I brewed my last beer of the winter/spring for 2013 a couple of weeks ago. I will post a Brew News in a few days, but I wanted to enlighten all of you about some good commercial craft brews that are available right now, so here are a couple of reviews if you’re interested.
VOODOO DOUGHNUT CHOCOLATE, PEANUT BUTTER & BANANA ALE: Rogue Ales, Newport Oregon. 5.3% ABV
I reviewed another Rogue Voodoo Doughnut ale last summer (see post of August 1, 2012 for details), and found this new Voodoo Doughnut at Total Wine the other day. The Maple Bacon Bar (Voodoo Doughnut) was very unusual, but pretty good, so I thought I would take a chance and give this Chocolate Peanut Butter & Banana Ale a chance.
This beer pours black with a beige head. It has a slightly sweet aroma, definitely banana. The flavor is chocolate, slightly bitter, but then fades to a slightly sweet banana taste. This is not the least bit hoppy; the bitterness seems to be from the grain. As this ale warms up, the banana flavor comes through and begins to take center stage. The more I drank it, the more the banana flavor came through. I never did smell or taste the peanut butter.
This is a very unusual beer (including the bottle, which is hot pink and opaque, like Pepto Bismol). Although I did not care for the taste (and will not be buying it again), it’s a good beer by an accomplished and well respected brewery (Rogue). If you are feeling adventurous, buy a bottle (750 ML) and give it a try, you might like it.
Innis & Gunn Rum Aged: Innis & Gunn Brewing, Edinburgh, Scotland. 6.8% ABV
I recently saw several offerings from Innis & Gunn for the first time and bought two different ales. I consumed the Irish Whiskey Cask (Scottish Stout) right away but didn’t take any notes, so no review on that one (it was good beer as I remember). The Rum Aged, however, was scrutinized and its qualities noted, so here is the review.
This is a deep amber/ruby red beer that pours with a light cream colored head, giving a beautiful presentation. The head fades rapidly. The aroma is sweet and oaky, with no happiness. It has a mild red ale type of flavor, with a little caramel/toffee maltiness evident. Then, the “rum barrel” (actually, it’s aged, according to the bottle, for 57 days on rum oak chips) vanilla flavor kicks in. It’s a mild flavor, however, not strong like a typical bourbon barrel aged ale. A very nice oak flavor lingers in the aftertaste.
This beer is light to medium in body, and causes a bit of tingling on the tongue (from the CO2), but it’s not overwhelming or unpleasant. It is well carbonated, but not overly so, very much in line with an Irish Red style.
I bought this from Total Wine. It comes in a clear 750 ML bottle that is very elegant. My only complaint about this beer is that the bottle is clear, which means it will skunk after being on display for a couple of weeks at the retailer. Too bad, as this is EXCELLENT beer, one which I highly recommend.
So, there you have it. Go out, buy yourself something different, and have a beer adventure. Cheers!