Think back to the first time you drank a beer you really enjoyed. What did it smell and taste like? Why did you like it? This beer likely became your mainstay for a time. Perhaps it’s still your go-to. For me, that beer was Latrobe Brewing Company’s Rolling Rock. It was the first beer I can really remember enjoying drinking. I’d had others before—Coors Light, Budweiser, and the like—but none ever stuck with me like that extra pale lager brewed in the glass-lined tanks of ol’ Latrobe. While I rarely drink it these days given the plethora of beer choices available, I have never written off this classic lager.
Appearance and Aroma
When I’m in the mood for Rolling Rock, I like to buy cans to avoid the higher likelihood of skunky flavors often ascribed to those iconic green glass bottles. This time around, I picked up a six-pack of pounders. Out of the can, the beer pours an extremely crisp, clear golden hue. A light off-white foam offsets its crystal clarity and dissipates quickly after pouring. Holding the beer up to take a sip, my nose is greeted by sweet aromas of bread dough, biscuity malt, and a light apple fruitiness.
Of the widely available lagers out there today, I feel like Rolling Rock goes overlooked while brews like PBR get all the love.”
It’s hard to say if Rolling Rock still tastes the same now as it did when I first started drinking it in the early 2000s. The brand has changed hands so many times. (It's now owned and brewed by Anheuser-Busch.) Despite that fact, I still think it tastes pretty good. My first sip brings to light a grainy malt flavor with a bready-crackery quality and slight corny sweetness. This is complemented by a light and herbal hop flavor with hair of bitterness. It all ends with a crisp, dry finish. Overall, it’s pretty well-balanced with a neutral aftertaste with just small hints of malt and herbal hop character.
Of the widely available lagers out there today, I feel like Rolling Rock goes overlooked while brews like PBR get all the love. I don’t plan to always keep my fridge stocked with it, but Rolling Rock still hits the spot for me (and maybe you, too) after all these years. It’s flavorful, it’s refreshing, and it’s hard not to love a beer that comes in little seven-ounce bottles called “ponies” on occasion.