Sixpoint Righteous Ale

Sixpoint is back on track. I wasn’t crazy about Bengali Tiger, a kind of overly bitter IPA, but the brewery’s entry into rye territory is a win.

I’m talking about their Righteous Ale, which has a 90 on Beer Advocate.

While the beer poured an almost amber/brown hue, it also gave off a great amount of caramel-colored head that slowly dissipated as I drank the beer. Of the other Sixpoint brews I’ve had, I felt this one had the best head retention.

I haven’t had a ton of rye beers, but this one had some good, classic rye flavor, including nutty and spicy notes that I thought hid pretty well over an almost fresh wort-like smell. Once I got past an intense malt-forward aroma, I caught a bit of resinous hops that gave off an earthy, pine smell.  Sixpoint’s website doesn’t specify which hops were used, but I did find this Brewing Network thread where a poster references Northern Brewer hops. That seems right on the money as these mid-level alpha acid hops tend to give off pine-like smells. I also picked up aspects of lemon that gave off a fleeting aroma at the end of each whiff.

Curious where else the brew took me? Hit the jump.

The taste is very interesting and something I imagine isn’t typical of rye beers. On the same Brewing Network thread, it’s mentioned that Sixpoint uses Maris Otter and chocolate malt to pair with rye malt, which would typically make up less than 25 percent of the grain bill anyway. Looking back on the beer, it’s a wonderful idea because the taste of Righteous Ale was almost like a porter or stout (to me). I noted that it went about 80 percent of the way to what I’d associate with those beers – smooth, heavy mouthfeel with some level of chocolate/caramel flavor and smoke. For the humorous sake of it, I’ll assume rye malt did indeed make up about 20 percent of the malt used.

Worth noting:

  1. The IBU listed for this beer is 57, which puts it into pale ale territory. I don’t know how many hops were used for this brew, but the IBUs are obviously very well balanced with the malty sweetness and only show up a little on the nose. Very interesting.
  2. When I burped, I was able to catch some more of that and the citrus from the aroma of the brew and the smokiness that was hiding in the flavor somewhere. Very interesting still.

If anything, Righteous Ale was a great beer for its uniqueness. I’ve only had a few of this brewery’s beers, but I’d say it’s #2 for me behind Apollo.

Here’s my Rate That Beer sheet:


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