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A huge, fluffy white head floats atop a hazy gold body. Wheat, pepper, and sour citrus in the aroma. Banana is the first flavor that comes through. Although it is a bit on the side of imitation banana candy flavor rather than real banana. After that, black pepper, wheat malt, finishing with bitter orange and coriander. The spices become more pronounced as it warms. Bit of heat from the 7.7% ABV.
This is definitely a beer to enjoy. Loads of flavor, great balance, excellent drinkability. I wouldn’t call this the best beer in the world, though. I’d even choose another offering from Weihenstephaner, Korbinian, before I would Vitus. But it’s a wonderful beer.
Brewing as early as the 8th century, and in continuous operation since the 11th century, Weihenstephaner has had a few years to get things right. Doppelbocks, such as Korbinian , were originally brewed to help monks sustain themselves during times of fasting, so of course you would expect these to be especially tasty, and nutritious!
Korbinian pours a deep mahogany with ruby edges. The aroma is caramel and a hint of raisin. The first sip, and you know this is special. Remarkably smooth, full, and creamy, the caramel, dark chocolate, and toffee flavors completely coat the mouth. The hops make a bit of an appearance, but this is, as it should be, a beer that is all about the malt. The 7.4% ABV warms just a bit as it goes down.
Love this beer. Full of delicious flavor, creamy mouthfeel, nicely balanced with the hops. Flawless.
That’s not a typo. It’s German! Now, I don’t sprechen sie deutsch, but I did notice, in English, doppelbock and oak smoke. I’m in.
Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche pours lighter than I expected, but it’s a nice amber with a big head, though that may be a function of the bottle neck. The smell is smoke, and a ton of it, with some meat. The smoke is by far the dominating and overpowering flavor, but I do get some pork and there is a bit of sweet malt, too. It’s like liquid bacon. Goes down quite easily, and there is no hint of the 8% ABV.
This is unlike any doppelbock I’ve had. So if you think you’ll be getting something like Celebrator or Salvator, you’re not. It is firmly a Rauchbier.
Overall, it’s pretty tasty, but the smoke really is a lot to handle. Be ready! Grade: B
Considering this is, as they say, the “World’s Oldest Brewery”, and it’s a Bavarian beer brewed specifically for the Festbier season, I’m expecting a lot from Weihenstephaner Festbier.
I should point out this is not an Oktoberfest/Marzen. Don’t be mislead.
The color is a pale, clear gold. Thin white head that doesn’t stick around for long. Smooth and easy to drink, but not much in the way of flavor or body. Getting some light grain and some hay and grass. Little bit of hop bitterness at the end.
It’s not bad, and it’s got some character to it, but there isn’t much going on here for me.
From another monastery, and one of the supreme styles of the example, here is Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock. Another substitute for food during lent, and translates to “Savior”. It can certainly save me!
Pours a fuzzy copper. More orange than brown with not much head at all. Smells of butterscotch and sweet bread. The taste is big, smooth, and creamy. Lots of butterscotch, but a bit of a sour bite in the finish. Some late alcohol and sweetness, too.
It’s quite good. I’d put it in the top tier of doppelbocks, but I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite.
By the way, the website listed on the label doesn’t exist. That has me a little worried.
For this Oktoberfest style, I went with the real deal. Hofbrau Oktoberfest. This has been served since the original wedding party that then became Oktoberfest. According to them, what they bottle is the same stuff served at their tent at Oktoberfest. It pours a surprisingly light straw color compared to the ambers and coppers of most Oktoberfests and marzens. That said, it has a very good flavor. It’s not at all watery. There are hints of grass, hops, and some fruit. It’s light, crisp, and has a late, mildly bitter finish. I can see why Oktoberfest is so popular!