Monday, December 22, 2008

Rogue Chipotle Ale

Rogue never shies away from inventiveness, a word probably best used to describe this ale which uses actual chipotle peppers in the beer and is dedicated to Juan de la Cueva, who combined peppers and ale. The smoked Jalepenos end up overbearing the flavor although the spicy kick at the end is a pleasant surprise. The ale body is very nice, a mellow blend of cascade and willamette hops, however the overwhelming flavor is spice and smoke. For some reason I feel like this would go well with eggs.

Chipotle Ale: **1/2

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale

This is a light bodied ale, reminds me of a more well-bodied and flavored Stella Artois. For a lighter beer though, they've done a great job of mixing the hops and malt for just the right balance. I feel like I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage not being very familiar with what Juniper berries taste like, but I'm assuming it's the sweet residue in the aftertaste that lingers in your mouth. It's a nice touch, to an all around decent beer.

Juniper Pale Ale: ***1/2

Alaskan Smoked Porter

A common trend and popular beer these days is the Smoked Ale or Porter. In general, I'm not a huge fan of this style because most people tend to overdue it and your beer experience ends up being a little more like eating a cigar. Alaskan's 2008 Smoked Porter isn't that overwhelming, but there is perhaps a bit too much smokey flavor for me, which feels a little like eating applewood smoked bacon; maybe a breakfast beer?? The porter consistency and color is nice. There's a little bitter hops you can taste before the kick that seem well flavored, but very subtle. Overall though the smokey bacon is your aftertaste, which is strong at first but settles nicely. Definitely grows on you as you drink it too. I also want to credit Alaskan for refining this beer. I tried their 07 smoked porter and was really not a fan. This year they've toned it down some and ended up with a better result.

Alaskan Smoked Porter: ***

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Port Brewing Old Viscosity Ale

Port Brewing refuses to classify this beer under any beer style, but I'd say it's closest to a stout, and at 10% alc probably not far off from Imperial. Pours a beautiful dark color, close to black. Front end is smooth and unassuming. As it rolls back on your tongue you start to taste the slightest hint of bitters, but very contained and still smooth. The final flavor is sweet with the bitter hint of unsweetened chocolate. As you finish, the hints of chocolate turn to a subtle linger of smoke and sweetness. The ale is aged in bourbon barrels which definitely contributes to the oak and smoke taste. A great beer!

Old Viscosity Ale: **** 1/2