Tag Archives: rogue

Common Ales: Rogue Dead Guy

There’s always a great deal of talk about Rogue around Portland and not all of it relates to the beer. So while noting that many people have many things to say about Rogue, I’m going to set it all aside to talk about the beer they told me sold best, Dead Guy, which they were very prompt and enthusiastic about. Just so it’s clear what my objective is.

I get an element of maltiness in the nose but it fades very quickly. I wonder if this is a drawback to a malt forward style?

I go looking on the internet to find out what kind of style Dead Guy is and it comes back: Maibock.

The problem I’m having with this beer is the finish. It’s made with a lager yeast, technically, or at least a really clean ale yeast if not technically. According to the style, the finish should be really clean, right? But there’s something chewy and a bit unpleasant, a bit like licking a battery.

There’s also a coating in my mouth: My tongue keeps trying to scrape it off the roof of my mouth. I can’t quite identify it but my tongue clearly doesn’t want it around.

Something just seems off and I’m failing to pin it down. This is my fifth Dead Guy and all I can think is: this beer almost gets there. Except it doesn’t. I can’t recommend it.


Dad sent me a ‘news’ video about someone selling dog beer. It’s non alcoholic, amongst other things and apparently beneficial from a health perspective.

How about you just feed your dog right and not waste your money on one of the dumbest vanity products ever?

Also, I have had a chance to try Rogue’s Maple Bacon ale.

It tasted like a maple tree angrily came to life and peed in my mouth. You have been warned.

Dear Rogue

I went to the establishment on 15th and Flanders on my birthday, where I had the Freedom Hop ale, touted by the bartender as the only beer in the world that is being made with a single hop throughout the process.


But OK, he probably meant commercial beers and there’s really no sense in being dickish about it: I’m getting a free beer. A beer I liked, too! It was a really solid pale ale, easy to drink and I would’ve had more of it if there had been time. The hops weren’t too bitter on the finish and the nose was a softer citrus, like a flower. All in all, a very agreeable beer to drink.

Now, since this was a liter of beer to myself, I ordered tater tots. I had a difficult time making this choice, as though some part of me was reluctant to get anything at all, a voice suggesting that I should’ve eaten before I arrived. This feeling would be unremarkable except for the fact that the tots were, hands down, the worst I’ve ever tasted: burnt, dirty flavors all over them. I just couldn’t finish the serving.

That’s when I remembered: I didn’t like the chicken strips I got last year, either. I don’t know what you’re doing in the kitchen but if you’re fucking up tater tots, it needs to be fixed. Just sayin’.

I then wandered over to the Green Dragon where I had a lovely alt from The Commons, (continuing to cement their place as a kick ass brewery) but decided to avoid any other form of nourishment. Just in case.

Revisiting: Rogue Dead Guy

Dead Guy aleShortly after I moved to Portland, a friend who had taken the leap months before myself introduced me to Rogue’s Dead Guy ale. He said he liked to fuck with people by telling them “I like to suck on a Dead Guy.”

Marketing departments: call him. Hell, it’s not any less distasteful than discounting your beer the day after the US kills Osama Bin Laden…

Let’s move on though. Bygones. What matters now is the now and in the now I have some of Rogue’s Dead Guy and if that isn’t their best known beer, then it’s got to be pretty damn close.

Tiny weird story: after posting this photo to my Flickr, some Rogue PR human asked me to add it to their Rogue group photos. But…I really don’t think I’m a joiner, in that sense. The sense that I might be a shill for someone’s product for free. I mean, hey, if they want to pay me…

Moving on.

Malty, very malty. This is supposed to be an alt, or so I’ve read. Certainly doesn’t smell like a pale or IPA, with a sweeter, honeysuckle-esque nose to it. The malts kick in right away though, caramel spread over ice cream in the flavor. I’d have to say that’s the biggest difference between the Dead Guy and the Mirror Pond.

Otherwise, this is just a super clean beer that’s sweet enough to appeal to many palates. I may not always dig on the way Rogue markets their beer but I can’t say I object to the beer itself.

OBF wrapup

Once again, general impressions about the fest from my Outboard Brain. Extras in bold.
The festival  itself seemed to be well run and  I thank everyone who served, worked, and gave me a touch of bonuses as a blogger to write about it.

It’s just so cool to be a part of neat stuff. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

Hollister, Altered State:
Bready nose just a ping of hop bitterness in a clean ale

Deschutes, Chainbreaker
White IPA? Nose is a touch strange as though a hint of I don’t know what, however beer has a nice mouthfeel; smooth with hop bite

Full Sail, bohemian pilsner
Corn nose and finish and it’s not quite refreshing enough

3 Creeks, Fivepine porter
Nice but maybe served a touch cold and settled like a weight in my belly. Flavors seemed a bit muted and I think if I hadn’t been in a hurry to taste as much as I could have, this beer might’ve impressed me more.

New Holland, Golden Cap saison
Very light and crisp as hell. Post porter this is a real treat.

Elysian, Idiot Sauvin ipa
Very tangerine. Reminded me a bit of Widmer’s Drifter, which is a good thing.

Blue Frog, Ginger and Meyer Ann
Ugh the finish tastes like feet.

Goose Island, Pepe Nero
Farmhousey but no it just doesn’t appeal kinda icky at the finish. This beer did improve after being allowed to warm up; both the farmhouse qualities and the finish changed for the better.

Mt Emily, imperial red
Tasty but a touch watery. That said; I enjoyed the beer.

I was tempted to try Rogue’s offering but was told by a friend that it may have been the worst beer he’d ever had. While that is something that piques my curiosity, I’m not sure that ‘I should try it because it’s bad’ is really a philosophy I want to start following.

I also had to start volunteering at the OBC booth and while I was able to sample more brews, the day became more about chatting up than taking notes. However I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention that I had an chance to try Rock Bottom’s Zombie Flanders which I suggested people should avoid and you know, I actually liked it. My evaluation of that beer wasn’t wrong the first time I had it but I have to admit that when I tried it at the OBF, I would have unhesitatingly recommended it to anyone who enjoys sour ales.

Final note: I’m going to be away for a few days, so no post on Friday. Back for Monday.

On Letting Go

On Monday I had this exchange with one of the authors of the fine New School blog via Twitter (which is why things like punctuation are not there):

Never missing a promo opportunity Rogue is doing Dead Guy beer tastings all day. Stay classy Rogue

@SamuraiArtist: If that’s about what I think it is, that’s pretty fucked up.

@Grotusque of course it is. They dont just suddenly decide today to put special tastes of all dead guy variations with no notice until today

@SamuraiArtist Uh-huh. I think I’m going to rethink my future purchases of Rogue.

I agree that Osama Bin Laden was an evil man who got what was coming to him. My initial response to the news was: “Good. Because fuck that guy. Note: this will also be my response when Dick Cheney dies.”

I also believe that Bin Laden is dead now and after thanking the men and women who brought him to justice, (and I am extremely grateful for the work they do) it is well past time to work on the multitude of other issues confronting us as a country. I made my comment and then I went back to doing shit, because shit needs to be done.

To paraphrase Patton Oswalt: It’s Monday, get to work.

If you want to raise a glass to his death on your own time; that’s your business. I have certainly done things at home that are well beyond the scope of this blog or public interest. But when your business wants to celebrate a man’s death publicly, however vile that man was, that’s my business too and I don’t think I want to have much to do with you.

Whatever You Say #22

brownThe reader will have to forgive me a little; it is my wonderful lass’s birthday and so I have indulged her with drinks and such; here are the Outboard Brain notes (with some editing.)

First to the Rogue Alehouse at Flanders, where the girlfriend has a hazelnut brown for her birthday. I have the Charlie 1981 which is an IPA but seems to stride the line b/t the NW IPAs and traditional ones. Very strong nose. Pine at end but it shows up late in the mouth, creating room for the malts to give an almost pale ale impression, until, bullfighter like, it whips the sweetness away for the pine flavors.

Hazelnut brown has a smooth, pudding-like quality in the nose. Tasty but whoa, it’s got a silkiness that is what helps make it so drinkable. I’m glad I stole tastes of that beer while I could.

cherry lemon quadNext up we’re off to the Cascade Barrel house where she’s having the Cherry Lemon  Quad…and so am I (there is still a theme here, people.) I think she may’ve stopped reading the description of the quad at ‘aged in Makers Mark barrels’.

This beer is really something special. Cherry, whiskey and then a hint of lemon at the end-this is why people made and love sour ales. A slight sense of sour is sharp at the end of the nose but it’s just there for show, window dressing to a wonderful brew that I wouldn’t mind having anytime.

The Local: the Vern

Vern signAh, the Vern. There’s still an old jukebox here, although old in this case means CDs but there are a couple in there that are personal mixes, one with a title “For the guys who dropped out in 1982 and went bowling”.

What’s not to love?

I walked about a mile to get a beer tonight. I think that’s about all one ought to ask from a man who wants a drink. And they have awesome drink specials here, too; one could get Arrogant Bastard for 2.50! Two freakin’ fifty.

Sure, you have to be here on a Wednesday but so what?

As I’m a bit short myself this month I got one of today’s specials, Rogue’s Dead Guy. I don’t think there’s much for me to add to someone’s Dead Guy experience. It’s an amber, sometimes thought of as an alt. I’ve frequently seen references to Dead Guy being a pretty fine example of the style. You either like it or you don’t.

As for the Vern, I suppose you could say the same thing. Enough TVs to keep you occupied but not so many they can’t be ignored. Couple pool tables. A woman shying just away from authoritative rants on the Blazers. Bartenders who step outside to smoke, leaving patrons alone for a few puffs.

It’s not as dark as it used to be I remember that much distinctly; there were fewer windows letting light in, once upon a time. The Vern was probably the first bar I wandered into in Portland and I’ve always liked it; punk rock, heavy metal and old school country vibing just fine with each other, bike messengers with tattoos and rods in their brows.

I never fit in, though. No tats. The scars I had all accident-inflicted. The Vern just was never local enough-just outside of the range most people want to go just to get a beer and hang out. If I was living somewhere else that might not matter but when you can throw a rock and hit three different bars…

What can I tell you? Humans are generally lazy.

I wonder if I’ve been going about this project all wrong. Monday nights are frequently dead zones for pubs and while that lets me focus on the writing it also gives me less to write on. Pubs should be lively. Most of the time you can even count on it. Fridays would be too busy but Wednesdays, maybe?

Hm. Wednesdays.

There’s something to be said for tradition, though. Even the Vern knows it. Sure, it’s cleaned up, made nice but not so much that the mildly-ostracised can’t come in and enjoy. The paint job helps but the carpet has duct tape forcing it to the floor. I’m not sure there’s anything after 1988 in that jukebox. There’s a working payphone by the men’s room and an array of pinball machines. No videogames. I wouldn’t say walking in here is a time warp but maybe instead a place where time stops, even if briefly.

52 Weeks 42: Rogue Maierfest

This beer is aggressively banal. Let us speak no more of it.

Actually, let’s talk about it for a second. This is from Rogue and this is a brewery that helped introduce me to different styles of beer. Lately they’ve been playing it safe, doing beers that are desperately asking to be liked, as though they were the geeky, lonely kid at the party, telling every joke he knows to make an impression. But the jokes are cribbed from a movie–it’s like hearing “Do I make you horny, baby?” for the millionth time. You’re bored already and he hasn’t even asked you your name.

Fortunately, I’ve been engaged in some lively conversation. I’m on the rail, chatting people up and by chance meeting a fellow from the OBC named Jeremy. He recommends a Block 15 barleywine, so I think I’m going to try it.