While traditionally a doppelbock is beer for early spring, we don’t really adhere to tradition at The Brew Club! So, we’re reviewing this Troegs Troegenator doppelbock while its still Winter!
Actually the reasoning is much more benign than that because recently we reviewed the Ramstein Winter Wheat, which is a ‘Double Bock’ brewed right here in New Jersey. So, I thought ‘why not’? I like themes.
I’m not overly familiar with the style, and if you aren’t either here’s the nice Doppelbock definition from The German Beer Institute.
“Doppelbock (literally “double bock”) is a stronger and usually darker version of the Bavarian Bockbier. It is exceptionally malty, with very little bitterness. Standard Doppelbocks may have as much as 7% alcohol by volume. In the strongest versions (around 10 to 13%), you can actually taste the alcohol.”
Speaking of tradition, Doppelbocks had a real purpose. They were brewed and consumed by monks as “liquid bread” which they traditionally brewed for the Lenten season. (Early Spring, right?) Because these Monks were required to fast for long periods of time, they actually used beers like this to make up for some of the nutrients they were missing because of the fasting.
Brewers of these meal-replacement beers typically ended the names of their double bock beers with the suffix ‘ator’,and, you can see examples of this with beers with names like Celabrator, Illuminator, Subliminator, (none of which I’ve tried yet) but now we have Troegenator!
The Troegenator checks in at a respectable 8.2% ABV and while that’s on the high side, this is another beer that seems to keep the alcohol flavor and aroma in check. It’s not a boozy smelling beer at all really, and I like that.
It pours a nice brownish color into my lager glass (it is a lager), and creates a appropriately beige head – but it doesn’t stick around too long. By the time its ready to drink, there is no trace of a head or lace.
I could see why ‘liquid bread’ is used. When it comes to the smell, yeah there is something of a bready aroma in addition to sweet malts, something of a caramel sweetness and that ‘dark fruit’ action. Plum, cherry, raisin – that sort of thing. Nothing dominates really, but its all in there and some alcohol comes through but as I mentioned its not out of line.
I could probably copy/paste the ‘nose’ paragraph above and save us all some time when describing the taste! Its just about the same! Alcohol is kept in check, and its got a slightly bitter and dry finish, but otherwise it tastes like it smells.
Overall, I’d say that I liked the Troegenator from Troegs, but as a double bock I’d have to try some more to make any useful comparisons. On its own, I thought it was an interesting beer and if you’re into this style you might want to check it out. Don’t bother waiting for spring either, we won’t tell on you!
What do you think? Is the Troegs Troegenator a good example of the style? What’s your favorite doppelbock? I’d like to try some more of these.