It’s a good sign that this bottle has a smiling sloth. While I’m not a sloth, this beer definitely makes the imbiber spread a grin. Rogue is known by many beer enthusiasts as a company that puts out interesting brews time and time again, and this beer is no exception. There is certainly no shortage of imperial versions of ales, but the imperial blonde is something rarely seen compared to the imperial IPA or stout. This is unfortunate since Rogue does such a good job with it. The color is a nice warm gold, and although the beer isn’t very carbonated, the flavor is not lost. This is due in part to the unique addition of kombucha tea, courtesy of Townshend’s Brew Dr. Kombucha. The kombucha element is a surprising one as kombucha can be quite the acquired taste. Pairing it with the flavorful blonde ale seems like the right choice. The kombucha gives the ale a pleasant slight fruity aroma reminiscent of mango and citrus which carries full well into the flavor of the beer itself. The closest thing one could compare it to is a funky fruit beer, as the tea infusion brings a new level of flavor, and the fermentation of the kombucha adds a slight acidity. The imperial nature of the beer gives it an ABV of 6.9% which isn’t massive, but when you are drinking a bomber this can pack a bit of a punch. However, the ABV shouldn’t matter as this is a beer that would do well to be shared by friends. We here at GSN found ourselves almost universally enjoying the flavor, and although it isn’t as carbonated as one might expect, it left us all smiling like a happy sloth.
Review by Kieran Jerome Matthew