally, putting the two together in one beer is on par with putting chocolate in peanut butter.  I had high expectations for this beer on that combo alone and was not disappointed.  It pours a deep mahogany reddish-brown with a fluffy off-white head.  The aroma is a tantalizing combination of bourbon and vanilla, but not overbearing.  Ah, but the taste…vanilla, oaky, bourbon, sweet stone fruit, that subtle rye spiciness and a nice warming finish with just a touch of alcohol in the nose.  Not the beer I’d reach for on a warm summer’s day, but given the chilly weather we’ve had of late, I think it was a most excellent choice.

The only thing I can find to not like about this beer is that this is, in all likelyhood, the only bottle of it I’ll ever get my hands on.  And that’s a crying shame.  Clearly I’m going to have to dig deep into the stash to top this beer on the next swap.

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