A Mug of Cold Chocolate


Rogue Ales Brewery – Newport, OR
Chocolate Stout
ABV: 6%

Ah, Rogue. If you’re not familiar, Rogue is an ale brewery in the coastal town of Newport, Oregon. Opened in ’88, they were on the crest of the wave of craft breweries that has rolled in on the US in the last 20 years. Rogue is known for big, hoppy ales, a trademark of the PNW. I’ve heard a traditionalist or two whine about Rogue’s beers being too hoppy or not being balanced enough, but screw that, I see it as a strength when a brewery has a defined style across their line of beers – trademarks are good for business, people. Rogue’s line is relatively easy to find on the East Coast, so I’m posting this review to introduce you to Rogue, and in hopes that you’ll seek out this chocolate stout, or any of their beers that might interest you. Jump le jump for the skinny on Rogue’s Chocolate Stout.

22oz bomber poured into a 14oz mug. No apparent freshness date on the bottle.

Pours an opaque black with a shy khaki head. Head was slow to come even with an aggressive pour. Lacing was thick and strong though.

Whoa, the nose is all semi-sweet chocolate. It’s not bad, but I seriously can’t find anything else in there. Bit milky I guess.

The taste is a pleasant, creamy dark chocolate, backed up quickly by roasted coffee. The rear is brought up by an earthy hop flavor, which provides a nice balance to a truly delicious beer. I’ve had my share of chocolate, vanilla, maple, etc. stouts and porters and this is beautifully strong and balanced at the same time.

The mouthfeel is exceptional. There’s just enough carbonation to cut the thickness, but it’s pleasantly thick and very appropriate for the style.

Drinkability is very good for the style. I’d much rather have several dry well balanced stouts like this than some of the over-done half-candy flavored stouts I’ve had lately.

What a great chocolate stout. While the nose is almost comically strong, don’t be fooled; this is an exceptionally good, balanced beer.

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  • BS January 18, 2008  

    what do you think of their regular amber ale – I always want to buy it but it is a bit pricey so I never do since I don’t know anything about it

  • Tim January 18, 2008  

    I’m always lured in by their more unique ales, so I actually haven’t had their amber. Partly b/c of my dependency on Troeg’s HopBack Amber. I’d bet it’s good. Also, don’t miss my favorite Rogue brew… the Dead Guy Ale, which is actually a Maibock, just like JayZ drives.

  • Pinch o Minch January 21, 2008  

    Dear Tim,

    One time I went to Brickskellar in Dupont (http://www.lovethebeer.com/brickskeller.html) and ordered wine.

    Does this make me an immoral human being? Or just one who simply doesn’t like the taste of beer?

  • Ed January 23, 2008  

    My boss happens to represent the district in oregon where Rogue is based, is the only home brewer in Congress, is chairman of the small brewers caucus and drinks Rogue pretty regularly (sure i could tell you his name, but this way you can spend 2 minutes googling the answer to help waste time at work). Heck we even have it at his fundraisers. That being said, I’ve drank quite a few Rogues in my day. Granted I have never tried their Chipotle Ale or their more hard to find stuff like Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale (Although I believe I saw a DC restaurant, vegetate, that had the chipotle on tap, but I haven’t confirmed if they do or they just have the tap attached to some other beer).

    I think its a really distinctive style of beers. I’ve always gravitated to the more hoppy ales. recently at the Congressional brewers reception they had a Sam Adams brew i believe called “Hop madness” that was one of the few lagers i’ve actually liked. Mind you, it was like eating raw hops, so you have to be into that kind of thing.

    That being said My “go to” beer is the dead guy ale. They also make a pretty good IPA called Shark Tooth Ale, which i’ve seen at my local Whole Foods.

  • Tim January 23, 2008  

    Ed, you rule. Thanks for the info.

    Rogue’s Chipotle Ale isn’t another novelty beer, it’s a damn fine dry [amber] ale. They have it regularly at Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington / Falls Church.

    Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale is also my default beer – the perfect balance of hops and malt, IMHO.

  • gansie January 23, 2008  

    I think we now know who ES is endorsing for every conceivable race in 2008.

  • gansie January 23, 2008  

    and tim, i’m waiting for your response to pinch o minch.

  • Tim January 23, 2008  

    Dear Pinch o Minch,

    All I can be certain of is that you are someone who has ordered wine at the Brickskeller. I’m really not sure how ordering wine at the Brickskeller would be immoral. Now, if you had ordered the wine and fucked your neighbor’s husband, THAT would be immoral.

    Do you like the taste of beer? I doubt you need me to answer that question for you.

    All of this said, I am sure I could help you find beers that you could enjoy. Let’s sit down and work this out sometime.

  • Bobby January 28, 2008  

    The Rogue American Amber is outstanding. Full-bodied and heavily hopped. I can’t think of a better beer to drink with BBQ. I think it’s one of Rogue’s strongest offerings, actually.

  • BS January 28, 2008  

    thanks, bobby! I’ll give it a try

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