01 March 2009

Samuel Adams Double Bock (MA)

This is part of Sam Adams' Imperial Series that also features a pilsener and a witbier. Of the three, doppelbock is the only style that's naturally big. Even so, Double Bock is on the heavy side for its style at 9.5% ABV and 24.5 Plato (over 1.100 OG). It turns out to be a little much for my tastes.

A good-looking beer, it pours clear mahogany with a decent head. It is very rich on the tongue, syrupy like a barleywine. Nice soft fizz. Unsurprisingly, it's a big malt bomb -- caramel, molasses, maybe a little maple syrup -- though there are just enough hops to keep it from being too sweet. My problem is the alcohol comes through, both peppery on the tongue, slightly burning in the throat, and warming in the ribs. A lot of doppelbocks bring heat, but my favorite -- Weihenstephaner Korbinian -- doesn't, and is also lighter on the tongue. Just a matter of personal taste I suppose. SA's take is a well-made beer and a pretty good bargain given its size. Just know what you're getting yourself into.

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