Tonight’s Tasting: Rogue American Amber Ale and Nub Habano

Rogue American Amber Ale

The Rogue Brewery in Oregon and the fine beers it produces reminds us once again to give thanks to Jimmy Carter.  Although viewed by many as the worst President in modern history, he is the one that signed the bill in 1979 that repealed federal restrictions on home brewing of small amounts of beer. His signature paved the way for the States to follow suit and permit home beer making.  Many beer historians (that was my minor in college) credit this point in history for all the many craft beers we enjoy today.

002 Rogue Ales started in exactly that way, with some guys who enjoyed brewing beer.  The brewery began as a brewpub in Ashland, Oregon, and now produces an impressive variety of beers, including the American Amber Ale.  The beers they produce are free from preservatives, additives and chemicals, and are not pasteurized.

As you can see from the photo, the beer is amber as you would expect, but lays off a nice head with lots of Belgian lace.  The nose is strong with citrus, caramel and roasted malt.  The mouthfeel is very creamy, and the initial taste is strong with grapefruit, orange and malt.  The bitterness is stronger than I expected, but after the initial surprise I really enjoyed the almost dark chocolate quality of it.

The bitterness would make this a nice change up during a night of drinking.  There was nothing boring about this brew; very complex and eminently drinkable.  If the brews from this company are all this good, I will happily join the Rogue Nation.  A 9.1 on The Morris Scale.

Nub Habano 466 (4.0″ x 66)

I guess I was a little unclear on the Nub concept.  I selected the Nub from the humidor tonight because my lungs are still recovering from Saturday’s tasting at the 8Eightyeight cigar lounge.  I thought short would translate to a quick smoke, but this little bastard lasted over an hour.  But I didn’t mind in the end because this was a pleasant smoke.

This stick is a Nicaraguan puro made by Oliva.  The taste was not very complex, but it offered a nice blend of nuts and pepper with a hint of leather.  Perhaps because of the massive ring size, the end had flared a bit during the time in my humidor, and that made the initial burn a little dicey.  But a half inch into the smoke the problem worked itself out.

The concept that Oliva promotes with this short and fat configuration is that you get to the “sweet spot” of the cigar from the first draw.  Cigars get more interesting toward the end as the essences accumulate, and this cigar basically begins at the end because it is so short.  As we say in the legal business, that is pure sophistry.  The essences, as I am calling them, need time to accumulate.  By Oliva’s reasoning, you could get to the “sweet spot” of a Churchill by cutting off the first four inches.  Also, a cigar gets hotter toward the end of its life with less tobacco to cool the smoke, and that is not generally considered a benefit.  With a Nub, you are drawing hotter smoke for a larger percentage of the time.

I thus reject the Nub concept, and won’t likely buy anymore, but still enjoyed this as a decent smoke.  I’ll give it a 7.999.  I just can’t quite put it in the 8 range.

One Response to “Tonight’s Tasting: Rogue American Amber Ale and Nub Habano”

  1. Well, now I have one nice thing to say about the peanut farmer. Who’da thunk!

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