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Navigator Dopplebock (Brandy Barrel Aged) - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Navigator Dopplebock (Brandy Barrel Aged)
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.51%


Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Floydster on 10-29-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 33 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Slater's 50/50 (Liberty Station), on to the beer:

This one arrived with plenty of anticipation, but lots of booze in the beers character took the beer down a few levels. The russet brown color with solid head retention was fine. The nose was fumes of alcohol mixed with lots of malt and raisins. It didn't quite have the super high level of booze as the aroma; there's enough of the body, consisting of raisins, touches of brandy, and some sweet bread, to overcome the booze. Nearly full bodied and boozy. It's alright, not what I had hoped I would taste. Good thing I stayed away from flammmable objects afterwards.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2012 03:02:54 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at tapestry in philly

Pours a semi-clear cherry/caramel color with some slight haze in the glass. Fluff of off-white head rests on top, leaving patches of lacing behind while retaining through some of the pour.

Stiff scents of brandy soaked wood and alcohol induced sweetness. Touches of cherry and raisin with some burnt sugar. Nice malt hints with a touch of vanilla.

Begins with dark fruits and raisin on the tongue. The barrel character is potent, but well integrated, mixing in vanilla and brandy with dark fruits and sugar. Touches of caramel and molasses flow into the malt backbone. Finishes boozy and warm with some lingering sweetness.

Decent medium body, well carbonated, slick and smooth on the tongue. Drinks really nicely, one of my favorite BP barrel aged offerings thus far.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2012 22:35:14 | More by xnicknj
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Here we go...

Beautiful clear maroon body with a still, flat cap. Looks light for a doppelbock, but it could be the tumbler.

Mild aromas. Bock smells. Dark bread, fruity yeast elements, some barrel (I believe the brandy).

There's a ton of oak in the forefront. Big brandy with residual sugars and poppyseed roll. Bready, beastly with booze, and big on caramel. Bigger flavor, smaller complexity. A little overdone.

Medium-heavy body. Medium-light carb. Terribly boozy for 8%.

I loves me a brandy-barrel aged ale, but this one was huge when it didn't need to be. Still worth ordering when ya see it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2012 02:10:18 | More by thecheapies
Photo of radioscooter
radioscooter

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 4 oz sampler of this at Bocktown.

This is by far my favorite offering from Ballast Point thus far.

Was excited by the idea of a brandy-aged Dopplebock.

Appearance and smell are all is as it should be. Medium, nutty tea brown tone, minimal head. Came out of the tap too cold to really give off a strong smell, but what's there is good.

Nice, round mouthfeel. Smooth.

Taste is vanilla, malty, doppelbock with a bit more booze from the brandy taste. The brandy is discernible but not enough to kill or negatively impact the bock taste, which is forward as it should be. Way less of a malt bomb than I expected.

There's a slight aftertaste, that I'm thinking is due to it being draft. It has a little bit if that 'on-tap' thing that brings the preservative taste up front. I suspect it would be absent with a bottle version.

Worth a taste for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 17:58:16 | More by radioscooter
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ballast Point : Navigator (Brandy Barrel Aged)

Pours a ruby brown color with off white, short livid head. In the aroma, brown sugar, molasses, brandy and malt sweetness. In the taste, vanilla, sugary malts, maple, vague suggestions of dark fruit, alcohol and brandy. Everything is well balanced, though there is little hop flavor beneath all of the complexities from the barrel aging. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth and adequate carbonation. Overall, a tasty treat, and not so often do you find brandy barrel aged dopplebocks.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 17:37:38 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ballast Point's Barrel Aged Day

A: Dark brown color with a 1/2 finger tan foam head.

S: I spent a while trying to figure out what it was that I was smelling. I guess it was brandy, but I got a lot of dark fruit and grape bubblegum. Kind of a strange smell but not entirely off-putting.

T: The taste was a little on the weak side with a good amount of brandy and some fairly muted malty notes. I feel like the brandy overwhelmed the beer a touch in this one. Still, not bad at all.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2011 00:32:26 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Notes from San Diego trip.

A- Dark brown ale poured from the tap. A silky tan ring forms atop the beer but no real head. Lack of lace entirely.

S- Brandy bomb, a ton of plum/dark fruit brandy notes fly off the beer. Like something I would cook with. Sweet juicy, fruit brandy. Very strong aroma.

T- A bit more balanced with the actual beer flavors here. Again a ton of brandy though with brown sugar, banana and nutty hints backing it.

MF- Silky thick body with alcohol warmth. Sweet overall feel.

Brandy bomb with big dark plum notes throughout, it really picked up a lot from the barrel. Somewhat hidden Doppelbock backbone.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2011 23:53:05 | More by cbutova
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood - served in a snifter.

Dark taupe (? - it's pitch black in this bar) body with a lasting finger of creamy film. Thick soapy lacing, nice retention.

Brandy is sharp in the nose - tons of candied fruit, plums, figs, etc.

The flavor follows the nose closely with dark fruit, moderate bitterness, substantial heat, and a malty finish all well integrated though the barrel takes over a bit.

Creamy, medium-bodied, a touch oily.

Really lacks the rich maltiness I associate with the style, and is devoid of melanoidins. Tasty none-the-less...so it's difficult to downgrade too much for missing style notes.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2011 23:31:23 | More by augustgarage
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Oakquinox

A: The pour is a fairly dark amber color with a slight murkiness and a small off-white head.

S: Fair amount of brandy aroma with a nice dark fruit character. Sweet malt notes of caramel and toffee and a little bit of breadiness. There is a hint of boozy warmth, but some good vanilla and oak.

T: Nice brandy flavor with a touch of fruitiness to the beer. Some darker fruits like plums and black cherries, and sweet caramel malts. Oak and vanilla add a good flavor to the beer and enhance the brandy character.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: I haven't had the best luck with Ballast Point barrel aged beers, but this was pretty solid.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2011 03:57:58 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a chocolate brown color with a small airy tan head that quickly dissipates into nothingness. No residual head to speak of. The aroma is of a sweet malt, some candied cherries, some honey and pepper. Not as strong as I would have expected. The taste is much deeper than the aroma. A woody dark malt combines with some carob and chocolate notes. There is a candied dark fruit sweetness, mostly cherry or grape. The is a slight touch of a band aid alcohol vapor presence from the brandy barrel. The feel is light but not watery with prickly carbonation; sweet throughout on the palate with a bit of a belly burn from the ABV. This is a very tasty dopplebock, though it seems to be a bit thin and the abv needs some mellowing.

Note: The feel thickened as it warmed which helped give the brew a more robust feel and the head had some staying power, though still not a great appearance.

Serving type: growler

12-06-2010 00:40:25 | More by Gmann
Photo of kflorence
kflorence

California

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at URBN Pizza in North Park (San Diego, CA). A bit steep at $8 a glass, but at least it lived up to it's price tag!

A: Poured a dark, opaque brown (almost black) in color with a lovely inch of frothy, tan foam sitting on top. It was served in a goblet and looked very appealing.

S: One of the better smelling beers out there. You can definitely detect the brandy on the nose, but there is also a sweet malty overtone, some roast, dark fruits and a chocolate confection twang. On first sniff I would say almost a desert beer, but not quite. Brandy, alcohol and other deeper notes become more prominent as the beer warms.

T: Very pleasantly surprised at the flavor and balance of this beer. I expected it to be overly heavy and perhaps even a bit too strong for my tastes, but I was pleased to see that it was overall very enjoyable. You get the sweetness of the brandy without the astringent alcohol flavor, and it meshes very well with the malty, dark fruity and roasted backbone of a doppelbock. The original was very solid, but I think I might like this one a bit more.

M: Great body and carbonation levels in this one. Not overly syrupy, but definitely on the medium-heavy side. Very smooth.

D: While this is definitely a dark, higher ABV beer, it goes down surprisingly easy and isn't brutal on the stomach. Went great with the pizza, too.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2010 00:43:02 | More by kflorence
Photo of rtepiak
rtepiak

Poland

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a beer that is for certain the end of the night. if beer is the deluded malty verision of hard liquor this is the evidence. this beer tastes and has the consistency of something that sat in brandy for long periods of time. nose is brown liquor. something that is about 12 percent but actually 8. not particularly warm though. nose is literally nothing but brandy... the palate is sort of warm and molasses. it is more brandy palate than doppelbock. great quality as a lager but the lager is deeply hidden.

this is the perfect autumn cooked duck beer. carmelized squash, apple, and the likes of autumn fare. some nutmeg would make it a pumpkin ale its so malt oriented.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2010 06:49:05 | More by rtepiak
Photo of afksports
afksports

New York

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad this one is still on tap at Washington Commons. (Where I'm five days from mayor, William G!).

Poured heady, but has little head retention, excellent lacing, nice deep amber/red appearance that looks dark as he'll in this dimly lit bar. Smell has hints of brandy- but I would disagree that it's dominating. Also oak and malts. Taste had a typical doppelbock rich and creaminess, and includes a biting sweetness of brandy with it. Pretty exceptional. Mouthfeel is medium to thick - sticks with style. Highly drinkable- you don't notice the alc and the sweetness makes it fun.

I'll come back for more, Washington Commons!

Update: End of glass sweetness overwhelming, toning down drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2010 01:16:08 | More by afksports
Photo of Kaiser81
Kaiser81

California

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Half pint at the Old Grove brewery location

A - Dark muddy brown with plum highlights. There is minimal head, and some nice lacing is left on my glass.

S - Brandy is noticeable, in fact, it kind of dominates the beer. I feel it's kind of one dimensional, as I can't get much else on the smell.

T - Malts and brandy blend nicely, but the brandy continues to dominate. There are nice floral notes on the finish.

M - Cab is nice, maybe slightly above medium. There's a nice heavy body with a nice and smooth finish.

D - Probably better than the original version, but not too much.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2010 00:48:11 | More by Kaiser81
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, cloudy ruby color with a small off white head.

Scent of fruity raspberries, cherries, apples, sugar, caramel, port, chocolate truffles, and a hint of alcohol. A complex and fruity aroma with enough alcohol to keep it from being too much.

Taste of vanilla, oak, smoke, earth, light spice, raspberry, and a hint of chocolate truffle. Less fruity and more dry than the aroma; complex, rich and robust.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and oily with a lightly pinching finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 18:36:35 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Ryan for this gem, a 22oz bomber from CBX.

Pours a deep, clear copper with a small creamy tan head that recedes quickly to a collar and leaves spotty lacing.

The aroma is as good as I've smelled for the style. The brandy character adds a perfect boozy, oaky edge to the underlying caramel malts, chocolate and dark fruits.

Holy smokes, the taste is as good as the aroma. So big and complex for a doppelbock. Chocolate covered cherries, caramel malts, smoke and then, whack, the brandy barrel just leaves the palate with an alcohol burn and woody dryness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and super smooth with good carbonation - alcohol, wood, sweet stickiness, all together.

I have to say that this one just blew me away. The brandy barrel really adds to the complexity and this is honestly one of the best doppelbocks I've ever had. World class.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 03:13:48 | More by gford217
Photo of aholzer33
aholzer33

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first review, so naturally it had to be a brandy barrel aged Doppelbock, right!

A: 22oz. Bomber poured into a pint glass. Deep cherry mahogany. Cloudy, looks very intriguing and delicious.

S: The aroma is of a sweet cherry chocolate nectar with a hint of hard liquor smell. Intense aroma, but incredibly appealing

T: I didn't know what to expect from this beer. I though it was going to overpower my palate, but it goes down a lot smoother than I expected. Perfectly sweet and alcoholic balance. Brings that wonderful full flavor from a doppelbock and is so well complimented by the sweetness of the brandy. One the most delightful tastes I've received from any beer.

M: Wet, cold, smooth, everything I want from beer.

D: Only a four because it is such an intense flavor. Definitely not a beer I could drink all night. But one I would love to drink many more times for sure

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 04:39:05 | More by aholzer33
Photo of JISurfer
JISurfer

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm glad I sprung the extra cash for this one. Purchased a 22oz growler from CBE. I was told it was def a sipping beer, something that will take a little while to enjoy. Spot on. If you swill this, your wasting it. Not sure why you'd want to though. It's got so much going on, but it all works together fairly well.

The smell is rich and syrupy. Kind of a worchestshire, smoke, and light brandy. The warmer it gets, the more the different smells come out.

Taste was again syrupy, but also had a bitter sweet taste of dark fruits, ie plums and raisins. Still though, a little hint of the brandy in the finish.

Maybe one of the best beers I've had when it comes to mouthfeel. It completely coats your mouth and destroys everything in it's path. I like that you get the different tastes as it slides down your throat.

Very drinkable, but also very thick. It's a perfect beer for those cold winter nights in Charleston, when it dips down to 40.

If you have the chance to try this, do not pass it up. It's well worth the money.

Serving type: growler

01-23-2010 05:41:26 | More by JISurfer
Photo of HeyItsChili
HeyItsChili

China

3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought from the Charleston Beer Exchange in a 22oz bomber specially bottled.

A - Dark, dark amber reminiscent of thick maple syrup. Extremely faint white head tops it off.

S - Dark, caramelized brown sugars mixing with a potent brandy sweet-pungent aroma.

T - The taste is sort of represented in graph form as a valley of sweetness/length of tasting. At first it seems pretty caramelly sweet, then dips into more powerful ABV territory, only to really blend into a more powerful sweetness with some really powerful alcoholic strength behind it.

M - A smidge sticky, a bit more than full bodied, really coats the mouth. Too gloppy and syrupy for the sweetness found here, IMO.

Serving type: growler

01-21-2010 05:58:11 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft @ Ballast Point Linda Vista on 11/9/09 during their "Beer Meets Wood" event. Part of San Diego Beer Week.

Pours a very deep amber, with a medium covering of mocha colored foam. This peters out pretty quickly, leaving just the lighest amount of lacing behind. The aroma is quite malty in the nose overall, with plenty of cocoa and caramel being present. The brandy pulls up hard though in the backend of the profile, along with some strong oaky tannic character.

The taste starts with a strong sweetness (along with citric hop notes) from the Doppelbock, that splashes the tongue. The brandy flavor doesn't seem quite as strong at it did in the aroma, but then, yeah, it kicks ass big time in the finish of this, ending warm, sweet, and sticky, with an strong emerging dryness. The brandy actually seems to dominate the taste a bit too much. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a more bubbly feel in the mouth. Most of the warmth that is felt here, seems to be coming from that dominate brandy flavor.

Yeah, just a bit too overpowering with the brandy here but I was glad that the aroma was fairly balanced and the drinkibility of this remained good despite the heavy flavors. Another nice treat from Ballast Point.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2009 18:16:09 | More by Kegatron
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hamilton's in San Diego, then again at the Bistro Barrel Aged Fest in Hayward. Oh, -bal aging, how you change a beer from something ordinary to something beer geeks will damn near kill for. A lot of people raved over this one. I thought it was a bit overdone personally.

Dark brown color with a medium sized tan head.

Aroma is dark fruits, caramel, licorice, and brandy. It really does smell great, that's for sure.

Flavor is caramel malt, raisin, and prune, vinous notes along with a huge brandy presence. A little too strong in my opinion. I'm docking this a bit on the score because I think the essence of the style is somewhat lost in the brandy barrel aging. This barrel stuff is a little overdone sometimes.

Palate is medium-full and smooth but a bit boozy.

Drinkability is pretty good despite the strong brandy presence, somehow.

EDIT: Had some notes from the Bistro fest that I failed to take into account earlier. This beer was a lot smoother this time - maybe a week of extra aging helped? Red wine, caramel, toffee, and vanilla stand out a lot more this time compared to before. Great dark fruits and caramel on the aroma. Brandy not as intense. Increasing rating accordingly.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2009 22:53:40 | More by nickd717
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank a bunch of this on tap with HopHead84 at Ballast Point's Homebrew Mart. He said this batch is different from previous incarnations, less brandy-dominated and more balanced. Whatever the case, this beer was phenomenal.

Pours a reddish-amber, dark but very clear and topped by a light tan head.

Brandy sweetness is prominent in the aroma, caramelly and lightly vinous. The doppelbock shines through, in perfect harmony with the bold barrel character. The German lager yeast is surprisingly noticeable beneath all the intense brandy, malt and fruitiness. There's very little heat from the barrel, just a mellow brandy aroma.

Evenly balanced between brandy barrel and fruity, chocolatey doppelbock flavors. Dark fruit meets sweet grapes and caramel. The barrel lends light tannins and a hint of vanilla. Medium-light bodied, surprisingly crisp and not at all heavy, this is complex but very drinkable. Finishes semi-dry with a sturdy hop bitterness and a hint of oak.

It's a shame this beer doesn't get around more, it's one of Ballast Point's better offerings that I've tried.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2009 22:59:29 | More by largadeer
Photo of jgap
jgap

California

4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taster at the home brew mart. Pours a light brown with a little lace that fades to nothing. Smell is huge brandy. Lots and lots of brandy followed by a strong sweetness. Taste is sweet up front followed by a boozy brandy, VERY boozy. This lingers for a while and fades back into the sweetness of ripe fruit, dried prunes, and caramel. little carbonation but great mouthfeel. Great taste- wonderful beer! One of the most drinkable barrel aged beers I've had and one of the best smelling beers I've ever encountered

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2009 21:32:38 | More by jgap
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
NittanyBeerFan

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was honestly surprised that there was still some of this on tap at Teresa's today when I stopped in to pick up some other stuff for a trade. I had tried the Barrel Aged Sea Monster and Victory at Sea during the Ballast Point Brunch, and I was lucky enough to happen upon another opportunity to try this phenomenal brew.

Poured into a 10.5 oz tulip that flares outwards at the top. Dark dark brown, nearly black. I can tell that it isn't black though, because I can make out a ruby hue around the edges. Head disappears in seconds to non-existant, and there is no lacing.

Smell brings tons of sweet malts in the smell. Dark fruits...plums, dates, figs...also brandy, vanilla, and an abundance of toffee.

Vanilla and toffee are immediately evident and abundant, as the smell would lead on. These flavors combine beautifully with the brandy flavors to complement the rich malty flavor of the doppelbock base. The dark malts pull in the fruits and caramel flavors. Alcohol sneaks its way into the swallow, and even though it is discrete, you can tell that this beer is stacked. My description really doesn't do this justice. The complexities of this beer are like nothing I have experienced before. I can't tell if it is just the flavor combination, or the fact that there is SO much going on in this beer.

Smooth and crisp with a light tingle from carbonation. Body is medium to heavy, but the alcohol makes it feel heavier. Overall, a delectable beer with great complexity, and it is one that I definitely enjoyed drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2009 02:37:52 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of AltBock
AltBock

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After drinking the disastrous regular Navigator a few weeks ago, I decided to try the Brandy Barrel Aged version with an open mind. I was able to try this rare Ballast Point barrel aged beer on tap during Teresa's Next Door infamous Ballast Point promo on 6/28/2009. Before anybody gets mad, I'm reviewing this beer from my notes made that day and not from my memory from one week ago. If I did that, then I would be wrong. Teresa's served this beer to me in a long steamed 10.5 oz. tulip.

From a distance, this barrel aged Doppelbock looks to be dark chocolate black color, but when held into the light directly above the bar, this beer showed me that it was more of a dark cranberry red color then just another black colored beer. If I had to choose, I would probably still stick with the cranberry red color than the fake black color that this beer had in the beginning. On top of this dark red colored brew was a decent ½ an inch off white colored head of foam. This head of foam had fast retention that left behind a tiny off white colored string of rings along the sides and surprisingly no spots or streaks of lace around the glass. It was pretty much a slightly above average Doppelbock appearance. I thought the head of foam could have been better, but I know I can't have everything in life.

I couldn't stand the aroma in the beginning! Every time I took a whiff, I turned my head in disgust. This aroma was that of a wet dog soaked in salt water. If you ever been to an aquarium before, take that salt water scent and mix in wet dog fur. I honestly couldn't stand it! When this beer really warms up toward the bottom of the glass, that aroma finally subsides and in comes some sweet roasted malts, a hint of charred oak, a gentle touch of Brandy, a speck of sweet caramel, and a subtle whiff of dark fruits at the finish line. As you can tell, this aroma would have been a lot better if that wet dog aroma never showed up. I'm still trying to figure out how that aroma was even in there because the glass wasn't even cold. It boggles the mind!

Luckily, there wasn't any of that dog soaked in salt water in the taste. Instead, this Doppelbock was on the sweet side of things with sweet roasted malts sitting right in the driver's seat. Behind the malts was a hint of caramel and toffee, a dash of brown sugar, a splash of oak, a dark fruit or two, and then this sweet Doppelbock finishes up with some alcohol warmth which was more than likely caused by the subtle taste of Brandy. In case you can't wrap your lips around this beer, all you do is take a sweet American Doppelbock and add in some oak and Brandy. That's all you do!

This was a medium bodied sweet Doppelbock with a good level of carbonation and an aftertaste of sweet roasted malts, a hint of caramel, a tiny speck of toffee, and a gentle touch of oak and Brandy. I could feel a little bit of the alcohol trying to break through, but it's really not all that noticeable. Don't get use to the aftertaste because it doesn't stick for too long.

If there's one thing you need to know about this beer is that you really need let this beer warm up quite a bit before you put your nose to this beer or even taste it. I wasn't impressed with the regular Navigator, but I was pleased with the Brandy barrel aged version. It was still a bit too sweet, but the brandy and oak made for a nice touch. If you ever see this on tap, you should get a glass of this beer because I fully doubt you'll see this rare barrel aged beer anytime soon.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2009 03:05:12 | More by AltBock
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Navigator Dopplebock (Brandy Barrel Aged) from Ballast Point Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.