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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Right Brain Brewing Company Concrete Dinosaur

Review by Mark Iacopelli

In a seemingly endless sea of IPAs it is difficult to find one that stands out and really impresses me. Concrete Dinosaur by Right Brain Brewing is one such IPA. It is a brown rye IPA clocking in at 7.2% ABV. Although Right Brain is most often associated with their CEO Stout, I'm not the only one this IPA impressed — the Traverse City brewery brought home a silver medal in the category of Rye Beer from The Great American Beer Festival 2015.

I poured Concrete Dinosaur into a chalice-style glass at around 43F. It poured a very deep brown almost black color. In the light you can see very good clarity and deep ruby highlights. The head is tan and pillow soft with fine bubbles lingering. On the nose I picked up grassy resinous hop aroma with pine in the background. I detected little to no malt or rye initially, but as the beer warmed more of the rye and caramel-chocolate came through. As for the flavor, wow! Initial caramel sweetness gives way to a burst of peppery rye that is both aided by hop bitterness and also makes for a near seamless transition into the hops. Hop flavor reflects the resin and pine found in the aroma. It is assertively bitter without being a tongue scrapper. The finish is immediately dry and lingers with a pleasant balance of bitter hops and nutty malt tones. As it warms nutty chocolate malt takes center stage with hops as the chorus. The mouthfeel is medium in body, medium carbonation and very smooth. It is prickly on the tongue, but has no alcohol warming or burn. Overall I thought this was a fantastic beer! It was both satisfying if you were to have just one glass, but I could see myself easily drinking a couple.

I have always been a fan of blended styles. In many cases, blending styles have a way of bringing the best out of both worlds. This beer is a wonderful marriage between the nutty chocolate of a brown ale and the crisp refreshing character of an IPA, with rye being the key to the harmonious union.

Right Brain Concrete Dinosaur is available at Siciliano's Market for $6.49/750ml while supplies last.

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