Another gem from Rogue. The first impression is of minty hops over roast barley and creamy yeast. The aroma is what you wished coffee was really like in the morning, nice mocha head over deep brown beer. It is actually deceptively simple at first sip. The hops have the mintiness of Guinness's northern brewer variety but the bottle says they are Cascade and at the glass opens up you can pick out the citrus from amongst the roast barley - grapefruity rather than lemon or lime. Behind the hops there is roast barley over some mocha and chocolate. But it is not in your face over the top, something oddish for a stout, certainly compared to some of the Mainers I have had recently.
But it is fully there. The ingredients list rolled oats, which make this really an oatmeal stout. Rolled oats is a raw product and replaces Guinness's use of the same in barley. There is some of the silkiness oats conveys but nothing of the presence, say, McAuslan's St-Ambrose Oatmeal Stout. It is waiting you out.
This brew has done well. The brewer tells us:
Rogue's Shakespeare Stout received a 99, the highest score of the 309 beers in 44 categories at the 1994 World Beer Championships. The June/July 1998 issue of Men's Journal included Rogue Ales Shakespeare Stout as one of "The 100 Best Things to Eat in America."Based on Stuart Kallen's book, "The 50 Best Beers in the World", Shakespeare Stout was ranked the third best beer in the world and best American Beer--which makes it the World's Best Stout!There are too many world's bests stouts to believe that of its face but so many are so good, it is also hard to dismiss it out of hand. In a way this beer captures a bit of the style of dry stout and a bit of that of oatmeal, with a US hop twist. We split one over an hour or more of wee sips. Great marks from the beertonians.
3.79 USD for 22 oz of 6% stout at the Galeville Grocery.