Last Spring 2011, Lisa and I packed our bags and headed out for Long Island where our wedding was going to take place later that same year. We reserved a beautiful house for the week of our wedding which was to happen in August and looked forward to spending time in the Hamptons at this water front property with a gizillion rooms and an intimidating kitchen enough for even the Wolfgang Pucks of this world. Given that this venture was quite pricy, the owner of the house, also named Lisa, invited us to spend a couple of days at the house ahead of time at no charge, this would help us get familiar with the place and all of its computerized light, sound and media system. I never realized before that day that light switches, as we know them, don’t exist in the world of “Forbes”.
First thing Lisa and I did upon our arrival was grocery shopping for the few days. We bought sausages, gluten-free stuff for Lisa, a slice of Junior’s Cheesecake for my personal research, some wine and of course a half a dozen unknown beers for my blog. Amongst those beers was Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Holly s&%t man, along with Innis and Guns, Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee, and Westvleteren 12, this is by no doubt one of my favorite beers, if not, the one!
It was a very memorable moment in my life… She looked at me from the shelf, called out my name in her sweetest voice and then, I touched her. Held her in my hand. It was love at first sight, love at first smell, lust at first sip. The day I tasted this beer a world of curiosity opened up for me, I knew I had to taste all the beers in the world before I die. There’s got to be more than 20 000. Anyhow, on with the review… Lisa and I lit a fire, kicked back on the couch and I opened my bottle. The aroma is fantastic; hazelnut, of course, malt, sweetness and sex. Yes sex, I can’t explain it, it’s not like it’s a pineapple beer! The hazelnut comes through beautifully in both taste and aroma and the color of the beer is that of a dark auburn brown. The head is probably about the only thing that could have been better. It was about a half an inch thick and disappeared rather quickly leaving behind a timid ring of foam around the glass. That’s about as bad as I’ll get with this review.
The taste was perfect at many levels, the malt, the hazelnut and the bitterness all played their parts appropriately. The first sip gives a nice chocolate malt and then, wait for it, the hazelnut kicks in and delivers its flavor. One might say the hazelnut should be more present but honestly, in a 650ml format, too much hazelnut could end up being a problem. They did it right; just the right amount of sugar and hops delivers the perfect level of bitter-sweetness.
The mouth feel could be slightly thicker but all is forgiven given the fact that, for some reason, the richness of hazelnut and chocolate malt make you think you are drinking a porter or a stout. It’s a brown ale; not a creamy ale, a porter or a stout… A brown ale. I suppose the two latter ones would have made for an awesome choice of brew type as well.
For a favorite of mine, it seems my critique on its head and thin mouth feel are pretty harsh, but believe me when I say this beer’s quality and taste are overwhelmingly positive.
Price: $6 is the cheapest I’ve seen it but it tends to be closer to $7
Beer type: Brown ale
Country / Region: Oregon, USA