Dopple Bock is one of my favorite types of lagers. And my version of Firefox seems to have been built with the UK spelling dictionary as it keeps telling me to change “favorite” to “favourite.” At any rate, I tend to prefer ales in general over lagers, so for me to say that a lager is good means that it stands far above the rest of the common rabble the world calls beer.
The neck label says that this beer was originally brewed by Bavarian Monks as liquid bread to sustain them through their Lenten fast. I can believe that. This is a very sturdy, hearty beer. Probably very nourishing as well if that’s all you ate/drank all day. The label touts its sweetness, which I’ll agree is one of its distinguishing characteristics, but I would call this beer “sweet” the same way bread is “sweet” – by natural sugars. It isn’t the overpowering sweetness of a Hefe-weiss but the subtle sweetness of a well-balanced ale. Yes I said ale. If you didn’t know this was a lager, you’d swear it was an ale. It doesn’t have the fruity hoppiness that we normally associate with lagers.
This is certainly an old-world beer. You can taste it in the flavors of toast, dark chocolate, and the fine aroma of aged leather. This is authentic Bavarian beer. The closest beer I’d compare it to would be Spaten Optimator (a dark Bavarian ale).
ABV: 7.85% – medium strength by German standards
Weeks aged: 12 – again, medium for Sprecher’s premium reserve beers
Bitterness Units: 31IBU – pretty strong. Russian Imperial Stout is 32 IBU. The international standard, quinine sulfate, is 120IBU. Sprecher’s IPA2 is 88IBU.
Recommended Serving Temperature: 60 degrees. Or even a little warmer. I’ve tried 55, 60, and 66 degrees on this and I think the 66 tasted the best. Just under room temperature, in other words. It is liquid bread, after all.
Malts: 2-Row Pale (common NA malt), Black Patent (usually found in stouts), Caramel (almost all beer has caramel malt in it), Carapils (hybrid malt of caramel and Pilsen), Munich (classic Bavarian lager malt), Vienna (Tyrolian/Austrian common malt). The malt list on this beer is a mile long. It is a very complex beer – all those malts combine to give it a very unique dark bock (try a Dunkel Bock) flavor.
Hops: Chinook (NA native, common among craft brewers), Mt. Hood (NA hop, common among colder climates), Saaz (Ah, now here’s a great thing: a very spicy hop used in authentic Pilsner beer. It is a classic noble hop with great spicy aroma and mild flavor. It’s native to the Czech Republic), Tettnanger (Generic German hop).
I also wish to correct an earlier Beer Recommendation. I mentioned that Sprecher’s Abbey Triple did not contain wheat. I was incorrect. Although wheat was not listed in the malts, I discovered that wheat is sometimes malted (germinated, then roasted) prior to brewing, as in Weitzenbier. However, in the Abbey Triple, the grain is cracked, then grist-ground and added to the mash without being malted. That’s why it wasn’t in the malt list.