Thursday, December 31, 2009

184. Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

Our sixth beer from Rogue Brewing in Newport, OR. We’ve run through Chipotle Ale, First Growth Wet Hop Ale, Juniper Pale Ale, Maierfest and Capt’n Sig’s Northwestern Ale. Elli found a mini-keg of this last year, and jumped on it lickety-split. And who wouldn’t? The mini-keg is a completely under-utilized option in American brewing. If it wasn’t for Bell’s and Rogue, we’d have nothing, so we salute both breweries for their dedication to the mini-keg.

Buddy wanted to get in on the picture—he liked the dog theme...

Yellow Snow IPA is, at least in the mini-keg version, a hazy yellowish brown. We drove the mini-keg up to North Carolina for the New Year’s, so the overly-abundant white head may have been a product of “agitation.” You can’t blame me that I-40 was closed and we had to roll through Smoky Mountain National Forest to get to Franklin, NC. Needless to say, 24+ hours of rest prior to popping this open was not enough to calm down the carbonation—it was spouting out the release valve at the top like nobody’s business (check that photo). Coupled with the fact that this mini-keg is at least a year old (yes, we’ve been waiting for the right occasion to drink this bad boy—just remember, I know that you are jealous that we have a Rogue mini-keg and you don’t), we’ve got some over-carbonation issues. Let’s just say that that the beer was ready to get put down. But anyway—the lacy white head and the hazy color set up the hoppy nose that has spicy and piney aromas with light malt elements. Yellow Snow has a slight grainy taste on the front end, with some malt sweetness, but it moves quickly into hop bitterness coupled with some Douglass fir on a sunny winter day—that means there are pine flavors—and finishes with a light amount of grapefruit, the slightest amount of malt sweetness, and a big fat chunk of lingering bitterness. Yellow Snow has a soft, creamy mouthfeel and a medium body with a decent amount of carbonation bite to round out the profile. There is also a fair amount of puckering via the bitterness—the bitterness appears in the tongue and the back of the throat. Overall, an excellent beer, even after a year plus sitting in our basement. We’ve had this on tap as of late—while fresher tasting, specifically in regards to the hop profile, it is still in the same basic parameters—bitter and enjoyable. As Elli says, don’t eat the yellow snow—drink it.

From the Rogue website: “Pale golden in color with a hoppy fruity aroma. Big hop flavor up front complemented by medium body and hoppyness mid-pallet. Finishes with a characteristic lingering bitterness. Yellow Snow IPA was originally introduced for the 2000 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Yellow Snow is Rogue’s tribute to winter sports everywhere—downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country, ice hockey, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and even curling.”

IBU: 70
OG: 15° P
Malts: 2-row, Cara Foam & Melanoidin
Hops: Amarillo


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