Review Date 3/17/2013
Well, here we go again with that first impression thingy. As in you never get a second chance to make a good first one. It looks like for the Knee Deep Brewing Company of San Jose, California, that chance is gone forever. At least with me anyway. That’s because the first beer that I’ve sampled form them, Knee Deep Ryedentity Crisis, was very unimpressive indeed.
Perhaps it tried to be too much? Ryedentity Crisis is described on the label as a “Rye Saison Ale”. That sounded interesting enough to attract my attention and get me to pick up a bottle from Total Wine. The price was reasonable enough by today’s standards at $6.99 for a 22-ounce bottle.
Let’s jump right in and try it, shall we?
Knee Deep Rydentity Crisis pours to a cloudy orange amber color with a thick creamy head formation and a passion-fruit laden nose. Surprisingly, I found the palate a bit bland up front with a bit of caramel at first and then some spicy rye to follow, though not really a lot. Some more fruit follows and the beer becomes dry in the finish, perhaps gently peppery and a tad phenolic. There is a little alcohol warmth, but it does not seem as strong as the 8% alcohol content by volume advertised on the label.
Here’s the problem I have with this beer. When I buy a rye saison, I want some rye, and I want some saison. I am not really getting either here. The spicy, dry, and slightly funky character of a saison is missing, and though I got a gentle hint of rye, it’s not nearly enough to keep this one interesting. What’s more, the combination of flavors here does not really work well, and I’m not left with a very enjoyable beer drinking experience. Does it want to be a rye beer, or a saison? This beer really does have a ryedentity crisis.
I might try another beer from Knee Deep Brewing, but I certainly would not buy their Ryedentity Crisis again.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.