No Corporate Beer Reviews: A Dashing Rogue

Beer: A Dashing Rogue
Brewery: Haandbryggeriet (Drammen, Norway)
Style: Sour – Flanders Oud Bruin
6.8% ABV / N/A IBU

Should you encounter a bottle of anything from Haand on your next trip to the specialty store, ignore the price and treat yourself; this Norwegian brewery always has an ace up its sleeve. In the case of A Dashing Rogue, it’s the beer’s nose. It smells incredibly earthy, with hints of mushrooms and grass, not to mention a distinct peat odor that begs for this beer to be sampled in a tulip glass like a fine scotch.

The hallmark of the Flanders Oud Bruin style—and this still applies to Oud Bruins made in Drammen, Norway—is a tart, mouth-puckering acidity that barely skirts the lines between red wine and vinegar. Far too often, the Flanders oud bruin ends up being totally one-dimensional in its presentation and the vinegar notes drown out anything going on with the malt. With A Dashing Rogue, barrel-aging yields some dividends, both in the peat-like smell and in balancing some of the sourness. The oaking is subtle, but rewarding.

A Dashing Rogue also features some bold notes from macerated raspberries and cherries. True to the style, the addition of the berries recalls a raspberry vinaigrette—which may be a non-starter for even the most ardent sour fans. As a darker beer, it would be interesting to see a formulation that was, say, 15-20% sweeter, if only to mute some of the sourness. But A Dashing Rogue is still a terrifically complex fruited sour, especially with some smokiness and spiciness imparted from the oak barrels. That’s a credit to Haandbryggeriet’s boundary-pushing spirit. These guys don’t just brew beer—they create experiences.

For more info, check out Haandbryggeriet here.