Thursday, December 12, 2013

Review: Great Divide Brewing Co.'s Hoss Rye Lager

Greetings, craft beer advocates!

Before I delve into my intro to this beer review, I have an announcement: the formatting for this review, and perhaps any future reviews, will be a little off. There will be no picture of the beer at the top and the categories of rating will not be emboldened. This is because the toolbar here on Blogger doesn't work anymore for some ludicrous reason. Thus, I am upgrading to Wordpress after this post. I will transfer all my previous reviews to that new blog and will continue from there! Because Blogger is dumb. Apparently.

So, today I'm going to do a nice little review of something I rarely get around to trying: a lager. Apart from the quintessential American lagers like Budweiser (ugh) and others, and the craft lager staples like Sam Adams' Boston Lager, lagers tend to take a back seat to ales. Because ales come in so many different forms: pale ales, IPAs, stouts, porters, blonde ales... the list goes on and on.

Anyway, I asked the head of the beer department at the store I work at to suggest a nice, light, flavorful beer and he pointed out Hoss by Great Divide Brewing Co. It's a rye lager, which had me intrigued immediately. One of my favorite malts in any beer is rye; it adds a great spicy note to the body of any beer. So it is with great enthusiasm that I dig into this beer. The particular six pack I picked up was bottled on August 26th, 2013, so it's been mellowing for a while. No matter, from what I've tasted (I've had a couple the past few evenings), it's still pretty damn tasty. Without further ado, I'll get down to brass tacks...

Appearance: 2.75/5

Poured into a shaker pint glass. Hoss has a nice deep amber color, which is inviting. There is basically no head to be seen, just a thin film of foam floating on the top which quickly dissipates. There is plenty of carbonation, though!

Nose: 4/5

Some earthy, slightly piney hops come through first in the aroma. I think this is great because it compliments the spicy aroma of the rye malt perfectly. A nice, deep, woodsy smell that's rather on the sweet end of the spectrum.

Taste: 3.75/5

The first notes to hit my palate are toasted bready malts with some sweetness mixed in. A big kick of rye spice follows. This is a very malty beer with notes of toasted bread, biscuits, and grain. These are accompanied by a sweetness - caramel and cherries. The hoppiness from the nose isn't really present in the flavor, though, which would have been nice because I thought it complimented the spiciness.

Mouthfeel: 4/5

At first Hoss feels a little creamy, but that passes quickly. This lager sports a very nice body formed from the combination of malts, and has a bite to it from the spice. Quite pleasant.

Finish: 1/5

The finish left me disappointed. Some mild bite from the rye lingers, but not for long. The spiciness is coupled with some light sweetness. It's a nearly nonexistent finish, to be honest.

Total Score: 70.25/100

This is a solid lager and drinks very well. The flavors and aroma are probably its strong suits, however it just doesn't live up to certain expectations. But I'd still recommend giving it a try if you like rye beers.

Until next time, cheers!