The Brew Site

Halloween Week: Dead Guy Ale

After all this time writing this blog I can’t believe I’ve never reviewed Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale, but Halloween Week is as appropriate a time as ever.

By and large, I consider this to be Rogue’s flagship beer, and certainly one of their best-known. It’s a 6.5% alcohol beer, brewed in the style of a Maibock. Here’s Rogue’s own history of the beer:

In the early 1990s Dead Guy Ale was created as a private tap sticker to celebrate the Mayan Day of the Dead (November 1st, All Souls Day) for Casa U Betcha in Portland, Oregon. The Dead Guy design proved so popular with consumers and especially Grateful Dead fans, that we made it the label for our Maierbock ale. Even though the association with the Grateful Dead band is pure coincidence, we have gratefully dedicated Dead Guy Ale to the Rogue in each of us.

Earlier bottles had glow-in-the-dark labels, but I’m not sure why they discontinued that. The current growlers, however, are advertised as glow-in-the-dark, which makes for a great, spooky Halloween appearance.

Appearance: Appropriately orange in color, with an ample dense head that’s tan and with what I’d swear to be a tinge of orange.

Smell: Malty sweet, almost sugary. Rich and mouth-watering.

Taste: Sweet and rich with roasty malt overtones and a touch spicy. Dry with a clean bit of bitterness in the back. Honey, toasted biscuit, green peppercorn, a hint of Belgian candi sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and nicely chewy with a pleasant dry and clean bitterness at the end.

Overall: A great beer, eminently drinkable; an American microbrew classic.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores a grade of B+. On RateBeer, it scores 3.47 out of 5 and is in their 83rd percentile.

Rogue Dead Guy 22 oz