By Iron Chef Leftovers
Every once in a while I can make a trip into a place like Chuck’s Hop Shop and not see anything in the under $10 range that I am in the mood for/haven’t had/want to try, and that is a dangerous thing. That means that I start looking at beers that are getting up there in prices, which means that I end up taking a risk on something that may or not be good. The Rogue Voodoo Donut Bacon Maple Ale was one of those risks (ed note: this was the beer released in 2012, the 2013 beer has bananas added to it). The beer ran $13.59 for a 22 oz. bottle.
Here are the stats from the Rogue website:
Malts: Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, Weyermann Beechwood Smoked Malt, House-smoked Hickory Malt, Great Western 2 Row, Munich, C15, C75 Malts
Speciality: Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Pure Maple Flavoring
Hops: Perle, Sterling
Yeast & Water: Pacman Yeast, Free Range Coastal Water
The beer pours golden brown in color, almost exactly maple syrup like. The nose presents itself with a very strong maple smell (You can smell it from 6 feet away), hints of smoke and malt – it smells like breakfast at a campfire. The beer starts off pleasantly with notes of maple but it is quickly overpowered by smoke in the middle (more of a campfire than smoked bacon) with hints of bacon (yes, you can actually taste the bacon in this), but the smoke overpowers just about every other flavor in the beer and just lingers well after you have taken a sip, like you have been chewing on a log that has been left in a fire. I really had high hopes for this beer since bacon and maple are two of my favorite flavors, but the smoke kills it and everything that you might want to drink afterwards. I kept going on the bottle, hoping that the smoke dissipated, but it did not and it made for a somewhat unpleasant experience.
I am willing to admit that I am not a huge fan of rauchbeer, but I can appreciate the subtle flavors that smoke can add to a beer, lifting it up to a different plain. Stay tuned to next Tuesday where I actually review a beer that does this. This beer did none of that, killing your palate almost immediately with the smoke. That, coupled with the high price tag made this one of the worst beers I have had in a long time.
That being said, Rogue’s Voodoo Donuts Bacon Maple Ale gets smoked with a ruined 1 burning ember out of 5.