Review: Rogue Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout (2020)

Review: Rogue Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout (2020)

This year marks the fifth annual release of Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout. Similar to 2019, this one was aged for nine months in Dead Guy Whiskey barrels coopered at Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works, located next to the brewery in Newport, Oregon. Let’s see how it compares to last year’s release!

This one pours the same dark molasses color with a hot cocoa-hued head. The nose on the 2019 was super soft and minimally boozy, but this year it’s bigger and more classic barrel-aged stout with plenty of creamy whiskey-laced vanilla notes. It’s sweet, but not overly so, with the familiar Hershey’s milk chocolate note, a bit of cola, and some medium-roast coffee. On the palate, it’s every bit the big, malty, and toasty stout of previous years with loads of bitter baking chocolate, espresso bean, cinnamon stick, and woody spices. The barrel-aging continues to play a minor part here despite the considerable abv. A bit of vanilla fudge, some baking spice, and a creamy texture only hint at the presence of whiskey in this process. Still, it’s a nice compliment to an already well-built brew. A barrel-aged stout for those who don’t love a super sweet, outwardly boozy beers. Even better than last year’s release.

13.6% abv.

A- / $12 (per 500ml bottle) /

Rogue Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout (2020)




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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