(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)
Recent followers of Rosemary Renaissance may not know this, but in addition to recipes this blog is also home to Quinn and Eric’s reviews of Pacific Northwest breweries. It’s been more than a year since we ran a post in our “The Pint is Mightier” series, but we finally got our act together and have a new write-up of local Seattle brewery: Reuben’s Brews.
Our tasting notes and Untappd scores for individual beers are below. Overall, we thought that Reuben’s was a strong brewery with an ample variety of consistently tasty beers. Their space was nice, with a neat loft area up top and covered outdoor seating. Out only wish was for the fortitude to taste more beers during our excursion. Consider this on our list of breweries to revisit.
Eric’s first beer – American Rye (4/5 caps on Untappd)
I have had a few Reuben’s Brews beers in the past and so I was excited to try them out in a more official capacity. I went with what any patriot would choose: the American Rye. This beer poured an opaque golden yellow color and really lacked any sort of strong aroma. When discussing these beers, Quinn noted that the aroma was almost lager-esque in nature.
Upon taking my first sip, it was very apparent how carbonated this beer was. The huge rye flavor blasted my taste buds with a marvelous balancing act that tempered the hops. The beer had a great mouthfeel and went down quite easily. Interestingly, after drinking about a third of a pint, I could taste a bit of lingering yeastiness on my tongue from the beer. This was not a bad thing, and I think helped highlight just how delicate and well balanced this brew is.
This beer was great – anyone who likes rye beers should give it a try. If you are not used to the rye flavor, you might be put off by how bold this beer is, but I think you will quickly come to enjoy it. For me, this is a great standby beer. If I am ever in a pub and I don’t know what to order and they have Reuben’s American Rye – well, I guess I would know what to order at that point.
Quinn’s first beer – Kenya Cream (4/5 caps on Untappd)
My fondness for interesting and unique beers got the best of me (it always does) when ordering my first beer, leading me to the Kenya Cream Ale. It was golden in color, with just a hint of amber tint. When I raised the glass to see how it smelled, I was immediately enveloped by the aroma of fresh ground coffee.
I expected the beer itself to be equally coffee flavored, but instead I was pleasantly surprised as I took my first sip and found the Kenya Cream to be exceptionally well-balanced. The first note tasted firmly of coffee, but almost immediately it gave way to a nice malty backdrop. Mild notes of fruit were also present in complicated medley.
Whether you’re drawn to new things or more of a traditionalist when it comes to your beer, you’ll find something to love in the Kenya Cream. Highly recommended – unless you truly despise the smell and taste of coffee.
Eric’s second beer – Robust Porter (4/5 caps on Untappd)
When going to these breweries we like to cover our bases to really get a good variety of beers. Reuben’s had a handful of dark ales, but I decided on the robust porter. And I am sure glad I did.
This porter poured an inky black color with a creamy looking head, which might be misleading because this porter was far from creamy. It was very roasty tasting, but in a good way – the brewmaster did an excellent job with the balance. There was a subtle sweetness to it and, despite being very roasty, I detected no hints of coffee.
The Robust Porter is a straightforward beer, but has an amazing lingering roasty taste that lingers on the back of the tongue. If you’re looking for a solid darker beer, then look no further. Reuben’s Robust Porter will sate your appetite.
Quinn’s second beer – Imperial Rye IPA (4/5 caps on Untappd)
For a while Untappd only let you give a whole number of ‘caps’ when rating beers. Eric and I were excited when they instituted half-cap ratings, but almost immediately afterward we began to wish there was a 0.25 cap scale.
The point of that story – aside from being a cautionary tale about being careful what you wish for – is that in my opinion this is a 3.75 cap beer. The amber-colored Imperial Rye IPA has a very strong, bold citrus flavor that hits you up front and stays with you after you finish your sip. It’s not a bad flavor, but it almost masks the more moderate rye tones that Reuben’s is famous for cultivating.
Eric would probably write a more favorable review here, but I felt that this beer was held back by balance issues. While good individually, the flavors fought each other a bit, and there was a lingering bitterness that struck me the wrong way. I still liked it – I just wish I liked it more.