Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rogue XS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter

XS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Newport, Oregon, USA

Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

7.10% ABV

Commercial Description:
YSB is amber in color with a mild hoppy finish. Brewed with a blend of 2-row Harrington and Crystal malts, Willamette and East Kent Golding hops.

General Pricing:
7 oz bottle: ~$5.00 each

I can’t really remember where this one came from. It’s been sitting in the beer fridge to review for quite a while.

The beer pours a hazy dark copper with orange hues and diminishing off white head.

The nose is modest with light but almost caramel malt and floral hop aromas.

Well, that was different. This is a most unusual ESB. It feels like should be a big beer but there is no notice of alcohol just a full bodied ale.

The experience starts out with a caramel malt sweetness up front. That is followed by a very smooth mouthfeel with a building robustness in the middle of the sip. The back-end is fairly easy drinking with a slight hesitation at the top of the swallow. The finish is very nice with rich malts and floral hops. There is a lingering malt aftertaste and just a hint of hop bite.

As this beer warms it is really opening up. The malt flavors are more robust now. This is feeling more like a big beer but without the alcohol.

I’m going for B+ for this most unusual ESB. That may be low but I have nothing to compare this ESB experience to. There is nothing comparable to this in the style. It’s like taking a great ESB and aging it for 10 years.

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