Rain Check by Sierra Nevada

Tasting: July 28, 2014
Style: Stout (Spiced)
Beer #: 564

Rain Check

©2014 popsonhops

Rain Check

This June, just a little more than two years after breaking ground, Sierra Nevada broke the seal on their new brewery in Mills River, North Carolina. As an introduction to the “neighborhood” Sierra Nevada unveiled Rain Check, a spiced stout and released it to just five states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee). It is the first unique brew produced in their western North Carolina facility and is appropriately named for the record rains and severe weather that hampered construction and delayed their ultimate coming out party.

While Sierra Nevada is a first generation craft brewer they may once again be a trend-setter as the California craft beer giant may be the first western craft brewer to plant a second set of roots on the east coast. We see other brewers like New Belgium and Stone in various stages of setting up east coast facilities. While it may mean cheaper distribution for the brewery and more supply for the still burgeoning craft beer market – I’m hoping it goes beyond business and puts more of the “craft” into this thirty-something year old brewery.

This particular bottle comes to me by way of a co-worker that was visiting relatives in Greensboro. I divvied up the four pack to share with a few friends.

Rain Check is advertised as having flavors often found in foul-weather drinks like fresh ginger, brown sugar, molasses, and tangy lime. The aroma definitely reveals ginger and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is what hits me first – somewhat thin and fizzy first few sips. Flavor is complex and that ginger kicks up first and over the top of some lime and burnt grains. Alcohol checks in at 8.9%. While this is refreshing, I’d call this more Yuletide holiday ale than stout. I’ll peg Rain Check at 85 points.

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