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Rogue John John Dead Guy Ale
Written by Tom
Work was slow today…a little too slow. Of course time always stands still on a Friday as if to zap every amount of eager anticipation for the weekend from you. For me it was not the advent of the weekend that caused my excitement, but the opportunity to sample the latest release from Rogue. The long and awaited John John Ale!
Rogue as two brands to its name. The first, as we all know, are their Ales and the second are their Spirits. They make a nice variety of Gin, Whiskey, and Rum. Leave it to the master minds (brewers) at Rogue to come up with a unique way of making beer. What they did was age Dead Guy Ale in Dead Guy Whiskey barrels. Barrel aging beer is not a new concept, but as they put it, “Our beer, our barrels, our Johns” which makes for a wonderful blend of Dead Guy(s). Another interesting tidbit is that this beer utilizes Rogue’s own hops and trademarked malts grown on their farm (looks like Sierra Nevada has some competish). Without further small talk here are my findings.
Apperance: Just like the website says, “deep honey in color.” Ironically, looks very reminiscent of Dead Guy if not a shade lighter. The head was gloriously frothy providing a beer mustache that rivaled milk.
Aroma: Similar to Dead Guy (see Noel’s review) with its caramel and spicy hop nose, but it is rounded out and mellowed. Naturally, there is a hint of alcoholic which becomes more noticeable as the beer warms up. I also received notes of honey, juniper, some earthy woods, light peach and pear notes, vanilla, and a faint herbal lemony zest.
Taste: The barrels are not reused Bourbon or Scotch barrels so my point of reference was off in regards to the whiskey flavors present. I did get the very rich and colorful caramel presentation due to the malts used and wood caramels extracted during aging. Right out of the bottle it had characteristics to the Ale, but as the beer warmed it started to possess the woody, higher alcohol properties. It really gives you the best of both world in a subtle way.
Mouthfeel: All the lovely qualities of Dead Guy Ale, but with a deeper body and smooth finish. There is a residual caramel sweetness on the palate coupled with a light wood/tannin component which is very pleasing. This is not an “imperial” Dead Guy (aka Double Dead Guy), but an excellent pairing of both Beer and Spirit.
While this is every bit Dead Guy and then some, I have a hard time giving this an A+. Here is what we’ll do. I’ll leave it up to you readers to cast your votes. Give this beer a try (I recommend it) and post your comments. I’m on the fence, so I’ll let the people decide whether or not I should bump it into our Top Rated Beers. Fair?
Grade: ARogue John John Dead Guy Ale,