Nick Carr on February 13, 2017 0 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery Guinness & Co. Style American Pale Ale w/ Rye malt ABV 6.7% IBU ? Hops Mosaic, Cascade Malts Rye malt, ? Shelf Life 2 to 4 months Suggested Glass Nonic Pint Glass Serving Temp 45-48°F Availability Limited Food Pairings Rolled Enchiladas, Jerked Chicken, Mild Cheddar, Ginger Snap Cookies Guinness has been at beer making since 1759. A long time. They’ve put those 258 years of practice and history to good use too, known for maybe the most iconic beer in the world; the Guinness Irish Stout. It’s a great beer. I still find myself buying a 6-pack every now and again, or ordering one in a pub just to reacquaint myself with its smooth creaminess and soft roast. I even ordered one in pub in Dublin, though that was many years ago now. In the last couple of years the brewery has tried to innovate, do some new things. This is no doubt a reaction to the craft beer craze and a steady drop in Guinness sales over the last several years. One initiative, started in 2014, is called the “Brewer’s Project.” It seems the idea behind it was to bring forth more of the brewery’s long history, revive some old recipes and styles. Shop for Guinness Gear on Amazon The first two released were Guinness Dublin Porter and Guinness West Indies Porter (the forerunner of the Foreign Extra Stout style). These were recipes with roots trailing deep into Guinness’s past. About the same time Guinness started the “Discovery Series.” A program totted as a combination of traditional European brewing methods with new techniques. The first beer in this series was the Guinness American Blonde, which was brewed with American ingredients and Guinness yeast. This one was easy to spot as an unabashed kiss blown at the American market. Somehow the “Discovery Series” got folded into the “Brewer’s Project,” though to my thinking the two had different end goals. Anyway, that brings us to Guinness Rye Pale Ale, which seems to fit more into the “Discovery Series” then the “Brewer’s Project.” And, again, I feel it’s a beer stalking the American market, or at the very least, taking advantage of the popularity of American hops. But it’s a business, so who can really blame them, right? The story goes this beer was first brewed as a holiday gift for family and friends of the brewers’. It was popular enough that they decided to brew enough to put it on tap at Old St. James Gate. It proved its popularity here too and they decided to try a wider distribution. If this story is true then maybe I’m wrong, maybe it wasn’t aimed at the American market right from the start. The beer, yes… let’s get to the beer. As you might guess from the name, the Guinness Rye Pale Ale is a pale ale brewed with rye malt, putting it in the alternative grain style category. It also makes use of the classic American hop varieties Cascade and Mosiac. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Guinness’s Rye Pale Ale. If you tasted this beer or you have one in your hand while you’re reading this review, please share your thoughts with everyone down in the comments below. Pour and Aroma: Pours a medium-light, oh-so-slightly hazy, honey amber. Head is small-bubbled and just off a stark-white. It rises to a good finger on the pour before dropping back to a more comfortable thin blanket, continually fed by the medium carbonation. Aroma is a nice honeyed-peach with low wisps of citrusy grapefruit. It also shows the clear spicy presence of rye along with quieter cereal graininess. Mouthfeel and Taste: Body is just on the low side of medium, creating a slightly watery easy-drinking mouthfeel. Some spiciness across the palate and low astringency toward the back. Taste follows the aroma, not in lockstep, but all the same elements are displayed between the two. The peppery spiciness is more noticeable in the flavor. The sweetness turns slightly grainy though the sense of honey still remains. Grapefruit and rind jump ahead of the peach, but there are still light whispers of this more subtle fruit. The fruitiness drops away at the back, leading into low bittering and a lightly drying spicy finish. Aftertaste is a thin shadow of the overall taste; spicy, very low sweetness, and hints of rind. FINISHING THOUGHTS The rye pale ale from Guinness isn’t a beer that’s gonna stand out much, but it’s by no means a bad beer. There are just several better rye pale ales out there, especially here in the U.S. Come to think of it, this beer seems to have done and may continue to do quite well in Europe because there isn’t as much rye pale ale competition for it to deal with. The subtle honey, peppery spiciness, and whispers of citrus and peach wrapped around the light body scream summer to me. I probably won’t revisit this one again for a while, but in the heat of summer, with the air sitting heavy, and an evening barbecue in the works I might be tempted.