This is a strange one, but I love it! Rogue Chipotle Ale. A few times a year I pick up a bomber of this, and every time I do I am left with a sense of indecision. However, I never regret picking it up, I’m just never quite sure what I think of it! It’s an enigma!
I think the rest of the craft beer world also feels some angst over this one. Rated an 82 on beer advocate, but the Brothers give it a 96 (world class). I gave it a 3.78/5. Ratebeer gives it a 73 in style*. Ratings are not everything tho, this is certainly a must-try!
It pours a very nice orange to amber color, somewhat hazy, with a two finger slightly orange head that slowly fell to about 1/8″ and held there. Lacing is sporadic.
Aroma is up front malty, with a very subtle pepper presence. Layered on top of that, there’s somewhat of a light smokiness. There’s not a whole lot of notable hops aroma.
Flavor wise this beer is an enigma. I find it to be on the fence between a rauchbier and a pepper beer, and I’m once again feeling angst because of this enigmatic combination of flavors! There’s a nice fruitiness to compliment the well done maltiness that forms the base flavor for this ale.
The mouthfeel is medium, mildly carbonated, and has a very slight linger of peppers. You can somewhat feel it in your gut after the bomber is finished. The pepper heat builds slowly but never overwhelms, it always compliments.
Overall I think this is a very well done and carefully thought out beer, which is one reason I keep drinking it. Obviously they put a lot of effort into this one, particularly noted by the consistency between batches over the years. It’s a strange one though, still leaving me wondering exactly how I feel about it every time I drink it.
If you haven’t had a chile beer before, or if you like chile beers, this one is definitely worth a try. It’s not hot, just “spicy,” so don’t fear that this one is going to be overwhelming or undrinkable.
I see one comment from a reviewer is “don’t drink this with really spicy food.” The reviewer thought that because the pepper flavor is subtle, hot food would overpower the aroma and flavor. I tend to agree.
*note: ratebeer lists this as a spiced/herb/vegetable beer, not a chile beer. I really think that chile beer should be a separate category, and question some of ratebeer’s categories