Being the ever-observant soul that I am, it was pretty easy for me to sniff out some Yellow Snow. Now, you might think that’s revolting and sounds more like something a huskie would do, but I can assure you, the Yellow Snow I’m referring to isn’t the result of some guy writing his name, but a beer from those nice people at the Rogue Brewery.
Rogue Ales began life back in 1988 when three industrialists founded a brewpub in Ashland, Oregon. Since then, they have expanded their operation somewhat and now produce 25 different brews including this one, Yellow Snow.
They pride themselves on using only the finest hops and barley malt, free range coastal water (whatever that is) and Pacman top fermenting proprietary yeast. Their beers are free from preservatives, additives and chemicals, and are not pasteurised.
“It is described as a pale ale, saffron in color with a smooth malt balance; a floral aroma with a dry spicy finish from whole juniper berries.”
Yellow Snow pours more of an amber, than yellow colour. It’s slightly hazy, and has quite a vigorous carbonation, although the initial, billowing head of foam isn’t particularly long-lasting, although it does manage to leave a thin lace on the glass.
The aroma is quite mild, with some earthy tones and a spicy hop quality. There’s a hint of blossom-like perfume, and definite citrus tones…mostly lemon.
It’s quite full-bodied and has a crisp mouthfeel. The initial taste is herbal, with a mild fruitiness and a bitter tang. It turns a little sweeter at the back as the malt comes in to play. The addition of the juniper berries, while not ‘in your face’, certainly brings a spicy kick to the brew. There’s a faint graininess towards the finish, with some leafy hop bitterness giving a dry, and slightly bitter aftertaste.
At 5.3% ABV, this is not a bad beer, although a little overhopped for me. Nothing wrong with a strong hop profile, but I just felt the balance wasn’t quite right, y’know? It’s still a nice enough beer, but I don’t think it was as good as the other Rogue beers I’ve tried.
A 650ml bottle at my local Safeway costs 2.99 – not particularly cheap. In fact, spending that sort of money on a beer, I would really be expecting something a little bit special. Rogue’s Yellow Snow is very nice, and it’s certainly good quality beer, but it’s not special.
Would I drink it again? – Put it this way, it’s the only yellow snow that’ll pass this reviewer’s lips…hopefully.