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 TheSarge
2.55/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I hope this brew is better than their regular Juniper due to the price.

Head presentation is a finger thick of off white color, and the body is cloudy and gold in color.

The aroma is dominated by the juniper, and some apple and floral notes.

Taste wise it's a bit salty, which is a strange trait. There is a bit of citrus character here, but hard to pin down.

There is a lot of carbonation and leaves this brew with a wetting finish.

Overall this brew is a mess. I am a fan of Juniper Pale Ale, but this brew is a huge side step from it. Over priced and under developed.

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Photo of BeardedRiker
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been awhile since I've had a Rogue beer. Most of their beers are pretty good. This one looks a bit different than their others, at least with its packaging. Instead of the artsy graphics of their other beers, the John John Ale is simply a picture of two beer brewers with wide beer-induced grins. I was excited to get this one. After all, it is a pale ale brewed with juniper berries! Midnight Sun's Cohoho uses the same and what an absolutely amazing beer it is. Add to that the John John Ale is aged in spruce gin barrels, I expect that to add some pine-like and gin-like spice. All the better!

Since this is served in a 22 oz. bomber and because there is some sediment at the bottom, be sure to swirl the beer around to loosen up the tasty stuff after pouring some out. The John John Ale pours a murky but clear golden with a quickly dissolving and very bubbly head. It looks like a blonde, actually. Remnants of the head stay on top long after the head has dissolved (mostly) away. It smells strongly of citrus, grains and yeast. Piney smells are in there too, undoubtedly from the juniper.

For taste, John John brings a nice light balance of flavors. Hop spice is evident but not pronounced with some nice bite of carbonation. The juniper berries and spruce add some subtle spice to the hop spice. I believe I get a sort of sour taste, but not something I'm put off by, that lingers a bit along with citrus. The aging in spruce gin barrels have made the pale ale less harsh in its hop spice, something that I'm obsessed with, but the John John Ale is extremely drinkable and an interesting beer to try. It looks and tastes more like a blonde to me, though, not that that's bad. I definitely enjoyed drinking this since it's SO DAMN HOT OUT IN TEXAS. I don't think this is great but it is very good.

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

John John Ale has a darkish, cloudy orange colour and a 0.5 cm soapy head that reduces to a nice even lacing very quickly. The smell is slightly sour with fruity berries with a hint of yeast. Interesting, but I don't love it. This beer starts with a sour tang: fruity and yum. The finish is slightly woody with a hint of yeast and smoke. This is a very interesting beer. Worth tasting.

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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 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 Dawkfan
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Hazed pale straw yellow, 2 fingers of white head. Commendable retention, some lacing.

S- I would of guessed an IPA if someone put a pint glass of this in front of me. Pine, spruce, juniper berries, and light citrus hops. Smells sweet and a tad floral as well.

T- Definitely gin-like, the juniper berries are present throughout. There's a honey/caramel sweetness and floral flavor in the middle. A burning bitterness in the finish reminiscent of gin, but it's not boozy, it's spicy and sprucy.

M- Dry mouthfeel, medium carbonation and body. Goes down smooth.

D- I despise gin now, but this was very good and exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite clear light golden brew with a lot of active carbonation... Creamy head and lots of lacing...

The gin barrels dominate here and sort off wipe everything else out... A bit of toasted malts and a touch of hops maybe but the earthiness of the barrels and the gin inside of them are the key component...

Slightly bitter and has a sour aspect... The juniper is heavy and at the forefront... Very earthy... Reminds me of a freshly cut balsam or something... Finishes quite dry and abruptly..

Hell I liked this one.. It grew on me as I sipped it... Pretty drinkable...

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Photo of elniko
3.24/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into globe glass.

A: Medium amber coloring, not much head or lacing to speak of. Not too impressive.

S: Nose is a little boozy, don't get much juniper.

T & M: I do get the juniper in the taste but it is quite faint. Mouthfeel a little tingly from the carbonation, otherwise fairly light bodied. Just not a lot of flavor to be honest.

D: Drinkable but overall I was a little underwhelmed by this brew.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow amber with a wispy head. Smells like a pine forest, with lots of juniper and some spruce. Definitely somewhat gin-like. The taste is similar but a little softer and even more gin-like. Less of an impact from the spruce. Soft and sort of like a watered down martini. Interesting, and fairly enjoyable.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a hazy golden color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Yeah, Gin smells like liquid broken glass to me, some spruce

T: Gin and spruce def make the presence known, hopes, light pine

M: Kind of unique bitter finish, well carbonated

D: Its ok to try but probablt will not drink again.

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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 eclaycamp
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber. Poured into a basic pint glass. Color is a bright golden yellow. Big pillowy head with some pretty darned nice lacing. Smell is of, perhaps not surprisingly, flowers, specifically, juniper. Light mouthfeel with a mild bittersweet finish. Taste is very floral, with tons of juniper throughout the beer. Alcohol in this beer is cleverly hidden. It's aged on spruce gin barrels but you can't seem to find it. The beer is a little out of balance due to the heavy handed use of juniper, but it's still an enjoyable alternative to your normal every day fare. An interesting diversion.

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Photo of acurtis
3.16/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

John John Ale 22oz bomber shared with Jim last night. Very nice appearance, cloudy orange/copper color with bubbly white head. Interesting floral aroma that must be the juniper berries. Taste is pleasant, spicy with some hops and pine. I was worried when I saw that it was aged in gin barrels but the gin flavor is a mild under taste that didn't bother me. Wasn't bad but nothing I would have again.

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Photo of degowop
1.62/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

not sure what's going on with this one. smells and tastes like a bucket of water with household cleaner thats been laying around for a couple of days. try for yourself, but i guarantee you wont want to try it again. also, ive read about people paying upwards of $9 for a 22 oz. bottle. i paid $6.49. pay no more...

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a hazy golden brass with a 2 finger rocky white head that has superior retention. Big sheets of lacing.

S - Soapy herbal hops, white grapes, green apple, treated wood, lavender, pale malt.

T - Sweet oaky lavender, green herbal resin, vanilla, spicy floral with a yeasty peppery bite. A dry treated oak finish.

M - Medium creamy body.

Excellent head retention. This taste like slightly hoped pinot grigio aged in gin barrels. I like that it's different but one is plenty. It definitely has that super dry gin feeling towards the end.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast."

--W.C. Fields

Much closer to apricot orange than lemon yellow. Multiple rush hour streams of bubbles have created a three finger crown of ivory colored foam that has plenty of interesting topography. Artistic squiggles and splotches of lace please the eye.

This version of John John Ale is essentially Juniper Pale Ale that has been aged in Rogue Spruce Gin barrels. And it smells like it. The nose is a pleasing combination of fruit, pine boughs and floral-spicy gin.

There is more juniper and gin character in this beer than in the base beer. Interestingly enough, Juniper Pale has an ABV of 5.3%, while this spirit barrel-aged beer has an ABV of 5.2%. In any case, it isn't boozy in the least.

My first impression was... meh. Second, third and fourth impressions are progressively more favorable. Gin is probably my least favorite liquor. Gin-flavored beer, when done right, isn't too bad once your taste buds become used to the idea. Drinkability over the course of 22 ounces is another matter.

The malts taste mostly pale, even though crystal and several others are present. The hops (Sterling, Amarillo, Willamette) add a fruitiness and a surprisingly tight bitter bite. The flavor spotlight is dominated, however, by juniper berries and evergreen. It's all balanced pretty damn well.

The mouthfeel is no bigger than light-medium and the bubbles are too sharp-edged and tongue tingly. Neither is a deal-breaker, but both are unusual for this brewery. Some improvement with time and warming allow a slight bump in score.

John John Ale (Spruce Gin Barrel Aged) is a semi-successful experiment if you have a thing for herbed/spiced beer. Rogue pulled it off better than most, but $8.99 for the bomber is not worth a second purchase.

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

A: Pours traslucent golden, capped by a finger and a half of rocky off-white head. Retention is moderate as it slowly settles down to a thin layer of foam, leaving light lacing down the glass.

S: Citrus notes - focused on lemon zest up front - followed by strong herbal character with juniper, spruce, and mint all being evident. Pale malt base lurks in the background.

T: Lots of herbs up front with the juniper and spruce being strong, followed by moderate mint and thyme. Some lighter hop profile comes through on the mid-palate with an earthy character. A light sweetness comes in on the backend, before giving way to an herbal finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation, a touch thin.

D: Interesting beer and very drinkable, the herbal character is kept at a good level where it's assertive but not over-bearing.

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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 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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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 Stigs
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with an inch of loose, fluffy bright white foam. the beer is just a touch hazy (assuming chill) pale gold in color with a good amount of active bubbling. leaves behind a fair amount of chalky, sticky foam spotted around the glass.

S - herbal, with mint, thyme, basil, pine and juniper coming through very clear. also picking up some bright grassy hops and a Brett-like scent...actually reminds me a bit of Orval.

T - some lightly toasted grains, spicy herbs: mint, juniper, hints of basil and thyme, and again a Bretty like yeast bite. very pleasant, bright grassy and piney hops add an assertive bitterness which works nicely with the herbs.

M - thinnish yet slick body, but lacks carbonation preventing the flavors from really settling. lightly astringent, yet still mostly drinkable. finishes a touch dry, with lingering herbal notes and a light grassy bitterness.

D - not bad, considering the potential to go awry (aging an APA in Gin barrels? - kudos to Rogue for the cajones). actually a bit more refreshing and drinkable the deeper down the glass I go. going solo here, might go well with some sharp cheese or even slightly spicy Thai food.

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Photo of bonapartist1
2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Mostly just dull, really.

The gin character is very noticable on the nose and far less obvious in the taste. It's a low abv beer which I think was a poor choice for this experiment. Honestly just seems neutral, inoffensive, like 4/5 of a sierra nevada with a splash of gin character. Doesn't at all feel like something really complex, like something that spent alot of time on the wood.

The only other juniper spiced beer I've had was the DIPA from Midnight Sun, and the juniper character there was both powerful and satisfying. None of that here.

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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 GRG1313
3.16/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Juniper pale ale aged in Spruce Gin barrels. Pours a clear orange amber with a nice, firm and thick white head. Nice looking.

Lightly assertive nose, less than expected. Light green fruit character; no juniper or spruce really noticeable in the nose.

Mouthfeel is rich and a bit creamy, much nicer than most Rogues.

Flavors are subtle herbaceous character, hints of white pepper, green pepper, celery and salt, with a herb/spice finish. Hint of juniper and spruce in the flavors and a decent "green" bitter finish.

An elegant "herbaceous" drink. Pleasant. Likely very good with most food profiles.

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

A very pale yellow color, clear with a fair white cover that thins out quickly and very thorough lacing. The aroma is intense but tasteful juniper biscuit. The flavor brings more of the juniper with a bright blueberry sweetness and an interesting vinegar tartness, almost rhubarb. Biscuit and wheat malt infused with juniper hop in a crisp light/medium bodied brew with a light, tingly feel. Quite drinkable and successful.

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