This week, I’ve got three strong beers for my Tuesday Tastings reviews, fitting since we’re solidly into winter and strong, warming brews are what you want to drink on those chilly days. I’m even going international, with a beer from Canada.
This deep, dark, viscous brew stands up to other imperial stouts as well as the test of time, delivering defined, robust, chocolaty notes with a hint of hop freshness. As this beer ages, those big flavors mellow, leaving behind a smooth, balanced sipper. It’s the perfect beer to warm up with as winter cold sets in, or as part of a vertical tasting session many years from now.
Appearance: Nice dark brown-to-black pour, opaque, with chocolate head that’s fluffy and looks very rich.
Smell: Dark, bittersweet chocolate, freshly ground dark roast coffee, caramelized sugar, molasses. Hints of charred wood, an almost smoky note. Vinous.
Taste: Alternating between boozy notes and roasty malts with black patent malt. Nice flavors of hard-cooked caramel with a bit of molasses tang, tempered by burnt sugar. Still a bit “hot” but for that it does not drink like a 9% beer.
Mouthfeel: A bit shy of full-bodied, lightened up by the alcohol I think. Dry finish.
Overall: Really quite a nice drinker, deftly mellow when it could go over harsh.
Unfortunately, this was not a win; something had infected this beer at some point. But I’m including it in my reviews in case anyone else has the same experience.
Appearance: Dark brown, cloudy, with a tan head that keeps rising over the rim of the glass—which immediately makes me say, “Uh oh.”
Smell: Slightly sweet, overripe fruit aroma. Rotty? A bit of bourbon-y vanilla along with some roasted malt astringency.
Taste: There is definitely something off here—maybe a bug from the barrel(s). It has more of that rotting fruit sweetness impression, some roast, and something almost—moldy. Touch of boozy heat.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full-bodied, bit of a dry finish.
Overall: Ick, who knows? The rotting fruit character puts me off.
Deschutes Brewery Doppel Dinkel Bock
Now, you’d think that would be perhaps too long a time to write a review for a beer that came out 18 months ago, however I’ve recently seen bottles of Doppel Dinkel Bock (still) for sale at Costco here in Bend so I figure that’s fair. And incidentally, “Dinkel” means “spelt” in German, and spelt itself is an ancient variety of wheat. So think “Doppel(wheat)bock” amped up to Wheatwine-level strength.
Appearance: Bright brown, the color of bottle glass. Clear, with a minimal head that started out light brown before fading.
Smell: Bubblegum and banana esters along with some sweet, bready notes. Hint of green apple. Mild overall.
Taste: Rich, caramelly, and very “Bavarian Wheat” with lots of estery banana character. Crusty dark bread, rye spiciness and grainy, with a back of the mouth cloyingly sweet syrupy character that somehow smooths way out.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, very smooth, with a wheat-spicy/banana aftertaste.
Overall: Super drinkable, belying the 10.7%! Tasty but goes sweet, sweeter than to my normal taste.