Ah, Halloween. It means different things to different people. For some, Samhain is the time when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead “slips” allowing one to cross into the other. For those of the Celtic tradition, it’s the beginning of a New Year. For others, it’s a time to let your your inner kid shine, turning the front yard into a cemetery and firing up the fog machines. Some enjoy scanning the channels hoping to find some horror movie to watch; either one they haven’t seen before or an old favorite. And of course there those that simply see Halloween as a chance to “bribe” the neighborhood kids into leaving their property alone for another year. Then there are people like me who take a little bit from all those outlooks and wrap them up into one fun time of the year.
When I was married, the ex and I would throw the big Halloween party every year, The Danse Macabre. Every year we’d invite our friends to come dressed along some particular theme, favorite TV star, sci-fi, favorite dead person (a popular one that we ended up sticking with). Being a beer nerd, I always looked for “Halloween” related beers to serve. Brews like Wytchwood’s Hobgoblin, Delirium Tremens and Moorhouse’s Black Cat, were regular guests at my party. So you can imagine my joy when one day I stumbled upon Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale, the next “beer that I drink a lot of” that I’d like to talk about.
THEM: If you look at the specs on the website you’ll find them a little different from the information I’m about to give you. Apparently the beer has been “tweeked” over the years and no one has bothered to update them. This information comes from Rogue’s brew master John Mair from an episode of “The Jamil Show” on The Brewing Network. The grain bill for this German maibock is a mixture 2-row (67%) , Maier Munich (23%) and Carastan (10%) ; and hopped to 40IBUs with Perle. There is an addition of Sterling (replacing Saaz) in the whirlpool at the end of the boil. The starting gravity targets at 1.065 (16 Plato) and is then fermented to 6.6% ABV with their Pacman yeast.
ME: Dead Guy Ale pours orange in color with a tinge of honey and a medium head that dissipates into an island of thin lace on the top. There is no way to describe the nose except for malt and caramel. No hops, no tropical fruit, no pine; just an aroma that reminds you of a freshly unwrapped candy bar on Halloween night. The flavor is inline with the aroma; malt, caramel, hints of toffee with some possible honey dancing around in there. The middle is creamy without a bite from the carbonation to interrupt the smooth confection like flavors. The end follows the same formula, enough clean bitter to give the beer some balance, but not take it away from what has already been presented in the profile – malty goodness.
If you lean towards the malt side of the beer flavor profile, then this is a beer you definitely want to check out. Depending on how roguish you feel Dead Guy comes in a variety of sizes from a 12oz bottle, 22oz bomber and a 64oz growler (the latter of which is commonly available in my neck of the woods). Also of interest, bottles labeled around the Halloween time frame every year will glow in the dark, allowing you to find your beer no matter how dark your dungeon or crypt is. Very considerate I’d say.
Time for another beer.