Sunday, September 16, 2012

Left Coast Brewing Voo Doo American Stout review

Left Coast Voo Doo American StoutA dark bottle with a skull and the words Voo Doo normally would chase away a lot of people, but not when it is an award winning American Stout from Left Coast Brewing Company of San Clemente, California. Left Coast Voo Doo American Stout is part of Left Coast's full-time brews and is not a light-weight brew. It weighs in nearly at the imperial level at 8.5% ABV and comes in a tall 22oz painted bomber bottle.

I hadn't previously explored any of the Left Coast Brewing Company's beers before despite them being in business since 2004. Left Coast distributes to 10 different states now including Colorado. They also export their beer to Japan and New Zealand as well. The beer was bittered with Simcoe and Cascade hops to a healthy 39 IBU.

There's something about a skull in a top hat that seems to fit this dark beer. It's one of 4 full-time brews from Left Coast including a Double IPA, a regular IPA and a Belgian Tripel Ale. The majority of their beers tend to be on the big side, the lowest being near 6.0% ABV. I was curious to try a new brewery and specifically a new stout, so this beer was an easy choice. Voo Doo is a 3-time medal winner during the last calendar year including a Bronze in the 2012 World Beer Cup.

Appearance: Voo Doo American Stout poured genuinely dark as night and built up a tall brown head without much difficulty. This beer put out a big thick lacing that took its time gliding down the glass. Held up to the light, I could not see through this, but I could spot some reddish-brown highlights along the edges. The head did reduce to just a small brown ring after a minute, but the beer easily rose another after a small amount of agitation.

Aroma: I could smell the dark malts on this beer across the room. Left Coast's Voo Doo had a rich dark roasted aroma. It had characteristics of roasted coffee, some molasses, chocolate and a slight trace of citrus from the Cascade hops. To me, this had the smell of an imperial stout. I could tell that there was a bit more ABV in this beer than regular stouts.

Taste: Oh my yes. This beer hit me with a big bold dark roasted flavor up front and wouldn't quit. It was nearly chewy with its roasted malts, a hint of sweet molasses and a coffee-like bitterness. This wasn't a sweet stout, but it did remind me a bit of bitter chocolate and a bit of coffee. The alcohol in this beer was powerful enough to be noticed up front. It started warming me up almost immediately. After each sip, there seemed to be a lingering PA-TANG! (Best word I could describe it). It was just like a sensation of "OH YA" right near the end. This beer will sneak up on you for sure.

Overall: This is definitely one big, chewy stout that has plenty of flavor to spare. I can see why it has won 3 medals recently. It's an American stout that just won't quit. Yum. I'm now very tempted to find a bottle of their Imperial Stout - called Ale Epeteios and that one weighs in at 9.5% ABV - just 1 full point of ABV higher.

Left Coast's Voo Doo American Stout was definitely a nice treat after dinner. I happened to be finishing off a piece of pumpkin pie when I opened this bottle. The pair worked well together. And I enjoyed the rest of the bottle afterwards all by itself. Definitely a stout worth seeking out.

Left Coast Brewing CoDisclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer.

Left Coast Brewing Company
1245 Puert Del Sol
San Clemente, CO 92673
(949) 218-3964
Twitter: @LeftCoastBrewco

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