Left Hand Rye Bock Lager brings the balance... and the rye

Rye Bock can be poured into a mug, pilsner glass, or flute. I prefer the unpretentiousness of a mug. Not a frozen mug, of course; the icy shock treatment of 32 degrees Fahrenheit fiddles with the brew's natural body and flavor characteristics. Besides, unlike crappy domestic beer, a flavorful bockbier like Left Hand Rye Bock doesn't need to be freezing cold in order to be refreshing.

Atop Rye Bock's auburn body sits a magnificent tan head, thick and frothy like soap bubbles. Ample carbonation produces long strands of fizzies that remain active to the very end.

The aromas are quite subtle. An earthy woodsy tone dominates, almost like cedar, with touches of gingerbread and Nestle Quick powder.

With the first sip, the sharp flavor of rye is followed by a tingling sensation on the tip of the tongue and where my tonsils used to be. I love when a beer makes me taste things all the way down my neck, behind my ears, and all the other places where mediocre beverages are unable to reach.After the initial rye rush, a robust finish endures, seemingly never drawing to a close.

As it warms up, the brew begins to sweeten. The toasted flavors develop into dark fruits and brown sugar, and the presence of alcohol becomes more pronounced. But the rye essence continues, intense and undiluted, on and on until the end of time.

Left Hand Rye Bock is, perhaps, one of the most flavorful yet well balanced beers I have ever had the pleasure of drinking on a chilly fall evening. The flavor is malty without being sweet and dry without being bitter. The abundance of dark grains result in a rich mouthfeel that is slightly slick, but the generous carbonation keeps it from being too syrupy. It's a true beer balancing act.

Left Hand Rye Bock

Rye Doppelbock, 7.6%

Left Hand Brewing, Colorado

Left Hand beer rules. Seriously, everything that emerges from this Colorado brewery's vats is pure gold. One offering from Left Hand's seasonal Big Mo' Series is Rye Bock Lager. It's a doppelbock, which is a fancy word for a strong beer that uses bottom fermenting yeast and dark malts to create a lager with the appearance and flavor characteristics of an ale.

Facilitating this masquerade, the recipe for Rye Bock combines malted rye with roasted munich and carafa malt. These hearty grains are balanced by the bitter spiciness of northern brewer and perle hops. Translation: this range of ingredients suggests an epic flavor adventure is about to transpire.


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