Tag Archives: orange

Rogue Brutal IPA

Rogue Ales need no introduction. They haunt the United States like a spectre, appearing here, there and everywhere, dominating conversations, elbowing out Barbarians, Bards and Wizards with beard yeast, peanut butter beers and Brutal IPAs.

This 6.3% beer, which must be Rogue’s 250th variety of IPA, is a lusciously luminescent mandarin colour with moderate head and carbonation. It reeks of citrus, orange muscling in over pineapple and sweet sugar syrup. It’s smooth, thick and tannic, with a big bitter bite backing up a deliciously warm, gluggy brioche malt cocktail. Hop flavour peeks out here and there but the blanket of malt wins out. Nice.

I bought a pint of this beer at Rossi’s Bar, Chicago, IL. This tiny place had possibly the blandest bartender I’ve ever encountered, tinged with an edge of seething hostility. Quite something. Definitely affected how the beer tasted and the atmosphere as a whole, which I didn’t mind really as I was only stopping in. So much for the friendly Midwest!

Case Swap #14: NTC ESB

This post is part of a series of twenty-three discussing beers brewed by members of the Merri Mashers brewing club for their 2015 case swap celebration.

This beer is labelled as “an ESB variation with an experimental upped hopping schedule”.  It has an OG of 1040, 39IBU, with Windsor yeast and was brewed by Merri Masher Baz Fletcher.

This odd ESB settled in the glass with a bright orange colour under a patchy head that quickly disappeared. Little aroma announced itself, perhaps faint notes of grassy hops, a little non-descript malt – but thoroughly low levels. A medium body carried great peppery notes that controlled the beer’s flavour with fresh spicy hops – that are almost herbal – in second command. The malt contributions are muted and disappeared in the dry, medium-bitter finish.

Good work Baz, this is an interesting take on an ESB.

Case Swap: Tis the Saison

This post is part of a series of twenty-three discussing beers brewed by members of the Merri Mashers brewing club for their 2015 case swap celebration.

This beverage was brewed by Dara, a new member of the club fresh from Ireland, and is called “Tis the Saison to be Jolly”. Its label bills it as an orange/ginger Saison with 90% pilsner malt and 10% wheat.

A piercing clear straw, burgeoning on gold coloured beer announces itself in the glass for this tasting, accompanied by a rather dramatic thunderstorm outside. I hope my sunflowers survive the wind. Carbonation is whizzing and a firm head of microscopic bubbles subsists delicately on the surface of this professional-looking beer. Dare I taste?

The aroma of this beer is unusual with a high-pitched herbal lime mist dominating sort of citrusy orange lemonade and banana inputs … quite unlike any other saison aroma I’ve experienced. I can’t find the ginger anywhere in the aroma, but there’s a veritable mess of citrus and banana in there, at once smelling nothing like an IPA “fruit salad” yet entirely fitting the description “fruit salad”.

The ginger is more prominent in the flavour of the drink, backed by a surprisingly robust bakehouse muffin flavour that melds very well. I am used to dry ginger beers, or those done at least with a minimum of maltose – that, this beer is not. There may be DMS in this beer to the most sensitive taster, but I found the malt sweetness just right.

What else is going on? The citrus is less prominent in the flavour of this beer, a slightly slick, oily mouthfeel generates after a few sips and some unusual mint hints also develop. Vietnamese mint.

This is a wacky beer that I would enjoy sharing with friends. I don’t think it would sell at the local bottle-o, but more power to it.

DuClaw Serum Double xxIPA

Originally a brewpub, DuClaw was founded in 1996 and is now Maryland’s third-largest brewery. It has expanded multiple times in typical U.S.A. craft beer fashion and distributes to nearly ten states. DuClaw’s founder David Benfield was a homebrewer and continues to be involved in crafting DuClaw’s beers, although a dedicated Brewmaster was hired at some point along the way. The Serum IPA came highly recommended to me from a trusted source.

The Serum xxIPA is a luscious and unsettling orange copper colour – I only say unsettling as it looks kind of radioactive. CaraRed is responsible. A small persistent head crackles away in my (admittedly poor, but limited) choice of glassware. A soapy detergent aroma wafts around this beer, competing with notes of blue cheese and dank hops. All in all the aroma and presentation of the Serum IPA befit its title perfectly: good choice DuClaw!

Flavourwise the ale is smothered in big waves of caramel, as sweet and big as an 8.3% ABV beer can be. On the flipside the beer is not too bitter for an IPA, more in the standard territory for my palate. This balance works for me; otherwise might find it too sweet. A medium mouthfeel helps the mellow melding of malt and hops. This is a delicious beer and one I would drink a lot more of given the opportunity. More hop flavour wouldn’t hurt though.

I drank this bottled beer out of a plastic cup at a hotel in Fall’s Church, Virginia and received it as a gift.