Local microbrewery COAST recently released its celebrated fall seasonal in kegs and in 22-ounce amber glass bottles. With the dark and full-flavored Rye Knot Brown Ale, brewers David Merritt and Jaime Tenney put their own twist on the classic beer style of brown ale. We secured a few bottles in time for a little Halloween party, washing down a few cupcakes and candy bars with big sips of the robust ale.
Mahogany-brown in color, its hue is almost black ale. At 6.2 percent a.b.v., it's not an unwieldy high-gravity beer, but there are some mighty malt flavors behind it's roasty character. On the label, COAST describes Rye Knot as "a full-bodied, dark brown ale with intense malt character and a slight caramel sweetness." Well put. With only a few slight adjustments in the malt schedule, it would nearly qualify as a traditional brown porter or Scottish ale.
They use hefty amounts of chocolate rye malt and caramel malts in the mash, which creates a delicate balancing act between the initial sweeter caramel-coffee flavors the come through and the dry, tawny, bready flavors in the dry finish. Hints of raisins, molasses, and pumpernickel add to the complexity. Mild hop flavors pop up in the aftertaste.
Rye Knot stood up to our Halloween treats just fine, but it would surely go nicely if paired with a big slice of glazed pork tenderloin, a grilled ribeye, a spicy bowl of squash soup, or a plate of seared scallops.
See coastbrewing.com for more.