Brew Review: Juniper Pale Ale

13 Oct

Brew: Juniper Pale Ale

Brewed by: Rogue Ales (Newport, OR)

Style: Pale/Spiced Ale (5.3% ABV)


I don’t know why I keep trying Rogue beers, they all seem to fall short of the ‘glory’ that seems to come with the name, maybe I am trying to find the one that made the brand so popular and stand out amongst others over there on the west coast. The fact that this one was brewed with juniper berries is different and definitely sparked my interest, however I really had no idea how those berries were going to manifest themselves, were they going to be piney? Bitter? Fruity? I really had no idea so I came into drinking this beer with no expectations, well except for being wowed by some awesome Rogue creation. We’ll see how this goes….

The appearance of the beer was nothing unusual, it was pretty basic for a pale ale. It was a pale straw, yellow color. Pretty clear, not much haze or murk to hide whatever it held in its depths. There was a small white foam cap that rested nicely on the top of the beer for the whole glass.

The aroma was a little hoppy, but there was decent malt backbone to it that balanced nicely. There was a weird hint of bitterness or fresh berries/fruit that I couldn’t really get a hold on for the whole beer, that was a little vexing. I couldn’t put a finger on or find words to describe what I was getting a little sense of.

The taste was malty, the hops lend some bitterness but the sweet malts edged them out for the most part. Once again there was that indescribable weird watery berry bitterness that showed up again. After drinking the whole thing I never figured out what it was. There was a little tint of something in the middle that will probably lead to me drink this again just to try and figure it out, maybe I was just stuffy and couldn’t smell/taste right the day I drank it or something.

For the most part this beer was pretty average, nothing really made it stand out. There were the fairly balanced hops and malts that is pretty typical for a pale ale. The hops were pleasant and the beer itself wasn’t a bad one at all. I think for the most part Rogue has done it to me again. They have tempted me with their lore and then really just made a solid beer that has nothing that really sets it apart from anything else. The thing that will bug me for a while is that weird water fruit taste that I couldn’t get a hold of. Oh well, guess I will have to just drink one more and blame it on lack of concentration the first time around.


Final Grade: B


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