Tasting the Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale

Remember the Rogue Dead Guy Ale? I actually just reviewed it this morning. Hey, sometimes sunny Friday mornings call for a beer. Well it’s been sunny all day long and after a lot of reading, writing, cooking and some baking I am ready for another beer, and I’m going to make it a good one! Still enjoying the aftertaste of the Dead Guy, I decided to open a bottle another Rogue beer; the Double Dead Guy… Ah yes, there is a Double Dead Guy. Whats so double about it?

Well for starters the IBUs go from 40 to 60, and the alcohol from 6.5 to 9.0%. But this is more than just a stronger Dead Guy Ale; different malts have been used, a more pungent hop variety (cascade, rather than perle and sazz), and I expect that it has been fermented or matured for longer. The end result is this wicked “Dead Red” painted bottle containing a masterfully crafter strong ale. This is no Maibock, or Pale ale, it sits clearly in the American Strong Ale category – and it does so proudly.

I’ve had the Double Dead Guy a few times before, and it s my favorite of the two. However they both serve their own specific purpose. The regular Dead Guy is more quenching, refreshing, and is a better session beer. The Double is more powerful, complex, contemplative and exciting. If you are grabbing beers for a BBQ, baseball game, or long night on the town, grab the Dead Guy. But if you are chilling with a couple friends, looking for something really interesting, or need a soothing spirited beer, then the Double Dead Guy is your best choice.

I opened the Double cool, as I did with the Dead Guy, but this time a touch warmer at 12C (54F). There is more power and complexity to this beer and it will really open up as it warms in your chalice. Another good point. The Dead Guy I poured into a Pint Glass, perfectly appropriate for that beer. This though has huge aromatic properties and should be best captured in a chalice, tulip or snifter style glass.

The pour was smooth and exciting creating a rumbling of luscious bubbles and foam where the pouring beer would hit the bottom of the chalice. It created an opaque amber orange beer with golden brown and yellows streaking gently though it. Haze covered up much of the carbonation that was present, but still you can see that there is some – nothing crazy though. A soft and pillowy eggshell head built one inch above the beer and lasted a touch longer than the Dead Guy’s did, but still faded to a film on the beers surface.

The nose is all sweet malts; more sweet and fruity in the double compared to the caramel and toffee mellow malt in the Dead Guy. The Double showed biscuit, cookie dough, dark and caramel malts with a sweet underpin of pale malt as well. Overripe bananas and blackberries made thier way into my nose. Soft cascade hops make their way in freshening the beer’s scent offering pine, citrus, grapefruit peel and earth. Overall there is a lot going on here and I expect as it warms more will come forth.

Sit back and relax with this one, let the warm creamy malts flow into your mouth with silky ease and lush flavor. Warm malts bring a big range of flavors here – biscuit, doughnuts, caramel, and muddled fruits show mellow sweetness and gentle balance amongst each other. Hints of pepper and spice peek in from the back but are silenced by fresh hop bitterness, grapefruit, lemon zest and pine needs. The bitter is not anything wild, it shows a complex range of sweet, savory, bitter and tart; all of which is completely necessary to make this beer work.

The malt is the man in charge here, and if you let it run wild it would overpower the beer and have poor overall character. But the Double Dead Guy is crafted exceptionally well, and a complex malt backbone is creamy and elegant with softly fresh hop aromatics to sooth and cleanse the palate. With a softly creamy, but delicately carbonated mouthfeel the Double Dead Guy Ale is totally delicious.

I really enjoy the combination of sweet and savory flavors here, it really makes it a perfect drink to sit and relax with. As expected, warmth brought along softer malt complexity and brought down a touch of tart sweetness that existed up front. Now, closer to cellar temperature, this beer is in a league of its own.

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