4 Pines Brewing Co. West Coast Red Rye IPA


12278672_453432634840887_5850266450825781248_n“Rye’s popularity in distilling bourbon conjures up images of banjo wielding rednecks straight out of deliverance. Fortunately this West Coast Red Rye couldn’t be further from that disturbing scene. More of a cool Californian breeze straight off the north pacific, this bold but adorable love child of California dreaming & pet sounds showcases a harmonious balance of grapefruit hop character, candy-like sweetness & high alcohol warmth.”

Served in an IPA glass. From the pour a healthy two finger crown forms over an attractive burgundy body. The head is retained well and draws some complex, hieroglyphic lace patterns as we imbibe. The nose displays a magnificent balance between the sweet and bitter. Lovely rich malts offer hints of caramelized fig, raisins and a syrupy/honey-like character as the hops impart juicy blood orange, ruby grapefruit, and stone fruits. Only a very subtle rye spiciness is detectable, it reminds us more of actual whole meal rye bread than the usual sharp, peppery aspect we normally find in rye IPA’s. There’s another interesting undertone in here too, maybe apple pie? There’s something sweet and spicy that we jut can’t put our finger on. Magnificent aroma. In the mouth it’s as smooth as silk with a kind of full-ish, chewy viscosity. Very plump in body. Co2 is mild-medium while the 7.3% ABV has been extremely well hidden. So to is the 65 IBU which is kept relatively restrained due to the big malt presence. Super smooth for an IPA of its size. The taste buds are treated to an elegant infusion of subtle rye spiciness, sugary caramel malts, flambéed oranges and ripe stone fruits upfront. A mild bitterness develops late and carries forward through the mid leading on to a slightly dry and fruity finish. Pretty too length too, we’re loving the slightly burned, caramel flavour on the rear. Really sophisticated IPA this one. So beautifully balanced. The substantial malt presence really dies well smoothing out any harsh hop bitterness and any sharp, peppery rye spiciness. This is the George Clooney of the IPA world.