There’s a Crueller in My Beer!

Jim Lundstrom


My first sip of Voodoo Doughnut Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale was a mind-blowing experience because what’s happening on the palate does not compute in the brain.

As your brain tries to comprehend what is going on in your mouth, you read the label and confirm that, yes, those are lemons and marshmallows pushing your palate buttons all at once, along with vanilla beans for that hint of frosting.

I grew tired of vanilla-flavored beer in 1992, but here it is done as a component, like a light glaze on the crueller, rather than overpowering everything else, as is too often the case.

This is a multi-layered beer. It is easy to muddy up a beer with so many flavors, but with this, you can take a sip, sit back, holding the effervescent sip in your mouth for a moment before releasing it, allowing the torrent of flavors to wash over you, and then close your eyes and identify and revel in each of the main flavors.

The adventurous brewers at Rogue Ales in Newport, Ore., really know how to balance flavors. The lemon is almost like the first contact of a Lemonhead candy on your tongue, with that sweet outer coating quickly giving way to the lemony tartness.

You also get a big lemony nose and look to this beer. It’s almost as if lemon gives an inner golden glow to this beautiful honey-colored beer.

This is another in the pink-bottled series of beers Rogue dedicates to Tres and Cat Daddy, founders of Voodoo Doughnut in Portlandia. While I’ve never had an actual Voodoo Doughnut, I do believe I have drunk a few of them.

I had mine with slow-cooked teriyaki chicken thighs. The dark-flavored meat paired well with the sprightly beer. I’m thinking it would also pair well with salads and desserts.