Rogue: Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale (USA: Smoked Beer: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Hazy copper to cherry red. Half inch of large browned and sud leaving bubbles for a head.

Nose: Wood smoke. Cured meat platters. Ok, ok bacon. Fresh crisp white bread, which could be considered doughnut like. Cinnamon. Sweet and slightly cloying.

Body: Bitterness. Milky chocolate. Maple syrup. Smoked meats. Toffee. Thinner texture than expected. Sweat meats. Glacier cherries and fruitcake at the back. Gingerbread with honey touches.

Finish: Cigarette remains. Maple syrup. Smoked meat. Jam doughnuts. Sugar dusting. Milky chocolate and toffee. Small earthy hops touch.

Conclusion: What do you say to a beer like this. No really. It’s a bacon doughnut maple syrup ale (Which may or may not have voodoo). Even if the beer is bad, it’s good and even if it’s good it’s bad.  It’s just… The hell?

Ok, let’s start with the bad, a bit of sharpening the knives should clear the nerves and make this easier. 1) The beer is thinner than I would expect, the flavours are there but for the number of ingredients I expected them to come in with a little more weight. 2) For all the elements the smoke character is the main hit, everything else is just hung off it. Despite the madness involved at the base this is a simple smoked meat beer.

To give it fair dues, the texture feels thicker as the beer warms, it still has elements where it seems thin but not as often.

Anyway, that’s the bad bits out of the way, lets move onto the good. Holy shit this thing actually tastes of bacon, yes other smoked meats as well but distinctly bacon.  Oh and maple syrup as well. Yes, definite maple syrup.   Ok, the maple syrup is more occasional and can be sickly when it is there, but largely it covers the tongue on the finish to give nice feel to the whole thing.  So that’s two claimed elements ticked off. Doughnuts? Actually despite spending ages trying to find another term for it, yeah, kinda.  There a fresh baked crisp white bread element and a slight jam in the finish that does kind of give doughnut. Ergo, this is kind of awesome.

Ok. Now I’ve got both the knives and the geek joy out of my system so we can be a bit more analytical. Is this a good beer? Technically? No. The aroma is great, campfire wood smoke, cooked meat. All very scout camp but with less chance of getting molested. The main body though is a bit thin, the smoke dominates and the thinner body feels lacking under that.

The flavours are varied, but most come only occasionally. There is still a decent cured meat element to the end, and nice sweetness but beyond oddity I would be hard pressed to call it a well balanced beer.

This all does become a bit moot as well, it is a bloody meat doughnut syrup beer in a pink bottle, and despite it’s pretty damn big flaws I am still bouncing around the room going squee because of that. Because I am a geek. Make of that what you will.

So not a beer I can recommend, but let’s face you have made up your mind already. Either you want a good beer, and this isn’t it. Or you just feel like being silly in which case this review was superfluous. Either way, enjoy your beer.

Background:  The road trip of awesome is over, but It’s legacy remains. This was one of three beers I brought back with me from the USA.  I had heard of the beer while back but never thought id see it, and never heard of it reaching the UK. So when I saw it in the house of brews I just had to grab it. I may be easily influenced by weird things.