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Brew Crew: Sriracha Hot Stout

Brewery: Rogue Ales, Oregon, USA
Available at: Sherbrooke Liquor Store (11819 St. Albert Trail)

Rogue’s newest novelty beer is striking on the shelf. With red glass and a green cap, it’s styled after the iconic Sriracha hot sauce bottle. The intrigue of a hot sauce-flavoured stout drew me in immediately. Could these flavours be the newest unlikely combination to sweep the world of craft beer and delight palettes across the nation? No. The answer is definitely no.

With a distinct soy sauce aroma, the coffee-coloured head of the black stout is nauseating, and the reason why I would not recommend decanting. A swig straight from the bottle solved this problem, but the overpowering sense of drinking a bottle of stout with half a shaker of black pepper inside still remained. The liquor store where I purchased this bottle had affixed a label to the display — “try cooking with me!” — and I should have heeded my initial relation of the beer to unpalatable cooking sherry. Cooking with the Sriracha Hot Stout yields an unimpressive light pepper taste, and any complexity in the stout is entirely undetectable. The dark stout notes are tragic, as it’s clear something great has been squandered through the hot sauce novelty. The hard aftertaste hitting the roof of the mouth and the heavy-handed flavour profile do, however, carry a surprisingly low acidity. You won’t get the satisfying burn of Sriracha in your mouth, but you also won’t feel it burn an ulcer into your gut. Which feels like a bit of a cop-out to me.

Rogue’s Sriracha Hot Stout challenges you to dare its flavour, and immediately punishes you for your hubris in believing it could possibly be good. Come on, what did you expect? The bottle is pretty, sure, but really? Hot sauce? In beer? Jesus.

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