Brewed By: Against the Grain Brewery (and Smokehouse) in Louisville, Kentucky
Purchased: 750ml (1 pint 9.4oz) bottle bought at Friar Tuck in Urbana, IL; 2014
Style/ABV: Rye Beer, 8.6%
When life gives you lemons, buy that tarred and feathered beer...seriously, this bottle is obnoxious! I've seen waxed beers, I've seen foiled beers, but I haven't seen a beer that is tarred and feathered. About Against the Grain Brewing:
The Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse is a brewery (and smokehouse) that was founded back in October 2011. The brewery is located in the southeast corner of Louisville Slugger Field at the corner of Jackson and Main Street, in Kentucky, and is run by four dudes who are cooler than you. For more information, check them out on Facebook or check out their website.Tonight's beer, the Kentucky Ryed Chiquen, is a "rye beer aged in rye whiskey barrels." The bottle reads: "Cluck Cluck. The Chiquen has come home to roost! You asked for anything but chicken...so here you go! An original rye amber ale recipe aged in rye whiskey barrels hatched right here in Kentucky! Kentucky Ryed Chiquen is malty and mellow, but has quite the barrel-aged bite." This one is described as an amber ale brewed with rye malt. And, of course, the rye whiskey barrels. This features Marris Otter malts, rye malts, caramel rye malts from Germany, and English Nugget and Kent Goldings hops. The barrel used here is a Redemption Rye barrel from Strong's Spirits. Let's see what we got...
|Against the Grain Kentucky Ryed Chiquen|
This pours into a really nice, two-tone, amber-orange body, with some nice rounded brown and orange tones. I got a couple of fingers of caramel-tinted head, and there is nice lacing and head retention at work here. This also appears to be appropriately carbonated. The feathered bottle wasn't too hard to work with either...no harder than wax, and less annoying than glued on wax.
On the aroma: a lot of funky sweetness. I'm getting the wood and barrel, which is reminiscent of oak...but I'm also getting a funky note that reminds me of Brett. I wonder if this was infected, intentional or otherwise. If this was infected, I doubt it will be to the beer's detriment...but we will see. I'm also getting a lot of nutty notes on the aroma, with some caramel, and some weird pineapple sweetness. Again...Brett? This smells big...let's see how it tastes.
Yup...dat Brett infection. Again, the Brett actually works with the barrel and the whiskey, and provides some funky balance to the malt sweetness and gentle oak/wood notes I am getting in the back. It reminds me of something from the Prairie wheelhouse, with Brett notes that play off the oak and also drop some fruity hints. I'm getting pear, pineapple, caramel, oak, wood, nice gentle barrel, sweet toasted grains and coconut, and some hints of cane sugar. There are some complex shades of darker sugars in here, and lots of grain/coconut. The rye notes in here mostly come across with the grain and the barrel....I'm not really getting a ton of rye in here. In that regard, this beer fails to deliver. But it's still pretty damn tasty...
I'm really conflicted, because I think this is good and laid back...it actually reminds me of a nice Belgian Ale, or something like Orval...only with a tropical island vibe. This is medium-light bodied with good levels of carbonation. Things move along smoothly here, and you would never guess this is 8.6%. The Brett probably helped clean up some of the residual sweetness...notably absent here is the big rye spice, but you do get some rye barrel, and you do get some nice wood/oak/barrel notes. The whiskey in here is a faint afterthought, but that's not problem. This has good depth and complexity. Up front: caramel sweetness, some hops, pineapple, fruit, Brett; the mids roll into really nice grain, coconut, oak, caramel sugars, wood, barrel, faint rye, and some oak/Brett funk; the finish mellows out into really nice grain/coconut/wood/oak/Brett, with lingering caramel and whiskey sweetness...and then fade to dry. Just...really laid back and nice.
Rating: Above-Average (3.5/5.0 Untappd)
I'm feeling a Light Above-Average on this. I really like this, despite the fact that it doesn't quite deliver on its promise of rye. Okay...so maybe that's a deal breaker for other people. I'm an opportunistic beer drinker. I love the fact that this was infected by Brett. I think the Brett + Barrel + base beer here = winner winner, chicken dinner. That's where your chicken is. So whether this is an accidental success or not...it's a good beer. Fruity, malty sweet, and mild barrel/spirit character make this both palatable and easy going. I want this on my tropical island to pair with some mango salsa chicken, or my sweet barbecue ribs. I think this would go great with a nice pork dish. Maybe even spam. Yum.
Random Thought: I <3 ATG