Category Archives: Bocks

King River ‘My Ambrosia’ Maibock


“Sweet bread and biscuit malt flavour with a restrained toffee character from low-colour crystal malts. We’ve used a uniquely German hop variety providing a subtle and earthy aroma to this strong golden lager.”

Glassware: Half stein.

Appearance: Gorgeous deep golden complexion with a kiss of light red. The head swells to a thumb in height before reducing to a thick overlay. Good retention and healthy lacing as we go.

Aroma: Proper malt bomb, as to be expected from the style. It’s displaying a tonne of sweet malt i.e caramel, brioche, dough, but also a counter balance of toast, buttery biscuits and the mildest hint of peat. As it settles a very delicate yet distinct earthy and grassy hop profile reveals itself. Has to be the one and only Saaz. That’s our guess anyway. It ain’t a groundbreaking aroma but it’s decent.

Flavour: Much more balanced here. It still owns that malt bomb tag but the hop bitterness comes through. Upfront it’s pretty earthy and toasty but it turns a bit cloying as it nears the mid palate. This is where the hops kick off though…at first it’s just the right amount but it keeps intensifying and eventually becomes too bitter in our opinion. The finish is a little untidy and leaves us grimacing.

Mouthfeel: Fairly slick and smooth initially then dry and acrid in the swallow. Medium body, Co2 is a little flat. The 7.2% ABV behaves well enough for its size.

Overall: We’ve been pleasantly surprised with King River’s beers on a couple of occasions but not on this one unfortunately. A bit cloying and untidy in the end.

Red Hill ‘Big Smoke’ Rauchbock


“A big and smoky Rauchbock created with lager yeast a long cool fermentation.”

Glassware: Dimpled mug.

Appearance: Light brown with a candy red tint. It forms a light and puffy two finger head which slowly recedes. Not a great deal of lace to speak of though.

Aroma: We testify, Rauchbier is without a doubt in our bottom two or three most disliked styles. But, and a very big but, we have warmed to a few of the Aussie interpretations, mostly due to the fact that they’re a lot milder and far less smoky than their Bamberg counterparts. This is the prime example – it’s got a considerable smoked ham hock note but it’s tempered by a nice malt sweetness which balances it out.

Flavour: Nicely balanced ratio of big smoky and gamey notes to the sweet and semi rich malts. We get a bit of the smoky bacon, ash, burnt wood and then the kinda rich and sticky toffee and caramel ooze through. Just the right amount of bitterness helps shift it all into the rather dry, malty and smoky finish. Good length too.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, a little sticky but nicely shook up by the bitterness. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. The 7.5% ABV is well buried.

Overall: Yep, these are the sorts of Rauchbiers we can get on board with…sizeable smokiness yet still refined and palatable. Solid drop.

King River ‘Schweizenbock’ Dark Weizenbock


“Black weizenbock brewed for carwyn cellars black box 2023.”

Glassware: Dimpled mug.

Appearance: Watch your pour on this one folks. It was hardly an aggressive pour and it literally came out 95% foam. Quite a dark number though…cola-like complexion. Unfortunately no lace on which is a shame considering the whole glass was filled with head at one stage.

Aroma: We’re being forced to take whiffs from the can as the glass still holds 40% head. We are picking up a pleasant smokiness which rolls nicely into fairly heavy roasted malt, molasses and coffee notes. It offers a good amount of yeast ester – heady clove and or nutmeg, choc-coated banana and orchard fruits. Diggin it.

Flavour: Our initial concern was the overcarbonation and it turns out our concerns are valid. Besides that the flavour profile is quite good, we get big roasted malts upfront, light smoke and coffee in support. The spice and fruit from the yeast integrates nicely and softens the big roasty notes as it finishes charred, spicy and a little funky.

Mouthfeel: As previously stated it’s way too overcarbonated. The 9% ABV was surprisingly well concealed though.

Overall: We’re wondering, as this was a beer for Carwyn’s black box subscription, was it rushed into can and continued to ferment? Unsure. It’s a shame coz behind the Co2 issue is a decent dark Weizenbock.

Eden Brewery ‘Argania’ Bock


“This scarlet lager is brewed with caramelised malts and has the attitude and confidence to stand above the pale crowd.”

Glassware: Dimpled mug.

Appearance: Deep amber with candy red highlights. Big billowing four finger head which rapidly reduces and eventually disappears. Zero retention so zero lacing.

Aroma: Smells quite scaled back and traditional. Dominant caramelised malt, toffee, toasty and nutty notes. Gorgeous support aromas of cognac, yeast esters (banana runts, clove), spicy old world hops and a hint of residual sweetness. Some very subtle orchard fruits developing late as well…pear, apple, a touch of kiwifruit. Pretty darn good.

Flavour: Drinks very similar to the nose – caramelised malts and toffee lead the way but there’s a slightly broader hop presence here on the palate. Especially once it comes up to room temperature. Plenty of yeast esters coming through, providing spice and fruitiness. Nice little addition of bitterness which adds some balance as it finishes sweet, nutty and toasty. Good duration on the back end too.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, chewy texture but the lifted Co2 lightens the load a bit. Medium body and the 6.8% ABV is incredibly well concealed.

Overall: Solid beer from Eden. Much to our surprise this was only our 2nd entry from this respectable brewery. It’s well balanced, on point and enjoyable even on this 36 degree Sydney arvo!

White Bay Doppelbock


“Using a selection of German malts, with a majority Munich base, this beer is packed with rich toasty, bready, caramel aroma and flavour. Huell Melon hops used to provide some underlying bitterness without overpowering the palate. Underwent a 3 step mash and cold conditioned for many moons to ensure the best result for our Oktoberfest punters.”

Glassware: Dimpled mug.

Appearance: Pours somewhat crimson merging into mahogany topped off with a frothy three finger head. Steady reduction and a tonne of thick sudsy lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Very nice fusion of rich sweet malts and delicate roasted notes. We’re getting some interesting fruity hop scents but it’s the malt show here…caramel, toffee, dark fruits, cereal grains and even a touch of rice crackers and umami. Showing the whole grain spectrum. We’re quite fascinated by the hops used in the brew. Huell Melon hey.

Flavour: Unique, we must admit. Falls somewhere between a Dark Lager and a Dark Ale. The Huell Melon hops which have us intrigued impart ripe melon (quite obviously) and maybe pear? Subtle touches of roasted malt, mild bitterness and warming booze are softened by treacle and toffee. The slightly burnt flavours push into a smooth-ish finish with a hint of bitterness and booze on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a little prickly. Co2 is spot on. The 7.5% ABV shows through a tad more than we’d like.

Overall: A little confusing. The can portrays a traditional Doppelbock but it’s anything but. It’s distinctly roasty, slightly bitter and boozy and the hops (although interesting) don’t really gel in our opinion.

Riegele ‘Auris 19’ Doppelbock


“Auris 19 owes its distinct taste to the 19° extract from the historical malt variety Steffi, refined by the Riegele husk separation process.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Nice bright golden pour with a slight haze. It forms a thumb of tightly held off white foam which gradually recedes. Healthy lace sticks to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: At its core it’s very peeled back and conventional but it still manages to pull the olfactory’s in a few different directions. Initially it’s uber crisp and clean, kinda like a good German Pilsner but then the yeast profile throws out some interesting fruity notes. Also picking up some honey sweetness, delicate orchard fruits, toasted granola and old herbs. Has us intrigued.

Flavour: Fairly rich and semi sweet upfront. What we’re really digging is the Noble hops that cut through the richness like butter…also bringing a gentle bitterness to the party as well. The booze adds a tiny bit of warmth as unripened orchard fruits cross the mid and lead into a rather dry, crisp and herbaceous finish.

Mouthfeel: Well rounded and inoffensive which is pretty impressive considering its size (9% ABV). Medium body and low-ish Co2.

Overall: We must say it’s a very peculiar beer. It seems part Helles, part Tripel and part Bock. Categorising this bad boy would be a mesmerising discussion. Solid offering though.

Der Hirschbrau ‘Doppel-Hirsch’ Doppelbock


“A noble dark double-bock beer with tradition, which invites to celebrate.
With an original gravity of 18.5° (1074), 7.2% ABV and at least 75% dark malts as well as a delicate hoppy bitterness it is full-bodied, velvety smooth and distinctly malty in taste.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: You know you’ve got a conventional European beer with a swing top. Classic light brown/chestnut pour with a sturdy three finger crown nestled in on top. Not much lace clings to the glass as we go.

Aroma: Seriously, no one brews Doppelbocks like the Germans. This right here is exactly what we want from one; super sweet dark fruits, brown sugar and rum balls but exquisitely balanced by the bready malts, savoury nutty-ness, light toasty notes and sarsaparilla. Layers of caramel, toffee, a touch of banana peel and fig round out an absolutely superb aroma.

Flavour: And it only gets better. Just the mildest hint of roasted malt is enough to counter the rich, sweet caramels, port-like dark fruits and Christmas cake. We pick up a certain woody character which is cool as it hasn’t had any barrel contact. It hits a rather chewy molasses note midway then delivers a bready finish with light estery spice and treacle.

Mouthfeel: Nice and firm but still slick and gelatinous. Medium body with a well masked 7.2% ABV.

Overall: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…when it’s a traditional European beer you’re after, you’ve gotta go straight to the source. Top notch stuff.

Lost Palms ‘Special Listing’ Salted Pretzel Chocolate Bock


“The newest Special Listing on the block is the Salted Pretzel Chocolate Bock, brewed for all your favourite October activities. We have taken a Bock, which is a German style malt heavy lager and added salted pretzels and chocolate. Whatever you are celebrating this month, this Special Listing will get you across the line. You will find this brew to be rich and malt forward, with a big body rounding out to choccy goodness.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Light chestnut pour blending to deep amber edges. It forms a loosely packed three finger crown which reduces to a collar. Wet streaky legs trickle down the glass as we go.

Aroma: Quite a pronounced milk chocolate note meets the olfactory’s initially. Definitely getting the salty, brioche-like character of the pretzels too. The Bock base isn’t too bad…driven by caramelised sweetness, toffee and chewy dark fruits. We’re almost sure we keep detecting this subtle strawberries and cream accent but we keep questioning it. Cola lollies, chocolate mousse and Oreo’s as well.

Flavour: Wow, we weren’t expecting it to come together the way it has. Heady flavours but they’re balanced impeccably well. We get the sweet caramels and dark fruits on entry which morph into the sweet milky chocolate with remarkable simplicity. Kinda tangy, kinda salty middle leading into the doughy and fruity finish which draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Rather chewy, sticky texture. Low-ish Co2 and a medium-full body. The 6.6% ABV is well hidden.

Overall: Our first crack at this brewery from the GC. For a brewery that we, up until now, believed only brewed sours, this is an extremely impressive discovery. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this mob going forward.

Slow Lane ‘Definitely Maybe’ Maibock


“Named after the month of May, Maibocks are a strong malty German lager brewed for the transition from cooler to warmer weather. While having substantial strength and body, in line with the bock style, it is a light amber colour compared to the darker Winter bocks. Maibocks are also distinguished by their noticeable bitterness and hop character.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange to amber kind of affair with a short off white head. It gradually peels off and drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: There’s a fair bit going on here. First thoughts are a proper malt bomb but it corrects itself with a distinctly spicy and fruity hop profile. Malty sweet, caramels/honey, toast and crusty bread meets the olfactory’s intially while hints of orange citrus/orange blossom, star fruit, paw paw, spice, florals and earth puts icing on the cake.

Flavour: Oh yeah, it’s doing the same routine as the aroma – constantly shifting and changing direction and taking the taste buds on a journey. Starts relatively malty with tangy caramel, honey on toast, that sorta thing…then the fruity aspect kicks in again with all that orange citrus, red grapes and kiwifruit? Then it all combines to create this unique flavour before it finishes sweet and fruity with good length.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light and effortless with a slightly lifted Co2. Mild-moderate body with a well concealed 7% ABV.

Overall: Slow Lane impress us once again. The fruity component is really intriguing….it has to be coming from the Hersbrucker hops as Hallertau generally doesn’t impart fruity characteristics. Either way it’s another fine offering from this mob.

Weltenburger Kloster ‘Asam’ Bock


“A strong, dark Doppelbock that´s more than meets the eye. Malty-aromatic, sweet, pleasently heavy, with an intensive fragrance and strong flavour; a world known specialty just like its baroque namesake, the brilliant painter and architect Cosmas Damian Asam.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Deep cola-like pour with a thumb of finely beaded foam resting on top. The head gradually peels off but maintains a fine film which leaves healthy lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Oh wow this is close to one of the breadiest Bocks we’ve ever smelt. Oodles of toast, pumpernickel, wholemeal dough and rye. Big helpings of sweet dark fruits like raisin, dates/prunes and fig. Getting a really strange hint of dog biscuits but thankfully it morphs into bakers chocolate, toffee, caramel and raw sugar. There’s a rich earthy-ness, mild roast and nutty accents to it as well. We could keep going all arvo. Brilliant!

Flavour: Dead set spot on for a Doppelbock. It’s super sweet but also bready and earthy so the balance is perfectly poised. Caramel, toast, nutty malt, molasses, licorice, brown sugar and dark fruits all vie for the most attention. Belgian Dubbel-like notes of Christmas cake, carob/cooking chocolate and cocoa powder shifting into an earthy yet sweet and slightly toasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly dense and smooth. Medium-full body, perfectly carbed. The 7.3% ABV is really well buried.

Overall: Superb. Up there with some of the best Bocks we’ve ever had. It hardly puts a foot wrong.

Hop Nation ‘Rasselbock’ Doppelbock


“This mythological creature has the head and body of a lager and the antlers of woodfired smoke, balanced on the wings of lightly spiced aromatics. Notes of caramel and honey carry you high above the forest to soar like the Rasselbock.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Not many sights can present better than a Stein glass full of gorgeous amber fluid which has excellent Co2 activity and a billowing four finger head. That is precisely what we have in front of us.

Aroma: So only one of us Hopheads got to enjoy MC’s Rauchbier Festival. The other has been hearing about it ever since so we thought we’d (re) acquaint ourselves with Hop Nation’s entry for it. Like all good smoked beers it displays a hearty dose of smoked ham hock/bacon, burnt wood and peat. Other delectable scents of cured meats, toast, spice/esters, smoked caramel and honey also come through.

Flavour: Loving how they’ve scaled the smoky element back here. More of that classic rich malty sweetness and dark fruits we come to expect are evident. Some light toasty notes here and there, subtle chocolate/cocoa and nutty malt appearing before it rounds off on a smoky, woody and semi sweet finish. Good length too.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and slick. Medium body with mild-medium Co2. The 7.8% ABV is very well behaved.

Overall: Hop Nation have really surprised us lately. Particularly with Rattenhund but this smoked Doppelbock is a really well structured and nicely balanced beer as well. Kudos!

Riegele ‘Ator 20’ Doppelbock


“The fresh taste of Ator 20 results from its cold fermentation and long, cold maturation, 20° Plato, and strong-bodied malt.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Chestnut complexion with a deep ruby red gradient at the edges. It forms two fingers of finely beaded foam and maintains its shape well. Healthy lace work as it ebbs.

Aroma: Very sweet, very bready and just the mildest touch of hops to counterbalance. Definitely picking up the classic German yeast profile – banana bread, earthy spices and apple pie. Layers of caramel and toffee, dark fruits and liqueur (Port, Cognac, Sherry etc), candied red berries, cherry cola and toasty malts. Good complexity and structure. Digging it thus far.

Flavour: Delicious but we must admit the candy/artificial fruity notes could do with a bit of dialling back. It starts brilliantly though, with sweet and chewy caramel, dark fruits and banana bread then the candied cherry and toffee apple opens up around the mid. A nice little toasty accent develops late and leads into a super sweet, tangy and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, well rounded and chewy. Carbonation is kept pretty low key, medium body. The 7.5% ABV is pretty well disguised.

Overall: There’s no questioning its authenticity but if compared to the likes of Aventinus, Sünner or Andechser it doesn’t really stack up. This is in no way a write off as it’s actually a decent crack but there are better options out there in our opinion.

Sünner ‘Hircus’ Malz Bock


“Hircus is a dark malt bock which is produced in traditional open fermentation using our own well water. Five fine malts from the Weyermann malt factory and three traditional German hops give the beer its special aroma. Pronounced malt, chocolate and caramel notes characterize this brew and express themselves through an elegant and creamy finish.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Deep ruby red with a light brown tint. It forms a fairly well bonded two finger head which gradually recedes to a fine overlay. Brilliant lacing is strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Dead set this would have to be one of the best smelling Bocks we’ve ever come across. Absurdly rich and sweet but it’s so well balanced by this huge presence of bread in all its forms; toasted, doughy, fresh, crusty, sourdough, dark and rye. It also offers a good dose of dark fruit such as cherry, blood plum and raisin. Layers of dried leaves, wood shavings, toffee apple, cola and banana split adds to the depth. Phenomenal!

Flavour: Hot damn the transition is dead set perfect. It’s just a little bit drier and a touch less sweet than the nose but in our opinion that’s ideal. Mostly because it avoids being turned into a sugar bomb and is moreish as hell. We get toast, cocoa powder, roasted nuts, toffee, woody notes, dark fruits, earthy caramel and dried oats before the complete savoury finish punctuates a flawless beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice and sticky, a bit gelatinous. Mild-moderate Co2, medium body. The 7.2% ABV is well buried.

Overall: Well, well, well we’d be confident in saying that’s the best Bock we’ve ever had. Not a surprise considering one of the best Kölsch also comes from the same brewery. Simply faultless.

Slow Lane ‘Liquid Bread’ Doppelbock


“Doppelbocks are a strong, rich and malty lager originally brewed by Bavarian monks in the 17th century. Designed to sustain the monks while they abstain from solid foods during the 40 day Lent period, doppelbocks earned the nickname ‘Liquid Bread’. Disclaimer: We do not condone 40 day beer-only diets.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Chestnut/cola pour with a thumb of tan foam perched on top. Decent retention and a fine wavy lace in its wake.

Aroma: One whiff and the name Liquid Bread makes a whole lot more sense. Not only because Doppelbocks were brewed as a replacement meal during Lent in the 17th century but because it literally does smell like liquid bread! Pumpernickel, sourdough, wholemeal and rye to be exact. Also plenty of dark fruits, carob/cooking chocolate, licorice, jam on toast, subtle fruity esters, spice and rich caramel. Get in my belly!

Flavour: It still holds a lot of the bready character from the nose but this savoury and almost umami-like note comes through. Picking up nutty carob, chocolate chip, meaty licorice, toast and pumpernickel. As it progresses it slowly picks up slightly sweeter hints of dark fruit, jam, fruity esters and toffee then punctuates on a rich, lightly roasted and bready note which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Pretty slick and inoffensive which is impressive considering its weight (8.5% ABV). Slightly lifted Co2, medium body. Very well balanced.

Overall: These guys are notching further and further up each time we try one of their beers. If you’re a fan of old world/German beers then wrap you laughing gear around this seriously classy Doppelbock.

Maisel & Friends ‘Marc’s Chocolate Bock’ Doppelbock


“Marc Goebel’s interpretation of an Irish Stout, but bottom fermented as a Bock. Ingredients: water, malt, hops, yeast.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: Gorgeous chestnut/mahogany pour with a sturdy two finger cap. Excellent retention and healthy lace trailing it down.

Aroma: The brewers describe it as their take on an Irish Stout but they still call it a Bock and from the first few whiffs it definitely smells more like a Bock. It has that classic cooking chocolate/carob in spades alongside pumpernickel/sourdough, macadamia nuts, raisin, prunes/dates, toffee, mixed spice, cookie dough and delicate coffee notes.

Flavour: The dryness we find from Irish Stouts is noticed instantly… especially considering how rich and saturated Bocks/Doppelbocks typically are. This straddles the line between Co2 and nitro and at the same time comes on pretty hard with milk chocolate, dark fruits, mixed dark berries, lots of bread i.e pumpernickel, toast and sourdough. Nice and roasty finish which is well balanced by a caramelised malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and creamy but ultimately smooth. Finely carbed, medium body. The 7.5% ABV blends in beautifully.

Overall: The Reinheitsgebot puts strict rules on German breweries so it’s cool to see a somewhat “German craft” beer. The chocolate certainly adds extra depth but we must say we’re still perplexed as to how they call this an Irish Stout. Either way it’s an impressive beer.

Sierra Nevada Pale Bock


“At long last, the flowers bloom, sunsets linger, and bock pours sweet like springtime itself. This golden lager, an elusive fan favorite, is back to mark the season with rich, complex malt and easy drinkability.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Honey golden complexion with a billowing three finger head. It gradually recedes but not a lot of it clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Literally smells like a brewery that has just mashed in and we’re pretty sure everyone here knows how freakin amazing that smell is. Extremely bready/doughy as well. Lots of honey coming off, spicy and kinda old-school Lager hops, earthy tobacco, old cedar, cereal grains and floral pot pourri. We’re getting a caramel sweetness from it but it’s much drier and fudge-like. Nice depth and complexity.

Flavour: First thing we notice is that somewhat cloying syrupy sweetness that is overly strong retronasally. Although initially it comes on with a lovely blend of sweet honey malts, cereal grains and old world hops (herbals, spice and florals). It holds this line until it develops a semi-rich bready sweetness which really rams home all of the doughy adjuncts like bread crusts, buckwheat and raw grains in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty chewy. A little creamy but it still holds a typically crisp Lager texture. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. The 6.8% ABV is slotted in nicely.

Overall: We went through patches of like and dislike throughout the whole beer so it’s a little difficult to summarise. Essentially it’s a well structured Bock but the slightly cloying and syrupy features get a bit much by the end. Not bad though.

Burnley Brewing Bockbier


“Smooth with alcohol warmth, this brilliantly bright, strong German lager is refreshing and clear due to the 14 – weeks lagering it deserves.⁠”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Clear golden amber pour with a big and frothy three finger head which gradually recedes. Spotty lace as it ebbs. Looks way too light to be a Bock but let’s push on.

Aroma: It smells more like a classic German Pilsner rather than a Bock. Gorgeous Noble hop characters; wet grass/mildew, wilted herbs, subtle tea leaf, pot pourri and black pepper. Sweet and toasty honey, nutty, bready malts which counteract brilliantly. Very delicate yeast esters which provide the hallmark pear drop, apple and banana runts. Super conventional and loving it.

Flavour: Again, projecting more of a traditional Pilsner vibe than a Bock but it’s in no way a negative as the execution is near spot on. The sweet malts only just ahead upfront…displaying tonnes of honey and golden syrup with the grassy, spicy, floral and herbaceous hops giving it some extra lift. Nice carry through the mid on to a rather dry, malty and yeasty finish that holds.

Mouthfeel: It’s crisp and clean yet somewhat chewy…this is where the Bock side of it is finally showing through. Low Co2, mild-medium body. The 7.1% ABV is remarkably well hidden.

Overall: Our first crack at Burnley and even though it acts more like a Pilsner we can taste the depth and sheer quality of it. We’ve been asking for more Aussie breweries to embrace the Euro styles and our requests are answered here! Diggin it.

Schorschbrau ‘Schorschbock’ Doppelbock


“Schorschbräu is known worldwide for its strong beers. This SchorschBock 13 is a perfect example of it. This German beer has a nice orange robe topped by a fine white head. On the nose, you will find notes of spices, mildly roasted malt and a fruity aroma. In the mouth, the alcohol is dominant but well balanced with flavours of caramel, peach and a smoky note.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: Deep mahogany pour with a short tan head which rapidly fizzes out. There’s almost zero head remaining and zero lace as a result.

Aroma: Oh my Lord what have we here?! First thoughts are apple and blackcurrant juice spiked with pure alcohol. Then the heavily caramelised malts take over; treacle, toffee and rich caramel fudge. Fist fulls of sweet dark fruits i.e raisins, prunes, dates, fig, blood plum and red grape juice. Christmas cake and spices, gingerbread, caramelised pear/apple and subtle toasty notes. Wow!

Flavour: Lands somewhere between an Eisbock, a Barleywine and a Quadrupel. It is so jam packed upfront it’s impossible to know where to start. This residual sugary sweetness dominates…dark fruits, Christmas cake, Port, sweet earthy spice, toffee, treacle and a soft roasty-ness. It progresses into a more yeast-driven middle: banana split, thick honey and apple pie then on to a somewhat roasty, uber rich and sweet caramelised finish for days.

Mouthfeel: Dense, chewy, sticky and syrupy. Full bodied, low carbonation. 13% ABV is perceptible as anticipated.

Overall: Apart from the sudden rush of alcohol to the brain this Doppelbock/Barleywine/Quad/whatever you want to call it is literally face-numbing, enamel-stripping, hangover-inducing Jesus juice. Bring the noise!

Klosterbraurei Weissenoher ‘Bonator’ Doppelbock


“Legend has it that Doppel Bock was first made by monks as a hearty, full-bodied drink to be consumed in the tough fasting period. This ‘Bonator’ is brewed at the monastery at Weissenohe in the most traditional, painstaking way, using the best ingredients. It is named for Bonifatius, a missionary who came to the monastery long after brewing began in 1050 A.D.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: Pours an attractive deep amber with a really soft ruby tint. It forms a big and frothy three finger head which slowly reduces. Thick blotchy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Instantly reminds us of a traditional English ESB with its sweet and chewy malt profile and old world hops. Once it settles the Bock qualities become more prevalent; toffee, caramel, carob, dark fruits such as prunes/dates, blood plum, figs and red grapes. Certainly a hint of toastiness in there alongside nuanced wheat grains, freshly sliced apple/pear, coconut oil and dried leaves.

Flavour: Upfront it’s toasty and uber sweet…we feel it needs a bit of a counterbalance already…like a more perceptible hop bitterness or roast to take the edge off the syrupy sweetness. Some earthiness peeking through but it’s futile. It only doubles down further as the rich syrupy caramel, toffee, dark fruits and Christmas cake surges into a toasty, sweet and sugary finish.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, gelatinous and chewy. Medium-full body. The 8% ABV is extremely well concealed.

Overall: Even though this hails from a highly respected and ancient brewery it missed the mark. It’s just too syrupy and unbalanced for our liking. It’s rare for us not to like a traditional beer like this but yeah, not doing it for us.

Kloster Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel


“This is it! The powerful, full-bodied, strong beer which is Andechs’s trademark. Brewed in the traditional Triple Mash procedure and available throughout the year, not just during the “Starkbierzeit”!

Glassware: 500ml Stein.

Appearance: Mahogany with deep ruby red highlights. About a thumb of creamy tan head atop which slowly recedes. Laced well.

Aroma: Classic banana bread lifting out immediately. Quite husky too – tonnes of wheat grains, seed, dried corn and pumpernickel. Big helpings of toffee and caramel, honey, dried dark fruit, fig and a bit of classic yeasty spice. Some very subtle orchard fruits in here too…more like stewed pear or apple pie. Brilliant!

Flavour: Really doughy and semi sweet upfront. Banana bread, dark fruit, apple pie and delicate spice give way to a really intense mid palate of pumpernickel, caramel/toffee, toast, earthy fig, nutty malt and carob. It finishes sweet yet toasty with a touch of dryness to balance.

Mouthfeel: Full-ish but still light and well aerated. Got a bit of stickiness happening too. Low Co2. 7.1% ABV completely hidden.

Overall: As far as traditional Doppelbocks go this shoots right to the top. So rich and sweet but precisely balanced and light on. Next level stuff.