4.6AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2012 One of the ways I measure my enjoyment of a beer is by how much I would like to drink more of it. In the case of Rogue Shakespeare Stout, simply drinking a 22oz bomber was not NEARLY enough. This is exactly what I look for in a beer: a strong flavor that caters to the discriminating beer drinker while also being easy to drink and surprisingly light in weight. I know lightweights won’t like it, which in turn makes me enjoy it even more.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
The beer poured a little rough and formed a nearly pitch-black opaque body with a thick, creamy head which lasted for quite a while and left quite a lot of lacing on the glass. It scent was odd for a stout with a deep roasted quality detectable in the nose as well as a significant hoppy component. So many stouts tend to be weak and flat in scent, but Shakespeare Stout is quite vocal.
There’s only one word that comes to mind when it comes to describing the taste of this beer: roasty. I often associate stouts with having a dry, bitter flavor with some roasty quality. But in the case of Shakespeare Stout the opposite seems to be true. This is a beer whose roasty flavor is quite pronounced, balanced with a creamy core which mixes coffee and chocolate flavors to give it a subtle, smooth, sweet finish.
Its rare I come across this beer that is so intense in taste and still makes proper usage of its hoppy side. Usually, I associate an India Pale Ale with the high IBU rating of 69 this beer has, That a stout can be this bitter and this tasty without coming off as bland and dry is quite an accomplishment.
For a highly-hopped beer, Shakespeare Stout is surprisingly smooth and easy to drink. It does have a noticeable creaminess to its taste, which probably accounts for its smooth finish.
Stouts are often thought of as being “heavy” beers which is not necessarily true (Guinness has only 15 more calories than Bud Light). At 6% ABV, Shakespeare Stout is only slightly more potent than your average beer. I’m not sure how many calories it has, but for such a dark beer it is surprisingly light on your system. That’s another sign of quality, though – not overwhelming the drinker.
Rogue Shakespeare Stout is what I would consider a beer for serious drinkers only. The flavor is quite complex and intense that it’s better for sipping, not chugging. I drank mine as slowly as possibly trying to savor the craftsmanship that was put into making this such a great beer.