Rogue Brewing is one of the first national craft breweries I really learned about as I got more into beer drinking in college. Dead Guy, Hazlenut, Yellow Snow, Chocolate Stout -- all fantastic offerings. This weekend, I had occasion to try one of their more interesting brews: the Chipotle Ale.
Dedicated to Spanish author Juan de la Cueva, who, in 1575, wrote of a Mexican dish that combined seedless chipotles with beer: Chipotle Ale is based on Rogue's American Amber Ale, but delicately spiced with smoked chipotle chile peppers. Blend it with Rogue Chocolate Stout and create a Mole black and tan!
Chili-flavored beers are becoming more and more common. The smokiness or heat of the peppers can pair really really well with a dark beer like a stout. This one is a lighter, amber-colored beer, but it still has a fantastic flavor. It's available in 22-oz bombers or on draft. It's 5.3 percent alcohol by volume.
The bouquet is really hoppy, and you get that crisp bitterness right on the front end, on the tip of your tongue. But from there it slides into a rich, malty sweetness and then right into the smoky flavor of the chipotles. It's a rich, complex warmth. Especially on a cold night. The aftertaste is sweet as well, so you get a lot of contrast from the malts to the chipotle flavor and then back to the sweetness. While it's a low ABV, the sweetness might make it a bit rich for a session beer, but your mileage may vary. Still, a fine beer. 4 out of 5 stars.