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John John Juniper | Rogue Ales

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John John JuniperJohn John Juniper

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Juniper Pale Ale aged in Spruce Gin Barrels.

11 Ingredients:
Harrington, Crystal, Triumph, C-15 & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare™ malts.
Styrian, Golding, Amarillo & Rogue Hopyard Willamette hops.Juniper
Berries Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

34 IBU
77 AA
3.2º Lovibond

Added by Parrotbeak on 04-24-2010

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Reviews: 162 | Ratings: 275
Photo of Offa
4.82/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one beer from Rogue which I absolutely love and which I find has great balance and complexity. I do love gin so I figured I had to give this a try but wasn't expecting much.

Pale amber/dark gold, it has a medium-big off-white head steadily shrinking to a thin ring and leaving a hint of lace.

Aroma is lots of toasty bread, bread dough, raisin, herbally-flowery hints, somewhat banana-like yeastiness, hint of lemon and a faint hint of grapefruit.

Taste is outstanding, balanced, and complex, very engaging, and, though full of flavour, is still fairly restrained. It is also slightly unusual in subtle ways. Firm, light malty base of lightly sweet grain, strong yeastiness (mostly pear, a faint hint of banana), definite herbal-spicey-woody hops, complex and hard to pin down exactly, although I can detect a light, but definite hint of juniper before the spicey-sweet finish. It has a long aftertaste. Feel is very solid, lively and engaging yet with faint, creamy oiliness. Drinkability to me is outstanding.

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Photo of techfed87
4.62/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice frothy head. Color is a clear amber red.

Smell is very citrus-like. There is a hops presence, but there is also an interesting grapefruit-like flavor that's hiding in plain sight.

First sip is a bit more sour than I expected. There hops really aren't that apparent in this beer. Neither is there a real bitter-like spruce flavor that comes through sometimes when juniper berries are added to the mix. This beer really is quite tasty, but also easy to drink. It reminds me strongly of beers with wild yeasts in terms of the sour notes that come out in it. Very worth your while.

An interesting beer indeed, try it sometime!

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Photo of Ryanm1
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22oz cage and cork bottle to a tasting glass. It poured a golden color with slight white lacing, bubbles rising to the top all the while. Got to taste this brew over a friends house during a beer tasting. This jumped out as one of the most original brews served. I was told that it was brewered in juniper berry barrels that once housed gin. You can definitely taste this in the beverage.

Found it very similiar to belgian golden ales, but also had the bitterness of hops added to it. Refreshing.

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Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.41/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance; cloudy yellow with a creamy white head. Somewhat chunky lacing and great head retention.

smell; sugar coated, sour lemons biond with the malts. Not much hop odors but hints of juniper sweetness, not bitter scents of the berry.

taste; i love juniper berries and that is what is most noticed in the taste, I would lover to use this beer to make a sauce for wild boar or deer. Nice sweet and piney notes of juniper with spruce bitterness in the finish that balances nicely with lighter juniper flavors and lemonhead candy.

mouthfeel; medium bodied and slightly creamy, leaving a resiny, puckered feeling in the mouth, quite smooth and refreshing.

overall; get to know and appreciate the flavor profile of juniper and this berr will be appreciated. Much like a Sahti without the spicy Rye flavors. I will be drinking this for Walpurgisnacht.

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Photo of thezach
4.39/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A beer that literally brought a smile to my face, and did so once again when I brought it home and had it months later with a friend, who also couldn't help but smile at the citrusy hops, shimmer of pine interwoven with woodsy, sunshiny spruce, and a subtle carbonation. Hazy burnt gold with a nice frothy head that fades to a lace. This one just hit it on the nose for me.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale straw yellow with yellow highlights with a finger of head and left good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: there is some juniper berries for sure in the aroma with grains that a pretty potent as well which also had hints of citrus and hops. The malt is there but not as big as I thought it would be.

T: I definitely get the gin flavors mixed with the juniper berries that balance out really out well with the malt and citrus notes. It also had grainy and slight hop accents.

M: the beer was medium body with a good amount of bubbly carbonation that had a citric crisp and slight dry finish.

D: the brew drank very good and was really tasty to me since I do enjoy an occasional gin cocktail. I'm glad somebody got the balls to age a beer in gin barrel; good call.

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Photo of yesferro
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured in a Sam Adams glass from a Bomber purchased at The Smokestack Westpoint MS.

This beer is new to NE MS as far as I know, I liked the regular Juniper Ale pretty good so buying this was a no brainer.

Pour a slightly hazy golden color, not much of a head with a tiny bit of lacing.

Absolutely love the smell, earthy and very much of Juniper, I love it!

Tastes delicious, if you like Juniper that is, my husband doesn't care for them and he could barely stomach this brew. There's a hint of pine flavor too, which makes for a very refreshing flavor. It's getting hot and humid here in MS, and this brew will replace the usual Wits and Heffes on yard work day!

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Photo of Docer
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

- nice unfiltered looking pale... bit of a pee yellow really.... light orange, slightly cloudy... not much head but a bit of fizzy ring making going on.

- Nice soothing citrus and nostril clearing freshness to it... bit of lemon, light grain... light woodiness... light gin really... some floral notes....

- Very nice blend of flavors here... floral, citrus... sweet caramel without being over the top... grassy, lemon earthiness... woody light gin... certainly different and very good.

- Quite drying... light bodied... the spruce and gin must be aiding to the dry mouthfeel...

- Overall I am very impressed.... wish it were a painted bottle. This is one to have and try.... extremely balanced flavor... and quite refreshing on a warm muggy day.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours hazy gold under a quickly receding 3” light cream colored foam collar.
S: Big juniper aromas are initially detectable from 3 feet away. Also traces of fruit and spice, possible biscuit.
T: Fruit and spice initate the attack with peach and caramel notes, mild sweetness, traces of citrus, biscuit, followed by juniper and and then a moderate hop bitterness carries through a drying finish.
F: A medium high level of carbonation is very soft on the palate. Medium body.
O: The juniper works surprisingly well in the beer for a refreshing, flavorful drink.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
4.24/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy pale yellow with an orange hue. Very thin, white head that fades almost immediately.
Smell is weak malts clouded by the gin and spruce presence. Peculiar, salty dill cracker aroma, as well as some woody notes. Different, but appealing nonetheless.
Taste is malts with a sharp, vinegary bite that shifts to the gin and spruce. The spirits are much more present in this one than in John John Dead Guy. Some more woody notes. Bitter finish, with the gin flavor swelling a bit.
Mouthfeel is crisp yet smooth, with a dry finish. Medium-light body.
Drinkability is very good, but being fond of gin, I may be biased. I could see how this one might rub some people the wrong way. I was happy to find that the gin is more noticeable than the whiskey was with JJ Dead Guy.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - hazy golden, 2 fingers creamy head retained and laced very well
S - dank and fruity hops, toasty malt, light lemon and berry scent
T - same hops, sweet and tart juniper berries, grainy malt, light piney finish
M - medium carbonation, slight bitter, tart and sweet through the finish
D - a very fine mix of hop qualities with the tart sweetness of juniper berries, and the light pine hint from the gin cask finishing is subtle but complimentary

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a nonic

A: Pale, cloudy orange with lots of active carbonation. Fluffy white head. Good lace.

S: Very gingery (like ginger ale) with a sweet note.

T: Bright and welcoming with a distinct ginger flavor. The juniper here is so subdued that it gives a very diverse flavor profile including (ginger), lemon, lime, tonic, Angostura bitters. I really like how this is categorized as spiced/herbed beer but doesn't take like medicine. It drinks like it is an intended flavor, not just some brewer's random additive binge. So clean. A light bitter finishes, cleansing the palate.

M: Astringent on the finish and well bodied throughout. Lightly viscous with a slight oily note being cut by the astringency.

D: Out of the park. If you are looking for something unique but fully drinkable, you must seek this out. Its uniqueness alone is a must try. I would gladly drink this again.

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Photo of Nomad1219
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a nice golden to orange color and a head that lingered leaving a nice rim and lace on the glass. The smell was of herbs and grass, clean, maybe minty, it deffinatly hints towards the presence or affiliation with gin. The taste was light on hops and malty sweetness but had an unusual and never experienced bite at the end that was like that of gin, a dry-wetness lets say. The taste was unique and different and I like the idea of something that has bitterness appeal without being overly hopped. The color and the unusal taste were the best parts. I would drink this again.

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Photo of climax
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

John John, poured into a snifter, displayed an affirmative amber hue with slight murkiness. The head was tall, and left very thick lace that I was sorry to disturb as I agitated the beer to wake up the aroma.

The nose was very juicy, well balanced with good complexity. Orange peel with the slight juniper kick that I may not have detected had it not been in the name. Sweet caramel, and a touch of spice balance the citrus hop aroma. The gin character is definitely not obvious, as I only picked it up in relation to the woody barrel flavor.

The flavor is a good shot to the mouth, juicy and full. An almost IPA intense blast comes from the hops, delivering more pine and juniper flavor than the nose suggested. Sweeter toasty and caramel tones once again do their job and deliver a balanced finish. Very good flavor.

The body was on the medium side and carried very crisp sizzling carbonation. It was fairly slick in the mouth and ended with a dry lingering bitter bite.

This is an excellent pale ale, although for what I paid for the bottle.... it will be an every once in a while indigence.

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Photo of mynie
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Sanctuary in Iowa City.

So I'm not quite sure if Juniper must = PINE, in all capitals, like if that's how things are supposed to be. It's not how the regular Rogue juniper is, that's for sure. That beer is essentially a low hopped, biscuity English Pale that has a lightly herbal, kinda medicinal aftertaste. It's not for everyone but I thought it was a good session ale.

This is like that only lightly amped up.

The regular ale is a little bland near the start and then the rush of fruit and weeds near the end throws you off balance. This is actually much firmer up front. It's still not very strong, and if anything the hop presence is, remarkably, even weaker, but there's a bigger profile of herbs. And since I'm not an herbalist I really lack the critical vocabulary to describe it, except for that there is indeed a little bit of pine. This moves into a maltier middle that's like a lemony EPA, and then it ends on a very nice, dry rush of pine and more generic herbs.

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Photo of smcolw
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy gold color. Solid start to the head; settles slowly leaving spotty, but chunky lace on the glass.

Surprisingly mild aroma--I cannot detect any spruce or juniper berries. Initially, it reminds me of a cream ale. Ah, on the second whiff, I do get some pine and some floral hop. Still cream-ish though.

Prickly taste right on the initial sip. There's a lot of Pale Ale in this, which I think makes it a better-than-average spiced beer. All too often brewers will overemphasize the adjunct; this is far more subtle. As a pale ale it is fairly traditional, but the extra spices provide some real creativity to the brew. I find it has a strong lemon flavor with a white pepper spice. There's a hoppy black pepper touch as well. In a word--complex. Each time I sip this I get new flavor profile. Here's a beer that holds my interest throughout.

One thing I've noticed, if the review gets wordy, it deserves a superior score. Here's one to seek out for something different yet not extreme in any way.

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Photo of Tone
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of spruce?, slight sweet malt, ginger?, and slight hop. Fits the style of a Herbed/Spiced beer. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of spruce?, slight ginger, citrus, slight sweet malt, hint of hop, slight oak, slight alcohol. Overall, good aroma, blend, complexity, and body.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One pint 6 oz brown bottle. No freshness date. Pint glass.
The color is a hazy orange-hued amber with a fast-fading white head and some trailing lace.
Smells of dry hay, dry malt, oak, lemon zest and resinous hop meld well together. A slight alcoholic whiff is noticed.
Sharp-edged citrusy bitterness slices through the malty sweetness without much effort. There really is the ginny perfuminess in the taste. Light flavors of oak, lemons, caramel sweetness and tart berries peek through.
There is a certain drying sensation in the mouthfeel.
It does go down well, although I really would have appreciated a bit more gin-like kick to this brew. Imagine this in an Imperial style...

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Photo of Patrick999
4.14/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'll preface this by admitting that I have no idea what a beer aged in gin barrels might taste like. Yet, being a fan of both gin and the regular Juniper Pale Ale, I'm happy to give this a go.

Poured it into a Stella goblet, it seemed like an appropriate vessel shape for this beer. Attractive sunny pour and bone-white foam that takes a little while to recede.

I poured this too cold, because I really got nothing in the aroma. Thankfully, it does open up considerably with just a little warming. I like this aroma very much - it has a lemon-flowery hop character, almost Sorachi Ace-like. And plenty of sweetly-floral botanicals and berries. Lot of botanicals, and I swear I get hints of chocolate and mesquite too. To me this aroma is excellent.

Taste is very Rogue, with the affectations of the Pac-Man yeast - clean and very dry. You get a good thick graininess, bitter flowers and bitter berries. Not overly bitter at first, but the bitterness does build on you. The barrels are mostly well-behaved here, but you do get some nice gin flavor at the back end as well as a little coconut, ostensibly from the gin barrels. The barrels may well be too timid for some reviewers, but I think the concept mostly works. I'd wager gin barrels throw off more subtle flavors than say, bourbon barrels. I like it.

Mouthfeel is lively, spiky. High coarse carbonation.

I'm kind of enthralled with the idea of throwing lower-ABV beers into barrels, especially those that once held gin. While John John isn't necessarily a masterwork, it's still plenty enjoyable. Worth a try, especially for the BAs who also enjoy a nice gin from time to time. I think I'm going to pour a little measure of Bombay Sapphire into my last glass here and see how it goes...

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Photo of avalon07
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange color and a cloudy consistency. Some sediment. There was a big, fluffy, long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A sharp, herbal smell (the juniper), and some malt.

T: Tasted of juniper, first and foremost, with a malty backbone and slight amount of yeast. The juniper is dominant and somewhat medicinal, but overall the flavor is enjoyable.

M: A well carbonated beer with a dry, somewhat bitter finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is an unusual and somehow drinkable beer. It's not something I would drink on a regular basis, but it is well made.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass a pale translucent yellow/gold with a one finger white head. Great lacing.

The scent is strong of Spruce. Which brings me to a point I need to make. When you get right down to it, I have no idea what Juniper berries smell or taste like. My problem is that Rogue doesn't sell Juniper Pale Ale in Texas. So I can't go grab one of those to compare it to this John John.

That being said, there is a slight sourness to the flavor of this brew. It's odd because it's a rather "green" tasting flavor which makes me want to lean to a Spruce flavor. It's a taste much like the scent of spruce, which I know well. But for a beer that has been aging in Gin Barrels, regardless of the wood, I can't find any Gin in the taste.

The mouthfeel is a little dry, but overall very solid. Making this an interestingly drinkable odd brew.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.11/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice golden copper colour with loads of visible carbonation, a nice thumb of light fluffy white head with great retention. Falls into large mountains of bubbles and leaves a terrific amount of lacing. Outstanding presentation!

S - Citrus hops are the most identifiable scent on this one, fruity blend of hops, slight metallic scent on the finish.

T - Wow, quite the complex blend of flavours on this one. Apart from some mild citrus hops, it's difficult to identify the flavours here. The sweet gin flavours are mildly noticeable, but nowhere near the levels I would've expected. The hops and pine gin flavours do complement one another, which might make for the difficulty in identifying specific flavours.

M - Very nice on the tongue. Light and bubbly, goes down incredibly smooth and does not leave a dry or bitter feel on the tongue.

D - Would I buy this again? Probably. Definitely worth a try and offered some very unique flavours, making for an enjoyable and memorable experience. At $10/bottle it's a little pricey, but tasty nonetheless. What's with the mystery ABV?

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Photo of Viggo
4.09/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Alibi Room.

Pours a hazy orange with some golden highlights, thin white head forms and settles down to a thin layer and ring around the glass, drops a few lace spots on the way down.

Smell is neat, tons of orange peel, some juniper, caramel, biscuity malt, wood, some floral, honey, a bit fruity, very fresh aroma, really cool stuff.

Taste is similar, very intense orange character, a bit of pepper and juniper, fruit juice, a touch of pineapple, some floral, a bit of honey and biscuity malt middle, a bit toasty, neat herbal bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Goes down pretty easy. I dig this stuff.

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Photo of Elimination
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

look: poured from bomber into large pilsner glass, huge fluffy head, marshmallow flugg look. looks sexy, golden yellow with a slight brown shining through

smell: juniper, i know my juniper living out here haha. gin, slight booze, grassy with malty earth undertones.

taste: taste is a slightly hopped pale ale, citrus, juniper berries, the gin taste is small, a subtle harshness. a little bit of oakness that seems to grow with every drink. lemon stands out every once and a while. the barrel aging has mellowed the taste, not grow it.

mouth: very good, bubbles feel good on tongue

drink: good, has a lower abv, would go good with meals.

doesnt really make for a great barrell aged but a ok beer overall

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Photo of evilkalla
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bomber into a very tall glass.

A: Pours a somewhat hazy pale gold color. Half an inch of solid head on it, with a lot of visible carbonation. Looks very good.

S: I smell some pale malts but nothing really jumps out at me. My nose is a little stuffy though.

T: Well, that is a very interesting taste. It almost begins to taste like an IPA and then it goes to this other place completely. It is bitter but a different kind of bitter, it has a spicy, almost slightly warm tingly burn to it. It also has an aged, earthy taste to it which is likely due to the barrel aging. Very good.

M: A little bubbly, otherwise very smooth with a clean finish.

D: This is a very good beer. The junipers they used to make this beer are very subtle and don't leap out at you. The aging makes for a very smooth taste. I like it a lot. Definitely would drink again.

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John John Juniper from Rogue Ales
3.61 out of 5 based on 275 ratings.
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