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.
Voodoo Ranger IPA

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.Voodoo Ranger IPA

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!

Alex

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 AmazingFounders Sumatra Mountain Brown

17 Comments

  1. I’m very dissapointed Ranger is being replaced with Voodoo Ranger. Ranger IPA has been my favorite beer for many years and just like that it’s off of the shelves. In my opinion the Voodoo Ranger doesn’t have that crisp amazing taste Ranger provided. It is unfortunate they couldn’t keep the original as they try selling the voodoo. It looks like i’ll have to bid my farewells to one of the best IPAs out there. RIP Ranger, you will be missed.

  2. WHY???????? Add Voodoo but don’t discontinue Ranger please?

    Who do I need to blow to make this happen?

  3. I agree with the other comments, I was a big fan of the ranger, it was my favorite IPA. Not as much of a fan of the voodoo ranger.

  4. Totally disappointed. Ranger has been my go to for over five years. Reminds of the time Coke screwed up and got rid of Classic Coke and replaced it with New Coke. New Belgium please bring back OUR Ranger. Voodoo tastes like Doodoo.

  5. I’ve been drinking ranger beer for several years as my go to beer. I find the replacement for ranger beer to be unsuitable to drink. The beer leaves a horrible after taste…Please bring back my old ranger, it’s one of the best IPA’s on the market, if not the best

  6. Big mistake. The original tastes so much better because it does not try to do too much – unlike Voodoo. I have been drinking Ranger as my standard beer for many years. I have tried every IPA on the market but always come back to Ranger. I suspect a lot of people are the same as me and will need to find a new standard. It’s definitely NOT Voodoo

  7. I too liked the original Ranger very much, but I can Voodoo too. It would be nice to have them both, but I can understand not brewing three ipa’s , but I was never a fan of the imperial. Is it any better as a Voodoo? Haven’t ventured there yet..
    Cheers!

  8. Ranger was my all-time favorite IPA. Refreshing, crisp, well balanced hops. Voodoo is good, but no match for Ranger. I’m now drinking Denver Beer Co.’s Incredible Pedal, which is about as close to the original Ranger as it gets.

  9. Paul deiseroth

    Very sad to see Ranger go. Not a fan of voodoo. imperial is too sweet and I too will be shopping for a new favorite. The last 4 beers of my 6 pack will be offered to “friends” .

  10. Oh goodness, I like the original Ranger too but Voodoo is fine. Just a little sweet to me.

  11. I really miss Ranger IPA; Voodoo is too fruity. I’ve switched to La Cumbre Elevated IPA because it comes pretty close to the taste of Ranger.

  12. Very disapointed by the change. Was an all time favorite. And every day, after work brew. Voodoo is good but not Ranger! It’s got more of an imperial taste in my opinion. Sad that I no longer have Ranger. Guess it’s Dale’s Pale Ale as my runner up. Not Voodoo!!

  13. Bring Ranger Back!!!

  14. Bring Ranger Back. Keep voodoo separate.

  15. D. D. Douglas

    I agree with the other comments. Ranger was better. V-Ranger is not bad but I’m not at all a fan of fruit or citris hints anywhere near beer.

    I believe Ranger is about 9.0 ABV which is a bit too much, quite frankly.

    Original Ranger and (even more) Rampant were my favorites. V-Ranger is not a move in the direction of goodness.

  16. Couldn’t agree more with the other posters. Ranger was the paradigm of IPAs. It hit my sweet spot (oh the irony). The perfect balance of bitter, citrus, and fruit (very little), all at a more affordable price. I wrote a tactful yet direct email to New Belgium saying as much. Voodoo is definitely a step backwards. Ranger was a five star IPA. Voodoo is a three star. I will shift my regular IPA purchases elsewhere. Oskar Blue’s Dale’s Pale Ale will be my new regular.

  17. Please bring back Ranger, as it was my go to IPA and bought it every week. I tried Voodoo ranger when it first came out and a friend gave me one last night. My first impression was confirmed. I have not bought an IPA from New Belgium since I first tried this new version — I find Voodoo Ranger undrinkable.

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