Origin – USA. Oregon
ABV- 6.8%
Size- 355mL can
Style- Helles Bock
There’s no doubt the Mexican’s love a fiesta…and I’m not talking about a few Old El Paso tacos and a Corona or two. Think more along the lines of a full spread of quesadillas, pambazos, huaraches and a full-sized donkey piñata hanging from a tree branch, and you’re getting there. Dating back some 3,000 odd years it was the celebration of Día de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead that set it all in motion- an occasion where the living stopped to remember, celebrate and honour the lives of the deceased. Now, it would be a significant exaggeration to say that they’ve been celebrating it with one of these Rogue Ales for the last 300 centuries, but you are at least tasting a drop that dates back almost three decades. It was 1st November 1990 that Newport Oregon’s Rogue first debuted the Dead Guy Ale, brewing it for a local Tex-Mex to help lubricant conversation on what was this solemn and celebrated day. The German Maibock inspired ale proved so popular that it’s been brewed ever since, becoming an instantly recognised staple of the craft beer world. So much so that when redesigning the label of this 30 something late last year, Rogue simplified the layout to only include the oversize skeleton, with arms crossed and beer in hand, sans branding and description. As further proof that this Dead Guy is alive and kicking, last year it was named Best US beer at the World Beer Awards. So, what makes it so amazing? As crazy as it sounds, it’s not an IPA. After all, amidst the fridge full of over-hopped IPA’s and IIPA’s, it can be nice every now and then to grab a beer with a malt-forward flavour. And it’s that sweet malt driven aroma that is first noticed when pouring this cloudy, reddish-honey colour ale with little to no head. Despite the high 6.8% abv, he’s light in your mouth, with a touch of honey and toffee sweetness up front, that is balanced at the back with a dose of bitter hops. For a craft, notwithstanding its 9-ingredient mix, it’s not overly complicated, which is all part of the appeal. I suggest one thing’s for sure, when this drop final does go to the grave, it may well be a case of he who dies with the most beer awards wins!




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