Fellas, I'm about to imbibe:
Tonight, with nothing of much importance going on, I decided to tackle a tasting of Rye as a theatrical critique of my Rye IPA, which has now been the bottles around 6 weeks or so, I believe. I brewed this recipe already knowing I loved rye in beer and other spirits. I have had both Terrapin's rye offerings previously, their Pale Ale is readily available around here and, after tasting their Rye Squared, I picked up a couple of 4-packs to nurture my cravings, being a seasonal beer and all.
My Rye IPA is a statistical mean between Terrapin's Pale and Squared, based solely on the information listed on their website. I have no idea what the actual grain percentages are, nor their hop schedule. I initially concocted my recipe to have a higher alcohol content, but due to a high mash temp, my FG was 1.020, leading me to a perfect 6.9%; fitting perfectly between the two commercial offerings. My IBUs were 62, also centered with respect to the commercials.
As you can see, my color is off by a bit, driven by haze issues that occured during bottling (trub in the bottling bucket, to be precise). I was surprised by the lack of head and retention from Terrapin's beers. On the contrary, my offering is over carbed, and a 1-finger head remains throughout the entire session lacing the glass on the way down.
Pale Ale: Mild hoppy aroma present, with the tinge of rye spice. Clear, golden...no head.
Taste parallels the aroma: moderate bitterness, but it is the forefront of this beer. Spice from the rye is a perfect compliment. Finishes dry in the mouth, with just the most subtle hints of sweetness, most likely from the honey malt. This is a great Pale, and what I perceive as the Magnum bittering shines well. Completely balanced. A great session pale, IMO.
Mean Rye IPA: As stated above, head is thick and creamy; persistent. Aroma is hop bitterness and subtle spice. Malty undertones detected that weren't in the Pale. Most likely from the low attenuation. I dry-hopped with the Amarillo, and their aroma is faintly held, 6 weeks aged. Taste is bitterness with the residual malt notes in the background. Rye (1.5 lbs malted) sits perfectly, if I do say so myself. I want to say everything is quite balanced. My first homebrew that has really blown me away. I would brew this again, hoping for the high FG, to be honest. I would like to work on my clarity, however.
Rye Squared: Aroma is predominantly sweet. You can tell this has a high FG. No hop bitterness in the aroma, which is astonishing considering the listed 85 IBUs. Spice from the rye is present, however. Taste is quite sweet and it is now evident this tasting may be a bad idea without a critique partner. You can't have more than one of these in a sitting. Quite sweet and malty in a bready/yeasty way, if that makes any sense. Not as sweet as a DIPA would be (from those that I've had), but enough to not want to slam this down. Hop bitterness finally evident in the aftertaste, complimented nicely with the spice. I describe this taste as being punched with rye/hops while drinking bread. It's well done, but again, wouldn't have more than one in a single sitting.
**Tasting note** I took sips of each of these going from Pale --> Mine --> Sqaured for about 10 rounds. I did not completely drink one and then the next, hence why this review is still somewhat coherent (I hope).