As a Rhode Island native and lifelong New Englander, I want to like Newport Storm beers. But I have never been wowed by them and rarely seek them out. So it was with some trepidation that I tried a bottle of the microbrewer's newest release, a rye pale ale called Ryan that is part of the so-called Cyclone Series.
But hold on a minute here. Coastal Extreme Brewing Co., the company that brews Newport Storm, has brought its "A" game to Ryan.
Ryan -- named for brewery president Brent Ryan -- is an excellent rye beer with some kick: 8 percent alcohol by volume and 53 International Bittering Units. It's strong and hoppy while delivering the subtle spiciness that is a hallmark of rye beers.
Copper in color with a sticky, 2-inch head, Ryan smells of spicy malt and a good amount of grassy and floral hops. The caramel-leaning malt character is up front on the taste, along with dark spices and a certain earthiness imparted by the grassy hops. A moderate bitterness comes through, and the rye's spiciness lingers all the way to the end.
All in all, Ryan is an unusually strong offering from Newport. This beer I will definitely seek out again.