Beer of the Week: Reuben’s Blood Red Orange Rye

By Iron Chef Leftovers

untitled2There are very few flavors that I love more than blood orange, but the track record in having beers that included it are spotty. Some have been good (Elysian) and some not so good (also Elysian).  I was excited when Reuben’s decided to do one as part of a Seattle Beer Week event – their track record on beers has been outstanding and if anyone was going to do it right, it was going to be them. So I rushed down to the brewery to try the beer.

The beer poured more pink than red, almost the color of pink grapefruit juice. Lots of mild citrus and grapefruit juice dominated the nose, reminding me of something that I could not quite place. The initial taste was slightly tart and sweet with mild fruit character. There were definite notes of blood orange in this beer but it completely overwhelmed the rye, no easy task, to the point of having to really look for it on the finish. The beer lacked balance and integration of flavors making it more like drinking fruit juice than beer as the hops and rye character of the beer were almost completely lost. It was still an interesting enough beer to be worth trying and probably could have used a bit more bittering from hops to balance out the sweetness of the blood orange and to add more depth, but it definitely falls into the miss category for Reuben’s, which was bound to happen at some point.

Maybe my expectations clouded my judgment on this beer, but it could have used more beer character and less fruit character to make it more interesting.

Reuben’s Blood Red Orange Rye peels out of the picture with a disappointing 2 sour oranges out of 5.

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