Fat Ten-er # 7 (Rye Pale Ale)
Gifted from my man Jay , 5.4% ABV
Let’s call the summer of 2014 “The Summer of Fat Ten-Ers.” In a phat ten week span, NEBCO released five of these small batch, “Let’s Just Mess Around” brewery-only beers. Each release more or less cycles around the brewers; Matt, Rob, Sebastian… James before he moved to New Mexico… One of them comes up with a style and once the 10-gallon tank is empty (that would be the “fat ten-er”) and ready to rock, whomever has the time and recipe idea gets to brewing.
I really only ever asked about #2, because it was ridiculously good. As good as any of the fanboy NEBCO beers. When I learned that young Sebastian did that one I thought to myself, “Damn, we know Rob and Matt can make world-class beer; now they’ve got a third wunderkind up in there?”
Apparently yes. Yes we do.
As for #7 – and all the others – I have no idea who brewed what. Oh wait, I know Matt did #10 and I think Rob did #9 and – oh who cares. I don’t even care. And frankly, they don’t even care.
Just “Drink it. It’s Good,” right? Right.
Single Hop rye pale ale brewed with El Dorado hops.
I must admit, this one didn’t get me all excited out of the gate like some of the other styles. I find the use of rye to be very tricky and while I have had some very good rye beers, I’ve also had many more, from very respectable brewers, that went – are you ready for this? – I’ve had many more that went a-RYE.
I’ll let you recover for a moment.
To my palate, the dividing line between which rye adds to the flavor profile and rye overwhelms a decent base beer is very fine. Rye brings this weird spicy sweetness that I just don’t particularly like. Also, to my amateur tastes and knowledge, it always seems to heighten the malts used as well.
Now, I don’t know if brewers have to use crystal (or other sweeter) malts with rye, but that seems to be the case. I have no idea how accurate that statement is, but who reads these things for accuracy?
So here was a pale ale that came very, very close to that line. The spice was there and, somewhat strangely, the malty, biscuity sweetness was present as well. A bit too much for a pale ale.
“But oh!” you say, “the buckets of El Dorado hops must’ve cut that sweetness down, right?” Nah, not really. El Dorado isn’t a top hop because El Dorado isn’t all that exciting. And since it’s a slightly citrusy/flowery hop, it brought very little bitterness to the table.
And yet, this was still a delicious beer. I try to hold every brewery to the same standard – and I think I do to a large extent. NEBCO is so freaking good that when I give one of their beers a B+ or – GASP – a B or B-, it feels like a failure. It’s weird.
You know what else is weird? This review. It’s boring and only focused on the beer at hand. What’s wrong with me?
Ok, let’s look at that joyous picture of my son Calvin at the top again. Sure, it was (yet another) “I just want to hang out in my underwear” days, but it was also the day he learned to “pick up” that rubber ball with his toes.
And boy, was he proud of that feat. He marched around with that ball grasped firmly in his toes like the monkey he is – and begged for me to take the picture I took.
Sigh. That story was boring too.
So that’s why I’ve inserted a picture of the “spicy” and maybe a tad “sweet” Levy Tran to make this page a little more exciting.
*Unless you are a woman who can’t stand the objectification of beautiful women. But my word she is sexy though, right?
Overall Rating: B+
Rating vs. Similar style: A-