Monday, March 22, 2010

265. The Bruery Rugbrød

This marks our fourth beer from the Bruery, which is located in Placentia, CA. Our previous three include Hottenroth, Orchard White and Saison Rue.

Described as a “Julebryg-style dark rye ale” on the label (and no, I am not certain what that means, but see below to get that all sorted out), Rugbrød pours a hazy chocolate with caramel and orange highlights and an abundant tan head that lingers and lingers and lingers. The nose is bready with some chocolate aromas, and has a dry, almost biscuit-like component to it. Rugbrød starts bready with roasted and chocolate flavors; the middle brings some caramel sweetness, and also some of the rye spiciness, which continues on into the end of the beer. There are chocolate and dryness at the finish, and some lingering alkaline cocoa flavors that are slightly unpleasant. The flavor profile is a bit muddled across the board; there are not a lot of crisp, clear distinctions between the flavors present in the beer. Maybe aging this would help, but maybe not; we don’t currently know. Rugbrød has a medium mouthfeel with a good chunk of dryness on the palate. The carbonation is a bit too effusive in relation to the beer; it may contribute to the overall dryness, but could be toned back. Interesting for what it has to offer, but not that exciting.

From the Carlsberg website, which tells us what a Julebryg beer is: “Merry Christmas and Happy New Beer! Most Danes know the blue and white advertisement for Tuborg Julebryg (Tuborg Christmas Brew). But probably not many know that the famous animated commercial, which features Santa Claus in blue clothing, is actually older than the beer itself. The commercial was originally launched in 1980 as a special holiday commercial for ordinary Tuborg pilsner, but it became so popular that for Christmas 1981 we created the special Tuborg Julebryg. Although Tuborg Julebryg is a seasonal beer and is only on the market for six weeks every year, it is still Denmark’s fourth best selling beer. It’s only beaten by Green Tuborg, Carlsberg Pilsner and Tuborg Classic, which are available all year round. Its launch, known as ‘J-day,’ always takes place on the first Friday of every November and is an annual day of celebration across Denmark. Carlsberg employees drive around the bars and cafes, handing out free beer to really get the festive season started. Tuborg Julebryg is a bottom-fermented, wiener beer brewed on lager, münchener and caramel malt with English liquorice. The beer is dark-golden with a fresh aroma of caramel, grain, liquorice and blackcurrant.”

This is from the Danish Wikipedia. We used an online translator (thanks Google Translate!), so it is a bit off, and, well, not all of it got translated. Double awesome: “A Christmas brew a special beer, as brewers send the market in the run up to July. Som regel er en julebryg stærkere (i en højere skatteklasse) end almindelige pilsnere, men enkelte bryggerier har også juleøl med pilsnerstyrk. As a rule, julebryg is stronger (in a higher tax bracket) than regular lager, but some breweries also Christmas beer with lager strength. En julebryg skal ikke forveksles med en nisseøl, der som regel er en mørk hvidtøl med den tilhørende søde smag og lavere alkoholprocent. A Julebryg should not be confused with a Nisseøl, there are usually a dark hvidtøl with a sweet taste and lower alcohol percentage. Julebryggen var allerede i gamle dage en stærk lagret øl. Christmas brews were already in the old days, a strong matured beer. Normalt drak man til hverdag tynd øl, men til jul serveres en stærk, vellagret øl, så stemningen hurtigt kunne gå højt. Normally one would drink a beer usually thin, but for Christmas served a strong, well seasoned beer, then the mood could quickly go high. Juleøllen var specielt velegnet til at matche den fede mad, der blev serveret ved juletid. Julebryg was especially well-suited to match the rich food that was served at Christmastime. En sødlig variant heraf blev nydt til risengrød. Den første danske julebryg, der blev udsendt i større omfang, var X-mas fra Ceres , der kom på markedet i 1969. It was mainly a local phenomenon in Aarhus and environs, where the release of the year’s brew was made in November to an event called the X-days during the 1970s. In 1990 put the brewery Tuborg focus on Christmas brew by introducing the term snebajer as a greeting on the labels of Green Tuborg. The following year was a snebajer to a stand-alone product and in 2006 Denmark’s best-selling Christmas brew. Det tegnede univers blev opfundet af Peter Wibroe , og reklamefilmen, som blev lanceret på daværende tidspunkt, vises stadigvæk uden ændringer i landets biografer og på tv. In 1990 the brewery introduced the annual J-Day, which celebrates the release of this year’s Christmas brew.”

From the Bruery website: “Meaning ‘rye bread’ in Danish, we took our inspiration for this beer from the Danes’ staple dark, whole-grain rye bread. Brewed with three types of rye malt, this robust brown ale showcases the earthy, spicy character of the grain, complemented by bready, nutty barley malts and a hint of roast. Loosely based on the Scandinavian Christmas beer or ‘Julebryg’ tradition, this beer is perfect for the colder weather of winter, although it will be available year-round (because who doesn’t love a dark beer now and again, regardless of weather?) And don’t worry about the name, we can’t pronounce it either!”

ABV: 8.0%
IBU: 30


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