Sightlines — Rogue Launches Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout

Michael Kiser

THE GIST
Rogue Ales & Spirits of Newport, Oregon has announced the launch of Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout. The beer is matured in oak barrels from the brewery’s own cooperage that have been soaked in Dead Guy Whiskey, distilled from its Dead Guy Ale and using Rogue Farms grain. 

WHY IT MATTERS
Rogue has for a few years now been championing the grain to glass movement in an effort to separate itself from an ever more eclectic Oregon brewing set. As well as being aged in Rogue’s own barrels, Rolling Thunder, which comes packaged in 1 liter swingtops, also features barley grown at Rogue Farms. The vertical integration of the project is years in the making and seems like the pinnacle for many of the geekiest trends in beer-making. But the work involved is astounding. 

Sole cooper Nate Lindquist fashions up to one barrel a day on 70-year-old French cooperage equipment. The art of the cooper is a dying one, as well as a time-consuming and costly one. Rogue hopes that the added cost in producing this beer will also add value to its shelf space, even as the brand already sits int he upper tier of Oregon pricing for its once-edgy-now-quite-conventional brands like Dead Guy.

Rogue have always twisted perceptions with unique, sometimes puzzling beers. Will the consumer buy into Rogue’s attempt to add earnest, and quite extreme provenance? Or will it read as more gimmick, like the doughtnut and beard yeast beers? 


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ROGUE’S BARRELS ROLL OUT A BEER – Via All About Beer