Big White Rye (Collaboration)
Gifted by the brewer, 9% ABV
12 oz Bottle
I’m not going to lie. In fact, I’ll only tell the hard truth on this page. (I only ever tell the truth on CTMQ – and especially with my beer reviews, but I’m setting the stage here, so allow me to be redundant.) As this beer’s name is a play on “white lie,” with an impressively detailed lie detector cartoon on the label, this seems apropos.
Truth: I’ve lost my mind. I’m reviewing homebrews now, sure, but homebrew collaborations?! Apparently. Which makes it official: I’m nuts.
Truth: There are just too darn many breweries cropping up all over the state now. Oh look, another new one in Oxford is opening tomorrow (not to be confused with the other new one in Oxford opening up a few weeks down the road. OXFORD!) I can no longer keep up and that makes me feel like a failure.
Truth: I think Ed Silva (Lasting Brass) is one of the best brewers around, even if he’s “just a” homebrewer. I’ve loved everything I’ve had from his little operation in Waterbury.
Truth: I don’t know Heath or anything about Bottom Side-Up Brewing at all, other than I follow him on Twitter and I’ve heard good things about his creations.
Truth: I’m getting fat and I hate it.
Lasting Brass & Bottom Side-Up Brewing Say:
Collaboration between Lasting Brass Brewing and Bottom-Side-Up Brewing Co. Double white IPA with tons of citrus flavor from hop additions, sweet undertones from the addition of local honey and a touch of spiciness from the rye.
That description pretty much nails it. But this wasn’t a perfect beer for me. Because…
Truth: I’m not a big spice/rye guy.
Initially, I found the Big White Rye quite delicious. There was a nice level of citrus and floral from the hop additions and the touch of honey sweetness balanced nicely with the spiciness of the rye.
But as it warmed, the whole character of the beer changed for me. The sweetness and citrus took a distant backseat to some soapiness from the hops and even a more distant backseat (I know, that doesn’t make sense) to the bite from the rye.
If you like the rye kick, let this sucker warm. If you don’t drink it faster than I did.
Truth: That little orange guy in the pictures is Bi-Beast from the Marvel Universe. As my three-year-old would say, “He a bad guy!” Indeed he is, Calvin, indeed he is. But his backstory is pretty cool – The Bi-Beast is an android with two heads (one atop the other – the top skull is given knowledge of warfare while the bottom skull was given a knowledge of culture) – and I thought to put him in my pictures because this is a collaboration beer.
Two heads (Ed’s and Heath’s) came together to create a rather unique and well-crafted beer. I think the execution was flawless, but for me, perhaps the concept was a little muddled. Just like poor ol’ Bi-Beast.
Truth: Ed and Heath are better men than I am. I simply don’t think I could do what they have done. By that I mean I can’t seem to give up control of my “craft.” When I started CTMQ back in 2006, I had planned to have partners help me with the write-ups. I almost immediately went back on that idea.
Then last year, in 2013, I toyed with the idea of welcoming in others to keep up with the flood of new CT beers to review. Nope, I just can’t do that. It’s a shortcoming of mine; I’m not really a control freak at all, but CTMQ is my thing. My baby. My “craft.” So for Ed and Heath to collaborate and combine talents towards one goal is admirable.
And I’m just one of the lucky few who get to enjoy those efforts.
As for CTMQ, you poor suckers are stuck with me – and only me. Sorry.
Overall Rating: B
Rating vs. Similar style: A