Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey

Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey
40% ABV, 80 Proof
Around $40, Available in 30 States

What The Distillery Says:
Honoring unique rogues whose spirit lingers long past their mortal existence.  Dead Guy Whiskey is distilled from the sweet wort of Rogue’s award-winning Dead Guy Ale.  Distiller’s yeast is added and the sweet wort is fermented for 7 days then double distilled in a 150 gallon copper whiskey still and ocean aged in oak.  5 Ingredients:  Munich, C-15, and 2-Row malts, distiller’s yeast, free range coastal water.

What Matt Says:
Nose: Sea foam, vegetal, almost like an Islay or a coastal Single Malt from Scotland
Palate: Viscous, briny (think Jura or Old Pulteney), spice w/ a slight burn.  Warming.
Finish: Vegetal w/ a slight burn.
Comments: Dead Guy Ale is very malty with lots of dark berry notes to my nose & palate.  My appreciation of the beer gave me high expectations for this whiskey.  Unfortunately, I am having difficulty finding any of the “award-winning” qualities from the Ale in the Whiskey.  Served at room temperature, Dead Guy Ale is really nice, with a great balance of fruit and malt (it loses a lot if it gets too cold).  The whiskey is a little heavy on the brine which mutes the cereal and fruit in the wort.  There is not a lot of depth here.  Maybe they should go the Charbay route and throw in some hops.  That being said, Rogue may have created one of the best boiler makers on the planet.  When paired, the Dead Guys really shine.  It’s like one of those perfect terroir tastings where things just come together and create an experience greater than the sum of its parts.  Was that the intent?  You will have to ask the guys at Rogue for that answer.
Rating:  Slightly Below Average unless paired with a Dead Guy Ale.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Musty like old mildewing clothes with notes of vegetable matter and rancid grapes.  It is not very appealing.
Palate: It tastes better than it smells.  It has coastal notes similar to a roughened Jura or Old Pulteney.  This isn’t terrible but it just doesn’t make me want to drink it straight.
Finish: This finishes a little rough around the edges but that isn’t surprising given the youth of the whiskey.  The lingering notes are unfortunately a much more unpleasant version of the palate.
Comments: I didn’t get to try this with their beer to compare but I wouldn’t buy this myself.  I applaud the effort of innovative micro distillers but definitely needs more work.
Rating: Probably Pass.

Overall Rating: Probably Pass.

4 thoughts on “Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey”

  1. I have to agree with Richard, this whiskey is undrinkable. Matt, I think you should a physician if you actually compare this Nose to an Islay, seriously you may have a tumor or something…

  2. We just got our first bottle we are excited to try it. We are wondering what is c-15? What does it do?

  3. C-15 is the name given to a certain barley varietal. Like the Munich and 2-row malts, the C-15 is partially responsible for the flavor profile in the beer and ultimately in the whiskey. For more specific information, you would have to ask someone who knows more about brewing. Enjoy your whiskey. I recommend drinking it alongside a Rogue Dead Guy Ale.

  4. I preferred the Dead Guy Whiskey to their single malt – both of which I sampled on a recent trip to Portland.

    Yes, the DGW is “sweet” and certainly not “complex” in the sense of a “fine” whiskey, however… this is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Imagine instead of starting out with rot-gut like Yukon Jack or Southern Comfort our “youth” began their journey of appreciation of fine whiskeys with DGW?! Now wouldn’t that be a positive…?!?!

    I say “yes!”

    My suggestion to Rogue: Lower the price point by at least $10 and target a sophisticated beer demographic which may be less sophisticated when it comes to the hard stuff.

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