Sam Adams Revolutionary Rye Ale is a beer that I found only in the 2011 (I know, I know-think of this review as being cellared for a year, but it works for the Fourth of July Holiday, right?) ‘American Classics’ variety pack.
That’s cool, there’s always a new time of year to try new beer, right?
Along with this Revolutionary Rye, this variety pack included another limited release beer, Scotch Ale, which I think used to be a part of their regular rotation in the past.
I’ve only had one Rye beer prior to this one, so again its not a beer style that I’m well versed in, which is fine actually. I get to enjoy the beer without having to compare it mentally to this beer, or that beer. For now, Revolutionary Rye is the gold standard of rye beers for me!
Here’s a little background on this beer, quoted right from the Sam Adams website.
“The inspiration for this style came from the German Roggenbier, which originated in Regensburg, Germany. After a rule was established that rye may only be used for baking bread, Roggenbier disappeared for 500 years until the 1980s. We became familiar with the style during trips to Bavaria and were inspired to brew our own modern interpretation of this style in which rye substitutes a portion of the barley malt.”
Hmm. So it seems that German beer purity law made this Rye beer style go bye-buy for a few centuries, huh? Interesting.
This 5.5%ABV deep reddish beer poured nice and clear in my glass, and it created a smallish head with some retention and some lacing.
In the aroma, I did notice something a little different that I can only attribute to the malted rye. It had a little bit of a spicy flair that sets the otherwise average-looking beer apart.
I found the taste to be similarly interesting with the addition of malted rye. It seemed to tingle the tongue more than the common ale might, and the aftertaste was noticeably dryer as well. Rye isn’t the only player obviously, and there’s a good balance of sweet malt with a little bit of bittering hops. And then there’s the rye.
Again, I’m not a pro at rye beers so this review stands almost alone in that regard until I sample others – which I will. Its a good beer, and I think it fits in the Sam Adams variety pack for this time of year. Its not really heavy enough to call a Winter Ale, and its not exactly light or refreshing enough for Spring. The drying sensation, I think would keep me from choosing this as a “Lawnmower Beer” so-to-speak.
I think Revolutionary Rye was interesting and I’m glad I tried it. I’ll be sure to sample other Rye beers in the future as a result of sampling this brew, but I don’t think it will become a favorite beer style of mine any time soon.
Scott – TheBrewClub