At last, Kells Irish Lager has finally been located! We all have traditions and this review revolves around an ageless classic. About a year and a half ago, my fellow reviewer Noel and I started our quest to sample every beer that Rogue produces. We would take turns buying the bombers of the glorious brew and searched high and low for new product (Midwest selection is not as plentiful as we hoped). One of the beers we wanted to get our hands on from the start was Kells Irish Lager. We had a couple reasons: 1) Noel spent a semester in Ireland; 2) the bottle looks awesome; and 3) Rogue does not produce many lagers, making it unique in their lineup. Taylor jumped in on the review as well. Our thoughts:
Noel: smells like honey, most mild Rogue beer he has had, does not dominate palate. Clean finish. If you are a newbie to the beer tasting world this beer would be a great starter. Grade: B+
Tom: wheat and minor pils aroma, fresh straw taste, finishes with a nice wheat backbone. Great bottle design. Grade: B
Noel & Tom: cloudy/hazy for a lager, honey aroma and flavor, looks like a wheat beer. The bottle says, “apple crisp finish” which we did not detect, although we did get a light fruitiness. Thirst quenching. It is a full-bodied lager with wheat ale characteristics. Mild hop finish similar to Saaz flavors (Sterling was used). You could drink a good number of these with an ABV of 6%.
Taylor: pours a pretty straw blonde color with a nice white head, lacing maintained all the way down, and doesn’t really look like lagers I’ve seen before: it’s more like a witbier. Smells really fresh, sweet like honey, grassy, and wheaty. Loved the taste … it was crisp and thirst quenching. Bottle does talk about a crisp apple finish, which I think I detected, albeit faintly. To help pick up on the apple taste, I would suggest having a slice of Granny Smith apple nearby to help you identify this unique trait. Grade: B
If you like Kells, you might also like Rogue’s Track Town Honey Orange Wheat, Somer Orange Honey Wheat, and Mom Hefewiezen.
This is one of 4 lagers that they distribute and is apparently a seasonal brew close to St. Patrick’s Day (we noticed it’s not on their website anymore which means if your see it in a store…grab it!). Overall we enjoyed upholding our tradition and sample yet another fine Rogue brew.
Final Grade: B