Saturday, April 14, 2012
Rogue John John Dead Guy Ale – Rogue Ales – Newport, OR
Well, here I sit again with a sampling from the Rogue Brewery in front of me, and once again…expectations are high. The Rogue brewery seems to knock ‘em out of the park every time. They clearly have their finger on the pulse of the Craft Beer community, and I am more than happy to keep reviewing their products. Tonight, I’m checking out their collaboration project, which is showcasing their Dead Guy Ale line by barrel-aging it in the company’s very own whiskey barrels. Here’s what the website has to say:
Brewed by Rogue Ales
Style: Heller Bock
Newport, Oregon USA
Serve in Lager glass, Shaker, Stein
40 IBU, 78AA, 16 Plato, 16 L
In a collaboration of crafts, Rogue Brewmaster John Maier and Rogue Spirits Master Distiller John Couchot have joined forces to create a distinct, innovative series of brews called John John Ales. The series will take Rogue Ales legends and age them in Rogue Spirits barrels. A 3,100 gallon batch of John John Ale produces 1357 cases of beer. The first of the John John series is John John Dead Guy Ale, Rogue’s award winning Dead Guy Ale matured in Rogue’s award winning Dead Guy Whiskey barrels. Deep honey in color with a malt aroma, a caramel, vanilla and oak finish.
Malts: Carastan, Rogue Micro-Barley Farm Dare & Risk malts.
Hops: Saaz, Willamette, Rogue Micro-Farm Hop Yard Revolution hops.
Yeast & Water: Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.
Construction began in June of 1988 in Ashland along a very scenic little stream called Lithia Creek. The 10 bbl brew system was set up in a basement with a 60 seat Pub above. The first brews were Amber and Gold. The Brewery and Pub opened in October 1988.
While the Brew Pub was located in a very pretty and scenic location, had a beautiful deck and enjoyed moderate success and the beer was great, Ashland was not to be Rogue's only adventure. Ashland was basically land locked, and frankly we were losing our butts in Ashland, trying to sell our hand-crafted ales. Rogue needed room to grow and grow we did. So Jack set off in search of greener pastures.
In early February of 1989, Jack wandered to Newport in search of the perfect place for another Rogue Pub. Legend has it that a terrible and unusual snow storm struck and Jack found himself stranded on the Historic Bay Front, with no way up the hill. He was forced to walk the streets until he met up with Mohave Niemi, founder of the famous Mo's Clam Chowder. She took him to the original Mo's restaurant, gave him a bowl of hot clam chowder and told him about her dream of living above a Bar and how she might just have the perfect spot for the next Rogue Brew Pub. The large building sported 3 full time apartments upstairs, a sweater shop, an Art Gallery and 1,100 sq. ft. of empty store front and an 800 sq. ft. garage that was currently being used to store antique cars. Mo offered the vacant space and the garage to Jack at a very generous price, under two stipulations: that a picture of Mo herself, naked in a bath tub, be forever displayed at the Pub (it's still there today just to the left of the Bar) and that Rogue "feed the fisherman", meaning that we give back to the local community. This building was known as the Front & Case Bldg.
In Feb of 1989, construction began on the Bay Front Brew Pub. Making this a step up in the world by going from a basement in Ashland to a garage in Newport. The front of the house also was being readied. The back bar was originally from the old Elk Tavern.
In May of 1989, John Maier joins Rogue after a stint with Alaska Brewing. John is a former Senior Technician with Hughes Aircraft Co. in El Segundo, CA from 1975 to 1986 and Seibel Institute graduate.
The Pub opened in May of 1989, with a small but enthusiastic customer base, made up of curious locals who dropped by to see what was going on and never left. Many joined in and helped with the construction and other projects as needed. The names of many of these early customers have been immortalized with brass plaques that grace the bar today. One of the most notable of these future customers was Chuck Linquist. He was retired, was a home brewer, and had an interest in microbrews. He was also bored and wanted to do something useful. We consider him one of our first employees. His handiwork is still visible at the Pub, the shelves that line the bar area, the light sconces, as well as the memorabilia on the shelf above Mo's picture, that Chuck brought back from Europe.
So begins the story of Rogue Ales, enjoy!
There is a lot going on with this brew. You break the seal, and immediately, the slightly bitter aroma of Dead Guy Ale greets you. The pour was clean, with almost no head to speak of. The coloring is that deep caramel color, with a beautiful tint to the brew. The biggest surprise though is the taste. WOW…the whiskey is right there slapping the shit out of you as soon as take your first sip. Was it good? Well, I do like good whiskey; so I was immediately taken with it…but I will say this…if you don’t like whiskey, then stay away from this one. You CANNOT escape it, and it sticks with the brew until the very end. It is a sweet barrel-aged brew though. Check it out if you can.
9/10 - Sweet