Atwater Voodoovator | Atwater Brewery

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Atwater VoodoovatorAtwater Voodoovator

Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery
Michigan, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jasonm on 10-18-2006

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Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 414
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.63/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

During several of my previous dozen reviews of Atwater Block beer, I proclaimed this brewery one of the worst in America. This big lager is their strongest and is generally considered to be their best, so will it be the one to finally break the 3.0 taste score ceiling? Hey, maybe a snifter will help.

A huge escape of CO2 on crown cracking led to 1 part murky chestnut beer and 9 parts golden ecru colored cap. Looks like this might be the second overbubbled brew in a row. The head stays huge for a ridiculously long time, is Matterhorn rocky as it melts, and doesn't lay down much lace in the end.

The nose is doppelbock average (and that's being kind). It's appropriately dark caramel malty with some background nutty earthiness. Nothing to get too excited about and warming adds nothing of note. Okay, here is the moment of truth.

Voodoovator would have qualified as a disappointment if expectations had been even slightly high. How can these guys continue to brew/bottle such bland (and occasionally aggressively nasty) beer across such a wide range of styles? It really does boggle the mind.

Flavor intensity is shockingly low, as if there's a layer of cotton between beer and buds. Specifics include chocolate and dark caramel stored too long in a tin can, bitter nut skins, and a small shot of grain alcohol. Needless to say, there's no depth/breadth/complexity here at all. Only a lack of the aggressive nastiness noted above keeps the score from falling further.

The mouthfeel might be the worst of the worst. It's way too thin for the style and harsh bubbles seem to exist on the outside of the liquid rather than buried within, as they should be. Sorry, this is not a pleasurable experience.

My 13th Atwater Block review was no more lucky than the previous 12. Voodoovator is definitely not recommended. Actually, luck has nothing to do with the brewing of good beer. The process is 100% skill, which is where this outfit falls woefully short. Again... and again... and again... ad infinitum.

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Photo of scottakelly
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, somewhat blackish color. Clear with a towering white head. Aroma is of slight roasted grains. The flavor is enjoyable, strong base malt flavor with slight roasted grain taste. Reminds me of an amped up schwarzbier. It doesn't, however, come close to a doppelbock. The strong munich malt character and warming alcohol presence is missing. Overall an ok beer, but not a good example of the style. Drinkability is good for 9.5% abv.

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Photo of tubacharlie
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A giant four-finger head erupts when quickly poured into a 16 oz glass stein. Slowly fading to an inch or so, the head is a tan color with good lacing. The brew is a deep, dark red-brown with enough clarity for light to penetrate.

The aroma is a little grassy with some alcohol esters tantalizing the nostrils. Taking a swig, the alcohol becomes more apparent and vaporizes somewhat with the heavy carbonation. Backed up with strong malts and a hefty dose of hops, the intense mocha flavor is equal to the high gravity and leaves a hint of vanilla after the bitterness of the hops starts to recede.

Not an everyday beer, this is a big beer that lumberjacks and other burly types would probably enjoy with some roast boar.

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Photo of mactrail
1.92/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Nice brownish head, interesting coppery brown color.

Dry, woody, astringent. Flavors are sour candy, old chewing gum, bitter apples. No malt sweetness. Hops lost in the bitterness of some other biological process. Completely undrinkable, but maybe it started out OK when it was fresh.

I'd say it's borderline spoiled, and the bacteria have been eating the sugar. We'll see whether Riverside Beverage in Chattanooga will give me money back for the four pack.

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Photo of PicoPapa
2.7/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle. No freshness date. Poured a dark brown with a massive head that looks like a root beer float. Luckily I'm not in a big hurry to drink this one. This beer smells boozey. Aromas of molasses, spices and caramel malts. This beer tastes like liquid alcoholic black licorice. A bit too much spice taste also. I know this beer is 9.5% ABV but this is one alcoholic tasting Doppelbock. I like licorice more than most people but I am not really digging this beer.

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Photo of thegreg
1.74/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark, brown black pour, light head and a small amount of lacing.

Bouquet of green olives and soy sauce. Astringent mouthfeel. Altogether unpleasant. High alcohol content, so at least it's safe to drink. Did we get a bad bottle?

I know things are tough Detroit, but why at it out on us?

If you really like sour ales, give it a shot, otherwise pass.

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Photo of jlindros
2.58/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a big somewhat thick rich almost 2 finger head that sticks around for a while. The beer is super dark brown, almost black.

N: Lots of sweet malts, syrups, extract like aromas, a slight sour tangy fruit even, with off aromas. A little spicy rye almost, with touch of booze and lots of sweet malts.

T: Bleh! WTF! Some sweet malts, very sweet, lots of syrups and bad tasting extracts, just bad! A really weird almost rye extract and other weird bad flavors I can't really put my finger on. It has a weird tangy flavor too. GOD this is bad!

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes with more of the really bad flavors, some bitterness (not hops), and syrupy flavors. ALso some tingly booze and not so tasty. Bleh, I'm thinking drain pour!

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Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark brown color. One inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of slight alcohol, slight dark citrus, sweet malt, and a hint of roasted malt. Fits the style of a Doppelbock. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is an almost 'sticky' feel. Tastes of sweet malt, slight pale malt, strong grain, slight alcohol, and hint of hops. Overall, very sharp feel, with an astringent quality. Good appearance, but lacking in body and aroma.

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Photo of thekanna
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark chestnut brown with red tints, capped off by a gigantic tan head which leaves no lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malts, strong molasses, with a slight metallic tinge.

T/M: Fairly sweet, sticky, molasses and roast malt taste shine through. Slight sourness at the end, followed by hop bitterness, which is a little off-putting. Relatively thin for the style, with low carbonation.

D: Nice, somewhat relaxing dark beer to sip on. Much more reminiscent of a porter than a doppelbock, but I guess the label doesn't lie.

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Photo of metter98
3.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) in color with a huge beige head that has good retention properties. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are light aromas of dark roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of caramel.
T: The taste is dominated by bready and roasted malts with hints of bittersweet chocolate and caramel; it's very difficult to taste any hop bitterness. The taste improves as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with lots of carbonation. There are some warming sensations from the underlying alcohol.
D: The beer is moderately filling but is not to difficult to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from both the smell and taste.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, warm sable with a fairly thick, if not persistent, pale tan head. Aroma is not strong, but is malty and spicy and somewhat inviting. Flavor is malty, a little spicy, a bit on the thin side but still palatable. Texture is smooth, a little fizzy, just a bit watery. I've had better, but this is worth a try.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.31/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to two fingers of light tan head. It is brown with ruby highlights. I get cherry and roasted barley on the nose. The taste is pretty much the same. This beer actually goes down great for the ABV. I don't taste any alcohol at all. I don't think this beer nails the style but it has a certain drinkability.

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Photo of beerman207
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks like cola poured in the glass with a decent brown head that hangs around a little while

S: Caramel, almost a belgian spice smell coming through, malt

T: belgian spices, malt, some chocolate, dark fruit

M: Medium carbonation, easy to sip on

D: Could drink this all night - no real alcohol presence considering it's 9.5%.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a small tannish head, leaves a bit of a cap on it, darker than most doppel's I've seen, not lacing along the glass.

Smell has a nice roasted malt aroma with bits of caramel, good amount of dark fruit lingers in the background, not picking up any bit of alcohol on the nose either.

Taste has a decent mix of malt and dark fruit but it seems much tamer than the aroma, carbonation seems fine, the thing that kills it though is the lack of mouthfeel, it feels much too watery with the flavors not sticking around, surprisingly the alcohol isn't present in the taste either though.

It started out quite well but fell off the wagon where it counts the most, for the life of me I can't figure out how something so strong tastes so thin. Interesting label though, got me to pick it up.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here comes an interesting brew. Strong and with a lot of character, it doesn't so much hit you up side the head as it pokes you with a stick a bit.

It's malty with a bite, not so much creamy and not hoppy. Not bitter really either, and not sweet. Not funky (at least) and not boozy.

So mostly what I've come up with on this one is what it is not (offensive) but not so much what it is (pretty good). I probably under-rated it, but it is well balanced and does not distinguish itself in any one category. For this low a rating I would still buy it again and I wish I had more. It was a bit pricey.

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Photo of biglite351
2.56/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - lasting foam, cloudy red brown color.

S - a little fruity, not that appealing.

T - sweet and mildly fruity. Mildly bitter after taste.

M - tingle all over the sides of the tongue. Slight coating, not watery.

D - not my bag, but I could see people liking it.

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Photo of semibaked
2.08/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours the darkest of brown with about half an inch of tan foam that leaves no lacing.

S - A strange combination of Roasted Malts (good) and sourness (bad), don't know if that is intential, I am not an expert on dopplebocks.

T - I get some of the roasted malts and sourness from the smell, plus a little coffee and hops bitterness, but tastes watered down and it pretty bland.

M - Water, thin bodied, and unpleasant.

D - Very low drinkability, I am 0 for 2 when it comes to Atwater Block beers, if you like thin, funky smelling bland beers this is for you.

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Photo of blackie
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pint glass, dark murky brown in color, khaki head retained reasonably well

s: pruney malt body with mid-level tones of hardwood smoke, okay but a little muddy

m: carbonation on the high end of medium, medium body

t: dark fruits - lots of prune, on the sweeter side but not unbalanced, some lightly acidic hops even things out a bit, something of a messy artificial note

d: alright - far from a good doppel, but pretty drinkable for a 9.5 percent beer

single from Ye Olde Wine Shoppe, Frederick, MD

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice dopplebock that balances a small lack of character with a pleasing smoothness.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Halloweenesque label design with the illustration of a jawless skull topped with a Bavarian feathered hat. Brief side note that describes intent, ingredients, and aspirations. Shows Alc. by Vol. (9.5%), Plato (19.5), and IBUs (30). Lacks any recognizable freshness or bottling date. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown to black pour. Short lived head, little retention and minimal lacing.

S - Subdued, if pleasing, notes of molasses, sweet malt, and a whiff of alcohol.

T - Consonant with the nose a sweet range predominates, it is not overwhelming though, and offers notes of dark dried fruit, toffee, and a sour, almost peaty note.

M - Medium body leaning on a light side for such a hefty brew. Little carbonation, but a nice smooth feeling with a sweet and sour finish pick up the experience.

D - Maybe nothing remarkable but holds its ground pretty well, alcohol is nicely integrated and it is a quality drinking experience.

Notes: I had seen this for a while in the shelves and while curious I had never picked it up, not until I was made a half price offer to pick up the 4-pack and try it. Thanks a lot for the chance (You know who you are :-). I´m not sure this is a repeat for me, although I would not mind having it again. I´m very grateful for the chance to try it though, and would love to try other offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of silentjay
2.65/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

not a big fan of dopplebocks, but I have been gravitating more towards them recently than before. will try to review to style rather than my preferences.

cool looking bottle with a new orleans feel to it with the skull and fedora hat. bottle describes the beer as "big, black and sweet" though the pour is a dark brown that light easily penetrates. not black like they described, but still dark for the style. head is a nice, appealing tan (think coffee with cream) color. the head is the best part of this beer.

smell is rather faint, little chocolate, little burnt coffee, lot of molasses.

taste is rather light for a dopplebock with such strength. bit roasty, but not as much caramel as i would expect or like. Leaves a hard-to describe aftertaste: very malty, but not too pleasant, if i knew malt varieties better, i may be able to pinpoint it. more flavor in the aftertaste than upfront, actually.

mouthfeel is lacking. it says on the bottle that its "the smoothest High-Gravity beer this side of the "pond"" Its got a black-lager type feel which is a little thin for a dopplebock I would think, if thats what they think of "smooth".

Drinkability is average at best. alcohol is hidden well, but kinda flavorless and thin on the tongue for a doppelbock. add some more coffee flavor and you'd have a decent black lager, but still something i would pass on. Have yet to try an Atwater Block Beer I like (having also tried the vanilla java porter), but I would try another.

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Photo of happilysurly
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours darker than anticipated. Smells a bit sour with coffee and cherry notes. The taste is sour and tart with a short burst of rich maltiness. The aftertaste has hints of sour and malt but almost imediately dissipates and leaves me tasting metal. An overall odd mix.

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Photo of Metalmonk
2.51/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Very healthy "zisss!" upon opening the cap, and no wonder, as this almost gushed on me. Caught it in time and receive a nice two-finger head of light tan. Color is a ruby-infused dark brown. Attractive sheets of lace.

Big mineral/metal presence in the nose, and some dark fruit (plum, grape) trying to shove through. Hops are breezy and the yeast is also present. Reminds more of a few Belgian stouts I've had than any doppelbock. Somehow it feels all wrong, and I'm not entirely least not with the aroma...

This doesn't taste much like a doppelbock...or anything else for that matter. At least, not anything I'd want to revisit. It's predominantly metallic, like sucking on a wet aluminum can, with a vinous quality that can't save it. An extremely weak malt presence, covered up by tart fruit (esp. sour green apple) and sheet metal. Where is that sweet malt promised on the label? The alcohol is repressed, which, at this point, I'm not sure is a good or bad thing. Tart finish, like Sweet Tarts candy, with more aluminum siding spoiling the experience. Extremely dry.

Mouthfeel is pretty good...lightly puckery, with just the right amount of carbonation and slickness. But, who cares at this point, right?

Not good. When I picked this up I thought "hmm, never even heard of Atwater Block Brewery." Guess I know why. With Founders and Bell's in their backyard, they don't stand a chance with a beer like this. I would, however, try some of their other stuff in hopes they can do better.

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Photo of kegger22
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Atwater VooDooVator Doppelbock overflowed a dark brown with an absurdly huge, beige head that took several minutes to settle down. It made me wonder if what I had was infected (second bottle from two different locations), but the taste wasn't off.

The aroma was a dusty, musty scent.

The taste was caramel and chocolate malt, sweet but too carbonated.

The mouth feel was barely medium, a little oily and over carbonated despite what was expended as it gushed.

The drinkability was just OK due to the mouth feel.

Not terrible, but I'm not a fan and won't be back.

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Photo of morimech
2.45/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown with a red tint. A large tan head forms and has excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. At least it looks good. Has a aroma like red wine that has turned. Hints of vinegar and cough syrup. The flavor is not that impressive as well. Slightly sour with a touch of vinegar. I expected a malt bomb and was greated with a slightly sour dark lager. The malt just disappeared. Dispite the high ABV, alcohol was not detected. The body is average but may be hurt more by the flavor profile. Does not feel as big as the brewer claims. This will be a beer that I will avoid in the future. Not well made and tastes nothing of a doppelbock.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one served as the nightcap last night. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/30/2010.

The pour was average at best. Hazlnut brown in color with a small head that barely hung around for more then a few moments before settling back and leaving a bare top. Aroma of caramel, alcohol, touches of bready tones. As it warmed medicinal notes then took over and it was all down hill from there. Just not enough depth for me as the caramel and bready nature of it seemed to get lost on me and was replaced with a cough syrup like alcohol note and a slick, eatery feel. A bit hot as well as the last taste I remember was that of a cough drop like cherry flavor and a bit of roasted malts.

Maybe I got a bad bottle, but who knows. This one just was not doing it for me.

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Atwater Voodoovator from Atwater Brewery
3.44 out of 5 based on 414 ratings.
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