Ever since his very positive experience with the Heavy Seas Gold Ale during a recent business trip to Baltimore, The Wookie has been on the hunt for more of their beers. During a Saturday afternoon beer run to Total Wine in Cherry Hill, The Wookie just happened to stumble upon a bottle of their 2010 Letter of Marque Rye Porter. This limited edition beer is the winning recipe from the 2009 Heavy Seas Letter of Marque Homebrewing Competition. Here is the story behind this beer:
“Frank Butt and Neil Heinlein are a father/son-in-law team who began brewing together 2 years ago. Their love of IPA’s often lead them to adding hops experimentally to various recipes. Frank told us: “We originally tried to make a rye IPA because I thought the rye in a hoppy beer would add an interesting flavor. Only thing was, we misread the recipe so instead of using 4 oz. of roasted malt, we used 4 lbs. and that is how we came up with the hop rye porter. Best mistake we ever made.” Our judges agreed. As a brewing team, they have won gold and silver medals Maryland Brewer’s Oktoberfest 2008 and 2009 respectively. Our contest was the 3rd they have entered and won.”
Since The Wookie was gracious enough to share this beer, you’ll be getting two reviews in one post. Lucky you!
- Appearance: Deep brown with a reddish tint when held up to the light. Slowly dissipating one inch head.
- Aroma: My cold lingers on, so my nose wasn’t playing very nicely. What I did get was rye, rye, and more rye!
- Taste: Starts off with rich, roasted malt. The rye spiciness kicks in at mid-palate and carries you to to a long, dry finish.
- ABV: 7.8%
After the first few sips, I asked The Wookie about the ABV. I was shocked to hear that it was a 7.8% beer! I know I’ve used the term “boozy” on several occasions, but this beer is from it. Deceptively smooth and easy drinking is how I would describe it. Since the Heavy Seas Rye Porter is a limited edition beer, I can only hope that they’ll brew up another batch in the near future. Better yet… maybe Frank and Neil will open up their own microbrewery and bottle it up themselves.
The Wookie’s Review:
- Appearance: Dark mahogany with good 3/4 inch head
- Aroma: G-lo cold wasn’t killing his senses that much. There is not much aroma with this one but what you do get is toasty hints of malt and rye.
- Taste: Roasty malt goodness punctuated by the pepper spice of rye. This is a very dry beer with an almost astringent quality.
I love rye beers, so much so that when LimpD saw this one he remarked, ” … you and your rye beers again!” The funny thing is I don’t usually like porters and picked this one up because I wanted to explore what else Heavy Seas had to offer and I was happy I did. It’s too bad this is a limited edition brew because I would love to try in again with a bowl of chili on a cool fall night. I will say if you find a bottle of this one pick it up while it is not a groundbreaking brew it is a damn fine beer and worth a try.