I happened to visit the Portland Saturday Market on a day when Rogue Ale was selling their Voodoo Donuts Pretzel, Raspberry, and Chocolate Ale. After Sampling Voodoo Doughnuts before, I naturally I had to compare the pepto bismol pink bottle’s contents with their original inspiration, so I spent half an hour in line being harassed by panhandlers who knew darn well we were all holding cash, just so I could eat a Voodoo Doughnut with my flavored beer.
I have to say, while the doughnuts are good, the beer is better. Eating an entire raspberry stuffed bar was too much sweetness for me. Drinking an entire pint bottle of ale, on the other hand, was a delight. The beer is as dark as a Guinness, but only a fraction as heavy. The color is more from the chocolate extract and bad intentions. The pretzel is represented by a distinct hint of salt on the finish. In between, the aggressively artificial notes of raspberry (freshly gathered from a beaver’s anal glands just for your enjoyment) play very nicely with the not-too-sweet chocolate ale. Like most beers, the more I drank of it, the more I liked it. It was a little sweeter than most chocolate ales without being too cloying. That said, I suspect people who prefer dark, bitter ales will find it undrinkably sweet. Those whose tastes err more on the side of Blue Moon will no doubt brag that this is the first dark beer they liked.
I found a small bite or two of the inspirational doughnut between a few nice drinks of ale was more than enough sweetness for me.
The pint cost me twice as much as four of Voodoo Doughnuts sugary confections, but I feel comfortable saying the flavor was more unique. Plus, I can keep the bottle and use it to taunt my friends. I’m curious if they’ll notice the difference if I add a little sea salt and raspberry extract to some Trader Joe’s chocolate ale. I’ve enjoyed rave reviews of my special version of the Princess Bride wine (which tastes remarkably like the boxed Malbec you can find at Target.)
If you’re a drinker who happens to be visiting Portland, I think Rogue’s signature Voodoo Donuts Pretzel, Raspberry, and Chocolate Ale makes a good souvenir as well as a good talking point. Make sure to carve out half an hour of line time so you can get a comparison doughnut to go with it, though, if only to prove you believe in suffering for the sake of a tasty story.