Pros: Rich * Robust * Deep, Dark, and Chocolatey
Cons: Difficult to find in certain areas of the country
Rogue Shakespeare Stout was my first foray into the world of dark beers. I was intrigued and entranced almost immediately. My husband slowly poured it into a pilsner, and the dark (almost black) stout greeted me with a deep, dark aroma and a rich tan head. My first sip was shocking...but I loved it. Complex to say the least, the first touch on my tongue had a subtle, honey-sweetness to it. Unexpected, yes, but enjoyable! As it filled my mouth, I tasted rich flavors of dark chocolate and warm, toasted hops. The aftertaste had a pleasant bitterness and bite to it, reminding me of that nip you get from a quality root beer. I became addicted at once, and set out to try more stouts...and more Rogue beers.
My husband and I most enjoyed this Oregon-brewed stout while we lived in Colorado. The warmth and richness of this beer paired with a crisp, snowy night was incredible. Being a chef, my husband would create creamy, spicy, seafood-filled pasta creations, and this stout wholly complemented them.
Now living in North Carolina, I'm having one heck of a time locating any Rogue products! It seems that microbreweries rule the roost in the Northwest, and Rogue was easily found at any liquor store. In New Orleans, we were able to purchase it at the local grocery! I'm assuming that the best place to find Rogue beers (and other microbrews) would be at a specialty wine shop.
At first, I thought about warning novices to avoid this dark brew. But after more thought, I'm saying throw caution to the wind and jump on in. I am no expert on beer, but I know what I like and what tastes good. Rogue Shakespeare Stout rates as one of my favorites. Be brave...you can do it! And you just might surprise yourself...