XS McRogue Scotch Ale | Rogue Ales

very good
170 Ratings
XS McRogue Scotch AleXS McRogue Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
9 Ingredients:
Amber, Pale Chocolate & Rogue Micro Barley Farm DareTM Malts; Kent Golding, Willamette and Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution Hops; Rolled Oats, Free Range Coastal Water and Top Fermenting Pacman Yeast.

17.5º PLATO
45 IBU
75 AA
28.6º Lovibond

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 |  Reviews: 93
Photo of Fluke828
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draught last night and it was served to me in a nice clean, tulip glass.

A: Pours a very deep, burnt brown/red with less than one finger of head and minimal lacing.

S: Couldn't really make up my mind on pinpointing the smell at first but after it warmed a bit, there was a definitive smokey aroma that resembled burnt sweet hazlenut and caramel. It also smelled of somewhat strong mocha or alcholic chocolate (best I could come up with)

T: Taste is extremely smooth and almost velvety. Strength is there just as smell indicated but it is softened a bit. Chocolate is there along with a coffee-esque maltiness. It tasted very fresh as the carbonation was present but not overbearing.

M: Somewhat acidic but not unpleasant, carbonation again, is present but not overpowering and well balanced.

D: I am assuming it was fairly fresh being on draught and going down so smooth. Quite drinkable and perfect balance, not harsh at all.

Overall I throughly enjoyed this brew. I am new to Scotch Ales (and reviewing beers in general so take all of this with a grain of salt) and this was a welcome introduction. It was only $7 however I doubt it was a full pints-worth being served in the tulip, still enjoyed it very much. (I tried a taste of it at first as it seemed to be quite popular i.e. lots of people ordering it and the bartenders all were raving about it, glad I did because I would have this again.

EDIT: I am an idiot for not realizing this was an xtra special....feel extra special after enjoying it on tap for that matter!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saw this beer tucked in with the little sample bottles of whiskey and stuff behind the counter at Spec's. I thought that it was odd to see it there, and actually came back to get a couple bottles as I wasn't sure what it was until after I checked out. I hope that this beer is true to style...

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear reddish brown color with a small head of off-white bubbles that faded pretty quickly. Though there was a vortex of bubbles rising in my tulip glass, they didn't really stick once they hit the top.

Aroma: The aroma in the cold beer is really reserved...but the beer is really cold. I get a pretty decent amount of dark caramel malts along with a decent amount of a green grassy hop that is a bit "catty" like Cluster or something. As the beer is starting to warm up, the alcohol is becoming a much bigger player and is giving the beer spice and a mild prickling in the nose.

Taste: The flavor is definitely scotch ale. It has a reserved malt profile compared to more classic examples of the style, and typical Rogue, you can pick up the hops more clearly than you may in other examples of this style. That said, this isn't a bad beer. The balance is toward the malt in the overall flavor profile and in the finish. The alcohol is noticeable in the finish as a warming, but there is some acidity from the dark malts that is also coming in late in the finish that muddles up the alcoholic warming a bit. There is still a dark caramel in here that I picked up in the nose that I wanted to mention is a big player in the flavor as well. It isn't bad, but is a bit like having a shot of pancake syrup in your cocktail.?.?!.?

Opinion: Well, overall this is a pretty good beer and I am enjoying drinking it. I am not sure how much I paid for this little bottle, but I imagine that it was too much. I am not trying to slam the beer or anything, but it is a pretty good example...so I would expect it to be in pretty much average packaging. To get it in a 7oz bottle means, IMO, that this is super f**king special. As it turns out, it is OK. It is on the higher side of this style, and coming from a brewer like Roue, it is clean and well presented overall. It just lacks the "pizazz" that you would expect for what is obviously such a highly acclaimed beer. Whatever, you decide. It doesn't suck, that's for sure!

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unfortunately only a 7 oz. bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Tulip/Snifter Style Glass. The beer is an amber brown color that is overall a little hazy. Small tan head that goes away after a few minutes. Not a heck of a lot of lacing, the liquid produces minimal glass retention.

Smell is very good and truly unique. Caramel, toffee and even a slight smokeiness from the malts. Faint earthy, herbal, and floral notes from the hops. Hint of fruitiness from both the hops and the yeast as well. This beer truly has a lot going on without ever being over bearing.

Taste is good too. It all blends together a little quicker here. Toffee and caramel are a little weaker here. Dark fruitiness, citrus zest, and some sweet smoky notes.

Certainly a full bodied brew, good carbonation level and just the perfect amount of warmth from the alcohol. Good drinkability as well, phenomenally balanced overall.

Too bad it's 8 bucks a bottle and only 7 oz. I'd like more if it wasn't so freaking expensive. I'd hate to see the prices of a 12 oz. or even a bomber. Still good though, glad Rogue made a scotch ale, and more of this style should go this route.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2010 edition 7oz nip bottle drank out of my samual adams perfect pint glass. the bottle says best after sitting on it for a year. im trying this one pretty fresh. a rather high $4.99 for this tiny bottle...

A- this one pours out a very dark and murky dirty brown colored body with a larger than expected full finger of khaki colored head. the head quickly becomes no more than a crown and leaves behind very small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice in the nose is very sweet caramel malts followed by a light smokiness. theres some light chocolate notes and fruity esters also.

T- the taste starts out with sweet caramel and bready malts. after that i pick up some bittersweet chocolate and a light smokiness. some fruity esters and peat towards the end. earthy hops on the finish. the alcohol comes through a little.

M- light to medium bodied with a low level of carbonation that really works for this. the moderate warming from the alcohol also adds to the experience also.

D- easy to finish. this bottle is too small for a beer like this. its also overpriced. i figured that switching from the large format ceramic swing top bottles would cause the price to drop, but i was wrong. i dont think ill be willing to pay for this ever again. i had to knock the drinkability a little because of that.

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Photo of WesWes
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy, dark amber color with a 1/2" off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a mild burnt toffee scent along with a sweet caramel aroma and a hint of peat. The taste is decent as well. It has a smooth caramel malt flavor along with a touch of peat smoke. The burnt toffee character is reserved. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an above average beer, but just an average Scotch ale. It's quite reserved for the XS series.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't know what to say, I was surprised to learn that Rogue makes a scotch ale. From a tiny 7 ounce bottle, on to the beer;

Chocolate brown in color with a reddish brown hue around the glass. Not much head is formed on top, a little bit of lacing stays around the glass. The nose says scotch ale. It's got a smoky aroma mixed with baker's chocolate and a fruit snack note that melds together well. In the mouth it's smoky and sweet; that's the way XS Scotch Ale rolls. The peat seems to echo and perfume in the mouth and into the aftertaste. The carbonation is a wee prickly, the body being medium and sweet. Overall, this is a good scotch ale, but the $4 pricetag for one of those tiny bottles is poor bang for the buck.

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Photo of bens0n
4.54/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I grabbed the last bottle of this hastily when I saw it on the shelf.. Bottled in 2010 says: best when aged for 1 year, but I was so eager to try this that I couldn't wait. (review from notes)

This beer pours a murky golden brown color with a slight amount of off white head, I am surprised how flat this is, there is almost no head at all.

The most prevalent thing to me is the chocolate, its a sweet chocolaty smell, not bitter and unsweetened like most stout beers. There is a nice background of yeast that comes along at the end, it is just extremely rich.

It tastes almost exactly like it smells, it is extremely smooth, and some hints of caramel are also noticeable which are not noticeable on the nose. It is on the medium bodied side, almost no carbonation at all.

I just wish I was able to have more of this.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 7 ounce bottle into a Russian River tulip. Beer is brown and hazy with almost no head, low carbonation and no lacing.

Beer smells sweet like brown sugar and some of that pacman yeast smell you get from all rogue beers.

Beer is bland and thin with a late taste of medium roast. Nothing to see here. This is about a plain as a beer can get.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

McRogue Scotch Ale, from a tiny bottle. Pours a dark brown with a mocha head. Aroma of roasted malts, brown sugar and piney hops. Flavor follows suit, on the maltier side. A bit nutty and bready, hint of peat but not as smokey as other examples of the style. Full bodied mouthfeel. A decent example of the style, albeit a simple one. Easy to drink, but they need to put this brew in 12 oz bottles.

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Photo of mynie
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I first saw this at the liquor store I thought it was, like, mad old. But it turns out that Rogue reintroduced the mini bottles sometime recently, when I wasn't paying attention.

Anyhow, tiny little bottle gets poured into a tiny little sampling glass. It looks like thick, muddy tea and it smells like raw peat moss. More complexities come through as it warms: chocolate, weeds, and furniture polish.

Tastes... tame. And, odd as it sounds, it actually gets tamer as it warms up. The peat turns to cocoa, and there isn't much by way of yeast or alcohol complexities.

Not a bad beer, all in all. It's really drinkable for its size and it tastes just fine. But--call me picky--but I when I spend five bucks on an 8 ounce bottle of beer, I expect that beer to have a bit more going on than this one does.

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Photo of Shiredave
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A Vintage Bottle Review

7oz. Nip -" Bottle in 2000" Lithographed on the glass. Gifted from either Sebbie or Jackson - I know they both gave me a bottle of this years ago - just not sure which one this is.

So... 10 years seemed like an appropriate age time for this now extinct beer. And at 7oz. - not really worth sharing. And in hope that this will have morphed into something special, I want to sample this on its own rather than amidst a half dozen other aged or rare beers as always happens. Fuck ya's all! I'm drinkin it myself.

A faint "pfft" is heard as I uncapped the twist off cap with an opener- this is encouraging - dont always hear that on these old Rogue's. It pours flat into the Ola Dubh snifter- some soapy bubbles on top of the caramel brown liquid. The thin froth fades quickly - absolutely no carbonation is present.

Aromas of cooked brown sugar and maple and higher alcohols flood the nose along with some stale pasty oxidation notes. The oxidation smells blow off but a pasty flavor persists in the beer's flavor tho not overwhelmingly. What is surprisingly lost in this beer compared with earlier tasting is it's body. The rich aromas used to be followed by medium - heavy almost syrupy Scotch ale flavors, but this example is almost thin as if it has attenuated over the last 10 years in the bottle to a terminal gravity near water.

Not disappointing really tho not stellar by any means, this held up reasonably well considering it is only 7%. But the rich fullness and toffee sweetness has mellowed considerably with time and it drinks much like a flat 60 Shilling rather than an 80 shilling as it used to to my taste. Still - these guys have been making " extreme beers " ( hate that term) while the guys in Delaware and San Diego etc. were still home brewing.

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Photo of beertunes
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

7oz bottle poured into 10oz glass. Poured a reddish mahogany color with barely a ring of off-white head that had minimal retention and no lacing.

The aroma was mostly malt, with just a trace of the expected peatiness. On the tongue, it was much the same story, slightly sweet malt, a touch of peat and a trace of hops.

The body was fairly decent, although somewhat thin for the style. Drinkability was pretty, especially considering this isn't among my favorite styles. Overall, a decent enough brew, certainly worth picking up nip and trying for yourself.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8 oz brown bottle, served in a tulip.

Murky, deep brown in color. No head, but a thin ring of white lacing around the tulip's rim. Faint, but short-lived thin lacing.

Caramel and rich toffe notes with fragrant hints of brown sugar, reminiscent of a creme brulee. Molasses notes cover a thin grainy base. Notes of warm alcohol add to the rich aromas, without overwhelming them.

Molasses and lightly sweetened caramel; a bit thin and lacking in sweetness. Mild coffee flavors lay in the wake of the caramel and molasses flavors. Notes of balanced alcohol that leads to a slightly dry finish. Grainy aftertaste.

Medium in body; surprisingly dry. A textural emphasis on grain, which is another surprise for the style.

The flavors are unfortunately mild, especially compared to the rich, creamy aromas. Nothing offensive, but nothing that stands out either.

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Photo of champ103
3.09/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a murky, dirty looking reddish color. A tiny bubbly head forms on first pour, but recedes in a second. No lace, and looks dead and lifeless.
S: Some smoke, toasted malt, and sweet toffee. Simple, but enjoyable.
T: Very light smoke, sweet malt, and dank hops. Not bad, but way to simplistic.
M/D: A light to medium body. Just a bit thin overall. Easy to finish the tiny bottle, but I would get board with this if there was any more.

Just kind of bland. I am glad I was able to get one of the really small bottles, because that is all I want.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 2010 (what month?)
Best aged one year
Not impressed.
In a snifter the beer was a hazy orange/amber color with just a tiny amount of head.
Caramel and fruit aroma. Some alcohol.
Caramel taste, raisin, alcohol. Very tepid.
This was a thin, almost non-existent beer. More sweetness than anything else.

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Photo of JamesS
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Gibbie's, Morgantown, WV.
Poured a wonderful dark brown with copper flashes of light throughout with excellent head and a bit of nice lacing. Very deep malty scent with a bit of smokiness in the nose. Wonderful flavor, with deep malt tones, a great smokiness, hints of peat, and a touch of caramel. Goes down quite smoothly, but it does have an odd, almost generic, flavor on the tongue at the very end.

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Photo of vkv822
2.08/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

7oz. bottle into snifter.

Cloudy brown with slight red tints and a ring of off white bubbles around the glass, no head.

Aroma is of roast and caramel malts, with some slightly musty and boozy notes as well. Overall pretty subdued and underwhelming.

The taste is fairly watery, though the flavors that do come through are decent. There are predominately notes of caramel, roasted malt and raisin.

The mouthfeel is quite thin and has almost not carbonation to speak of.

I am very let down by this beer, as I had heard good things about the older version. By far my biggest disappointment from Rogue. 7oz is more than enough.

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Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a small head of light brown foam on top of a slightly hazy, dark brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves almost no lace.

S - Rich, brown malt character with lots of toffee, brown sugar, and butterscotch. Some light, red apple yeast in the background with a hint of musty hops.

T - Sweet caramel and molasses malt flavors up front with a bit of toffee. Some butterscotch and darker caramel appear in the middle with a light herbal hop flavor. It finishes with strong toffee and caramel as well as some cola and light roasted malt. Lingering flavors of toffee and butterscotch candy with just a hint of smoke.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately low carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Nicely done, there is a great deal of malt character with an appropriate emphasis on toffee. While the malt is central to the experience, there is more than enough hop character to balance things out and it has a touch of English Bitter character as a result. The yeast comes in at the finish with some red apple character that works nicely and makes for a drawn out finish with the toffee and butterscotch.

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Photo of Rasolante1
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy, rich amber color with a very thin head. The lacing was the most aesthetically pleasing aspect of this brew, but it was barley present within minutes of pouring.

Smell: Fantastic malt profile with the pale chocolate malt dominating much of the aroma. Sweet, honey, some caramel, and low roasted notes.

Taste: Great balance of hops and malt. Again the pale chocolate dominates. The complexity of the nose does not completely come through in the taste. Roast is more pronounced. Alcohol was noticeable but pleasant.

Mouthfeel: This beer seemed a little on the thin side for a scotch ale. Slight astringency, but still enjoyable.

Drinkability: The drinkability of this beer was above average but the astringency prevented it from being great.

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Photo of JeremyHB
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

7 oz Bottle reads: Bottled in 2010 - UNFILTERED & UNFI??ED BEST WHEN AGED 1 YEAR
9 INGREDIENTS: Amber, Pale Chocolate, & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare Malts, Kent Golding, Wilamette & Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution Hops; Rolled Oats, Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast.

Poured really smooth with a subtle foam. Very small bubbles, seems nicely carbonated for the style. Clear but heavily off red its Amber malts I suspect are Caramel 60L which gives it a phantom 'sweetness'. High ABV is pretty evident, but more of a warming effect than booziness. Has a pretty nice long lasting finish which is a nice contrast to the raisin like flavor you get right away. I would say this is a great example of a beer that is better sipped than drank. (grammar?)
Exceptionally clear. Best feature is its long lasting memorable finish, but comes across slightly too caramel for me.
Amazing beer, I must again point out the 7 oz. bottle which I think is a perfect amount for a beer of this caliber.
I will certainly try to brew a version of this for use personally but maybe I will decrease caramel and chocolate malt slightly and sub glacier for wilamette.

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Photo of peabody
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a cloudy coffee look with very little suds. Lots of lacing.
Smell is like an old beer that has been setting out in the sun way too long. Raisin malt and alcohol.
Taste is a very watery sugar malt , and not a lot of sugary malt. Really water with an alcohol aftertaste is about it.
Clean mouthfeel because there isn't much more to this. You do get the alcohol burn for a while afterward.
Drinkability would be only OK if this thing had some flavor. Very bland.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Edit: The bottle says it is best after a year of aging.. crap.. This is at best an okay beer with no aging... and the little bit of cellaring is only gonna make a weak beer worse.

2010 Nip bottle picked up at the COOP today.... $4... way waaaay too expensive ..

Thin 1/2" tan head.. the brew is dark walnut..

okay nose.. toast and caramel... lite roast..

Flavors are thin .. dark toast with some minor caramel... hints of peat smoke.

Mehhh.... okay ... but only an okay representation of a Scotch ale..

Really... $4??? ... medium at best Wee Heavy... at best. Again... Waaaayyyy over priced. Pike Kilt Lifter is much cheaper and alot better.


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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed June 10 2007. 1996 6 oz nip bottle. Aroma is a unique and piquant touch of cedar smoke, british candy, old lemons and school paste. Aged and mellow. Gentle and nice. Nips of random spice perk up. Pours a clear burnished deep bronze amber, with a rim of micro white bubble and a few skeins of percolation, seriously. On the tongue, a matured cherry bark blends with old malt husks and candied pears. Quite oxidized hops find their way through and bite as a bit of old cask dusk. It actually bubbles a little bit and released a lit hiss upon opening. Flavors are subtle and marry with a sherry note. Light vinousness finds a home amongst salted minerals and salt-water taffy. Actually, I think this has held up alright. Any beer 11 years old is going to show signs of wear, but for a Scotch Ale with hops, it’s doing okay. I think I like old hops. Actually, in reality, I’m blown away at how good this Scotch Ale is 11 years later, after having purchased it from a minifridge at a shitty liquor store in Grand Island, Nebraska. A hidden gem.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 7oz bottle which read "Bottled in 1998", and on the reverse, "Best when aged for 6 months". I think we have that covered. Appearance was just short of offensive having absolutely no head. The lifeless, murky, brown liquid looked like something you might pour out of an old rusty pipe full of rain water. The smell, and everything else, however, was really something! Fantastic aromas of chocolate, sweetened coffee, caramel, and perhaps some candied dark fruit are all present here. Taste, too, is full of nearly everything in the smell, with the addition of a rather nice medium dry finish that sort of reminds me of toasted cereal. Mouthfeel is nothing to get overly excited about, as there is virtually no CO2 at all present here, and the liquid, while not water-thin, is close to it. I would imagine that this was probably even better in its prime, but here, 9 years later, it's still a nice brew. Too bad I had only one.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

7oz nip bottle, 1998 bottle vintage, Sampled August 2005
This beer pours a hazy brown color, is almost devoid of carbonation and thus has no head. The nose has a huge caramel toffee note to it that is apparent as soon as I start to pour this beer. The aroma is full of concentrated malt notes with lots of aged malt character as well; there is a certain meaty maltiness here, hints of cherry, concentrated raisin, and a hint of sherry. The aroma is absolutely incredible.

The beer is surprisingly light on the tongue (perhaps it is a bit cold), but begins to coat the mouth as it passes on through. The finish is quite complex and interesting, it is almost smoky, slightly astringent, but definitely long and satisfying. The taste is lightly sweet, but has a full malt character with competing notes of toffee, chocolate and a slight burnt caramel note. The toffee note is definitely the dominant characteristic of this beer. This is quite the sipping contemplative brew, though the flavor did not quite live up to the awesome aroma.

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XS McRogue Scotch Ale from Rogue Ales
3.81 out of 5 based on 170 ratings.
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