Review: New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina IPA and French Oak Saison
It’s a duo of new beers from New Belgium, both appearing in oversized 22 oz. bottles. Let’s dig in!
New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina IPA – A new entry into the Voodoo Ranger series from New Belgium, this beer isn’t dosed with mandarin oranges but rather features bitterness courtesy of German Mandarina Bavaria and Australian Galaxy hops. The Mandarina does work to give a slight citrus edge to the beer, as well as notes of lime zest — plus, oddly, a bit of dark chocolate character that comes along later in the game. Otherwise, the bracing bitterness gives this a classic IPA structure — though it drinks at a comparably low 6.5% abv. B+ / $7 per 22 oz bottle
New Belgium French Oak Saison – A lightly sour barrel-aged farmhouse ale, this brew packs lots of cherry flavor, a smattering of citrus, and some vanilla before the sourness kicks in with more gusto. Lightly woody on the finish, the beer is chewy and mouth-filling, with sour cherry lingering for the long haul — but going out crisp and clean, more so than expected. A bit one-note for a sour, but otherwise it’s a nice archetype of the style. 7.5% abv. B+ / $14 per 22 oz bottle