October 14th, 2010 beckel
Today I have the 1st beer from Rogue Brewing’s Chatoe Series of BYO Certified beers. It is also the 4th and final ale from the series that I picked up last week from the newly opened Lake Wine & Spirits. Perhaps I’ll have to look around to see if I can still find a bottle of their Dirtoir Black Lager to complete the series. As the name implies this ale has a very simple grain bill consisting of only one malt and one hop. Beers like this are a great way to learn about the ingredients used in brewing Â and are lovinglyÂ referredÂ to as SMaSH beers in the homebrewing community. Consisting of First Growth Dare Malts, Revolution Hops and the usual Pacman Yeast. I am quite excited to sample these ingredients in their purest form.
Pours a very attractive bright orange hue that is very clean and rather translucent. Just over 2 fingers of bright white head is produced and slowly opens into larger and larger bubbles leaving a small amount of lacing and a little bit of residual head after about two minutes. Both malt and hops hit your nose immediately withÂ hardyÂ malt sweetness, cereal grain esters that remind me ofÂ Cheerios, oranges, modest bitterness and a bit of alcohol. Strong cereal grain esters are immediately noticed on the tongue, followed by orange fruit esters and a bit of additional citrus that I can’t quite place. Gentle alcohol and a hint of bitterness, most notably lingering on the tongue after swallowing. While it is a difficult task to make a balanced beer with a whole bunch of ingredients it can be equally difficult to make a simple but beautiful brew and unfortunately in this case I don’t feel Rogue quite delivered. Overall this is certainly a clean ale with some enjoyable flavors including very gentle hoppy tartness. Body is light and the mouthfeel is relatively clean. The ABV on this brew isn’t listed but Rogues website states the Original Gravity at 12ÂºÂ Plato so it probably comes in around 5%. Making this a veryÂ sessionable. I am very curious and excited to see how the grains and hops that Rogue is so passionately growing will evolve over the years and wonder a lot about how much their age has to do with the flavors present in the ales (and lager) of this series. Seeing brewers take risks like this is one of my favorite things about craft brewing but unfortunately this brew doesn’t have anything particular that shines for me.Â DefinitelyÂ not a bad beer and something that I’m sure plenty of people will enjoy. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
October 13th, 2010 beckel
Today we have the Wet Hop Ale from Rogue’s Chatoe Series of BYO Certified ales. I enjoyed a small pour of this brew on Monday at Town Hall while sampling their Fresh Hop Ale (which was fantastic) as well as Surly’s Wet and Deschutes Hop Trip. While I enjoyed it it wasn’t a big enough sample to do it justice,Â particularlyÂ with so many similar beers side by side. Crafted with Carawheat, Carafoam, First Growth Dare & Risk Malts. First Growth Freedom, Revolution, Independent, Rebel & Liberty Hops. Fermented with their usual Pacman Yeast. For those notÂ familiarÂ with the concept of wet (fresh) hop ales, most ales are brewed with dried hops as hops will mold if stored wet for very long. In the case of wet hop ales freshly picked hops are rushed from the hop yard straight to the brewery as quickly as possible and then boiled with the wort (unfermentedÂ beer) like any other brew. The lucky folks at Rogue have their hop yards only 77 miles away. Talk about fresh.
Pours deep red hue that is rather opaque and looks like cranberries when away from light and bright orange when brought to light. About two fingers of tight off white bubbles are formed and fade within a minute. Smells strongly of bright, resinous citrus, peach, orange, gentle herbal notes, a variety of fruity esters and very soft bitterness. Tastes of bright fruity hops, notably orange,Â tangerine, lemon and peach, mild bitterness and a very nice slightly sweet malt balance. As it warms alcohol becomes a bit more notable on the nose and caramel esters start to shine. Though this brew comes in at a decent 6.4% ABV it certainly doesn’t show. An enjoyable brew with a nice array of fresh hop esters and plenty of malty sweetness to not be overwhelmed. If you enjoy fruity hop esters but aren’t into intense bitterness this is the brew for you. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
October 8th, 2010 beckel
Today I have the 5th and most recent ale from Rogue Brewing’s Chatoe Series of BYO certified beers. Creek Ale as you may guess is their interpretation of a Belgian Kriek, which are brewed or blended with Cherries. This bottle has been brewed with Wheat, First Growth Dare & Risk Malts, First Growth Revolution Hops, Montmorency Cherries, Pacman & Belgian Yeasts.
Pours a very dark reddish brown hue. One finger of off white head is produced and fades within a minute. Smells strongly of dark pitted fruit esters from the malt, mostly plum and a bit of cherry, earthy yeast esters and some malty sweetness. In the flavor you finally get more of the cherry esters as well as some notable plum and gentle grape, clean wheat and barley esters, some malty sweetness and gentle tartness from the cherries. As the brew warms the caramel character of the malt starts to shine through and compliments the variety of fruity esters very nicely.Â Body is medium and the mouthfeel is very clean for the style leaving your palate quite refreshed. Coming in at 6% ABV this ale is an easy drinker.Â An enjoyable brew with a variety of pitted fruit esters Â but not a lot else. If you enjoy simple, fruity, dark Belgian Style Ales this might just be the beer for you. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
October 7th, 2010 beckel
Today I had the pleasure of checking out the newest liquor store in the 612, Lake Wine & Spirits. ConvenientlyÂ located onÂ Grand & Lake Street which happens to beÂ within a mile of my humble abode. Overall the store was clean and well stocked for being only a week old. A solid selection of wine, liquor and most importantly beer was present and reasonably organized. I’m sure I will rant more about them in the future but right now I have a beer to drink.
While there I picked up four out of the five beers in the Chatoe Rogue series of Rogue beers. All of which are GYO certified and brewed with 100% Oregon ingredients, many of which are grown by Rogue Brewing and being labeled as First Growth. Currently I am enjoying the third beer in the series entitled OREgasmic Ale. Brewed with First Growth Dare & Risk malts, Williamette, Sterling & First Growth Revolution hops and Rogue’s favorite yeast; Pacman. (Note: Rogue is one of the best breweries about listing their ingredients but I must note in this case the bottle I have and their website do not list the hops identically, oh well.)
Pours a lovely hazy, completely opaque orangish brown hue. About two fingers of very tight, creamy, tan bubbles are created and remain for almost five minutes. Leaving a good deal of residual head quite a bit of lacing for Pale Ale.Â SincerelyÂ surprising me that there is no wheat in this ale as the head retention is simply amazing. Aroma isÂ fantasticallyÂ hoppy with notes of orange and lemon citrus, gentle herbal hops, fruity esters and wonderful caramel malt esters and soft bitterness. Flavor is full of rich sweet malt, mellow orange & other citrus esters, finishing with modest hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy and body is medium. As I continue to drink I notice more and more grassy hop flavors, particularly lingering on the palate after consumption. Some of which might have to do with the freshness of the hops. As the beer warms the creamy malty sweetness becomes more and more apparent and the citrus hop esters continue to compliment the sweetness even more wonderfully. If Rogue were to make caramel candies with citrus and bitter esters similar to this brew they may be on to something amazing. Over all a very delicious brew that I would happily consume often. A bit too sweet for me to drink all night, though certainly doable with a reasonable 6% ABV. If you enjoy Pale Ales and are looking for more than just hops this ale will be right up your alley. I think even those who are less in love with hops will enjoy the creamy caramel character that this ale brings to surface in aÂ trulyÂ fantastic way. If you want more classic Pale Ale characteristics consume this ale colder, if looking for more malt give it a bit more time to warm up. Better yet consume it slowly and enjoy it in all of its glory. After this brew I am very excited to try the rest of the series. Give it a shot and ride your bike.