Jenny and Adrian Beer Tour (2008)

January 6th, 2008 by Adrian

This was Jenny’s last weekend of vacation before heading back to the software mines on Monday.  Between all the holiday hooplah and an annoying trickle of ongoing work that bled through deadlines, she never felt like she really got to cut loose and whoop it up all freestyle.  The idea was to do something special that broke out of the normal routine and screamed “I’m on VACATION!”

We’d just been to Portland a few weeks ago, and weather made trips to SFO, Vancouver, or the San Juans unappealing.  We put our heads together and scratched ‘em for a bit, trying to think up a good way to beat the winter blahs right here in Seattle.  Finally, Jenny came up with the answer: get plastered!  And that’s how on a rainy Seattle Saturday, the Jenny and Adrian Beer Tour was born.

1:30 PM  Rogue Brewery, Issaquah We both love the Rogue beers.  Usually when we’re down in Portland, we’ll find time to hit the Public House in town for samplers, and pack back a half dozen bottles or so of top quality brew.  The goal this time out was to try stuff we hadn’t had yet, so none of the old favorites (Smoke Ale, Hazelnut Ale, Chocolate Stout, Mocha Porter).

The “Nutty Buddy”

Wait a sec, didn’t we just say no old favorites!?   That’s OK, we’re easing into things I guess.  Jenny orders this on-site blend of Mocha Porter and Hazelnut Ale.  Just like mixing up your own custom Slurpee at the taps…

Adrian sez: “Works OK as a blend, chocolate taste is pretty obvious but I can barely taste the hazelnut.  It’s very malty.  Like the balance overall, but surprisingly bitter aftertaste.”

Jenny sez: “It’s fizzy and nutty.  It’s bitter start to finish.  There’s a little tobacco taste in there. I agree it’s really malty.”

At this point we decide we’ll start assigning star scores to all the beers we taste, using the following guidelines:

Rating Description Examples
Crap Miller, Coors, and Budweiser
Not total crap Sam Adams, Redhook (2.5)
A decent brew Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Mac ‘n’ Jack’s African Amber
Really good Things start to get highly palate-specific here… personally, I’d give Deschutes’ Obsidian Stout four stars
WOW! That’s amazing! Not yet assigned. 🙂

Smoked Rye Ale

Not to be confused with the Smoke Ale which we know well.  I don’t see a listing for this on the Rogue site, so maybe it’s a relatively new brew?

Adrian sez:  “It’s surprisingly light, almost no hop taste.  It’s nice and crisp, but a little too thin for me.  For such a dark colored beer, it tastes a bit watery.”

Jenny sez: “It has a thin taste, it’s smokey, smooth mouth feel and nice weight.  You know what?  This is just like drinking Coca Cola!!”  And I have to agree, it really is… 

Menage-a-frog     (info)

This is a golden, Belgian-style Tripel, served in a tulip glass.  9% abv.

Adrian sez:  “It’s so bready!  Thick and creamy, very chewy. Sweet.  Mild hops and floral notes.”

Jenny sez:  “I agree, it’s creamy.  It reminds me of the Dinkle Dunkle [from Feierabend… I didn’t get this, cuz that’s a dark chocolatey beer, but maybe the consistency? AK].  It’s lemony and sweet, with floral notes.  Clean finish.” We both agree this strikes the palette kind of like a desert wine or a chardonnay.

Imperial Bourbon Porter   

A limited run of Rogue’s Imperial Porter that’s aged for 3 months in old bourbon barrels.

Adrian sez:  “It’s really aggressive!  Full and malty.  The bourbon flavor is surprisingly strong, almost dominant.  Slight chocolate notes, smokey, some espresso bitterness.”

Jenny sez: “Great, thick mouth feel.  Smokey.  Intense finish!  Chocolately in a bittersweet way…  like 70% cocao!”


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