Like certain animals, some styles of beer are in danger of going extinct. Fortunately, unlike the animal kingdom, it’s easy to revive an extinct beer; it just takes a little research and a little effort. Take, for example, the Kentucky common beer—an easy-drinking brown ale composed of the same ingredients used in Bourbon plus hops and brewer’s yeast. It was extremely difficult to find such a beer anywhere let alone in Colorado but now, thanks to TRVE Brewing Company, local beer geeks can get a taste of the Bluegrass State in Death Ripper (4.2% ABV), the newly-released beer brewed in collaboration with Denver-based metal band Speedwolf.
Color: Death Ripper is a very dark amber color bordering on mahogany. It is technically clear but its dark shade makes that fact hard to verify.
Aroma: There’s really not much to Death Ripper’s nose; it’s light and malty with nothing overt.
Taste: When speaking of this beer’s flavor, one has to speak mostly of the aftertaste because the foretaste is so mild. What the drinker might notice first is a faint, lightly toasted malt backbone which is then followed by a touch of sourness derived from the fact that, in its infancy, this beer was hardly different from the sour mash used to make Bourbon. No, it’s not a “sour beer” like a Berliner Weisse or a Flanders Oud Bruin but there’s still a sour flicker as this beer washes down. Accompanying the sour is a supporting cast of bittering hops which never grow to any significant intensity. Overall, Death Ripper, with a low ABV and non-confrontational flavor, is exceptionally session-able.
Mouthfeel: This beer, contrary to the assumptions made of dark-colored beers, is not heavy at all. Death Ripper causes some wetness around the corners of the mouth but the middle of the tongue experiences a drying sensation.
There’s only one place to get a taste of Death Ripper—the TRVE taproom. Enjoy it on-site or bring a growler and take it home.