Rogue Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Ale

When I saw this beer in the store, my first thought was, “Has Rogue lost its mind?” My second thought was MUST TRY MUST TRY MUST TRY MUST TRY

Brewery: Rogue Ales
Style: Fruity … veggie … pastry … beer?
ABV: 5.3%
Price Range: 12 bucks a bomber, last time I checked.
Food Pairing: Fruits … and veggies … and pastries?


It’s not that I have more than a normal appreciation for any of the flavors listed above, but I do enjoy trying odd, unusual beers. I enjoy surprises.

This one pours dark, like a stout, with a rich beige head of foam that crawls down the glass, surprising me right out of the gate. The smell, on the other hand … isn’t really my thing. Actually, it smells like old, dusty peanut butter. Which raises a number of questions. In what situation does peanut butter get dusty? Should I be worried that Rogue stores its peanut butter using the “pile on the floor” method?

Actually, I’ve been to Rogue brewery, and the place was shiny clean and awesome. See?


The longer I smell the beer, however, the more boozy banana and chocolate emerge. I’m still not loving it — the banana is a bit too perfumy — but this kicks it up a notch from  “gross, what?” to an enthusiastic “hmm, OK…”

The foam tastes like smooth Skippy, but the dark liquid underneath is unexpectedly crisp, sharp, and beer-like. The contrast actually stuns me a bit, like some kind of flavor flashbang. Banana stands out without overpowering the bitter chocolate, creating a weird banana-split hybrid of weizen and stout. It’s more weizenbock than hefeweizen, really, but it doesn’t fully taste like either. There’s also a smooth, nutty undercurrent, though I can’t locate the bold peanut butter flavors I got from the smell. The light dusty flavor remains, though, lurking just beneath the surface, waiting to remind you that oh god dust is just discarded hair and skin flakes that I’m ingesting all day long and oh god oh god what the hell why.

It’s an odd beer, one that has a bit more to it than the Maple Bacon Ale but nonetheless hasn’t convinced me that these experiments are on the right track. The bacon ale had, ya know, bacon, but this one (once you get past the smell) was a little more subtle, a little more like a beer. There were still a few flavors that don’t quite mesh the way my mouth wanted them to, but I definitely didn’t hate it. These Voodoo beers have potential, and I respect Rogue immensely for trying new things, but perhaps the union of beer and doughnut simply was not meant to be.

That said, just try to stop me from trying the next one.