Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sprecher Dopple Bock, bottle, poured into mug

Rolling along with the dopplebock theme, tonight's offering comes from the suburbs of that other great Wisconsin city. And while I'd love to say the Milwaukee-area product beats out Madison's, Sprecher Dopple Bock just doesn't measure up to the Capital Imperial.

That's a shame because the bottle's been enticing me every time I open the fridge for the last few weeks. I mean, for starters, it's a fat pint, which bellows "drink me" louder than any other container I can think of. Also, I love the Sprecher labels:

This one features a great description on the neck label:
This dark, rich, and mildly sweet lager was originally brewed as liquid bread to sustain Bavarian monks during Lent.
Who says Catholicism isn't great?

The pour gets you in the mood for sure. It's darker, creamier, and more viscous than I'm used to in a bock, and the aroma is very pleasant--molasses and prunes or dates, mostly, and maybe just a little chocolate. The malt isn't as strong as most bocks, I don't think.

The taste didn't quite do it for me, and, well, that being the most important part, the brew overall was a mild letdown. My complaint is the same one I've had with other bocks--too syrupy and boozy up front and not enough earth to temper the sweet. It took four or five sips for the sweetness to dull, and even then, this tastes a little too boozy for a dark, thick beer that's only 7.9% ABV. The Capital held it's 9% much better, as I recall.

Truth be told, the Sprecher gets better midway once you acclimate the sugary punch. The date flavor dominates, but my favorite part is the finish, which is a little bitter and vaguely smoky.

Grade: C, for comforting. It's not the greatest beer, but it's a slow sipper with nice after-hours flavors that make it easy enough to drink. Still, it's potent enough to remind you that you're getting buzzed as it goes down, which isn't a bad thing as long as you're in the mood. For as much as the pint bottle excited my former booze hound, I'd rather drink it in two sittings if I were to have it again.

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