The series is so-named after its master brewer, John Maier, and master distiller, John Couchot. This week, the Oregon-based brewery released the next in the series, John John Juniper. I've been excited about this one for a few reasons:
- Rogue's Juniper Ale was my favorite beer for over a year back around 2006ish and I never tired of it. It's still one of my Rogue favorites.
- Rogue's Spruce Gin is one of the smoothest, most balanced and enjoyable gins I've ever had. And I've tried a lot of gins.
- Gin isn't typically aged in barrels, so they soaked the barrels with their gin with the explicit purpose of making this beer. Now there's a Rogue concept.
Keep your eyes peeled this September for the final beer in this series: Hazelnut Brown Nectar aged in Hazelnut Spiced Rum barrels. I fail to see how that can turn out any way other than delicious. As an aside, it appears Rogue Spirits are no longer distributed to this area (not that they were widely available to begin with). Harry's Country Club was the only place I knew of that even sold any, and Harry himself said the distributor no longer carries Rogue. Bummer.
~~I wrote this blog post yesterday, with the intention of stopping by Royal Liquor on the way home from work today to see if any John Johns were in stock. Though I had no luck there, I checked out the gin selection and much to my surprise, there was a barrel-aged gin - from Oregon! I had no idea anyone barrel-aged gins and I was absolutely stunned at the timing. I bought that bottle of Ransom Old Tom, sweet & dry vermouths, and made myself a perfect martini* when I got home. If you're a gin drinker, this is a phenomenal gin that is sweeter and more herbal than its non-barreled counterparts (think Ricola). You could almost drink it on the rocks, nothing else with it. It's pricey at $39.99 per bottle, but absolutely worth it.
* Perfect Martini:
2.5 oz gin
.5 oz sweet vermouth
.5 oz dry vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
Shake with ice, strain into martini glass. Sip, repeat.