Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beereview: Rogue Dead Guy

Rogue Dead Guy has a special place in my heart, right next to nachos. Back when I first became a beer drinker (not a beer snob) Rogue Dead Guy was probably the fanciest beer I'd had. It could also regularly be purchased at McGrady's, which was my college tavern of choice. Just after turning 21, I felt suave ordering pitchers of it for my table (when it was on sale) and got a kick out of the macabre connotations.

Beer with an intriguing name always deserves a second look. Who was this guy who apparently died alone? Jerry Garcia? Some unknown Mariachi slain at Día de los Muertos and risen from the grave? The bottle evokes images of Jack Skellington, Grim Fandango, and Indiana Jones, none of which I associate with beer but all of which I associate with awesomeness (Except for Hot Topic: the store for angsty teens who ruined Nightmare for everybody else.)

The funny thing about this beer is that I have tons of memories about it, but absolutely no memories of how it tasted. When I had it last, I hadn't awakened my inner beer snob and wasn't paying attention to the same things. It just goes to show: when you're interested in something a whole world of experiences open up.

After the Rally to Restore Sanity, we were in World Market in Virginia picking up such novelties as Beanboozled (terrible-flavored jelly beans,) Zen Calendars, and Bacon Chocolate when something caught our eye. They had bottles of Rogue Dead Guy out for sale and the box said that the bottles glow in the dark. I have quite the bottle collection, but I couldn't wait to have one on my shelf that glows of its own volition. We laughed a little more about the cans of Spotted Dick and the jars of full sized (6" long) German sausages and headed home.

Upon closer inspection, it was concluded that the Dead Guy Ale we bought did not in fact glow in the dark and must have been misfiled. Having lost it's reason for sticking around as a conversation starter, I decided to give this old college favorite the treatment.

Rogue Dead Guy is a very foamy beer and probably had the best head retention I have ever seen. It didn't leave any lacing, but the suds stuck around for several minutes and seemed to have the same frothy consistency as Mr. Bubble. It would definitely look fine in your replica World of Warcraft Dwarven Ale Stein, a Beer Chalice, or your engraved souvenir over-sized mug from Gene's wedding.

The color is darker amber and crystal clear. The smell reminded me slightly of hops and citrus. It smells a little like an IPA, but much much sweeter. The taste reminded me a lot of Ruby Red Grapefruit: it starts out very sweet then changes to slightly bitter. While I was drinking it I was thinking of how well it would go with a ham sandwich which starts out a little sweet (from the honey glaze) and finished with the swiss cheese (adding some bitterness.) Add in some spicy brown mustard for heat, and you'd have a perfect lunch.

Overall, this is a much better beer than I remembered and I would highly recommend it. I don't generally go after Rogue Beer, but after this I'll have check out more of their brews. I had a bunch back in college, but I bet my tastes have changed.

Side Note: I checked the Dead Guy page and was pleased to see their recommended food pairings are pork and hot foods. I guess my instincts were correct this time.

Post a Comment