Rogue XS Imperial IPA
Hello again fellow craft beer lovers! I’m back again with another interesting craft beer review. The beer I chose to post today was one that I had a few weeks ago. I’ve been pretty busy with the brewery and building our website which is still a work in progress but no matter! I am here with my review of Rogue’s XS series Imperial IPA.
I love IPAs. This is a fact. I bought this one because its a Rogue beer. What’s not like about Rogue? Most beers they do are really really good. This beer is no exception but has a catch to it.
Style: Imperial IPA
Serving Size: Ceramic bomber into Sierra Nevada IPA glass.
Pours a light copper color (almost gold) color with a white fine head to it. Head retention was average with some lacing on the glass as the beer was drank. The color of the beer was off putting a little for me. I like to think of all imperial IPAs to be big bitter hopped up monsters with massive malt backbone and a good balance of hop choice and grain. With most substantial grain bills in brewing comes a little darker color from using different malts to support large hop additions. That being said, the nose of this beer wasn’t that of a huge hop monster either. Maybe I was going into this beer with the wrong expectation. Time to put everything I like about IPAs aside and review this beer as though I am not a hop head.
The aroma from this one was light and piney with a subtle hint of citrus. Upon tasting this one, I was surprised at how balanced and light this beer is. It’s not one of those hop monsters, Rogue instead chose to go a different route with this and break from the typical “West Coast” IPA. The finish is crisp and clean with some hop oils lingering to leave you with a light piney and tropical fruit note on your palate. My only major complaint about this one is the high ABV. I feel as though, the 9.5% ABV was a little too much for this beer’s character. Towards the end of my first glass the alcohol made it’s presence known in a bad way. Out of no where I was hit with a strong taste of ethanol across my palate which totally destroys the light and subtle notes of the beer itself. A lower non imperial version of this would be very good. I would love to try a regular release of this if they lowered the ABV to around 6-7….
Would I buy it again? I would but I would go into this beer with a different mindset. I wouldn’t expect massive hops, I wouldn’t expect a big malt profile. I would approach this as I would an ale or a marzen. I would be looking for more subtlety.