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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 Slatetank
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Slatetank, May 16, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

BARFLYB, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of claspada
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%

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 tobelerone
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%

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 tedho21
4/5  rDev -0.7%

tedho21, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%

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 jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -0.7%

jfcaa193, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%

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 Kegatron
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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 akorsak
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%

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 JoeyBeerBelly
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%

22oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

Caramel color with a fizzy beige head that thinned to a light layer leaving bits and pieces of lace.
The aroma is filled with sweet dark fruits and molases.
The taste is worthy of this brew being called a 'malt bomb', sweet and sticky all the way through.
Medium bodied with mild carbonation.
Goes down way too easy. If you like sweet malty beers this is a 'must try'.

JoeyBeerBelly, May 25, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%

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!

ffejherb, May 05, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
3.95/5  rDev -2%

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 naproxen
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%

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 DavidSeanNJ
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%

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 27, 2008
Photo of AltBock
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%

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.

AltBock, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%

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 Gueuzedude
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%

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.

Gueuzedude, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of boelker62
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%

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
Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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 loren01
4.15/5  rDev +3%

A: Pours a reddish brown color, huge billowy white head, good lace down the glass
S: Fruity, malty, yeasty also some alcohol scent
T: Fruity almost apple cider like. Also tastes of dark fruits, fig/rasins. Good malty profile, also slightly nutty. Wonderful mix of flavors, very complex taste
M: Medium to full bodied beer, maybe a little high in carbonation
D: Very drinkable beer, don't have this style much, good change of pace. Got this via jasonnm, thanks for the excellent brew!

loren01, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

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 Zorro
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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 barknee
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%

Instigator Doppelbock pours a deep walnut color with a generous frothy tan head. Nose of sweet roasted malts, cola, and flan. Taste sensations of rich, smooth sweet roasted malts and chocolate. Very plush - very creamy. Warming alcohol well in proportion with the weight of this brew. Medium bodied with a posh, lip-smacking mouthfeel, this is a super enjoyable Doppelbock.
Kudos to Sly Fox Brewing!!

barknee, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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!

GCBrewingCo, Jul 24, 2006
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Instigator Doppelbock from Sly Fox Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.