Hello. My name is Jonathan Passow and I am an alcoholic. I love a really good beer and it’s become a nightly secret affair. I’ll sneak out late at night and go to La Cave Du Vine at Coventry where I’ll indulge my taste buds in the sweet, fermented bouquet of carbonated nectar that is beer.
On one such excursions I was pleased to find that yet another company has combined my two obsessions; beer and hot peppers! Rogue Ales of Newport, Oregon has come out with Rogue Chipotle Ale which is made with 8 ingredients (guess they don’t follow the Reinheitsgebot).
Rogue Chipotle Ale Ingredients: Harrington, Klages, Munich Malts; Cascade and Willamette Hops; Chipotle Peppers, Free Range Coastal Waters, and Top Fermenting Pacman Yeast.
Before I tried this I got the opinions of two different beer advocates that I know which resulted in two drastically different opinions. Eric, owner of La Cave Du Vine said, “It tastes like wet cement smells” and good friend Eric Chmielewski said, “It am good beer. People big buy it a lot” (ya, long story as to why he big talk like that…agh! Now I am doing it too!). So let’s see where my palette decides to place this beer relation to their quotes.
I went and got out my 2007 BJ’s Annual Grand Cru collector’s tulip glass and poured it in with a slight head to it. Right away I like the dark, rich, ripe red Chipotle Jalapeno color to it. Since I do not have a sense of smell I turned to my dad, Richard Passow (my mom’s afflicted with Anosmia as well), to do that area. He responded, “I smell gold, a very smooth sensation” I then clarified that I want him to smell the beer in the glass, not the glass of beer. “It doesn’t smell like your usual dark beer, it’s very pleasant with no bite to it.” He also tried it and what he said almost floored me. He actually had two sips of it and responded, “There isn’t that bite that I’ve come to associate with dark beers. That’s not bad.”
Let me explain something, my dad usually only drinks what we call, “Lawnmower beers”. Light beers such as Miller Genuine Draft that you end up having one or two of after mowing your lawn on a hot summer day. He never, ever likes things past that. The fact that he enjoys this (the first ale I’ve ever heard him say is good, and believe me, I’ve had him try a bunch of beers in hopes to expand his palate) bodes very well for the beer. Now my analysis.
It does have a slight sweet, almost flowery taste right off the bat that only lasts about a second. At that point there is a small amount of hoppyness that fills in and lingers for about 5 or 6 seconds. I’m no fan of IPA’s or other beer that are extremely hoppy and bitter. This has enough hop to it that it does grab my attention but no where near enough to turn me off of it instantly.
After the hop taste has left I find what I was looking for, the Chipotle Pepper flavor. It’s tiny, like grain of rice that has had the picture of Elvis delicately painted on one of it’s side type tiny. The tiny that makes you go, “Wow! That’s small! What kind of brush did they use to paint that picture of Elvis? And why the heck did I pay $5 to get into this art museum just to see a picture of Elvis painted on a piece of rice? Won’t that grow mold eventually? Who the heck does these kinds of things? That’s madness!”
Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yes, tiny pepper flavor. If I wasn’t the extreme chili-head that I am I would have never detected that taste. Which means almost 99.65% of the people that try this beer won’t even spot it. Which is said because I was hoping for a more smokey taste. Perhaps more chipotle peppers are needed in the brew or better yet, a Chipotle Porter or Stout would best be in order instead of an ale.
There is a tiny (seems to a theme here) bit of heat to this one. You notice it after drinking about 1/2 of the bottle and sometimes letting it sit on your tongue. I would have to say it/s a 0.00782 on my one through ten scale of heat. Yes, it’s that small but it does appear.
All in all, I’d have to side with Eric Chmielewski on this one. It’s not a bad beer at all. I don’t see myself buying a six pack anytime soon, but I just might buy a bottle again sometime in the near future.
Taste: 6.7, Heat: 0.00782