This week’s Tasting Notes satisfies our mid-day cravings for both coffee and beer with a look at Cold Brew 2.0 from Rogue Ales (Newport, Oregon).
Developed to be a bit of an unconventional union of coffee and a lighter beer style, Rogue’s Cold Brew 2.0 is a Seasonal Blonde Ale that “explores the intricacies of coffee aromatics and delicate malt notes.” Beer and coffee fans alike can expect Cold Brew 2.0 (5.6% ABV) to supply them with an enjoyable experience that “opens with a big hit of coffee aroma and flavor” – thanks to the recipe’s use of Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee – and closes with the subtle “nuances of the hops and malts.” This Seasonal offering is available now in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft, and you can find it through June 2018 at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Oregon and throughout the rest of Rogue’s nationwide distribution area.
Now that all the pertinent details are out of the way, let’s take a little coffee break and get into these Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Cold Brew 2.0 from Rogue Ales
Appearance – The look is that of a straight-up Blonde Ale. It pours a pale golden in color and wears a solid finger of creamy, bright white foam. When held to direct light, the gold gains some intensity and picks up a more vibrant honey-like appearance. The body is clear and displays an exuberant carbonation presence coursing within. The head falls quickly to a thin cap that leaves behind pencil-thin streaks of lace on the glass.
Aroma – The nose is greeted by a pronounced note of lightly roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate. A sugary cream presence builds and comes across as a bit of a marshmallow note. All of this is supported by a soft maltiness that is most notably characterized as toasty cereal grains.
Taste – This brew hits the palate with a heavy dose of cold brew coffee and a touch of cream. Lightly sweet notes of vanilla and cocoa support the coffee before the experience settles into a full-on Blonde/Cream Ale mode filled with clean malts and balancing hops.
Mouthfeel – Light in body with a medium carbonation, Cold Brew 2.0 still has an impressively sneaky weight to it. The beer puts those taste buds to work by playing with a soft roastiness, a pleasant level of sweetness, and a gently contrasting bitterness. All in all, it is nicely balanced and does not overly exhaust any side of palate. ABV is light (as expected) and keeps things easy drinking and refreshing. Aftertaste is just a bit of toasted grain and cream.
Final Thoughts – This beer definitely plays with your mind’s expectations as the look and feel are all Blonde Ale while the aromas and flavors possess characteristics that you would expect more from a Porter or a more playful Brown Ale. That said, the cold brew coffee note is spot on and runs this show. This dynamic coffee presence rides upon a light Blonde Ale experience to mimic the satisfying nature of an iced or cold brewed coffee. Rogue Ales absolutely accomplished their mission here by creating an easy-drinking and refreshing coffee beer, and Cold Brew 2.0 can proudly sit alongside Rogue’s Cold Brew IPA as shining examples of successfully innovative and unexpected approaches to using coffee as an ingredient in the brewing process. Be sure to get your hands on a pour of Cold Brew 2.0 before its Seasonal Release comes to an end. Prost!