Category Archives: Bocks

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.

Schneider Weisse ‘Aventinus’ Weizen-Doppelbock


“For golden moments by the fireplace: “Mein Aventinus” – the wholehearted, dark ruby coloured wheat beer, intensive and fiery, warming, well-balanced and tender. Bavaria’s oldest wheat “Doppelbock” – brewed since 1907! Its sturdy body in combination with its sweet malty aroma is an invitation to profound indulgence – an ingenious blend with a strong body.  Perfectly matches rustic dishes, dark roasts and sweet desserts – Schneider Weisse.”

Glassware: 500ml Stein.

Appearance: Deep amber with a faint strawberry red tint. It produces a big three finger head which takes an age to reduce. Healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Super sweet but balanced by the spicy yeast, wheat grains and doughy malts. Oodles of sugary fruits like raisin, dates and mixed dried fruits. We’re getting banana bread, cola syrup/sarsaparilla, brown sugar, caramels, chocolate bullets and blood plum as well. Almost smells like a Trappist Belgian Quad. Magnificent!

Flavour: A mirror image of the nose – sweet with raisin, dates/prunes, caramels, brown sugar and banana bread yet lightly toasted and flush with yeast esters and apple/pear. Syrupy and cola-like midway then on to a classic German finish of banana runts, clove, sweet malts and dark fruits. Excellent duration.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, gelatinous texture. Medium-full body. Co2 is kinda tight and unassertive. 8.2% ABV is incredibly well concealed.

Overall: For us these guys are up there with the likes of Weihenstephaner and Erdinger..if not better. Especially when it comes to the dark lagers. Brilliant Doppelbock. Can’t fault it.

Naparbier ‘Aesthetics’ WBA Weizenbock


“Whisky Barrel aged Weizenbock is the second beer comming out of our barrel program. Full of banana, caramel, oak, clove and vanilla notes. You may not think about it but autumn is almost here and this is the perfect beer for it!”

Glassware: 500ml Stein

Appearance: Kind of a burnished copper pour with a short head which rapidly disappears. Not a skerrick of head is left so lacing isn’t a thing.

Aroma: Totally dominated by decadent caramel, toffee and sweet doughy malts. There’s a fairly strong yeasty presence too – clove, pear/apple, subtle banana bread. Something a little off-putting though…we want to say apple cider vinegar but we think it may be the whisky barrels clashing with the yeast profile. Pretty bloody average to be honest.

Flavour: Fortunately there’s a bit more harmony here. Still not 100% right though. The whisky and the yeast are a bit better isolated but they just don’t work together. The apple cider vinegar quality it creates isn’t pleasant. Good thing is the sweet caramels, toffee and doughy malt save it from being a total disaster.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous. Medium body, spritzy Co2. 9.1% ABV is reasonably well behaved.

Overall: Not the best way to kick off proceedings with this Spanish brewery. Poorly thought through and average execution. Would have been better off without the barrel ageing. No likey.

Quiet Deeds Doppelbock


“While you were going about your day this past winter, drinking hazies and delicately balancing the thermostat – heavy sweater equation, we put something in tank and left it there. Something big and bold, but also traditional. And it needed time, a lot fo time. But now as winter comes to an end here in Australia, we think our first foray in the bock arena is ready. Allow us to introduce you to our Doppelbock. A darker hued, double lager, that will truly thaw your heart for spring.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: 100% transparent deep amber complexion. A loosely packed three finger head surges to the rim of the glass before rapidly receding. Blotchy lace clings as we go.

Aroma: Hitting everything from the traditional toasty malts and dark fruits (prunes, raisin, dates etc) to salted caramel, plum jam, grape juice, chestnut and a strange hint of either blackcurrant or blackberry. That quintessential bready character we find among most German styles is also here too. Promising start.

Flavour: Malt forward…leaning towards the classic toasty, nutty and bready Munich malts. A slight hint of herbal hops shifting in to the sweeter and almost cloying notes of toffee apple, plum and grape juice midway. A bit of a dry patch late in the piece as it finishes with a bit of a syrupy sweetness which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, a bit syrupy but it dries out mid swallow. The 9.5% ABV comes through a little but it’s otherwise well behaved.

Overall: Gotta hand it to Deeds here…we are a bit over their flooding of Hazy beers so it’s great to see them break the mould with this complex and somewhat left field Doppelbock. Not a bad crack either.

Cinema Brewers ‘I’ll Be Bock’ Caramel Bock


“It’s the year 2120, your brain has been transferred to a T1000 looking like Robert Patrick and there’s a blistering (nuclear) storm going on outside. But you don’t want to get your metal wet. So what better way to spend the afternoon than to pour yourself an ‘I’ll be bock’, lay down the rocket launcher for a moment and sink into the couch while enjoying the subtle flavours of toasted caramel and good ol’ fashioned German hops. Don’t worry, you’ll be bock.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Chestnut brown with mahogany hues. It only manages a short head which collapsed and struggled to produce any lacing.

Aroma: We can smell it as it sits stationary on the table. Absolute sweetness overload with caramel, toffee and butterscotch leading out. Plenty of support from a swathe of dark fruits like raisin, dates/prunes, blood plum, cherry and blackberry. A bit of a fruitcake accent that opens up more as it settles. Brown sugar, honey, cookie dough and brioche for extra measure. Damn fine aroma.

Flavour: A little bit more yeast coming through on the palate…subtle spice, fruitcake and brioche. Obviously the big and sweet overtones (caramel, raisin, butterscotch) dominate but it’s balanced with a hint of black tea, toast and roasted grains which carry in to the nicely drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty well balanced. Smooth, creamy, some warmth from the 6.5% ABV. Mild-moderate Co2. Medium body.

Overall: We had no idea what we were in for with this very little known Dutch brewery but the risk has certainly paid off! Very traditional German style Bock executed with pin point precision. Brilliant.

Les Trois Mousquetaires Doppelbock


“This Doppelbock, or “Double Bock”, is a dark, extra full bodied lager after the best Bavarian tradition. Such beer was created by monks for the tough fasting period of Lent. They called it “liquid bread”. Look for flavor notes of chocolate, candied fruit and roasted malt.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby red with a huge four finger head. It rapidly reduces and settled to a bubbly overlay with minimal lace left behind.

Aroma: Gorgeous display of toasty and nutty malts, sweet dark fruits and tangy orange marmalade. Sweet and sticky caramel/toffee and cognac, aniseed/cola, peanut, molasses, chocolate, yeast esters (banana, clove) and a somewhat dark bready presence like pumpernickel or rye. Jeez there’s a lot to unpack here but it’s so worth it. Absolutely superb aroma.

Flavour: Wow. Like the aroma the taste buds are in a frenzy. The stand out flavours are obviously the delicious dark fruits like raisin and prunes/dates but there is also a heady presence of caramel and lightly burnt toffee, nutty malts, toast, yeast esters and slightly pithy orange marmalade. Toasted pumpernickel or dark rye develop late and move in to a slightly dry finish with tonnes of residual sweetness clinging to the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and gelatinous. A little syrupy but the booze (8.6% ABV) and mild bitterness cleans that up nicely. Low Co2. Medium-full body.

Overall: Very elegant. Complex too! But the main thing is the balance as it’s super sweet but so well countered by the additions of marmalade, rye breads and bitterness. Excellent interpretation of the style.

Hobart Brewing Eisbock

73372357_1200977143419762_3132942002618892288_n“Long ago, in a small German town in the depths of winter, a tired young brewer left some barrels of bock to the elements of the brew yard instead of rolling them in to the cellar. By morning the kegs had partially froze. Upon tasting the remaining rich liquid the brewmaster’s horror turned to delight and a legend was born.”

Glassware: Goblet.

Appearance: Dark brown which reveals mahogany hues when held near the light. Hardly any head whatsoever with little lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Super malty. Just full of booze-fuelled caramel, toffee, dark fruits and lightly smoked malts. As it settles in it opens up with figs, bakers chocolate, banana split, plum jam, ginger bread and yeast esters. Every now and then we get a fleeting hint of peated whisky. Holy moly that is one good way of opening up the nasal cavities!

Flavour: Proper malt bomb…everything from caramel and toffee to toast, roasted nuts, dark fruits, dark chocolate and smoke. Then backfilled with figs, choc-coated banana, espresso coffee, peated whisky and ash. And let’s not forget the sweet sweet taste of pure alcohol! The length on this bad boy…ooph it just goes on for days.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy and almost like cough syrup. It would be rather smooth and silky if it weren’t for the burning booze (16% ABV) but hey at that number you have to kind of expect it.

Overall: A freakin massive beer but they’ve done a marvellous job of keeping it within reason. We reckon it would go well as an after dinner aperitif. It would also do well after quite a long stint in the cellar too. So if you have deep pockets and good patience the jump on it!

Schloss Eggenberg ‘Samichlaus’ Doppelbock

27540440_805952042922276_4121141276573435138_n“Brewed only once a year on December 6. Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world. Samichlaus may be aged for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particulary with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: It hits the glass with a deep ruby red glow. It only manages a short beige head that collapsed to a halo but still works a wavy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Extreme indulgence. Unbelievably rich and complex with booze-soaked dates and raisin, Christmas cake, toffee, spice, cognac, residual sugars, gluhwein, fig jam and glazed cherries. We could practically sit here all arvo and pick out another half a dozen or so but we’ll move on. Absolutely superb.

Flavour: Holy moly! It’s nearly edible. The progression of flavours is next level, opening with Christmas cake, stewed cherries, cognac, residual sugars and toffee then flowing in to super sweet caramelised malts and a crescendo of burning alcohol. It develops a nutty flavour early in the ultra sweet, sugary and yeasty finish. The length is incredible too, really sitting on the tongue.

Mouth feel: Sticky and saturated. Full body and low carbonation. 14% ABV… What can we say, it’s quite vigorous.

Overall: Simply amazing. It’s straddling that line between beer and aperitif. It could be very slowly quaffed, enjoyed with a good Cuban cigar or as a digestif after dinner. Really impressive.

Garage Project ‘Dark Arts’ Coffee Bock

image“What kind of Faustian pact is this? A dark tryst combining the rich, clean malt character of a strong bock beer with a cold extract of specially roasted beans, creating a brew of milk coffee smoothness with notes of caramel and chocolate. Your favourite beverages together in one bottle – now there’s no need to choose. An award winning brew born of our collaboration with Wellington based fair trade roasting icons Peoples Coffee.”

Served in a Stein. It hits the glass with a chestnut hue that reveals crimson edges when held to the light. The two finger head almost completely dissipates leaving a thin ring that leaves minimal lace.
My goodness, if you’re coffee lovers like us then this aroma will have you on cloud nine. Pungent wafts of raw coffee beans fill the olfactory’s. The malt profile is equally as tantalizing with big roasty notes, burned toast, singed wood, chilli-infused dark chocolate, cacao and molasses in support. An absolute feast for the senses!
Thick and full bodied on the palate. The heavy malt profile ensures a silky/velvety texture as the low Co2 and extremely well masked 7.8% ABV makes this one dangerously drinkable beer.
We were hoping for the flavour to follow the aroma and it has done exactly that. Brilliant presentation of the coffee – strong but tempered. The rich, roasty malts and bittersweet chocolate only build on the magnificent flavour base created by the coffee. The taste just keeps improving until it finishes on a dry, bitter and lightly burned note that goes the distance on the back end.
Simply put…superb. One of the best bocks we’ve ever drunk. This was another one we muled back from NZ so we’re not sure what the availability is like in Australia. But! If you see this…bag it. Absolutely magnificent beer.

Stone & Wood/Willie Simpsons 2016 ‘Forefathers’ Doppelbock

18118822_683799298470885_1233470772227135872_nThere are pioneers among us who have set the wheels in motion for today’s burgeoning beer industry. This Annual limited release is a tribute to these Forefathers. For this year’s Forefathers brew, Willie and Brad were inspired by a German Doppelbock. With a rich malt flavour that hints of chocolate and dark fruits, lagered for six weeks to make sure the finish is super smooth.”

Served in a Stein glass. The cola coloured pour struggles to provide much head as what is managed disappears almost instantly. Just a thin ring is left with hardly any lace work as it recedes.
All is forgiven once we take in a good whiff of this aroma. It’s actually quite complex with doughy malt and cashews leading out. The deeper we go the maltier it gets…toffee, caramel, fig, carob, subtle spice and raisins present with muscle. Excellent concealment of the 7% ABV as well, we hardly noticed it.
The beer holds a nice weight in the mouth. Medium-full body with a slick and mildly chewy texture. Nice frothiness from the Co2, adding that effervescence to an otherwise dense feel.
Getting a delicious burst of dark fruity sweetness that marries up with those chewy caramels so well. Lovely bready malt encompassing it all as it’s introduced to some nutty and chocolate notes that carry in to a yeasty, fruity and somewhat toasty finish.
It’s a shame we don’t see more Aussie breweries having a crack at this style. Going off this superb interpretation there’s obviously a knowledge of them already here. Is it the Willie Simpson factor? Must be the combination of the two great minds behind the delicious brilliance. Top shelf stuff.

Erdinger Weissbrau ‘Pikantus’ Weizenbock

18033988_680292228821592_4912011927025011635_n“Personal tastes differ; for some people Erdinger Weissbier Pikantus ‘dark bock beer’ is a delicacy for the colder months. However, for many lovers of strong beer the season for Pikantus lasts a whole twelve months. At 7.3% alcohol, this specialty wheat beer has a considerably higher alcohol content than other varieties produced by Erdinger Weissbru. The dark bock beer owes its sharp and full flavour to the use of selected dark wheat and barley malts and a significantly longer maturing process.”

Served in a weizen glass. The chestnut pour reveals a deep crimson edge when held to the light. It generates a massive tan head that takes all four fingers before it gradually peeled back to a collar. Didn’t lace too well.
Lovely aromas of dark fruit, chocolate and fruit cake mix in with hints of caramel and fig. We also detect a yeasty pear and or apple note. Not really getting much of the traditional weizen characters like banana runts, clove or bubblegum though. They all seem restrained and happy to let the rich malty notes to do their thing.
The mouth feel is incredible. So smooth and creamy in texture with the 7.3% ABV basically non existent. Good uplift from the Co2 as well, providing that vital effervescence. Very palatable.
The taste follows the nose with a strong delineation of dark fruits, caramel, fig and prunes on the fore. A lot of similarities to a Belgian dubbel actually. Although this takes a different route with an earthy chocolate malt in the middle that delivers a sweet nutty finish with suggestions of yeasty pear/apple on a length.
Whilst we weren’t completely bowled over this weizenbock still offers plenty of character. A little light on the weizen notes but that’s more than made up for in rich sweet malts that provides a Belgian Trappist quality. Good….but not great.

Deschutes Brewery: Pub Reserve Series Rum Wowzenbock

17264395_659298397587642_8309340820456793678_n“The base recipe came from another Great American Beer Festival award winning Portland Pub brew called Wowzenbock. In this Strong Dark Ale, presence of Willamette hops are subtle against Vienna and Munich malts and Wheat. Aged in Spanish Rum barrels for 16 months gives this beer flavors and aromas of toasted caramel, sweet rum spice, tropical fruit, light coconut and banana esters and finishes with light oak tannins.”

Served in a Stein glass. The cola pour aroused a short khaki head that collapses instantly. After a few seconds it’s bereft of any foam, exposing the alluring dark liquid beneath. Not even an inkling of lace in sight!
Ooph, the nose is potent and seriously intricate. Our first thoughts are thick, syrupy and rich with molasses, raisin and figs spiked with a heady alcohol warmth. A suggestion of musty, oaky and dank cellar room provides the segway between the rich syrupy aromas and the somewhat lighter, wheaty and straw-like notes to come in over the top. There’s no escaping it though, this is one hedonistic little number.
The texture is oily and in a way kind of light but it’s pulled down by the monstrous 12% ABV. It certainly isn’t trying to mask the astringent warmth it provides as a slight sparkle adds a nice touch to the overall feel. Kind of drinks like a lightly sparkling red wine.
Flavour wise its rich, super sweet and warming with this recurring dry and oaky wine tannin. As it settles the rum flavours begin to seep in with hints of sherry, dark fruits and glazed cherries backing it up. It drops in to a spicy, plummy chasm before it’s lifted back out and finishes on a dry, spicy, fruity and somewhat straw-like ending.
Geez this beer packs an almighty punch. It certainly has some cloying characters but it’s so unbelievably moreish and flavoursome that it’s hard to dislike. Our main criticism would be that the 12% ABV is a little too prominent, becoming too overwhelming once it warms. Other than that it’s full on but quite enjoyable. Not bad at all.

Staatsbraurei Weihenstephan ‘Vitus’ Weizenbock

16195068_634690360048446_7792117375147705020_n“Our light-coloured, spicy single-bock, “Vitus” is saturated with fine yeast and a creamy foam. It is a specialty with a round character based on the extra long storage time. The fruity smell of dried apricots joins aromas of citrus, cloves and hints of banana. Full-bodied and sparkling with an effervescent mouthfeel. Thus, the Vitus does not taste like a typical Bock beer but more like a noble, fruity wheat beer. Perfect with red meat, strong cheese and also able to guide desserts. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill.”

Served in a Weizen glass. Poured in true German tradition with a monstrous four finger head that takes an age to reduce down. It eventually settles to about a two finger overlay and weaves a healthy lace as we imbibe.
Very yeasty on the nose this one. All of those heady spice, fruit and super sweet Weizen notes are working over time here, our olfactory’s pick up the typical banana runts, clove/star anise, pepper, bubblegum, golden syrup, coriander, orange peel and honey. We aren’t the biggest fans of Weizen and Witbier but the nose on this is superb – fresh, spicy and fruity. Very traditional.
Incredibly smooth for a beer weighing in at 7.7% ABV. The texture is quite dense and creamy but it’s still surprisingly palate friendly. There’s some good lift from the Co2, really working to lighten up the overall weight.
The front palate sees a burst of yeasty banana, spice, bubblegum and candied oranges. A subtle salinity carries forward through a malty sweet middle. A little hop dryness is introduced as hints of banana bread, golden syrup, bubblegum and fresh pear completes this taste sensation.
Brilliant drop. For us, as heavy critics of wheat beer, to say this is top shelf should say a lot about the mastery of the brewers. Even as extreme hop heads we can still appreciate the complexity of this beer. Solid offering.

Staatsbraurei Weihenstephan ‘Korbinian’ Doppelbock

16106076_631312643719551_5850021349647399380_n“Our Korbinian, the full-bodied, dark Doppelbock with light brown foam, wins beer-lovers over with a balance of fruity hints of plums and figs, a dark malt aroma – reminiscent of toffee, nuts and chocolate. Its roasted flavour goes well with smoked meat and fish as well as venison and poultry. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill.”

Served in a Stein glass. This doppelbock flaunts a lovely mahogany complexion with a bubbling two finger head forming on top. It maintains its height pretty well but eventually reduces to a wispy film with moderate lace on the way down.
Quite rich, syrupy and nutty. Very traditional doppelbock aroma…as expected. We find these to be very similar to Belgian Quad’s with their moreish dark fruit, toffee and toasty malts. We also get a fair amount of spice, chocolate, fruit cake and apple pie that adds layer after layer of complex malty goodness. Intermittent wafts of booze come in and out as well. Sensational aroma.
Nice and dense in the mouth, really putting forward a good consistency. Super smooth in texture, mildly carbonated and effortless in the swallow. The 7.4% ABV is completely hidden. Amazing.
Upfront the palate is treated to a dark fruity sweetness that makes way for a lightly toasted malt to pick up a trace of bitterness as it passes over the mid. The malt turns doughy and sweet before it finishes on a mild roasted note that draws out hints of coffee, cocoa and nuts in the tail. Excellent length.
Geez that’s a superb drop! In this day and age it’s all too easy to forget about breweries like this who’ve been pumping out quality beers for almost a thousand years. It’s not only humbling but an honour to sit here and enjoy the same kind of beer that the Monarchs of Germany would have been drinking back in the 11th century. Mind blowing. Top shelf stuff.

Hunter Beer Co. ‘The Grocer’ Doppelbock

15036471_600521053465377_2674136548965424785_nKeith already brews a brilliant all year round Bock but once in a while he will brew a bigger and meaner version – hence the name ‘The Grocer’ or the ‘Grosse’ Bock in German (translating to ‘the big bock’). Keith’s idea of a play on words! It’s brewed with 100% German ingredients. Lassen sie uns stecken in!

Once again our big old Stein glass gets a run. She pours a gorgeous chestnut brown with a short khaki head forming on top. It quickly retracts to a ring with scarce lace left on the glass. The nose is quite rich and complex – we get a syrupy molasses character with freshly cracked grain husks, dried figs, prunes, raisin, slight medical notes and a crusty/bready malt backing. Very traditional aroma, a certain nod to the 100% German ingredients. In the mouth it’s full and well rounded with a chewy and viscous texture. A good Co2 level provides a much needed boost of buoyancy while the well hidden 8.6% ABV offers a subtle all-round approach. A super sweet concoction of dark fruits, molasses, sweet malts and toffee plays out on entry while a caramelized brown sugar sweetness cuts down through the middle and continues across the mid. She then drops a massive malt bomb on the palate which fires hints of cocoa, rum & raisin, fig and doughy malt through to the sweet and fruity finish. We have to make note of the excellent length as well, she really goes the distance on the back end. Really good drop this one. If you were to try the core range Bock you would then get the gist of why this Doppelbock is so good. It is literally the bigger, ballsier big brother. Solid offering.

4 Pines Kellerdoor Series Hoppy Doppelbock

14907045_593399780844171_2330739182360628393_n“Once brewed with a holy purpose, this beer packs a punch so strong that Beelzebub himself drops to the floor and quivers at the mere sight of it. This double-down deal with the devil crams in so much super-rich Munich malt flavour it can sustain a monk through months of fasting, and enough contemporary hops to smother the hot fires of Hades. The monks of old believed that liquid cleansed the body and the soul. Amen brothers and sisters, redemption is here.”

We dusted off the old Stein glass for this drop. She presents an attractive crimson complexion with stunning clarity. Just a short head forming on top which recoils to a fine sheet and minimal lace. Our first observation of the aroma is this sharp piney hop note that cuts through these sweet and sticky malts. Kind of has that red IPA character to it with its nicely balanced hop to malt ratio. We certainly detect a good heady dose of tropical stone fruit but as quick as our olfactory’s pick it up and injection of caramelized toasty malts and toffee move on to balance it out. An ingratiating aroma. Really smooth mouth feel, the malts provide a silky texture initially before the 40 IBU introduces a mild hop bitterness. Mild-medium in body with an incredibly well hidden ABV of 7.5%. A surprisingly approachable number thus far. Taste wise we get a hop forward blend of citrus and pine the work in to the toasty and sweet malt base upfront. The bitterness begins to ramp up in the middle as it takes on a somewhat resinous approach. The sweet malts return for a short cameo just before the well drawn out bitterness in the finish. Ultimately it’s a very well brewed beer. The balance on the nose doesn’t carry through to the flavour as much as we’d hoped as the hops do dominate a bit too much for a doppelbock. Aside from that it’s a fun, tasty and enjoyable beer.

Schneider Weisse ‘Aventinus’ Eisbock

14581320_582676348583181_1398124734870395322_n“Up until the 1940’s, Aventinus was shipped all over Bavaria in containers lacking temperature control. Consequently, the precious drink partially froze during transportation. Unaware that the brew was concentrated by the separation of water from the liquid. People were baffled by this unique version of Aventinus. By chance, the first Aventinus Eisbock was created. Well aware of this story, Hans Peter Drexler, brewmaster of the Schneider brewery, decided to recreate this classic “mistake” in a modern controlled facility. Thus, the Aventinus Eisbock is reborn sixty years later … Prost!”

Served in a wide rimmed tulip. This elegant looking drop pours an attractive light mahogany hue with dark copper edges. It’s topped with a fine wispy head that doesn’t waste time as it reduces to a bubbling island in the middle. Laced poorly. The sheer depth and complexity on the nose is incredible. It has lots of similarities to a Belgian Quadrupel with its big impression on rich fruit cake, banana bread, toffee, stewed plums, clove, figs/prunes, alcohol and an earthy truffle-like character. Once it warms the boozy aspect intensifies imparting in-your-face wafts of rum and brandy. Superb! It’s like a Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel and Weizenbock were all blended to create some kind of new super strong beer. Simply brilliant. In the mouth it’s uber smooth. Beers that weigh in at 12% ABV shouldn’t be allowed to be this smooth! It’s dangerous! The creamy texture, low Co2, plump body and pure decadence demands this be slowly sipped to really bask in the complexity it has to offer. Our palates are scrambling trying to isolate the inundation of flavour. Everything from port, raisin, clove, brandy and banana to toffee, straight alcohol, molasses and even a kind of syrupy muscat-like flavour that is impossible to explain. This beer is that rich and heavy that it could easily be subbed for an aperitif or cognac. It is absolutely amazing how complex and multilayered it is. Words just won’t do it justice…..If you see it on the shelf don’t think twice just bag it. Phenomenal stuff.