The Manhattan Double Rye Ale is a lovely Rye Beer by Funky Buddha Brewery. Part of the brewery’s Mixology Series, this is a highly complex brew that’s intended to simulate the taste of a Manhattan cocktail.
The Rye Beer was brewed with rye, corn, and barley and then aged in High West Distillery rye barrels. Separately, a Belgian-style Tripel was aged in wine barrels and then herbs and botanicals were added to simulate vermouth.
A double portion of the Rye Beer is blended with the Tripel, mimicking the classic 2 to 1 ratio of a Manhattan cocktail.
And so how was the Manhattan Double Rye Ale? Read on. For the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a 12 oz. bottle.
The ale pours a deep amber, nearly the darkness of a brown ale. It’s topped briefly by a finger-thick cap of loose off-white foam that dissipates rapidly. A thin ring of bubbles rounds the glass following the head’s reduction.
The aroma is sweet with a scent of vanilla from the whiskey barrels. The blend of herbs add a slight savory balance.
The palate leads off with a taste of brown bread and rye. Dark fruits of fig and plum sweeten a fat middle. There’s a taste of apple and orange that’s followed by an herbal blend that adds to the complexity but hardly balances the ale’s sweetness. Rye rejoins the tasting as the beer warms. The finish is sticky sweet with candied dark fruits and vanilla.
The brew has a smooth draw with a medium body and medium-light carbonation. There’s a moderate warming sensation from the booze and the ale’s sweetness lends to a sticky finish that’s almost cloying. The balance is seemingly better as the beer warms. Or perhaps the ale’s booziness is playing tricks on my mind. Regardless, any bitterness is slight and hardly perceptible.
The Manhattan Double Rye Ale is a brew that you may not be sure if you like at it first. In fact, you may not be sure what to make of it all. This ale just has that much going on but that’s also what makes it so special. For anyone who has brewed their own beer, you can’t help but marvel at the complexity of pulling something like this off. And even if you haven’t, if you enjoy complex and layered brews, this Rye Beer by Funky Buddha is a must try.
Funky Buddha Brewery recommends the following food pairings with their Manhattan Double Rye ale: braised asso buco, roasted duck, citrus baked salmon, and soufflé a l’orange.