Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Rogue John John Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale and Rogue Spirits Hazelnut Spice Rum
A final pairing for the year of ales and spirits from Rogue Brewing; Rogue John John Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale, their Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale aged in the barrel used to condition their Rogue Spirits Hazelnut Spice Rum, which I poured alongside it.
Rogue John John Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale (pictured above), poured a dark, hazed brown into the glass and led with a distinct Pacman yeast tartness over toasted, dry malts, some citric hops, and subtle hazelnut undertones. Drank, the Pacman yeast zing was thankfully more subdued, letting dry cereal and a touch of sweet nuttiness lead the charge. The ale ended on a long, dusty linger where the hazelnut most stood out alongside a touch of oak.
Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale (pictured below), poured similar to the John John version, with a bit more tartness at the front of the tongue, more milk chocolate flavors in the middle, and significantly stronger hazelnut flavors accompanying the sweet fade.
Rogue Spirits Hazelnut Spice Rum carried forward a wonderfully dry hazelnut aroma, with bakers chocolate and just a hint of banana in the background. The rum drank sweet and smooth, with banana opening the experience but quickly offset by a distinct hazelnut dryness. I'm not a fan of spiced rums as a rule, but this was outstanding.
Of the two beers, I found myself liking (and disliking) them each for different reasons. The John John Hazelnut Ale was softer and seemed primed for more hazelnut than it brought to the table, whereas the standard Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale was sweeter and more lively, but carried forward more yeast twang. For me, the star of the show was the Hazelnut Spice Rum, which I plan to occasionally revisit as a warm winter sipper.