Imbibe Hour

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Stealing spirits away from the brewery, acting like a Rogue in Portland

Rogue brewery and distillery is probably one of the most well know beer places in Portland. In my time spent in DC I would see Rogue's beers all over on the shelves. I discovered they make spirits as well, and bought a light rum of theirs which I did in a blind tasting. In that tasting I picked up a tasty rum that had a nutty almost almond component to it. It was very good. When I discovered they made gin and whiskey I knew what I wanted to sink my imbibing teeth in to if I ever visited.

I arrived at the bar, and was greeted immediately with a drink. "Here ya go", said the friendly guy behind the bar, "This is our Chateau Wet Hop." he finished placing a glass right in front me waiting for me to consume. So how about that, you walk in to the place.. and they give you free beer. The Wet Hop Ale was very grassy on the nose, but was fairly easy drinking, nothing too excited to get crazy about.

Now of course I was not going to take advantage of this and just leave oh no... There was much work to be done. Rogue I find is kind of overwhelming cause they make so much stuff it seems. Their beer list is extensive, and it's charmingly displayed with a muscle made man in various forms of dress, and always with a prominent red star displayed. Many times I can never remember which unique bottle contains what. However, I remembered that I was really intent on having the spirits here. When I glanced up at the board looking at a good spirit listing, I saw gin, rum and whiskey calling out to me.


"I'll have the Dead Guy Whiskey", I remarked, highly anticipating having more goodness. I sort of caught the bartender heading for the beer taps and then pouring. No no.. I mentioned... Whiskey... Ah he said, and grabbed me a shot. The Dead Guy Ale just so you know felt like it had a blueberry nose on it a bit with that same profile on the finish. The bartender already poured it. So what was the whiskey like?

Buttery. A very good front nose, buttery in smell and taste, and finish. It's all I could remember from it, like eating a stick of butter with some sweetness. Very tasty!

I was with someone during this time, and he ordered us oyster shooters while pounding back our bounty. He his stouts, me my whiskey, when I suddenly realized that whiskey and oysters is NOT a good food pairing by any stretch of the imagination.

Luckily when you are at the source, you can always count on help. I quickly asked the bartender for a beer that was something local, something that you probably couldn't find on the East coast (where I live). He remarked, "Try the Northwestern Ale."

AH! Perfect. He poured a great red headed copper color beer, which I quickly plunged my snout into.

Cinnamon, which was a real surprise, with a wet hoppy-ness taste and some citrus flavor. Perfect for my oyster. This was a very pleasant beer and quite surprising. I don't think I've ever had a beer that had such a distinct cinnamon nose on it.

Still I had to focus. SPIRITS man... SPIRITS... you're here for the SPIRITS... oh yeah right. I realized though that I had to pace myself. I got my colleague to order the Spruce Gin. Smooth with a piney front nose and a lemon finish, not harsh, a great tasting gin.

By this time after Clear Creek, Deschutes, and now Rogue, I was getting my fill. "Hey!" my colleague mentioned, "I need to eat" so we headed off to Bridgeport for of course... more beer and imbibing. I glanced at my watch. It was only 1:30. oh man... the day is just getting started.

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