Monday, July 23, 2012

Rogue Dad's Little Helper Malt Liquor

Rogue hasn't brewed this beer in some time and I've always been curious to try it. However, it's always been about $7+ and I didn't feel I could justify spending that much money on one bottle of beer that is supposed to be bad according to all the reviews I've seen of it. Fortunately, my beer store had this in their half off bin so I picked up a bottle. I thought it would be a funny or interesting beer to review as part of the home stretch.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (699) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 21, 2012
I believe Rogue ceased production of Dad’s Little Helper Malt Liquor in 2010 or early 2011 - which would technically make this a vintage. I picked up a bottle at my beer store because it was half off. I was prepared for something nasty, but I was shocked when the beer was not only drinkable, but very enjoyable! It’s nothing like a "malt liquor" in the least, but goes to show that any style can be brewed to taste great.

I poured a dusty 22oz bottle into a one liter boot stein.

Appearance: Rusty/dirty honey color; fine carbonation bubbles visible around the edges. Forms a large, white, frothy head which retains and laces wonderfully.

Smell: Initially a generic beer smell, but a closer inspection reveals a strong sweetness - especially of honey and some confectionary/syrupy notes.

Taste: Much like the nose, the palate begins with a honey and confectionary sweetness. A distinct maltiness with flavors of toffee and caramel - similar to that of an Oktoberfest or Marzen-style brew. I’ve experienced these flavors in imperial helles bock, but nothing remotely close to this in a "malt liquor." I’m not quite sure how or why Rogue gets away with classifying this beer as such. Perhaps its due to the use of flaked corn and a Czech pilsner yeast. Still, there’s nothing about this that tastes foul, dirty or cheap like a 40oz you’d buy from the corner store.

While not the best beer I’ve ever had, I must admit that Dad’s Little Helper Malt Liquor is probably the most impressive. Not only because of the style but because of the age of my bottle. I genuinely enjoyed every sip and was surprised by how sweet the palate was. Very little bitterness, no alcohol presence in the palate, and a mostly clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: Though technically a lager, Dad’s Little Helper Malt Liquor has the mouthfeel, body, and overall presence of an ale. The texture is somewhat watery, but certainly doesn’t taste flat or mild. It’s also not overly carbonated as it goes down remarkably smooth. I would be able to chug a beer boot of this without any problem. There’s a slightly chalky/dry aftertaste, but it’s easily tolerable. Allegedly 8% ABV, but you’d never know because there’s no booziness to the palate and it doesn’t fill you up or overwhelm you either. If I had to chug 40oz of a malt liquor, I’d make it this one for sure.

Grade: 8/10

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