The Brewery: Rogue Brewing Company, Newport, Oregon
The Stats: 5.7 percent ABV, 55 IBU
The Scoop: After one look at the giant bomber bottle dressed up like a bottle of hot sauce, "gimmick" is the first word that comes to mind. But don't be fooled: This beer is no gimmick. In fact, it's a very interesting brew with all the characteristics of a traditional American Stout and the welcome addition of some pleasant heat toward the finish.
Rogue Brewery is all about challenging the status quo — and it's certainly done so with its most recent offering. According to the brewery website: "Just in time for Sriracha week (March 7-13), Sriracha Stout returns to celebrate the world’s most influential spicy red sauce. The only beer officially sanctioned by Huy Fong Foods, creators of the original Sriracha Hot Sauce, Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout is crafted by infusing Sriracha Hot Sauce in a classic stout during the brewing process."
Look & Feel: The beer pours black with a long-lasting brown head made of very small bubbles. It's medium-bodied with a creamy feel, and there's definitely a burn at the end — though it's a pleasant burn, not a painful one. Besides the Sriracha sauce adding its heat, the roasted malts and fairly high hop bitterness also contribute dryness, making the Sriracha heat truly shine.
Aroma & Flavor: The beer smells like a traditional stout, with aromas of roast and chocolate. There's really nothing in the way of heat until you bring the beer up to your face and begin to take a sip — that's when the Sriracha introduces itself. The roast and chocolate notes prevail into the flavor profile, along with some light molasses character, and the heat doesn't appear until you swallow, when it creeps up, slightly increases, then lingers like an unwelcome in-law. Except in this case, you don't mind.
Food: This beer should be paired with foods that provide some spice, in order to balance the intensity. It would be an interesting pair with Thai food or hot teriyaki wings.
Rogue beers typically fall the higher end, cost-wise, compared with similar craft beers. This 750ml bomber was $12.99 at Quick N Shine in Gilbert. Check out the Rogue Brewing Company website for more information on this beer or any of Rogue's interesting offerings.