Dad's Little Helper Malt Liquor | Rogue Ales

269 Reviews
Dad's Little Helper Malt LiquorDad's Little Helper Malt Liquor

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
6 Ingredients:
Malts: Harrington & Klages.
Hops: Crystal.
Specialty: Flaked Corn.
Yeast & Water: Czech Pils Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

25 IBU
77 AA
10º Lovibond

Added by aforbes10 on 05-12-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 335
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.76/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"And though she's not really ill, there's a little yellow pill,
She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper"

--The Rolling Stones

Rogue knows that dads need a little shelter too. What better way to get there than with a kick ass malt liquor? I've decided not to review this beer as part of my Malt Likkapalooza series because I expect it to be in a different league than most, if not all, versions of the style that are currently available. Is that special treatment justified? Let's find out.

I was hoping for sweet corn yellow, but the beer is actually a beautiful shade of rich amber that is as bright and as clear as the morning sunshine outside my front window. The cap is bone white rather than cotton white and has at least some of the usual Rogue magic. As expected, it lays down quite a bit of lace.

The nose's good point is that it doesn't smell like ethanol. Its bad points are that it smells like nothing other than weak pale malt and lightly musky hops. It may be refined compared to the usual malt liquor rabble, but give me something to work with guys.

Dad's Little Helper is pretty good beer... considering. It tastes like sugar cookie dough with a dash of corn meal to add a bit of flavor interest. Of course I've never had cookies that tasted like alcohol, but they could be good. Thankfully, the flaked corn adds a modest amount of sweetness without making the beer taste overwhelming corny.

What tastes like a generous Crystal hop addition gives this malt liquor much more bitterness and more hop flavor than most versions can manage. That isn't surprising since hops are probably the most expensive ingredient used in a batch of the typical 'vagrant's choice'.

Most malt liquor makes me want to grunt like an ape. This one makes me want to hold out my pinkie when I drink. Actually, with the use of a quality Belgian yeast strain, Dad's Little Helper would make a pretty fair BSPA. Don't laugh, I'm being serious.

Thankfully, the mouthfeel isn't too plush. There are limits to this refinement crap, after all. It has a perfect about of 'smack you upside the head' firmness and is well-carbonated without being overly buzzy. Do these guys know their beer or what?

I don't remember much about my bomber of Imperial Gold Malt Liquor from the now-defunct Hawks Brewing, but I do know that it's the best malt liquor that has ever graced my glass. Even though the scores are almost identical, I think I preferred that beer to this one. As far as currently available versions, Dad's Little Helper is my clear favorite... at least until I manage to acquire a bottle of Dogfish Head Liquor De Malt.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.32/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650 ml brown bomber, served in a pilsener glass.

Slightly hazy, extremely pale straw in color. Thin, fizzy-white head that leaves a faint ring around the glass' rim. No lacing at all.

Sweet molasses and weak, metallic caramel. Slightly sour, fruity esters: white grape, apple. Musty wheat, touches of rice and grains. Not offensive in aroma considering the style.

Sweet caramel, molasses; a touch of creamy toffee. Pleasant notes of alcohol-soaked plum, white grape, fig, and raisin. Dry, malted grains and rice. The finish is dry and airy followed by an aftertaste of sweet plum, grape, and apple.

A full, medium bodied; creamy on the palate at first, turns dry and airy in the finish and aftertaste.

A pleasant surprise given the style. Not overly sweet or intensified by alcohol. A testament to Rogue's ability to craft something decent out of a vomit-inducing style.

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Photo of Padron4KM
2.58/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber. No freshness date noted.

Hazy golden with a creamy white head and spotty lace.

Aroma of sweet corn, grain, light brown sugar.

Flavor is sweet, malty, sugary, buttery, with a bit of hops on the finish.

Not bad for a sweet malt liquor, much better than the OE, Mickeys, Steel reserve that make up this genre.

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Photo of theWrkncacnter
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a small amount from a 22oz bottle to see the color and the head, I drank the rest straight from the bottle because that's how you're supposed to drink malt liquor, I couldn't find a paper bag though.

Color is a very disturbing piss yellow/orange. Very little head that fades quickly to no lacing at all. Taste is actually pretty darned good for a malt liquor. Strong alcohol taste with a little bit of hops and lots of malt character. Pretty strong mouthfeel, but decent drinkability.

Kind of a novelty in my opinion, I don't think I'd buy it again. It's cheap, but I think I'd rather spend a few more bucks and get something better. Props to Rogue for their sense of humor though.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.59/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/19/06- Purchased at Booze Bros. in Reno, NV.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness dating. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Medium brown colored pour. A bit clouded and murky. Is this bottle conditioned like Liquor de Malt? Very minor head with iltra light lacing.

Smell- A tad on the musty side. Alcohol is detected outright. Super malty with a light corn nose. About the standard for a malt liquor.

Taste- Mirrors the nose pretty much. Extremely malty, light corn flavor with alcohol being the first and last thing you taste and pretty much everything in between. Malt is very bready as well.

Mouthfeel- Thick and slick on the tongue. Boozelike aftertaste with medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Better than the run of the mill 40oz, but Dogfish it is not. If you need to go ghetto, this would be a decent choice though.

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Photo of dgfair
2.46/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Straw colored liquid with a fizzy head that dissipates quickly. Kinda looks like a Michelob.

S - Smell is mainly sweet corn with a very light tinge of dirty hops. Tough to pick up much scent of this one.

T - Corn, a little alcohol, and the aftertaste of a cheap domestic (old mil, natty). Not much depth of flavor and not very pleasant. Served at 45 degrees, maybe should be colder.

M - A little bit slimy and pretty heavily carbonated. Nothing special but probably par for the course on a malt liquor.

D - Not very drinkable, bad taste and alcohol slow you down significantly. Like I said before, probably would go down smoother if it was colder. Decent alcohol kick on this one as it warms my belly a little bit.

Probably not worth another go for me.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.85/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this beer into tumbler at 45 degrees. beer was faily average looking like a domestic. Beer had no head at all and no lacing. looked flat and smelled skunky. Bland tasting kinda like a domestic, nothing stood out. It okay i guess but why pay that price for a flat malt liqour when you can buy a fresh Micky. Not buy again.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this in Indianapolis for a very competitive $2.99. Oh wait, I suppose its not that competitive when you consider how much more malt liquor you'd get for so much cheaper if you were going, say, Colt 45 stylee.

Pretty true-to-style ugly, including the label. Cheap trick reference? No real head and a smidge of lacing.

Nose is pretty bland, creamy malts and an interesting cinnamon-like spice bite.

Wow, I actually really like the flavor of this beer. The flaked corn reminds me of some bad beers I like, and the smoothness and overall cleanliness of the package is quite appealing. Goes down super-duper smooth.

While quite gimmick-y, i'm liking the craft-brewed malt liquors. I'd really like to see a hoppy variety. Remember, adjuncts aren't necessarily evil. Its in the way that you use it (them). I'd have this again, especially at $3.

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Photo of therica
3.52/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Recommended by my older son, for some reason...

I can't remember having a malt liquor for a long time, since the days of Colt-45 and Magnum, for those old enough to remember both. This is much better, although liquor-tasting beer isn't really my style.

A= Nice medium honey-gold, white head which fades quickly into laced pools.

S= nice, hops-floral, a bit liquor-scent, maybe some egg (sulpher) but that might just be the liquor & hops and maybe some anise/hyssop or something.

T= more liquor than I desire, therefore less appealing than the up-front smell. Rich honey, underlying anise/licorice/hyssop tones in the taste and finish. Not boring. Not heavy on carbonation, like the 60's oldies. Some reminiscenses of the many on-tap Leffe Blond's I had in Belgium last year.

M= reminds me of a few honey-licorice cough-drops that I've had, slight syrupy but not overly so, definitely not watery, not much carbonation residual-effect.

D= too strong for much more than one, but probably great if you're in the mood for this style at the time. Probably decent with some meals.

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Photo of JasonA
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Pours a dehydrated urine with no head and zero lacing.

No hops present. Fresh malt, zero roast of course. Above average for no hops smell and freshness.

Tastes sweet. Almost a syrup taste. Alcohol byte, my guess would be 7 or less ABV.

Could be creamy. Pretty light like a pilsner, but smoother. Finish is definately malty, light bodied.

Drinkability is somewhat low only because its not a style I would go for. However, definately a try at least once. I might even try again if its offered or on tap though I dont see myself having more than 1 on any occasion.

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Photo of Cresant
2.65/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 16.6 oz bomber into a nonic. Clear, rich golden colored body supported a weak head. Sizzling head dissolved to nothing quickly. Minimal carbonation trails rose.

Smell was rather strong. Corn husks and beer bottle caps. Alcohol presented late.

Taste was tart with a harsh bitterness. Walnut skin bitterness--not hops flavor bitterness. Perfumy taste (not smell). Sweet, syrupy.

Mouthfeel was zippy, zestiness. This beer is not one I will seek again. Reviewed to style.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy yellow color with a nice head of white foam that billows above the beer. Medium level of carbonation. No lace.

S: Wow. No heavy alcohol or rotten grain stink. Aromas of rich malt and yeast with a biscuit backbone. Nice. I must say, quite impressed.

T: Double Wow. Sweet yet not sickly corn flavors, bready malts, a light earthy husk and grain quality. Come on, is this really a malt liquor?

M: Slightly syrupy and dense, little carbonation is noted on the tongue.

D: For a malt liquor, this is amazingly drinkable. I'd come back to it in a minute. Hands down, the best malt liquor i've ever had, and likely will ever have.

Notes: Had to go to OH to find it, but it was worth it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, what a refreshing change! And here I thought all malt-liquors had to contain fusel alcohols and an extra label warning you not to light up a smoke while drinking one! ;) Kidding...

Dad's Little Helper is hazy and deep golden in color with a creamy but fairly short-lived head. It does leaves some very nice lace at the outset, however, and continues with some wide splotchy streaks as you go.

The nose is mainly malty, mostly cereal-like, with a very light touch of hops in the background. Clean and pleasant with no noticeable alcohols.

The flavor follows suit, and it's malty with an edge of both acohol and hops. As a fan of crystal hops, I really enjoy them here, and find it has a refreshing edge that's just lightly floral and works well with the sweetness of the malt. It's not overly sweet though, and there's some distinct graininess going on. Adjunct is, however, obvious - but you need it in a beer that's this big with so little hops hops! Bitterness is just balancing given the girth of the malt. Still, it's not out of bounds in any way, and it finishes pretty clean and dry with just some mild residual ceral-like maltiness in the mouth.

Not unlike most American malt liquors, it's sweetish, and tasty, and somewhat rounded at first, but as you progress it warms to reveal it's true nature. But this is cleaner, and fuller in maltiness and flavor. It's actually not unlike some of the better-made strong eastern European lagers on the market (from Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, etc.). Interesting and enjoyable!

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Photo of msolar
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden color, like what you’d expect from a lager. Tastes decent, pretty average beer with a slight ‘zing’ to it. It’s certainly not a malt liquor like you’d expect if you’ve been drinking Hurricane or Schlitz lately. Worth a try, but only if you’re feeling bored with whatever else is on the shelf. I probably won’t buy it again and certainly not a good representation of what Rogue is capable of. I also can’t claim to be a malt liquor connoisseur, but this was without a doubt the most expensive one I’ve had at $5.25 and it wasn’t even 40oz.

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Photo of Wasatch
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice looking golden color, nice carbonation, not much of a head though, lacing is skimpy at best. Scents of sweet malt, hops, yeast, and some spices. The taste is kinda sweet, slightly hoppy, there's some spicyness going on as well, nice clean finish. Medium body. Drinkable, not really into this brew though.

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Photo of johnbonham1980
2.18/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I have to admit that I wouldnt't have given this beer a second look had it not been a) brewed by Rogue and b) had a great name.

I've had this beer twice and enjoyed it quite a bit more the first time. My taste in beer has changed quite a bit though even in the past six months, and while before I was into craft beer, now I'm REALLY into craft beer and my palate is much more picky.

Appearance is a hazy, opaque yellow with a greenish tint. Fizzy head which dissipates immediately.

Smell is probably this beer's weakest point, and most likely hard to avoid this being the case if staying true to style. Not being well versed in the deliciousness of adjuncts... I can't say if the corn used is at fault or otherwise.

The taste is not horrid, and is certainly better than most macros, but still not something I'd choose again. It may be that the second bottle I got is getting a bit long in the tooth but I found that it was fairly hard to finish. Something I'm not used to with Rogue beers. Again, probably still true to style though. Definite sweet fruit and a good amount of bready, sweet malt dominate the palate.

Mouthfeel is thick, oily, and coating. Leads to a long aftertaste, which is actually pretty pleasant.

Overall, a novelty beer. I commend Rogue on making a fine malt likka, but it's not really my thing. Would make a memorable father's day gift, obviously.


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Photo of mentor
2.78/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from detailed notes. Pours a half finger off-white head over a light straw colored liquid. A bit of green anti-freeze glow when held to light. Smells of corn, alcohol, and canteloupe.

Taste mild. Mild alcohol sting. Sweet with a phenolic edge. Dry straw finish. Drying in the back of the throat, with med-light mouthfeel. I still haven't met a malt liquor I like.

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Photo of Gavage
2.78/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: clear yellow / light orange color with a thin 1/4" head that disappears immediately. No lacing.

Smell: sweetness is all that is detected.

Taste: malt, corn, honey are dominant and there is a touch of bitterness but not enough to mellow the sweetness. Some alcohol is detectable.

Mouthfeel: smooth all around. Long sweet aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: not for me as this is just doesn't taste good. Couldn't finish the bottle either. I'll stick with the good Rogue beers.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.37/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale piss yellow tone. Thin dirty white head leaves little lace. Aroma is sweet and grainy. Sweet taste. Almost cloying, but not quite. Syrupy heavy body. Alcohol is noticeable, but not to a great extent. Not a lot of adjunct in the flavor. Maybe a little. I haven't had a malt liquor in a long time, but from what I remember, this one compares favorably to those.

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Photo of nortmand
4.27/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with a soft, frothy white head.

Sweet grainy wort smells dominate the nose.

Fairly sweet up front, mellow into slight hop bitterness, leaving a slightly resinous aftertaste.

Medium bodied and seemingly a bit underattenuated, but other than that, this is a fun, easy drinking, yet still flavorful offering from Rogue. John- keep doin' what you do, despite any BA naysayers.

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Photo of wedge
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super-clear pale gold with a fizzy white head. Light fruity-sweet aroma...its not revolting - this is a big plus. Some alcohol stings the nostrils. The taste is majorly sweet which actually does a good job covering up the fusel alcohol (which is noticeable). Despite the addition of corn, it isn't really all that apparent. Medium, dry, moderately carbonated mouthfeel. Drinkability is really good for what it is, considering I can never choke down an entire 40 of any other kind.

If you absolutely HAVE to get some malt liqour and you can get this for $2 a bottle (like I did), this is probably as good as it gets. But, as the name seems to imply, malt liquor is really only good for one thing... :-)

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Photo of tastybeer
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks pretty good, especially for any malt liquor I've seen. Extremely clear brassy amber color with a white head and actual retention. Nose is hard to detect but what I find is sweet corn, caramel malt, and light delicate fruit. Tastes likewise with some lingering bitterness which helps counter the sweet caramel corn. Mouthfeel is suprisingly nice for what this is. Coating and smooth with a light to medium body and moderate but extended carbonation. Drinkability is ok. Back in the day I've had some malt liquors that don't go down nearly as easy.

Interesting and worth the experience I guess. I suppose if you're on a 'mission' and for some reason have a hankering for malt liquor, pick this up.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Brightly copper in color with lots of carbonation bubbles racing to the surface. A nice, half finger sized head forms and has nice retention with some sporadic lacing.

Aroma is corn laden with some mild hoppiness. Pretty standard as far as I am concerned. Some sweet smells as well.

Taste is pretty balanced. Not cloying at all like most other malt liquors. Some hop bitterness balances out the predominant corn flavors. Slightly alcoholic in taste as it warms but still stays pretty concealed.

Not a bad brew in my opinion. Probably wont revisit this one but I am glad I gave it a whirl.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sample at AleFest Dayton: Kudos to DFH and Rogue trying to bring some respectability to this style. The beer is an orange/gold color with a medium off-white head. Thin patchy lacing. The aroma is of course malty, with some dough and fruit. Medium-bodied and saccharine sweet with a lot of malt and corn flavor. The finish is grainy and sweet. Despite being made by great breweries, I just can’t get into this style.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - golden straw color, a nice large white head of almost two fingers. Recedes fast with little lace but a nice enough looking start.

Aroma - grain, sweetness, about like any other malt liquor, but there is a more robust grain presence than average. Easily detectable on the first pour but fades into obscurity on later sniffs.

Taste - grainy, restrained sweetness, a bit of metal. Once the palate adjusts, the alcohol really takes on the entire flavor profile and nearly dominates it. There's a brief bite of hops on the swallow, some vague lemon notes as well. A tasty beer, and while the alcohol warmness is fairly direct, it's not nearly as rough as some I've had.

Mouthfeel - smooth, moderate carbonation, weight is a little above average, on style.

Drinkability - it's a flavorful, well put together beer. Pricy at $4.50 a bomber, but the best malt liquor fix money can buy this side of DFH.

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Dad's Little Helper Malt Liquor from Rogue Ales
3.36 out of 5 based on 335 ratings.
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