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Instigator Doppelbock - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Instigator DoppelbockInstigator Doppelbock

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

47 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.44%

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 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It came to me a rich deep chestnut, with garnet tinges at the edges. Two fingers of frothy light tan head dawdled for some time before slipping down to a thin sheen of tiny bubbles. Lacing was plentiful and intricate.

The aroma was rife with the products of sweet roasted malt, bringing caramel, toffee, and brown sugar to the fore. A black cherry note mingled with a trace of floral hops and a hint of alcohol.

upon sipping, the malt again stood tall, toasty and sweet, casting about notes of caramel, dark chocolate, raisins, and black cherry. A subdued citrus element poked through, a hoppy vestige, along with malt and hop general bitterness. A smidgeon of alcohol merged with a vinous hint to give a port-like character to the middle ground. The finish was sweet with residual malt, and lingeringly bitter from the chief aspect of the hops. While a bit ohppier than many of the style, it was still well weighted toward the malt, and very pleasing to drink.

Heavy bodied, the thick malt comes across syrupy and coating, while the modest but ambitious hops give a bit of tingle for the effort.

There's never any question that the malt is the headliner, but the hops make enough of a show to keep the interest high. Everything about this was fun to drink, and I enjoyed every drop, even mroe so as it warmed in the glass. It has plenty going on, but it's blended very well, and even balanced in its stylistic way. The ABV is just big enough to notice, but with proper care, it is in no way a hindrance. This is one beer I'll greet gladly each spring.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2006 16:29:05 | More by Foxman
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2006 04:28:46 | More by ggaughan
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

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!!


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


Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2005 14:35:49 | More by Bierman9
Photo of rajendra82


4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This growler arrived on my door step from pezoids as part of BIF 20. The beer poured out dark ruby brown with no head and left only spotty lacing. The growler was well sealed before opening, so I am assuming this is how this beer is meant to be. The malty aroma of cherry, molasses, raisins, and chocolate gave a good hint of things to come. The taste was super smooth, with dark skinned fruits, brown sugar, and citric sourness mixed with a dose of spicy noble hops. Soothing and chock full of flavor, the beer was very satisfying. Body was a touch thinner than other Doppelbocks, but the level of residual sugars made this little feel more substantial than it really was. While not an earth shaking experience, this was very pleasant indeed.

Serving type: growler

06-11-2005 04:35:22 | More by rajendra82
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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A wonderful version of this style. Deep and rich without being overly cloying. Deep and rich malty notes in the nose, as this dark, almost black brew presented before me with a modest head. The caramel-like notes combine well with the almost chocolatey goodness on the palate. The mouthfeel was a bit lighter than I had expected, and the ABV makes this one a tricky brew to consume in volume, but this is one dame fine dopplebock that I am glad I went out of my way to try.


Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2005 20:05:38 | More by goindownsouth
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!

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2005 01:20:33 | More by weeare138
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!

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2004 21:00:46 | More by Boto
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!!

Serving type: growler

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


4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep and dark with a tight, even head of Stout-like foam, this must be the most imposing doppelbock I've ever seen. Complete wall of lace all the way around and lots of stain. An example of Doppelbock appearance.

Smells of dark roast, nuts, and strong grassy hops. An occasional fruity waft comes up from the deep and dark background that envelops all of the more distinct smells. Though its a smooth lager it does open to scents of mint and dark dipping chocolate.

Hugely flavorful and smooth - big, round, and roasty grains lead to an even toastier finish. Perfectly complementing German hops pepper the malt with mint-like accents. In the middle of the expansive body of roast and black malts is an entangled pairing of smoke and sweetness that amazed me for two days. All told, this beer's like a creamy espresso-like profile in its complexity and balance. Almost velvet smooth moderate mouthfeel has spot on carbonation.

This lager straddles the line between full-flavor and drinkability. Close to an imperial stout in its size and brusque meatiness with hop balance. I think this might be the best Doppelbock I've had beyond the renowned Celebrator.

Serving type: growler

05-29-2004 18:58:30 | More by nomad
Photo of sublimesipping


4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beautiful dark mahogony color with nice buttercream glass lacing. Falvors are subtle, serious, enticing with hints of caramal and chocolate covered cherries. Nice balance to the mouthfeel and a sweet nuttiness to the aroma make for a beer that presents smooth, confident sophistication. a worthy, memorable experience in a truly wonderful quality brewpub. May I pull my Bryon out now for the growler in the fridge.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2004 02:50:17 | More by sublimesipping
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2004 04:51:27 | More by pezoids
Photo of PSUDREW


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 WesWes

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2004 14:37:13 | More by WesWes
Photo of 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 Jarod


4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When this beer was served to me it had the appearance of a deep dark walnut color that had a reddish/brown hue to it. Very rich looking. When first sent it had a rich, full beige/tan colored head that was not very lasting and fell to a small thin skim that covered the top of the beer. The lace that was left behind was more of a thin covering more then lace. The aromas that came from the glass were of fresh grass, flowers, some dark fruit, big dark roasted malt, and fresh hops. The tastes that came out of the glass were better then the aromas. I tasted like dark roasted malts, some hints of smoked nuts, roasted nuts, caramel, floral and bitter hops, and alcohol. Kind of sweet, kind of dry, kind of roasty this beer takes you through the whole spectrum all in one glass. Nice and creamy, fresh and full of flavor. These are all words that I would use to describe this beer. Well done, nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2003 07:50:25 | More by Jarod
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2003 18:53:58 | More by NeroFiddled
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2003 14:13:40 | More by bierman2000
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Instigator Doppelbock from Sly Fox Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.