Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Ruthless Rye", Sierra Nevada (Chico,CA)

"Ruthless Rye", American IPA

 I always get a little misty-eyed when the last of the “Celebration Ale” disappears from the store shelves. Every passing year it seems to happen faster, a good thing, as more disciples have discovered it’s hoppy goodness. But it’s not all doom-and-gloom, as Spring beckons Sierra Nevada brings us a new seasonal gift in the shape of “Ruthless Rye”. Mercifully it replaces the truly awful “Glissade Bock”, which has ingloriously been dropped from their line-up – a sensible decision.

                                                   12oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass

Ruthless Rye” pours a nice amber with a crisp white collar that leaves an impressive lacing on the glass. The beer exhibits a crisp hoppy bite (they use Chinook, Citra and a new proprietary hop for aroma and Bravo for bittering) that is cut nicely with a malty rye. The rye lends a slightly spicy and tangy taste with a floral, dry finish (from the dry-hopping). This is a perfect everyday “fridge” beer – unremarkable, unpretentious but delicious tasting beer at a budget friendly price – the usual trademarks of a Sierra Nevada beer. $7.99 a sixer or $12.99 (I've seen this as low as $10.99 for a 12 pack). ABV is a manageable 6.6% with a respectable 55 IBU’s present.

My Rating : B/B+

If I was to use one word to describe this beer it would be "solid" - not earth shattering but it will tide me over until "Hoptimum" hits the shelves next month. Here's hoping its as good as last year (probably my favourite beer of 2012).


Beer Advocate Score is 88 (Good) while Rate Beer gives it 99 Overall, 97 for the Style

Useless Trivia Fact that nobody cares about : Chico, CA is also the birthplace of P*ckers QB Aaron Rodgers

"Wuthless Wye" - Elmer Fudd's favourite beer? Check this translator website, it's hilarious! I was going to translate this post into Fudd-speak but decided it was too much effort.


Ruthless Rye, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico, CA
                                  Photo Courtesy of Andrew May Studios

Vital Statistics:

ABV : 6.6%
Beginning Gravity : 15.2 degrees Plato
Ending Gravity: 3.1 degrees Plato
IBU : 55

Yeast - Ale
Bittering Hops - Bravo
Finishing Hops - Chinook, Citra and a new Proprietary variety
Malts - Two-Row Pale, Rye, Caramel and Chocolate

Brewery Description (from the website) :

Rustic grains, refined flavor, ruthless character.

Rugged and resilient, rye has been a staple grain for ages and its spicy black pepper-like flavor has been prized by distillers and brewers for centuries. Rye thrives in the harshest conditions and comes to life in Ruthless, a spicy and rugged IPA with fruity, citrus and herbal hop notes balanced with the dry spiciness of the rye, making the beer aggressive yet comforting to bolster against whatever the winter winds may bring.


Brewers looking for added flavor character and malt complexity occasionally use rye in addition to malted barley. Rye is a hearty and rustic cereal grain that has long been favored by the distilling industry. Brewers embrace it for its signature spicy, black pepper-like flavors and complex dryness.

Dry Hops

We work hard to get strong hop flavors into our beers and one of the ways we do that is through dry hopping. Dry hopping refers to the addition of whole-cone hops to the fermentation tanks. The addition of hops to cold beer allows the aromatic oils and resins to infuse the beer with flavor and aroma without adding any additional bitterness.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
1075 E. 20th Street
Chico, CA 95928
'PH: 530-893-3520
Twitter @SierraNevada
Map of the business location

Friday, February 8, 2013

Rosee D'Hibiscus, Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel!

Rosee D'Hibiscus, Microbrasserie Dieu Du Ciel, St-Jerome, Quebec (CA)

11.5fl oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada "Ovila" Chalice

Gorgeous label! Reads "Ale Brewed With Spices and Hibiscus Flowers"

5.9% ABV Bottle Conditioned
Style : Herbed/Spiced/Vegetable Beer

"Rosee D'Hibiscus is a soft spoken Belgian-style wheat beer. It's rose colour comes from the hibiscus flowers added during the brewing process. The aromas and flavour of this tropical flower are very prominent in the beer, giving it a slight acidity and a very agreeable fragrance.

The Rosee D'Hibiscus was born in our Montreal brewpub in May 2006".

Bottle is date-notched and is Imported by (the infamous) Shelton Brothers, Belchertown, MA.

"Don Du Ciel" translates from the French to "A Godsend"  or "God of the Sky". Probably a good idea to verify that though, given my dodgy Grammar school French. In my defence I was a little distracted in class (ahem). Her name was Ms. Essler.

Despite my reputation as a miserable bastard (well-justifed, I assure you) some things still excite me. Like discovering a great new beer, against all expectations. This is one of those occasions. Drawn by the fantastic, mesmerizing artwork on the label this is the second Dieu Du Ciel beer I've ever tried ("Rigor Mortis" Abt and that was outstanding).

Pours a beuatiful ruby with a pinkish hue. Slightly cloudy (to be expected - it is un-filtered). Wonderfully aromatic - melon, lavender, floral. Delicate rose petals. Taste is unique - tart and tangy, sweet, tropical mango,berry and definitely pear. Very light body and mouthfeel, it's hard to believe this is a beer with a 5.5% ABV - it should be in the health foods section of your local Co-Op! Refreshing, agreeable and I agree with their sentiment that it would be the perfect thirst-quencher on a hot summer day (or any other).

My Rating : A-
Beer Advocate gives it a 86 (Very Good) while "The Bros" rate it as a 94 (Outstanding)
Rate Beer : 90 (Overall) and 96 (Style)
UNTAPPED : 3.60% average rating out of 5

I don't recall ever having hibiscus in a beer (I know it is popular addition in some teas) but this adds a unique flavor to this wheat beer that works remarkably well.

Brewery Info:

Diel Du Ciel Microbrewery                Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30AM - 2PM
259 Rue De Villemure                                    Friday-Sat. 2PM - 3AM
St-Jerome, QC J7Z 5J4                                   Sunday 2PM - 1AM
'PH: (450) 436-3438
FAX: (450) 436-3455

Montreal Brasserie:

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel                    Hours: Daily 3PM - 3AM
29 Laurier Ouest                              Subway Directions : Take Orange Line to the Laurier Station,
Montreal, Quebec                            take Laurier St. Exit and walk towards the west, crossing both St.
'PH: (514) 490-9555                        Denis and St. Laurent Streets before reaching the pub.