I come from the mind frame that everything really does taste better with bacon. Naturally when I first saw the piggy pink bottle of Rogue’s Bacon Maple Ale posted on KnB’s facebook page, I knew I had to try it. I have a healthy respect for the Rogue brand, yet wasn’t quite sure what to make of a Bacon Maple Ale. I love sweet. Yes. I love salty. Yes. I love bacon. Yes. I love beer. Why hell yes! Combined into one bottle, I was left with doubt. Can Rogue really get this right?
I’ve been putting way too much thought recently on beer styles and enjoying them in the right context. Right time, with the right food, and even with the right company, it all comes into play. I’ve been trying to put myself in the brewer’s head. What does he/she envision for this beer? Brewer’s are thoughtful people. I just want to be a thoughtful consumer. Since it sounded like breakfast in a bottle, 9:30 a.m. seemed like the most obvious time slot!
Now before any of you start trying to organize an intervention for me, let me explain that morning a little more. This was a race day. Not only a normal race day but one I had to set up a booth for prior to runners arriving. My alarm was set to 4 a.m. and I was out the door by 5:30. After a quick 15K and taking down the booth, I found myself back at home 5 hours after waking up. That’s lunch time for a normal person, and a perfectly acceptable time to crack open a beer.
That justification was for any reader who may have judging eyes (hi mom and dad- I love you). For beer lovers who get me, hooray for breakfast beers!
I thought this would be like many other novelty beers. With ‘maple’ and ‘doughnut’ on the label I automatically assumed it would be sweet. I purposely avoided reading the back of the label prior to tasting. The first whiff and the smell of doughnuts pops through making my mom come to mind (she worked at Winchelle’s for 10+ years while I was a kid). First taste and I instantly pick up on smokiness. The flavor was not over-bearing like some “smoked” beers I’ve had in the past. Overall it was very well balanced. The maple and bacon were present but not at all in a “in your face” sort of way. Paired with Turkey Spam and white rice, this was a breakfast of champions.
Did I like this beer? Any beer that makes me think of my mom, has a place in my heart. I think Rogue could repackage and market it to appeal to a larger population. Great job Rogue. This was a winner!