Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Bruery - Sour in the Rye with Kumquats

The kumquat is a pretty fantastic fruit. In fact, it might be one of my favorite fruits. My grandparents used to have a kumquat tree in their backyard that seemed to always be loaded with fruit. So at any given family event, it was a pretty sure bet that the tree was getting its load lightened significantly by my sisters and I.

Kumquats are awesome, but they're also pretty different. They're the only citrus that I can think of that you can eat without the hassle of having to deal with a peel. Just pick and scarf. They're also very seldom used in the kitchen, unlike a lot of other citrus out there. They're not the sweetest fruit,
but they are delicious (plus, if you get sick of eating them, they make great projectiles for when a nearby acquaintance (friend, sister, grandma, cat, etc.) isn't paying attention). So I was pretty excited when The Bruery announced that they were going to be bottling a version of their Sour in the Rye beer with kumquats. Let's check this bad boy out.

Sour in the Rye with Kumquats pours a murky copper color with a glowing orange core. A small head formed initially, but fizzed away into nothing pretty quickly. Looks-wise, this beer was a little disappointing, but any disappointment I may have felt went out the window the second I smelled it. The kumquat aroma coming off this beer is fantastic. It almost smells like someone grated a bunch of kumquat zest over my glass right before I took a sniff. There's also a spicy rye aroma that goes great with the natural zestiness of the kumquats. In the background, I picked up some faint lemon, oak, tangerine zest and vanilla. As far as beer smells go, this one is top notch.

The kumquats aren't featured quite as much in the flavor as they are in the aroma, but this beer still tastes amazing. It opens with a drawling lemon/lacto sour note across the palate with a touch of underripe green grapes in the background. The middle is smooth with a hint of grain and rye and gives you a quick respite from the sourness before the finish slams you with a hit of sour that's all kumquat. To me, the finish was less kumquat flesh than the skin and oil of the kumquat, which leaves a sort of spicy bitterness as the final note.

As far as sour beers go, this one is top notch. I didn't think Sour in the Rye could get any better, but the kumquats really take this beer to another level. I'm really glad The Bruery decided to bottle this one. Kind of bummed I only bought two bottles though.

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 129

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