A couple of weeks ago I was walking through the beer/wine/liquor section of the local grocery, Hy Vee, when I did a double take. There on the shelf was a large, Pepto Bismol pink bottle. I chuckled to myself, remembering a scene from about a year ago. Readers may recall that I essentially tore Rogue's Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon beer a new one in my blog post (which I stand by--it was awful). Looking a little closer, though, I realized I was mistaken. This was in fact a different beer, albeit a close relative. Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Ale, to be exact. Aside from the identical color of the bottle, the cartoon Voodoo character was still represented, too.
This go round I did a little checking, and learned a bit about this offering. Voodoo Doughnut is actually a doughnut shop, an Oregon-based company with a couple stores in that state. Rogue brewing is also based in Oregon, so the two establishments teamed up. The Voodoo store is, to say the least, not your typical doughnut place. They experiment with a lot of unusual flavors, for one. Customers can get doughnuts which have cereal, like Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch, embedded in them, as well as maple bacon, and chocolate/peanut butter/banana doughnuts (which the beers are approximating, of course). The store is also quite, shall we say, adult-themed. Their Diablo Rex doughnut is a chocolate doughnut with a vanilla pentagram drawn on it. The Maple Blaze doughnut is made to look like a marijuana blunt, complete with red sprinkles on the end to represent burning embers. And finally, they sell a doughnut that is deliberately shaped like genitalia. They have a challenge for competitive eaters, too--if you can finish a Tex-Ass doughnut (which is six doughnuts fused into one giant one) within eighty seconds it's free. Their food warning states, "products may contain eggs,..... and voodoo magic." To sum up, then, it sounds like a fun store. Alas, since they're only situated in Oregon, I don't know when I'll get to try them, if ever. "The Magic is in the hole," as their slogan says. For those looking to be amused, or offended, depending on your point of view, their website address is: http://voodoodoughnut.com
Anyway, back to the beer. Unlike the previous sampling, this time I didn't go door to door at my hotel, foisting the unusual beer on the rest of my crew (some folks are still a little angry with me for the Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon debacle). Only myself and two friends (Hi Mike and Justin) partook. And I was pleasantly surprised. Chocolate dominated--the odor and color were chocolate-y, as was the overall flavor. I detected the barest hint of another taste (presumably the peanut butter and/or banana) at the end of each sip, but only a hint. The only other chocolate-flavored beers I've seen and had were always stouts, and since I don't enjoy the stout style I never liked these. But this was different. As the name suggested, it was an ale, so basically it was a chocolate ale. I easily finished at least half the bottle, so no drain pouring or suffering again. I wouldn't go so far as to call the beer great, but it was definitely solid, and decent. So Rogue should be proud--after a horrendous start with the Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon beer, they recovered nicely with their second try. I plan to have it again, although probably not that often, as its price ($12 for a twenty-five ounce bottle) was admittedly steep. And if you live in the Oregon area, it sounds like Voodoo Doughnuts might be worth a shot, too--at the minimum it'll be a new doughnut experience.