New Belgium is welcoming 2017 with some major changes to their year-round offerings. One is Voodoo Ranger IPA which is to replace Ranger as their flagship IPA. I have always been a big fan of Ranger, and I am glad to say that I was not disappointed with the changes. Voodoo Ranger is a smooth, clean IPA with big-time hop influences that adds bittering as well as a bit of tropical fruitiness.
Voodoo Ranger is a beautiful beer pouring perfectly clear and golden yellow with a snowy white head. The aroma released from the pour is equally lovely with mango, grapefruit, pine, and just a hint of bready malt.
The aromas predict the flavors picked up from this medium-bodied beer. There is initially a brief tropical and orange fruitiness and slight sweetness. The orange is pronounced without being overpowering. After just a bit of malt influence on the middle of the tongue, the hops dominate making the beer taste bigger than the 50 IBUs might prophesy. Beginning with citrus notes the beer becomes dank as it finishes with heavy pine and just a bit of orange. The aftertaste is long-lingering grass and pine. As the aftertaste begins to fade, some residual sweetness is noted on the front of the tongue but there is a clear division between the sweet and the bitter.
Voodoo Ranger has just a bit more alcohol than the outgoing Ranger coming in at 7%. It is currently on shelves and is available both in bottles and in outdoor-friendly cans.
This wonderfully bitter beer pairs great with spicy dishes and dark chocolate. The hop bite was a perfect complement to enchiladas featuring smoky and spicy chilis in adobo as well as a Thai dish with a heavy dose of yellow curry.
Being a big fan of Ranger, I’m happy to find that the changes seem to be for the better. Voodoo Ranger is a bit stronger on the pine bitterness balanced with just a bit more tropical fruitiness. Based on this beer, I’m excited to seek out New Belgium’s other new beers in 2017.
Cheers and Happy New Year!
Outdoor Friendliness (available in cans for your outdoor adventures)…9/10
Aroma (grapefruit and pine dominate)…8/10
Flavor (hop-heavy with both tropical fruitiness and big pine notes)…8/10
Style-Appropriateness (a wonderful example of an American IPA)…9/10
Alex writes a beer review every other Friday. Two weeks ago he reviewed Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown: Atypical and Amazing