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This weird breast cancer-pink bottle of beer stared at me every time I stopped at Koepsel’s to check out their wall of beer. I’m not talking about just any pink bottle. This thing is a formidable bottle – a 22-ounce bomber from Rogue Ales of Newport, Ore.
The label features a bizarre voodoo doll that appears to have been stabbed in the upper left chest with a pretzel stick. The doll has a mouthful of big teeth that seem to be coming out of its very red lips. Or maybe it’s just in excruciating pain from being stabbed with a pretzel stick.
The doll reminds me of Papa Lazarou, the truly spooky and maniacal blackfaced wife-stealing carney who calls everyone “Dave” in the turn-of-the-century Brit sketch series The League of Gentlemen.
At first I ignored the pink bottle’s weird siren call, but I think it was the Papa Lazarou association that allowed the creepy little voodoo doll to seep into my brain until one day I just had to have a bottle, 13 bucks be damned!
It is called Voodoo Doughnut, a pretzel, raspberry and chocolate beer.
Yeah, I know that sounds really weird, but in the two decades or so that I’ve been drinking Rogue Ales, they’ve never let me down. (I recall the day Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale came to my local. It was a Monday, Aug. 9, 1995. That was also the day Jerry Garcia died, and though Dead Guy Ale was originally brewed to celebrate Day of the Dead, I will always associate it with Jerry.)
Anyway, as soon as I had the big pink bottle in my sweaty hands, I looked forward to getting home and cracking it open, despite all the sneers of disgust from my co-workers when I returned from my mid-workday beer run, brandishing Big Pink.
When I poured the first glass into a snifter, I smelled fruity ale and then chocolate. The taste is like a liquid chocolate jelly doughnut, which is quite a nice taste.
This is actually the third in Rogue’s Voodoo series. The first was Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale, which was followed by Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana Ale. I’d like to try the bacon/maple, but I kinda draw the line at banana in my beer, but, who knows, maybe I’ll try it sometime.
I am certain there is a story behind the Voodoo Doughnut series, but Rogue fails to share it on the label, saying only, “Dedicated to Tres & Cat Daddy, the rogues of Voodoo Doughnuts,” which, I am guessing, is a doughnut operation in Portlandia [that was confirmed by a friend who has been to Voodoo Doughnut. I don’t feel like looking up a doughnut shop I’ll never visit. I just want to sit back and sip on this liquid dessert.