Your faithful correspondent has been very slow to report on a tasting of Two Roads Brewing Company, from Stratford CT.
Pours a beautiful cream gold from the can, the nose gives classic yeast and malt with a hint of clove, and these carry through on the palette. Some bubblegum comes in on the finish, which remains dry rather than sweet. Others at a recent tasting got the bubblegum right away. 5% ABV. This stands up nobly against the German originals. This was the first beer from Two Roads that I tried, and for that matter my first canned craft beer. I learned right there that excellent beer may come from a can. Did I like it? Did I put it in the header image of my blog?’
Worker’s Comp Saison
This sessionable saison arrives with a nice slightly sour yeasty nose with lots of fruit and spice. It’s a good sipper with a slight zing, not as sour as some saisons and I prefer it this way. We heard that this is brewed from seven different grains described as like “what’s laying around farmhouse.” This starts off with the classics: barley, wheat, oats, and rye, but spelt was also mentioned. I can’t say that I’ve spent time in European farmhouses, but I don’t think too many of them have spelt! The result of all this is like a hearty stew of malts and a lot of mouth-filling complexity for 4.8% ABV. All this wraps up on the finish with hints of tropical fruit and perhaps even pepper.
Continuing the theme of relatively low alcohol (5.2% ABV), this wheat beer is made with red and black raspberry purée and has lemongrass added. Very pretty in the glass (put it in a flute), it gives firm raspberry like a lambic with citrus coming behind. I’ve been very sluggish reviewing this, so this summer seasonal may be nowhere to be found, but if you like fruit beer perhaps you can grab a straggler.
Road 2 Ruin Double IPA
OK, enough of the low alcohol stuff. This pours a pretty apricot with a mild head. On the nose it leads with strong musty fruit and pine. The hops dominate the palette but on a structure of malt. I wouldn’t call this balanced, but I don’t think that’s the point. The hop mix continues on the finish. 8% ABV.
Wrapping up with a Rye Tripel, this starts as a nice Belgian style then picks up a little twist from the rye. It’s complex fruity malty yeasty, with some fruit and spice coming in with the hops. 9.5% ABV. This isn’t a favorite of mine, but it’s not the slightest bit bad. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by other tripels or maybe rye isn’t my favorite here. On further thought, maybe the Rye 95 suffered after the heavy hitting hops of Road 2 Ruin.
This reminds me how important sequencing is during a tasting or even during an evening at home. Light to heavy, low ABV to high, low bitterness to high . . . and sometimes these are going to conflict. Rye 95 was higher alcohol heavier mouth feel, but Road 2 Ruin was higher in IBU. I think my preference is to wrap up with the hoppiest beer. After all, Ballast Point Palette Wrecker and Stone Ruination IPA are not designed as a gentle segue to anything else.
Anyway, sometime soon I’ll have to head over into Connecticut and find a road that leads to Two Roads.
Images courtesy of Two Roads Brewing Company