When I went to Portland, I made sure I stopped at VooDoo Donut and had a bacon maple bar… twice. I’d seen a couple of shows on Food Network and Travel Channel highlighting the place, and I had to say I’d been there. It was a great experience and had some awesome donuts. I wasn’t so sure how this sweet treat would translate into a beer, and I’d considered buying a bottle of it when it came out. However, I’d heard mixed reviews, and decided not to spend the money on it. But, when I got a bottle of it during our homebrew club Christmas party, it was a chance to check it out. As the kids watched TV, I figured it was as good of a night as any to give it a try.
Location: Poured into a goblet style glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: ~ 6.5% ABV, 30 IBUs, 76 AA, 30 degrees Lovibond, 14 degrees Plato, ~ 185 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It was a dark copper color – like an old penny – with a red tint, and it was very clear. There was a lot of carbonation in it, but the head fell quickly and remained just a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. There was a nice maple syrup aroma to it.
Taste & Feel: The body was light and the mouthfeel was fairly crisp. There’s a slightly sweet maple flavor up front, and the sweetness grows in the middle. Also, the bacon flavors start to creep in along with some smokiness. In the finish, the smokiness grows and comes through in a strong way. There’s some maple in the finish, but the smokiness overpowers it. In the aftertaste, the smokiness turns a bit odd, tasting a bit plastic-like.
Food Pairing: With this beer, I’d definitely pair it with pancakes or waffles. The maple sweetness would go with this beer, and the cakey nature of it would help to cut through the smokiness.
Overall Impression: I appreciated Rogue’s attempt to brew this beer, but the smoked malts really detracted from the maple and bacon flavors. I enjoyed the maple flavoring with the beer, but I think they got too complicated with smoked malts and it didn’t work out. It wasn’t too terrible, but given the taste, and what they’re charging for this beer, I wouldn’t buy this again, and probably won’t buy the new Voodoo Donut beer they just came out with.