Beer Review: Branchline Brewing Company Woodcutter Rye IPA

woodcutter1Brewery: Branchline Brewing Company
Beer: Woodcutter Rye IPA
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6.55%
Character: Aggressively hopped American style IPA (Nugget, Amarillo Gold, Cascade)
Metal Connection: ABORTED – The Saw and the Carnage Done

skulls-reviews4-5

As we are approaching the one year anniversary of one of the very few San Antonio breweries, Branchline Brewing Company, I found it only right that I finally put up a review of one of their beers, especially since I have been drinking their beer for the past year. I have been to many open house/brewery tour events, and even gone to woodcutterthe brewery on regular open hours for their tap room. Hell, they even let us (Mad Pecker Brewing Company) pour our beer from their tap wall at one of their Home Brew Happy Hour events. These guys have produced some really fine year round beers, and seasonal releases. They have even brewed quite a few small batch stuff which is only available at their tap room. All of the beer I have ever tried from them have been top notch, and great examples for their respected styles.

Here, we have their Woodcutter Rye IPA, which was the first beer I fell in love with from Branchline. I had it a few times at select bars in town, and was very happy when the bottles finally got released. You’re damn right, I got one right away!

Properly using a beer can shaped pint glass by Branchline Brewing Co. for this beer, Woodcutter poured a semi-hazy burnt orange color, which cleared up after a few minutes. This beer was topped off with a nice inch thick white, bubbly head, which retained throughout this session, leaving amazing sticky lacing down the glass.

The nose was a pleasant and well balanced.The bright crisp bitter hops hit first with aromas of light citrus fruit, and flowers, then well blended with the scent of the malts, including the rye which gives off a dry grainy scent. Woodcutter has a very inviting aroma, and it makes you want more and more of it every time you bring the glass to the nose!

The first drink in as the beer hits the palate, the initial flavor is that of the bright citrus, flowery hops. It is not overpowering by any means, and that upfront bitterness is quickly matched with a earthy, woody flavor and a rich malty backbone. The rye malts make an appearance heavily in this beer, which for me is a great thing, as I love rye beers. I love the dry grainy spice that it brings to the table. The rye appears to me, mostly at the end of the drink, leaving a lingering dryness mixed with the crisp hop aftertaste.

The body is a medium thickness with a nice creamy mouthfeel. There is good carbonation bite present. There is a dryness that hits the throat at the end of the drink that lingers a while, which is something I find appealing in most rye beers.

I have a few go to beers, and this one is up there on that list. If I see it on the menu wherever I am in town, I will order myself at least one pint of this fine beverage. I didn’t think Branchline could out do this beer, but I was wrong when they released their seasonal beers, Oso Knotty Oyster Stout, and Night Sky Eggnog Stout, which I really hope they bottle one day. I am never in work mode when I am out at a bar that have these beers, so I have not reviewed those yet! At least Woodcutter is year round, so I can always count on it to satisfy my craving!

Metal Connection: The funny thing about pairing a beer to a Metal song is that every now and Goremageddonthen, well most of the time, I know that the song chosen will offend some of you out there. Seriously, I don’t really care about that when I choose the Metal Connection. So here I am with Woodcutter Rye IPA by my friends over at Branchline Brewing Company, and after seeing the saw on the label, the first band that came to my mind was Belgium’s very own sickos, Aborted. The album cover of Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done is what really came to mind because of the saw being held on the cover. Yes I know different kind of saw, but it’s still a saw, dammit! I have been a  fan of this band since their debut album, The Purity of Perversion released in 1999. I have been able to see these guys live a few times, and have actually become friends with their vocalist, Sven de Caluwé since we first chatted back in the old AOL “Unholy Metal” chat room. Damn, that was a long time ago! Here is the title track from their 2003 full length album, released on Listenable Records.

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