Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rogue Ales: John John Juniper Pale Ale

 Just when you thought they couldn't "one-up" themselves, Rogue does it with John John Juniper Pale Ale. Second in Rogue's limited release line of  barrel aged beers, their Juniper Pale Ale has been taken to another level, by aging it in the "sister" spirits barrel. If you were not aware Rogue has a been brewing a spirits line for a few years. The brain trust at Rogue, Master Brewer, John Maier, and Master Distiller, John Couchot thought it would be an interesting twist on the conventional barrel aging process if they used their own barrels instead of the more common oak whiskey or wine barrels. Our friends at Rogue explain the process this way  "To craft this unique brew, John Couchot aged the Gin in oak barrels so the barrels can soak up the flavor of the gin. The barrels are then emptied and rolled by forklift from the Rogue Distillery to the Rogue Brewery. John Maier later fills these barrels with Juniper Pale Ale so that his creation can absorb the gin flavors from the barrel."
 Juniper Pale Ale has always been one of my favorite Rogue Ales, this version gives you something more than just a higher octane, whiskey flavored version of the original. The fact that Gin, in general, is not a barrel aged product is probably what lends itself to a more flavorful result. The beer still pours a light straw color, with a slight bit of cloudiness. The flavor highlights of the Juniper are accentuated by the Gin flavoring of the barrel. This ale was still mild on the palate and sessionable. It just goes to show that if you continue to think outside the box you can always find a way to "one-up" yourself. Cheers!
Check out Rogue Ales for more info on this selection.

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