Distilled: Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout is interesting and that's about it

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Rogue Ales is a company not afraid to take risks, whether those risks work or not. The brewery gained national recognition with its lineup of quality beers, but didn’t rest on its laurels. Over the years, Rogue has released a line of spirits, sodas, ciders and ongoing experimental beer projects. The latest such experiment is Rogue’s Sriracha Hot Stout, which actually blends hot sauce and beer.

I’ve previously tried one of Rogue’s weird, wild concepts in the Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale and was supremely unhappy. It was just a downright terrible beer.

So I went into the Sriracha Hot Stout with lower expectations, which may have been the right approach because this seems more like a novelty beer than anything else — even if chili beer is pretty common. (The aesthetically grand bottle design, which replicates the iconic hot sauce container is really fun, but still gives off a novelty feel. It’s a splendidly eye-catching bottle design, though.)

The idea of hot sauce combined with dark, rich beer is going to sound either amazing or amazingly stupid, depending on the person. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle, as I love it when breweries try something out there, but find it to be a marriage of flavors too incongruent.

The Sriracha Hot Stout is also a middling beer. This is a quality stout, but you can hardly taste it. The Sriracha flavor appropriately comes through in the aftertaste, but it’s still overpowering. This beer isn’t going to set your mouth on fire, and the spiciness has a deft touch, but Sriracha has too strong of a flavor — it’s not just the heat — for the stout to shine.

I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the Sriracha Hot Stout ($13). It’s more interesting than excellent and not something ideal for sessioning a couple pints. But sipping the beer with some salty snacks (pretzels, tortilla chips) was semi-enjoyable. I can say this stout is worth a shot if you want something pretty weird, though.

Jesse Tigges photo