From the Beer Writer: With the haze of Halloween still dissipating, it’s fitting that this week’s featured beer be the kind of potable that sneaks up on you. Served in a goblet with its unassuming golden-amber hue at Rock Bottom Brewery and Restaurant across the street from UCSD, it looks like a safe beer to dive into and consume at standard suds-downing speed. On first sip, it also tastes the part of an average ABV (alcohol-by-volume) offering, but four-to-five sips in, imbibers are bound to discover that this beer, Rogue Bludger, is indeed an imperial IPA. Only a few clicks shy of triple IPA territory, this hoppy strong ale is dry for its often-cloying style, thus creating the illusion that it is lower in alcohol. So if you order it, take it slow. Many rewards come with such restraint. Exhibiting patience will allow you to savor aromas of mango, white peach and toasted pine cone, followed by tropical flavors of mango and pineapple with a bitterness reminiscent of orange pith. It’s a surprisingly elegant behemoth of a beer that’s worth braving.
From the Brewer: “This is the third year we have brewed this beer as a celebratory Halloween ale and a warming, hoppy indulgence for the forthcoming chilly San Diego fall. It has become a favorite among our regulars and staff alike as a sign of the seasons. The theory behind Rogue Bludger is fairly simple: go big! We brewed this hop monster with upwards of eight-pounds-per-barrel of Chinook, Simcoe, Columbus and Mosaic hops, employing mash-hopping, huge whirlpool additions, dry-hopping during fermentation and scary amounts of post-fermentation dry-hops to provide complex layers of mango, pineapple, pine and dank, resinous character to this beast of a beer. With a name straight out of the nerdery that only the most highbrow Harry Potter fans would spot, Rogue Bludger is a nod to bewitched black iron balls used in the wizarding sport of Quidditch to savagely knock opposing airborne team members from the sky. Aptly named we think, clocking in at a hair-raising 9.6% ABV, this autumnal treat should be enjoyed with caution as it just might knock you off your broom. “—Dan Anderson, Head Brewer, Rock Bottom La Jolla