Beer O’ The Moment: Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

My mother, as many of our mothers have, told me never to eat the yellow snow. I will never forgive her for all the years that I missed out on Rogue’s wonderful namesake brew, Yellow Snow IPA.

Unlike most IPAs, this Yellow Snow appropriately pours a very dark and rich golden yellow color, akin to pineapple juice. It’s cloudy and it props up a pure white head that looks like laundry detergent. A Rohrschach test of lace graces the inner rim of the glass like my windshield on a January morning. Like today for example.
Rogue Yellow SnowAnd oh that aroma. The bottle says that it is chock full of Amarillo hops, and by that, it really means the aromas of grapefruit, pineapple and orange juice. The hops are unreal here; sweet and bitter, and full of flowery, citrusy aromas that dance in the olfactory glands.

It might be the best-smelling beer I’ve ever laid nostrils on. And if that sounds disgusting, it’s because it is. The aroma alone might lay claim to it as being the consummate sweet/citrusy IPA.

The taste is pure grapefruity hops, bitter and spicy, but with a balance of some orange sweetness. In some ways, it resembles the dry but sweet spiciness of a Belgian white, mostly due to the orange peel that is present. Alternates between bitter and sweet, and does so beautifully.

It’s so spicy that it almost drinks like a Belgian golden ale. It’s bitter, but it’s also got some sweet spices that would make it appropriate out of a pint glass or a tulip glass.

Yellow Snow is fizzy on the tongue and thicker than expected, given its sweetness. It has the bite — and even the feel, to some extent — of grapefruit juice, including that bitter bite.

This seasonal offering from Rogue is bitter to be sure, but it is balanced by the fruity, citrusy sweetness that makes it a seriously delicious brew. It’s 70 IBU, but the ABV % is not listed, which leads me to believe that it is altogether free of alcohol. Drink up kids! And it’s not to be confused with the Yellow Snow Ale (don’t let the picture above fool you), which is an alias for Rogue’s Juniper Ale.

~ by William H on January 12, 2009.

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