They say that everybody’s a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but since I’m a little Irish all year long, I find the holiday to be a bit of a bother. Maybe it’s because I’m colorblind, and have trouble telling green apart from certain oranges, reds, and browns. Or maybe it’s the ridiculous conceit of St. Patrick chasing the snakes from Ireland, a waterbound ecosystem in which they never evolved (see also snake-free Iceland, Greenland, New Zealand, and Antarctica). Or, quite possibly, it’s the rash of embarrassing Irish stereotypes that get trotted out by drunk knuckleheads every year: leprechaun hats and beards, pots of gold, jaunty jigs, four-leaf clovers, and bar fights.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a nice, Irish Adult Beverage. But rather than the usual Guinness (Yay!) or green-dyed Miller Lite (Boo!) that everyone else is drinking right now, I’m having a Rogue Irish Style Lager (out of Newport, OR, not Dublin, IE). Originally created to float a Guinness in a black and tan, let’s see if this lager stands on its own.
Rogue Irish Style Lager pours light gold with a couple inches of white, frothy head on top and a cluster of bubbles lurking at the bottom of the glass. The full head doesn’t stick around particularly long, but does leave behind a ring of foam and admirable arches of lacing. Grape Nuts and fresh-cut grass on the nose, hinting of green apples and lemongrass. Sweet, bready, and astringent on the tongue: wheat and hops, with malt sugars emerging mid-sip, and crisp apple following. Creamy mouthfeel, with a ton of carbonation. Sour, bitter finish. Goes nicely with a spring training ballgame in which both teams are wearing Gaelic green, and worth trying in a black and tan (any excuse to break out the Brütül Lagerhead Turtle is a good one), but not likely a beverage I’ll be sampling on a year-round basis.
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