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Instigator Doppelbock - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Instigator DoppelbockInstigator Doppelbock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.44%
Wants: 9
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: NeroFiddled on 04-07-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by boelker62:
Photo of boelker62
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A simple, not quite fizzy head that settles immediately, especially out of a bottle. It is a little more pronounced, though no significant lacing, when on tap. Deep amber hue, almost brown. Seems right on to me for the style.

S - Heavy malty nose with a tinge of roasted pear. Yes, pear. Light yeast leftover from the process.

T - A moderately sweet initial flavor, and a heavily sweet finish of average length.

M - Significantly oily texture, but the only drawback I really find is the fizzy nature of this dark lager. Maybe that's my IPA favoring coming out. It is significantly carbonated in the bottle.

D - No overpowering alcohol or any one feature that makes this hard to keep going wth n any occasion. Definately recommended and worth storing. Who knows how this will age...?

boelker62, May 10, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of ggaughan
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is back in bottles at Sly Fox. Glad I took a trip up there today for lunch. This was well worth it at $4.50 a bottle! The beer poured a very deep brown, almost black color with a creamy 2 finger tan head that lasted for awhile. The aroma is of toasted malts with a bit of toffey or caramel. Very pleasant. The taste is a bit hoppy but the main attraction is the toasty malts that I taste. The more I drink of this bottle, the more I like it. With a medium body, it is pretty darn drinkable.

ggaughan, Apr 02, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | 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

Sammy, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An almost black body reveals deep mahogany highlights when held to the light. The foamy tan head drops slowly to a thin but solid cap and remains in place throughout the serving. As it drops it leaves temporal sheets of lace. A very nice appearance! The aroma expresses floral and mildly grassy hops amidst a deeply toasted malt character with hints of light fruitiness. As might be expected, its firmly malty body is creamy and smooth across the palate. The flavor is rich and surprisingly complex with more hop flavor than is usually associated with the style. It starts with some dark, mildly roasted, and lightly acidic malt that warms to become much more caramelish and softly sweet before crossing-over into a lingering, dry, roasty, and bitter finish. Very nicely done! It's exceptionally clean and well brewed with a subtleg alcohol and vibrantly fresh malt and hops. It's a bit more roasty than many examples, but that gives it an edge of distinction. Certainly worth trying.

NeroFiddled, Apr 07, 2003
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Sly Fox Phoenixville on 5/1/11 during the annual Bock Fest and Goat Race. Served in a mug.

Pours a deep clear copper, with a finger of off-white head. This retains with some creamy bunching around the edges of the glass, leaving back a good looking cascade of foamy lacing. The aroma has a strong ripe fruitiness to it from the hops, which melds with rich notes of cocoa, caramel, and bread. The hops overall give this a real push in the nose.

The taste is a mix of toast, cocoa, caramel, and that same ripe citric fruitiness. This is all backed by a firm wave of earthy bitterness that leaves this dry with some lingering juicy fruit notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a bit fuller, with a sharp and lively feel to the carbonation, yet this still stays smooth with a low alcohol feel.

This seemed a little hoppier with the flavors than I remembered it being but I still rather liked this, as that ripe fruit just added another layer of complexity to all already rich malt profile here. Very smooth and easy drinking for the size as well, this is a nicely made Bock Beer.

Kegatron, May 06, 2011
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap

Poured into a pint glass...

A- Dark ruby brown color. Massive cream colored 2 finger head, some lace and sediment.

S- Smell was really chocolatey with a hint of earthy biscuit.

T- Taste was really sweet, tons of malts going on here. Candy like flavors with a toffee/dried fruit feel. Chocolate and coffee hints as well, but the sugary malts dominated.

M- This one had a chewy and sticky mouthfeel, really heavy beer.

D- I enjoyed this pint, but was not blown away at all. This was good, but nothing spectacular. I would not pass it down if given the chance but would not seek it out.

DavidSeanNJ, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of bierman2000
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a dark almost black Doppelbock. Malty and smoky with an excellent finish. It is highly drinkable and being a malt lover it is very refreshing. Not too sweet and a beer to enjoy slowly as the alcohol does not seem to kick in till the end of the pint.

bierman2000, Apr 07, 2003
Photo of beerthulhu
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany red with an initial 1 finger foamy reddish-beige head that quickly settled leaving only a fair and splotchy lacing.

S: a sweet caramel aroma, light chocolate and bread on nose.

T: Light cherries, lots of dark molasses and brown sugar add sweetness that is compliment by a nice bread backbone. There is a rich chocolate nature and some alcohol upon warming is detected. Starts out very sweet then warms to a nice dried fruit and bread palate.

M: Light mouthful with a very sweet caramel malt presence.

D: Very clean as most of their beers and is very easy to drink for a doppelbock.

beerthulhu, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Brass Rail.

A: The doppelbock is a dark, concentrated tea shade of brown. Full enough to be opaque with a half a finger of head, the bock sits very still.

S: The nose is caramel bready, sweet with darker fruits lingering around. The grains are well-toasted, not burnt, with a toffee sweetness. Hops don't do very much.

T: The doppelbock is a comfort drink, loaded with rich malts that are calming. Toffee and toasted bread, a combination of sweet and not-so-sweet, is rich from the first sip. Hops are a little more evident here, earthy of course, but the bock can't escape its malty focus. While the beer is warming, booze is never really a factor (although it does hit pretty hard with no warning).

M: A rich doppelbock, a little to filling and big especially as the weather warms. The toasted malts and toffee deliver solid flavor.

D: A nice sipper, the bock is a little to big (and almost out of season) to be a go-to. I'm guessing that it'll be perfect at the Goat Races on Sunday.

akorsak, May 01, 2010
Photo of naproxen
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For a Doppelbock this was pretty standard fare, nothing mindblowing going on. If they were looking to be a mediocre textbook doppelbock, they win.

Poured from the bottle with a big frothy head, high on malts in aroma and taste. Also, as others have noted, pretty sweet as well. Given the aroma and rich auburn/dark brown hue I expected more complexity in the taste, alas the body was lacking something, and it left a sweet off tasting malt residue in my mouth. I was glad to be sharing this bomber, because had it been a solo mission it would have failed down the drain.

I have had much better doppelbocks, and this one is not really bad, just not amazing either. To me, that's just Sly Fox all together.

naproxen, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of rdrummer
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The doublebock poured a dark reddish-brown color with a tan head that lasted a short time. The aroma was very earthy with the smell of roasted malt, grain, and a hint of smokiness. The taste was mainly roasted malt with some caramel taste to it with a bitter finish from the Hallertauer hops. The feel in the mouth is creamy and slightly thick. Another Sly Fox draft that tasted good from beginning to end and begged for another.

rdrummer, Apr 04, 2004
Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

brown color with a smallish off white head. Quick fade left behind a somwhat flat looking brown liquid with no head, lace, or side glass contribution.

Aroma was decidedly smoked with a nice hint of caramel in the back. There was some earth grain present and more of a dark grain tone.The flavor was nice, classic dopplebock with lots of smoked flavors and a great overall malt profile. Thick flavor with a somewhat tangy finish

Very smooth with little in the way of carbonation

mikesgroove, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was psyched when I saw it('05 version) on the board as this has been a perennial favorite of mine, usually rivaling those of the German lineage doppelbocks. The appearance was what I expected of the brew...blackish with a slight head and lacing as it goes down. Smelled nicely blended with a malty, fruity(black grapes), perhaps, roasted almond smell to it. This wasn't as carbonated as I had anticipated but there where some slight bubbles as I would bring the glass away after a sip. Hides the alcohol nicely and is very smooth sipping and going down. This is a pretty good drinking double bock.
In my opinion, a very good brew, although it seems to be missing a component of years past. IMHO, this one would make a world of a difference if aged but it is still a tastey critter to sink your teeth into. I actually like this one more than the St. Vic.

Finger licking good!

weeare138, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of claspada
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark burnt caramel color with ruby hues along the edges. There is a rather large tan head with great retention that left loads of lacing as it receded.

Aroms begin with toasted malts, brown sugar and sweet caramel covered apples. As it warms you get notes of smoked wood and red grapes as well.

The tastes begin with apple cider and dark red grape skin. Then it's quite caramel malt forward with hints of smokiness. As it warms you get more and more dark fruits; figs, dates and raisin.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium'high carbonation. Finish is on the sweeter end of the spectrum but the ample carbonation helps to balance the large malt presence.

Overall this is a nice American example of a classic German brew. Nothing worldly or revolutionary here or up to the quality of the authentic examples but a fine showing for a low price point.

claspada, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled due to BIGsBIF and the kindness of BeerBeing.

22 oz Bottle.

Pours a clear coke a cola brown colored beer with red highlights. Head is tan and average in height and density.

Smell is sweet and fruity for the style. Lots of grape and figs with wheat bran in the scent. Some nutty sherry wine aromas mostly walnuts. After this warms up some spices arrive mostly brown sugar and cinnamon.

Taste is semi dry and fairly bitter for the style. First flavor sensation here is Raisin Bran cereal. Fruity flavors of plums and maple syrup. Fair flavor of tobacco here as if there are Fuggles hops added. After a bit a fairly strong cloves after taste appears. Bitter cherry taste evolves after a while. A good non-sweet Doppelbock. Only possible flaw is that it is a bit astringent after a while.

Mouthfeel is good.

The good, a DRY Doppelbock that I like a lot a little cool. The Bad astringent when warm. The verdict a good beer for spicy food or very sweet desserts.

Zorro, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks froggyfrog for hookin me up.
Served from a bomber that had plenty of time to warm.

Appearance: Pours a dark burnt caramel color with hints of ruby. Massive head. The tan head exceeded 4 fingers and had great retention. Loads of lacing were pasted to the side of the glass the entire duration of the beer while a frothy cap lasted just as long. Beautiful.

Smell: Toasted malts, brown sugar and the sweet nostalgic aroma of caramel covered apples, with a hint of smoked wood and gapes as well. mmm m mm m mmm

Taste: The flavors of dark sweet tart apple cider and that grape juice stuff, lead off, and then it just get more malty malty malty as hints of smokiness, wood, more dark fruits and a sprinkle of hops, maybe citric fruit, building and then - the beer peaks short of my eyes popping out =) and then fades to a dry burnt shoe-fly pie aftertaste. I LOVE IT!

Mouthfeel: Big malty creamy and well carbonated. It has a gritty course sugar laden malt kind of creaminess, and a dry finish lingers unceasingly.

Drinkability: dangerously easy for this Dopplebock fan. I really love this beer. It is a good thing I didn't get a case of this... or I might not be making it to work all week =) yummy!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Screw-cap growler received via GIF8 by stewdawg. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the clear medium brown brew, which also exhibited some burgundy highlights. Head is pretty quickly down to a tight layer of bubbles, with some lacing, but the legs of the brew is more impressie. Aroma is malty with dark fruit notes. Taste is hearty grain, with moderate fruitiness in the middle, and closes with light tannins and alcohol, and a definite warming aftereffect. Mouthfeel is smooth, and maybe a bit thin, but that helps the drinkability, so it's give and take. A nice easy dbock, more drinkable than one kind of should be for the abv. Safety first!

ppoitras, May 05, 2007
Photo of sulldaddy
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a growler from Pisskynights. Thanx man!

I am sampling a chilled sample in a pint glass. The beer pours a rich mahogany color with a finely packed beige head foaming up about 1 cm easily. The head returns every additional pour as well.
Aroma is very nice, with roasted malt, chocolate hints, and some nuttiness too.
First sip, holy thick body!! Very light carbonation. Wow this is a filling beer, and without creating burps it is a little hearty for drinking a ton of.
Flavor is rich with roasted malt some coffee bitterness and a light chocolate presence too. The beer is very smooth and easy to drink. No hint of alcohol anywhere to be found, but at the end of the 3rd pint I can sense the brew sneaking up on me.
Thanks again Pisskynights!!

sulldaddy, Jun 17, 2004
Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a deep burgandy / brown color with a thick three finger tan head. Nice lacing develops during the session.

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, and brown sugar sweetness.

Taste: a hearty malt backbone here, with brown sugar, toffee, and hints of bitter dark chocolate. Mild bitterness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: basically smooth with soft crispness at the start, but moves to an entirely smooth finish. The maltiness lingers briefly into the aftertaste. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: I found this to be very drinkable and enjoyable. The alcohol is not noticable at all as with some other doppelbocks. Glad they decided to bottle this one so I can get it close to home.

Gavage, May 19, 2006
Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap during the goat races.

The beer pours a copper amber color with good head retention and lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose... just some sweet malt and light dry citrus. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though the beer was bit sweeter/maltier than I had expected. Still, it's pretty enjoyable and easy drinking, with some nice cherry and baked apple flavors. There's a hint of bitterness on the finish that helps to buoy the sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, quite malty finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, making for an entirely too easy to drink beer.

While nothing extraoridary, I thought this a very enjoyable, easy to take bock beer.

John_M, May 07, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On taping Phoenixville. Pours a highly red-tinted amber color. Minimal head without much retention or lacing. Beautiful coloring but the head was pretty suspect. Aroma of caramel, bready malt, banana esters, prominent fruit. Smells a bit more like a dunkel weizen than a doppelbock.

The flavor follows suit. It's quite fruity and again there is a bit more of a banana note than one might reasonably expect for the style. Also lacks the big and profoundly chewy malt breadiness of the best examples of the style. Decent dark fruit and caranel sweetness and a semidry finish. I see past reviews are quite favorable, so perhaps there was something a little.off with this batch? Hard to say.

I also found the body to be a bit thin for a dopplebock and the carbonation a.little fizzy, which cut down on the overall smoothness I was hoping for. Pretty mediocre, but I'd like to try this again sometime I suppose.

tobelerone, Jul 29, 2012
Photo of WesWes
4.95/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a deep black color with a thin tan lace head. The aroma is perfect. It has a rich malt scent that is dominated by an intense caramel aroma; awesome!!! The taste is great! This beer has got the best damn flavor for a doppelbock. It has an intense dark malt character. It is rich with caramel malts and finishes sweet. The mouthfeel is perfect. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is the best doppelbock ever. It goes down slow and is very enjoyable.

WesWes, Apr 07, 2004
Photo of pezoids
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On a Saturday night, I finally had a chance to settle down with a growler of Sly’s Doppel. This poured a very deep and dark ruby color. Much darker than I had imagined. Very clear and even after a week in the fridge, it still managed to produce a decent and creamy head of foam. Which kept bouncing back after subsequent pours.

The aroma gave off faint fruity notes which seemed a bit muddled and indistinguishable. Something like an orange liqueur came through along with winey cherry notes. The taste is very subtle with light malts and a buttery sweet tang of light citrus fruits. Also detected some caramel spice and almond extract. Very mellow with some soft bitter qualities coming through.

As the beer warms up, the flavors slowly emerge from deep inside this beer. Has a nice solid body of malt but comes across only semi-sweet, unlike say a Salvator. Although light in bitterness, this is more definitely more accented towards the hops. I guess you could say it is somewhat of an American version of the more sweet and bolder German Doppel. Overall this is extremely drinkable. I finished off a growler by myself in only about an hour and could have had some more. A damn fine beer.

pezoids, Apr 20, 2004
Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

BARFLYB, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of grassrootsVT
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recently had this on tap at Johnny Brenda's.

Had been anticipating trying this brew since i first read about it. Due to this, perhaps i was let down. At pour, there was little to no head, and the carbonation level was rather low. Usually a lower Co2 level aids in the accentuation of malt depth, but not the case here. The color was perfect, true to style, a caramel [munich or cara-munich?] and chocolate malt enriched doppel - and the smell was as easily indicative of its ingredients. However, upon the first sip my reaction was: "this is not a decocted bock." Surely, i am a malthead; i try and take this into account when i experience new beers - but having tasted the riches of decocted doppels - i felt like the malt depth was lacking on this one. Therefore, the choc. and munich malts were present in the taste, but the mouthfeel and general taste impression were not quite as i would have expected. I could be wrong, I'm not sure - perhaps Brian did use a decoction mash - but, either way, suffice to say, i think it could have used more munich malt...
However, i find this to be a very drinkable beer - a well attempted outing and i think i will venture back to try it again....just to be sure.

grassrootsVT, May 10, 2005
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Instigator Doppelbock from Sly Fox Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.