A never ending story of my life is my roller coaster relationship with Rogue Ales. There are a number of their beers that I really enjoy (Dead Guy, Captain Sig’s, Double Chocolate Stout) but there are some that I just can’t stomach in the slightest (Chipotle Ale, Soba Ale). Then there are even those that just don’t reach the expectations I had for them (most of the XS series). Well today I dive back into the abyss that is Rogue and tackle the much talked about Voodoo Doughnut.
When this was announced a number of months ago many of us that live in South Florida immediately thought of this as a possible attempt to copy the wildly successful Maple Bacon Coffee Porter from Funky Buddha. But I guess maple and bacon go hand in hand.
Word started coming out about how this tasted and first reports were not good. Those coupled with that fact that Rogue was only selling it by the case at the brewery was on the verge of turning this beer into a disaster. Soon after they began selling by the bottle, even selling it online on their store. But eventually a deal was made with Whole Foods Market to make it an exclusive beer to Whole Foods stores across the US. Well that is if your state legally allows it, sorry Pennsylvania.
Since this a few of my friends have had the beer and they actually stated that they didn’t think it was a bad beer. So on my way to my company Christmas party I stopped at the Whole Foods over that way and picked up a bottle. Then last night I cracked it open.
It pours out a burnt copper color into my glass with a slightly off white head.
I could start smelling it immediately after I opened the bottle and began pouring. I could smell the maple syrup without even putting my nose to the glass. When I did I get a ton of smoked bacon in the nose. The maple syrup is there too but you just get smacked in the face with the smoke.
The taste is extremely sweet from the syrup. This is matched up with an equal overload of smoke. It’s sort of a mess but sort of works at the same time.
I admit I couldn’t finish the bottle. I got maybe 75% of the way through before I had to dump the rest. The relentless attack of sweetness and smoke just don’t do well over a night of watching shows.
For a few hours I was really not sure what I thought of this beer. I kept going between thinking it was middle of the road to thinking it was awful. To be honest, I’m still not sure. It was absolutely unlike any beer I’ve ever had, even counting some really smokey beers I’ve had at tastings. I have never had the doughnut that this beer is modeled after but I have a feeling this beer in either way doesn’t do it much justice. While yes it has the maple and bacon aspect a doughnut itself has a nice bready and sugary taste to it that the beer just doesn’t carry.
In the end I’m glad I got to try Voodoo Doughnut. It was something different and not like anything I’ve ever had before. But I just feel it was missing something to make it a good beer. If you have an open mind and palate then give it a try. Let me know what you thought.
Grade – C-