Beer Review: Rogue & Voodoo Doughnut – Bacon Maple Ale

My birthday was last weekend (April 15, to be precise), and to celebrate I flew out to Portland, Oregon with my girlfriend. We drove out to the coast, stuck our toes in the Pacific Ocean, spent a day exploring the Columbia Gorge and its glorious waterfalls, and also took some time to gallivant around the eclectic city that is Portland. One of our stops was the famous Voodoo Doughnut — “The Magic is in the Hole!” — home to many odd endeavors.

Eric standing outside Voodoo Doughnuts

Eric standing outside Voodoo Doughnuts

Here, take a look at a few of their most popular items:

Captain my Captain: Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Captain Crunch
The Loop: same as above but with Fruit Loops instead
Triple chocolate penetration: Chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate frosting and coco-puffs
Memphis Mafia: Fried dough with banana chunks and cinnamon sugar covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips on top

But, to me, most intriguing was the Bacon Maple Bar (even Anthony Bourdain is a fan!): Raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon on top

It’s as awesome as it sounds.

Later on our trip, we stopped in at Rogue Ales Public House, the downtown brewpub for one of my favorite breweries. I couldn’t believe my eyes when, as soon as I walked in, there were a dozen large pink bottles of beer sitting out. Pink bottles of a Rogue & Voodoo Doughnut collaboration: Bacon Maple Ale! This sounded so ridiculous that I had to bring back a bottle home with me.

Tonight, I couldn’t resist the urge any longer.

Rogue & Voodoo Doughnut - Bacon Maple Ale

Bacon Maple Ale
Brewery: Rogue Brewery [Newport, OR, USA]
Style: Smoked Beer
ABV: 5.60%

The Bacon Maple Ale has 13 ingredients: (list courtesy of rogue.com)
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

Three smoked malts and applewood-smoked bacon… yeah, smoky doesn’t even begin to describe this beer. When poured into a glass, it doesn’t look much different than your typical ale (clear amber appearance), but the taste would be quite the surprise for the unsuspecting drinker.

Breakfast. That’s what this is. Bacon and lots of maple syrup. The syrupy taste makes this an awfully sweet beer, but the smokyness helps balance things out. It’s definitely a two-headed monster, however. The bacon/maple combo appears first, followed by a smoky finish. A hoppy aftertaste also lingers on the back of the tongue.

My initial impressions were glowing — I was surprised at how drinkable this novelty beer actually was. Subsequent tastings became a little too sweet for my liking, but not to the extent that I didn’t want anymore.

A bottle of Bacon Maple Ale will pour two tall pints, so it is a good option to share with another curious beer drinker. I probably won’t go out of my way to drink this again — it is available mostly in Portland, after all — but I am glad that I was able to try this unique brew. Bacon lovers, give this a shot.

7/10

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20 thoughts on “Beer Review: Rogue & Voodoo Doughnut – Bacon Maple Ale

  1. sanclementejedi says:

    Thanks Eric now I am jonesing for some doughnuts. I did not realize Rogue was based in Portland. I like their dead guy and have had the double dead guy a few times but I have never heard of the Bacon beer. That sounds wild. O and happy Birthday/tax day 🙂

    • Eric says:

      Love the Dead Guy Ale. I’m not sure what they distribute to your area, but keep an eye out for their IPAs (if you’re into hops). I tried a few at their ale house, and they were all fantastic.

  2. le0pard13 says:

    My wife has family in Portland so we periodically head up north to visit. We made the recent trek to the awesome Voodoo Donuts a week before Christmas last year. It’s a must see (and eat) when in the Rose City. In fact, we did the double: the flagship locations of Powell’s Books and the nearby Voodoo Donuts. Way to go, Eric (and happy belated birthday).

    p.s., the only bumper sticker I’d ever put on my car would be theirs: “I Got VD in Portland!”

  3. Jaina says:

    Happy belated birthday Eric!

    I am craving maple syrup covered bacon now. Something I’ve only ever had on my one and only visit to the States!

    • Eric says:

      Now I’m curious… how popular is bacon on your side of the pond? It is HUGE over here, to the point of ridiculous. Bacon doughnuts, beer, ice cream, lollipops.. you name it, it’s a thing.

      • Jaina says:

        Ha! Well, we love our bacon here. But it’s purely a savoury meat. If you tell anyone that putting maple syrup on bacon is the best idea ever… you’ll get the coldest looks thrown at you.

        • Eric says:

          That’s funny. I can’t say I have ever thought of putting maple syrup on bacon, but it worked surprisingly well with this beer. 😀

  4. Buster the Administrator says:

    That sounds really…awesome! I’ve never tried a Rogue beer but by the sound of things I am really missing out. I have always been drawn to their Dead Guy Ale but I’ve never picked any up. This beer sounds awesome but I’m sure it is nowhere to be found in Ohio. And happy belated birthday!

    -Steve

    • Eric says:

      Hey Steve, thanks for commenting! I think you can order the Bacon Maple Ale online, but it might be a little pricey with shipping. You should definitely try the Dead Guy Ale — it’s a very good beer with wide distribution.

  5. ruth says:

    Your b’day was on Tax Day? Well happy belated b’day man. I don’t drink so I’ll take your word for it that Bacon Maple Ale is indeed a good beer 🙂

    • Eric says:

      Haha well it was certainly one of the most interesting beers I have ever had. Glad I only brought back one bottle though, in retrospect.

  6. Chris says:

    Happy (belated) Birthday, Eric !

    My mouth is watering looking at what the Voodoo Doughnut has to offer and the way you describe the products…yum yum

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