The first time I had Rogue John John Juniper Ale was on draught at my local Taco Mac here in Canton. How could I resist? Since my name is John, I can freely admit that this beer called out my name. I’m a big fan of Rogue ales anyway, and have been since the nineties when I first started to drink them. So it was only natural I would order one up.
John John Juniper is an interesting little ale, and I enjoyed it. It has intriguing flavors only juniper can impart, and Juniper and beer go way back. English ales were once hopped with Juniper instead of hops, after all, so there is precedent. These days, of course, precedent doesn’t mean anything as brewers throw everything but the kitchen sink at their brew. Still, it’s nice to have a sense of history.
When I got home, I read a bit about John John Ale on Rogue’s site. The beer is aged in oaken Rogue gin barrels (Rogue makes spirits too). But here’s the thing: Rogue says gin is not normally aged in barrels, they did this just to add the gin flavor to them so it could be imparted to the beer. They also add fresh juniper berries to the brew. Here are the ingredients from Rogue:
Harrington, Crystal, Triumph, C-15 & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare™ malts. Styrian, Golding, Amarillo & Rogue Hopyard Willamette hops.Juniper Berries Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.
Tonight’s tasting notes are from a 22-ounce bomber bottle that I bought at Total Wine.
Rogue John John Juniper Ale pours to a bright orange amber color with a light creamy head formation and a rather piney, very gin-laden nose. The palate is light caramel malt accented with a wonderfully fragrant piney aroma. The juniper berries jump right out at one in all their fruity herbal glory, followed by piney spruce and a hint of vanilla. The finish is nicely balanced with all of those flavors, in a nicely resiny way.
I like the fact that this is an easy drinking beer, average in alcohol at about 5.2% by volume. It’s still packed with so many flavors, though, that you’d expect it to be higher. If you love gin and you love beer, then this is the perfect drink to while away an evening with.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.