Voodoo Brewing – 4 Seasons IPA

Voodoo Brewing Co. – Meadville, PA

4 Seasons IPA – 22 oz.

Amber colored as it pours, creates a moderate head that lingers for a while.  There are hints of brown in the color.  There isn’t any visible carbonation, but lots of foam is created with just a quick swirl of the glass.

The aroma has lots of pineapple in the fruity hop profile.  There are light whiffs of pine underlying with a tiny bit of oily resin.  There is also a sweet malt base in the aroma suggesting a good balance of hops and malt.

Bitter and sweet flavors fight it out with this season.  I’m not sure who the winner would be…  The flavor begins with lots of floral notes and a bit of vegetation.  There is an earthiness which is a background idea that materializes slightly.  The first notes of each sip are bitter, then tempered by the sweet malt profile.  There are some hints of caramel sugars in there.  The finish hits with a lingering bitterness and a slight herbal flavor like tobacco.  Oh, and after the bitterness, there’s some more bitterness.  But, I don’t think it’s “too” bitter.  Though, you do have to like hops to be admitted to this party.

The mouth feel is refreshing with a touch of oiliness and a fair amount of carbonation that helps to cut the medium-body of the beer.

Voodoo doesn’t print an ABV on the bottle, so I’m going to peg it at 6.5%.  If it’s higher, it’s easy drinking.  So, drinkability…  Let’s say, “Yes”.

4 Seasons is a nice winter IPA that would have no trouble picking up periodically.  It would be perfect with a New York Strip steak.  It has a bit more caramel notes than average.  And the lingering sweetness would go well with the seared, crisp exterior of the steak.  Throw in some sautéed mushrooms and onions, and I’m golden.

Overall – B+

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Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Voodoo Brewing – Love Child

Voodoo Brewing Co. – Meadville, PA

Love Child – 9.5% ABV.  22oz.

“…aged on cherries, raspberries and passion fruit.”

19.5 OG, 2 degrees Plato, 29 IBUs

Love Child poured with no head at all.  Its dark amber color was rather plain looking.  There are a few lines of bubbles rising in the glass.

The aroma is where this starts to get interesting.  The first aroma I sense is the yeast.  The bottle says they use a house triple yeast, so it’s clearly related to Belgian yeast is some way.  Even if it’s only distantly related.  Another light inhale reveals a ton of fruit aromas.  I get the cherries and the passion fruit is very present in the aroma, which surprises me.  I don’t smell the raspberries, yet.

The flavor is full of fruit and yeast and malt.  There’s a lot going on here.  The flavor has each of the 3 fruits vying for control.  One second the raspberries are center stage, and then they fade in favor of the cherries, which then make way for the faint, mild notes of the passion fruit.  There are hints of herbal citrus back there, too.  The bitterness is really low.  I think I taste some hops, but there is so much going on, it might be my imagination.  There is a light malt backbone which helps balance out the fruit.  The beer tastes sweet, but it also finishes quite dry.

One key point with Love Child: when you serve this, I would recommend taking it out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving.  Consider it like a bottle of wine.  Having it warm up a little really helps develop the flavors.  Human taste buds are less sensitive when something is colder, but that’s a conversation for another time.

The mouth feel is crisp, but not quite effervescent.  The dry finish with lots of carbonation leads to a pleasant result.  We are looking at a medium-bodied brew here.

Drinkability is surprisingly good for a brew of 9.5% ABV.  The alcohol is totally hidden.  I probably shouldn’t drink the whole bomber, bit I’m going to anyway.  Normally, I would share this with my wife because she would really enjoy it.  Sadly, she gave up alcohol this month.  More for me!

I really enjoyed my time with Love Child and I will be buying more.  Voodoo turned out one of my favorite fruit beers.  I know they were going for a fruit ale, and it was a success, BUT… I would LOVE to see them sour this out on oak.  They even mention it on the label!  Maybe in the future.

Overall – B+

Published in: on February 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Voodoo Brewing – Pilzilla

Voodoo Brewing Co. – Meadville, PA

Pilzilla – 22 oz.  6.7% ABV

“…a bastardized German, Czech and Polish Pilsner…”

Purchased at the Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale for their Voodoo Rare Keg Competition.

Pilzilla roars into the glass a burnished-gold verging on light amber color.  It’s surprisingly hazy for a pilsner.  The head was minimal during the pour.  There are a healthy number of bubbles rising inside the glass.

The aroma is full of spicy hops, but no noticeable bitterness on the nose.  Voodoo used 9 varieties of hops from Germany, Czechoslovakia and Poland.  It certainly brings a good level of balance to the aroma.  There are some malt notes in the background, but the aroma is mostly grassy, herbal hops.

The flavor is really bold!  For a pilsner, it’s surprisingly hoppy and bitter.  Surprising, and quite good. It comes close to an IPA.  There is a hefty malt backbone which keeps the hops in check… at least a bit.  The grassy flavor is here, just as in the aroma.  The flavor goes off on a different direction than the aroma because there is tons of bitterness from the hops.  Pine flavors, resin and lots of fresh herbs.

The mouth feel is medium to full bodied with a pleasant carbonation.  Drinkability is OK, the ABV and the bitterness won’t make this a session beer, but it’s definitely enjoyable.

This beer truly is a monster.  I’m not sure the style designation is accurate because it has a LOT in common with an IPA, between the bitterness and the strength.  Good stuff, though.  Plus, it’s a steal at the current sale price at both Blue Dog locations.

Overall – B

Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Voodoo Black Magick – 2009 Vintage

Voodoo Brewing – Meadville, PA

Black Magick – 15% ABV – 12 oz.

www.voodoobrewery.com

2009 Vintage. 

“Aged in Elaigh Craig 13 1/2 year old Bourbon Barrels for 1 yr”

This was a beer that has been aging in my cellar for almost 2 years.  Since Black Magick is 15% alcohol, I thought it best to share it with a friend.  We each had a 6 ounce serving.

The pour is jet black with a tiny thin rim of brown around the edge of the glass.  There is zero head on this thing!  An energetic swirl barely agitated some bubbles out of it.

Complexity is the focus with the aroma.  There is so much going on in the aroma, it’s hard to describe, but definitely amazing!  Things I noticed included bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla.  It’s a very balanced aroma.

The flavor is fantastic.  There is a lot of bourbon, but it’s not harsh.  I’m amazed that with the huge ABV, it’s not “hot” from the alcohol.  It’s very pleasant.  Other major players are vanilla beans and coffee.  As it warms up, I taste more of the oak characteristics from the barrel aging, along with even more vanilla and bourbon.  The flavor is awesome!  It’s very sweet with a bit of molasses sweetness and tang.

After an increase in temperature, the alcohol does bite back a little, but it only goes so far as to be a bit warming.  Still not too harsh.

There is a medium bodied mouth feel, but it’s not too creamy or viscous.  Since there was no carbonation during the pour, there also isn’t any during a sip.  I can’t say this beer is too drinkable.  As good as it is I wouldn’t want more than 6 ounces in a serving.  It’s pretty powerful stuff.

 I truly can’t say enough about Black Magick!  It’s an amazing beer that happens to be offered every other year.  When I taste an aged stout, this is what I want.  Its complex flavors bring lots of ingredients to mind, particularly bourbon, vanilla and coffee.  I’m stunned that the 15% alcohol is as subtle as it is.  It’s very deceptive and delicious.

Voodoo Brewing’s website states it’s brewed every 2 years.  So, if I purchased my bottle in 2009, and assuming it was bottled in 2009, then logic dictates that 2 years later would be 2011!  And knowing that it’s now 2011, then it’s safe to say that if the website is correct, we may possibly expect a batch of Black Magick this year.  That is an excellent prospect, indeed!

Overall: A+

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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