View Full Version : Rogue Brutal Bitter
For you hop-heads out there I suggest you give Rouge Brutal Bitter a try. Similar in style to an IPA, but quite a bit tangier on the finish that lingers. Click here for more information on Brutal Bitter and other Rouge Beers. (http://www.rogue.com/brews.html)
I recognized that pic right away Jeff... So after looking at that link you gave I rememered right away that me and Stacy have tried the chocolate stout about a year ago while in Atlantic City. From what I remember it was very good; nice and thick n' rich... And flavorful as hell! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif
Yesterday, Stacy and I made a rather large beer purchase; 4 different breweries and about 15 different kinds of brews between them. Tonight we opened a bottle of Rogue XS Imperial Stout and split it. First off, this stuff is DARK! I mean it looks pure black pouring out of the bottle. It is extremely thick and creamy. There is a bit of bitterness up front that leads way to heavy coffee notes with a bit chocolate in the background. Not being used to this type of brew I was a bit taken by it, but all in all I did like it. It finished rather clean without leaving a heavy 'burnt hop' flavor in my mouth.
I've got 5 other types of Rogue brews to still sample so I'll drop a quick post here as I try them over the coming days...
One thing I found interesting with all the Rogue brews is that they do not tell you their % alcohol... I know most beers do not (Light beers must but regular brews don't have to) but they give you other 'off' info on the bottle instead such as degrees plato, IBU (international bitterness unit), AA (?), and degrees L (again ?). With all that, the % alcohol would be a nice 'to know' thing as well.
IBU (international bitterness unit), AA (?), and degrees L (again ?). With all that, the % alcohol would be a nice 'to know' thing as well.
From the link Jeff provided;
IBU: International Bittering Units; parts per million of isomerized hop resins in beer, related to the amount of alpha acid of the hops.
Apparent Attenuation: measure of the difference between the original and ending specific gravity after fermentation. Pacman yeast eats a lot of sugar, but leaves complex sugars.
Lovibond: a color indicator-the higher the number, the darker the product.
Still I have nothing to relate the values to. Was your bottle of XS only 7 ounces? I am reading that this was replaced by a 12 ounce Imperial Stout. Pretty interesting stuff on the link provided.
The bottle in the pic is the 12 ouncer... All 6 bottles I got were 12 oz.'s, except for a bottle of Half E Weizen. It's a 22oz since thats all it comes in besides draft. And yes, it was aged over a year as the site says it is best when aged over a year. (There's a bottled year on the bottle)
Imperial Stouts are very strong (for beer), about 10-12% abv generally although some go lower. Sam Smith's Imperial Stout runs about 8% abv but that is an exception. The taste is unique even for stout because often there is brettonmyeces (wild yeast, so-called horseblanket) influence in the brew. Traditionally this came from microflora long resident in the wooden barrels in which it was aged. Not all such stout is aged in wood today but many brewers manage to convey the traditional palate nonetheless in various ways. Stout and porters are my favourite beer style. Imperial Stout or Russian Stout, refers in either case to very strong stout shipped from England to cold Imperial Russia from the 1700's until the end end of the 1800's. Rogue's version is very good, very close to the English original in my opinion. I once had it on draft at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse when Rogue was doing a promotion there. Rogue's beers, made by famed brewer John Maier in the North West (Oregon I think), are very high in quality. One must always allow for their particular, often high strength and in the case of the Imperial Stout each bottle effectively is the equivalent of 2-3 regular beers depending how you compute it. Victory of Donnington, PA is another high quality craft brewer and I've got two samples of its Imperial stout I've been meaning to try. Your notes have encouraged me to crack one, Mark, so I'll post some tasting notes later this week to compare to yours. Michael Jackson, who now writes mostly on whisky but made his reputation writing about beer, describes the tastes of such beers using words like, "burnt currants on a Christmas cake"!
Thanks for the great info Gary, I look forward to hearing your impressions of it as well. I'll admit, you get a taste of something 'burnt' in it, but it is expected with such a dark and rich beer like this. To me, it was nice actually, because as I put it off to one (or more) of the ingredients being fire roasted or near burnt... I wouldn't go as far as to say "burnt currants on a Christmas cake"! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
Jackson said that, Mark, of Courage's Imperial Russian Stout, sadly no longer made. However some other stouts of this style do get that burned taste. It comes I think from highly roasted malts. The mashbills for these beers can be complex but they always (as for most stout) contain a measure of malt literally scorched when it is dried. The Christmas cake in Michael's example came from the estery fruity flavour that beer also had. I don't recall either that Rogue's version has a fruity taste but I recall well its "horseblanket" nose and flavour. Of course samples may vary. Other good Imperial Stouts in the U.S. include Old Rasputin, made by Russian River, a long-established West Coast micro. Perkumo's Hammer is also very good, made in New Jersey. Some East European countries, where the style took hold long ago, make their own versions and export them to the U.S. At 8th and 42nd street (next to McHale's bar) is a grocery store in Manhattan that has all these and many more. Some are from Lithuania, some Latvia, most are very good.
I find Imperial Russian Stout (although I like tasting many kinds of beer) has the complexity and uniqueness to be discussed in a context of fine whiskey or fine wine: it doesn't taste like any of those but on its own terms is as good. We have discussed here before that sometimes bourbon is added to this style of beer, Chuck has mentioned Goose Island's version and there are others: this provides a further, more direct connection bewteen two great drinks.
We have discussed here before that sometimes bourbon is added to this style of beer
Listed within the ingredients it says "and two secret ingredients". I wonder...
Bourbon is "added" to bourbon barrel stout, so far as I know, only in the sense that it is conditioned in bourbon barrels. Especially on a first refill, a significant amount of bourbon will come out of the barrel, so bourbon is "added" in that sense.
By way of evidence, I offer the traditional Kentucky practice of "sweating" a barrel. A couple gallons of water is poured into a bourbon barrel and the barrel is then rolled around to expose the water to as much of the internal surface as possible. A pretty stiff drink can be obtained in this manner.
This is an age-old practice as well in Canada's Newfoundland. Famously in Canada, the resultant potion was called "screech" which maybe says it all. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif While screech could and has been made from Canadian rye whisky barrels, traditionally it was made by rinsing warm water in ex-rum barrels. Since rum is the classic Maritime Provinces spirit, it seems the most satisfying form of screech. A commercial version, based on good rum, is sold in Newfoundland, Ontario and other Provinces.
Mark, I had forgot that you posted this, but I have had a few of their chocolate stouts and I love them http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif I usually have one for "dessert" after dinner. I also think the imperial stout has a good dose of "chocolate" to it, but that comes strictly from the chocolate malt, whereas the chocolate stout actually has cocoa powder added to it http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif
The word "imperial" in front of any beer denotes a higher than usual alcohol content, though I don't believe there are any steadfast rules for applying the term. A few weeks ago I had a 22oz Rouge Imperial IPA. That was one fantastic beer, but my head was really spinning at the end http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
I've got one of the 22oz. Half E Weizen's... I can't wait to try that. After trying Saranac Hefeweizen, Saranac Belgian Ale, Brooklyn Breweries Hefeweizen and Blue Moon Belgian Ale it seems I have a love for wheat beers. I can do w/o all the yeast on the bottom from the unfiltering, but man are they tasty! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif
whereas the chocolate stout actually has cocoa powder added to it http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif
Now I HAVE to find Rogue's Chocolate Stout... I got 7 bottles of Rogue but I don't remember seeing the chocolate stout there. Maybe it was in a 22oz bottle and I really wasn't looking at those much. The one's I got are: XS Imperial Stout, Dead Guy Ale, Half E Weizen, XS Old Crustacean Barleywine, Younger's Special Bitter, Honey Cream Ale and Mocha Porter. I'll let you know what I think of each one as I try them Jeff. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif
Jeff, it cracked me up when I saw Rouge. I've been to the ROGUE brewery several times and it's got be one of the best places to spend an afternoon. Spigots of all their beers popping out of the wall . Several years ago I visited when the staff were in a good mood you could hang around and sample all day, no charge. Hmmmm.
For all you beer lovers, you may find this site (http://www.ratebeer.com/) of interest.
Continuing the 'Rogue Saga', tonight we tried the bottle of Dead Guy Ale. This bear has a nice dark amber honey type color to it. Very pleasant aroma, different than I am accustomed to, but that is comparing it to pilsners... It has a nice thick feel in the mouth, but not thick like the imperial stout, a 'nice' thick to me at least; I'd have to put it off to the malt, so is using the term 'Malty' ok to describe it? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif It's got a little bitterness to it, but enough to make even this non hophead drink another one down the road. The finish is nice and long, very well rounded... Overall, it's a good beer and I would probably get it again, but not before some of my 'favorites'. There were aspects I liked about it, but when it came down to the actual taste, I'd give it a 6/10. Please take my tasting as a grain of salt since I am still getting into the beer thing, but I like Rogues lineup and figure let's keep Jeff's thread open to discussion. Here's to you all! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
This beer has a very nice aroma, almost fruity to me. It pours to a little more hazy golden color than I thought it would, but that really doesn't matter I guess. I was thinking it would be a bit more 'transparent' thats all. Their website says that this is the beer that started it all for them, and I can kind of see that. It is a nice beer for me, very well rounded. I get a bit of everything in it; A little bit of sweetness and I mean a bit, some bitterness or hoppiness but enough that I like it (I guess I'm learning to appreciate a tad bit of bitterness), and a nice thick feel in the mouth. I have noticed that Rogue beers tend to be 'thicker' or maltier than other beers I have tried up to this point and I like it. Overall a nice beer and one I would buy again from Rogue... I must say out of the 3 Rogue's I have had so far, this is my favorite.
I have been meaning to pick up a couple of these for a while. Based on your impressions I think I will http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
I went into this thinking it would be sweet from the honey and duh!, thought I would taste honey... Well, there was not much honey or sweetness going on in it; A little sweetness does show but not an 'in your face' sweetness that I have gotten in some other beers. Now, I am not saying it was a bad brew; it just was not what I thought it was going to be. It poured a dark yellow/orange color, and if you can see in my pic, had some 'slush' under the head because I kept it in the freezer just a 'little' too long. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif The thing that surprised me, only because I was not expecting it in a honey cream ale, was bitterness that I am finding in a lot of these microbrews... I guess I drank Bud for too damn long. I am learning to appreciate some bitterness though and after getting over the initial shock, I found it to be a rather nice beer for me. The bitterness was surrounded nicely by a 'dry' taste and a wee bit of sweetness made everything come together in the end. I don't know what it is, but I keep wanting to try more and more Rogue beers. Maybe its because they have SO many to try and so far, each has been very unique in their own way. I just hope that Rogue and my local distributor get in touch after me sending both an email... I've had to have Bob pick these all up for me where he lives! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Thanks Bob!
You are welcome Mark! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif I haven't had that brew myself, but maybe all of the honey wound up in the slush! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
Pours very dark with a rather thick tan colored head. Rogue's website (http://www.rogue.com/brews.html#mocha) says "Dedicated to the chocolate lover in each of us." Well, I like chocolate and I didn't really detect any in this brew. It was much more bitter than I expected. After the bitterness died down it finished with a nice black coffee/espresso taste. It had a nice thick/rich mouth feel which I enjoy. Also, there was some sediment left on the bottom of the glass. Overall, this porter is not as good as others I have had in the past. For those though who like hoppier brews and enjoy porters, by all means give this Rogue a try... I am sure you will enjoy it more than I did. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Good notes. Personally, I find many modern porters are too strong in flavor. I tend to prefer, for "drinkability" (famous A-B preoccupation, but not without reason..) porters made by old-established breweries. One example is Yeungling Porter from Pennsylvania. It is available in many of the larger liquor and beer outlets (the "warehouse" style outlets) on the East Coast. Also, Stegmaier Porter made in the same State. Anchor Porter, made for 30 years by Anchor Brewery in San Francisco, is also very good as is Sierra Nevada's Porter. Sam Adam's Honey Porter is pretty good too. There are hundreds of Porters now in the U.S., most made by microbreweries or brewpubs. Most don't get the balance quite right (for my taste) but the ones I mentioned are among my favorites.
Yeungling Porter is one of my favorite porters, and its reasonably priced to boot! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Thanks Gary, I'm glad to know I was not alone with this one. You named Yeungling Porter which I had the chance to try and my father in laws some months back. As I remember it was not overpowering at all and a perfect example of a great porter. I have not seen the Sam Adams Honey Porter as of yet, but I'll be sure to try it when I do.
On hand waiting to try, I have 2 Anchor Steam Porters as well as 2 Sierra Nevada Porters. I'll let ya' know what I think of them once I open them up. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
The Sierra Nevada porter is on of my favorite beers, not too heavy, not too light. Try their stout as well if you haven't already http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif
I've got 2 each of Sierra Nevada's Wheat, Porter and Stout. Sounds like they were all worthwhile buys since many people on here whose opinions on beer I value rated them as good. I can't wait to try them all! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
These are fine beers. Sierra Nevada was one of the first micros (in the modern era), dating from the early 1980's. It has lasted the course (and then some) because its beers are tops.
This was one of the many brews that me and Bob got to try this weekend. I think this beer was a bit different than both of us had expected it to be by the look on our faces upon first sip. I found it to have a little bit of a toasted or roasted flavor with a bit of bitterness on the finsih, but enough that I really liked it. Bob said he didn't get much of the bitterness like I did but he is a hop head! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif So I guess for those who don't much care for a lot of hops this one should satisfy. I don't think this one is made in 12oz bottles, so if you look for it, look for the 22oz big boy bottles. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
This beer poured a dark brown color with a thick tan colored head. You would think there would be more hazelnut smell in the nose, but that's not so. The aroma was actually the lowest 'scoring' attribute in my personal rating scale, but not because it smelt bad; I personally did not pick up any particular aroma’s that jumped out at me. Now for the taste and boy was it great. Initially it is a bit nutty and rich with the smallest bit of sweetness. But this quickly fades nicely to a robust chocolate/coffee aftertaste. This beer is a very smooth drinker and I can really see this one complementing a meal, particularly a big juicy steak for some reason. If you see it and want to try a Rogue brew (and like Brown Ales) give this one a shot and let me know what you think!
Oh - my - gawd... This beer had one of the darkest heads I have seen next to their imperial stout. It says it has real imported chocolate in it but I didn't really detect much a chocolate nose or taste in it. I am sure beer heads or those who have a more discernative palate will pick it out, but I didn't. Towards the end I thought I did, but I still say it was just my mind playing tricks on me telling me it was there. I have had a stout or two before I liked but this one just didn't do much for me. Which was very disappointing because I really though I would like it. A bit too overpowering in roasted/burnt flavoring for me. There was some hop bitterness present as well so for those who like stouts and hops this one may probably be more for you.
So Mark, with all of these Rogues you've been tasting, which one do you like best? And I know that Mark won't like this one, but for all of you other hop heads out there, has anyone tried Stone IPA?? It is very hoppy and very yummy! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Honestly Bob, so far it would have to be a toss up between the Honey Cream Ale and the Morimoto Hazelnut Ale. Those 2 are my favs so far, and after them I really likes the American Amber Ale that we had when you were over. One thing I have noticed so far is that Rogue, compared to other micro brewers, tends to use more hops. That's good I guess because so many people love hops plus it is slowly teaching me to appreciate the bitterness they add more.
Oh yeah, I still haven't had those Stone brews yet Bob, but from what I have read, I think I got in WAY over my head by buying taht Arrogant Bastard ale! Check out their website for Arrogant Bastard here. (http://www.arrogantbastard.com/)
If you need help dealing with that Arrogant Bastard, I'm willing, and able, to help! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Not to worry Bob, I had already decided that that will be a bottle I'm going to open when we get together again! I think, no scratch that, I know it's a beer you can appreciate more than I. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
After trying 2 other Barleywines and really liking them alot, I was really thinking and hoping that this one would be right up there with them. By them I mean Brooklyn Brewery's Monster Ale Barleywine and Old Foghorn from Anchor Steam. Well, sad to say, this one was disappointing. I think it has to do with Rogue really liking to hop their beers more than your average beer. Maybe for those of you who really enjoy hoppy beers, go and buy several Rogues, you will probably love them. This one had no head at all (ok fine who cares), your typical barleywine aroma and thick cloudy brown looking color but was lacking the semi sweet taste I liked in others I have had.
I had dinner last Sunday at the Rogue brewhouse in Issaquah, WA (suburb of Seattle). The rogue brewery purchased this brewhouse a while back and you can purchase most Rogue products to go as well as order 21 different beers on tap. I tried the Imperial India Pale Ale. IPA are always high in Alcohol %. The waitress said it was 12.5%. Paired with their "American Kobe" burger; it was a good meal after spending 3 hours out hiking.
Man, you're lucky to have a Rogue brewouse near you like that... I wish I did because they make many brews that are available omly at them. For example, to celebrate their 15th anniversary they have been doing monthly special bottlings for several months now and the only way to try them and buy bottles of them is at their brew houses. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, great food and enjoyed their IPA! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Much lighter in color than the Morimota Hazelnut brew and much lighter in flavor. Not a whole lot of flavors going on and not much, if any, hop bitterness. It is quite malty and a very smooth drinker thats for sure. I think this one said it paired best with chicken or seafood whereas the Hazelnut went with chicken, pork, beef and seafood. Still a decent beer if in the mood for something a little lighter, glad I bought it.
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