Rogue makes an exception to the old Frank Zappa song…
India Pale Ale from Rogue Brewery, Newport, OR
One of the things I enjoy about craft brewers is when they let their sense of humor out, whether in a beer’s name, label art, or witty written discourse on the bottle. Rogue is one of those breweries that has tongue planted firmly in cheek at times, as evidenced by the name of this seasonal IPA. (For the younger readers out there, Frank Zappa recorded a song called “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow”, from whence, I presume, somebody at Rogue took inspiration.) The Rogue website is mum on this particular point, only stating that the beer is dedicated to those involved in all manner of winter sports, from snowboarding to skiing to yes, even curling. (See what I’m talking about? Gotta love it!) So, what then do we actually have in this bottled yellow snow?
Yellow Snow has a hazy deep golden appearance with a touch of very pale amber, and a creamy-looking off-white head composed of fine, tight-knit foam with some larger bubbles sprinkled around.
Aromas of citric hops dominate, lemony and floral, similar to orange blossom with some orange oil. Crackery malt is discernible underneath.
It has a medium body, oily and smooth, lifted by a very fine, light carbonation. There’s a brief tangy edge felt on the tongue.
Flavors are hoppy and bitter right out of the gate. I get orange oil, lemon peel and some resiny pine with a significant bitter edge. Crackery malt underpins it all, flitting in and out between the hops. But make no mistake, this is a classic west coast style IPA! It sings to me of hopyards and sunshine and warm summer days. (Which is especially nice when it’s cold, cloudy, and dreary outside.) Nice lengthy finish with continued hop flavors and bitterness. Dryish and very slightly astringent on the palate late, with just a great lingering hoppy, resinous and bitter aftertaste.
The second pour from the 22 ounce bomber really generates a thick, dense head, and leaves behind partial foam rings on the glass.
My food pairing gut reaction on this was cheesecake or custard, which is not quite the beef and hot & spicy foods pairing suggested by Rogue. In any case, I enjoyed this all by itself, and would certainly purchase again.
Rating Appearance: 4/5 Aroma: 9/10 Palate: 4/5 Flavor: 9/10 Overall: 17/20