Review: Bonfire Rye, Sebago Brewing

Bonfire Rye
Sebago Brewing Co. — Gorham, ME

  • Style: Rye Ale
  • Bitterness: 53 IBU
  • ABV: 5.7%
  • Malts: 2-Row Barley, English Crystal and Pale, Weyerman German Rye, Franco-Belge Coffee Kiln Malt, Thomas Fawcett Dark Malt and Medium Crystal
  • Hops:  Simcoe, Columbus, Chinook, Citra
  • Sampled:  12 oz bottle (provided by brewery)

Description:  Bonfire Rye is a unique seasonal that transcends any traditional beer style. The combination of malts complement the generous amount of late-addition hops, creating a perfect balance between the earthiness of the rye and the resinous hoppy aroma.  — Sebago Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Earlier this summer, I visited Sebago in Portland, ME with a bunch of beer bloggers. Bonfire Rye had just been bottled for the first time and the brewery gave us a special pre-release sample. I like rye beers, so I brought a bottle home to include in my series on non-gourd fall seasonals

The tasting:  Deep brownish-orange in color, hazy, with an off-white head that dissipates slowly.  Some light sedimentation floats evenly throughout the glass. Aroma is full of bright grapefruit hops. Taste starts with caramel, bread, and light notes of tangy rye. Hop flavors come through in the middle. Grapefruit is dominant, but some spicy notes poke through as as well. Alcohol is not present in aroma, but a touch is found in the middle. Overall hop bitterness is moderate to high. Bonfire Rye is light bodied, has a resinous mouth feel, and finishes with grapefruit hops and light notes of spicy rye. 

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good! I want this again!  Hops and rye are two tastes that taste great together! However, I think a lighter hand with the hops might have allowed the rye to shine through a bit more. Overall, I enjoyed this beer and am glad to have discovered it during my trip to Portland (the other one)!
Have you tasted Sebago's Bonfire Rye? 

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