Thursday, May 26, 2016

Beer Camp 2016 West Latitude Session Rye

I recently went to a live stream tasting at Total Wine featuring the six beers from this year's Beer Camp 12 pack. This year, regional teams of five or six breweries were created to collaborate and brew six different beers. At the tasting, I got to try a "double-thimble-sized" portion of each, so I ponied up my $30 afterward to take home some bottles made by some of the best breweries in the biz!

The day after the tasting, I took one bottle of each to my neighbor's house. We did an identical tasting (except for more volume each and no Sierra Nevada brewmaster commentary) as we watched the Miami Heat go down in flames in game 7 to the Toronto Raptors. Was pretty sweet!

The other six bottles remained so I could really check them out here. I started with West Latitude Session Rye, just randomly. This was a collaboration of California's breweries (Bear Republic, Faction, Mad River, Magnolia; and duh, Sierra Nevada) along with Hawaii's Maui Brewing, which contributed the "aloha" of hibiscus flowers. 5.5% alcohol. PKGD 04/04/16

Very flowers and hibiscusy aroma! Lemony citrus bitter to start. Those flavors were enhanced mightily by an inordinate amount of rye spiciness and a super-aggressive floral sharpness. So far, this is a palate killer.

Citrus, dank hops, a touch of burnt caramel add interest. Maybe you can convince me there's also a little fruity sweet balance way behind the scenes.

Lots of Type A personalities competing here. Interesting but I'd have loved WAY more harmony. Honestly, Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye is much more balanced than this beer, and I love that one. I think the Hibiscus is the downfall to the beer. One of my least favorites of this package!

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