I’d had a bottle of Rogue‘s Smoke Ale in the fridge for quite some time now—years, really—and I finally decided that it was time to drink it. It was the smaller 7-ounce bottle, limited release I think, that Rogue used to put out; now it’s available in the 22-ounce bottle.
Since I’d had it for years, I was a little anxious as to whether it was still good. It was.
Appearance: Sediment in the bottom of the bottle; a careful pour resulted in a nicely clear, orange-amber (brown) beer with minimal head.
Smell: Smoke is predominant; oily, reminding me of smoked salmon or bacon—appetizing! Complex and subtle at the same time… can almost detect the grains below the smoke.
Taste: Smoked salmon character is stronger than ever, paired with a light, crisp malt character that’s very clean. Any bitterness here (not much) comes from the smoke notes… otherwise the beer is soft, a tiny bit doughy, with little or no hop character. It’s held up extraordinarily well.
Mouthfeel: Lighter than I’d expect… almost watery body that’s very, very clean.
Overall: A great beer, and I’m even more pleased that it vintaged (I’d say "cellared", but it was really kept in the fridge all that time… does that count?) so well.