(Newport, OR) – Rogue Ales & Spirits, the country’s only brewery-distillery-cooperage, announces the release of 2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout. Brewed with ingredients grown at Rogue Farms and ocean aged in Dead Guy Whiskey-soaked handmade Oregon Oak barrels coopered at Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works, Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout is the culmination of a long journey from bark to bottle. In 2015 Rogue acquired vintage, WW II era, coopering equipment and subsequently established Rolling Thunder Barrel Works to take on the ancient artform of barrel making. Using Oregon Oak, Rogue’s cooper Nate Lindquist assembles, raises, toasts, chars, hoops, cauterizes, sands and brands one barrel a day, all by hand.
“At first it was a creative challenge,” said General Manager Dharma Tamm, “to see how we could incorporate our brewery, distillery, cooperage and farm into one beer. However, our brewers, distillers, coopers, farmers – and even graphic designers turned it into a quest to create a world class beer that exemplifies the Rogue spirit of challenging the norm and pushing creative boundaries.”
Black with a creamy head, Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout features deep sherry notes accentuated by hints of coconut, cherries, dark fruit and vanilla held up against a dark roasted malt backbone with earthy hops. At 14%, this year’s Rolling Thunder is bigger and bolder than the inaugural 2016 release. Limited quantities of Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout will be available on draft and in 1-liter swing-top bottles at Rogue public houses starting July 21, then at select retailers nationwide on August 1.
Rogue Ales & Spirits
Rogue Ales & Spirits is an agri-fermenter founded in Oregon in 1988 as one of America’s first microbreweries. Rogue has won more than 1,800 awards for taste, quality and packaging and is available in all 50 states as well as 54 countries. Since 2008, Rogue has remained committed to saving the terroir of Oregon hops, barley, rye, wheat, honey, jalapeños, and pumpkins one acre at a time by growing its own.
How Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout is Crafted
Rogue acquired vintage French WW II-era coopering equipment before knowing where to put it and who was going to make the barrels. Longtime employee Nate Lindquist was tapped to be Rogue’s first cooper and spent a year and a half apprenticing, learning the ancient art form of barrel making.
Using Oregon Oak, Nate assembles, raises, toasts, chars, hoops, heads, hoops again, cauterizes, sands and brands each barrel, one at a time all by hand. At full capacity, he makes one barrel a day.
The barrels are soaked first with Dead Guy Whiskey, which is distilled from Dead Guy Ale mash. During the aging process, the Dead Guy Whiskey imparts its flavor into the oak, getting the barrels ready for the next step in the journey.
Eight different types of grains, including oats and Rogue Farms barley are brewed with Rogue Farms hops, brown sugar, sweet dark cherries, vanilla and chocolate to create a bold character that is perfect for aging. The Rolling Thunder barrels that once held Dead Guy Whiskey are filled with Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout and aged in the rich, salty air of Yaquina Bay on the Oregon Coast. After nine months in the barrels, the beer is ready for the final step.
As the final step from barrel to bottle, the imperial stout is poured into 1-liter bottles. Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout can be enjoyed immediately or can be cellared for years to come.