Vital statistics:
BrewCaptain Sig's Northwestern Ale
StyleAle (hurf duh)
MaltsCarastan, Chocolate, Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare™ & Risk™
HopsAmarillo, Cascade, & Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution™
Ethanol content14.5 PLATO, approx. 6.5% ABV
PriceUS $6

The 1 Pt., 6 Oz. bottle is capped, not corked, and has a retro-looking three color silk screened label, as do most Rogue bottles. The cap gave a little trouble, but I managed not to injure myself. The label tells me that a portion of the proceeds from my purchase went to support the Fisherman's Fund.

The pour:
There was an immediate hoppy aroma from under the cap after the first failed pry, and during the pour into the stein I could clearly smell what would be a sweet undertone with a bit of a bite.

The brew was a bit darker than I had expected, about the same color as the brown bottle it came in. Not particularly thick, it had a reluctant, thin, but creamy head that stuck around for the duration.

First taste:
I started with a neutral palate and was surprised by the complexity of the first mouthful. Beer tends to lose some complexity the more chilled it is, and having come straight from the fridge this bodes well as it warms slightly. It is smooth, slightly nutty and with a very distinct malt, but with a finishing bite and overtone that does not overpower the gentler initial flavors.

As it warmed, it lost much of the initial sharp bite and the upper and lower notes became much less distinct, fusing into a much smoother single entity. It remained slightly nutty, and even developed into a bit of a sweetness. The curve that the hoppy aftertastes took lengthened, but continued to express further as the stein emptied, even becoming downright acerbic towards the bottom of the mug.

Final thoughts:
It's a solid second step from Rogue after the mild success of their Revolution beer, which was their first brew to use only their in-house malt and hops. I think further development of those lines, and more experience with them, will result in some very strong competitors.

Overall I think this is a fine craft brew. I've had better ales, but not in an everyday variety. Better beer than this is typically a special edition or small-batch, and hard to find in quantity if you take a real shine to it. I don't know if this will displace my current favorites, but I'd certainly drink it again.

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