I'll Be in the Arcade If You Need Me
A Review of Ticket to Rye by Magic Hat Brewing Co.
Posted on 4/22/2013 by Chops
                   
Fair
Oh Magic Hat, you fantastically strange brewery. Whenever I need to mix things up a bit, I can always rely on Magic Hat for a healthy dose of WTF. Don't get me wrong though, I don't mean this in a bad way because they do brew good beer at a baseline. But on the flip side, their beers are never mind blowing. Mind bending, yes. But never mind blowing. This of course is the great appeal of Magic Hat. They make brews for individualists, people who seek out the weird and wacky. Every Magic Hat beer is an adventure, whether you want it to be or not. Such was the case when I came across their Ticket to Rye IPA.

In the glass, this beer has a semi-hazy dark amber coloration. It comes with a creamy light tan head that has good retention. At this point, the coaster has crested the summit. On the nose, I was assaulted by a potent musky aroma that I can only describe as sweaty socks (queue the head scratching). I did find a little bit of citrus lurking about, but not enough to pull attention away from sweaty socks. Needless to say, this was not a first sip I was looking forward to.

Oddly enough, the base flavor was pretty straight forward. Just some earthy rye malt and mild hop citrus. Unfortunately this combo comes across as lopsided with the rye spiciness overpowering the weaker hop profile. Coupled with an unpleasant aroma, it creates a peculiar sensory experience. The rye does have a toasted bread crust flavoring, but it feels grimy and dirty. At best, this beer tastes like a gritty rye amber. Any resemblance to an IPA is completely lost on my palate. This beer is unbalanced and feels thrown together. To be perfectly honest, it's almost unclassifiable. Kind of an amber, kind of a rye ale, kind of a pale ale, etc.

Overall, Magic Hat's Ticket to Rye IPA is a confusing beer with no sense of direction. It has potential at best, and is flat offensive at worst. To be fair, I'm sure there are beer fans out there who would find Ticket to Rye to be tasty and enjoyable. But, I suspect that most seasoned drinkers would find themselves befuddled. Consequently, I struggle to recommend it to any specific camp. I would imagine die hard fans of the brewery will enjoy it, and that's about as far as my insight will allow me to go. This was my first and last Ticket to Rye. I'll be in the arcade if you need me.

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Ticket To Rye by Magic Hat Brewing Co.
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