Rogue Ales & Spirits ‘8 Hop’ IPA


14572274_579326715584811_8465212603254260991_n-1“In a bold collaboration with Mother Nature, we grow our own varieties of aroma hops at Rogue Farms in Independence, OR. We also string, stake, train, test, trim, separate, sort, kiln and cool them. Brewmaster John Maier meticulously selected and blended 8 varieties of our aroma hops to create the brash and burly flavors of our 8 Hop IPA, the boss of our IPA family.”

Served in an IPA glass. The deep amber pour offers a soft rose tint and remarkably good clarity. The three finger head erupts above the rim of the glass before settling to a thick overlay with tonnes of lace splattered around. The first thing that hits the olfactory’s is this big, dank and resinous hop scent. The bottle states that Rogue grow, treat and then brew with all their own hops, which in itself is a massive effort, not to mention how bloody good they smell! To be able to pack in aromas such as grapefruit, citrus peel, pineapple, herbs, white pepper and pine resins without the use of any big ‘C’ hops is amazing. Quite a bold caramel malt backing to balance as well. Really, an outstanding aroma. In the mouth it’s full bodied and chewy with an apparent warmth from the booze (8.8% ABV – we like the nod to the theme of number 8 there) Co2 is moderate with the 66 IBU being pretty well masked. We get a heady dose of hop bitterness, alcohol warmth and earthy/herbal hops that does ease as it approaches the mid palate. Spicy notes of pepper and a hint of pine develop as nuanced caramel malts advance in to the dry and herbaceous finish. It’s actually quite incredible what these guys are doing at Rogue farms. Growing, nurturing and then brewing with your own hops bring a whole different meaning to hand crafted beer. And this is coming from the guy who cultured his own yeast strain from his beard! The beer, though, is delicious with its big, dank aroma, full bodied feel and well balanced flavour. Top drop.