XS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter | Rogue Ales

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XS Imperial Younger's Special BitterXS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter
Very Good
222 Ratings
XS Imperial Younger's Special BitterXS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by klewis on 01-15-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 222 |  Reviews: 148
Reviews by Douglas14:
Photo of Douglas14
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just picked this up...I got lucky and found it hidden in the back of the beer store (thought I couldn't find this beer anymore). Love the ceramic bottles that Rogue has been doing. It pours a rich amber color with amazing clarity. Nice, thick, fluffy head, not much retention but leaves a lot of lace. It has a nice aroma, very floral and fresh. Awesome taste...nice subtle bitterness with perfectly balanced sweetness. Also a bit of floral flavors. I bet this would go great with spicy food. It has a nice mouthfeel; velvety and good carbonation. Awesome beer...glad I was able to drink it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Pizza Plant on Main tonight,poured into a goblet a clear amber/bronze with a thinner white head.Big fruity,gummy notes intertwines with resiny hop a passing alcohol presence as well shows itself,it was a joy to drink big malty profile that of juicy,gummy fruit with a hint of caramel sweetness melding into a resiny,piney hop finish that lingers.To me this is near strong ale category its big and malty with healthy dose of hops,me I loved it.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask, with a lot of friendly sass at the Horse Brass in Portland. One of the finer ESBs I’ve tasted. All I can say is, wow! Pours a burned orange-gold with a thin head. Aroma is rich with caramel, light fruit, and Amarillo/NW hops. Yum! Body is creamy and smooth and the booze is invisible. Breakfast tea and orange are big flavors. Caramel is also present. Somewhat bready and biscuity. Hints of grapefruit. Downable by the gallon. Simple but exceptional.

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Photo of ricke
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving date: 2009-03-21. Best before: August 2010. Served in big wine glass.

A: Copper colored with big red hues. Slightly yellow, small and uneven head that looks rather creamy. The liquid is clear at first, but towards the end of the bottle it gets cloudy. The last pour leaves big dark floaters in the glass.

S: A pleasant smell, but not as powerful as I had expected. Nice malty backbone, caramel, toffee. Raisins. Decent amount of hop aromas as well, mostly citric-like. Some aromas of cloudberries as well.

T: At first, I don't think there's much going on in the taste. It almost seems boring and uninteresting. But after a while, the beer opens up and things start to happen. Big malt flavors, caramel, butterscotch. Some raisins and fudge. It gets slightly bready for a moment. Then the hop flavors take over. Floral notes, pine-needles, grass and restrained fruity flavors. The hops are quite powerful but never get harsh. Pretty decent bitterness in the finish, but it's manageable. Some minerals and fading floral notes in the finish as well.

M: Medium body going towards full. Soft carbonation but it still feels somewhat crisp.

D: As noted, this one became better after a while. It gets a bit rounder and develops a decent malty backbone to balance the bitterness that is too dominant initially. In the end, it comes out quite good. But I'm not sure it lives up to the quite hefty prize tag.

NOTE: ABV is 7,4% according to the label.

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

A 7oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Hazy amber color with a small tan head.
Floral aroma, caramel. Boozy.
The alcohol was noticeable, but not intrusive. A taste of caramel apple and piney hops. Some malt.
Balanced mouthfeel.
Would drink this one again.

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Photo of merlin48
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Seven ounce bottle. Pours a slightly hazed copper amber body with a creamy beige head that retains well and leaves plenty of sticky patch lace.

Aroma is slightly nutty, with some toffee, Pacman yeast, and a hint of ripe pears.

Medium bodied and slightly creamy with moderate carbonation.

Taste has caramel maltiness, slightly nutty, with a balancing earthy bitterness that has just a vague hint of fruit. No hint of alcohol.

A good ESB, but it doesn't taste any different than the regular Younger's to me. At over four dollars for this tiny bottle I won't be buying any more.

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Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

7 ounce bottle (!) on sale for “only” $1.99 at DeCicco’s in Ardsley, NY.

Pours clouded darker amber, luxuriously tight knit head, leaves nice looking splashes of lacing.

Nose is of maple malts with a hint of smokey peat lingering in the rear.

Malty and quite yummy. Loads of sweet malts, maple, and caramel brownie goodness. Quite smooth and easy flowing over the tongue.

I’ve consciously refused to shell out the crazy expensive amounts Rogue charges for the pretty ceramic bombers of this one, but glad to give it a try even if the serving size was on the comical side

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Ceramic bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a nice ruby red, very crisp and clear with a small bright white head. Nose Is malty and a bit bitter.

Taste is sharp and fairly bitter, it's a bit funky and odd but pretty tasty and creamy. It's got a sharp bitterness. Pretty decent beer.

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Photo of centbeerfest
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased in a 7 oz bottle for $4.99. It was the ridiculous price of the very small portion that really made me wonder how good this beer could really be.

Was lacking a glass so drank it out of the bottle and it was just good. Price played a big part of my expectations and as an ESB lover, I thought it was just okay.

Nice balance but the high alcohol was the predominant take away. Big fan of Rogue but in this case I would avoid this choice again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft about a week ago at Mad Mex Robinson, appears a cloudy bronze amber hue with an off white thin beige head leaves even fine lacing around these Rogue JLS always seem a bit under carbonated, which I can deal with. Aroma seems a bit muted caramel malts sweet ripe plums and raisini qualities with mild alcohol and light pine/citrus hop combo presenting itself. Flavors really mix nicely with some seemingly soft refrained British malts that bring caramel and ripe fruit sweetness more fig, plum, and raisin glazed with alcohol and sugar, overall a moderate solid bitterness but not anything too extreme on hops for Rogue of course. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied the lighter carbonation allows the beer to sit on the palate with some resisual sugar stickiness noted. Drinkability always a pleasure to try Rogue small batches great brewery that keeps innovating, good stuff try it if you find it.

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Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear brownish-copper color with a tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of deep caramel malts with hints of heavier toasted malts. Also present are mild amounts of citrus and earthy hops with hints of butterscotch.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Mildly dry caramel malt flavors up front are joined quickly by solid citrus hops. Midway through the flavor profile turns more bitter with the addition of earthy hops. Very light hints of butterscotch come into play near the end, fading out into a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I wasn’t a huge fan of this beer, which I can’t be terribly surprised about given the fact that I enjoy the subtlety of the little beer and the imperial version is lacking that. Not terrible, but not worth seeking.

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Photo of dsauter
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of rwathree
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a deep golden honey colored body that is clear with a nice carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a medium size light head that fades to a thin film but last a long time and sticks to the glass nicely.

S- This beer has a soft pale malt note with a very light toasted malt note . There is a hint of fresh malt that is almost like a biscuit note but much better and is hard to describe, maybe a lightly toasted biscuit is more on point.

T- This beer has a soft pale malt note with a soft tartness to it. There are notes of caramel malt and a hint of honey biscuit malt in the backbround. There is a smooth hop bitterness that is very mellow but balances the malts. The more I sip the more I notice a hint of orange in between the hops and malt and a slight tartness to that.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel that is just a bit too watery but it has a smooth quality to the texture.

D- This beer was served very cold so it was hard to pull out the subtle flavors but it was a very smooth nice session beer and would be amazing on cask.

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

750ml black ceramic bottle - 8.2% ABV worth of gov't proclaimed heat in this one.

This beer pours a hazy, very dark copper orange colour, with a teeming amount of thick foamy, rocky pale beige head, which sticks in for a spell, eventually scooting, and leaving some nice layered fine lace around the glass. It smells of roasted butterscotch, creamy citrus, and some bitter leafy hops. The taste is sweet biscuity, buttered bread malt, a soft hit of caramel, and then crisp and zippy, grassy and earthy hops. The carbonation is average, if a bit prickly, the body quite full for the style, smooth, and strangely creamy amongst the probing bitterness. It finishes radiating with strong, but reserved bitter herbal, astringently woody hops.

A very enjoyable strong bitter, the balance keenly struck. Any purported extra points of alcohol are all but invisible. But for the strength of the flavours, notwithstanding the booze, we have here an agreeable multi-rounder. Oh, wait - this Sith-bottle provides just that itself...

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear burnt honey with some mahogony. The head is large with frothy tan colors and lacing that lasts. The smell is strong with roasted malt,brown sugar,bread yeast,and alcohol. The taste has a bitter alcohol flavor along with roasted malt,honey,brown sugar,and a bit of a weak watery aftertaste. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing OK. Not a bad beer,but not my favorite Rogue.

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Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of HugePlume
4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Rogue alehouse, from notes

A- Wow, what a looker! A light rusty red, with a thick tan head that is slow to dissipate. Best lacing i have seen on a special bitter ale. Laces all the way down the glass to the last sip. Sublime.

S- Nothing special about the nose, a faint grainy malt and a tangy yeast odor.

T- Malty, many different notes here, hard to pin down anything in particular. The higher alcohol and the malt give it a dry finish, some hop bitterness, but its mostly alcohol stinging the tongue a wee bit. Balanced though, very palatable.

M- Light body, finishes exceptionally clean and quick.

O- Great high octane version of my favorite style, would be an excellent pairing with some spicier food that normally you would not have a special bitter with.

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

7 oz min-bottle.

Pours a hazy, warm brown into my Stone Old Guardian goblet, with a beige head that quickly disappears into a ring of tiny bubbles around the glass.

Malty aroma with a touch of bran muffin and toffee. Taste is soft and sweet and slightly cloying, with notes of brown bread. The alcohol adds a subtle bite, and I think I'm getting some hops as well at the edges.

Interesting and pretty good.

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Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Rogue on tap, at Transit Pizza Plant. Yellow body with soapy head, and neutral aroma, though some alcohol present. Taste notes of yeast, wheat. Decent bitterness, but more on sweet side and on balance than another overhopped beer. Only knew the style after the fact. Another style bender. Recommended.

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

Deep amber in colour, little orange and brown note. Thin head fadding quickly. Perfectly translucid at first but becoming more hazy as you go down the bottle. Bottle conditioning???

Nose: Sweet malt, candied sugar. Tea like aroma. Apple.

Mouth: Bitterness feal more than double then its little sister, the YSB, This gives me the feeling of a crossover between an american IPA and an english IPA. Carbonation is more like an english bitter, medium-low.

Beautiful bottle but pricey.Definitely like it better the the YSB. More hops is a good amelioration for me.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml white painted ceramic bottle

Pours a dark and murky brown/amber color with a small off white head. A very nice slightly sweet malty aroma is enhanced by some hops (grapefruit) in the nose. Much like the aroma, the taste is extremely well balanced between the sweet malt and the citrusy hop flavors. This brew is very drinkable as the alcohol is dangerously hidden. Overall, this is another great brew from Rogue.

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Photo of let8it8grow
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ImusBeer
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another 11oz pour, not a problem but I wish they had some glasses other than the white wine stems.

It came a clear copper color with a white head and large bubbles. Died rather quickly.

The aromas started with citus then a slight malt. The flavours were of citrus, mostly orange and a sour aftertaste.

nothing much in the way of piney bitterness I was expecting but it was light and dry almost thin IMHO, bitter at the end mostly in the form of dryness.

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Photo of agentorangebitter
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

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XS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 222 ratings