Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rogue Roguenbier Rye Ale

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (965) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 10, 2013
I poured a 22oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. There was no freshness date. I got this at #BBC13.

Appearance: Seemingly opaque brown, but actually a lovely chestnut/mahogany hue. Plenty of carbonation visible. Forms a large, tan, foamy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Dank, earthy aroma, not unlike wet leaves or a woodland area.

Taste: The roggenbier is an extremely rare style to encounter. While plenty of breweries make beer with rye, this style is rye-forward. That being said, I was surprised upon my first sip of Rogue Roguenbier Rye Ale since its smoky character is so prominent that it drinks more like a traditional rauchbier than anything else. Not that that’s a bad thing, just not what I was expecting.

It’s a little difficult to describe the flavor of this beer as it’s a bit unusual. Most rye ales tend to be lighter, but the darkness here makes it more akin to a brown ale. There’s a light sweetness at the beginning with hints of brown sugar and caramel. Mild bitterness at the crest of the swig - slightly dry, but nothing of the usual pine/citrus/floral character. On the finish the smoke comes out and makes itself known. I wasn’t expecting this because there’s no smoke on the nose, but it’s definitely there on the back end. Nothing too intensely smoky, but too strong to be described as subtle. These flavors keep repeating themselves and while they’re enjoyable, they’re not amazing. Though I was disappointed by the lack of any rye flavor whatsoever.

Drinkability: Smoke beers tend to be acquired tastes, though I’d say Rogue Roguenbier Rye Ale is probably a good introductory beer or for those not huge fans of the style since the smoke isn’t too intense and the palette is well-balanced. It’s actually quite easy to drink as the mouthfeel is rather soft with a creamy texture and smooth finish. The smoke flavor lingers momentarily accompanied by a slight metallic character, too. At 6.6% ABV it’s got plenty of body and weight for its strength, though I had no trouble drinking the entire bottle myself. This beer would be ideal with any type of barbeque food, rather than as a standalone beverage. 
Grade: 7/10