Yesterday was a good day — not only did we get a call from the insurance company saying they were going to send us money, but we also got another bottle of free beer from GrassLands Brewing‘s GrassHoppers Review Club. The review club is the best way to help a brewery-in-planning: We get free beer, Gabe gets good feedback, everybody wins!
This time around, the brew was Groundation Amber Rye. I’ve been warming to rye beers recently, but I’ve mostly seen it in high-gravity IPAs, so I was excited to see what it brought to a more moderate beer.
The first thing I noticed was the color. When I think of an amber beer, I think of a beer that’s at least translucent, tending towards a very clear honey color. But this poured very dark, almost black with hint of reddish mahogany highlights. The head was solid and tan, and dissipated slowly. The aroma had a nice spiciness, some sweet maltiness, and just a tiny bit of sourness.
The taste was, as the tasting notes promised, a blend of complementing flavors. As you’d expect from a very dark beer, there was some chocolate and smokiness, but not overdone like it often is. Of course the rye gave a nice spicy note, and the hops provided a citrus counterpoint.
Clocking in at 6% ABV, this was lighter than many of the beers I drink. But it’s solid enough to sip slowly and enjoy the flavors. Overall, this was a very solid, enjoyable beer. My only complaint, if you can call it a complaint, is that it differs from my expectations of an amber. If you asked me what category of beer it was, I would have said porter without hesitation. Wind disagreed and thought it was fine to call it an amber, though, so maybe I just have an overly narrow definition.