Welcome to the revolution. Rogue Brewery is on a grow-your-own kick, so they brewed up a blondie. The Chatoe First Growth Single Malt Ale is made with four ingredients grown on site, a nice, earth-conscious touch.
The brew pours a cloudy dark gold color with a sparse and slow-dying head. It has a pungent smell, similar to that of a good hefeweisen, but more piney than fruity. Rich is the word that comes to mind, but the taste is also balanced. It isn’t hoppy just to be hoppy, and that good judgment makes for a very smooth finish.
The aftertaste has a very healthy amount of carbonation. Let the beer warm up a little between glasses, and the second time around, it isn’t as harsh on the back end. A tip: to kill some carbonation, swirl the glass a bit to get some air into it.
This is an especially good beer, though it is necessary to let the glass warm up a little and drink it English-style (not every beer, contrary to what Anheuser-Busch commercials might say, is best served ice-cold).
The single 22 oz. bottle leaves something to be desired for the session, but that doesn’t detract from the quality. Rogue got it right this time. Keep up the organic revolution.