I tried one of these before this tasting and wasn’t altogether impressed, so I tried to hop the glass by adding a Palisade pellet in a tea strainer to the pour. It foamed up a lot, and as you’ll see, made little to no difference.
Appearance: Cloudy, deep amber, with a one-finger head that sticks around.
Aroma: Beery. I.e., not that great or distinctive. Just smells a bit like cheap booze.
Taste: Tart, not as malty as I would have liked. Dry, no sweetness to it, almost a salty side to it. I wonder if it has to do with the water I used. The rye really distinguishes itself, but it also reminds me that I’ve never really liked pumpernickel bread, so why would I like it in beer? For the life of me, I can’t figure out why something that finished at 1.013 has so little sweetness to it.
Drinkability: Looks great and like it should be tasty and malty, but alas it is not all that interesting or enticing.
Notes/Conclusions: Meh. Blah. Disappointing. It’s so dry and lacks any notable toasty or malty flavors. Perhaps next time I’ll try to put a teaspoon of simple syrup in or something to try and sweeten it a bit, but who knows. It’ll probably be used mostly for boiling brats in the future. I really need to figure out how to add maltiness to these beers, especially English and American ales, because the Pilsner malt just doesn’t seem to be satisfying.
Update: Upon further consideration, this beer isn’t quite as disappointing as I previously opined. When I taste it with eye towards the hop character interacting with the rye-ness of it all (and not trying to pull maltiness out), it comes out much more palatable. Still not remarkable or worth doing again, but now I’m able to enjoy this on its own merits. Perhaps rye might be worth trying again after malting or at the very least some kind of light toasting.