The histories behind certain beers, while not necessarily enhancing the flavor, do enhance the experience.  A beer created with arbitrary motives is sure to disappoint, but a beer created to please both the creator and the consumer may posses a slight advantage, as care and consideration were not neglected.  The beer was not made just to turn a buck, or just for creation’s sake…rather, the brewer had someone in mind.  So next time you drink Rogue’s Chocolate Stout, consider this:

The recipe for Rogue Chocolate Stout was created several years ago for export to Japan. The exported twelve ounce Chocolate Bear Beer bottle label is in Kanji and features a teddy bear with a pink heart on his belly. Chocolate Stout was released for Valentine’s Day in 2001 in a twenty-two ounce bottle for the US market. The label features a Roguester (Sebbie Buhler) on the label.

I’d be willing to bet this somewhat commonplace (in the sense of availability) beer just became a bit more interesting!

The Pour:

Words fail me at this point. Thankfully Scott, from Manland, hooked us up with this High Def footage (seriously…this pour puts Hollyweird to shame!):

The Nose:

Is that chocolate I smell?  It doesn’t take much imagination or stretching of the olfactory nerves to pick up on the overt chocolate notes.  In fact, the smell is milk chocolaty, reminding me of a chocolate liquor.  There is strong vanilla presence, and a hint of alcohol.  I tried to pinpoint the alcohol aroma:  I was reminded of a vanilla rum.  All the while the bitter aroma of dark malts make this a tantalizing aromatic experience.

The Taste:

What hits your mouth is not a chocolate bomb, although, because you (and me) are anticipating chocolate–as per the name leads us too–that is what we taste; however, let’s face it…there a bizzillion different chocolate varieties out there, so it would be unfair to just claim a chocolate dominance.  The fact is, the different nuances of this beer make for a rich experience.  In my opinion, the way the cascade hops, the bitter dark and chocolate malts, and the bittersweet dutch chocolate all came together resulted in a rich, fancy, dare I say, bittersweet orange chocolate experience.  All the while, the ever-so familiar malt flavor that screams “grain,” will not allow you to forget that it is a beer, and not a malted milk shake, that you hold in your hand.  The mouthfeel is very smooth and silky.

Overall Thoughts:

It had been a LONG time since I had sampled this beer.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  The beer set me back a mere $4.99 (22 oz bomber):  A steal considering the quality inside.  It is a great evening beer.  Excellent for sipping on a cool night (though I wouldn’t rush to it to quench my thirst after gardening on a hot day!)  To the faraway continent of Japan, thank you for your inspiration!

Nate’s Rating:

Overall Satisfaction: ★★★★¼ 

Among other Chocolate Stouts: ★★★★½