As you know, we usually feature, well, beers in the Afternoon Beer Break. Some of the brands that we’re in contact with produce other interesting beverages (such as those CBD-infused seltzers we talked about a bit back). Well, you may not be aware of it, but Rogue doesn’t just make beer – they also have a number of liquors in their portfolio. Today, we’re running through a sampler of four different styles.
The one that probably will sound the most familiar to fans of Rogue beers will be rate Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey. Not surprisingly, this whiskey actually uses the same blend of malts that the Rogue Dead Guy Ale leverages. This isn’t to say that it tastes like beer, but there’s a starting point that’s similar. Of course, once you’ve aged the distilled spirits in a charred oak barrel for 2+ years, you’ve got a vastly different flavor than a brewed beer.
When I poured the 80-proof Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey into a glass, I was greeted with a warm amber color, and a very sweet nose. In fact, this nose was something I’ve come to associate more with a bourbon, which tend to come across as sweeter. That first sip is not an aggressive one – it’s quite mild for a whiskey – and you get a slight oiliness there as well. Along with the main, well, whiskey flavor, I was picking up on some caramel notes as well. Oh, and for those worried about the whiskey “burn” – you do get that ever so slightly at the back of the throat, but it clears out quickly.
Keeping the beer theme rolling, let’s move on to the 97.5-proof Rogue Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey. This particular whiskey is framed as the culmination of all things Rogue. Of course, they distill it themselves, and it’s then aged in barrels built at their own cooperage. In terms of aging, it’s first year is in new Oak barrels (as you’d expect) and then they spend another two years in barrels that had been used to age their Imperial Stout. For those not familiar with it, when you age a spirit in a barrel that had aged something else, you get some other flavors and notes coming across in the profile.
In the glass, the Rogue Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey has a very deep amber color, and nosing the glass gets you something that manages to both be sharp and sweet at the same time. That sharpness carries through to the tongue a bit, but then it melts to a pleasantly warm sensation. In terms of flavor, I picked up some maple here, but nothing that I would particularly associate with a stout, per se.
Now, if you’re looking for something different, but perhaps not aged in beer barrels, then something like the Rogue Oregon Rye Malt may be what the doctor ordered. Again here, you’ve got a sweeter nose (perhaps I’m just so used to the peaty stuff that that it all smells sweet), with a very pale coloration in the glass. This has a much thinner mouth feel than the prior two, but it’s quite smooth. In terms of flavor profiles, these one is very mild, and it’s not attacking your mouth. Though rye does lend a particular flavor to a whiskey, this might be a good one to start with from the brand.
If you’re a single malt purist, Rogue hasn’t forgotten you with their Rogue Oregon Single Malt. This is terminology we’re more used to hearing with scotch, but there’s nothing to say it can’t be applied to an American whiskey, as it’s really just connoting how the drink was made (definitely no blending here). I found this one to be bright and smooth, with notes of caramel and vanilla up front, and a very mild note on the nose.
All in all, these Rogue whiskeys show what the brand is capable of (They’ve got some other liquors as well) – and while it’s not quite the same variety you’ll see in their brewery lines, it’s still an impressive portfolio for the brand, considering the time commitment involved with aging these. If you’re looking for something different – or even just something that fits the farm-to-table ethos – you might just like trying out these varieties from Rogue. rogue.com
- Rogue Dead Guy
- Sweet nose – closer to bourbon than a straight whisky
- Bright and warm amber color
- Very mild on the tongue, slight oiliness
- Very slight burn sensation at the back of the throat, clears out quickly
- Caramel comes to mind for some reason
- Rogue Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey
- Deep amber color
- Sharp sweet nose
- Sharp tongue on the front
- Slight hint of maple
- Rogue Oregon Rye Malt Whiskey
- Sweeter nose
- Pale but vibrant coloration
- Smooth – almost a watery consistency
- Taste is mild – cool up front, rye in the middle, then warmth on the back of the tongue to finish
- Rogue Oregon Single Malt whiskey
- Carmel and vanilla up front
- Bright and clear
- Very mild nose