I saw this bottle at the liquor store and read "Dead Guy Ale", I figured it'd be bold. Either that or it would taste like something you should only drink if you're dead. Anyway, I took the bottle home and chilled it in the fridge.
The Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale (6.5% ABV) is a German-style Maibock. Now, from what I've learned, Maibocks are actually a type of lager, but maybe I've been misinformed, as Rogue calls this one an ale. What is a Maibock? Well, let's first start with a Bock. A Bock is traditionally a strong lager which was developed in Germany. A Maibock is a type of Bock, one that is enjoyed mostly during Spring festivals, particularly in May. There are other types of bocks, just Google them to find out more.
Now, when I poured this into my glass, there was originally about a quarter inch of head, which as you can see from the picture, dissipated quite quickly. There was an immediate smell which took over the room, and I realized this was going to be bold. I originally thought at this moment that maybe the "Dead Guy" part of the name had to do with the smell, but then I was able to pick up notes of fermented fruit, lots of bread-y malt, some hops, and complex strong notes that I still can't decipher. By the way, the "Dead Guy Ale" name is derived from the Mayan "Day of the Dead" also known as "All Souls Day" (Nov. 1st).
On first sip, I had to take a baby sip. It's so densely packed with flavour, and the flavour is so strong, that it takes a long time to get used to it. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I'm saying you really got to savour this brew. I was immediately caught off guard, and had a bit of a negative reaction, but after awhile I realized that what I was tasting was actually really well put together (as I began to understand what I was tasting).
There is a blast of bread-y malt, this overwhelms the hearty brew. It also has hints (if your taste buds can take it) of toffee, burnt sugar, and maybe fruit. Either way, this is full of flavour. It's a baby-sipper, savoury brew. Did I like the taste? I am still new to strong beers myself, but after acquiring the taste of this maibock, and now that I look back on it, I quite enjoyed it. Also -- don't chug it, that's for sure.
What food would I pair this with?
I immediately think of a delicious pasta with a tomato-based sauce, and spicy Italian sausage to go with this brew. Either that, or get some super old cheese, like an aged cheddar to nibble on while sipping this.
The Rogue Dead Guy Ale gets a lively 7.5 / 10