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 TheBigLebrewski
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into glass. Massive medium-bubbled head with extended retention; never lost it's head. Color is lightly clouded orange/gold.

Smell is all citrus, if a bit musty. Surprising lack of alcohol notes, considering the gin barrels.

Taste is crisp and clean, if not underwhelming. Definitely enjoyable, but, again, lacking the juniper pop one might be hoping for. Juniper is present, of course, but my drinking partner and I agree on a preference for Rogue's standard Juniper Pale if that's the flavor you're shootin' for.

Mouthfeel is the beer's strong point. Definitely exciting stuff in this respect. Bunch of little overly-ripe-orange-type-of-citrus pops all over the mouth, even in places beer usually doesn't make itself known, and seemingly in a random fireworkish manner.

By this, in a more literal sense, I mean that the strong aspects of the mouthfeel aren't concentrated in a certain part of the mouth - little sparks of action seem to materialize in different parts of the mouth, albeit not so aggresively. A fun beer to drink for this reason, and because it's a solid beer with the added aspect of having been gin-barrel-aged.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a tall tulip

A: Pours a very hazy golden color with three fingers of head and very active carbonation throughout. Retention is very good.

S: All I get is brett funk. Not sure if this is infected or if this is the gin and juniper berries. I get some citrus in the background. As I continue to smell this beer, I get lots of interesting flavors. Musty brett still seems as though it's there with stone fruits.

T: Juniper berries, citrus, and mustiness. If you told me this was brewed with brett, I'd certainly believe it. It's pleasant, but not overly complex.

M: Very dry with strong carbonation.

O: Really a quite odd beer - to me it tastes like a citrus IPA with brett. The juniper berries and gin barrels provide a decent flavor, but it's just decent.

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Photo of smalenberg
3.22/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - golden straw with a slight haze. Nice lace cling after a tipping the glass and a good low snow-white head persists throughout.

Smell - juniper/spruce comes through immediately, reminding the drinker of a gin and tonic with a twist of lime almost more than it does of a beer. Since that is as advertised, it is a compliment rather than a drawback.

Taste - The herb spice infusion creates an interesting treat. I rated it average since it was about what I'd expect from this kind of infusion and didn't standout as might as it might have. The combination of the citrus becomes more grapefruity in the taste.

Overall - an enjoyable specialty variation. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.29/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from session notes.

A copper base color with golden highlights around the edges, a single finger of white foam that lasts about a minute but leaves behind decent-looking lacing. Body and carbonation levels are both medium.

Smells....rather faint overall. I can pick out a thin juniper/gin aroma over a wispy caramel aroma, but that's about it. I was expecting a lot more boldness than this.

Thankfully, the flavor seemed to have a tiny bit more kick than the aroma, with light herbal hopping / gin herbals / woody pine aspects over a disturbingly mild base beer profile. In the case of the flavor, my criticism is that it seems more like a diluted gin than a gin-augmented beer. If I were to pretend that this was my own homebrew project, I'd be trying to find a way to amplify the flavor profile of the beer base by about 20% and the gin-barrel characteristics by about 10% for the next batch.

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

Review from 7/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a light orange amber with little head and no lacing. Interesting faint spruce, juniper and citrus start with citrus middle and pleasant herbal, hop finish. Medium malt base and body. An enjoyable juniper flavored ale.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In a mason jar. Gold color with minimal head. 3.0

Crackery malts, light grassy hopping, and a tinge of juniper berry. 3.0

Pilsner-like malts with spicy hops, grassy flavors, and evident gin barrel. Oakiness and spruce. The attempt to make it what it is detracts from the original pale ale. 3.0

Thin carbonation with a medium body. Drinks kinda slow. 3.0

I like the Juniper Pale just fine, but the gin barrel aging is interesting and it hurts the original beer. Tough to pull off a gin barrel aged beer, anyway. Props. 3.5

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Photo of Jeriba
2.58/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours the color of a wheat beer, very cloudy

S: orange juice

T: cherries, tree bark, juniper, something kinda mossy. There is a definite medicinal quality on the finish. A bit spicy as it warms.

M: fairly crisp, slightly sticky.

D: I can't say I'm excited to finish the whole bottle.

Overall: Not what I was expecting. Gin is my go-to drink when I'm not having beer so I was excited for this combination, but I didn't detect any flavor influence form the gin barrels. Their regular Juniper pale ale is much better.

John and John need a more flattering photo for their label art.

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Photo of russwbeck
2.71/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Hazy yellow pour, basically like a pale ale that isn't see-through. A huge head builds up and sticks around for a really long time. the lacing is spotty.

S: Big fruit aroma, I'm assuming this is what Juniper Berries smell like. The Gin barrel aging is pretty apparent, which is impressive because this is the first Gin barrel aged beer I've come across.

T: The taste is really just a Pale Ale with hints of Gin, and those are very faint at that. Getting some amount of fruitiness, but not on the level of the aroma. Very weird aftertaste. Just overall, a strange taste that is certainly in the realm of unpleasant.

MF: Light and really carbonated well. The weirdness of the taste and booze on the backend make the drinkability low. Glad I shared this.

Value: This was around $8 for a 22oz bottle. If you're interested to see what a pale ale aged in Gin barrels tastes like, give it a shot, but I'd say you aren't missing anything.

O: Weird. Not a huge fan. Won't be giving this a second chance.

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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 Kromes
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy orange color with a fluffy white head that laces the glass.

S: A sweet citrus and slight pine aroma.

T: Tastes like a sweet christmas tree. The juniper kicks in right away and then fades into a citrus, gin and hop flavor. Very soft and mellow.

M: Light body and high carbonation. A nice smooth feel to it.

O: Definitely different, but the flavors mix well with one another and they aren't all competing for attention. I was surprised at how well balanced and tame the beer was. Some of these flavors can be very strong.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - a cloudy golden yellow, huge billows of foam halts the pour abruptly. Barely escaping a foam-over, this white rock of a foam cap slowly nestles back down into the glass, leaving just some stray dots and sprigs of lace behind. Only patience will get this first glass filled...pretty decent looking beer despite the delay.

Aroma - has a spicy, pungent sniff. Not sure what to attribute that to, but after some setup, it goes grainy with a touch of citrus color. Slowly pushing more beer into the glass as the cap settles, I begin to get some nice citrusy whiffs.

Taste - decent bready, biscuity base to the ale. The hops and juniper influence are likely overlapping in effect, but what I'm getting is some orange and light pine flavor, good restraint and balance on both. Some mild abv warmth going down, not something I'd expect from this lighter abv entry. Some resonant kind of bitterness on the aftertaste, which may be the juniper. I do pick up gin notes here; to this point I considered gin to be rather hot and tasteless, but this beer helps identify the flavor that is gin. Educational beer, hell yeah! Dry finish, gin notes lingering.

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, any pour from the bottle just creates a mountain of foam the entire way through. Fluffy and easy drinking body.

Drinkability - leave it to a beer to open my eyes to gin. I won't be hopping onto ginadvocate any time soon, but I enjoyed the beer and would have it again, and would absolutely consider it as a fun component of a pale ale / herb / spice beer tasting.

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Photo of Number45forever
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer surprised me, in a good way.

It pops loudly, seems bottle conditioned. Pours a bright yellow with a slight orange hue. Big, fluffy white head dissapates to a 1/2 finger pretty quickly.

Smells great, very piney, huge juniper (gin) notes. Smells like summer in a glass, I just love it.

Taste is somewhat more muted than the smell. Just a nice, clean pale ale with a good gin-like aftertaste. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel, as others have noted, is extremelly dry and bright thanks to heavy carbonation. So, so drinkable. Almost explodes on the palette. Summer!

This is a really, really good beer. I'd drink this all the time, it's so damn refreshing. Give this a chance!

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy golden orange, with a remarkable white 4-finger froth for a head. It takes a few minutes for the head to settle into a thick, sticky lacing.

Smell - Sour berry is the dominant aroma, and I also detect a little straw. That's about it.

Taste - Wow! An almost overwhelming berry sourness bites at the tongue then mellows out to a sweet note. Also a touch touch of spiciness. A bit of citrus bitterness comes in at the end and rides out into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Nice dry, medium body, and the carbonation is almost champagne-like. Really pops in the mouth.

Overall - This is a unique beer, and I dig that. The barrel aging takes the Juniper Pale Ale to another level, more so than the whiskey does for Dead Guy in the other John John varietal.

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Photo of Kornoms
2.99/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It has a golden-yellow, relatively opaque appearance. Surprisingly for a spiced beer, there is very little smell, with only a faint hint of juniper and hops. A fairly uncomplicated pale ale with a mild juniper taste that gives it a little it a of a rough feel.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber-tinged gold with a compact, clinging white mousse.

S: Surprisingly weak in the aroma department, at least when compared to Rogue's other barrel-aged beers. Mild scents of spruce, juniper, caramel, and vanilla are all I could detect.

T: A rich, sweet entry gives way to notes of spruce, caramel, toffee, juniper berries, cream, vanilla bean, and toasted coconut. The finish is smooth and shorter than one would expect with juniper, spruce, and caramel flavors being most pronounced.

M: Medium-bodied and somewhat syrupy with mild, unobtrusive carbonation. Very drinkable, but also somewhat nondescript.

O: This is a decent barrel-aged pale ale, but there is something missing here. I was expecting a heavy gin flavor, but did not get it at all. A good effort, but somewhat lacking in my book.

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

A: Pale golden, hazy. Some moderate lacing and head.

S: Hard liquor aroma, lavender, and a bleach scent in there. Weird.

T: Piney, honey, woodsy. Kind of harsh. A bit salty, even. I kind of like it, even though I'm not a hard liquor person.

M: Almost like chewing on wood, not for the weak or beginning beer drinker.

O: A cool experiment in weird flavors due to the juniper berries and barrel aging. Worth a shot.

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Photo of marvin213
2.26/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks pretty good in terms of color--nice orange hue--and some sudsy (but not frothy) sides. Looks maybe a little thin. Smell is scary. I do get juniper and gin...and spruce pine. I get, though, a solvency. Like thinking of gin days of yore, I tend to grimace upon each whiff.

Astringent. It's crazy, and I like crazy. But it's not too tasty. The feel is the worst--like spiked Sprite. Each smell becomes menacing. Am I gin-biased? If you are, I don't recommend this one. There's a tingle, but then there's potent chemical acidifying with destruction your oro-nasal passage. I feel like I could light it on fire. We ask for this crazy shit, and we got it. This is why there's more of a return to the basics in my near future.

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

Light bodied and fairly crisp. Both wood and the juniper come forward, but don't dominate the scene. Pleasant sharp mouthfeel with modest carbonation. Hoppy twang is quite nice, with a distinct bitter aftertaste. The woodiness also lingers long. Each sip, however, renews the sharp hoppy flavors and herbal taste. Some aromas of gin and tonic.

Pint glass at Pizza Port OB in San Diego. Pleasant quaff. A different kind of barrel flavor with definite tastes of the sawmill.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a fairly thick and fine-bubbled ivory head. Malty aroma has a firm honey tone but is not overly sweet. Flavor, though, is best of all - malty and rather hoppy with a decided juniper note and a sweet fruity hint. Smooth texture has average body and just a little bit of fizz. Overall, pleasant and tasty, if not outstanding.

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

In the case of this particular barrel aged beer, one might need to have some level of appreciation of the liquor that was previous aged in the barrel. Since I love the occasional gin & tonic, I was able to appreciate this beer.

Serve on tap on 11/11/11 on Beer Geeks in Highland, IN, this beer was served with a slight head in a majestic golden color. The piney aroma is an attention getter as it certainly smells like autumn. Mouthfeel was smooth with a mild but appropriate level of carbonation. The ale flavor melted perfectly into the sournessness of gin. It was as though somebody had placed a gin & tonic in my beer. The mild sour aftertaste tickled the side of the tongue leaving remnants of the taste.

With a 5% ABV, this is very drinkable but certainly not for everybody. Gin drinkers will be more appreciative.

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

A - Pours a cloudy golden straw with a finger white head that has decent retention. Big sheets of lacing.

S - herbal hops, fruity lavender scent

T - A sweet berry flavor followed but a spicy floral bite with a hint of vanilla. Oaky flavor comes through at the end.

M - Medium creamy body and smooth.

O- Has a unique berry flavor, good spiced beer.

Serving type: bottle into perfect pint 8.991pt6oz

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Photo of woodychandler
3.01/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It is still *$#%ing snowing (!) and I am becoming more and more anxious to leave the house, but more and more reluctant to do so. My only recourse is to hit my bomber stash and hard!

From the bottle: "Rogue Brewmaster and Rogue Master Distiller have joined forces to create John John Ale. They have taken Juniper Pale Ale and aged it in Rogue Spruce Gin Barrels."

I cannot tell you how anxious I am to try this. My former college classmate and current drinking buddy, David Atkinson, and I "discovered" the entire Rogue spirits lineup at Kramerbooks & Afterwords in DC back in August and tippled our way through the night as a result. I am still not a big liquor guy as I know that I will end up in the grave if I switch to hard liquor, but that does not mean that I do not appreciate spirits. And I love beer, as if that needed to be stated.

I got a finger of rocky, off-white head with limited retention from the pour. Color was a very cloudy orangish-amber/yellow. Nose smelled like wintergreen, like a snowy forest with pine trees in abundance. I had a Battle of the Bulge vet in last year and he said that when the heavy artillery began toppling trees in the Ardennes Forest, the scent of pine put him off of Christmas trees for life. I had no such experience and love the scent of pine, but no love for celebrating Christmas, so no trees in my house. It was hard to discern between the wood of the barrels and the minty smell of juniper, but either way, I was beginning to champ at the bit to get some on my tongue. It was initially cool and minty with a medium presence on the tongue, which was enjoyable. The finish, however, gave off an intense dill flavor which one previous reviewer referred to as "pickle-like". I have to agree there, m'man. This was definitely NOT the sum of its parts. It was not an outright fail, but nor was it a repeater, if you catch my (snow) drift.

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Photo of harrymel
2.31/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled: unk

A: Golden with a finger of off-white head which falls nearly immediately to a sheet of the same. Rings of lace. Near excellent clarity.
S: wow. gin. weed. gin. really have nothing else to say here. Seriously, the only other beer I've smelled with this much weed was devil dancer.
T: Flavor is much more subtle. Pale malts, some bitter hops, some juniper. Plenty of onion and cucumber flavors. Weird, not really good. Almost has a dill pickle flavor on the finish. Fail.
M: Medium bodied with moderately hi carb.
O: Can't think of a reason to buy this again.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellowish orange color with a two finger frothy head which leaves a small amount of lace on the glass. The aroma is of junipers and malt. The taste starts with a juniper and pale malt taste but gives way to a slight spruce flavor. The end of the beer has a gin taste to it from the barrels. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall as the beer went on I began to enjoy it more and more. The taste was intersting and had just enough variety to keep me interested. I would for sure pick this up again.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.17/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I've been debating whether or not to try this beer for a few weeks but my buddy and I finally gave in since I'm a Pale ale guy and he loves gin.

The beer pours a hazy opaque cloudy amber color. The head is not great but it is appropriate for the style.

The aroma is very oily and meaty. I feel the gin vats are producing some strange smells (cheese) that don't mesh perfectly with the beer. It sort of burns. More than the typical pale ale hides behind the juniper. I smell pine and spicy hops. I also pick up in citric oils, pepper, tree bark and licorice. It reminds me of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

I have gin breath now. The taste is medicinal and minty. The hops are light and vegetal. The malts are good and substantial but totally overpowered.

The mouthfeel is light to medium. The malts get lost behind the juniper the hops come out strong. The finish is flavorful and not to bitter.

This is an interesting idea and I'm glad I tried it but it is entirely undrinkable and I wish I could just drink the same beer but not brewed in gin barrels.

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