Beer: Colossal Claude
Brewery: Rogue Ales (Newport, OR)
Style: IPA – Imperial/Double
8.2% ABV / 75 IBU
When you hear the name “Rogue Ales,” you immediately think about giant bomber bottles with extreme flavors like jelly doughnut and, uh, sriracha. Rogue going rogue is what put it on the map, but two factors have helped redefine the Oregon brewery for the new decade. One is that 10-15 years later, that stuff doesn’t seem so lunatic and out-there flavor combinations have become mainstream. But Rogue has also become an advocate for balance, which you can taste in their brews and really chart in the evolution of the brewery’s core line-up.
Colossal Claude is the newest entry in Rogue’s year ’round IPA series, and part of a mini “Monsters of IPA” promotion of beers based on Pacific Northwest urban legends. Batsquatch is a wonderfully-drinkable, lazy Sunday kinda hazy IPA, while Colossal Claude is a substantially boozier non-occluded imperial IPA better suited for longer nights and hair of the dog emergencies. Colossal Claude is a bit more toothsome, and definitely more aggressively hopped, with a blend of five different varietals that lean hard into West Coast IPA territory: Citrus and pine on the streets, citrus and pine between the sheets.
This imperial IPA’s nose strays a little further from what you would expect. There’s citrus there, too, but also hints of ripe, funky cantaloupe that play well with the sweetness of the malt and the creaminess of the mouthfeel. I value that the beer holds its carbonation after being poured into a glass and has a little effervescence without being completely subsumed by it—a beer like this wouldn’t be the same flat. Or warm for that matter. That’s why the 12-oz can format works especially well for this. You can knock back one of these without getting rocked. After that, who knows when Colossal Claude might show up in your bathtub?
For more info on Rogue Ales, please head here.