Our first night on vacation in Newport, Ore., DD requested a pack of Miller Light from the store to go with dinner. Since I don't like ML and we were in the hometown of the Rogue Brewery, I decided to bring back a case of beer or maybe even a jug straight from the brewery. While driving the quick 3 miles to the brewery, I noticed many garage sale signs along the way. They seemed to be leading to Rogue.
When I arrived at the small brewery on Newport Bay, I was just in time to be the last customer of the day at Rogue's annual garage sale. I'm a big fan of regular garage sales, but one that involves micro brews is about as good as it gets.
In true garage sale style, the loading area was wide open and stacked with discounted cases of beer and miscellaneous t-shirts and merchandise. A sample station was set up in the corner so you could taste what was available. When I questioned why all the beer was discounted, I was told it was for various reasons. The Kells Irish Lager was present because it has been over brewed for St. Paddy's day. The Chipolte Ale is just one of Rogue's most popular and the Mocha Porter bottles had been packaged in the Santa Private Reserve boxes. With prices starting at $15 per case, it was hard not to go overboard. I selected a case of the Kells and the Chipolte. I knew DD would enjoy these variety and was sure we would have plenty to take home at the end of the week.
The problem was, I thought both beers were good, way above-average brews, but I couldn't get my mind off of the Mocha Porter I had left back at the brewery. The next day we made it a priority to stop back at Rogue and pick up a case of the porter packed in the smiling Santa boxes. At the end of the week we were barely able to find enough room in the car for the two remaining cases of beer, but it was worth the 45 minutes of arranging and rearranging to bring home our Rogue brews.
Since the porter was my choice, I've been savoring it. A bottle here, a bottle there. It's not a "drink a couple beers" kind of brew. It's dark, very dark. You can't see through the almost black concoction. The flavor matches the dark color with the thick taste porters have. It's like a cup of thick, black coffee, but with a smooth, clean finish. The chocolate presents itself with the slightest hint of a dark, bittersweet chocolate. It's a good type of bitter in the middle of the beer, not like the hoppy aftertaste present in a lot of ales.
If you're a fan of dark beer at all, the Rogue Mocha Porter is a must try. I'm still enjoying my reserves, but when those are gone, I'll be searching local stores for the brew. Of course, I could always use it as an excuse to make it back to the Coast before next spring break.