Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Capital Imperial Dopplebock, bottle, poured into mug

I now interrupt this long hiatus to bring you a beer review.

In my last post, just over a month ago, I mentioned my beer "allergy" and my doctor's recommendation to abstain for three months. If you interpret my inactivity as following that advice, you would be wrong. I've cut back a little--no second pints and the occasional beerless night--but that's as far as I'll go.

That said, I have a very important professional exam at the end of this month--I'll let you guess which one--so my time has been at a premium, relatively speaking. That doesn't mean I'm spending every free moment studying--that would be an awful way to live--but it has made me less willing to stay up that extra half-hour after leaving the bar to tell my banal anecdotes (and perhaps mention something about the beer I drank).

But tonight, insomnia reigns. Sixteen hours in the office wasn't enough to wear out my conscious brain, but maybe this Imperial Dopplebock can finish the job. Either way, I'm having a delightful time drinking it.

Have I mentioned that great cold-weather beers come from cold-weather states? Yes, all the time. Capital makes me reconsider my declaration of bocks being my least favorite beer style because right now, that simply isn't true.

This is a perfect fall beer, smelling of dates or figs, wood chips, and something vegetable--either carrot or broccoli. As you'd expect, the malt is the predominant flavor, which is just the right amount of sweet--again, dates and maybe a little honey. The sip finishes a little smokey--more like a cigarette than a barbecue.

The taste is thick to match the texture, and I'm surprised this is 9% ABV. I'd guess 7.5% if the label didn't tell. For best results, drink this outside on a fall night, where the air will keep the beer cold, and the booze will keep you warm. Just a half-ounce per sip, and swish it around thoroughly.

Grade: W, for woodsy. I first tried this beer last month up in the woods of northern Wisconsin, and it felt like the perfect beer for the setting. But I can confirm that it's still excellent if you're lying around your bedroom in your boxers.

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