Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chatoe Rogue Single Malt Ale


Type: Blonde ale
Origin: Newport, OR
Price: $5.99/22 oz
ABV: 5.3%
NSP: 5.75 (unscaled)
website

The second beer of the Chatoe Rogue line, following the Good Chit Pilsner of which I thought highly. "Single Malt Ale" doesn't really refer to a specific style, but the website says it's a blonde ale. The Good Chit is made using floor malting. And since single malt whisky is usually made via the same process, I presume that a "single malt" ale is as well. But the website doesn't state that, so I'm not sure.

This smells like a blonde ale, malty and fruity and sweet but also fairly light. There's also a nice bitter hop note in there that's well-sustained by the head, plus a bit of citrus. The flavor's a lot more bitter than I'd anticipated, on a similar level as a well-hopped pale ale. I'm surprised by it, because I expected the malt to play the lead given the name. But the hops are definitely the big dog here. The citrusy flavors aren't as strong as, say, a west coast IPA. They're there, and they're pretty tasty, but this is more piny than citrusy. I wouldn't call it crisp, because the malt gives it just a bit too much body for that. While the hoppiness is a nice surprise to my now bitter-friendly palate, it also prevents any of the malt complexity from showing as much as it does in the Good Chit, which makes it seem like the name is a bit misleading (especially from a whisky-drinker's perspective).

In the end, I find this beer pretty tasty, but also a bit confusing because it wasn't at all what I was expecting. I'm not sure if there's anything to really distinguish it when you're beer shopping, though. I mean, it's nice that they use all Rogue-grown ingredients, but dedication to homegrown grain and hops doesn't necessarily mean the flavor is going to blow you out of the water. So it's good, but there are a lot of beers that are good. I'd be interested to see what would happen if they added some wheat to the base grain bill. Of course, they couldn't call it a single malt ale anymore (I guess it'd be a blended ale?), but wheat could add some enhanced fruity/sour complexity that could take this up a notch.

2 comments:

  1. Looks like someone needs to learn how to use the focus on his camera.

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  2. This chit is also pretty good on tap, but I've only found it in Salt Lake City. Not quite worth the trip from here.

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