Dead Guy Ale 6.5% ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock
Ten months have past. Ten months and hundreds of different beers. Ten months, it has been, since I tried this beer for the first and, I thought, last time. A few readers might remember my harsh criticism of this beer while comparing it to the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Needless to say1, I wasn’t a fan of the Dead Guy Ale.
I felt it was a beer too highly touted, praised to the point of becoming overvalued. This perception of Dead Guy Ale became entrenched in the minds of some critics (specifically mine). Perception became a reality, even when I thought I was giving Dead Guy Ale an honest chance with an open mind.
I started rethinking my solid stance on the beer over the past couple of months. Maybe I went into the tasting of the beer with such high expectations that there was no way it could appease me? Maybe it was time that I gave Dead Guy Ale another opportunity? These thoughts, while sound in logic, were never enough to get to me actually purchase a bottle. Then as luck would have it, a most generous individual gifted me a bottle. A few months prior and I would have been disappointed, whereas now I was excited to give this beer another shot.
The beer has a thick white foam head the same color of the snow in the background of the picture.2 The head retention is good, not dissipating too quickly. The coloration of the beer is a cloudy amber/copper. I’m surprised to find the beer tasty, nuanced with different flavors and notes cropping up here and there. Great malt flavor is present that changes a bit as the beer warms, providing an almost sourness at points. The hop profile is just right, balancing out the the maltiness well. Although for those who despise hops, it’s probably too hoppy.
What a delight! This beer has gone from being incredibly overrated to the point that, at least for me, it’s actually now underrated. I’m of course stealing a theory from Bill Simmons. Basically the idea goes as follows. Someone or something can be so overly hyped for a long enough time, that people agree it is completely overrated. It is then claimed to be overrated for long enough that it actually becomes underrated. The process can go both ways.
I was so smug about the high praise heaped upon this beer that I became overly critical of it. I had such low expectations going into my second tasting that I was surprised to taste a solid flavorful brew. I humbly apologize to Rogue for my hasty dismissal of one of their beers. Do you have any examples of beers that were so overrated they became underrated? Or that were underrated and then became overrated?
- What a phrase of oxymoronic waste. ↩
- The skeleton on the label appears to be as chilled “to the bone” (I deserve a punch for that) as I was taking this picture. Like an idiot I thought it would be good to take a photo outside when it’s -11 with the windchill. It turned out well but not sure it was worth risking frostbite on my hands. ↩