Friday, July 07, 2006

Rogue Imperial India Pale Ale

I am a self proclaimed Hop Head. I love the strong scent, the strong bitterness of a hoppy beer. In my younger days, I couldn't stomach it, but over the years I have developed a taste for, well yeah, Bitter Beer. One of the most hoppy beers is American India Pale ale, so when I saw this one at my local Spec's I had to pick it up.
The Style: The IPA style has its origins in Britain, and like Imperial Stout was created due to the need to preserve the beer during shipping. In the late 1700's the British were well established in India, but due to the high temperatures, brewing in India was near impossible. Since beer was a staple in the British household and many a British soldier was paid partially in beer it was necessary to ship British Pale Ale to India. The only way to do so and keep it from spoiling was to add an insane amount of hops, this helped preserve the beer and gave rise to a new style of brewing. This could have remained forever linked to beers shipped to India if it wasn't for a shipwreck in 1827 in the Irish Sea that was bound for India and full of the robust Pale Ale. The barrels washed ashore and once the people tasted it, they clamored for more and as they say the rest is history....
The Brewery: Rogue Brewery is based out of Newport Oregon, most famous for its Dead Guy Ale, it makes a variety of beers, both available in six packs and as Big Beer. The brewery was founded in 1988 first as a brewpub then as a full fledged brewery, making a wide range of beers in a wide range of styles.
The Beer: All I can say initially is WHOAAA. This is one hoppy beer. The beer is unfiltered and aged for 9 months and is brewed with two-row Pipkin Pale malts, Saaz, Cascade and Northwest Golding hops. It pours a bright amber almost orange in the glass with a nice quarter inch foamy head. There are citrus flavors in the nose and mouth, but the king here is the hops. It almost burns the nose and there is an overwrought bitterness, but somehow the beer manages to balance it all out. Its a sipping beer at 9.5% alcohol and with the high hops you definitely wouldn't drink more than one. But for a night at the pub or at home of quiet drinking this is a really nice beer. Your taste buds are all but dead after this, so you wouldn't go from one beer to another, but its still very nice for those Hop-Heads out there.

1 comment:

Jay H. said...

This sounds great. If anyone's going to make an intense Imperial IPA, it's Rogue. I'm looking for this tomorrow.