Generator Doppelbock

In my little world the time of the IPA and Golden Lager is over and the time of the Barleywine, Black Lager and Doppelbock is here.  And make them strong and warming please.  Generator Doppelbock, from Metropolitan Brewing Company, Chicago, IL, fits nicely in my current seasonal arsenal of brews.  It pours kind of a light Pepsi brown with average carbonation, a long-lasting head and minimal lacing.  Generator has a lovely bouquet:  nutty, earthy and toasty, all built on a firm foundation of rich caramel malt.  Generator has a lush mouthfeel and contains elements of bread dough, sweet caramel and roasted nuts in the flavor profile.  The long-lasting aftertaste is sweet and rich with just a touch of bitterness, but just a touch.  The 8% ABV will get you noticing it by the time you’ve had a few mouthfuls.  Generator is delicious, and it’s brewed in Chicago, two good reasons to go out and get some now!

90/100 doppelbock

BeersGeneratorLabelDrink local, f**k AB InBev

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Wolfgang Doppelbock Lager

Image courtesy of Great Divide Brewing Company

Image courtesy of Great Divide Brewing Company

The label, with it’s dark and nostalgic colors and imagery drew me toward this wonderful doppelbock from Denver’s Great Divide Brewing Company.  Wolfgang is described as “saintly” and “sacred” on the label and I agree.  Wolfie (yes, I feel that comfortable around it) pours mahogany with a pleasing ruby cast and sports a sticky, beige head with persistent lacing.  Wolfgang’s bready, yeasty bouquet is plenty sweet with a hint of alcohol tang.  There’s also a generous dose of of caramel, some toffee or butterscotch and a hint of sweet dates.  The mouthfeel is rich and the main component of the flavor profile is a hearty sweetness, followed by rusty tinge.  A little more bread yeast comes out in the finish.  It’s no wonder the Fransiscan monks in Bavaria considered a good doppelbock beer as liquid bread.  Substantial and sustaining, Wolfgang is a beer that I’ll look forward to enjoying again, soon.

Cinder Bock

Image courtesy of Boston Brewing Co.

Something always keeps me from trying Sam Adams’ craft offerings.  Familiarity with the brand?  Too many more obscure choices to distract me?  I don’t know, but I’m sure as hell glad I picked up a bottle of Cinder Bock!  Brown, well-carbonated and floating a 1/4″ thick, long-lasting head, Cinder Bock is a real treat.  At 9.4% ABV, this beer is formidable from start to finish, but don’t be intimidated.  The bouquet has a smokey sweetness to it, full and fresh, and not at all like some of the beef jerky-like rauch biers out there.  It is fairly sweet, but not cloyingly so, tart, bitter (a bit/just enough) and the smokiness is perfect.  Cinder Bock is delicious, and as it warms, all of the individual flavors are amplified.  This beer literally makes me very happy.  Next time I’ll have it with German food.  That will be perfect.

93/100 rauch/doppel

Nero’s 1st Century Double Dark Malt Ale

Borrowed from 5001 Beers blog

Here’s an interesting one found at Trader Joe’s.  Nero’s 1st Century Double Dark Malt Ale (Birra Amarcord, Apecchio, Italy) is very red with a good head on its shoulders and a super sweet caramel bouquet.  Interesting secondary notes in the bouquet include mild banana fried in butter and brown sugar.  It’s tart and tangy and more than a little bitter, with some rust and some more butter.  It’s a doppelbock in the style of Moretti’s La Rossa I believe, but it falls short of the greatness of La Rossa.  Generally, it’s a sweet beer that could have been good with a few tweaks, but not something I’d buy again.  There’s a 50% chance that’s what you get when you take a chance at Trader Joe’s.

57/100 Doppelbock

S’muttonator Doppelbock

Courtesy of Smuttynose Brewing Company

Here’s one from a brewery I have read a lot about in the trade magazines, but had yet to sample their wears.  Until now.  From Smuttynose Brewing Company of Portsmouth, NH, I give you S’muttonator Doppelbock.  It certainly pours yeasty, medium orange and hazy, kind of rusty water-like, with a fleeting head and no lacing to speak of.  The bouquet is sweet, with a honey quality.  It’s sweet tasting too, alcoholy, and hops only makes its presence known in the finish, in the form of some dry bitterness.  At 9.5% ABV it is definitely gut warming, and ear warming for that matter, and the roasted malt highlights make it a pleasant beer, although the overall sweetness is a bit cloying.

As this is not my favorite style of beer, I find it hard to give a really fair rating, but it is definitely good and a high quality brew.  So, I think an 80/100 doppelbock rating is fair.

Big Butt

One of the best beer names out there.  I get a chuckle out of it every time I see it on the shelves.  Sometimes clever labels hide a beer that tries to be too clever, but Big Butt by Leinenkugel is not trying to do anything but be a good, honest beer.  It pours the color of Pepsi and floats a decent, frothy head that has good retention and good lacing.  There’s a nice chocolate note in the bouquet and a good, full quality as well.  It has a clean taste, with a toasted, roasted, coffee-like finish.  It is reminiscent of the wonderful Leinie’s Bock of the mid 1980s that was available for $5.00 a case of returnable bottles, on of the best beer deals I’ve ever known.  I don’t see Big Butt on the Leinenkugel website at the moment, so I don’t know if this beer is history or not.  If it is, I’ll switch my allegiance to their Creamy Dark, which is also a superior brew.  But that is a post for another day.

Charkoota Rye

The idea of smoking barley malt to add flavor to a beer is intriguing if nothing else.  I have tried two smoke beers in my career, so I review this as a novice and you should take that into consideration while reading this.  Charkoota Rye Smoked Doppelbock Lager pours a deep ruby-to-burgundy and floats a thin tan head.  The bouqet…OK, it smells like a band aid, then like beef jerky and finally like shoe leather.  Off-putting.  The taste follows the bouquet exactly, with some sharpness and a malty, sweet backbone.  I paid $6.99 for a 22 oz. bomber so I really wanted to drink it, but I dumped it after 4 or 5 ounces and cleansed my palate with a 312.  If you want to dabble in smoke beers, try Schlenkerla Rauchbier, which is smoky but not gross.