Rogue is at it once again, combining forces with one of the nation’s most famous doughnut shops, “Voodoo Doughnut,” to bring to us something of an unusual sort of ale, even by modern inventive crafty standards. Dedicated to “Tres & Cat Daddy,” who as Rogue puts it are “The Rogues of Voodoo Doughnut,” we are presented here with a rather odd concoction in the form of this mango ale. Coming some seven months or so after their last release, this Mango Astronaut Ale arrived in my possession, inspiring something of mixed sentiment.
Glancing at the bright Pepto-Bismol-pink bottle and recalling my previous experiences with their Lemon Chiffon Crueler brew, expectations were initially set rather low as its predecessor stirs few memories other than a sugary, bready mouthfeel and the sensation that I was smelling lemon pledge. This criticism of what was honestly another beer notwithstanding though, I did find myself somewhat enthusiastic about the prospect of a redeeming home run being hit by Oregon brewers. So, how did this stack up against is lemony counterpart and more importantly, how does it fare standing alone?
To begin with, it’s sort of a surprise at first pour. The color, which in this case is of a rather rich amber tone is rather surprising, not in that anything else was necessarily expected, but rather that there was little expectation set due to the outlandish packaging and somewhat unusual theme. Frothing up with a generous but not unwieldly head, the soft white contrasts against the reddish tones below quite nicely.
But naturally, with such an unusual brew style, the color and appearance is of course not what anyone is interested in. So, thus do we come to the other applications of sense and indulgence. On to the scent and sip of things…
At a whiff, the notes of mango and rich, heavy fruity sweetness are immediately apparent. Overriding all other considerations of malt or hop, the mind fills with the color of orange as whatever memories of snacking on mango one might possess roll through upon the bit of undeniable olfactory inspiration. Being however that I rather like mango, this initial sensory presentation was actually rather enticing.
Moving on then to a sip, these notes of mango flavor are once again front and center, so much so that were it not for the carbonation, the slightly bready – or to borrow a turn of phrase from my co-worker Ian – “footy” texture and just the smallest hint of bittersweet beer malt, I might be like to mistake this for some sort of mango soda. However this easy mistake aside, this brew, much like its lemon chiffon predecessor, does actually do a fine job of bringing to life a sense of one consuming a donut beer. However in this case, the mental back and forth regarding the pleasurable aspects to such actually tilts more towards a yes than a no.
At 13.5 degrees Plato (another system of measuring alcoholic content in beer, making this roughly 6% or so) and with a bitterness rating of only 20 IBU, Rogue has done something rather impressive here in their ability to take a fruit beer and turn it into something else entirely. While not a fruit or pastry flavored beer working strictly upon a theme, nor a brew that wishes simply to be a mildly alcoholic juice of some kind, the overall feel and flavor of this beer is one which stands out in a not-too-bad sort of way. Again, it is likely not something that I would actively seek out again having now tried it, but it remains such that if offered and lacking other options, I would accept it rather happily.
So to Rogue, to Voodoo Doughnuts and of course, to you, I say as always…
While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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