I have been looking forward to Boulevard's Rye on Rye coming out since I first saw the barrels marked "Rye" in the barrel room at the brewery. As regular readers here know, I love rye beers and I really wish every brewery made one. Having the hometown brewery make a rye beer is just the sort of thing that makes me happy. Having the hometown brewery give me a bottle before they release it was reason enough to dust off the Lido Deck bar deep in the bowels of la manse du Vard and invite people over.
Chimpotle, Weston and Yeti came over to sample the Rye on Rye with me and then do a blind tasting of porters (this will be covered in another post). Chimpo was kind enough to bring over his Smokestack tulips, the recommended glassware for the Rye on Rye, since I don't have any tulips. The rye on rye poured out a nice whiskey color and if I could pour a good glass of beer consistently I could tell you what the head looked like. As it happened, two of the pours had a finger wide head, one was almost all head and one had no head at all. I think the moderate head ones will be the normal experience. It had a real heavy whiskey smell and had me a little worried that it was going to be like drinking a glass of whiskey. While I love rye beers I've been a little worried about the aging in the Templeton Rye barrels. Bourbon or whiskey barrel aging almost always seems like a better idea than it turns out being. The beer ends up tasting like whiskey and loses it's beery goodness. The Rye on Rye does suffer from this as my first thought was that it was whiskey-y. It still had a good rye beer flavor and was enjoyable but it's more of a whiskey lover's beer. Weston kept insisting that it tasted like Delirium Nocturnum, something I would never say since I haven't had Nocturnum in a couple of years.
This is an all night sipping beer or what I'll call a destination beer. This is something you can pull out of the refrigerator at 8, pour yourself a half glass, pop in a Netflix and drink while you munch on some cheese popcorn and keep the bottle on the counter and go back for more until it's gone. If you're more worldly than me you can pop it open, cut up some aged cheeses, crack open a book and keep going back for more until it's gone. I would recommend that you drink a bottle with a buddy because of it's 11% ABV. The ABV is presumably to blame for Chimpotle uttering the nonsensical line "this is the chili dog of the Double Wide" in reference to another beer about 10 minutes after we finished off the bottle of Rye on Rye. For the $12 it retails for it should be seen as a destination, the kind of beer you pop open for a night when you want to give your taste buds a workout and you don't mind getting a little drunk for that workout. Rye on Rye will be available at KC liquor stores on Monday the 22nd.
Disclaimer: Boulevard gave me the bottle of Rye on Rye gratis. It did not affect this review, but you can be the judge of that.