Rogue Irish Style Lager: This is a nice light lager, clean and easy to drink. It pours a deep golden colour somewhat more depth than your conventional lager and it has little head, which quickly dissipates. What distinguishes this lager as Irish, or perhaps more accurately as Rogue, is the definite hop aftertaste. I am definitely intrigued by their website’s suggestion that this beer is perfect for floating Guinness but how this actually works remains elusive – I conjure an image of one of those layered shooters but alternating golden and dark browns in a pilsner glass instead of layers of red, white and blue in a shot glass. The description of the lager mentions the presence of apple and while I could not discern a fruity note per se apple could be the element that adds the crispness to the beer. I am enjoying the range and complexities of the lager style and I’ll admit I initially shied away from purchasing lagers due to preconceived biases about ball park beer.
Out of a possible five I would give this beer a 3.5
Rogue First Growth OREgasmic Ale: Hoppy, hoppy and hoppy. Okay so I get it Rogue likes to ramp up the hops in all their beers and I am working on the hops thing really I am. I have even made a bit of a breakthrough being able to discern different hop tastes in my pale ales -I now know that hops either taste like soap or flowers. OREgasmic ale is a similar pour to the aforementioned lager; golden/ amber, minimal head and subtle amounts of lacing. The strong hop element of this beer is well-balanced with a generous amount of malt and autumn fruit (somewhat sweet and spicy like a dried fig or date). I’ll admit I picked up this bottle due to the distinct packaging, which was a departure from the more traditional Rogue look. So what exactly is first growth? Rogue informs us that GYO (Grow Your Own) is brewed with first growth Oregon hops and dedicated to farmers and fermenters. Always a sucker for a counter-culture overtone this idea immediately appealed to the part of me that wants to know where my food comes from and to know who grew it. Kudos to Rogue for taking an ethical and environmental stand by brewing their beer with limited and fully disclosed ingredients and including no chemicals, additives or preservatives. Grow the Revolution!
Out of a possible five I would give this beer a 3.5…the GYO idea a 5+