Today we'll be examining a product by a micro-brewery turned micro-distillery in Oregon. This product is the Rogue Dead Guy whiskey. This whiskey is actually distilled from the wort of their flagship Dead Guy Ale. The difference of course is that they are using a distiller's yeast rather than a traditional ale yeast to ferment. It is not specified whether the wort contains any hops, but conventional whiskey wisdom would denote that there is not. A history of the Rogue brewery and distillery can be found here.
Rogue Dead Guy whiskey's nose begins unabashedly malty. There's no doubt that the traditional brewers mash is utilized here. The flavors of the two row and crystal barley malts are present in massive quantities. There are also heady notes of apple, honey, and allspice. Faint hints of oak finish the whiff. The flavor is equally malty. It has a similar malt quality to Irish whisky, or even Scotch or Japanese whisky, sans the peat. The honey again makes a showing as the base note of the spirit moving towards light brown sugar, oak, and tangerines. It finishes with a cinnamon flourish.
I enjoyed this whiskey quite a bit. It will lend an air of familiarity to those who are repeat malt whisky drinkers, will be a refreshing change of pace to those who are Canadian whisky or Bourbon drinkers, and should appeal to anyone with a growing whiskey collection without it. My only hope going forward is that Rogue decides to age it a bit longer than it is. Regardless, this product is a hit. Good work Rogue! Pick a 750 ML bottle up at your local area Spec's for around 39 bucks.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Suggested Tasting Method: Neat or on the rocks.
Suggested Cigar Pairing: Partagas Black Label Maximo