I grew up in a household that used the McCormick’s Mild spice blend when my mom made chili. I didn’t have a jalapeno until I ventured outside the realm’s of living with my family. So spicy food wasn’t really on my radar.
But things have changed; I make homemade chicken chili with jalapenos, I regularly make up batches of homemade sriracha (and nearly destroy my hands when I handled the peppers improperly), and I am always up for trying a chile ale.
My first was Patty’s Chile Beer from Wynkoop. I found it a bit too pepper-y for my tastes, but nonetheless very balanced and tasty. So, when I saw Rogue’s Chipotle Ale on the shelf at Wegman’s, I knew I had to snag a bomber and give it a shot.
According to Rogue’s website, the beer recipe is based off of the brewery’s American Amber Ale and the chipotle chiles are roasted, which is evident in the nose. Their smokey goodness explodes from the pint glass—you don’t even have to bring the glass up to your face to know that there is some serious chile action going down.
The beer pours a hazy amber, with a thick, fluffy head. Great for taking pictures. But possibly the best thing about this extremely drinkable ale is that the smokey chile flavor is completely balanced; you realize that you’re still drinking beer and not a liquefied chile. And the chipotle on top is the pleasant slow burn that lingers, begging you to take another sip.
Rogue’s Chipotle Ale took silver at the 2009 World Beer Championships and silver again at the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards. It’s definitely craft beer I won’t hesitate to pick up in the future, maybe to pair with a pulled pork or pull chicken sandwich. Yum!