Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Tasting : Salivator (Doppelbock)

When I originally brewed this Doppelbock way back in February of 2012, I had intended on lagering it for a good 2-3 months, then bottling and going right to drinking the beer. However, I managed to get in quite a few brew days that winter; combine that with the fact that my wife was pregnant and not drinking, and I ended up having quite a surplus of homebrew on hand. Therefore, I decided not to rush into bottling the Doppelbock; the more lagering time you can give a big beer like this, the better.

I finally ended up bottling the beer in late September. I'm not sure why I held off posting tasting notes for another three months, but I wasn't drinking the beer that often and wanted to give myself time to form an opinion. Doppelbock is a great winter-drinking beer, anyway, what with its high maltiness and high ABV, so now's the time to really get into them! Also, Pump House brewery in Moncton, NB has recently released their Doppelbock seasonal in bottles, so it was nice to actually be able to compare a local, commercial version of the style to my attempt.

Appearance: Poured with a fairly large, off-white head that has excellent retention and appears very creamy. Body is a dark ruby red, with great clarity.

Aroma: Deep, dark fruit aroma, with cherries/plums being prominent to me. Fairly strong maltiness, but maybe the fruit is overtaking that aspect. No hop aroma.

Taste: Strong malt flavor, maybe a bit of toastiness in there as well, along with just a hint of light chocolate. The dark fruit/plum character is there, but not near as much as the aroma would indicate. No hop flavor. Low-medium hop bitterness in the finish. Clean; no diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, with moderate carbonation bordering on too-high. A hint of alcohol warmth on the way down.

Overall: The fruit character in the aroma could be toned down a bit; I'm not sure if this is a recipe issue, or a fermentation one, but the beer is otherwise very clean and smooth. The carbonation is a touch high as well, but otherwise I really like the beer, and think it's generally a pretty good representation of the style. Smooth for a high-ABV beer, and I love how it looks. Nice malty flavor. If I brewed it again, I'd probably cut out the Crystal 80 L or at least scale it back... other than that, I think it's a good recipe.


  1. How did you think it compared to the Pump House version? I thought other than yours being more carbonated they could pass for clones.

    1. I really have to try the PH version again, and maybe even side-by-side to mine. I thought they were pretty similar, from what I remember, but I think the PH version didn't have quite as much of a dark-fruit presence in the aroma as mine.