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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:
Photo of AltBock
AltBock

Ohio

3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle that has a pretty much average label. The label shows 2 goat shadows ready to butt their heads together. On both sides of the goats are shadows of wheat stocks. Just below all of this is the anem of the beer in big bold letters and the Sly Fox symbol of a shifty eyed fox. To the far right side of the label is where they keep the US Government warning, barcode, and the refund values. On the far left side is a brief summary about the beer and the doppelbock style and a Sly Fox caution of "May incite goat fantasies and Bock Fest envy." Don't bother looking for a date becuase there isn't one anywhere.

Appearance: When poured into a Pilsner glass, the doppelbock has a mahagony hue that looked like it was blended in with some dark amber. Sitting on top of this beer was a tall 2 inch fluffy head of foam. For the color of the foam, I would have to say that it's an off white color. It wasn't beige and it wasn't white either. This head of foam had really good retention that left behind streaks and spots of lace and a small film.

Smell: The aroma wasn't in depth that i would have liked this doppelbock to have. There really wasn't much to it. The majority of this aroma was sweet roasted malts with subtle sweet caramel, a dark fruit here and there, and then it ended with an aroma that smelled like hay or what I would to call horse blanket. Although there were a couple of dark flavors in the aroma, it reality it smelled like there wasn't enough of them. For instance, there wasn't any chocolate or coffee aroma in here. I guess the horse blanket put a blanket over those aromas.

Taste: If I had to describe this beer in one word, it would have to be "sweet." Not sweet as in "Sweet, I got a great doppelbock!" It was more like "this doppelbock is sweet as candy." Not only was it sweet, but there weren't that many flavors after the sweetness. It started off with sweet roasted malts and then it went quickly into very subtle milk chocolate and caramel. After the subtle flavors had passed, in the comes the sweet alcohol that had a pinch of bitter roasted hops mixed in with it. No horse blanket in the taste, but just the aroma, there were alot of dark flavors (or good flavors for that matter) missing. This time they din't have an excuse for why they weren't there.

Mouthfeel: This doppelbock was somewhere in between being light bodied and medium bodied. It couldn't make up its mind. What is the aftertaste going to taste like if the aroma and taste were sweet? If you guessed sweet, you're right! It had a sweet based aftertaste of burnt malts and alcohol. It hid the alcohol real well because there wasn't all that much to cover up.

Drinkability: I had high hopes for this beer and in truth, it was in fact a bit disappointing. It could have been worse, but it could have been alot better than this. Other than the appearance, the best part of this beer was the price. Now I know why the retail price for this beer is between $4 and $5. It's worth a shot just once to say you've at least tried it.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2008 21:34:52 | More by AltBock
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2008 23:25:37 | More by DavidSeanNJ
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As I half expected, the beer is overly carbonated and starts to foam up and gush out of the bottle as soon as I pop the cap. It was not so bad that I was not able to get all of the beer and foam into my glass. I ended up with about three fingers of concentrated, burnt amber colored brew underneath five-fingers of lightly browned, tan froth. When held up to the light the beer shows an almost brilliantly clear, deep, ruby color. Quite malty smelling with an enticing mix of richly caramelized notes and a whole grain bread character. Concentrated fruit notes of dried figs and prunes as well as a touch of roast grain notes seem to round out the aromatic notes. As the beer warms, rich, concentrated malt notes start to become noticeable; these evoke a richness akin to umami.

The beer foams up a bit as it hits my tongue. The body is a bit lighter than one would expect from a Doppelbock, but is consistent with the excessive carbonation. Some focused rousing of the beer releases a bunch of the carbonation and makes this easier to drink. Despite the lower body, mouth feel and sweetness, this beer is still quite rich and malty. Flavors of prunes mix with a rich, caramelized sweetness and a toasty malt character. The finish is somehow a little sharp, though I am not sure from what.

Well at least this beer was not noticeably infected / off in the flavor department, the excessive carbonation was a bit much, and I am sure it affected / reduced the body and mouth feel of this beer. Having said all that, this was still a pretty tasty beer, one which I would certainly jump at the opportunity to try a fresh sample of. As the beer warms hints of flavors and aromas start to suggest that something other than you standard beer yeast was involved in the bottle conditioning of this brew, though it never becomes more than a subtle backdrop.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2007 02:11:13 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2012 16:40:43 | More by tobelerone
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 17:04:05 | More by claspada
Photo of naproxen
naproxen

District of Columbia

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2008 15:45:40 | More by naproxen
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 03:08:12 | More by Sammy
Photo of grassrootsVT
grassrootsVT

Vermont

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2005 17:12:33 | More by grassrootsVT
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2010 13:08:49 | More by akorsak
Photo of boelker62
boelker62

Pennsylvania

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...?

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2007 01:01:52 | More by boelker62
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2012 16:35:53 | More by John_M
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ffejherb

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Sly Fox Goat Race & Bock Fest on 5/3/09.

A - Chestnut-colored body with burgundy highlights and one-finger creamy beige head that deposited spotty lace around the glass.

S - Malty, earthy and slightly herbal with a leafy hop character. Malt is primarily roasty with a subtle toffee sweetness. A faint waft of alcohol also sweeps into the mix.

T - Sweet and malty with a warm alcohol presence and plenty of roasted and toasty malt character as well as sweet caramel and toffee notes. Touch of leafy, earthy hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium to full bodied with a chewy, syrupy texture and subtle carbonation. Sweet on the palate with a mild hop finish.

D - Fine Dopplebock with a well-concealed alcohol presence. Gotta have some bock for the goat races!

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2009 01:20:55 | More by ffejherb
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 22:39:29 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

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!

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2005 01:20:33 | More by weeare138
Photo of rdrummer
rdrummer

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2004 23:11:11 | More by rdrummer
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

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!!

Serving type: growler

06-17-2004 03:31:38 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2011 14:25:01 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2006 02:53:02 | More by Zorro
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

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!

Serving type: growler

05-05-2007 00:02:36 | More by ppoitras
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Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.7%

05-16-2013 16:05:41 | More by Slatetank
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tedho21

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.7%

07-28-2012 19:28:00 | More by tedho21
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GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass clear dark brown with an amber hue and an almost tan head which rose lightly but held strong to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a strong dark caramel and chocolate character. The aroma was also biscuity and lightly toasty with a graham aspect. Some dark fruits emerged as the beer warmed, raisins most notably. A slight roast was present.

The flavor was malty with a dark caramel, chocolate and just a bit of roast. The malty presence was strong with a decent enough bittering from hops and dark grains to keep any sweet components at bay. Chocolate with a light biscuity/toasty aspect ruled the flavor and dark fruits, while present, were in the background.

The finish was dry with a lasting impression of caramel along with chocolate and light roast into the aftertaste. The body was almost medium full with a fairly low carbonation level. No appreciable alcohol presence was notable except for a very slight warming after consumption. A nice dopple but it could have been a bit more complex.

750 ml bottle. Thanks BeerBeing!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2006 23:51:38 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught: This one pours a dark mahogany color. There was some head, but I believe that there was too much CO2 pressure, and the barkeep was having a few issues pouring. Sweet, caramel nose. Very malty taste. Some subtle fruitiness hiding down in there. About zero carbonation. A very good brew!

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2004 21:00:46 | More by Boto
Photo of PSUDREW
PSUDREW

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

MMMmmm, Best brew I had tonight. And, in honor of the last night of lent, this is indeed my "lenten treat"

It pours witha nice, thick, foamy head, with a nice tan color. The best way I can describe the look of the beer, is, aside from the head, like cola. Dark, ruby, and opaque color. It smeels sweet and ready to drink.

The taste is like..a nice nutty, malty balnce. It has the sweet malt/rum flavor, and only slight trace of hop. The hop flavor is presnt through out the brew, but only ever so slightly. Very much a mixture of fruity/bready essence, with sublt coco notes. It all comes together so nicely.

This was my favorite brew from slyfox so far. Well put together, and a range of intersting taste going thourgh- out the beer. Very nice, indeed

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2004 03:38:56 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of jfcaa193
jfcaa193

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -0.7%

02-19-2012 02:10:45 | More by jfcaa193
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Instigator Doppelbock from Sly Fox Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.