By D.J. Paul
Earlier this year rumors were swirling of a collaboration between Rogue Ales and Voodoo Doughnut on a beer to honor Voodoo’s internationally famous Bacon Maple Bar. I first heard about this beer when I was visiting Green Dragon in February during Zwickelmania when Masterbrewer John Couchot stated that he was beginning to work on a bacon maple beer with Voodoo Doughnut. Being a fan of Voodoo Doughnut I was very intrigued about this collaboration and anticipated its arrival.
Months went by until the end of August when I read about the progress of this beer on Beernews.org. Originally this beer was set out to be a porter but changed more recently to a brown ale style of beer. Rogue even had a label for this beer as a Porter. But after a few recipe changes by Rogue’s extraordinary Brewmaster, John Maier, he changed the style of this beer to a brown ale. Finally this Bacon Maple Ale is now available for all to taste. As stated on the back of this large pink bottle, this beer is “Dedicated to Tres & Cat Daddy. The Rogues Of Voodoo Doughnuts”.
Now onto the Bacon Maple Ale itself. On Sunday morning I trekked on over to Voodoo Doughnut Too to purchase a couple of their Bacon Maple Bars so I could pair them with the beer of the same name. My main goal here was to see if the combination of flavors presents themselves in a similar fashion. Already being a fan of Voodoo’s Bacon Maple Bar I knew early on that Rogue would have its work cut out for them.
Upon opening this 750ml bottle a pleasant peaty aroma came forth, more so than the smoky aroma that I was expecting. This was definitely a plus that allowed for a more drinkable beer. This beer poured nicely into a stemmed tulip glass offering up a nice amber-brown appearance with a nice tan head. The head retention lingered for a while and as the beer warmed a bit a smokier aroma with hints of maple came forth. The first sip came across as a bit dry but the mouthfeel of the beer offered up something more similar to a liquid version of a smoky dry piece of bacon. Some slight sweetness from the maple lingered a bit in the finish. The body of the beer seemed to be on the lighter side. This is where I think a porter could have helped. Though it would be more challenging getting the bacon and maple flavors more forward with a roasty porter as its base.
Tasting this beer next to its doughy counterpart offered up some similarities. Rogue did not get the doughiness of the bacon maple bar into the beer but they did get the tastings from the two delicious toppings of bacon and maple frosting.
One of the drawbacks to the consumer is that Rogue is currently selling this beer only by the case that equates to a $13 bottle. The beer does come in a nice looking package of a pink painted 750ml bottle (25.4oz.). According to Bill Night’s Six-Pack Equivalent Calculator this beer comes in at a price per six-pack of $36.91. Leaving the price of this beer out of the equation, this beer was brewed for the novelty factor. Rogue has its loyal fans as does Voodoo Doughnut so no matter what, this beer will have its following. And being that it’s a very limited release this beer will find its market share.
Rogue’s Bacon Maple Porter is available at the Rogue Ales Pop-Up Store at 1001 SE 9th Ave in Portland’s Southeast neighborhood sold only by the case at $156 per case.
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This post was written by D.J. Paul on September 26, 2011