Just when you thought your girlfriend was the only one who celebrated half birthdays, The Unknown Brewing comes along with their celebratory 1.5ish anniversary Belgian Style Red Rye Ale. To be fair, this ale was originally brewed in celebration of their 1 year anniversary, so we’ll cut them some slack. I’m also not one to complain about more frequent releases of special brews. If Unknown released a 1.75ish anniversary ale, there’s a greater than probable chance that I’d pick that up too. Never forego an opportunity to celebrate!
The bottle sets some early expectations of funk by stating that this ale was aged and soured with strawberries and vanilla beans in French oak cabernet barrels. This ale pours a murky, strawberry tinted brown with a thin, sudsy head. The aroma has a strong presence of strawberry but only a light hint of vanilla. There’s also an intense aspect of sour, unripe fruit outlined by an astringent tartness.
The flavor profile continues with the unripe strawberry shortcake theme. There is an intense tartness on the frontend with powerful notes of sour grapes and unripe strawberry. This blast of acidity is mellowed out by a hint of toasted rye before the ale finishes with the astringent character that was sensed on the nose. The body is relatively light with low carbonation, which gives it a mouthfeel similar to wine.
The 1.5ish by The Unknown is the diesel powered version of a strawberry ale. This brew ventures into some seriously uncharted territory and will likely only be appreciated by the more seasoned palates. Even among craft beer aficionados, there’s sure to be a few raised eyebrows. With all that said, this is definitely worth experiencing… unless you’re scared of a strawberry ale.
- Appearance: Murky Strawberry Brown / Thin Head
- Aroma: Strawberry, Astringent Tartness, Light Vanilla, Unripe Fruit
- Flavor: Unripe Strawberry, Sour Grapes, Toasted Rye, Astringent Aftertaste
- Mouthfeel: Medium Minus, Low Carbonation
- ABV: 9%
- Score: 81