Beer Me 8?
Howdy ho, Cal Poly. I hope this fine Thursday morning/afternoon/evening/night is treating you all well. I’m sure it is. Just a couple more weeks of that whole school deal. Got those final exams and papers coming up.
Myself, I’ll be getting out of this school altogether after this quarter. Suckers! That is, of course, pending my passing of all classes. Not to worry; as the quarter ends, time flies by, so to be more efficient I’m doing my final beer tastings at the same time as my homework and studying. How could I not do well?
Alrighty then, let’s get down to business. Last week I went exploring. This week, I’m going rogue. Not to be confused with rouge, mind you. Anyway, after having looked up the actual definition of rogue, I found it to be rather unpleasant, as it was associated with words like “cheat,” “dishonest” and “mischievous.”
I prefer to think of it as simply going against the norm, trying something new. You know, that sort of stuff. And I believe that’s probably what Rogue Brewery, based all the way up in Oregon, had in mind when deciding on a name.
Why do I think this? It’s quite simple, really: One of the beers I’ll be trying today is the Chipotle Ale. No, that isn’t a misleading name, the product actually has smoked jalapeno peppers on the ingredients list. The other beer I’ll be trying is the world-ish famous, award-winning Dead Guy Ale. If these two beers aren’t against the norm in title and taste, then … well, then the norm is pretty weird.
So, the Chipotle Ale, eh? Huh, I’m feeling suddenly timid as I approach the bottle with my opener. Is it spicy? Is it flavorful? Is it just plain gross? I pop the bottle open … I take a whiff … It smells like Thai! No wait, that’s my lunch. I move my lunch plate … I pour the beer into the glass … I stop using the ellipsis punctuation.
The beer pours a nice, deep amber with an off-white head. The aroma is of malt and that smoked jalapeno pepper. The beer is smooth and malty. It’s in the finish where one really gets a good feel of the pepper and the slight spiciness — and yes, there is a spiciness present, though it is not at all overbearing.
For me, the biggest flavor in this beer is the smoked one. It is an intriguing combination of smoked, malt and chipotle that makes for a pretty cool exbeerience. If you’re looking to try something new, give this a try. Rogue has dedicated this beer to Juan de la Cueva, an author who in 1575 “wrote of a Mexican dish that combined seedless chipotles with beer.” So go grab one and pay your respects.
Speaking of paying one’s respects, it is time that we moved on to Rouge’s Dead Guy Ale. According to Rogue’s site, in the ‘90s, Dead Guy Ale was but a tap sticker that was designed to celebrate the Mayan Day of the Dead. After it grew in popularity, especially among Grateful Dead fans, they decided to make it the label of their maibock-style beer, a style of beer that isn’t quite as dark as a bock, is very hoppy and still packs a punch.
The Dead Guy Ale pours a medium-to-deep amber, with an off-white head. The aroma is sweet and fruity. At first, the taste rather surprised me after the sweet aroma. It seemed deeper and more powerful. As I let the beer sit on my tongue, though, the sweetness comes back. Along with it is a toasted malt flavor. If it were a toasted bread, it would be a darker one. Don’t know what I mean? Grab this ale or one like it and take a drink. If you couldn’t help but swallow it, take another. Let this one sit in your mouth and let the flavors come to you. When drinking a beer, you often have to just let it sit on your palate to get the full-flavored exbeerience.
All in all, drinking the Dead Guy has proven to be a pleasant experience. With sweet and toasted malts coming into play along with a medium amount of hoppiness, this beer may not be necessarily complex, but it is a nice change from your typical brews.
Well, folks, that’s all I’ve got for today. I know, I know; it’s far too short. Well that’s because I’m saving my words and my money for next week’s column. That’s right, next week’s will be the one in which I will be testing out beers that you have left in the comments on the Web site. So if you have any last selections, put them on now. I will be randomly picking the ones I want to taste on Saturday. And if you have already left a comment, don’t worry, I may not have responded, but I’ve been checking.
Speaking of checking, make sure that next time you go and enjoy a tasting of beer, mead, wine, liquor or moonshine, you check to see that you have a designated driver. We don’t need anybody celebrating the end of the quarter by crashing their car, motorcycle, bike, skateboard, Razor scooter or Heelys. Don’t let your celebration get ruined by injuring yourself or another. Stay safe out there, Cal Poly.