***This Notes of a Beer Nerd was originally published on December 30, 2009. As I am preparing for my trip to The Bruery’s tasting room in Placentia, CA next weekend, I thought it was a great time to do some research on one of the brewery’s finest. That – and this write up is sexy.***
Enjoyed on: 12/13/2009
Brewery: The Bruery
Location: Placentia, CA
Presentation: 750 ML – Brown Glass Bottle
Style: Julebryg / Dark Rye Ale
Malt: 3 types of Rye
Recommended Serving Temp: 50 degrees
Notes from the bottle: A deep auburn colored robust Danish-style ale with spicy rye, and caramelly, bready malts. Rugbrod Rye Ale is suitable for aging up to 2 years when cellared properly, around 55 F (13 C) in a dark place. Best served at 50 F (10 C). Pour carefully, leaving the yeast sediment behind in the bottle. Best served in a tulip or wine glass. For proper pronunciation, chef recommended food pairings and recipes, please visit our website.
Food Pairings: Pork, lamb
Cheese Pairings: Monterey, Pepper Jack
Beer Advocate: B+
Rate Beer: 89 (3.58)
What the hell is Rugbrod? Good question, I didn’t know either. As is turns out, Rugbrod means “rye bread” in Danish. What the hell is a Julebryg? Good question, I didn’t know either. As it turns out, Julebryg is a Scandinavian term for a winter warmer. Tis’ the season. Now that we have crossed the language barrier, let’s see what this unique brew offers.
This one is unfiltered and bottle conditioned. A subtle, inquisitive pour brings a glass full of head. It takes several minutes and a lot of patience to get a tulip full of beer. A dark auburn fluid eventually settles out from the luscious tan head. The scent is so warm and cozy I wish I was enjoying this by a fire in a remote European village. Understandably Danish, it’s Belgium that comes to mind when i put my nose to it. So bready! Croissants and ryes and pumpernickel. A faint fruitiness lends the Belgium thoughts.
Despite the big head there is not a lot of carbonation feel to the liquid. The mouthfeel is pleasantly smooth and some alcohol comes through as it warms.
The flavors are more of yeast with mild fruitcake notes. A drying aftertaste is present, like I just swallowed a mouthful of absorbent, porous bread. Bread, bread, bread… so much bread here. Rye beers are not extremely common, yes, but I have no doubt had my share, and none have tasted quite so much like the bread.
I’ve always had a great appreciation for bread, in its many forms. Some subtle, even bland, other deep and flavorful. It seems like such a simple food, something that has always fed man. Sustenance for the most poor, a simple pleasure for the most rich. The process of baking bread and its ingredients make it a similar product to beer in many ways, and it is surely a great accompaniment as well. Throw some cheese in the mix and I think I’d have all I ever need for a happy life.
Some chocolaty, caramelly flavors come through well after the swallow reminiscent of Werther’s Original Caramels. The Bruery really made something special here. Unique, intriguing, historic, delicious. My hat’s off to the Family Rue.
If you like Rugbrod, good luck finding something similar. If you like rye you should try, or buy:
Bear Republic Brewery’s Hop Rod Rye; Two Brothers Brewing’s Cane & Ebel; Left Hand Brewing Co.’s Terra-Rye’ZD
Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard earned money at a local bottle shop .