May 22, 2012

Roanoke Railhouse Brewery Caboose

Roanoke Railhouse Caboose

After the poor experience with Roanoke Railhouse’s IPA, I really wasn’t looking forward to trying out Caboose, the company’s 7.8% Imperial Lager. Thankfully, this Americanized take on a helles bock (complete with Willamette and Millenium hops varieties) is much better in every regard.


Caboose pours a golden amber in color with a resilient white cap that fought to keep its form throughout the drinking process.


Toasted bread, caramel, light fruit, subtle spicy hop character and a light sweetness all come together in the clean aroma.


I was mentally prepared for something to be off with the flavor given my past experience with the company, but the any off character elements never arrived. Caboose is a big lager with plenty of warmth from the higher alcohol content. A healthy dose of caramel and bready malt combine with a bit of cloying sweetness as the beer transitions to a light bitterness (42 IBU) from the spicy hops.


All in all, this brew is a big improvement over the IPA that I tried the other day, then again it didn’t really have to try all that hard. It’s a bit misguided perhaps, resulting in a brew that’s a little too sweet for my liking — especially for the style. Right now, I have mixed feelings about the company’s products, but I may pick up something from them in the future if I feel daring.


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