Hazelnut Brown Nectar, XS Imperial IPA… Dead Guy Ale? What on earth is a Dead Guy Ale? Well, it just happens to be another award winning beer from the likes of theRogue Brewery in Oregon. Often people confuse it with an American Pale Ale, but it is actually a German style Maibock. A traditional German Maibock is a lager brewed to higher strengths and lagered (laid to rest in cool cellars) for three or more months. They are typically characterized by caramel sweet malt, medium to full body, medium hop aroma, but low hop bitterness. However, in typical west coast style, you should expect some bitter here.
Although the traditional style is a lager, Rogue’s version is actually an ale, using their standard pacman yeast to brew it; which is an ale yeast. The Dead Guy was originally created in the early 90’s as a private tap sticker to celebrate the Mayan Day of the Dead. The design proved to be so popular that Rogue claimed it as the label for thier Maierbock ale.
This championship quality beer is often the one that coerces people out of a world of bland beers and into the beautiful reality of craft beer. I typically enjoy it richly in the summer when it is hot out, but it has more than enough flavor and depth to stand up to the coldest winter nights.
It has been brewed with four different malts, two hops, and hits the bottle at 6.5% abv. It is available at the LCBO in six packs of 355ml bottles, and also throughout the Unites States in 650ml larger bottles, as well as 64oz growlers at some locations. The Dead Guy will be best enjoyed cool around 10C (50F) offering fully quenching characteristics and smooth and creamy sensations.
The Dead Guy pours richly building a deep amber down beer. It is completely transparent with golden mahogany and oranges streaming though the wide array of carbonation pouring up from it. A nicely soft and mountainous white cream head forms a nice inch to two inches above the beer. Retention is reasonable, but it fades to a film within five minutes.
Steaming up from the now gorgeous pint glass are lush aromas of caramel malt and toffee. Thick buttery biscuit and floral hop notes lift spice and fruit into your nose. Honey, brown sugar, orange zest and fresh cut glass are all here showing delightful refreshing characteristics.
Don’t sip the Dead Guy, he doesn’t like it. Get right in there and enjoy this beer. Smooth and creamy malt sweetness flows over your tongue with an elegant and balanced mellow sweetness. Hop aromatics and bitter begin to pour in quickly also aiding the beer’s balance and overall structure. Warm biscuit, melted butterscotch candy and the smell of fresh baked breads all show up in the cheeks and fill your palate.
It is really a mellow sweet beer with a lusciously creamy and smooth character. The balance comes from fresh and floral hops and a good amount of potent carbonation creating a supremely quenching beer. You would have no complaints with this beer on a hot summer day. The hops are quite nice showing lots of fresh flavors, citrus, a touch of pine and hay field too.
The mouthfeel is a succulent combination of creamy smooth malt and quenching hop carbonation; really perfect. It is easy to enjoy but full of deep and wide flavors making it an excellent beer for dinner. Spicy foods, anything off the grill, or deep tomato based pastas.