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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Rogue Ales
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: Oregon
  • Style: Maibock / Helles Bock Spirit-Aged Beers
  • Malts:
  • Hops:
  • ABV:
  • IBUs:
  • Tasting Notes:
  • Preferred Glass:
  • Food Pairing:
  • PHM Grade: A

Rogue John John Dead Guy Ale

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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?

ABV: 6.4%

Grade: A

Rogue John John Dead Guy Ale, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
  1. i’m salivating…

    Noel — February 8th, 2010, 2:03 PM
  2. Tom, explain the aging process of this beer a bit more. you said it was NOT aged in used scotch or bourbon barrels but earlier you say it is aged in Dead Guy Whiskey barrels. Perhaps my spirit knowledge is not up to snuff. Help me out.

    Nate — February 9th, 2010, 12:49 AM
  3. Here is what I’ve come to understand in my brief sampling of Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch.
    One of the requirements for making Bourbon is that it has to be aged in new (first-use) white oak barrels. Now all Bourbon is Whiskey, but not all Whiskey is Bourbon, therefore some Whiskey might reuse barrels (but I’m sure most use new ones). Scotch on the other hand reuses various barrels. Take Balvenie Double-wood for example. They age the Scotch in reused Bourbon barrels and then tranfer them to age in reused Sherry barrels. Most beers that are oak aged are done so in previously used bourbon barrels. All that to say, I’m working under the assumption that Rogue uses new barrels to make their Whiskey. I did not detect any hints of Bourbon in the John John Ale. I know Rogue makes a Gin with reused Pinot Noir barrels, but beyond that I’d have to do some research. Hope that helps.

    Tom — February 9th, 2010, 2:25 PM
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