Beer Details: Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA (IPA brewed with rye, 6.6% ABV, 55 IBU)
Appearance: This lovely brew pours a crystal-clear copper color with a thick head of off-white foam. The foam bubbles down to a thin, but stubborn, film across the top of the glass.
Aroma: A warm blend of soft caramels, a spicy cup of tea, and sweet orange zest. Gee, sounds kind of like a tasty mid-day snack!
Taste: My first impression is of just-squeezed orange juice. It has that a same sense of bursting freshness with a nice balance off sweet and sour. Spicy flavors of warm cinnamon and clove mix with earthy notes of thyme and pepper. Warm caramel malts emerge in the middle of the sip, only to be met with a smack of bitterness in the finish.
Overall, this beer reads as brisk and bracing, but with an underside of warmth. Not unlike spring itself, one might say. It also has an intriguing creaminess that had me going back for sip after sip. Spring might not be here quite yet, but that just means more time to enjoy this beer.
Food Pairings: Try this one with Mexican food. A plate of spicy enchiladas or a big bean burrito would compliment the earthy and spicy flavors in the beer, and vice versa.
Have you tried this beer yet? What do you think?
(Image: Emma Christensen)