Friday, August 2, 2013

Rogue Honey Kolsch

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (929) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 2, 2013
I poured a 750ml bottle into a pilsner glass. There was no freshness date. I acquired this bottle on my trip to #BBC13.

Appearance: Bright yellow/white gold hue. Extremely clear body with plenty of consistent carbonation visible. Forms a large, bright white, foamy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Not much of anything, other than pale, pilsner-style malt. Nothing offensive, but nothing interesting.

Taste: Kolsch is one of my least liked styles of beer due to the fact beers of the style tend not to be bad, but just plain boring. Rogue Honey Kolsch is a perfect example of what I mean. I don’t find any flaws in it per se, but there’s really not much to like about it except the fact it’s refreshing in warm weather. Still, there’s plenty of other beers I can turn to for that without the high price tag or uppity marketing. This is brewed using ingredients all grown by Rogue themselves and they package it in a banana-skin yellow bottle, which definitely catches the eye. Unfortunately, the bottle is more memorable than the beer.

Describing the palette here is a challenge because it’s so uniformly mild if not outright bland. It’s similar to a pilsner, but without the overt graininess. And despite the name, there is zero presence of honey in the palette (which is likely due to the fact honey is almost completely fermentable and is often used for its fermentation value rather than its taste). This beer is essentially a lager without the lager qualities, and might be better classified as a blonde ale than a kolsch, since most beers of the style tend to have some spicy character. This does not. I appreciate the fact there’s nothing about this that’s off-putting, but just the fact it’s a boring beer as a whole is a turnoff for me.

Drinkability: What Rogue Honey Kolsch lacks in taste it makes up for in sheer drinkability. The body is thin, cold and wet with a completely clean aftertaste. It’s ideal for drinking outside on a hot summer’s day. At only 4.8% ABV it’s quite sessionable, though Rogue beers tend to be expensive so maybe it’s better described as sessionable in theory. 
Grade: 4/10