Hoodoo | Boom Island Brewing Company

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Very Good
98 Ratings

Brewed by:
Boom Island Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by morimech on 01-29-2012

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Ratings: 98 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a yummy americanized take on the style here, i liked this one a lot. its got a nice crimson to mahogany body with a tall tan head on it, looks rich and decadent, auburn in the light. smells less belgian and less sweet than many more traditional examples. it starts with raisin and a hint of smoke, more earthy and layered than i am used to, with the yeast way in the back. i also dont get a whole lot of additional non grain fermentables, no candy sugar or anything happening here from what i can gather, maybe a hint of molasses or something raw, but not much residual. the flavor is a lot like the nose, but i get more fruit, dried cherry, fig, even plums and red grapes before i get any of the yeast. mild spice to it, and it carries the smoke well, but its not all bubblegum and white wine and pepper like some of the belgian strains are, its more reserved, maybe fermented a little cooler, but i like its unique and subtle impact. the beer is dry for the style, very well carbonated, and as full bodied as they come. i appreciate it for being a little different, and i even like the kick of alcohol that creeps in as it warms. my first from these guys is a good one, but im not sure i could have much more than one. this is big beer.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nmann08
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2012 vintage. 8.5% ABV confirmed per the label. 750ml brown glass bottle with unremarkabl label art and unbranded hood-and-wire cap (aka cage) over a cork acquired at Four Firkins in Minnesota last year and served into a Westvleteren stem-goblet in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, CO. Label clearly identifies it as a dubbel. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given its current 89 rating.

Is the name vaguely racist? You decide.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it pours.

Pours a 2.5 finger wide head of nice light khaki colour. Good creaminess. Pretty good thickness. Nice consistent and pretty even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is good for the ABV - about 6-7 minutes. Nice soft complexion and smooth consistency.

Body colour is a very dark chestnut amber. No nontransparent. Lightly translucent; the bottom of the glass is a lighter hue on the underside than in the body. No floating yeast particles are visible, but that may be because it's so dark. The label's description "Dark brown color with red highlights" is accurate.

Overall, it's spot-on for a dubbel and I'm really looking forward to trying it. It's not unique or special per se, and there are no egregious flaws.

Sm: Brown sugar, dark Belgian malts, light banana, clove spice, raisin, faint dried fig, some bready malts, a hint of vinous notes, and some restrained dark fruit of some kind - likely a stonefruit, but seemingly not plum nor dates. It's well within traditional style conventions, and while it's not as deep, subtle, or delicate as the best examples of the style, it's very appealing. I do want some biscuity yeast of some sort to emerge, but it remains a bit too clean.

A pleasant and fairly subtle aroma of mild strength. I'm quite pleased and am eager to try it.

No hop character, alcohol, or yeast character is detectable.

T: The malty body is overly open to the drinker, lacking the sheltered pleasing reticence of the best beers in the style. It's not a delicate or fragile flavour profile, and lacks any subtlety, intricacy, or nuance. Depth of flavour is also very limited for a dubbel. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Okay in terms of complexity, with dark fruits - especially raisin, ripe young fig, banana (likely from the yeast), and a nebulous stonefruit that I just can't place. I'm not finding plum or dates. Buried brown sugar. Belgian dark/brown malts. Its amateurish simplicity is a huge drawback. In terms of spices, all I really notice is clove - likely emerging from the yeast. Somewhat bready. A kiss of cocoa powder.

Decently balanced, but built generically. This doesn't hold a candle to traditional Trappist examples of the style. Not at all gestalt, but certainly cohesive. If Trappist yeast was used, I'm surprised because it isn't showcased at all here.

For a year old brew, this drinks shockingly raw and young.

Mf: Lightly creamy. Entirely too smooth and wet; this style requires a fragile balance of dryness/wetness and coarseness/smoothness, neither of which is present here. A bit thin and weak. This isn't the 'meal in a glass' filling feel a proper dubbel should have. Lacks body. Suits the flavour profile decently, but the texture fails to fully facilitate delivery of all the flavours and doesn't seem at all custom-tailored specifically to the taste. Unrefreshing. Too damn light, bordering almost on watery.

Frankly, it feels like the kind of mouthfeel that would be accentuated on nitro - and that's not at all what you want in a dubbel. Too creamy and airy.

I will say a highlight for me is its pleasant softness.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, boozy, rough, gushed, syrupy, or hot.

Dr: It doesn't hold a candle to the traditional Trappist dubbel, and even in ideal glassware with a year of age on it comes across shockingly young and painfully simple. There's none of the artful nuance, careful fragility, or delicate quality of the best beers in the style. Boom Island hasn't done badly for an American dubbel, but I definitely wouldn't get this again at its unreasonable price point (relative to the quality) and I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Where's the yeast character? The yeast notes almost seem German in character. I'm surprised at its current high rating.

Bottom Line: A drinkable but forgettable dubbel that falls well short of traditional offerings and doesn't age well. Not worth trying, especially for sincere fans of the style. Sort of a dubbel lite.


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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap the the Republic in Minneapolis.

Clear but very dark brown body. Good head that has reasonable retention.

Unusual in that there's a fair amount of vanilla in the nose and flavor.
The aroma is a bit sweet and may bring a bakery to mind, but the flavor is a more bitter than sweet. Less fruity than average for style,

O: Recommended, if unusual version of the style.

 380 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Jason
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

A beautiful looking brew. Quite aromatic with dried dark fruit, spicy medicinal phenols, rose water, dark bread, and treacle. Very smooth mouthfeel with a mild crispness, some body there but nothing too heavy. Lots of toasted grain on the palate with a mild dark sugar-like sweetness. Toasted bread crust, hints of ripe fig, mild broth, phenols, and a modest hop character and show a balanced palate. Some warmth from the alcohol and a lingering toasted graininess keeps this brew memorable. A very good rendition of a classic style.

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Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Here's #2 in the mini-marathon of Minnesota-brewed dubbels. 2 of 2. That's all I've got. Until Harriet makes Dark Abbey again. Anyway, here's the second Minneapolis dubbel, this one from Boom Island. It's called Hoodoo. For this occasion, I'm taking Bud Powell off of the turntable, and dropping on Dr. John. I won't quote the label yet, for it'll, once again, give away, my game. But let's share this much: "Handcrafted Belgian Style Ale. Boom Island Brewing Company. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 750 ml, Alcohol 8.5% by Vol." Boom Island Brewing Company, 2207 North Second Street, Minneapolis, MN, 55411."

Let's crack 'er open already…

Whoa, Ladies and gentlemen, we have a gusher! And I don't mean in the sense I usually employ on these pages. Merely loosening the cage from the cork sent it flying off and brew spilling out. I quickly poured into my favorite glass, and mopped up the table, and now we're ready to go.

Dark brown coloration, almost black, with a gorgeous head, creamy, tannish, large and lacy. Looks beautiful. (Beats Borealis in this category.)

Aroma: sweetish, creamy, nutty…not much else, not particularly special. (Borealis beats it here.) {After reading the notes on the label, yes, roasted malt, but that other stuff? A stretch, maybe, but it's hidden, and quiet.}

Taste: rich, dark, deep, scrumptious. Full-bodied, with dark malt flavors dominating, cocoa and hints of espresso. Overall dry. Floods the mouth with this richness, tasty, lightly hoppy, good bitterness. Good grit, excellent texture, lays long in the mouth. Edges on sweetness, and hops reel it right back in.

One thing missing is that extra special Belgian yeast quality, which is here in some quantity, but not quite where I want it.
(And here's where I compare again. Two completely different interpretations, two different takes on the style, but if I want something less sweet, and more deep and rich, Boom Island wins out. Borealis wins for those who want more "Belgian-ness", and Boom Island would be hit for those who want something closer to a stout or porter.)

Let's take a moment to hear about "The Skinny on Hoodoo." Aroma: Light roasted malt aroma. Slight banana and clove flavors present. { I didn't get that at all, maybe clove, banana? A stretch. If you look really hard, yeah, okay.} Flavor: Rich and complex malt flavors. Low hop bitterness. Banana and bubble gum type esters. {Again, I guess, but "bubble gum" I feel is over-used and often mis-applied. I'm certain not picking it up in the flavor. But then, I'm prone to merely say: that Special Belgian yeast something, without plucking out words like banana and bubblegum. Sometimes words fail. I'd rather not use them, than use the wrong ones.} Overall impression: Sit back and enjoy forming yours. {This I approve of, an "overall impression" of the beer by the brewer on the beer's label doesn't sit well. Say what it is, what went into it, how you made it, then get out.}

Now the front label: "Warning: the dark malt flavors, spicy aromas, and mysterious undercurrent of bitterness in this award-winning Belgian-style dubbel are powerful moo in the ancient HOODOO tradition. Prepare to fall under it's spell. Enjoy with a black cat bone {???} OR SERVING OF JOHN DE CONkEROO."

That's why the Dr. John album, to put me in a hoodoo mood, I guess. I didn't need the assist from Mac Rebbenack, as this brew does a great job of getting me reeling with the feeling right away.

So how does the battle of the Minnesota dubbels shake out? Go for the Borealis (if you can find it, in the Duluth area) when in the mood for the fruitier, spicier, sweeter stuff, but bank on Boom Island for something meatier.

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Photo of tempest
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Princeton's Liquors. Heck of a dubbel. It's a complex beer that isn't too rich or thick, but still covers a lot of ground. There's a roasted edge with a touch of cocoa; a peppery, bitter finish; smooth, gentle fruit (cherry and apple); and a subtle caramel malt taste. The beer finishes dry and could be sipped after dinner, or paired with a hearty meal. Find this beer.

 392 characters

Photo of BillRoth
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Happy Gnome during recent Beer Safari in M/SP. Not sure what's going on. Called Dubbel,poured/looked ok but was thin, winey and more attempt than actual representation of the style. By no means a bad beer. Happy to sip and finish, but needs some work before using the Dubbel tag.

 293 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Dark malts, citrusy tartness, prune and other dried fruit on the nose.
Pours brilliant chestnut with a 2" root beer float like fluffy, rocky off-white head. Very fine uniform bubbles provide thick lace.
Palate starts with spicy fruit cake dried fruit, banana, prune to plum, hint of caramel, with a hint of cardamom to cola. Very rich but dries out with a touch of tartness on the finish.
Very creamy medium to slightly above body with above average carbonation.

 464 characters

Photo of mattmarka1
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bighuge
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark mahogany tone. Good clarity. Slight beige head leaves some sparse, spotty lace. Aroma is cherry, chocolate covered raisin and fig. Even some plum too. Nice nose. Flavor follows suit. Quite nice. Chocolate covered cherries and bread pudding. Banana esters and cakey yeastiness. Dates and almond. A virtual bonanza of flavor. Mouthfeel is even keeled...smooth and lightly carbonated Drinkable is an understatement. One of the better dubbels I've ever had. It's not one of my favorite styles, but this is at the top.

 524 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from corked 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. No dating visible.

Appearance: Pours a very dark and cloudy brown with a little ruby red at the bottom of the glass. Lots of bubbles and a huge off white head that takes up the whole tulip and slowly fades into a thin layer. Lacing is fairly light.

Smell: A nice aroma of yeast and dark fruits. Belgian yeast with some cloves. Hints of banana and dark fruits including grapes, prunes, raisins, and fig. Also a little caramel. Its what you would expect from a good Dubbel.

Taste: Nice spicy bite from the Belgian yeast and cloves. Also a little cinnamon spice. Some sweet caramel malt and banana. Big dark fruit presence with notes of raisins, prunes, grapes, and fig. The spices are very good. Pretty solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a carbonation on the heavier side. Feels spicy and prickly. Finishes pretty dry. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A pretty good take on a Belgian Dubbel from this new brewery. Good combination of spices and sweetness.

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Photo of morimech
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml cork & caged bottle. Pours very dark brown that appears black in my tulip glass. A very small head forms and quickly disappears to just a thin skim of suds. Not much for lacing. Appears to be very lightly carbonated.

Smells like a Belgian beer. I pick up caramel and dark fruit. The bottle hints at banana and cloves. I do get the banana but not the cloves. Also a little medicinal. Something I picked up on in their IPA as well.

Good flavor as well. Bready and caramel malt with some fruity esters. Hints of raisins, dates, and bananas. The flavor is mostly malt driven with the esters playing a limited role. I also get some roastedness that is a bit unusual.

The mouthfeel was a disappointment. The brewer does not have bottle conditioning down yet. Not quite flat but has some very fine type of carbonation.

Bottle conditioning aside, this is a pretty good example of a Belgian Dubbel. Maybe these early bottles should age some more before consumption.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is an inch of rocky light tan foam that recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma anise, all spice, plum, and tobacco, with hints of cocoa and cherry. There are a lot of wonderful things going on in this beer's aroma, and I seem to find something new every time I smell it. The taste is stronger on the spice than the aroma. There are still some noticeable fruity characteristics, but they are dominated by both the anise, and a pronounced alcohol heat that kicks in during the finish (and which is quite unpleasant). The mouthfeel is disappointing. It is on the lighter side of medium bodied with a watery texture, and high carbonation. With the exception of the high carbonation, this beer's feel does not fit within the dubbel style. Overall, this beer as some nice qualities, but it comes across as being a rough draft that could use a bit of editing. While it is not bad, I can't see myself drinking it when there are more fully developed dubbels on the market.

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Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of sgttibbs
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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Hoodoo from Boom Island Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 98 ratings