Each February Rogue Ales & Spirits from Newport, Oregon, releases its Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout.
The stout is aged for nine months in whiskey-soaked barrels that were made by Rogue Cooper Nate Linquist at the company’s own cooperage in Newport. This year is different, though. This year we get to taste the whiskey too.
To take the story back to its roots, literally, the whiskey begins as barley grown at Rogue Farms. Once distilled by Master Distiller Brian Pribyl, the whiskey starts its ageing process by spending a year in Oregon oak barrels. Towards the end of that year, Brewmaster John Maier brews his imperial stout. The whiskey goes into new barrels, the stout goes into the whiskey barrels and emerges nine months later as Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout.
At this point the whiskey goes back into the same barrels, which are now, of course, also imbued with the flavor of the stout. That happened two years ago, which is why you need patience and planning to be a brewer or a distiller. February 2019 sees the release, finally, of a limited edition Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey, a process that has taken almost four years in all.
“As Rogues, we’re excited by the possibility of creating things by hand that no one has the patience to do. As the only farmer-brewer-distiller-cooper in the world, we are the only company who can create Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey completely in-house. We grow the ingredients we use to brew and distill, and make the barrels we age those products in.”
– Rogue President Dharma Tamm
Opening with subtle aromas of smoke and sea air, Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey has notes of dark cocoa, toffee and dried fruit, and a coffee and grain finish. The whiskey is hand-bottled in hand-numbered bottles and topped with a hand-branded topper. It’s available in limited quantities nationally in 750ml bottles at a price of $74.95. You can find stockists on the Rogue website: Rogue.com.