Brewery + Distillery # 1 – Rogue Ales

As you can see from their website banner, long time Oregon brewery, Rogue does beer, spirits and dabbles in the CBD too.

I am going to highlight two beers and two spirits that I would like to taste. I will do the same with the other brewery/distillery combos later this month.

Colossal Claude – “It’s been a few decades since a Colossal Claude sighting has been reported, but we’re fairly certain the massive sea monster has been laying low off the coast of his favorite brewery. Word has it that after years of terrifying sailors and feasting on salmon he acquired a taste for hops. So we brewed this Imperial IPA with a colossal dose of Cascade, Chinook, Citro and Strata hops in hope of coaxing Claude out to join us for a pint.

Pinot Barrel Farmhouse Gin – “With an abundance of freshly drained Oregon Pinot noir barrels, it only makes sense to capitalize on the flavors locked within them. For this unique gin, we fill Pinot noir barrels with our Farmhouse Gin and let it rest for six months. The result is a complexly layered gin that tastes great on its own and mixed in cocktails.

Shakespeare Stout Nitro – “Rogue Ales was originally founded in Ashland, a Southern Oregon college town home to the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Inspired by this festival, we introduced this English-style oatmeal stout as one of our three original beers when our first pub opened in Ashland in 1988. It has remained in our product line ever since, earning the most awards and highest ratings of any of our beers.

Oregon Rye Malt Whiskey – “One of few malted rye whiskeys, the malting process in Rogue’s hand-crafted Oregon Rye Malt softens the spice notes typical of rye whiskeys and makes for a more approachable whiskey that builds in flavor. The barley in the mash bill (52% rye, 48% barley) further rounds out the taste and mouthfeel creating an easy sipping experience. Complex nuttiness is softened by light caramel and a hint of citrus leading to cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper.

Red Panda

Pacific Plate Brewing has been brewing up special beers for Wildlife (like Pangolin Defender) and now the Oregon Zoo has a special Red Panda IPA brewed with Rogue Ales that is cool for that ecologically sound reason but also because Mei Mei is pretty darn cute…

The other reason to look for this beer is that long-time brewmaster John Maier is retiring and you might want to raise a glass to the rogue of Rogue Brewing.

Holiday Review – Santa’s Private Reserve from Rogue


I saw the re-branded Private Reserve and decided to give it a whirl for the first time in a long time.

This Rogue Brewing beer tastes a little thin for a Belgian dark. Little sour tang and very fruit forward which I wasn’t expecting despite the label clearly stating it. I guess my brain was expecting more barrel notes. The holiday ale pours a near black color with red streaks. Raspberry first then yeasty esters.

Bring the Thunder

Rogue-Rolling-Thunder
Barrel-Aged can mean different things. A beer can be in contact with an over used barrel or the barrel’s history might be obscured. Some breweries have barrel experts and others don’t. But if you buy Rolling Thunder from Rogue Ales, you will know that the chain of custody was one entity, Rogue.

Now I don’t get excited by the Voodoo Doughnut beers or Beard Beers but I like the fact that this barrel beer is completely executed by Rogue alone.

Check out the timeline:

From Barrel
“Rogue acquired vintage French WW II era coopering equipment before knowing where to put it and who was going to make the barrels. Longtime employee Nate Lindquist volunteered to be Rogue’s first cooper and spent a year as an apprentice learning the ancient art form of barrel making. Using Oregon White Oak, Nate assembles, raises, toasts, chars, hoops, heads, hoops again, cauterizes, sands and brands each barrel, one at a time all by hand. At full capacity, he makes one barrel a day.”

To Distillery
“The barrels are soaked first with Dead Guy Whiskey, which is distilled from Dead Guy Ale. During a year of aging, the Dead Guy Whiskey imparts its flavor into the oak, getting the barrels ready for the next step in the journey.”

To Brewery
“Eight different types of grains, including oats and Rogue Farms barley are brewed with Rogue Farms hops, brown sugar, sweet dark cherries, vanilla and chocolate to create a bold character that is perfect for aging. The Rolling Thunder barrels that once held Dead Guy Whiskey are filled with Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout and aged in the rich, salty air of Yaquina Bay on the Oregon Coast. After six months in the barrels, the beer is ready for the final step.”

To Bottle
“To complete the journey of barrel to bottle, the imperial stout is poured into 1-liter bottles to be bottle conditioned for another few weeks before being released. Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout can be enjoyed immediately or can be cellared for years to come.”

How Many?

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There are single hop beers, SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beers and now come different blends to test your bitter palate on.

The new Hop Family series from Rogue Ales has “four IPAs featuring different blends of aroma hops grown at its farm in Independence, Oregon.The lineup consists of 4 Hop IPA (4.44%), 6 Hop IPA (6.66%), 7 Hop IPA (7.77%) and 8 Hop IPA (8.88%), and the hop varieties include Rogue strains like Freedom, Rebel and Independent.”

You can buy the first two in six-packs and the last two in bombers but I think it would have been cool to have a fun four-pack with one of each in it.

Rogue + Portland + IFC =

One heck of a strange collaboration!

Actually it is simply a repackaging of the still great and still uncopied Hazelnut Brown with the famous Portland sign and the IFC logo attached.

If you are a fan of the Portlandia show or a fan of that distinctive Rogue packaging than this might be a nice collectible. I might spend my Rogue money on the John-John hazelnut aged in rum barrels instead.

Crab Porter

I saw this blurb tucked into one of John Foyston’s weekly articles for the Oregonian and said, “WHAT?”

“Rogue Nation; eight crabs gave their lives in the brewing of Dungeness Crab Porter”

I have had oyster stouts but this is the first time I have ever heard of crab in a beer.