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New Rogue Chipotle Whiskey Aims To Spice Things Up

Rogue Chipotle WhiskeyFlavored whiskey, as always, is an odd bird of a category for this spirit type. There certainly is a market for it, though if you suggest that’s mostly women I would say you are quite wrong on that in this day and age. Distillers love to see what, shall we say, unique concoctions they can come with based upon ingredients at hand, such as the just announced Rogue Chipotle Whiskey.

Rouge Ales and Spirits is a multi-location distillery and brewery in Oregon, including its primary distilling operation in coastal Newport that’s complete with its own barrel-making cooperage. They are known up to this point for producing mostly young whiskies, with their rye whiskey from late last year being, up until now, the latest. The Chipotle offering is the first flavored expression from them and, in keeping with the spirit of how Rogue does things, makes use of ingredients they’ve pretty much grown themselves.

Rogue, for the last few years, has been raising jalapeños and is now up to two acres of them at one of its farms in the town of Independence. These peppers are used for the brewery side’s Chipotle Ale and, in fact, the Chiptole Whiskey is created from the Ale after the beer wash has been distilled in a copper pot still. More specifically, according to Rogue,

the jalapeños are allowed to ripen until they are bright red, the additional time ripening on the vine means more capsaicin in the pepper, which makes for a spicier pepper. Once harvested by hand, the jalapeños are driven 77 miles to the Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon, where they are dried and slowly smoked over cherry and alder woods. The smoky chipotles are then used by Brewmaster John Maier to brew the Rogue Chipotle Whiskey wash.

Once the brewing is complete, the chipotle wash is driven across the parking lot to the Rogue Distillery where more freshly smoked chipotles are added during the distillation process. After distillation, the Chipotle Whiskey is aged in Oregon Oak barrels along with one final addition of chipotles.

This 80 proof whiskey has a total of seven ingredients, which include 2-Row & C40 malts; Liberty & Alluvial hops; chipotle peppers; “free range” coastal water & Pacman yeast. Limited official tasting notes are below and, as for availability, it should hit retail starting at the beginning of August.

Rogue jalapeños
Rogue jalapeños being picked at harvest time (image via Rogue Ales & Spirits)

This whiskey is packed with multiple layers of smokey spicy chipotle flavor from the four additions of chipotle peppers; brew kettle, still, barrel, and bottle.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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