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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 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 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 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 Slatetank
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Slatetank, May 16, 2013
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 Gueuzedude
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.

Gueuzedude, Nov 01, 2007
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 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 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 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 BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

BARFLYB, Mar 24, 2013
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 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 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 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 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 JoeyBeerBelly
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -0.7%

jfcaa193, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Bierman9
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1/2 gallon growler. Deep ruby/garnet/chestnut hued bier... clear within. Thin, tan head tops things, mostly around the rim, though. Lovely highlights in the bier, especially with backlighting. Malty nose; sweet with toffee/caramel and just a hint of hoppiness. Body a solid medium to medium-plus with a bit of chewiness, and passed quite smoothly over the palate. Flavor was sweetness all over, a mouthful of malt. Yummy! Decently rich and richly decent. Toffee and caramel again, and just lightly hopped. Sweetness lingers. Reminded me a bit of Sam Adams. Verry nice!

Thnx V!!

Prosit!!

overall: 4.15
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4

834

Bierman9, Sep 06, 2005
Photo of ffejherb
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!

ffejherb, May 05, 2009
Photo of GCBrewingCo
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!

GCBrewingCo, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of Boto
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!

Boto, Jul 06, 2004
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 blitheringidiot
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the 22 oz. capped bottle a dark burnt sienna hue allowing some, repeat, some light escaping with a desne dark tan head cap.

Scents are of dark vanilla chocolate and buttery toffee. Surprising yet interesting aroma for a doppel.

First swigs: Caramel and grainy. Sweet almost maple syrup like notes in the middle of this thick brew. A touch doughy and fresh bread backed by a chocolate sampler sweet. Warms up towards the very end.

Feel is a touch soft and gentle which leads to the problem *wink* of easy drinkability and at 7.3% ABV, look out!

Last swigs: Thank gawd that SF finally started to bottle this doughy malty treat. Simply elegant doppel. Yum!

Beer is good. Happy local doppel beering.

blitheringidiot, Apr 20, 2006
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Instigator Doppelbock from Sly Fox Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.