Some will say I have unfairly targeted the Voodoo Doughnut series as a set of easy marks in my quest to point out the worst beers I’ve ever had. I just want to point out that the only reason I’m drinking this beer at all is in the hope it will buck the trend and prove the previous offerings to be just a horrible, horrible stepping stone. This is not the case with Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate Ale, The latest in a series of barely drinkable brews from Rogue Ales.
Based on one of the most famous of Voodoo Doughnuts‘ line-up, Rogue’s take on a these flavors starts with a light, coffee-colored head capping a near black body that has tones of red only when held to the light. There are obvious signs of carbonation as the foam reduces to an uneven ring around the glass.
An initial whiff of the open bottle recalls dense sugary frosting. However, once the beer hits the glass things take a sudden and unfortunate turn. For all intents and purposes the beer smells like only one thing, artificially flavored tobacco. To be more specific, if smells like gas station blunt wraps. The kind kept in heaping display boxes behind the counter. To my horror, taste follows suit.
As a misguided youth I dabbled in all varieties of tobacco, including dip (chewing tobacco). Anybody who has ever done this and accidentally swallowed some will have a pretty good idea what I’m getting at here. The fact that I am tasting tobacco in something I am drinking tells my body to stop what it is doing, but I proceed for the sake of science.
There are other flavors present, like chocolate and raspberry frosting comprised of fake flavoring. There is at times the vaguest gesture of a cracker-like maltiness that may elude to pretzel, but my taste buds are so busy running form the tobacco madness that it gets trampled by the finish of artificial sweetness. This is a brew clearly based on a brown ale, that through the overzealous addition of 13 ingredients, has taken on some unintentional and unfortunate flavors. As it warms the brew settles into a mouthfeel and flavor quite like flat Dr. Pepper.
Despite my wholehearted attempt to enjoy this one, it just kept shaking me and telling me to stop. Were it not for my insisting we let it warm enough to say we tried it at varying temps, Jeff surely would have poured it down the drain. The brew does however, boast a shockingly high score of 79 on Beer Advocate. More proof that the film Idiocracy is a prophecy, not merely film.
I hate this beer!