Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rogue XS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter

Had this out of one of the newer Rogue black XS series 750 ml ceramics. Not for sure if Rogue's pulling a Brett Favre or not here as supposedly this one is retired. Anyway, a prolific, bubbly tan head sits patiently atop a dark amber brew. Retention is excellent, and when it finally recedes, a dense, chunky lacing is left behind.

Smells of earthy, piny hops, with some faint citrus in the background. Tastes of more piny hops and faint citrus. Following the hops some caramel malts come into play, mixing perfectly. Eventually some faint dark chocolates and honey are also noticed floating around the palate, adding extra taste and texture, and reflecting the choice ingredients used. Mouth-feel lies on the heavy side of medium, and there's a fair amount of carbonation. At 52 IBU's this one is probably not going to excite the extreme hopheads, but the bitterness is noticeable, and most importantly it works in concert with the other elements in the brew.

The XS beers do seem a bit pricey, but everybody has to figure out for themselves how much a beer is worth, and ultimately the market, and the politics of beer (as Rogue's ethics have been called into question more than once) will decide what price these brews can sustain. You must also keep in mind that 750ml equates to over 25 ounces, so you are getting a little more than you would in a regular 22 oz. bomber, if that makes you feel any better.

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