I recently tried one of the most terrifying products I’ve ever encountered: Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale.
If you’re not familiar with Portland, Oregon, it’s a weird place. There’s an abundance of vegans, piercings, beards, bicycles, craft breweries and just general hippy behavior. People who aren’t from Portland often ask, “Is it really like the show Portlandia?” The answer is yes.
Rogue Ales is an Oregon-based craft brewery which has won many awards in worldwide competitions. Some of its best known beers include Dead Guy Ale and American Amber Ale. Voodoo Doughnut is a Portland bakery best known for its unusual doughnuts. The menu includes doughnuts topped with various cereals, Butterfinger, Oreos, and even M&M’s. One of their famous creations is the Bacon Maple Bar (not as good as it sounds).
So it only makes sense that these Northwest staples would come together to create a product that I can only describe as, well, weird.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of adding bacon to things. I like bacon by itself and on burgers and sandwiches, and that’s it. I’m also not generally a fan of mixing flavors. Suffice to say I was never interested in drinking Bacon Maple Ale.
But when my brother gave me a bottle for my 21st birthday last month, I knew I would have to try it.
When I opened the bottle, my nose was hit hard with maple aroma as well as smokey undertones. Upon first pour, it had a thick head, which dissipated quickly. I got a good bit of smoke when smelling the glass of beer. I took a swig and held it in my mouth for a few seconds. It had a full body, and I got a sweet, maple flavor. The aftertaste is where it went downhill. As soon as I swallowed, I got enough smoke in my throat that I could’ve set off a smoke detector by breathing on it. It tasted like I ate a barbecue. Actually it was kind of like a grilled hot dog. Almost bacon-y, but not quite. This taste lingered for quite a while. I had to eat a cookie because it was too much.
Many have labeled Bacon Maple Ale as one of the most disappointing releases of 2011. Some have complained that it doesn’t even taste like doughnuts. I remind them that it’s not called Bacon Maple Doughnut Ale. As I suspected, I didn’t like it all that much. It wasn’t as terrible as it sounded, though. I give it 4 out of 10. If not for the overwhleming aftertaste it may have been a 5 or 5.5.
Would I recommend it? Meh, probably not. But it is a good conversation piece. It could be fun to take to a party, if only for the cool pink bottle.