I’ve long believed that bacon makes everything better, and I’ve tested that theory with everything from whiskey to asparagus to gourmet peanut butter to yes, maple doughnuts—from Decatur’s Revolution, right down the street. Rogue takes the latter a step further with their Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale.
Bacon + beer. What’s not to love?
Well, it’s a strange first sip, and several of our tasters made faces that their mamas might threaten them not to make in case they stayed that way. There’s a lovely smokiness all the way through thanks to malts smoked in beechwood, cherrywood and hickory, along with the applewood smoked bacon. It’s the maple flavoring that’s just so odd in the mix.
That the beer pays homage to Portland’s legendary doughnut shop is laudable, as are the startlingly pink bottle and pig-themed label design. But this is more a curiosity than a revelation—a novelty to bring to your next pig roast or pour with a big ol’ plate of Texas brisket.
Unusual is the target here, and there Rogue definitely succeeds. But it feels like an opportunity was missed to simply create a great bacon beer. There’s a quality to the hops that will make real beer lovers take note. It pours a bright gold and smells like a lovely campfire. Still, most people will just want to buy one bottle.
Bacon still makes most things better, but I’m afraid that when it comes to beer, the same might not be true of maple syrup.