Imagine my unending surprise when, upon opening a box from the Northeast, already my favorite type of box to open, I GET THIS THROWN IN AS AN EXTRA. I remembered seeing people scampering to and fro attempting to lock these down previously and what divine providence brought this to California for my sampling pleasure.
Here’s the deal behind this gem:
Rye ale aged in Sazarec rye whiskey, Buffalo Trace bourbon, and Four Roses bourbon barrels, brewed exclusively for Julio’s Liquors in Westboro. This beer was on sale on Sunday, May 23, 2010, at their 8th Annual Spring Beer Fest.
Smuttynose Julio’s Ry(e)an Ale, 8% abv, bourbon barrel aged Rye Ale
A: This has a ruddy amber character that fades to a bright maroon in the center. It’s a cheerful sprite for having spent so much time in bourbon lockup. The lacing is impressive and doesn’t leave one wanting. It looks like a genial iced with with a mildly murky luster.
S: The smell is a bit heavy handed, particularly for the age, with generous wafts of booze, bourbon, babes, and brewskis. The oak and scorched caramel notes are present as well, but in a pleasing way. It comes across like tulle, adding accents to an aggressive endeavor. The bourbon cleavage is present in a big way within this beer. It reminded me of a more aggressive barleywine in the nose, but less stable on the malt backing.
T: The taste initially gives this crackly rye bramble whip and the interlocutor makes it clear that heat and speed will be the malty weapon of choice. The beer opens up into a caramel, butterscotch (not in an infected manner), toffee, and finally a scratchy thistle heat to the finish. If the foregoing sounds harsh, it is, however, it is harsh in the way a day of drinking on the beach of Cabo leave you with a light sun burn. The entry costs are far outweighed by the benefits.
M: The bourbon barrels just creep up from behind with that “tell me what your palate interests are, who they be with?” It gives a nice caramel stickiness that is melted away with a heat and oakiness and ruminated in a woody barrely manner for a minute after I swallowed. I can finish an entire bottle of this, but I kinda feel like the kid who hogs the controller and doesn’t let anyone else play.
D: This is a seriously delicious beer, but it is a bit like Bowser in Mario Kart, a bit to unbalanced for long sessions, unless you know how to use BA Rye Ales, then you will completely tear shit up, figuratively and literally. I want to keep drinking more, but the complex finish makes me slow down and ruminate on Rilke poetry and existence and I JUST FINNA TRY TO BE DRINK ON. Its faults redouble like the walls of a mitochondria and impair the drinkability. FUCKING RIBOSOMES.
Narrative: The trash pile had gotten out of control. Burlinger, North Carolina had encountered a problem that seemed to have no solution. The trash workers were on strike because they didn’t get health benefits, but if the health union had to treat the trash workers, they would go on strike, thereby cutting all the funding for the municipal waste workers. Yessir it was quite the Catch 22 and this sleepy southern town hadn’t seen the likes of this conflict since the antebellum south. “I cannot and will not stand to look at those looming piles of refuse any further, I say I say, I just simply cannot!” chimed in one Christian Southern Belle wearing sweatpants with the words “JUICY” across where her petticoat should have lain. A man in a salmon suit strode into the unventilated court room wiping his brow furiously, “now I say I aint no big city lahh yuhhh, but what if, I say what if we make all this into quality wares for all the Yanks to enjoy!” The crowd responded with resounding applause and all the townsfolk set out to turn those Waffle House wrappers and Bubba Gump refuse into nice baubles for others to enjoy. A video of these poor miscreants was posted on youtube and hipsters bought the town out of house and home overnight. Suddenly, the trash repurposing union was losing their jobs and refused to work with the health workers union and HERE WE GO AGAIN AM I RIGHT?