Note: Rating based on Rogue 7 Hop IPA
We got our alien hands on these Rogue IPAs on our most recent trip to Portland, Oregon, where we tried hundreds of good beers, and a number of delicious IPAs. That said, there was something different about Rogues approach to their IPA, so we took back a few bottles to examine further back at our home base.
Rogue’s has a line of IPAs which feature a 4 Hop IPA, 6 Hop IPA, 7 Hop IPA, and 8 Hop IPA. Well, our first question (which still remains a mystery) is why no 5 Hop IPA? If the number 5 is somehow unlucky in the craft beer community, we’ve failed to take notice. We were also intrigued by Rogue’s playful numbering scheme. The 4 Hop IPA has 4 different hops and an ABV of 4.44%, same with the 6 Hopa IPA and so on. Lastly, all but two of the hops used in these 4 beers are grown at Rogue Farms in Independence, Ore.
The 8 Hop mysteriously disappeared on the space ride back from Portland. The 6 Hop, well, that’s our unlucky number. That left us with the 4 Hop IPA and the 7 Hop IPA, which we decided to taste side-by-side to uncover the differences between these two beers, and report back our findings. Here are the results:
Rogue 4 Hop IPA – 4.44% ABV – IBU 55
Hops: Rogue Farms Rebel, Freedom, Yaquina & Alluvial Hops
This IPA is lighter in color than the 7 Hop, a pale golden yellow with a very thin creamy-white head that quickly dissipates. There is a powerful citrus hop aroma with hints of orange zest and grapefruit. With each sip, there is a bite of citrus on the tip of the tongue proceeded by a grapefruit sourness that reaches the back of the mouth. Without much of a malt profile to add sweetness and body, the 4 Hop IPA leaves you with a lingering bitterness, which if you’re a hop head, can be a good thing. It is crisp, dry, and refreshing. The alcohol percentage is low, so you can keep drinking this session IPA if you can withstand the bold hop flavors. Overall, this would be a great beer on a hot day, or paired with food.
Recommended pairings: fish tacos, seafood, vegetables, roasted chicken
Rogue 7 Hop IPA – 7.77% ABV – IBU 76
Hops: Rogue Farms Liberty, Newport, Revolution, Rebel, Independent, Freedom & Alluvial Hops
The 7 Hop gives off a slightly darker golden hue. The subtle hop aroma is paired with a sweet toasted biscuit smell with some underlying alcohol notes. The head lingers a bit longer, the same cream color, and sticks to the sides of the glass after a few minutes. The beer goes down smoothly, with a hop kick at the tip of the tongue, while a malty sweetness travels to the back of the mouth. This beer has a fuller body and richer mouthfeel than the 4 Hop. Unlike the 4 Hop, the hop finish is not overly bitter. Overall, this beer is well-balanced. The bready sweeteness of the Munich & Dare malts stand up to the flavorful hop profile. This beer is super versatile, a great beer for any season and with a variety of foods. Though it rings in a bit higher at 7.77% ABV, we’d personally much prefer this as our go-to drinking beer.
Recommended pairings: hard cheeses, steak, thai food, chili
Conclusion: In our books, Rogue 7 Hop IPA is a winner! Though the 4 Hop has a biting hop profile and aromatic nose, we found the 7 Hop IPA to be a bit more complex and overall a more balanced beer with the addition of the malts giving it just a touch of sweetness and a fuller body. But, by all means, you should try these IPAs for yourself. With these two beer being so different and delicious in their own ways, Rogue may have created your perfect IPA. So what are you waiting for, humans? Try some of Rogue’s numerical IPAs for yourself and share your thoughts with us. We’d love to know which is your favorite.
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