I’m rarely disappointed with craft beer, or brewers willing to experiment. I don’t believe beers has to be made a certain way and I’m completely fine with throwing in things like spices, chocolate, ham flavour or fruit, if only to explore the boundaries and possibilities or beer making. Breweries such as Rogue in the US cast their net far and wide when it comes to producing variety in their range (how great does this Chipotle Ale look?) like little alcoholic Willy Wonka factories. Last year they brought out the Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale, a combination of most of my favourite things, which was followed up this year with the Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana Ale. The beer is a nod to a certain deep fried snack with these ingredients was favoured by Elvis, which I can totally get behind. The theory is great, but in practice the Voodoo left a lot to be desired.
Remember those chalky banana lollies you’d buy as a kid? Remember that synthetic “banana” taste that wasn’t really anything you’d actually experience in nature, but left a profound impact on your taste-buds and psyche for years to come? One sip of the Voodoo brought it all rushing back. High expectations and crushing disappointment. I wasn’t expecting the artificial, chemical taste at all, nor for it to come across so strongly. There’s plenty of beers out there that achieve the banana taste seemingly by accident, so it’s strange to see how the artificial flavour was pushed so strongly in this beer. There was a hint of the chocolate there, but the lack of bitterness (25IBU, sitting around the range of a pilsner or English ale) and body in the ale left it without any punch. Peanut butter? While a fellow taster had hints of it I couldn’t pick it. The asking price for this one is a tad on the ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME scale of things, which adds another blow to what was an unsatisfying brew.
To cheer everyone up, here’s a video recipe of The King’s delicacy