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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Ratings: 275 |  Reviews: 162
Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

yellow body with a Fancy white head. Some carbonation. Spruce confers in aromas.Not a bad drinker, like the spruce and gin was OK. Then again, nothing special particularly the juniper taste.Low carbonation.A little spicey. Thanks for sending Presario.

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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 flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: pours a clear light orange color with two fingers of ivory head. Foam appears to be dissipating rather rapidly.

Smell: aroma is pretty standard pale ale fare -- a light malt aroma with light, sweet floral and citrus hops sitting atop. There's an extremely light citrusy overtone which could be the hops or could be the juniper, but other than that there is nothing overtly junipery about the smell.

Taste: lightly citrusy notes combined with the basic pale ale flavors noted above. I want to point out that while nothing jumps out about the flavors here, it does seem very well crafted and there's a solid base beer here. It could be that the juniper and spruce have an extremely subtle effect, but whatever it is, I like the combination.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a surprisingly generous amount of well-integrated carbonation. The creaminess benefits this beer somehow ... it seems quite refreshing with the lemony citrus flavors.

Drinkability: quite drinkable. I'm finding I like this beer a little bit better with each sip. I've had other juniper beers before which had much more juniper flavor, but this one manages to be good without an overpowering gin character.

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Photo of thetomG
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour mostly clear amber color with minimal head. Aroma is piney but mild. Flavor is more of the same. Mostly a one mote flavor profile for me, but what is there is decent. Well carbonated nut maybe just a bit thinner than is like on the palate. Glad I tried this one, but probably not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of goldbot
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice light copper color with a slight haze. Thick, fluffy white head. Great head retention and good lacing.

Smells nicely hoppy up front with some citrus and herbal/pine aromas. A definite woodsy aroma permeates. The gin and juniper are very subtle here, but add a nice balance.

Malt and bread flavor up front with some hints of caramel. A subtle but noticeable gin flavor with a nice, refreshing touch of resinous spruce. Juniper seems absent but is probably just mixed in with the gin/spruce flavors.

A full body with a creamy mouthfeel. Very balanced beer. Nothing overpowers in it, and all the different flavors work very nicely with each other. It would be great to see more beers like this; it's a creative use of barrel aging to create a balanced, somewhat low ABV beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
1.7/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Long day today. Nice long session at Barleys followed by a big tasting back at the house,. What more could anyone ask for? Consumed on 07/05/2010.

What a mistake. Very seldom do I ever start off that way, but what a mistake. This one was going nowhere fast for me. The pour looked like seltzer water. Hazy lime colored with no head and tons of carbonation.

No aroma, nothing, maybe light lime? Hard to tell I let this sit for 15 minutes and still could not pick up anything out of it. Took the first sip and wondered allowed what had happened? It just seems that it was not meant to be here. No flavor. Light lime, and that's stretching it, maybe an air
freshener like quality but what happened here? Very carbonated, very light and very unmemorable.

Overall one of the worst I have had in a long time, will not be looking for this one again anytime soon.

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Photo of prosper
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy blonde with a large white head.

as per bottle, it's 13 plato OG with a 77% AA = means it started at 1.053 and finished at 1.012 for an ABV of 5.5%

34 IBU

Smells are all faint, mostly light fruity malts. No hops, spruce or juniper.

Taste is good - straightforward malts - slightly sweet but no significant caramel or toastiness. Flavour balance is distinctly towards the bittering additon, with just the faintest hint of juniper.

Mouthfeel is medium - fuller than I expected.

Drinkabilty is above average - it's interesting enough to want more, and finishes clean enough to keep from getting overwhelming

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Photo of iD9
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy light blonde color. It reminds me of an unfiltered beer. Head forms fuzzy and full. There's not much head retention, unfortunately.

Smell: Smells lemony and a bit grassy maybe? Floral is probably the better word for it. At first glance it reminds me of a zesty, Belgian wheat.

Taste: Interesting. It has a very light taste to it. The finish is slightly bitter and leaves a little skunky taste in the back of my mouth. I get just the slightest lemon zest on the front end. I'm not a huge fan of Dead Guy and I'm not a huge fan of this. That being said, I give Rogue huuuge bonus points for taking a new, inventive and daring twist on barrel aging. Who ages beer in gin barrels?

Mouthfeel: Mild and medium bodied. A little light. I don't know if its the hops but the bittering on the end makes my mouth curl and not in a terribly pleasant one.

Drinkability: Good, meh.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very tough is it to review the Juniper Pale as an American Pale Ale as it is much more English with the balance of sweeter malts, fruitier yeast, and more sublte earthy hops - an actually in balance, as not to showcase the hops as American Pales can. Having said that, we'll see if the lacking pine character of the Juniper Pale Ale can be compensated in this Spruce/Gin aged version...

The beer pour a copper-orange color with a light and stagnant head that retains/laces averagely... just a still and lifeless look despite the creamy-liquid head. Moderate haze shows a rusty glow.

Aromas of malt dominate with a caramel and biscuit scent. Rising and balancing notes of grasses, pine, and berries help with balance just before a thin boozy note follows.

Very sweet flavors ensue with the caramels, biscuit, and very sweet barley taste. The juniper berries give a soft fruity (mostly herbal) pine taste. But the gin begins to take hold with an bold but thin minty-piney taste. Hops take a backseat to the fruits, maybe the first flaw of the beer and an opportunity missed as this beer falls too sweet and one-dimensional in comparison to other Pale Ales- English or American.

The body is rich, sweet, and creamy- maybe too so. The still carbonation leads to a weighted beer that never dries out and leads to difficulty in drinking when the beer warms.

I appreciate the subtle nuances of the juniper, spruce, and gin in this beer but these are not bold enough. Part of the problem is the sweet/heavy texture that lacks dryness or crispness- these characteristics are why gin beverages are so great. Opportunity lost here.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Cobbletsone's in York last night for my birthday. The ale was served in a standard pint.

A - A deep golden w/ mild haziness and the beer was poured with no room for a head and the glass was streaked with dried soap stains -I requested another glass and was given a fresh beer which had a proper head and appeared carbonated which the first one had not. The cap is approx 3/4 inch light tan w/ a fine bead. The lace clings moderately well in rings on the glass.

S - The smell is slightly twiggy with notes of woody hops and the aroma has mild fruity yeast esters. The more I sniff the more juniper berry aroma I get with a light grapefruit accent in the background from the hops w/ light lemon and an oaky hint from the gin barrel

M - The feel has moderate carbonation and bitterness with a slight sweetness and light spiciness, the texture is clean overall and is mildly astringent with a dry finish

T - A taste hat is crisp and slightly fruit oriented with the juniper berry flavor pretty high in the ale w/ bitterness noticeable, but moderate in the taste overall. The hops give a pleasant orange rind taste and add to the wood flavor of the gin barrel. The actual gin flavor seems to come forward in the middle as it warms slightly and adds herbal mild woody and brings out more of the aromatic juniper qualities, but in an unobtrusive way. The taste of gin essence is there as the pale finishes with a mild sweet malt flavor

D - I was pretty happy with this overall, the flavor of alcohol makes it seem stronger than 5.2% which is what was listed on the tap menu. The pale is very drinkable and refreshing for a first pint, I would order this again if I see it -an interesting concept for a spiced pale ale.

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Photo of jampics2
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a snifter. Looks great, really nice golden orange with a huge fluffy head that sticks around a gives great lace behind. Almost perfect looking beer here!

Smell is nice but too subdued. Caramel malt, fresh citrus hops (peach, apricot, and orange mainly), and a touch of juniper berries. No real barrel or gin in the aroma. More expression needed.

Taste is really nice. Starts off like the nose indicated it would - there's some sweet caramel malt and citrus notes from the hops. Then, the spruce gin really comes trough. Nice spruce tip touch on-top of juniper berry gin. Just a touch of the spirit's burn, more of the flavors from the berry. Really nice, different beer here. I'm liking this series from Rogue.

Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Pleasant mouthfeel is high above the average mark.

Finally, the drinkability rates higher than average but it's not a beer I'll be recommending unless someone's an IPA/gin lover. But better than I feared and another hit in the John John series.

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Photo of nickfl
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a somewhat cloudy, golden-copper colored body. The foam settles fairly quickly but leaves a nice pattern of lace.

S - Bready aromas of malt with some light toffee and herbal notes in the background. The juniper character may be a bit more peppery, with a hint of woodiness, but otherwise, it is quite similar to the standard Juniper pale ale.

T - Bready crusts and some honey malt flavor up front with a hint of spicy hop character. Peppery notes of clove and juniper appear in the middle along with a renewed malt richness. Finishes with a spicy note of coriander and clove as well as a little woody juniper which is complimented by a relatively light hop bitterness. Some honey malt flavor lingers on the palate along with a light herbal note, but the aftertaste fades fairly quickly.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - This beer is quite drinkable with a light herbal flavor and a well balanced malt richness that is quite similar to the standard version of Rogue's juniper pale ale. Much like the barrel aged dead guy, I don't think that this beer benefited greatly from its barrel aging. The prospect of Juniper pale ale aged in Gin barrels sounded extremely appealing, but the beer is not as boldly flavored as expected it to be. The herbal character is more complex than it is in the non barrel aged version of the beer, but the juniper seems relatively subdued with a ghostly woody character the only contribution that I can confidently trace to the barrel aging. I am glad I gave this beer a try, and some people might find more to like in it than I did, but in the end it didn't live up to my expectations.

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

Not too sure how I feel about this one. I think it is a take on the Rogue Juniper ale, but aged in gin barrels (so more Juniper) made of spruce, so a slight sappy essence to it.

A mellow gold-amber with a fairly thick, but small head. You can definitely smell the gin in this, and there's a definite woodsy spurce-y smell there too. It dominates over everything else.

Gin, spruce and almost a medicinal quality dominate the flavour. I know this is a beer, but it almost tastes like I'm drinking liquor - except there is no alcohol burn to it.

A unique beer, and definitely worth revisiting but not something I'd drink regularly.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Gin barrel-aged beer? I'm up fer it! It pours a clear golden straw topped by a thick white froth. The nose comprises wet hay, spruce tips, pine sap, and floral hops. The taste holds notes of juniper berries and twigs, pine sap, grass, and a mild bitterness. Honestly, it seemed like some cheap gin was watered down and had hops added to it. And I wasn't all that impressed with it. The body is a light medium, with moderate carbonation and a dry finish, leading to a lingering of the taste for a bit too much time. An interesting brew, but, in my opinion, not all that great of one.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.04/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Source/Serving: Draft.

This is the Rogue Juniper Pale Ale aged in their Gin barrels

Smell: Loads of caramel malts and nice herbal quality. To state the obvious, its like gin but also mint and pine. Yeast and fresh bread as it warms.

Taste: Light toast with a slightly sour edge (maybe from the barrel?). Quite dry with a dark herbal undertone up front. The middle is even drier and quite bitter. There is a hint of juniper but its faint. Very bready as well as a little yeast. Comes off as quite think partly due to the low carbonation I think. The finish is the most like gin. A bit of a burn, quite dry and definitely a juniper bite.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tap & Table, Emmaus, PA on 6/10/10.

A - Very pale golden wheat-colored body with ample carbonation in the form of tiny perculating bubbles and a thin white head that disappeared but left behind some patches of thick lace.

S - Initial aroma blends a mild berry sweetness with grassy and herbal notes, as well as a slight waft of alcohol and evergreen trees.

T - Sweet and fruity flavor with an herbal twang and some sharp hop notes that are softened a bit by the sweet caramel malt presence. Juniper character is very nonchalant, although the gin character becomes more prominent as the liquid warmed up a bit.

M - Medium bodied with mild carbonaton and a light syrupy texture as well as a hint of oily residue. Finishes with a soft hop bitterness and residual sweetness on the palate.

D - Interesting spiced ale with a fruity sweetness and potpourri of hop character. Flavor is nicely balanced and nothing is too overbearing in the flavor. Instead, the flavor is rather subtle and pleasant.

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Photo of shivtim
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Rogue Alehouse in Portland.
It's slightly hazy orange, with a small white head. Nose is gentle juniper/spruce, with a bit of earthiness, like bark. Tiny bit of hops. Taste is some hops and peat (no juniper in the taste). Decent mouthfeel and drinkability. Could use more juniper flavor.

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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 roar1345
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a darker yellow color, mildly foggy and a bubbly head
smells overbearingly of spruce it takes out the other flavors. it has a very woodsy smell
the taste is mainly spruce with some background notes with gin mildly noticable and a nice bitter finish its a pretty heavy tasting beer for such a light colored beer, pretty enjoyable
i could drink a bunch of these theyre not filling and have a pretty distinguishable taste this isnt a bad beer but i think rogue could have done better i wish the gin was more prominent and the juniper berries go totally unnoticed due to the spruce which takes over the whole beer.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 6-11-10

Pours a hazy light golden orange color, with a clingy white head that leaves big rings of lacing on the glass.

Smell is all pine needles and sweetness. Slightly vegetabley, with a light lemony hops near the end.

Taste is super piney and very sweet. The hops are very subtle, adding only a marginal bitterness. The finish is bready and almost bland, with a bit more pine in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and nicely thick, it fits the pine resin flavors nicely.

Drinkability is good, but the sweetness becomes tiresome after awhile.

Overall, quite different and well worth trying.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A slightly hazy yellow/ light orange liquid with a thin and splotchy white head.

S- Juniper berries, caramel, and a hint of steamed asparagus. Unique to say the least.

T- Sweet caramel, juniper berries, and cooked vegetables. There is a strong bitterness at the end.

M- The lasting bitterness is a bit astringent, but it grows on me.

D- The alcohol content (whatever it may be) is not apparent. A unique beer.

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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 BigTomZ
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice golden color. It looks like most summer wheat beers. Head was 2 fingers and lingered awhile.

It has a really nice sweet pine and hop smell. The nose left me with high expectations.

You can taste the juniper and spruce with a little hint of gin. The hop character is there but seems more prominent in the finish. It is a simpler tasting brew than I expected.

It has a good amount of carbonation. It is crisp and refreshing.

It is an easy beer to drink and not too strong. Something nice for a summer day but I was expecting more.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a flat pumpkin orange with a medium sense of clarity, a thin haziness that was just enough to slightly distort objects on the far side of the glass. The head was bone white in color, rising a measly 1 finger high at its highest point with a foamy like appeal. Retention was moderate, lasting a few minutes while leaving a thin spongey coating behind for a lacing. Visible carbonation was strong and rapid from the onset and continued to be such for most of the drink while a few bran colored flakes rested on the bottom of the glass.

S: The amarrillo hops really come through on the initial nose, lending a strong lemony character to the mix which was backed by a slight tart orange twang. A musky sourness, similar to perhaps a saison, is picked up on while light gin notes could be easily detected, attributed to by either the spruce gin barrels or the juniper berries. The delivery was moderate in strength.

T: Soft orange peels with a slight musky sourness, again almost like a saison or sour blonde is first encountered. The spruce notes are easily distinguishable with green earthy fern hints. The juniper berries lend some fleshy berry skin notes to the mix along with a good dose of lemony hops. The malting was well balanced composed of sweet caramelized grains.

M: A good feel of carbonation is detected on the tongue. The body is rather light in substance but offers a good crispness while a nice warming of sour oranges on the swallow.

D: All in all a drinkable beer that leaves you with a slight sour twang and coating on the tongue. Drinks like a saison, as crisp as a pale with a generous amount of hops to match, and has some berry spice appeal all rolled into one. Have to recheck my original evaluation of their juniper ale, but figure this one surely benefits from the spruce gin barrel aging which does this just fine. Worth a purchase.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.11/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out a chill hazed golden hue, tall white merrangue head with good retention.

Earthy spice on the nose, musty, dry lemon rind.

Sharp invigorating evergreen spice up front in the flavour, cedar, earthy citrus from the juniper berries, earthy tartness on finish and in the aftertaste. Grainy malt pops up as it warms.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, moderate carbonation.

Parts of it I enjoy, but as a whole it doesn't seem to follow through for me, especially for the hefty price tag paid for it here in Alberta. Kudos to Rogue for the experiment, it makes sense to me, however the final product seems a bit one-dimensional. Refreshing, but one-dimensional.

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