Voodoo Brewery

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American Barleywine
Ranked #17
Ranked #1,932
4.24 | pDev: 11.08%
Voodoo Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States
Notes: This is an 11.3% barleywine brewed with and aged on 200lbs of real pumpkin, madagascar vanilla beans, and cinnamon in bourbon barrels. Pumpkin is front and center with notes of bourbon, oak, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon rounding out the back side.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 176 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Treyliff
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter
2017 vintage

A- pours a crystal clear dark amber color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that has short retention and leaves nothing behind

S- aroma actually smells like caramelized pumpkins; with a supporting cast of vanilla bean, brown sugar, toffee, creme brûlée, nutmeg, cinnamon & oaky bourbon to round it out, definitely resembles more of an English style than American style

T- sweet caramel and toffee initially, followed by pumpkin spice notes of cinnamon, along with pumpkin flesh. Mid-palate gives some bourbon barrel notes that add an oaky-ness that seems to enhance the vanilla and caramel notes. The finish gives notes of brown sugar and more bourbon barrel, some spicing on the linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- outstanding barleywine with just enough pumpkin and barrel notes to balance it out

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber beer with a finger of off white to light beige head. Leaves just a few random globs of lacing on the glass. Bourbon is pretty noticeable in the nose but is quickly replaced with caramel sweetness, pumpkin and pumpkin spices. Most notably cinnamon. Sweet caramel, pumpkin and cinnamon up front that later are replaced on the tongue with bourbon and vanilla. The beer has a bit of heat that can be attributed to the bourbon and maybe even spicy cinnamon. This is a really tasty beer.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aroma is pure vanilla and Kentucky straight. Very sweet beer - pumpkin is kinda lost, but lots of decadent caramel, cinnamon and vanilla to compensate.

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Photo of rypkr
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Preface of apart from manbearpig I've been monumentally underwhelmed by the dozen other voodoo beers I've had.

L - voodoo teku pour. Gorgeous crystal clear ruby red to amber with snow white 1 finger head and lacing that actually resembles lace. Wow.

S - toffee, caramel, definitely pumping but not overwhelming. Vanilla, brown sugar. Not much spice. I'm totally on board with this so far. Not much bittering and therfore smells.more like am English than an American barleywine.

T - coconut. Wtf? LOADS of oak, then vanilla, brown sugar and toffee. Faint bittering hops on the back end. Where is all of this coconut coming from though?

M - mild and middle of the road. Fairly coating but not big and voluptuous on the palate. Carbonation is high but very gentle and soft.

Overall - pretty good. It's bittering more as it warms but I'd still consider this more of an English barleywine. I can see this being fantastic with age and some mutes rough edges.


Drinking a fresh 2018 one year later and my review is just the same with the exception of the look. This years is much muddier looking and I dont see that beautiful lacing I describes.

Still ridiculous amount of coconut for not having it added. Much better than actually coconut beer that taste like suntan lotion (funky budha).

I'm glad I still have one from last year and grabbed more this year. I want to taste this with several years on it, I see it being sublime. Note to myself if I re-read this. DONT crack your collared ones for at least a few years.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- The beer was an almost disturbingly radiant shade of orange.

Smell - Cinnamon and nutmeg were the dominant notes in the nose.

Taste - My first thought is that this tastes like a pumpkin scented candle. Notes of cinnamon, apple and actual pumpkin are present. What I don't like is the elements of a barleywine are smothered. This seems like a regular pumpkin ale with a warm after.

Mouthfeel - Based on feel, one might not know this is a barleywine.

Overall- There is a lot to like here. Yet I wonder if pumpkin is not right for this particular style. The glory of a barleywine is not allowed to shine.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Loved this beer... When I opened the bottle there was a unique aroma that I immediately attributed to Pumpkin - and it probably was - so I was nervous it was going to be a pumpkin bomb, but it was the best pumpkin beer of any style I've had to date... Its definitely more barleywine than pumpkin beer, and in full disclosure I had to drink it in two settings but that doesn't change my overall opinion.

Nice sweetness, but kind of earthy profile that you would associate with a traditional fall/thanksgiving... spices abound, and in it all there's only a subtle barrel presence, and a nice kick of vanilla. Everything plays together, and this comes off in spades. I don't get excited about pumpkin beers, but I'll look for this again next fall!

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to thebouch01 for sending this in his box for the NFL Confidence BIF box! Reviewed from (long-standing) notes. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Cigar City El Catador teku glass.

A: Pours a somewhat dark brown, but very clear - just a mild chill haze. Forms a thin white head that fades quickly with fairly low visible carbonation.

S: Sweet malts, bourbon, pumpkin, and vanilla. Oak barrel, and less cinnamon and maybe some nutmeg. Sweet graham cracker malts with a light toast character and more vanilla. A really enjoyable nose – like pumpkin pie with bourbon, without being cloying and obnoxious on the spices.

T: Vanilla and bourbon - the vanilla is pretty perfumey sweet. Then pumpkin with more bourbon. Cinnamon and sweet bready malts, and the malts last with bourbon-isa ethanol heat into the hang. Only a mild oak presence in the flavors.

M: A surprisingly thin body for an 11% barleywine, and the alcohol seems a bit high for style - which is to say quite noticeable. Carbonation sensation a bit on the low side.

O: This really wasn't my favorite. A very nice smell, but the flavors just didn’t follow through. Too much bourbon flavor and heat, a thin body, and a borderline Yankee Candle vanilla. Not my least favorite pumpkin beer, but nothing that I’d drink again.

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Photo of Slack
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium amber in color with about half inch of head that settles to a ring around the glass. Minimal lacing.

Nose is pumpkin, malt, vanilla, raisins, booze, and spice.

Taste is pumpkin, booze, hops, sweetness, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Mouthful is medium and syrupy with a bite. Carbonation is on the higher end of average. Finish is semi dry.

The pumpkin barleywine combo works but only to a certain extent. This is more barleywine than pumpkin beer.

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Photo of Mateo2699
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pour is a clear mahagony hue, small white head that lasts around for a minute. Sweet malt forward, very subtle hints of pumpkin. According to the date on the bottle, this is slightly over a year old. Not sure if the pumpkin diminishes over time. But anyways, some nice sweet brown sugar scents with hints of caramel. Taste has a lot of sweet malt, and hints of cinnomon and brown sugar. I'm actually detecting some of the pumpkin, which was absent in the aroma. Somewhat of a boozy finish in the backend. Mouthfeel is very thin bodied, moderate carbonation with a strong boozy finish.

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Photo of brother_rebus
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didnt have it fresh. Pumpkin gone. Very smoothed over though. Very masked for a 11%'er. Not a great nose on it. But immsure that would be different if tried fresh. Will revisit.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A lot going on here. Barleywine with pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon, then barrel aged. It's all there. Definite barleywine flavors to this beer. Medium heat to this beer as well. Very nice flavorful pumpkin beer that's not traditional in flavor.

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Photo of CincyBrewTull
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Caution! Contains Real Pumpkin!!! is a boozy delight and I came in to this really skeptical. See I really hate everything pumpkin related so when I received this bottle I thought “oh great here we go.” Let me tell you, in C!CRP!!! the pumpkin is so subdued that it is negligible. Bourbon smacks you the minute you take a sniff followed by a warm inviting vanilla under tone. On the tongue bourbon leads the way followed by vanilla, barley, cinnamon, and finally pumpkin.

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Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany with a moderate head that leaves some strands of lacing

Smell: Fruit, pumpkin and Bourbon tones, with holiday spices and vanilla

Taste: Malty and sweet, with pumpkin, caramel and Bourbon tones developing; holiday spices and vanilla build, after the swallow; the finish is boozy

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: This is an aggressive beer that I would probably find more enjoyable once it has some time to settle down

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.57/5  rDev -15.8%

Bottle from Joe. Thanks man. Pours deep ruby orange, pretty much totally clear, with a half finger off white head that recedes quickly. Aroma of lots of bourbon, hard candy, pumpkin, vanilla, faint spice, some cardboard. Flavor is big bourbon pumpkin, surprisingly dry and oaky, a bit of vanilla, not much spice (a good thing in my book). Medium us bodied, overly dry, with low to medium carbonation. The dryness in this one makes the alcohol a bit overly harsh, but I do love the way the pumpkin flavors are highlighted here instead of the spice overload that normally happens with pumpkin beers. Glad I got to try this, and it's good and unique and very much fitting for the season, but doesn't hold a candle to Almanac Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine.

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Photo of jegross2
3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reviewing the CAUTION! CONTAINS REAL PUMPKIN!!! from Voodoo Brewing Company out of Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Score: 82

Bottled 09/29/14 vintage bottle served in a stemmed Doom teku-like glass and enjoyed on 10/30/14.

Appearance: Pours a clean and transparent brownish-ruby color with a thin layer of head that quickly settles to a ring around the glass. Poor lacing, below average retention of what little lacing there is. 3.5/5

Smell: This beer has a very rich, bold pumpkin and cinnamon-vanilla cupcake nose. Notes of brown sugar, caramel, oak, raisin and syrup. The nose has a lot of nice bourbon characteristics present without coming across as being "bourbon-y" (or boozy, for that matter). 4.25/5.

Taste: My first impression is that this beer tastes like sipping pumpkin-spiked barleywine, with a mild alcohol bite, bourbon undertones, and a stale hop and dark fruit character on the finish. There's cinnamon and nutmeg on the midpalate and some vanilla flavor on the finish. Haphazardly mixed throughout are notes of dark fruit, syrup, old hops (especially towards the back half) and ample sweet malt. The flavors are not as well integrated as they were in the nose. I'm sure barleywine fans will appreciate this one much more than myself. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, minimal carbonation (perhaps a touch under-carbonated). Sweet and malty. A little alcohol warmth comes through as this one warms up, but it does not have an alcohol singe/bite. 3.25/5

Overall: The nose led promise of something delectably complex and balanced, but the flavors came across as a bit of a jumbled, malty mess that was much more average overall than hoped for.

Cost: $19 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Photo of stakem
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to both Kirt and Tom for looking out for me and making sure I got hooked up with a bomber of this. Poured into a matching 22oz barrel room collection snifter. The brew appears a clear mahogany with ruby to orange highlights and a yellowish stained khaki head that fades back to a thin film. Some spotty lace clings to the glass.

The smell is that of fruity alcohol upfront, then spice like cinnamon, vanilla and some caramel malt backing. A slight meaty vegetative pumpkin aspect is present through the middle and the vanilla really comes out as it warms.

The taste is full on boozy barleywine with caramel, toffee and vanilla to contrast. A light cinnamon spice, herbal to vegetative pumpkin meat and solvent alcohol is noted towards the finish blending with an herbal hop bitterness.

This is medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. The best part of this pumpkin beer is that it is a full on great barleywine with additions that make it subtle in the realm of a pumpkin beer. This beer is awesome. The fact that it will possibly come out seasonally makes it even better. Chalk this up as a must have annual pumpkin beer.

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Photo of adamette
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Review by notes from beer consumed 10 10 14 while on a mini vacation with my wife. Poured into an 8 oz. tulip glass at the brewery at a cost of $7.25. ABV stated at brewery is 11.39%

A Creamy light brown head over a ruby, amber body. Excellent look. 4.5

S Bourbon Barrel aged pumpkin ale and a lot of malt. I love the smell of this beer and I will rate it the highest available rating but it does not have the essence of any Barleywine that I have ever smelled or tasted. It is decidedly a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin ale to me. 5.0

T Malt, sweet, pumpkin, some hops, bourbon, some cinnamon, excellent! 4.5

M Full, smooth, wonderful bourbon barrel aged goodness. 5.0

D/O Drinkability is tremendous. I could have 10 of these. I settled for two of them on the night. Overall this is a world class beer, whatever they are calling the style. 5.0

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Voodoo Brewing Company in Meadville, PA.

Pours a pretty clear reddish brown. There's a very small head, and no lacing. Color's nice, though. No matter, appearance isn't really that important, when the beer is this good.

Smells just godly. Real pumpkin, duh, with vanilla, cinnamon, oak, and strong sweet caramelly bourbon.

Not hard to believe that this also tastes excellent. The barrel is out front (as it honestly should be), with some bitter oak flavors, warming vanilla (both from the actual beans and the time in oak, I'm sure), sweet pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, rich molasses, caramel, and sweet bourbon. This beer is definitely hot, but not overwhelmingly so, and the hotness adds a nice bitterness that plays off the sweet flavors.

This is slightly lighter bodied than I would like in a barleywine, but this section is saved by how smooth it is, and how it doesn't act its ABV at all. This is 11%? Feels a few points lower, great job hiding the alcohol. As said above, I can sense the alcohol for sure, but it adds to the flavor of the beer itself.

Voodoo is quietly one of the better breweries in the Northeast. These guys can rock with the best of them.

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Photo of SS114
5/5  rDev +17.9%

An awesome BA barleywine with tons of flavor! The cinnamon, vanilla and bourbon are very present with the pumpkins in the background.. Not crazy for pumpkin beers but this was amazing! Should age wonderfully too

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Photo of Regalwvu
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

VooDoo Barrel program is phenomenal. Excellent barlywine with lots of cinnamon, vanilla, and bourbon. Pumpkin is there but barely, which I really like. This will age very nicely.

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Photo of HoppyBastard1
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Still pretty hot. Needs a bit of time to mellow out.
Pours great! Lots going on. Great Barleywine flavor. Pumpkin is definitely there, just takes the backseat to the Bourbon Barrel, cinnamon and Barleywine flavors.
Another solid BA beer from Curt, Matt and crew!!!

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Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 176 ratings