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Hop Rod Rye - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,062 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,062
Hads: 4,602
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 14.39%
Wants: 271
Gots: 327 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Quaffer on 03-27-2002

A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop Rod Rye Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,062 | Hads: 4,602
Photo of bobsy
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh crap...this is sublime. Bear Republic, I will try all of your beers I can find. Bottle at Volo.

Hop Rod Rye pours a nice deep mahogany, with a fluffy white head, that laces brilliantly. The aroma makes my knees weak - northwestern hops (predominantly grapefruit), caramel and nuts. The rye comes in with a really pleasing spiciness that compliment the hops perfectly. The taste is beautiful, with roasted nuts duelling for dominance with caramel malts and big bitter citric hops. Excellent balance between sweet and bitter. Crisp, spicy bitter finish and medium body reinforce the quality of this beer.

Absolutely amazing IPA that's verging on the imperial - I could drink it all night.

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Photo of veinless
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had at the Lanesplitter in Berkeley...they always have one beer on cask so visit soon if you can to get this beast.

Pours a dark ruby with decent clarity and rungs of lace from the off-white one-finger head. This beer is gorgeous.

Nose is a spicy resinous combination of hops and rye that has to he smelled to be believed. Slight citrus and semi-sweet malt round it out.

Taste is the nose amplified many times. The rye spice is distinct and and pungent, the resin is soft yet strong. Citrus offers a cutting edge through the rye/resin base, while malt sweetness once again rounds everything out. This is a ridiculously good beer, and having it on cask is even better than I imagined it would be.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy at times, crisp and slick at other points. It does what it has to do, and the cask carbonation is perfect on top of it all. Drinkability is amazing for such a strongly flavored beer; finish is spicy and bitter without being offensive, and really makes you want another sip. Stickiness is just enough to not get in the way while adding another element. Phenomenal.

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Photo of keith712
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber bottle into a 1.5l hefeweizen glass that promotes head retention due to scoring along the sides and bottom to create nucleation points for the CO2.

Appearance: Pours a deep, almost scotch like color. A HUGE head was presented that hung around a bit and stayed a solid 1/2" thick throughout the glass. This is a simply beautiful beer!

Nose: Spicy, pungent, crisp, sharp, powerful. Hops, hops, and some mild grapefruit and pine notes. Typical to me perhaps for a strong IPA, I really don't smell the rye malts.

Flavor: WOW! What can I say, not super complex, but it has EVERYTHING I want in an IPA, the rye malts are noticeably different and add a certain punch that is hard to define. Fairly dry, high carbonation, and crazy crisp.This is a "turbo hops" beer that might be a bit overpowering to an IPA n00b.

Mouth feel: Superb. Medium feel, high carbonation, begs for another mouth full! (easy on the jokes fellas). Crisp on the palate, pungent on the cheeks, and it makes my mouth happy. It thickens a bit as it warms and the flavors do become more pronounced, certainly a sign of a wonderful beer.

Drinkability: Can I have another? The alcohol at 8% is well hidden and I could down these easily in a session with friends, although by the terminology of a "session" beer...you are going to be quite high by the time you drink 3-4 of these. What else to say, it goes down easily and the flavor makes you want more, more, more.

Overall: I give this IPA an easy 9.5 of 10 points. Simply a superb beer.

EDIT: 12-28-10, drank another full bomber of this beer. Simply wonderful. Huge fluffy and creamy head that lasts, nice change of pace for a good IPA, the rye is awesome, the flavor gets better as you go through the glass and smooths nicely as it approaches 55+ degrees. I am going to make this a mainstay.

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Photo of vinhgoh
4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Though pricey, this IPA is well balanced. Strong hoppy taste that is not too bitter to a point where it takes you awhile to get through one. Citrus apple accents? Won't pretend that I am that much of a connoisseur, but I do love beer. Definitely try this, especially if you love IPAs... you will not regret it.

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Photo of Troyone
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy darker amber color with a minimal tan head that dissipated to nothing with in minutes and has some carb action.

A toasted caramel smell with herbal pine and lime hops with hints of maple, allspice, and nutmeg.

A light sweet taste with the flavors of roasted caramel and light molasses malt; moderate herbal pine and grapefruit lime hops; and hints of (salt free) soy sauce, pepper, licorice, and cola.

Mouthfeel has a medium to full bodied dry and sweet resin texture, soft carbonation, and a smooth hoppy malt finish.

Easy to drink session type of beer with 8.0 and a good change up for this type.

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Photo of jsdunlop
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, dark amber with a slight haziness and a light covering of white head. Smells of fresh, oily and piney hops, touch of chicory, with a cherry-citrus twang to it.
This beer begins malty and smooth, with a silky mouthfeel. Alcohol is nicely masked by the pleasant pine and bready malt backbone. There is a touch of sweetness, with a slight tart fruit character, and a blast of rye-peppery spice. Nice pine and floral hopped up bitterness in the finish, slight spice kick and a touch of booze to wash it down smoothly.
Overall, this beer is solid. A true enjoyment.

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Photo of mjaseattle
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. There's about an inch of creamy, frothy head on top that lingers until you take a sip. Underneath is a deep orange/mahogany beer with a few narrow streams of bubbles running up the sides of the glass. A thin layer of foam sits on top throughout the experience.

Smell: The smell alone won me over. Pine and grapefruit dominate, and something else I can't put my finger on... Something sweet, like maple syrup...

Taste: Just like it smells, but on a higher order of magnitude. There's such a good balance in this beer, an obvious smattering of hops at the start, with a mellow undertone of malts that seem to crescendo slowly through every sip. It ends with a bittersweet caramel aftershock, and a citrusy air.

Mouthfeel: There's a burst of carbonation on contact that mellows quickly to a smooth, almost syrupy feel. Pretty full-bodied for an IPA. For a lighter experience, swish it around a bit-- though this does bring out the alcohol presence, it expands your food pairing options.

Drinkability: This is definitely what I call an "experience" beer, meaning it is best enjoyed in large, attentive sips. There's a lot going on that you don't want to miss. It will pair well with any strong-flavored food, but it really shines on its own.

Notes... I first had this beer (on tap) a couple months ago at the bartender's recommendation, and was very pleasantly surprised. I'm not at all familiar with ryes, but I know my IPAs, and this is top of the line. Easily one of the best (if not THE best) I've ever had.

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Photo of paceyourself
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I would be buying this alot if i could get it in ct. (beer trade anyone?). Clear amber color with a small but evenly carbonated head. Besides the hops a piney and burnt malt aroma is very noticeable. On second pour from the bomber the large chunky hop sediment sneaks into the glass quickly. A creamy toffee like flavor balances the "truckload of hops" very affectively. I wish rye beers were more widely available. Thanks murph for the sample.

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Photo of superdavex
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what can I say about this one. This has an appealing amber hue coming out of the bottle with a good 2 inch head that lasts forever. Smell is of strong fresh hops and rye. Mmm, Mmm, Mmm is all I can say about the taste. A Hopheads dream come true! Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very good. Drinkability is slightly higher than most beer of the same style due to the slightly lower alc/vol. Would have again and again and again.

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Photo of Ryanbob
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours with a big head and a nice amber color. It smells great with lots of hops coming through. It tastes malty first with sweet raisan and alcohal burn. Then the hops hit hard with fresh piney bitterness. Very pleasant. There is a bit of a bitter aftertaste with all that hoppy goodness.

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Photo of rowmine
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Loved this beer.

A - Poured clean with a 1.5 inch head leaving nice lacing on the head. Nice rich color.

S - Smell has quite the balance of malt and rye and hops.

T - Taste reflects the smell although the hops aroma comes through, the striking bitterness often associated with that punget a smell is lacking.

M - Nice medium body. Could use a little more carbination.

O - Loved it, not a rye DIPA which others may be looking for but a SOLID rye IPA. Deff will be buying again.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok...I'll try to do this intelligently but I've had two 22 oz bottles and that may not be possible.
Pours deep, deep brown...almost black.
Heavenly head of sable color that stays with a pretty lacing throughout the drink.
I smell grapefruit...probably the hops.
Taste is heavenly....tingly hops with slight grapefruit aftertaste....wonderful blending of hops and malt...almost perfect. Nothing overpowers...just a heavenly blending.
Light carbonation...high octane but no high burn going down.

I enjoyed this brew totally...maybe too much. In my mind this was 'the perfect beer'. Heavenly blending of malt and hops....aftertaste is clean and nice. If it was only half the alcohol I would drink a sixer...as it is, I may anyway and regret it tomorrow.
My favorite.
I'm inclined to give it 5's all over because I love it but will be honest in my ratings.
I had to make a note after finishing about my 10th of these (no...not at one sitting.
This beer has the most incredible head I have ever seen in a beer. It is almost stiff in intensity and the entire two fingers will last through then entire drink. You litterally can sculpt the head of bubbles you will get with a pour all the way to the bottom of the glass. While being the stiffest head I have ever seen from a brew, it is not a bad thing at all...I enjoy this extra touch of heavenly richness the head imparts.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby-brown color with a billowing cream head - absolutely gushes up the glass. Good retention and great sticky lacing.

Aroma is of hops and bready malts, with perhaps a hint of rye - though that could just be power of suggestion. While the nose was good, the taste was phenomenal. What a wonderful flavor profile here - you've got a great malt backbone with the rye bringing a nice smoothness, and then the hops cutting through it all. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is superb as well. Medium to full bodied with creamy smoothness.

This is a tremendous beer. I wish Bear Republic distributed here.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass...

A: Pours a dark combination of mahogany and molasses with a nice thick inch of head perched on top. The lacing is gorgeous.

S: Scents originating from the rye base flow freely through the aroma. They couple with a truckload of citrus hops. Mainly grapefruit. Roasty caramel malts and pepper come through with the rye. There is a promising pungency emanating from my glass.

T: MMM...Delicious. First off, the alcohol is extremely well masked. Next this beer is incredibly balanced. The grapefruit jumps right out at you as soon as you sip. The roasty malts and spices come through later and leave an incredibly satisfying taste on the pallet. The hop bitterness is just enough to tingle the tongue, without crushing out the other flavors.

M/D: The mouthful is nice and sticky, medium to high carbonation. You get exactly what you would expect from looking at it and watching it pour.

I don't know if I have ever had an IPA quite like this. The rye base adds an unreal element to the beer. The complexity is through the roof, as the brewer must have gone insane to mix the proportions of these ingredients. Its part IPA, part winter warmer (?), part DIPA, and all delicious.

To think that I paid $5.49 for this beer, and I got the worst deal on the entire page really says something about this beer. For the price, you'll have a really hard time finding an IPA that even comes close. This beer has the entire package. Delicious, balanced, and complex. A truly enjoyable drinking experience that I can't wait to recreate in the near future.

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Photo of joezak5
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel tulip; a deep, almost shadowy ruby with an obscene billowing beige head that tops the glass smoothing over to a meringue finish... no dropping before it dissipates within, beautiful lacing and retention... a staggering sight.

Smell: Sweet and sticky hops, slick and oily with a spiced loaf of marble rye in the background.

Mouthfeel: Light and delicate on the palate, sweet and oily with a pine like floral kick.

Taste: Unreal sweet hop bomb... smoothed out with a creamy caramelly malt but hops are king here... sweet and spicy finish that makes me want more.

Drinkability: A beauty I never would have tried had it not been for the best of BA list... tucked away at $5 at Wegmans in Princeton, NJ... I've find my joy when Nugget Nectar is not around...

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Photo of gwood
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz poured to a Sammy Smith Imperial Pint...

Pours a deep crimson red with accents of mahogony when backlit. The pour was a bit too agressive and I ended up with a massive three plus fingers of thick, sticky, frothy off white head that formed valleys and peaks as it began to settle from being so rudely awakened. The head refuses to give up on this brew, lacing it's way in glittered heartbeat ring patterns ALL the way down to the bottom inch of my pint glass. What a sexy brew...can't wait to try it.

Hops climb out of this beer in droves. Strong citrus notes followed by a good deal of malt hanging on the tongue in the middle, followed up by a long crisp finish. This beer really improves in character as it warms up a bit, seems to bring out some of the rye charateristics more, quite a nice change from the sweet middle present in some of the other beers in this style. I think that it is really one of the key factors that sets this beer apart from some of it's peers.

This is a highly drinkable, medium bodied, ass kicking, name taking IPA from our good friends at Bear. May they continue to give the world great gifts for many years to come.


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Photo of goschool
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The creamy off-white to orange head atop its deep, dark and cloudy copper-red body releases huge pine aroma. The first sip is fantastically ferocious. The rye adds a tangy and spicy flavor that's reminiscent of bourbon. This brew is very hoppy, with rye and a wee bit of malt (sweet toffee/caramel flavors are in here they're just a little shy and intimidated by the hops) to make this so complex. This stuff is super drinkable; I feel like I could finish a keg of this by myself- I'd sure like to try.

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Photo of B33R501
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

wow. real simple, one of the best beers in the world. for the longest time my goto beer, ive had this so many times, but now that im getting into huge stouts and barrel aged beers i dont really have a goto anymore. available year round, quality, consistent, reasonable price. $7.50 per 4 Pak, last year it was an insane $6.50 per 4.

pours beautiful dark amber almost purple? i'll have to check color charts one day to better describe if. Tonites 4 Pak must be very fresh, the hops jumped out of the bottle on first smell, on warming it's morphed into the usual malty, elegant floral perfume like beer it usually is. taste is very complex, big caramel malts, followed by citrusy, floral earthy hops that linger on the palate what seems like forever. apples and pears now, let it warm and the spice comes out, the rye malts making their presence known. before I forget this is also the most drinkable beer in the world. I've had it so many times, never a hangover, never a dissapointment.

I don't know what else to say? If I could drink one beer, and one beer only, this would be the one. tribute to the brewers art.

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4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

GOD DAMN, this beer hits the spot every single time. Might be my favorite bomber to pick up on a whim, and it's 5 bucks. Achieves such a fine balance of malt and hops to the point where you can almost pick one or the other to focus on, but both are still respectfully present. Casual but classy; solid from start to finish with no fuss . This beer is marriage material.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This one pours a copper ruby tone with something floating inside could be yeast could be hop particles and forms a decent thicket of cream toned head with brilliant patches of lacing spread thick and evenly. Aroma: The combonation of piney and floral hops blended with the rye are such a great combonation here, this is one of those classic beers buttery hops in your face but not over done what a great scent I would buy soap that smells like this if it was available. Taste: So much hop flavor yet not too much bitterness it's like they added hop extract or something to make the perfect blend of pine, this isn't all hops the malts make an appearance here they act as sweetened butter coated on lucious steamed hop buds with the rye here to accent all of the flavors this is by far the best rye beer I have ever tasted b/c they didn't try to make the rye the dominant flavor. Mouthfeel is medium in body but the smoothness of this beer going down is impeccable perfect amount of carbonation so easy drinking this one deserves awarded across the board. There is no hype behind this beer and by the quality and great flavor of this beer I am sure that the rest of the Bear Republic lineup in my fridge is going to be just as prosperous. A 22oz. bottle of this goes down effortlessly if this ever made in a keg to the east coast it would be first in line for my newly converted kegerator, awesome brew a hop suspension is going on with specks of hops floating but oh the joy that comes from sampling this beer, thank you to whoever brewed this fine nectar for the beer gods of blessed thee.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Local 44 in Philly. Beautiful amber color with fantastic creamy, off white head. Excellent retention and sticks to very inch of the glass. Smelled oily and citrusy. Incredibly smooth and citrusy, and fruity but sharp and bitter from the hops and mellows out with the rye. Very bitter with a balnaced and lingering finish and strong rye taste in the finish. Absolutely excellent.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My local trader, tone77, and I did another pick-up/drop-off the other day and this time our roles were reversed - I dropped off while he was at work. More bottles for me to keep the numbers aligned with The CANQuest (TM). So be it!

From the bottle: "Hop Rod Rye is a high performance, turbo charged, alcohol burnin' monster ale with dual overhead hop injection, made with 18% rye."; "Brew Master Notes - Don;t drink & drag. Sediment at bottlom of bottle may be the result of the truckload of hops in this non-filtered ale."

I do not understand how I have never reviewed this beer until now. I even visited them with UncleJedI and PurpleHatJoan and they sent me a patch for the latest jacket. It is time to make this right!

My slow, gentle pour still got me a finger of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity, thanks to my pour. I will stir up the lees at the end to see what I get. Nose was grapefruit and black pepper, owing to both the copious hops and all of the rye. Man, but the mouthfeel was full, with a spicy intensity that makes me want to remind you to be sitting down when drinking this beer! That was a Public Service Announcement, courtesy of yours truly. Stone likes to think that we are "not worthy", but even as a self-avowed hophead, I may not be worthy of this one. It just exploded in my mouth with citrus and black pepper and swallowing did not help, since it was so dry that I immediately gasped and reached for the water. Oh my! To say that this was good would be an understatement. Put another way - it may not be for everyone, but if you like American IPAs and you appreciate what rye can do for a beer, you should try this beer, if you haven't already. I have a feeling that this review at this stage is either a) gilding the lily or b) preaching to the choir or c) some of both.

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Photo of TEXTONE
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look-Dark Amber w. red huge very nice head retention with lacing down to the bottom of the glass
Smell-Hoppy, malty sweet hard to get a really good read on this due to smells from the restaurant.
Taste-Dark malt, hoppy as hell slight coffee flavor, many flavors just roaming all around the pallet, well balanced beer. Warm and tingly on the tongue dry crisp bitter tart aftertaste.

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Photo of Matthew
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite possibly the best beer I've ever seen. Burnt reddish rust type in color, HUGE frothy head that literally has waves in the top of the head, looks absolutley astonishing....really...
Sweet hoppiness, soo pleasantly sweet that I get a tickling feeling in the back of my throat from the smell....there is a citrus type aroma there too, mainly grapefruit, slight lemon. Nice piney hoppiness all around the nose. I also get a hints of a doughy type smell.
Nice hoppy bitter sweet flavors, piney, hints of lemon and grapefruit, great biscuity malt backbone to balance it out....an incredibley well balanced double IPA. Each flavor really compliments the other flavors very well.
Nice fairly sticky mouthfeel for the style.
Very drinkable for 8% abv....
Quite an exceptional beer! Bear Republic has my undying respect.

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Photo of GJ40
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 22 oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods on Westlake in Seattle, WA. No noticeable best by date.

A - A deep copper, almost brown color with a very slight haze and a moderate beige head. This beer leaves behind a very nice lacing.

S - A nice firm earthy, rye aroma with some piney hops mixed in.

T - A very balanced beer with both a rich malt and a citrusy bitterness. I love the way the caramel and earthy malts intermingle with the characteristically west coast hop flavors. I tend to prefer the hop bombs but this one has it all and makes it work.

M - A substantial, creamy beer with just enough carbonation to do the job.

D - This is one of my favorite beers. Well done Bear Republic!

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,062 ratings.