Friday, November 16, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

I was in the mood for some beer, and so I bought a big-ass bottle of Rogue Shakespeare Stout. ("Big-ass bottle" is a technical term for a bottle containing 22 ounces.) Rogue Ales is a well-reputed Oregon microbrewery founded in 1988. It's a very American operation: their brewers are addicted to hops, and they love numbers. This stout, the bottle helpfully tells me, has been hopped to a level of 69 IBU, which is very high. The bottle also tells me that it's 15 degrees Plato, has an Apparent Attenuation of 77, and 135 degrees Lovibond. I had no idea what any of these terms were, but the World Wide Web is a wonderful thing. The Plato scale is a measure of fermentable sugars by weight of wort, and I gather that 15 degrees is pretty high. Apparent Attenuation is a measure of how much of the fermentable sugars in the wort was converted to alcohol; an AA of 77 means that 77% of the sugar was fermented. I really have no idea of how an AA of 77 compares to most beers on the market. The Lovibond scale is a measure of the color of a liquid. I gather that the higher the degrees Lovibond a beer is, the darker it is. 135 degrees Lovibond makes for a very dark beer.

In any event, this is a dry stout reminiscent of Irish stouts like Guinness. It's dark, hoppy, and full-flavored. Rogue's notes say that there are hints of chocolate in the flavor. I didn't get any of that, but I did enjoy it. I just wish that it didn't cost $5.50 for the bottle.

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