Dock Street Illuminator - Dock Street Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
Dock Street IlluminatorDock Street Illuminator

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BA SCORE
82
good

38 Reviews
THE BROS
70
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 38
Hads: 53
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dock Street Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: NeroFiddled on 02-27-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 53
Photo of Stoneman78
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours with a deep amber/copper hue, frothy off-white head that is mostly diminishing, minimal lacing

S- Nose if of toasty/roasty malts, brown sugar, and deep, rich fruity tones (plum, prunes), slight alcohol

T- Taste is solid and characterized by caramel malts, dark fruit and sweetness throughout, very subtle hops and alcohol

M- Quite watery and overly carbonated, medium body

D- Solid entrant in the Doppelbock category with a unique malt and fruit/sweet balance, easy drinking save for the excess carbonation, quite pleased to have received a case of this free from a friend :P (597 characters)

Photo of Riggsy
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in standard pint glass.
Arrives dark red in color, a little hazy, with a one finger tan head.
Aromas of sweet malts, caramel and dark fruit.
Taste is malty and sweet, little hop presence, caramel, toffee, and some raisin or maybe fig. Also underlying alcohol warmth.
Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, a little slick, medium carbonation.
A little sweet to have more than one, the alcohol also makes having 2 16oz servings a bit much.
An above average doppel. (479 characters)

Photo of Phatz
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Cappone's in Norristown.

Appearance: Served and amber ruddy copper with a quick fade tan head and little lacing.

Smell: toasted malt, caramel, and toffee, and raw sugar/ fruitiness.

Taste: Malty cherry fruit with a bit of dextrin, candy and caramel and spicy. The finish is bitter with a residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth easy soft malty feel, medium body but light and active.

Drinkability: Light and refreshing. Semi sweet dopplebock, easy drinking.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (521 characters)

Photo of MmmIPA
2/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nice looking clear red body with a nice off white thick head.

Spices

Malt and tons of it,spices and some dark fruits.

Mouthful is like drinking cola,thick mouthfeel.

I dont know if I will try this again,its very sweet and cloying to me.Its just the style that bugs me,add more hops to balance it! (309 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a semi-transparent mahogany toned amber with a 1 finger, off-white head that quickly fades out into a thin collar. Tiny remnants of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted nuts, brown sugar, mild toffee, lightly spiced dough, notes of ripe fruit, prunes, and a touch of star anise.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a pronounced raisin-like sweetness up front that leads to a spiciness and mild herbal bitterness.
Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, warming, and very much of brown sugar that's been dissolved in water and doused with cloves, anise seed, and black pepper.
I wish I could say more positives about this beer, as I've been waiting forever for it's re-release and it represents phantoms of this region's original craft beer scene that linger as a friendly, welcomed guest. Unfortunately, it doesn't match the malty monster that it was at the brasserie in Philly years ago. It is what it is and it's expected with all things considered. It's worth a try if you're a doppelbock enthusiast, or if you'd like to compare it to your own memory's tastebuds trying to rekindle it's thirst for Philadelphia's former king. (1,153 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle with a deep coppery color and light frothy-coppery/amber head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell is lightly malty, a little sweet but not too strong.

Taste is definitely malty, a little sweet but hard to distinguish the type and lightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is is smooth with a little bitter on the finish.

Drinkability is is very easy. Could easily throw back a few of these with a good meal.

Nice to see another tasty Dock Street brew! (475 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A blast from the past. This was one of my favorite beers from the old Dock Street Brewpub in Philly many moons ago.

Appearance: pours a nice dark copper color with a 1/2" head that falls to a ring of foam around the glass edges rather quickly. Plenty of carbonation bubbles race to the surface.

Smell: malt sweetness and a hint of floral hops are detectable.

Taste: decent malt base here with some brown sugar, hint of nuts, raisins, and a touch of bitterness. Alcohol is barley noticeable too. A bit mellower than what my memory of the original was, but all in all a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Malt laden aftertaste. Medium bodied brew.

Drinkability: very easy to quaff this one. Its great to see this one available again after many years. For those older BA's out there from the Philly area, this is a blast from the past worth giving a shot. (884 characters)

Photo of reesepzor
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-This beer was on the darker walnut side with a head that dissapates fairly quickly

S- The smell of this beer was on the strong side with an overwhelming presence of alcohol and some dark malty spice fragrances

T- The flavor of this beer is fairly strong with some notes of caramel and malts, the alcohol percentage gives a big of a sting to the tounge

M- This beer has a medium viscosity and seems to flow fairly smoothly

D- Overall, this beer grows on you halfway into it once you embrace the malty flavors and spices in it (538 characters)

Photo of Bones54
3.51/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I recieved this beer as part of a "Beer of the Month" club. I was excited about it because I had never heard of Dock Street before. The beer poured wonderfully. Nice color and head. The smell was average at best- was not picking up to many aromas. Taste- this is a great spring beer- goes down smoot. Nothing too exciting about it- just overall a good beer. (357 characters)

Photo of yeastpuppet
3.66/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer poured with a lusty amount of head , full and rocky with an orange tinge , that dropped quicker than ..., well , pretty quick . Good carbonation , reflects light as a fine Tennesee Whisky might . Great , pleasing color .

Slight aroma of malty sweetness ,plum , zero hops .
Wee trace of alcohol in nose .

Tastes damn good .That great strong Lager taste of darker malts .slight plum/raisin , bitterness delayed yet apparent and pleasant . If theres hop flavor in here they mesh so well in the overall taste , I can't pinpoint 'em .

A tad light in body for the style , with a slight alco-burn on the gums .

Easy to drink , I'll open 'nuther . At least 7% , could be dangerous unless consumed in moderation .

Overall , this bock rocks . Buy some so they keep making it !

B. (802 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark coppery colour with a reddish hue topped by a fluffy beige head. The foam showed decent retention and some stickage. Malty aroma, some caramel, a bit of bread crust, with some floral hopping and a faint alcoholic fruitiness. The bitterness was a little higher than expected and became a little acrid in the finish. The flavour was mostly malty sweet with a little carmelized sugar, particularly up front, which gave way to warming alcohol light fruit character towards the end. The texture was quite soft, with lowish well-integrated carbonation and a medium body. Not bad, but the flavour missed the mark a bit for me. (631 characters)

Photo of jmc44
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Illuminator was available at the Dock Street Philadelphia Firehouse Brewpub last night for their private party to celebrate the pending start of construction.

Poured (unfortunately) into a clear plastic Dock Street cup. At least Rose, the owner, lectured her volunteer servers on how to pour.

Deep walnut in color, with a thick, creamy, tan head. Head gradually recedes but never actually disappears.

Aroma is clean and malty, with hints of sweet sugar and caramel. Light hop aroma, slightly spicy. Hints of caramel.

Flavor is malty, but not as sweet as expected. Caramel again is present, with a bit of raisins and fruit. Crisp, dry finish.

Not as heavy as other examples of the style, and a bit more drinkable. I don't know the alcohol content, but its strong enough that you can feel it. A solid beer, but not in the big leagues with some of the German Doppelbocks out there. (894 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Going all the way back to 1985, Dock Street was one of the first contract-brewed specialty beers available, following on the heels of Samuel Adams. The recipies were formulated by the venerable old-school Brewmaster William Moeller (of Philadelphia's Schmidt's fame), and when the Illuminator was introduced in 1990 it was one of the only helles doppelbocks on the market - and a damned fine one at that! It was brewed by F.X. Matt in Utica, NY; and then sold to Henry Ortlieb where it was produced briefly at his American Street brewery in Philadelphia. After a long hiatus it's now being brewed in New York again by Saratoga Springs.

While it may not be as light in color as the original Illuminator, this revamped version is still lighter than many in the category. I certainly wouldn't call it a helles, but then again, Dock Street never really did either. In the glass it's a clear deep-chestnut with glowing orange highlights beneath a creamy, finger-thick head of light tan. The head retention is good, and although it drops it continually retains an almost complete, creamy surface covering. The lacing is not nearly as good as the head itself, but it does leave some nice splashes and spots behind.

The nose is clean, gently malty with a hint of caramelized sugar, and just a touch of spicy and floral hoppiness.

In the mouth it's medium bodied with a gently zesty carbonation that warms to become airy and smooth across the palate.

The flavor is far less malty than it used to be, and it lacks the rich graininess it once had. Still, it's not a bad version of the style. The malt is just slightly caramelish, and there's some fruitiness to it as well. Alcohol thins it a bit, and some floral and spicy hops lead it into a dry finish. The bitterness is solid, and omnipresent, but never really steps beyond the bounds of keeping the malt in check. The alcohol, on the other hand, seems to have been given a bit too much reign. (1,947 characters)

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Dock Street Illuminator from Dock Street Brewery & Restaurant
82 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.