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XS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Imperial Younger's Special BitterXS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

147 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 217
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 11.28%
Wants: 14
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: klewis on 01-15-2007

8 Ingredients:
Malts: 2-row pale and Crystal.
Hops: Willamette, Kent Golding
and Amarillo
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

52 IBU
76 AA
35º Lovibond
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 147 | Hads: 217
Photo of woodychandler
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recently procured this wee 7-fl. oz. bottle and given a recent Rogue kick, I decided to open it this evening. I have no explanation for what I do any more.

From the bottle: Lots of stats, but they seem different from the Notes, so hereby included for posterity - "8 INGREDIENTS: Crystal & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Risk (tm) Malts; Cascade, Golding, Willamette & Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution Hops; Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast."; "17 [deg.] Plato [-] 52 IBU [-] 76 AA [-] 35 [deg.] Lovibond".

I Pop!ped the cap, but having noticed some sediment as well as being faced with a wee tasting glass, I decided to go gentle into this good night. Even so, I still produced a finger of dense, tawny head head with reasonable retention. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity, hence my calculated pour. Nose smelled of a Lancaster County (PA) field in summer. Honeysuckle, freshly mown grass and maple syrup seemed to dominate and I was transported to my maternal grandparents' house in the (then) countryside. PapPap loved buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup and honey just before he would head out to mow the grass. Gad, he has been passed for nearly forty years! Where has the time gone? Where has the beer gone? Granted, I only had a tiny (comparatively) bit, but it seems to have evaporated during my wool-gathering. Caution: This beer may induce nostalgia. The taste was more aligned with the style, becoming more bitter than sweet, but still evocative of those buckwheat pancakes. Mouthfeel was solidly medium. Finish was semi-dry, but it held enough of a honey-like sweetness to offset its inherent bitterness.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity and tea-like flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. There is a bit of an astringent and drying quality of the beer in the mouth with each sip. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing too extreme or strong going on here. I'm not too sure why this particular beer is sold in the small 7 oz. bottle size.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked this up at a specialty store yesterday in a cute little bottle. I poured this into my tulip glass. There was about a finger of foam, but that died down to a halo really quickly. The lacing is minimal, but good looking. The coloring is a pretty deep shade of red.

I like the way the XS smells. I get a decent amount of hopping from this beer. There was also some good malt presence.

The flavor is very malt forward. The hopping is there, but the malt is the story with this one. I like the balance in all of this one. This is a good beer... Rogue did a good job with this ESB.

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Photo of Braz
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a 10oz bottle from specialty shop. Pours an amber deep reddish hue with minimal head. Fairly hazy.
Aromas of sweet caramel and dough, alcohol too.
Quite sweet and malty, caught me off guard. Good dose of bitterness too, but not as I expected. I think it’s probably quite bitter but the level of sweetness brings it back a bit. Lively carbonation.
Good medium body. Very good beer, just not what I expected.

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Photo of nickthetick
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a fairly clear copper hue, left the yeast out, with a thin head of maybe a quarter finger of dirty white head. The head dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing around the glass.

S: Yeasty and toasty right up front, like walking into a bakery full of fresh bread. It's followed in by soft and subtle hints of cherries, cedar and cranberries. Tartness is noticeable in the nose but there is a backbone of sweet caramel lingers in the nose.

T: The first sip was a little disappointing, a bit woody and there is certainly the caramel but the tartness and bitterness is a little toned back. I sense some of the cherry and maybe a bit of raisins. Still yeasty to say the least.

MF: A heavy beer, a tad chewy and a bit warm. Other than the warming sensation the alcohol is not that noticeable. It's not welled layered, as all the flavors kick the palate at once leaving you to think you've just been used for a quickie by a beer.

O: A good beer but I expected so much more out of a beer with that many letters and adverbs in its name in such a tiny bottle. Very open ended; it's in the bottle then the glass then after a sip your left thinking "hmm, now what?" Trim the ABV to 5.5 or 6% and you could have a great easy drinking flagship beer. But again, a good beer overall.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a tiny 7 oz. bottle into a snifter

A- Poured a murky brown and orange color, soapy head dissipated instantly that left minimal lacing

S- Sweet floral and fruity notes, big sweet caramel malts. Aromatic

T- Dominant herbal notes, lots of caramel sweetness, fresh floral notes, finishes with an unpleasant tea-like bitterness

M- Prickly carbonation, medium to lighter bodied, finishes semi-dry, some alcohol warming and light booziness

O- Pretty balanced flavor profile that finishes with an odd harshness and bitterness. I got this bottle for free, but imagine this one is worth skipping on considering how much these tiny Rogue bottles usually are

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a medium brown with a thin head. This is a 7% beer that feels a bit stronger. It's not so bitter as it is fruity, but there's a mild bite to it that keeps you from drinking too quickly. a 12oz. draft was more than enough. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't likely buy it again.

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Photo of ckollias
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a thin 2-finger white head that slowly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Caramel and bready malt aroma with mix of bitter floral hops .

T: Dry Bitter flavor with a caramel and floral hop backbone.

M: Full body and medium carbonation.

O: This was a one tasty ESB. Nice balance and well rounded.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

an angry little 7oz bottle keenly stolen from global brews or international taphouse (cant remember which) in downtown st. loius, later enjoed in lake champlain, new york. pours a mean and viscious looking caramel color with a ton of body and major sediment. small tan head rests precariously on top. smells like a huge english brew, tons of malt, earthy and sweet, on top of a very bitter brew, some kent goldings in here for effect as well i suspect. flavor is similar, less complex than you kinf of want it to be, with just an elementary level of curiosity inspired. oddball finish to this one, with an apparent malt/bittering hops war going on. mouthfeel is fine, but i think i need more than 7oz to make a fair judgement. lots of body though, and it aint flat. overall i like this, it feels like the base of the maple bacon, and id definitely have another. maybe ill pay for the next one... maybe not

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Photo of Megahertz
2.84/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

7 oz bottle poured roughly into a shaker, dregs and all.

A - Light brown, murky cloudy, with a 1 inch, lasting tan head. No lacing noted.

S - Estery, with mild plum and apricot. Slight English-style hop aromas detected (pungent, earthy).

T - Immediate yeast bite with alcohol warmth. Dark fruity esters mid with slight caramel sweetness. Astringent "spent tea bag" finish.

M - Medium to heavy body with surprisingly high carbonation, even at mild temperatures.

O - What are these guys doing? While rogue products are expensive, they typically have some value for the money. This is like bad homebrew.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decanted into a Medieval Manor mini pilsner glass.

A: Cloudy rust/copper hues with whorls and eddies of yeast floating in suspension. Pour lacked a head, but a very quick stir
with a chopstick raised 1-finger of off-white head that just as quickly disappeared. Thick lacing around the rim slowly
fades away. Thin layer of yeast settles on the bottom.

S: Musky and a little sour with minimal caramel notes and a dash of pungency.

T: Not bad. Light fruity tones mingle with caramel amid a boozy backbone. Some beers at 7% abv would hide their alcohol, this does not. Not even close. Somewhat astringent on the end. Bready malts come into play as it approaches room temp.

M: Very lightly carbonated. Wet, smooth and viscous to the point that it's almost a light syrup.

O: Four bucks for only seven ounces? It's not bad, but Geary's Hampshire Special hits all the same notes and is a hell of a lot cheaper, in New England at least. Enjoyable, but the price makes this one not even close to worth it.

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Photo of Kromes
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy brown color with a thin tan colored head.

S: A caramel malt aroma with some melon and a bit of hop.

T: Starts sweet and caramel and then transitions to a bit of tangy berry and melon fruit and bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium body with light carbonation.

O: Usually ESBs are one dimensional, but this one has a bit of depth to it. The fruit comes out a bit as it warms.

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Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky burnt copper hue with a slight wispy white cap. There was little retention and lacing.

The smell featured a doughy pale malt, grassy hop and fruity ester.

The taste consisted of toasted malts, a light grassy hop and some faint tropical fruit.

The mouthfeel was full for the style with a dry finish.

Overall a tasty ale, although Imperial ESBs approach crime against nature status.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.22/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy caramel with a two finger off-white sticky head.

Smells of caramel malt with a touch of earthy hops.

Caramel/meladroinen malt up front rounding into a spicy dry hop finish. Has that unique Rogue yeast flavor.

Fairly light mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Pretty good beer, but at the price not nearly worth it.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duchesse de Bourgogne goblet. Pours a cloudy red orange amber. Thin white head with light lacing, leaves a ring around the glass. Aroma dominated by sweet and caramel malt, slight fruit component; reminiscent of a barleywine. Flavor also dominated by mild neutral and sweet malt, a hint of dark fruit and hops. Slight hop bite in the finish. Fairly low key flavors. Light to medium bodied. Pleasant, but tastes like a watered down old ale. Would not buy again at this price point.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got one of the small bottles at quick 6 in West York, PA - poured into a pils glass chilled.

The color is a lightly hazed amber with a thick cream colored cap which is comprised of tight beading. The lace sticks well and carbonation is visible in the liquid. the smell is inviting right from the start- mix of caramel and toast with a marmalade type hop scent with subtle pear notes form the yeast and mild pepper accents with a hint of stone fruit, brown sugar and date notes in the peripheral. the feel is good with spicy and dry texture and moderately high warmth with a full feeling body and texture has great balance with hops and moderately high carbonation. The mouth is bitter and mostly dry with a fruity finish the indicates a little residual sweetness.

the taste is moderately sweet up front with a subtle malt followed by a bitter combo of slight piney and the caramel malt with light fruity stone fruit and herbal hop juxtoposition. I like the mild toasted taste with subtle alcohol as the pepper notes form the hops meld with the dry nutty malt with slight plum and woody flavor from the yeast. The hops keep playing to the malt into the subtle pine finish.

Overall this is a really decent beer I was glad I didn't pass it up. A solid take on the style with nice balance and the only real drawback for me was the price.

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Photo of whatthehull
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - a very cloudy almost swampy orange, half finger tan head and some nice lacing

S - lots of citrus, a nice little sugary smell, pine, bright flowers, nice grain, flowers, slighty fruity, funky yeast, zesty, a bit grassy, dry wood, soil and fallen leaves

T - lots of very nice bitterness, huge malt back bone, slight sweetness, some wheat notes, great funky yet very nice yeast, lots of citrus, fruity, pine and dry wood

M - medium plus body, medium minus acidity, very well balanced, nice complexity and long finish

D - very, very drinkable and enjoyable beer. Refreshing and tasty! Good flavors and nothing is overwhelming at all! For fans of craft brew get a glass of this one

Final thought - the price isn't very awesome a $4 a 8oz. Best beer rogue makes as far as ipa goes

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy copper with one-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a few minutes. Leaves a nice foamy lacing.

S: Caramel malt, big notes of grapefruit and citrus.

T: Moderate sweetness and bitterness. Light butter flavor. Caramel malt. Nice hop bitterness. A bit of spice.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth and silky. Very warm. Wow.

O: It's hard to find anything wrong with this beer. Well worth the price. The thick and creamy mouthfeel is perfect for the winter months and so warm.

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Photo of scootny
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad but a bit one dimensional. A 7 oz bottle that has fiery burnt orang color and a colloidal suspension of granular yeast. Smell is sweet and abounds with caramel and light citrus. Some bready malt flow underneath. Taste is quite nice with an English malt core that gives good smoothness. Toasted malt with a tea leaf bitternes. A touch of very light grapefruit like hop oiliness. Finish is clean and dry with toasted grains. Feel is light and crisp with a gentle creaminess but just a touch light on the bubbles for me. A hair more carbonation and the feel becomes like velvet. A Nice beer overall with a mild character and definite English profile.

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Photo of cjacobsen
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to sweemzander for bringing this one by. More likely that it got lost in his pocket for a while and had just finally found it.

Poured from a bottle for elves, 7 oz., into a snifter.

(A) Pretty clean with an orange hue to it. Brown in the darker areas of the beer. Not much head but it leaves some lacing.

(S) Not much here. Light malt, some grapefruit, hops and sugar.

(T) Tastes pretty bitter. Definitely a lot of sweet light malt. Some light citrus.

(M) Kind of grainy. Light body.

(O) Tastes like a hoppier pale ale. Not a lot going on with this beer and nothing to write home about. Worth a shot, literally...like a small small bottle's worth, but don't feel shorted (pun intended) if you can't find or try this one.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

7oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a hazy amber color. Some tan to white froth and lace.

(S)- Dry, with some cottonball-like grassy lemon citrus.

(T)- Sweet, mild heat. Some fig-like pine and citrus. Bitter.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A decent balance, though kinda sugary sweet and thin feeling.

(D)- Decent. Not quite sure how old it is, but its still good. A bit on the sweet side, but it does carry a nice bitterness.

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Photo of CHickman
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very cloudy copper color with a small tan head that faded quickly and left minimal lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, grains, caramel, light yeast and citrus hops; a light whiff of grapefruit lingers at the end along with some other sweet fruit.

Tastes of sweet malt, roasted grains, caramel, syrup, light yeast, citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, butter, cracker and wet bread; the flavor is sweet and bitter with a graham cracker and sour apple tart flavor at the end.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, with low carbonation, a medium body and medium drinkability due to the bitterness. This was good, tasty and enjoyable, just not a session beer. A nice little treat, literally due to the small bottle size.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

7 oz bottle.
No freshness date.

Pours a 1cm off-white head that fades in about two minutes to a thin ring around the glass. Swirling easily revives head. Leaves a bit of lacing/streaking, but not a particularly memorable amount. Body is a dark brown color, golden-copper when held up to light, hazy from no filtration.

Aroma of caramel-colored malt sweetness, some maple. Acceptable per the style, but still fairly toned-down, would appreciate a bit more here.

Taste opens with fairly rich malt sweetness, some noticeable but mild bitterness, and assorted fruity esters. Ethanol becomes more apparent in the back of the mouth and aftertaste as the beer warms.

Body is medium to medium-heavy with enough carbonation to make this foam slightly on the palate. Moves pleasantly about. Finish very dry, slightly tannic, not sticky. Ethanol makes this warming in the mouth and body.

This would be much better if the ethanol was a bit more masked and the aromas a bit more expressive.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an add-on purchase at Deciccos in Pelham, for $1.99 on special. They had the XS IPA also...why I didnt buy it, I will never know..
Anyway, its a 7oz smalls bottle...
poured into goblet.

Pours a healthy, thick dark orange/brown, opaque, wheaty look. Nice big-bubble, thick head that remains.

Smells heavy of apricot...and, i'm going out on a limb here; mango?? Ok, deff fruity, and slightly hoppy aroma.

Nice citrus and apricot flavor...and yes, slightly bitter; mildly bitter. Real nice...

Well, I can say I got my $ worth...I would buy again.

Of note, the head is still there and I am half way through...nice.

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Photo of dansmcd
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark and hazy orange/amber. Solid, frothy eggshell head. Spits of lacing.

S - Caramelised malt is the feature here, backed by some mild floral hop, grapefruit and pear.

T - Follows the nose, sweet with an addition of cinnamon.

M - Full bodied, moderately carbonated with a dry sweet finish.

O - A beautiful drop with good complexity. A real smooth nectar from Rogue.

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XS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter from Rogue Ales
87 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.