GSN Review: Rogue Spirits Whiskies

The Rogue Revolution began in 1988 in the basement of the first Rogue Public House on Lithia Creek in Ashland, Ore. where American Amber Ale and Oregon Golden quickly became popular brews. Before long, founder Jack Joyce was looking for a second location.

In 1989, Jack found himself in Newport, Ore., stuck in an unusual snowstorm when he met Mohava Niemi, aka “Mo” (founder of Mo’s Restaurants) who extended her signature hospitality and fed him some of her famous clam chowder. Over a bowl, she told him she’d always dreamed of living above a bar and described the perfect spot for the next Rogue Brewpub: Mo had a large building with three apartments upstairs, a sweater shop, an art gallery, 1,100 sq. ft. of empty storefront and an 800-square-foot garage.

Mo offered to rent Jack the vacant storefront and the garage under two conditions:

1. Rogue promises to “feed the fisherman,” Mo’s way of saying give back to the community. The vast majority of Newport’s residents are fisherman who work on the waterfront, a huge part of Newport’s economy.

2. A photo of Mo in a bathtub forever hangs over the bar. It’s still there today and a copy of the photo hangs in every Rogue Meeting Hall.

The Rogue Bayfront Public House soon opened in that storefront and John Maier, who joined Rogue in May of 1989, brewed the first batch of Rogue beer there in the back room. Before long, this would become the world headquarters of Rogue Ales & Spirits when the Ashland location was forced to close due to flooding. The brewpub in the back of the Bayfront Public House would eventually be moved to a larger facility on South Beach, which is now also home to Brewer’s on the Bay, Rogue House of Spirits, Rogue Spirits Distillery and Rogue Rolling Thunder Barrel Works.

Dead Guy Whiskey is distilled from the same malts as Rogue’s Platinum medal-winning Dead Guy Ale, including the Rogue Farms Dare™ & Risk™ Malts grown on the Rogue Barley Farm in Oregon’s Tygh Valley. Dead Guy Whiskey is Ocean-aged by both the Pacific Ocean and nearby Yaquina Bay.

Dead Guy Whiskey (80 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Quite malty and beer-like. A bit of a funky amalgamation of scents. Wet fur, old hardwood, damp leaves and dark beer.
Taste: My initial impression is of fresh tobacco leaves and tanned leather. Very dry and intensely compact bundle of flavors. Burnt caramel, brown bread, and toasted bread all make appearances here.
Finish: Long, with an almost effervescent quality at the base of the palate.
Overall: Very different, but in line with other beer based whiskies I’ve had. Definitely unusual and of a kind, this will appeael to those who like to experiment.
GSN Rating: B+

Oregon Rye Whiskey uses Rogue Farms Dream™ Rye, Rogue Farms Dare™ & Risk™ Malt; Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

Oregon Rye Whiskey (80 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Nicely balanced with a punchy rye kick. Woody and rustic, but tamed into a friendly beast.
Taste: A lovely fresh rye loaf flavor. The spiciness is tempered somewhat by the malt blend, but this only serves to meld the flavors in a more beneficial way.  Bakery in the glass.
Finish: Medium long with some sweeter caramel notes coming out towards the fade.
Overall: Good gosh, but this is a wonderful rye whiskey. Perfect on its own, but eminently mixable in cocktails.
GSN Rating: A

Rogue Farms Oregon Single Malt Whiskey uses Rogue Farms Risk™ Malt, Free-Range Coastal Water & Rogue’s Proprietary Pacman Yeast.

Oregon Single Malt Whiskey (80 proof)
Visual: Darkening orange
Nose: Lots of high ester notes laid over a softer and fresh oaky base. Quite bright and bouncy.
Taste: Quite light and smooth. A hint of vanilla and caramel, but more of a soft malt-forward palate. There’s also more than a touch of salinity.
Finish: Medium, with a slight bitter wood note that cleanses the palate.
Overall: Really easy to drink this one. The aging is perfectly balanced, leaving the whiskey to shine.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Rogue

GSN Backbar Review: April 11-15, 2016

1Napa winery Ca’ Momi has forayed into spirits with the launch of a new Ca’ Momi vodka. Made from premium Napa wine grapes, Ca’ Momi vodka is triple distilled and minimally filtered. The small-batch offering is priced at $50 a 750-ml. The upscale vodka will be distributed nationally alongside its wines.

Barrel-Strength-Bulleit-Bulleit-Bourbon-bottleHigh-flying Bulleit Bourbon is being extended with a Barrel Strength edition. The first 3,000 cases of the new offering, which retails at around $50 a bottle, are debuting in Kentucky this week, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. Bulleit Barrel Strength joins the original Bourbon, as well as Rye and 10-year-old variants in the brand line.

t6800440be_1Newport, Oregon-based Rogue Ales & Spirits has unveiled its first straight whiskey. Made with Rogue Farms-sourced malt, Rogue Spirits’ Oregon Single Malt Whiskey is aged for at least two years in American oak. The 40%-abv expression is available at select retail accounts throughout the U.S. Oregon Single Malt Whiskey joins Chipotle Whiskey, Oregon Rye Whiskey and Dead Guy Whiskey in Rogue’s craft spirits portfolio.

Coopers-CraftBrown-Forman is launching a new whiskey brand, Coopers’ Craft, its first new Bourbon label in two decades. Coopers’ Craft, whose name is a nod to the barrel-making process and its importance to Bourbon production, is an 82.2 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon. It will debut this summer across eight southeastern markets—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee—retailing at around $29 a 750-ml.

2016 TLD 50YO Double Matured bottle & miniU.K.–based luxury independent bottler The Last Drop Distillers has released its sixth offering. With only 898 bottles available, the 50-year-old Double Matured blended Scotch whisky ($4,500) was originally created in 1995 as a 30-year-old premium blend and then matured for an additional 20 years in ex-Sherry casks. Like all The Last Drop spirits, the 51.8% abv whisky is packaged with a 750-ml. bottle and 50-ml. miniature bottle for the U.S. market.

Porton-Acholado-PiscoPisco Portón LLC is extending its namesake brand with a new variant, Portón Acholado. An acholado pisco is an expression of the Peruvian spirit made with a blend of two or more of the eight allowed grape varietals. Portón’s acholado is a mix of estate-grown Quebranta, Italia and Torontel grapes. The newcomer is hitting key U.S. markets this month, retailing at around $35 a 750-ml.

565c927cef8a99b2f077c0824cc39b15Kicking off a new “Noble Collection” of limited-edition whiskies under its Crown Royal brand, Diageo has introduced Crown Royal Cornerstone Blend. The new luxury Crown Royal edition is a 40.3%-abv blend of three whiskies: a Bourbon-style Canadian whisky, a spicy Canadian rye and Crown Royal’s Coffey Rye whisky. Retailing at $59.99 a 750-ml., Cornerstone is rolling out nationwide, limited to around 10,000 cases. Diageo plans to release a new specialty Canadian whisky under Crown Royal’s Noble Collection annually.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily