By Richard Thomas
So, why is a whisk(e)y media site doing beer? Because beer and whiskey are related, and that intersection is growing. In terms of reviewing beer, our editorial policy is to review beers aged in whiskey barrels or made by a brewstillery using a grain recipe that is used for both beer and whiskey.
In this particular instance, back in October 2015, The Whiskey Reviewer hosted a guest post reviewing Boulevard’s Rye on Rye Ale. A bottle of this Missouri craft beer came into my possession, so I decided to give it another go. Boulevard had since revamped their packaging, and this time the review would be in-house, so a fresh and separate look seemed to be in order, rather than the usual addendum.
Now enough with the behind the scenes, bureaucratic stuff. Since returning to the United States, I’ve dived deep into rye-driven ales and I’ve liked what I’ve found. Boulevard upped that game a notch by aging a rye ale in old Templeton Rye (i.e. MGP 95% Rye) barrels. Moreover, I know this one is a popular choice with those who like their beer and their whiskey, because whenever I mention it on our social media the readership goes all Randy Savage “Oooo Yeah!”
The numbers on this are 12% alcohol, making it a beer that punches like wine, with 33 IBUs. It’s a dark, richly endowed tawny-meets-copper in the glass, with a modest, heavy-looking head on it.
The nose is sweet and sophisticated. Rye whiskey-style spices mix with anise, fennel and licorice and some oaky vanilla to make for a very seasoned, syrupy sweet scent. A drink shifts the balance away from the spices towards the sweet side, bringing out a viscous current of honey with powdered vanilla bean stirred in. If the nose is 1/3 sweet and 2/3s spices, then the palette is 2/3s sweet and 1/3 spices.
Rye on Rye comes in a 750 ml bottle or in a four-pack of longnecks. I wasn’t able to find very much accurate, up to date market pricing data on the big bottle, but the four-packs were running at $20 before they sold out.