Rogue's Mocha Porter has become something of a staple in their canon of beers. When it first came out, over ten years ago, it was a unique and impressive combination of chocolate and coffee with a dark, yet medium bodied porter. Over the years it evolved some and the chocolate started taking over quite a bit of the flavor, however, it still remained one of the better coffee porters on the market.
Now in our latest beer renaissance, the mocha porter has evolved again, this time as a double in Rogue's new solid colored double bottles, which I really like. Rogue has undergone a bit of redesign; in addition to their double and GYO (Grow Your Own) series, they've taken to listing all their ingredients on their beers. In an a time of coveted secret recipes, it shows quite a bit of open sourced attitude, however, many of their grains and hops are homegrown, and amounts times, and temperatures are not listed, so it would be hard to replicate these recipes to the letter.
The color pours a dark dark brown, practically black. It's a rich and foamy head, medium lacing with a strong cocoa berry-like grain aroma and very subtle hints of chocolate and coffee. As always with Rogue, the flavors are complex and evolving. I'm a bit surprised that the body is as light as it is. The flavor opens up with quite a bit of carbonation, which disguises a lot of the front end. The beer begins to evolve into a more a hop dominant bitterness, quite a large hop flavor for such a dark beer. As it settles down the hops mingle with some roasted grain flavor for a very nice finish and great aftertaste.
Overall, the beer is very drinkable and has some interesting flavors. However, for a double I'm expecting a lot more complexity, a richer body, and better balance between the hops and the grain. Ultimately, this beer has little to offer in grain flavor other than color and aroma and has a disappointing watery front end. The chocolate and the coffee are barely discernible and the hop bitterness, while delicious, is far too dominant over the grains. I was pretty excited about this beer, but was a little dissapointed with the end result. Rogue still knows how to make a good beer, but in their maturity from adolesence let's hope this is just part of the growing (your own) process.
Double Mocha Porter: **