Tabernash Rye Bock Lager

Today we have an interesting beer with some interesting history. While browsing at Hennepin Lake Liquor I found a few of these bottles on discount and decided the only logical thing to do was give them a try even though I had no idea what I was getting myself into. After getting home and reading the bottle I realized that this beer is actually made by Left Hand Brewing from Longmont, Colorado who purchased Tabernash in 1998 also from nearby Denver, Colorado. As of this year the Tabernash name has been retired but Left Hand still brews this beer under their name apparently at a slightly lower ABV. With that said it will be curious to see how my bottle tastes as it has obviously been aged, but has no markings at all to suggest when it was brewed. The concept of a rye lager also intrigues me, so lets get to the beer. This beer pours a very nice completely opaque cranberry red color with no notable sediment. Producing a couple inches of light tan head of tight small bubbles that dissipate rapidly. The aroma of this beer is quite robust, dry but sweet cherry hits my nose first with gentle malt aromas mixing in with a slight alcohol scent in the end. This beer has an interesting flavor. At first I detect a somewhat sour cherry flavor that is rather quickly brushed away by a bittersweet flavor that seems to balance out nicely with the malted rye. This is a very smooth beer with a nice balance between sweet cherries and rye malts with a few off flavors here and there that seem to fade as I drink more of this beer. I will have to find myself a new bottle of this beer to determine if some of its slightly strange bitter and sour flavors are simply due to the uniqueness of this brew or due to potential over aging or perhaps improper storage. Slight alcohol and carbonation are noticed as I continue to drink which is sensible considering its 8.1% ABV. The mouthfeel of this beer is medium with its body a touch lighter. Overall I this is a very fine brew with some nice unique flavors and a wonderful balance that I didn’t expect, particularly from a lager. If you want a sweet but well balanced, somewhat lite but still full flavored brew this is absolutely worth your consideration. This beer would accompany a hearty meat and potatoes meal marvelously with its sweet but smooth flavors. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Rye Bock Lager

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