Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

voodoo.jpg
Zach Fowle

Beer: Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale
Brewery: Rogue Ales
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 5.6%

Go ahead and read that name again. Donuts. Ale. Maple. Bacon! If I were to rewrite the song about favorite things from The Sound of Music, those would be the first four words.

For Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale Newport-based brewery Rogue Ales met minds with another Oregon institution: Voodoo Doughnut, a Portland shop known for wild donuts like the Loop, a vanilla-frosted donut covered in Froot Loops, and the Voodoo Doll, a person-shaped chocolate donut filled with raspberry jelly with a pretzel stake through its little donut heart.

The brew's based on Voodoo's Maple Bacon Bar, which is basically your average maple Long John with two thick strips of bacon laid across. It contains a baker's dozen of ingredients, including actual Applewood-smoked bacon and the same maple syrup used in Voodoo's signature doughnut.

Despite the covetousness a brew called Bacon Maple Ale would obviously inspire, Rogue raised much ire in the beer community with the way they chose to release it. Initially, the brew was available only at Rogue's pop-up store in Portland, and only by the case -- meaning you had to buy 12 bottles at once, to the tune of around $150. As demand for the beer increased, so did frustration at this setup, and Rogue soon pulled a Qwikster, releasing the brew into its regular distribution network.

But it's on Arizona shelves now, and I am joyous. Poured from its Pepto-Bismol-like bottle into a snifter, the beer's cider-brown with just a touch of haze. At the top of the glass, a thin, off-white head fizzles away to a thin ring. At the bottom, chunks of solid yeast propagate. Think of them as bacon bits.

And then we get to the aroma. Dear god, the glory of it. Smoked wood leads, as it should -- the beer's brewed with a variety of smoked malts: Briess smoked with cherrywood, Weyermann smoked with beechwood, malt smoke in-house with hickory. Maple syrup is next, followed by savory bacon and sugary cotton candy. The sweetness reminds of donut glaze, like a maple bar. Turn down the smokiness just a touch, and this would be perfect.

The flavor's a softer version of the aroma, but combines all the best parts. The smoke has been turned down, balancing beautifully with maple syrup and savory bacon and sausage. Soft carbonation brings life to the brew's medium-light body, while the clean finish shows off just a touch of bitterness, imparted by Rogue's estate-grown hops.

If you've ever awakened late to the aromas of sizzling bacon and maple-drenched pancakes, you've lived the scene Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale captures. Grab a bottle, share with some friends, and see if it doesn't become one of your favorite things.

Food pairing suggestions:
A meal of eggs and toast washed down with Voodoo Doughnut will give you all the flavors of breakfast, but speaking from experience, the beer sings when paired with pigs in blankets. From the beer's sugars complementing the sweet, bready coating to the savory bacon combining with salty hot dogs, every bit of the combination is harmonious.

Zach is a Certified Cicerone, an accredited guide to beer.

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21 comments
guest
guest

I was eyeing this brew just the other day. I was curious and hesitant all in the same reaction. Upon reading the review I was again curious. All a matter of personal taste as it appears from the postings. I would try it, if I encounter it again.  Not to get off the subject at hand BEER. But, I just tried a moxie soda and I did not hate it nor did I love it. I was just glad to have tried it.

Chefkoli
Chefkoli

I actually found the beer tasty. Slightly on the smokey side, much like Alaskan's Smoked Porter. Sweet, maple syrup nose to the head. I drank 2 bottles. It was good. Probably one of the top 10 beers I've had in the past 10 years.

Andres Lopez-Lucio
Andres Lopez-Lucio

Also, the reaction from all of my friends was unanimous; horrendous!

Andres Lopez-Lucio
Andres Lopez-Lucio

Okay, I was super excited to try this beer, and why not? Sounds delicious, right? I even bought a few bottles for some of my friends. 

I popped it open and took my first sip. The rest went right down the kitchen sink. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating here, but it tasted like someone emptied a grease trap into the bottle. It was the worst beer I've ever had, which was such a huge disappointment because I usually love Rogue.

I dunno, maybe it's appeal is more of an acquired taste, but I can't imagine anyone sticking around long enough to build up a preference!

joe.distort
joe.distort

we did some tastings of stuff the other night, and my friend brought this. the smell was overwhelming, but had a nice smoky sense overall...however, the taste was just horrendous. the idea sounds cool, but this was one of my least favorite beers ever (and i love smoked porters and things of that nature)

Gawowth
Gawowth

Is it available at BevMo's and is it in California yet?

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

might have to give that one a try.

xBIGREDDx
xBIGREDDx

Now you just have to visit Voodoo Doughnut in Portland and have a real Bacon Maple Bar.

Benlitjen
Benlitjen

This was the worst beer I have ever had. Using smoked malt as a base malt is ridiculous. Never had something so bad in my life. Your reviewed either doesn't have a palate for beer or has lost his mind.

Rickyn06
Rickyn06

so because he likes the beer and you dont, he doesnt have a palate or is crazy? that makes complete sense. taste is subjective.

Why dont you try and educate yourself on smoked beers (which there are tons of). And here is a little write up on Rauchbiers and other smoked beers: http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles...

I personally love beers that have a malt bill that is 100% smoked malt. And like I mentioned before, Voodoo Doughnut was great.

Rob Zebeck
Rob Zebeck

well obviously not a vegan offering but since ive heard about this one a few months back it has had me contemplating compromising my principles.might have to just take your fine words for it.

Rickyn06
Rickyn06

So damn good! The aroma is one of the best around.

Ever Smith
Ever Smith

Reuniting lovers spells have been around since the beginning of magic. This isn’t a form of sorcery as you’ll find no underhanded factors involved.

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