Beer Review 0189: Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale
In my previous review, I went with a beer from a company I had never tried before: The Bruery. It worked out well; their Trade Winds Tripel scored a stellar 95 points on my rating scale. I figured I would keep up the good vibe and go to another brewery that I haven’t had a drink from: Rogue Ales.
Located in Newport, Oregon, Rogue Ales is celebrating its 24th year of brewing in 2012. Founded in 1988 by Jack Joyce, Bob Woodell, and Rob Strasser, the head brewer at Rogue is John Maier, famous for the Pacman yeast strain. You may have heard of this yeast strain a time or two, especially you homebrewers. A bit about Pacman yeast, from Mr. Maier, himself:
Pacman is really great yeast; everything about it is good. Pacman attenuates well, is alcohol tolerant, and it produces beers with no diacetyl if the beer is well made. It’s very flocculent, which makes it a great choice for bottle conditioning.
One immediate complaint I have about Rogue is apparently they do not list the ABV (alcohol by volume) on any of their beers, and instead invite you to use a math formula to figure it out: Plato divided by 2.5. Plato is the ratio of fermentable malts to water — it is listed on Rogue bottles, but ironically not the one up for review today, Dead Guy Ale. We frown on having to use math to figure out the alcohol content of a beer; just print it on the label, guys.
The history of Dead Guy Ale starts out with the label, which was created to celebrate the Mayan Day of the Dead. The logo was so popular that Rogue decided to use it on a beer they brewed in the German Maibock style, which would go on to be named Dead Guy Ale. This beer is a year-round offering.
Dead Guy Ale pours a small, soapy and frothy head, almost fizzy, and it quickly diminishes into just a thin cover atop the drink. The color of the beer was a beautiful vivid orange with some darker amber highlights, and the body was very cloudy, but not filled with any particles or sediment. There wasn’t any lacing to speak of, which wasn’t surprising given the small head.
On the aromatics, there’s a nice earthy dough in the very front that sort of took me aback. It reminded me of a very fragrant fresh bakery smell — the scent is supported by lots of sweet bread-like malt, complete with a fruit edge of orange and a very sweet/ripe tropical fruit, perhaps a mango. There’s even a hint of spice, but it pales in comparison to the sweetness. I thought the aroma to be very nice and complex.
The taste was fruity sweet up front, featuring a candy-like burnt orange. Middle of the taste had a bread-like component to it, leading to a finish of sweet grain that slightly dries the mouth. The texture of this ale was thin but creamy, and the flavors on the finish struck a bitter note, but the sweetness overwhelmingly won out. And as it unwinds on your tongue, some of that nice dough found on the nose comes out. It even verged on some darker fruits, like a prune or raisin.
Rogue have made a flavorful and enjoyable beer here — I really enjoyed this one and though it was nice all around. Give it a shot.
Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale, 89 points. Price: $2.29 for one twelve ounce bottle.