“Liquid bread” for fasting monks and beer lovers in general.
Sprecher Dopple Bock
By Bill Lau | Potable Pastime
Dopple bock lager, 7.8% ABV, brewed from a complex blend of caramel and roasted malts
Sprecher Brewing Co., Inc. Glendale, WI
Cincinnati boasts a wonderful annual bock beer fest in early March (sort of in seasonal opposition and balance to the huge Oktoberfest celebration), which I unfortunately was not able to attend this year.
Not to be deterred in welcoming the season (and having my own personal celebration), I grabbed a couple of dopple bocks to enjoy at home and review here on the ol’ blog, including today’s subject.
For the uninitiated, bock beers have a long history going back to monastic brewing. Dopple bocks in particular have a close association with the Lenten season, when devout monks would fast. They were however, permitted daily liquid sustenance, and full-bodied, malty dopple bocks fit the bill perfectly. They filled empty stomachs and provided a substantial amount of calories to fortify the monks through their daily chores and prayers. Hence the moniker “liquid bread”. (The higher alcohol content on otherwise empty stomachs surely offered some benefits as well, lifting spirits and lightening burdens. Just sayin’.)
At first glance, appears very dark, near black, but when held to the light some deep garnet appears. Casts a beige head of tight foam.
Delivers luscious aromas of highly kilned malts, with molasses, dark caramel, toffee and some toasted nuts. Very nice!
Packs a boatload of well-attenuated maltiness; layers of dark caramel, sorghum molasses, and treacle without being especially sweet. Body is moderately full with a smooth delivery and very fine carbonation. I’m riding delicious waves of malt complexity, weaving and winding around my palate like a surfer on their board. A gentle bittering arrives after the initial malt blast, drying that light sweetness out and leading into a second round of those wonderful flavors. Wunderbar!
The label says to “age to create a fantastic beer” – seeing as it’s already damn fine, I can only wonder how it would evolve. I may have to try that with another bottle.
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.