Pope Crisco: Yazoo Brewing Co. Sly Rye Porter and Hop Project (Batch 67) Review

by Pope Crisco on February 12, 2013

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Hello fine beer boys and girls, After a long week transitioning from an eight hour night shift to a ten hour day shift, enjoying the company of a police officer as he preached the virtues of moderate use of my gas pedal, and a host of other persistent headaches and obligations, my weekend is here. On the television in the background, the Dallas Stars just put a puck past the Anaheim Ducks goal tender, and I have popped the first of a couple bottles of beer from the Yazoo Brewing Company that I picked up on a trip to Nashville in 2012.

Starting with the Sly Rye Porter, an American porter brewed with rye malt (I really wish they would be more transparent with their names) the beer pours a nice, dark hue that is just brown enough to make it slightly discernible from diesel fuel. A somewhat thin, perhaps a quarter’s thickness, head forms with a somewhat aggressive pour, and resembles the coffee that I enjoy each morning with a healthy amount of cream.

Welcoming the drinker, a nose of chocolate, roasted malts is apparent, adding nice java bitterness amidst hints of honey and cotton candy. This aroma does not deceive the palate’s experience, as the flavor of the ale rides on the same sweet, dark roasted coffee and chocolate body, however the addition of the rye adds a little bit of spice that cuts what could otherwise be overpowering sugariness.

The beer is a good, solid, and quite drinkable porter. It lives up to my expectation of what a porter should be, and adds a little something else. It might not make me say wow, but it is a beer I would drink again if it were a local option.

Well, the Stars are up 2-0 over the Ducks as the second period is about to begin, and I am about to go up another beer for the evening, with Hop Project, also from the Nash-Vegas Yazoo Brewing Co.
The Hop Project line is a series of American IPAs that claim a never repeating recipe for each batch. The information on the bottle can be used to identify the batch number, and in conjunction with the blog found on the company’s website, a drinker can get information on the hop additions of the batch that they are enjoying. The bottle I have tonight is from batch 67, which includes (per the aforementioned blog) Motueka hops from New Zealand.

Decanting the brew, the beverage pours a nice umber color, with a cloud like head. Tilting the pint glass back, a wonderful lacing is exhibited. Visually, it is a feast for the eyes.

Placing my nose above the rim of my glass I am greeted with the very pronounced smell of floral hops so strong that I feel like I am deep in the pine forests of East Texas. Amidst the aroma of perfumed vegetation, there is an underlying candy sweetness similar to that I nose noticed when enjoying the porter earlier this evening.

On the palate, the pine hop essence continues its trip from nose to gullet with a sharp, aggressive assault on the tongue, without being overly bitter, but still floral in nature. Matching the bold hop notes, a syrupy sweetness backs up the first wave of rhizome flavors. These flavor combination, along with the thick, sticky mouthfeel of the ale, give me the impression of drinking a strongly brewed herbal sweet tea.

Having experienced the Hop Project, I can’t determine how I really feel about the ale. It is somewhat pleasant, and unique for the style, but a far cry from something I could say that I like well enough to recommend.

Well, I am about ready to stop tasting beer and start drinking beer as Anaheim has put the biscuit past Lehtonen, and made it a single goal game.
Happy drinking!

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I brew and drink beer, smoke pipes and cigars, eat till I’ve had more than my fill, and escape in pulp rags till my eyes turn buggy. I don’t claim any expertise in any subject other than the chase of my own earthly pleasures. I write to help others find their own pleasures so that together we will decay in spirit with these lesser pursuits.

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