Beer Review: NEW BELGIUM VOODOO RANGER JUICY HAZE IPA

Beer Review: NEW BELGIUM VOODOO RANGER JUICY HAZE IPA

Product Overview: This unfiltered IPA from New Belgium Brewing promises a medium body, tropical aromas, and bold citrus flavors. Let’s dive into the Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA and see if it lives up to the hype.

Appearance

The Juicy Haze pours a murky, opaque golden hue reminiscent of unfiltered pineapple juice, presenting itself as a visually impressive brew. The head formation is commendable, boasting great retention and setting the stage for what one might expect from a hazy IPA.

Aroma

Initially, the nose offers a burst of fresh and zesty white grapefruit spritzer. However, upon further exploration, the aroma takes a diverse turn, revealing notes of green banana, unripe papaya, and an intriguing hint of honey mint cough drops. It’s a medley that keeps the olfactory senses on their toes.

Taste

Unfortunately, the flavor experience falls short, lacking a distinct separation between the front, mid, and back palate. This absence of complexity results in a less-than-beer-like profile. The taste journey unfolds with roughness, evoking sensations akin to Tums tablets, concrete, talcum powder, and an excess of gritty and chalky flavors. The anticipated soft, pillowy body and fruit juice-like drinkability associated with hazy IPAs are notably absent, leaving much to be desired.

Mouthfeel

Contrary to the expected hazy IPA characteristics, the mouthfeel of the Juicy Haze resembles mineral water with an added touch of baby powder. This departure from the norm contributes to an overall experience that diverges from the typical attributes associated with beers of this style.

Overall

While the Juicy Haze IPA may attract those following the trend, it falls short of standing out in a competitive market. The lack of distinction in its flavor profile and the prevalence of overpowering gritty and chalky notes suggest a recipe in need of significant reworking. Examining the ingredients, the use of hefeweizen yeast, oats, and wheat raises questions about the potential culprits behind the beer’s deviations from the expected hazy IPA characteristics. It’s possible that the reintroduction of yeast sediment, a common practice in hazy IPAs, may be contributing to the off-flavors observed here.

In comparison to other widely distributed hazy IPAs, New Belgium’s offering faces stiff competition. Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing, for instance, presents a more favorable example of the style, demonstrating that success in this category requires careful recipe adjustments and extensive taste testing. While imperfect, Sierra Nevada currently holds the edge in delivering a more satisfactory representation of the hazy IPA style.