Wednesday, December 26, 2007

HOLIDAY BLEAR FROM ROGUE

What is it about ROGUE BREWING? These guys were among the pioneers of the second wave of American craft brewing, and they are one of the breweries that helped tip me from a craft beer dabbler into a full-blown aficionado. There was a time, maybe the mid-90s, where my two favorite brewers on the planet were ANDERSON VALLEY and ROGUE. But more and more often I’m finding their 21st Century beers to be lacking, except on the few occasions where they’re not. This year, I’m afraid, they take the award for worst 2007 Christmas Beer. The 2007 SANTA’S PRIVATE RESERVE was an exceptionally strange brew that was consumed under duress last week, with the duress being caused by my almost pathological desire to finish the beer and find some joy in it. It did not work. Santa’s Private Reserve, alas, is a blend of very weak malts that produce an odd balance, not unlike something sloshed together in a tank on a long road trip, with the hope that something interesting might come out at the end of the journey. It did not. Hops are quite strong and they bite pretty hard, but they don’t satisfy. There was no winter warming going on here, just anger, frustration and bitterness. Ouch. 4/10.

5 comments:

Steve said...

It almost sounds like it's suppose to be an imperial red ale, considering they basically just took St. Rogue Red and added double the hops. I thought St. Rogue Red was pretty hoppy to begin with, so maybe adding these extra hops, plus their "mystery" hop really makes it harsh.

Sean said...

I had a bottle last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree it wasn't very christmasy but I still thought it was good.

I am a big fan of Rogue's Juniper Berry Ale and their Chipotle Ale.

Eduardo said...

You are exactly right, this beer was a complete mess. It honestly tasted like someones home brewing experiment gone horribly wrong. I cannot believe Rogue would release something so awful into the world.

dale said...

I concur.... I drank one of the Santa's and forced myself to finish it. I still liked it better than Sierra Nevada Celebration, but it was near the bottom of my Christmas seasonal list.

Tom said...

I read your post and moved on, but then I opened my own bottle of Santa's Reserve.... Gack - wasn't I warned about this in some blog? Fortunately, I found some sour chevre in the fridge which took away all the excessive bitterness from the beer (really - made it more like a California Pale Ale) so I could finish the bottle with pleasure.