Terrapin Rye Squared

Terrapin Beer Co., Athens, Georgia
Rye Squared (Limited Release)
Imperial Pale Ale
8.5% ABV

Recommended pre-beer snack: handful of raspberries, bowl of sunflower butter with banana

The concept of the Rye Squared follows the ever-more popular American microbrew magnification principle: double the ingredients of a successful beer (in this case, the Terrapin Rye Pale Ale) to craft a super-concentrated, semi-monstrous, sometimes delicious twin. For Terrapin, the formula is executed perfectly, resulting in a new creation that successfully amplifies the positive attributes of the template beer.

In the glass, the foam is roughly the same color as a redheaded person’s hair once he/she has gone gray. The nose contains elements of pine and grapefruit. During the tasting, Nina commented on a “caramel corn foretaste” and a “bitter, lingering finish”. As with other Terrapin beers, this release has exceptionally good body, with a frothy mouth-feel.

Like many other sensual experiences, the absence of anything noteworthy between the initial tastes and the prolonged finish should not indicate a defect or a fault.  Rather, in its innocuousness, the middle phase does not detract from the enticing beginning or climatic finish and therefore cannot be judged a weakness. Besides, anyone eager to use the term “mid-palate” is likely dangerously close to fanciful fabrication.

Although Nina’s final pronouncement is that, “I could never drink more than one but I’m glad I drank one,” and my concluding observation is that the numbing bitterness is similar to chewing on a willow twig, we nevertheless strongly endorse this beer. This is the perfect afternoon beverage for the beer geek in your life whose tongue is jaded from the sweetness of double, triple, and quadruple IPAs.


~ by Perry S. on August 29, 2009.

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