Swill is our bi-monthly column dedicated to liquor, wine, beer, and every other delicious dram that falls under the broader umbrella of booze. But it’s more than just tasting notes scribbled on a cocktail napkin — Swill is about getting outside of your comfort zone, trying new things, and exploring the big, wide world of libations. One week you might catch us halfway through a bottle of single-malt scotch, and the week after that we might be buzzing on some Ugandan moonshine made from bananas. This column is just one big boozy adventure, so grab yourself a glass and join us for another round.
So here’s the deal. Rogue Brewing, a brewery known for its crazy and experimental beers, recently released its latest creation: the Sriracha Hot Stout. To quote Rogue itself, this beer is “made from Huy Fong original hot chili sauce and sun ripened Rogue Farms ingredients” and is “ready to drink with soups, sauces, pasta, pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, chow mein, or anything you’d like to wash down with a spicy kick.”
Please note the lack of superlative adjectives in the description. This beer is not great. Nor is it excellent, magnificent, wonderful, marvelous, supreme, outstanding, remarkable, fine, or first-rate. Even in Rogue’s own words, this beer is merely “ready to drink.”
That’s all they have to say about it. This should’ve raised a few red flags, but like so many others, I still ripped open the bottle and eagerly poured it down my face hole at the first opportunity.
As soon as it hit my lips, I realized my folly. Sriracha Hot Stout is, without a doubt, one of the most foul-tasting beers I’ve ever encountered. It’s like drinking a bottle of garlicky soy sauce that’s been aged in an old pepper spray canister. Seriously. Mixing sriracha and stout wasn’t that great of an idea in theory, and in practice, it’s even worse than you’d imagine.
Don’t get me wrong — I love Rogue to pieces. They make some of my favorite beers ever, and I admire their adventurous and fearless approach to experimentation. But even so, Sriracha Hot Stout is most definitely one for the negatives column. It’s a novelty –just like Rogue’s equally horrible Voodoo Donuts Maple Bacon Ale– and the only reason you should try it is so that you can say you did.
It’s like a really bad smell. Even when your friend chokes and gags from it, you’ve still got to take a whiff just out of curiosity. Just don’t take a lungful and you’ll be alright.
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