For the holiday season, I thought about doing an odd session with my brother and sampling some unique beer offerings. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, we sat down and only enjoyed two beers together this Christmas Eve. The first, would be the magical elixir in the Pepto Bismol colored bottle: Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale. The second, the enigmatic Samuel Adams Gingerbread Stout.
Not that the Rogue was ever difficult to find, but it has taken me too damn long to actually pluck a bottle from the shelf and forked over the cash for it. In this particular instance, the $13 asking price was of no concern to me as I blindly handed over my $20 bill without thinking twice. The cartoonish Mardi Gras looking figure on the bottle was holding his fist up in the air as if to approve and we made our way back to my place.
I had no preconceived notions with the Bacon Maple Ale. Outside of expecting it to taste like bacon and maple, I didn't know what to expect in terms of color, smell, pour, etc. As I tipped over the bottle into my pint glass a golden brown liquid emptied from the vessel. Picture Mrs. Butterworth's or Aunt Jemima with just enough water to give it a beer consistency.
If you do not like anything smoked in your beer, avoid at all costs. However, if you think bacon makes everything better, you need to get while the getting is good. I drew in a deep breath to capture everything and was greeted with the heavenly smell of smoked bacon with the sweet aroma of maple lingering underneath the surface. If your mouth isn't watering for this beer right now I am a horrible promoter.
The maple flavor was more prevalent at first sip than anything resembling bacon. As the beer warms to room temperature the smoky flavor really advances and you get the full spectrum. Never having eaten the bacon maple doughnut I am sad to say I couldn't compare it to Voodoo's delicacy, but loving beer as I do, this was delicacy enough and I would even say well worth the $13.
As far as the Gingerbread Stout, well it was following a tough act. I did give myself ample time to get the smoke residue out of my mouth before tipping this back, but I still found it to be a little flat. The ginger was nice and the spice combination was nothing fancy. My suggestion would be, if going for a holiday refreshment that screams of Christmas seasonal, grab Great Lakes Christmas Ale.