may have notced, if you've been following this blog for a while, that I like India pale ales, or IPAs. Most--indeed all that I had encountered to date--are, like most beers and ales, based on barley malt. So, my curiosity was piqued when I saw "Rye IPA" on the label of a bottle from Harpoon, a craft brewer with breweries in Boston and Windsor, Vermont. Yesterday I tried it, as an accompaniment to a Hanco's classic Vietnamese sandwich, prepared spicy. Here are my tasting notes:
Color: medium amber.
Head: modest, not long-lasting.
Aroma: hoppy; slightly floral.
Taste: like most IPAs, there is a forward hop bitterness, but here it's not overwhelming. I was wondering what difference the use of rye would make, expecting something that might taste like rye bread. It doesn't, but there is a subtle difference. In comparison to IPAs using barley, I'd say that the rye IPA has a flavor balancing the hops that I can only describe as "deeper." There's a pleasant toasty finish.
Overall: well made and satisfying. It went nicely with the spicy sandwich.