On a recent trip to La Jolla, we stopped at the local Rock Bottom Brewing Company and I selected the sampler. This involves eight 4oz pours. The first 4 pours are the same tried and true beverages that are served at all of the Rock Bottom’s. The last four are the work of the local brew master. As I have already provided a recap of the first four, I will now provide a quick review of the four “specialty” brews.
Of the second four, the first was the Fire Chief Ale, this would be a further refinement of the Ragtop Red Ale. Additionally, as a good corporate citizen, Rock Bottom donates the proceeds from the sale of Fire Chief Ale to the UCSD Burn Center. I found the Fire Chief Ale to have the following characteristics
- Appearance: Amber with a lot of lacing.
- Aroma: Sweet, fruity with a lot of hops.
- Taste: Good body and mouthfeel but good flavor and a slightly bitter finish.
- ABV: 6.1%
This was a nice change of pace from the average red ale and the higher ABV certainly added an extra dimension to the taste.
Of the second four, the next was the The Moonlight Porter would be Rock Bottom’s version of a black ale not quite a Guinness and or a chocolate stout. I found the Moonlight Porter to have the following characteristics
- Appearance: Black with a fair amount of foam and good lacing.
- Aroma: A really great blend of chocolate and coffee.
- Taste: A little thinner than a Guinness with a heavy coffee flavor and a burnt finish.
- ABV: 6.2%
I am a big fan of the bigger, heavier beers and I really wanted to like this one a lot. Unfortunately, I found that it smelled a lot better than it tasted. As such, I would suggest that while a good attempt further refinement is necessary.
Of the second four, the third was the Liquid Sun Belgian Style White Ale which would be Rock Bottom’s version of a Hoegaarden.
The Liquid Sun Belgian Style White Ale has the following characteristics
- Appearance: Cloudy, yellow-orange. Good foam and lacing.
- Aroma: Citrus and hops.
- Taste: just like a really good Belgian Ale.
- ABV: 5.2%
While I am not a fan of this style of beer, the brew master replicated Hoegaarden to a tee. For anyone who likes a good Belgian beer, the Liquid Sun Belgian Style White Ale is all that and you need only go to La Jolla.
Of the second four, the last was the Mary Jane IPA would be Rock Bottom’s version of a typical California IPA..
The Mary Jane IPA has the following characteristics
- Appearance: Golden with good foam and lacing.
- Aroma: Slight malt with a lot of hops.
- Taste: Good body and mouthfeel. Nice flavor with a bitter finish. .
- ABV: 6.7%
As IPAs go, this was a better than average effort but I like but don’t love IPAs and that is what I thought of the Mary Jane IPA.I thought the Fire Chief Ale was the best of the second four.