Review: New Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPA (Canada)

One of the earliest American craft breweries I became a fan of was New Belgium Brewing out of Colorado. I always loved picking up their Lips of Faith series of beers as well as their taster packs when I went down to North Dakota for vacation. For a brief couple years, New Belgium's beer was available in Canada pretty easily with their Fat Tire and Ranger IPA being available only a few minute walk from my place. Then, all of a sudden their beer disappeared off shelves completely. Now fast forward a couple years later: now they have re-entered the Canadian market through Steam Whistle Brewing out of Toronto. I reviewed Steam Whistle's version of Fat Tire Amber Ale, which turned out to be pretty much on point with what I remembered. 

New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger IPA is the newest beer to come out of Steam Whistle. When I first heard about it coming out, I saw only good feedback about the beer coming from beer bloggers/columnists out of Toronto so I was excited for it to make its way out west. Well, Voodoo Ranger finally arrived in Manitoba a couple weeks ago and well.. it's not fresh, I'm still going to review it but it was canned on September 21, 2020.. nearly six months ago.. which is a dating I'd expect if it was coming directly from Fort Collins, not from Toronto. At $3.15 per 473mL can, I can't really complain.. that's pretty affordable by current standards.

Appearance: Clear with an amber-honey appearance to it. Lots of carbonation in the body and a very thick beige head that doesn't go anywhere! Once the head does move at all, it leaves behind a layered lacing on the glass.. beautiful. 

Aroma: Definitely doesn't smell fresh. It's quite a bitter and pine-forward IPA with a heavy dose of caramel malt sweetness. There's a bit of lemon, a bit of a floral and a bit of an Earl Grey tea-like profile at the end. Unfortunately it has a bit of a cardboard aroma as well.. not horrible but not overly inviting for a bitter forward IPA.. and I'm someone who still loves bitter IPAs in the era of juice bombs.

Taste: The not-so-fresh taste isn't as prevalent this time around so I'm not minding it. This is bitter, moderately in-your-face and has a nice caramel sweetness at the end. Not much really to describe about this beer as it's very straight forward, fairly dry and a bit of a tingling sensation for bitterness at the end that lingers for a good moment or two.

Overall Thoughts: I would've liked this to be fresher but at $3.15/can, it's not bad. Moderately bitter and not at all juicy/tropical like most IPAs now days. New Belgium does have some juicy/tropical forward IPAs in the Voodoo Ranger series but I don't know if we will ever see it make its way to Canada.

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