Monday, April 9, 2012

Chatoe Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager

Type: Schwarzbier/black lager
Origin: Newport, OR
Price: $5.99/22 oz
ABV: 6.0%
NSP: 6.51 (unscaled)

The third of the Chatoe Rogue series, and by far the heftiest of the three. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I opened this. I haven't had many schwarzbiers (Kostritzer is the only one I can think of off the top of my head), but I've had a black ale or two (namely New Belgium's 1554), and based on this also being called a black lager I figured this would have similar flavors, but maybe be a bit lighter in body and more crisp. What I found was...well, not that.

Interesting head, very dark with sort of a reddish tinge. The beer looks like very stouty, completely opaque. It smells like strong espresso, with a bit of a fruity tinge. Taking a sip, I find that this is definitely not just a lighter version of a black ale.
The body's sort of ale-like, but that's about it. The flavor's very much like a stout, dark (to the point of burnt) roasty malt and chocolate, with a bit of bitterness that as with many stouts and porters feels like it's more from dark chocolate than from hops. The finish is surprising in that it's exceptionally clean- the dark chocolate sticks around for quite some time, but with a very light touch. So while the flavors are pretty potent, it's pretty easy to drink and isn't filling like a stout.

This one's kind of fascinating. Not because anything in it is individually unique necessarily, but because it covers a range of styles. It's flavored like a stout, has the body of an ale, and finishes like a lager. That by itself makes it stand out. If I was generally more of a stout/porter type of fella, I'd probably keep some of this around for those nights when I wanted to go a bit towards the lighter side. Not bad, Rogue. Toss some vanilla in this and it'd be incredible.

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