I love a great Imperial Stout. I love the fact that it feels as though it is sliding down my throat when I drink it. I love the slight alcohol burn as it warms. And I love the dark, bittersweet taste of malt. There are very few things I don’t like about Imperial Stouts, which means I try a lot of them. I have journeyed through Left Hand’s Wake Up Dead, Avery’s Czar, Great Divide’s Yeti and most notably Founder’s Imperial Stout. Founder’s has been the pinnacle; that by which I measure all others. However, after trying Expedition, I’m beginning to think that I’ve been a bit shortsighted. Expedition Stout gives Founder’s a run for it’s money as top Imperial Stout in my books. It’s a good thing that there really is no need to just choose one.
pours motor oil thick with a thin head
heavy chocolate aroma
tastes burnt, but in a good way…like roasted marshmallow skins
warms to a nice creamy caramel
nice warm alcohol tingle
Like a cold winter’s day, John J. McCauley III’s voice will chill you to the bone. And like Bell’s Expedition Stout it’ll heat your soul like a blazing oil drum trash fire in a dark alley….perhaps I stretched the metaphor too far. Here’s Deer Tick with “Piece By Piece and Frame By Frame”.
The leaves are changing and the weather is getting colder. Sweaters are emerging from bottom drawers and the night air is dominated by that “campfire smell.” This means a couple of things to me:
1.) It’s ridiculously close to the Christmas season and all the rushing around and family get-togethers and insanity that comes with it.
2.) It’s Stout season.
I love a good stout. Give me the motor-oiliest, dark as tar, chewy stout you’ve got. I love it.
While it’s not exactly a “chewy stout”, Schlafly Coffee Stout is a pretty nice treat in St. Louis around this time of the year. It is a solid stout with very mellow coffee hints. It’s easy drinking and the best part? It’s pretty easy to find. Even QuikTrip carries Coffee Stout.
The beer pours a nice deep brown color with a tan head. The mouthfeel isn’t very heavy despite its dark color and the coffee flavor won’t over power you. And while there are no “bells and whistles” to this beer, it always seems to please beer geeks and non-geeks alike. If you have a chance to get this beer before the season is over, do. At 7 bucks a six, you won’t regret it.
I am a bit ashamed to admit that it wasn’t that long ago that I tried this beer…as in, this year. I have long been a fan of the Shakespeare Stout and the Hazelnut Brown Nectar, but I never really felt the urge to give the Dead Guy a try.
To me, Rogue Dead Guy is the kind of beer that I would consider a “foundation” beer. In keeping with the Maibock style, there is an expected malt presence, but it’s never the only thing there. There is a definite hop character that gives it a little tinge. All that to say that it’s extremely balanced–no “extreme brewing” here. Nothing ornate. Nothing fancy. Nothing really jumps out at you when you drink it. In fact, the main thing I was thinking while tasting this again was how utterly unremarkable this beer is. And how in the world of the taxidermied shoat encased bottle, I am completely fine with that.
Dead Guy is a cornerstone of the craft beer world that everyone should try. This is absolutely the perfect beer to recommend to someone who is just jumping off into the craft beer world. There is nothing offensive about its 40 IBUs and the craft newbie won’t think that he is chewing his beer. A six pack of can be relatively pricey, but you definitely feel like (as with most Rogue beers) you are getting something for it.
While the connection to the Grateful Dead is coincidental for Rogue Dead Guy (it comes from the celebration of The Day of the Dead), I couldn’t resist posting such a solidly classic Grateful Dead song as the pair to this solidly classic craft beer. Enjoy!
Have an idea for a classic craft beer I should review? Leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org