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Instigator - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
InstigatorInstigator

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 8.38%
Wants: 4
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 04-09-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by BeerGodz:
Photo of BeerGodz
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap @ Varga Bar

Look: Deep ruby/brown color, creamy tan head with decent retention & lacing

Smell: Malt, caramel

Taste: Malt, brown sugar from beginning to end

Mouthfeel: Medium body & carbonation, sticky

Drinkability: Light flavors make this a good session beer

Overall Impression: Not as flavorful or as complex as the better German examples, but still a good local beer worth sampling. Great beer for Newbeez!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a .5 liter stein a deep mahogany color with some deep ruby tint a thinner almond colored head atop,malt tilted aromas to be expected deep caramel and brown sugar intertwined with some roastiness and a hint of iron.Somewhat sweet upfront deep brown sugar and caramel flavors to start off mixing with some roasted nuts and candied orange a slight drying in the finish but this stays more of a sweet sustaining brew.A tad thin but it goes down well a solid "big" malty lager here.

Photo of Billolick
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber, pours dark auburn amber, clear with a quickly departing tan head, leaves no lacing and not even a hint of film left on top. Carbonation issues? Cola, malty nose. Plenty of sweet malt, but not cloying, vanilla, cola, warming and enjoyable, would like a head on this one however...

Photo of warriorsoul
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DarkerTheBetter for another bottled Sly Fox beer...
Rust in color with less than a half finger of off-white head...disappears very rapidly with hardly any lacing.
Not huge in the nose...and not overly pleasant. Sour/sweet malt at first with an earthly yeast finish.
The taste is better, especially as it warms to room temperature....mildy sweet malt with a smoked quality that complements the sweetness. Not a lot of hops to bitter this up, which makes me very happy...especially for a US brewer...no alcohol detected.
Some molasses in the flavor as well...adds to the sweetness in the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and the carbonation is mellow.
My least favorite of the few I've tried, but still a nice representation of the style.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass,a creamy,thick,rocky,off white colored head.A deep ruby red almost chestnut.Very cloudy,murky appearence.A bisquity,sweet,winey aroma a hint of alcohol and molasses.
A fruity,winey taste a warming alcohol sensation.A medium mouthfeel,with lots of carbination.A dry finish with a cidery bite. A good dopplebock,very complex,fairly drinkable for the style,a very wine-like quality to this beer.

Photo of kpantz
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Executive Summary: My first from Sly Fox, and it won't be my last. Just a great interpretation...not quite as good as Celebrator, but damn close!

Appearance: Deep mahogany, nearly opaque. Good, fervent cream-colored head is loathe to recede. Good lacing as well.

Smell: Roasted malts, butterscotch, caramel.

Taste: Sweet to start, with a bit of the butterscotch flavor at the onset. Spicy flavor moves in next, with an ever so slight hop bitterness lingering at the end. Deep malt backbone throughout.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and slick. Light carbonation...could have enjoyed a bit more in that department.

Drinkability: Very quaffable. Alcohol goes largely unnoticed. This is a great session brew for the cooler nights.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Mad Elf chalice sort of similar to a Celebrator glass with a little more curves. Appears with a large tightly formed light tannish beige head, quite resilient definitely sticks around for quite a bit. The head is paired with a dark ruby plum hued body bubbles quickly rising and as the head dwindles nice scattered lacing forms on the chalice with each sip. Aroma: Vinous ripened raisins, tart muscat grapes more ripe fruit soaked in mellow alcohol with mild distan powdered cocoa tones with herbal German hops coming through as well. Taste has a soft quality more of those powdered cocoa highlights with accentuated tart fruits including apples, raisin, and more white grape acidity matches well with the overall bready feel. Mild bitterness with herbal grassy hops and finishes with a somewhat leafy tobacco character. Mouthfeel is medium bodied really smooth and mellow carbonation soft warm feeling once it coats the palate. Drinkability: This is a quality American brewed doppelbock flavorful, it really satisfied my palate with depth. They seem to really have a talent at finding what works for them yet fulfilling those traditional style guidelines at Sly Fox.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sly Fox- Instigator

Appearance- Dark brownish/ black with no head.
Smell- Light nuttiness with hints of black licorice/ sambuca and cocoa powder.
Taste- Black licorice with sweet malt. Light cocoa powder comes through in the end.
Mouthfeel- Low carbonation, slighty flat.

Overall- Uninspiring but drinkable and worth trying.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh, thanks to Dr. Jay. Nice dark chocolate colour. Malt chocolate aroma., Taste is sweet and not cloying, with licorice spice, a bit of toast malt. Tasty and could pass as authentic German from a blind taste, from the little I know. Quite drinkable.

Photo of russpowell
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Props to GnomeKing for this one!

22 oz bomber pours an efferevescent chestnut/mahogany with a 3.5 fingers deep sand colored head. Above average lacing & some head retention

S: Licorice & chocolate & hints of wet card board/glue

T: Roasted grain molasses, & chocolate up front, then a hint of coffee. Licorice & hints of breadyness/fruittyness follow along with some pecan notes. Finishes with a hint of brown sugar, dryness & caramel

MF: Chewy with low carbonation

Drinks fairly easy for the abv, this on light end of the dopplebock spectrum, but not bad at all, just not a really good one. Lacked some asthetics

Photo of Beertracker
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sly Fox Instigator pours up with ample carbonation that creates a low, creamish tan head that rings the deep copper-russet body nicely. The aroma is surprisingly fruity (dark cherry, plum, red grapes) with some underlying spiciness. Toasted Munich maltiness reminiscent of saltine crackers or soda bread. Hint of tartness. Sulfur? Moderate alcohol. The flavor starts of with some toasted breadiness that's underscored by a persistant bitterness that lingers towards the off-dry, acidic finish. Very uncharacteristic for a doppelbock. Medium-full bodied with some creaminess. Acidity is distracting. This is either past it's prime or maybe a bad bottle? Definitely worth a try. Don't be intimidated by the Instigator!

PROST! Beertracker

Photo of PEBKAC
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It's about that time again kids. Time to reach on back into that dark, damp box & grab yourself a prize. No telling what kind of dangerous wildlife those month old leftovers in there can attract. Be prepared.

After making my way back from the crevices(& making sure I still had all my fingers), I pull out yet another bomber that I had thought had been lost. I believe I purchased this guy back in April, so I feel safer then I would be popping the tupperware some of the things in here.

This bottle is a Royersford edition, at least that what my eyes tell me. Having two separate pages for Sly Fox is really a pain sometimes.

Anyways, the beer pours out with very little inspiration. Just enough head develops with the stirring of the fluid, but none ever sticks around. You can just make out the some carbonation through the deeply rich ebony color. About as close to black without being opaque as possible.

The smell is of everything burnt. Burnt charcoal, molasses, burnt maple & honey as it seeps into the barbecue fire. Nothing caramelized, as it is all too well done. Alcohol creeps in towards the end. Be prepared for something sooty & sweet.

Taste is a mash of maple syrup, charred chestnuts, bitter coffee, & licorice. The end completely drowns in a sea of caramel, burnt molasses, vanilla, & all too much alcohol. A residual bitterness sits in the middle of your tongue for much after.

Carbonation is on the lower end, body is thinner then I assumed it would be. Not syrupy, but slightly sticky if you have warm hands.

Twenty-two ounces wasn't too difficult. Just the taste of alcohol impeded me more then anything. A more intense doppelbock than I'd care to have normally. Just not a smooth as it need to be to really enjoy the mishmash of flavors presented. :|

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not generally a huge Doppelbock fan but I dug this one.

It pours a thick dark brown colour with hints of amber. The head is chunky and tan, and leaves a thin sticky residue that slowly oozes down the glass.

The aromas are of dirty, meaty, malt with hints of molasses and caramel and a touch of cooked vegetables and chocolate as well.

The flavour is right in line with the aroma for the most part. It's malty and the molasses flavour is a bit more apparent and a little sweeter than what the aroma gives off as well. There's a hint of alcohol at the finish as well. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and pretty hearty overall.

This one was a nice surprise for me. I expected it to be well crafted, but didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, because as mentioned there are plenty of other styles I'd rather drink. It's definitely worth a try.

Photo of Phatz
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was served to me cold in a pint glass and had a rich foam head on top of a magnificent ruby/caramel body.

Smell: The aroma was very sweet and malty. Thick rich deep red aroma commanded some respect.

Taste: I don't know if it would be fair to say this beer is like 'Troegenator Doublebock' but that is what it reminded me of. I did not have them side by side but it was a pleasant nostalgic reminder of one of my favorite beers. The taste is heavily reminiscent of caramelized malts with a very gentle nudge from the green hops making a nice bouquet of sweet and floral flavors in the nose and mouth.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied; this beer was a bit chewy but very slick and smooth. It went down incredibly easily!

Drinkability: This beer is a bit to sweet to consider it sessionable; but one is very nice easy to drink.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pours a dark black / brown color with a huge tan head. half the glass on the first pour
S - Sweet malts, light ripe fruits and cola
T - similar to the nose with a hint of vanilla underlying
M - light bodied, over carbonated
D - too sweet towards a cola effect for me.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light brown, glowing cola color with a wide white collar of head.

Smells of smoky caramel, molasses, red grapes with a hint of lime.

Tastes of a dirty caramel and smoky coffee with a drying citrus in the finish.

The mouth feel was medium bodied with a thickening carbonation.

Not too hot for the style but tasty none the less.

Photo of dsa7783
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased singly from Gary's in Madison for $4.99...
An aggressive pour yielded a full, five-fingered foamy and frothy head that nearly receded the glass and left a tremendous amount of lacing...
Nutty, malty, brown aroma replete with caramel, sugars, and vanilla...
Taste strongly complemented the smell, with an obvious suggestion of malts, licorice, caramel, vanilla, dehyrdated fruits, and toffee...
Decent, creamy, fruity, and malty mouthfeel with an equally good level of drinkabilty without any hint of alcohol present... Very malty, with a noticeable hint of prunes, figs, and dates...
Creamy stuff...
Not Sly Fox's best sample, but a good stab at the style nonetheless...
Worth a try...

Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle:

Pours ruby brown with a thick, towering tan head that slowly descends to a lasting foamy head. I like a good head on a beer, but the foam filled the glass to excess, covering some of what's underneath.

The smell, once the head settled to a reasonable amount, was pleasant. Dark berry-like fruitiness, caramel and earthiness. Peppery alcohol lets the abv level known, but not to an overpowering degree.

The taste is berry-like fruitiness upfront that remains the main characteristic throughout. Caramel and some subtle chocolate notes give it sweetness. Nutty and earthy background.

The feel is thinner than expected for style, but holds on firmly to medium body. The carbonation is just too much, though. Fortunately, it doesn't kill it, but it does have an impact.

A nice doppelbock that is limited by too much carbonation, IMO. Still, well-worth trying as it does have a nice taste to it.

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for giving me this one!

Photo of ppoitras
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from BeerBeing as part of UTBIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" tan head above the clear brownish burgundy brew. Head slowly dwindles, with plentiful delicate lace. Aroma is medium to dark grains and light fruitiness. Taste is ample malts, with a prominent dark fruitiness in the middle, and a fade to light alcohol warming. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good. Nice brew, just wanted a bit more out of it.

Photo of grub
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one from DrJay as part of BC2. thanks jay!

22oz bottle. sampled jan 13/08.

pours crystal clear deep red-brown with a small dense off-white head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass. no lace.

aroma is nice. great malt. toasted multi-grain bread. hint of alcohol. light caramel and toffee. touch of lager character. bit of dark fruit. very light coffee and baker's chocolate. hint of smoke, but that could just be from the fireplace.

taste is good. nice hit of caramel and toffee to start. toasted muti-grain bread. bit of alcohol. nice lager character. bit of alcohol. great depth to the nice toasty malt. bit of sweetness, mostly as caramel+toffee.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation level. solid medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. well balanced and nice. drinks more like 4% than over 7%. great malty character keeps you going back for more.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark clear brown body, medium head, fades slowly, very creamy and solid.

Smell: Rich roasted sweet graininess, loads of brown sugar and a little maple to boot

Taste: This very malty is very roasted, a little chocolatey and has a very strong molasses flavor and brown sugar flavor that is a great take on the style. Smooth and easy drinking, but with a distinct flavor.

Drinkability: Nothing really to complain about with this beer, I love the heavy molasses in the flavor, mouthfeel is rich and full. Above average vs. the style. Thanks to BeerBeing.

Photo of Biscuit033
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark brown/ruby with about a finger of off-white head with minimal lacing.

S: There is molasses, coffee, caramel, sweet maltiness and some hoppiness that is coming through.

T: Red and dark berries, coffee, chocolate, molasses, with a bit of green apple hoppiness.

M: Malts coat the mouth until all you are left with is hoppy bitterness. There seems to be more carbination than necessary but as if bubbles are very tiny.

D: This beer is very drinkable especially on a cold fall evening. The alcohol is not perceptable at all in the taste. This very well made beer.

Photo of Deuane
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep ruby copper with a thin light tan head.

S-Slight malty sweetness and not much else...very tame,

T-Decent malty sweetness with hints of brown sugar notes. Nothing crazy going on here, very simple.

M-Medium body with good roundness. Smooth easy drinking character.

D-Totally innocuous, malty, smooth and easy to drink....but a bit dull overall.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid Dopple, but there are some classic Dopplebock character that this beer lacks. The beer pours a darker-than-expected brown hue, good head formation / retention, but light on the lacing. Aromas are strongly malty, very much like a Brown Ale. No fruitiness, but no caramelized, bready, melanoiden notes. Flavors confirm a heavy, complex malt bill that relies on malt additions for character and not the decoction process. Again, boardering on a Brown, the beer is flavorful and well-rounded, but not with the well attenueated, full-flavors that a Dopplebock should provide. A bit heavy to the mouth with a sticky feel. Finishes malty-rich with some chocolatey, nutty aftertastes.

Photo of mcallister
3.21/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very dark burnt brown sugar, apple pie top crust looking dopplebock. No redness as many will show just straight caramel colors. Pours with a small white head that fades very quickly.

Not much commotion in the nose. A floral hoppiness with dates and toffee. A heavy dosing of alcohol lies underneath with a herbal spicyness showing through.

A good solid beer with a very nice mouthfeel and slightly charred malts that are leaning toward sweet toffee and burnt caramel. Milk chocolate, raisin, and dates with an assortment of nutty characters and a hint of floral hopping and a very slight bitter finish. Herbal dosage exposes the mid palate and leaves things somewhat confused. Mouth is medium with a bit of tingle in the carbonation. Very easy to drink.

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Instigator from Sly Fox Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.