Originally brewed by the Paulaner monks of Munich, Doppelbock is traditionally a Lenten beer, and is still served for two weeks during the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.* But charming and culturally important as this tradition may be, the strong—8.2% ABV, in the case of Tröegs’ version—malty brew also makes for an excellent winter warmer. I had the opportunity to sample Troegenator (and really liked it) when the Hershey, Pennsylvania-based brewery recently did a tap takeover at a local bar. But much to his chagrin, Ben couldn’t make it to the tasting. Accordingly, we put Troegenator in our 12 beers lineup so he could try it, too. The resulting review is a joint effort.
Pour and appearance: (Ben) It came in a can. Box was marked 8/2013. Has some age on it. First pour was clear, with a half finger short lived head. Pour is a mahogany color, clear.
(Meagan) Deep amber color, a bit too brown to be described as garnet. No lacing, since we don’t have a fancy glass rinser to get rid of the soap residue from the dishwasher.
Nose: (Ben) Nose contained no metal, despite the can. Faint raisin, strong malt, some definite melanoidin presence; honey comes through strong. Caramel, too. No hint of
diabetes er…I mean, diacetyl–though if you have diabetes, you probably shouldn’t drink this. Also, there’s no dms.
(Meagan) Rich, malty sweet nose, characteristic of a Doppelbock. Definitely some caramel notes.
Flavor: (Ben) Initial flavor is bread, caramel and honey. Dark biscuit and brown bread. Dry malt clings to the tongue on top of fig and a hint of pie crust.
It opens up as it warms; but the sweetness never overpowers the malt flavor. I got no unpleasant off flavors, but there is a hint of sherry in the finish on this one; looks like the mythical oxidation gnomes have worked their magic and turned it into a big, bold, malty Bavarian style lager.
Body and mouthfeel: (Meagan) Medium body, kind of a viscous mouth feel. It coats the tongue pretty well, and leaves a hint of bitter in the aftertaste.
(Ben) Overall, I would give it an 89/100. The Bros at Beer Advocate give it a 94, and I would probably agree, except I wish there was more complexity in the malt flavor profile. Still, this is a world-class beer.
(Meagan) Not quite as thick, sweet, or complex as the original—secular—version, Paulaner Salvator.* Still, Troegenator is a really good beer that I would be quite happy to drink more of, if only we’d bought more than the one can.