Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Tag: Rogue (Page 1 of 3)

Chatoe Rogue – First Growth Single Malt Ale

As I stood, staring off into the void of my friend’s backyard while the beginnings of a homebrew boiled on the pellet stove, I fantasized about hops. I was fascinated by the sharp and pungent bite of pellet hops we’d added only a few minutes earlier, but a yearning emerged. How much more satisfiying would it be to grow, cultivate, harvest and use your own hops in your own beer? To see them start as soots and end up as a bucket of fresh cones?

Not having a backyard myself, I think I’m a long way off from realizing that dream. But brewers at Rogue have released limited and exciting brews featuring ingredients grown at their own brewery – including the first growth of “Dare malts” from the Rogue Barley Farm, and Revolution Hops from the Rogue Hopyard. (Along with some pacman yeast and free range coastal water, of course). Because of their revolutionary motifs and hops, their logo is a great piece of graphic design – a bold fist clutching hops and barley.


With all the boldness of the logo – I expected a bold hop-forward brew. But instead, I should have read the label. “Medium bodied with a lush rich maltiness” oh – the malts are front and center here. Cool. Haven’t had one of those in a while…

It poured a respectable yellow to orange, with a pouffy head. The smell was that of a nutty malt and a lightness or spiciness that was really interesting. The taste wasn’t disappointing. Clean, drinkable with a really smooth finish, the malts are doing most of the talking. I was hoping for a fresh hop burst, but this is a nice subdued brew. Almost uncharacteristically delicate for Rogue, this one is one that is thirst quenching at the same time that it is light and delicious.

This may be a stretch, but I feel like this is somehow a humble brew from Rogue. Presented with a little bit of… restraint. I’m tempted to pick up another bottle and hold it to compare with next year’s version (second growth?) but I’m not sure if this will be an annual release. All in all, I respect their pursuit of a really independent sentiment – and of a tasty brew.


Rogue – John John Ale

johnjohnI always walk past the beer section in whole foods and eye the Rogue section. They come out with new beers faster than I can keep up with them and its always worth a look. This one has, instead of the typical illustration on the cover, a photo of two brewers. The beer is described as the Rogue Dead Guy aged in Dead Guy Whiskey Barrels. It pours a light orange, with a really vigorous head that dies down a few seconds after threatening to overspill the glass.

It smells citrusy and like oranges – which is not at all what I expected from aged Dead Guy. The taste, though, is surprisingly complex. A bit of citrus, and a little whiskey residue – it actually reminds me a bit of a whiskey sour. It isn’t a heavy ale, and isn’t as sweet of some of the other whiskey-aged beers I’ve tried. I do like this though, and would seek it out again. I wish I had it with my dinner, honestly, which featured a citrus salsa on top of salmon.

All and all, I think that this is one that I’d have again – and once again, Rogue doesn’t disappoint. I won’t be fully satisfied until Rogue opens a brewpub on the east coast, though. (That’s a hint, Rogue!)

Rogue – Mogul Madness Ale

Picture 8I was saving this beer for my first trip down the slopes at Sugarloaf this season- I thought it would make a great post-skiing drink to warm me up. However, with the moving and all, I haven’t made it up to the slopes yet (next weekend I hope!). So, without some kind of pat story, I opened up my fridge on a cold winter’s evening and found a lot of stuff, but I just wanted something simple. Good, but not extravagant…

This pours out a nice deep brown, with a big,  fluffy white head.  The smell is a bit malty, with a little bit of lightness and balance – very inviting smell. This seems to be exactly what I was seeking. Its a little spicy and warm (maybe a little citrus note, like a mulled cider?) and malty without being too nutty or bitter. Its an ale that could warm anyone on a cold day. The taste of it also lingers long and ends slightly sweet. I could drink many of these in a row, its aftertaste is worth waiting for.

Do you have a favorite apres ski beer? Let me know at

5 Beers to Bring to Thanksgiving Dinner – 2009

Garfield-Thanksgiving-feast_copyWhether you love or hate this American holiday, many can agree that having the right beer on hand can make this holiday a lot more bareable. It can also be an interesting time to introduce relatives to some new beers. Each year, I recommend a few beers that you could bring to Thanksgiving dinner to either spark conversation, pair with thanksgiving food or in general just be a nice way to spend the evening with family. My criteria is simple – the beers should be drinker-friendly, readily accessible, and worth tasting. They’re different every year, so I recommend you check out the 2007 and 2008 version as well for some additional ideas!

1. Rogue Maierfest – This new beer from Rogue is a truly fall beer. Balanced, spicy and very warming, this one goes very well with turkey, stuffing and other fall roasty dishes like potatoes, carrots and onions. It is also a nice fall/winter warmer, and I really like standing out on my deck drinking one of these when there’s a chill in the air.

2. Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale – This has been my favorite pumpkin beer of the season, and it’s very entry-level and palate friendly. Not too spicy, not too pumpkin, not too anything, really, this one is a nice mix of pumpkin flavor with a tasty beer undertone. Well done this year, Dogfish.

3.  Magic Hat – Howl – This is a new “winter” beer from Magic Hat. Its malty nature and warming qualities make it nice for a winter’s evening. I think it would probably go well with a hearty meal like thanksgiving, but watch out it may make you sleepy as it warms.

4. Sam Adams – Octoberfest – I know what you beer geeks are thinking. Really? That’s not very creative, Beer Babe. But hear me out. This is a very likable, classic fall beer that goes well with a lot of food, and might be a good “entry level” brew for those beer-skeptic members of the family like your uncle or dad that only drinks things with red white or blue labels. Try this as the gateway beer this year, and it just might work.

5. Victory – Golden Monkey – First of all, the illustration on the outside of this one is just adorable. The taste, too is very delicious. Its a wheaty and yeasty golden beer, and pretty easy to get. This is for the drinker that thinks all beer tastes the same, because this may cross the line and prove them very, very wrong. Check it out.

Enjoy your holiday everyone! Please feel free to comment and tell me what you bring to your thanksgiving dinner!

Also, if you haven’t had a chance to read this posting from Mario Rubio of the Hop Press about cooking turkey with beer (including a recipe for IPA mashed potatoes) I highly recommend it. Happy thanksgiving!

Rogue – Imperial Stout

Also in a nifty ceramic bottle, this pricey offering from Rogue is my be well worth it coming in at 750 ml for around $15 or so. This bottle, though I bought it last week, is actually of a 2007 vintage. I’m unsure if there are any releases after that, though I would hope they’d brew this again.

This pours out of the ceramic bottle (which seems perfect for home brewing with its resealable top…) a dark, viscous black. The head lazily rose through the beer as if it were fighting through molasses. The smell was of a sweet maltiness and had a depth and darkness that I haven’t found in a while. It reminded me almost of the smell of an oatmeal stout.
The taste was thick, heavy and slightly bitter, with enough of an undertone of sweetness to make me happy. This is a classic imperial stout, and well done at that. This doesn’t taste overpoweringly alcoholic either though it does come in at 11% ABV. It is described as tasting better after a year (and in this case two years) of aging, and I would have to agree, though I did not have the privilege to try this straight off the tap. 

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