Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale – A Big Bottle of WTF?
It’s happened to just about everyone. You’re sitting around with friends, drinking some beers and talking about some piddling nonsense, when one of you has an epiphany. Someone finally steps up to say what you’ve all been thinking: “There just aren’t enough lemon flavored doughnut themed beers in the world.”
Certainly, you sit there stunned with yourself, wondering how such an obvious notion had escaped you for all this time. Perhaps, you may even look about at your friends – who are staring blankly into space, confounded at the same central question – and wonder if you’re keeping the right company. Thankfully, some of our friends at Rogue Brewing apparently had similar moments in their own time and have come to us with the Voodoo Doughnut Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale.
Red in body and possessed of a generally unremarkable head, the Voodoo Doughnut, upon a pour, makes the presence of lemon quite obvious. It is, in a word, zesty. Even prior to a single sip, the lemon profile comes wafting into the nose with such aroma that you notice it immediately. Though you might first think it smells like Lemon Pledge, there comes with the scent a wheat like, almost yeasty, smell as well.
No doubt, rooted in its efforts to present its doughnut profile, the Voodoo Doughnut brings to the palate a very deliberate pastry oriented spirit. Almost hazy orange in appearance, it comes as something of a surprise after gliding from its pastel pink bottle, the image of which does cause the mind to sing, “Hey! Pepto-Bismol!”
However the fascination that is inspired by the bottle itself can soon turn to approving nods of “Hmm…yes, that makes sense,” when you glance upon the back label to see what went into the brewing of this breakfast-themed brew. Noting lemon juice and lemon extract, the addition of vanilla beans and extract, as well as marshmallow, take only a moment to settle in the mind when considering the crueller aspect to this rather interesting concoction. While sipping, you do find the vanilla and sugar aspects beneath the lemony overtones, which when put together, come out to be a…well, a doughnut.
Perhaps it could stand to reason that logically, the dream of an alcoholic doughnut perhaps appealed to someone, somewhere, for some reason. Phrased as such even in typing it here, such an idea is not entirely without a smirk-worthy merit. Yet even with this being the case, as well as the unusual and slightly difficult drinking experience the brew provides, it is hard to at least wonder why anyone thought such was an altogether necessary thing to attempt.
Though that being said and this being Rogue – known for their experimental nature in general – any difficulty in attempting to make rational sense out of it is both undone and largely unnecessary. For those who enjoy a lemony or zesty flavor but would prefer to stay outside of the areas of saisons or farmhouse ales, the Voodoo Doughnut Lemon Crueller from Rogue offers up a distinct, if not generally odd, prospect to the daring craft drinker. Generally smooth, overall well balanced between its various flavor aspects, I can recommend that it is something that is at least worth trying, if only for the sake of saying that you did.
Upon offering samples of this creation to housemates – whose beer tastes range from former brewer to Bud Light – a unanimous verdict of “no” was rendered. Speaking later to fellow beer merchants and customers, reviews were mixed. For those who may know of or patron Voodoo Doughnuts at its location, the novelty may be worth a sip. However to that degree, novelty may be all this lemony ale has to offer to the average palate and beer enthusiast.
Nicholas Goroff is a beer lover, writer, actor, ex-political professional and devoted anti-ideologue. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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