El Bierbutch’s Beer of the Week: Black Market Brewing (Temecula, CA) Rye IPA 7.5% ABV
I realize that I run the risk of repetition by reviewing another IPA, let alone another rye IPA. Sure, I have unusual beers sitting in my fridge right now that I coulda opened up and written about, like an imperial pilsner and an ale made with yerba mate. I’ll get to those soon. Trust. But my recent foray into the world of the rye IPA, thanks mostly to the memorable Cismontane Coulter IPA and (I think) Bootleggers Dr. Tongue, keeps me wide-eyed now, and I find myself wondering when and where the next good rye IPA will cross my palate.
Enter the Black Market Brewing Co. Rye IPA. Thanks to my two favorite local beer people at my two favorite local beer-drinkin spots, Katie at The Bottle Room and Clay at 38 Degrees, I enjoyed two pints of this deliciously drinkable brew over the weekend.
Rye is the star of this show. Unlike most west-coast IPAs and many pale ales that are generally characterized by an assertive-to-aggressive hops presence, this rye IPA features a sweet softness that reminded me a lot of the Coulter IPA, also brewed with rye. As in whisky, the rye provides this IPA with a spiciness that mingles nicely with other fruity-sweet flavor tones.
The beer pours a rich dark copper with a nice tan head that gives a nose of floral hoppiness that quickly yields to mellow sweetness after the first sip. The hops are certainly there, and at 7.5% ABC, we know they’re also ‘working’ the way they’re supposed to. But what keeps me comin back for more of the rye IPA is the way the sweet-n-spiciness sort of mutes the hops, taking the edge off what could otherwise be just another aggro-IPA. Instead, the rye malt imparts these soft flavors that come through as the beer opens up. You’ll taste a little burnt caramel with prunes along with the spicy hops in this delightfully drinkable, moderate-bodied rye IPA. It’s really good.
Most folks who go to Temecula usually go for the wine and the Indian casinos. I go for the wine, not for the casinos. And now I’ll go for the beer. Cheers to Black Market Brewing Co. and the Rye IPA for holdin it down in wine country.