I’ve had two Rogue XS 8oz bottles kicking around in my crisper almost a year now which I’ve been intending to review, but never did because I felt I should do them together for some reason. Well, it’s snowing before Halloween, and tonight’s the night.
First the McRogue Scotch Ale. It says on the bottle it was produced in 2010 and tastes best when aged for one year, which I’ve inadvertently done, so things are looking promising for optimal taste. I’m picking up a little coffee and molasses on the nose with a hint of dark fruit like black cherries, but there’s not much there to speak of. The initial mouthfeel is slightly chewy with tiny carbonation. It tastes of coffee and molasses and toasty malts. Not overly sweet, and the back end finishes kind of quickly. This is not my favorite style admittedly, but I’d like to try it alongside the Belhaven.
Taste: B Fine, but I’m not pre-disposed towards Scotch Ales.
Drinkability: B I just can’t imagine having more than one of these in a sitting. This falls into the dessert beer category for me.
Vitals: Poured from an 8oz “XS” bottle aged one year per the bottle recommendation into a pint glass at about 45F but allowed to warm to about 50F which improved the taste considerably. ABV: 7.0% IBU: 45
On to the Imperial I.P.A. It feels a bit unfair reviewing imperial I.P.A.s nowadays since A. there are so many and B. there are so many great ones including Pliny the Elder, Sculpin, and of course, Heady Topper. Rogue’s smells wonderful, with the hops you’d expect but a good amount of malt as well.
Lightly carbonated but prickly with more malt bready sweetness than you’d expect from this style, but nicely balanced for the most part. Some grapefruit rind and floral business going on too and pine throughout. The taste was a little bitter at the finish for my liking along with the warming of the alcohol.
Taste: B Better than I was expecting. I’d like to try this beer when it’s fresh (the bottle was over a year old).
Drinkability: B- Too much astringent bitterness at the end to get me to go back for more than one I think, plus its pretty high ABV.
Vitals: Poured from an 8oz “XS” bottle into a pint glass at about 45F. ABV: 9.5% IBU: 74