One last time

21 Nov

A nice end to the season

I had been saving this Chatoe Rogue First Growth Wet Hop Ale (what a fucking mouthful) for a couple of weeks, not really knowing when I might get around to trying it.  We have clearly passed the fresh hop season, which is really only  a month long.  I still see some fresh hop beers on the store shelves, but since they are really meant to be sipped on earlier rather than later, it makes sense to plow through them relatively quickly.  I didn’t get after this one right away, but while prepping the turkey tonight, I decided to take a little of my own advice from last night and dig in.

There is something about a beer that is labeled fresh hop.  You almost start to anticipate something unusual in the taste and/or smell.  I can’t really say this beer was unusual, but it did have that fresh, snappy taste that I have come to love about fresh hop beers.  It had a nice orange/light caramel color to it, and the nose was more-or-less biscuity with a small hop presence that I would characterize as orange flower blossom in nature.  The body was a little bigger than I had anticipated, which really made the malt stand out in the beer.  The bitterness from the hops was found more at the front-end, but a citrus flavor was noticeable at the end of each sip.  I found it to be really drinkable, even with the big mouthfeel it offered up.  Multiple pints of this would not be a problem.  The beer uses Freedom Hops, which I can find no information on what-so-ever.  If anyone knows anything about them, I’m all ears.

Overall, this is another rock solid offering from Rogue’s Chatoe series.  As an aside, I have been living in Portland for the better part of seven years, and just this year was I able to dive into the wide range of fresh hop offerings.  Having never really known what a “fresh” beer was, I am now a true believer in drinking something as soon as it’s ready.  It’s too bad this is the last fresh hop in my fridge, but next year is right around the corner and I’ll be all over it in 2013.

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