Epic Brewing Double Skull Doppelbock Lager
22oz Bomber, 8.3%
Pours coppery, rusty color. Very little head. Malts and that “lager” smell on the nose.
Hops – 5 Slightly on the nose, not an unbalanced malt finish.
Malts – 8 Grains and caramel and malty sweetness. You get that lager taste and then you get caramel and sweet and it’s fantastic. An excellent example of what a good lager can be.
Carbonation – 6.5 It’s bubbly, but no real head to it. Hold it in your mouth, you can feel the carbonation but it’s not overwhelming.
Character – 8.5 It’s malts. There’s a slight hop balance, but it’s a “super lager”, so it’s gonna be grainy, slightly yeasty and sweet and caramel. And it is.
Palate – 9.1 It’s a really good “super lager”. 8.3%, yet there’s no alcohol on the finish. If Yuengling were normal people, Double Skull would be Superman. Better, stronger, etc. Everything you need in a lager x5, with nothing disagreeable happening in it.
Overall – 8.7 I feel like I’m betraying my roots giving a lager such a high score but it’s a BIG LAGER! Sweetness, malts, caramel, and some yeasty flavor to it. Super Lager, indeed. Buy it, try it, no one will be disappointed. It’s not sweet enough to turn anyone off, and it’s not bitter enough to turn anyone else off either. It’s a buy and NOT share, if you can find it.
Bottom line, this is a fantastic doppelbock. Buy it, drink it, love it.
I’m about to post old reviews and one I just had last night, DuClaw’s Cocoa Fuego, an interesting Chocolate Chipotle stout.
DuClaw Cocoa Fuego 7.5%
Pours dark, strong malty smell, not much pepper on the nose.
It tastes like a chocolate stout and finishes slightly spicy. There’s very little chipotle/pepper taste. It’s sweet and malty and chocolatey and leaves a spicy finish. Not bad overall, but a better example of this was Left Hand Brewing’s Fade To Black pepper porter.
1. hops – 2 Nose, balance out the chocolate, the sweetness, the malts. But just barely.
2. malts – 7 Yup. I’m not sure if they’re overpowered by the chocolate or overwhelmed by the spicy finish though.
3. carbonation – 4.5 not very bubbly
4. character – 6.5 There’s things here, malty sweetness, chocolate taste, spicyness but nothing stands out. Certainly not the pepper.
5. Palate – 7.5 It works well, but nothing is jumping out at you. It’s sweet, it’s slightly coffee, it has chocolate, but not like in a robust chocolate stout, and it’s spicy but only just so on the finish.
Overall – 7 If you want to try a decent spicy stout and this is available, go for it. It’s not the best in class but there’s nothing here that will turn anyone off. It will leave you wanting, however.
A clarification on character and palate: character would be what’s IN the beer, palate is how it all works together. This had very little chocolate OR chipotle, but it didn’t suck at all, hence the higher palate score.