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.