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Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager

March 23, 2010

Brewery: Rogue Ales
Dirtoir, 22 oz. bottle
Black Lager
Binny’s Beverage Depot, Lakeview, Chicago

Aah, I remember my first spring break. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A gaudy strip of South Beach wannabe clubs that would make you wait in line and charge you $20 cover if you were under 21. Meanwhile, my older counterparts were already inside collecting a table full of $2 watered down margaritas in plastic cups. (Note to trashy clubs: we still drank them. Bite me.) But during the day at the hotel pool, the Busch Light flowed like water. I remember being fascinated (as a wide-eyed college freshman) that my three buddies managed to fit 96 beers into a small apartment-sized refrigerator. Even more fascinating was the fact that they were gone by Wednesday of that week.

Well, here I am, in chilly Chicago, pushing 30, but still on spring break – grad school style. (I should also note here that I pulled a 4.0 this quarter. Booya.) But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to celebrate with a beer.

Chatoe Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager is part of Rogue’s GYO (Grow Your Own) series featuring hops and barley grown by the Rogue Ales folks themselves in Oregon. Everything is local, and of course in the spirit of Rogue’s fine beers, natural and preservative free.

Yeah, I don't have my beard any more. Poured into my Stone tulip glass, Rogue’s Dirtoir is an inky black with a strong brown head that lingers for a while before leaving a tiny bit of brown lacing on the glass and around the top. The smell is thick, slightly hoppy, almost like an imperial stout. Which is what this beer looks like. Based on appearance and nose alone, I would have guessed this to actually be an imperial stout. The first sip distinguishes it otherwise. It’s strangely…refreshing. Beautiful hop aromas dominate as I’m taking bigger sips. The lighter body fits this perfectly. As it warms, it takes on more of a stout’s maltiness, but still retains the smooth refreshing lager feel of the initial pour. At only 6% ABV, this is a bold beer that’s very sessionable. Phenomenal.

Final verdict: I will buy it whenever I see it.

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