Instigator Doppelbock - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Instigator DoppelbockInstigator Doppelbock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

50 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 7.96%
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:
Beer added by: NeroFiddled on 04-07-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 44
Photo of barknee
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!!

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

Photo of ski271
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark ruby brown with a small, tan, creamy head with good retention. Smells like a well-supported malt bomb. Molasses, chocolate, brown sugar, grass, leathery yeast, dark fruit, charcoal, vanilla, and even a little butterscotch and grape. Marvelously complex and impressive. The taste is of malt, dough yeast and grain with some spicy alcohol and light hop dryness on the warm finish. It has a medium-full body, syrupy-turning-dry texture, and low carbonation. The complexity is there, especially in the nose, and the taste started out wonderful, but it seemed to go a bit downhill from there. Still good, but not great.

Photo of cbl2
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No best by, but it is a spring seasonal. 22 oz. bottle.

Appearance:

Pours a deep dark crystal clear brown with some ruby highlights. 2 inches of thick tight brown foam sit adrift on top, slowly settling to leave behind a nice lace.

Smell:

Toasted sweet malts with hints of coffee and toffee predominate.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Slightly coarser than desirable, but the flavor compensates big time. A nice mildly sweet toffee/burnt caramel flavor pervades the mouth. Hints of fruit come and go, as does a smoked peat sensation.

Finish is bitter, and syrupy, asking you to drink more. Alcohol is nicely (dangerously) masked. An excellent brew from a brewery that is relatively new to me.

Photo of Gavage
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of Foxman
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of ggaughan
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of Bierman9
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
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

Photo of rajendra82
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of grassrootsVT
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of goindownsouth
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Prosit!

Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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!

Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

Photo of sulldaddy
3.98/5  rDev -1%
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!!

Photo of nomad
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of sublimesipping
4.38/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of pezoids
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of PSUDREW
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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

Photo of WesWes
4.94/5  rDev +22.9%
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.

Photo of rdrummer
3.97/5  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.

Photo of Jarod
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of bierman2000
4.38/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Instigator Doppelbock from Sly Fox Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.