Small Batch Series No. 5: Pecan Smoked Doppelbock - Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 8 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by johnnieoz:
3.96/5 rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Hand-written bottling date: 2/19/13
A: Dark auburn with a small off-white crown.
S: Slightly smoky and sweet with a definite bourbon waft to it.
T: Packs a lot of flavors, ranging from dark fruit to smoky goodness, that haven't quite come together yet.
M: Most definitely a doppelbock - light on the palate, going down smoothly, leaving a slight, burning aftertaste.
O: In some ways reminiscent of a good smoked Doppelbock like Schlenkerla's, yet the boubon-barrel-aging gives it an unique touch.
A beer that's great for drinking right now, but the flavors will come together together even better in a year or so. Kudos to Ranger Creek for using this underused style for a special release.
Serving type: bottle
03-24-2013 01:16:43 | More by johnnieoz
More User Reviews:
2.36/5 rDev -36.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5
Bottled 02/19. Batch 13. 375ml brown glass bottle with appealing green label and black wax-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop for $6.99 USD and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery and the series; every beer I've tried in this series has been a letdown. No style (aside from "ale") is indicated on the label, but I'm reviewing it as a doppelbock.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a one finger wide head of pale khaki colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Head retention is below average - about 1 minute. Inconsistent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass the head recedes. Consistency and complexion are a bit wanting.
Body colour is a murky dark brown; very moat-esque. Poor clarity. Lacks vibrance or glow. No floating yeast particles are visible, but I wouldn't call it a clean appearance. It's subpar for a doppelbock.
I'm not particularly excited to try this beer based on the appearance.
Sm: Has a definite smokiness, but it lacks the meaty pork character of a rauchbier. Not ashy or charred either. I definitely couldn't isolate pecan character, but it's a distinct kind of smokiness, sure, and I think it works well here, though there're plenty of metallic off-notes and it seems a bit stale, if not infected. There's also some evident unbecoming acidity. Other than that, all I pick up is a generic maltiness and some caramel..
This beer has a painfully simple aroma littered with off-notes and doesn't feel in any way German in character.
An unpleasant aroma of average strength.
No yeast character, alcohol, or hop character is detectable.
T: The smoke is actually quite timid, and some of the pecan wood comes through - which is lovely. Unfortunately, the doppelbock build is lackluster. I don't get a distinct German vibe from this flavour profile, and the malt choices seem all wrong. I pick up caramel, brown malts, metallic notes, some bland bready malts, and some medicinal character. There's also a hint of artificial fruit extract/syrup which some might find cough syrup-esque.
It's a chaotic mess of a flavour profile and lacks cohesion. It's in no way subtle or intricate. The off-flavours really hold this beer back. Below average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.
This flavour profile never comes together, and overall the beer lacks the rich complexity and subtle yeasty notes of the best doppelbocks. Pecan smoking is an interesting approach, but the execution is way off.
Mf: Astringent, gushed fairly harsh, coarse, and dry. Stale. Basically, it's completely wrong for a doppelbock, though it does have decent body and thickness. Overall presence on the palate is poor, and the texture doesn't complement or accentuate the taste. Poor execution.
Not oily or hot.
Dr: Ranger Creek continues to disappoint. I'm not sure why some of these small batch beers even make it to market; I guess it's because they sell to chumps like me even though they're low quality. This is difficult to drink on account of its lack of redeeming attributes and I'd caution friends and trade partners against trying it. That said, I guess it hides its ABV decently. The discerning doppelbock drinker will find nothing of interest here. Move along.
Serving type: bottle
02-24-2014 05:14:57 | More by kojevergas
4.68/5 rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
First impressions. This is a nicely presented bottle before you even open it. The wax sealing is a nice touch implying that this is something really special. The description is also extremely tempting. This humbly labeled Pecan Smoked Dobblebock that is aged in bourbon barrels is an impressive attempt before you even get to the beer itself.
The pour is beautiful. This beer is a very rich and cloudy beer that is the color of black coffee with a nice thick tan head that settles slowly leaving some decent lacing. I would rate the appearance as perfect.
The nose is nice as well with sweet malt, fruit, subtle hops and hints of coriander, nutmeg, bread and bananas. My first impressions make me think of a banana nut bread and beer when I smell this one. The bourbon is definitely there but very well blended with the complexity and does not stand out as dominant.
The mouthfeel is rich and not watery. This beer has a mouthfeel that matches the nose and the pour nicely. I think this is just right for what they were trying to achieve. BRAVO!
Overall I really like this beer. It is fantastic in complexity of flavors and appearance. A bold attempt at a smoked beer in a style that is very unique and difficult to master. This beer is a testament to the skill of the brew-master and team that put this recipe together. An excellent job that is befitting the spirit of Texas!
Serving type: bottle
10-20-2013 20:54:21 | More by AtrumAnimus
4.1/5 rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Dark brown (near black pour). Barely a head, nice body.
Smells like sweet toasty brandy, some pineapple/ coconut milk, cotton candyish.
Tastes really good up front with a sweet bourbon bite, with a surprisingly fizzy carbonation. The bite escalates right off the bat, nearing an apex of near metallic flavoring. However, after the initial sip, it balances out for me and the taste im left with is a cherry/ cough syrup flavored, smokey yet sweet malty, aspirin/ smarties-candy flavor that seems more than the 7.5 abv listed by this site . Interesting, and certainly complex. It looks bottled for aging, yet i dont think i'd bother cellaring a beer of this lower a strength. I'm drinking this 2 and a half months after the signed bottle date of 2/20/13. I can see where this beer could be either a big hit, a big miss, or somewhere in between (in other words anywhere) among craft beer drinkers. For me it just works.
Serving type: bottle
10-06-2013 01:24:40 | More by TBoneJones
Small Batch Series No. 5: Pecan Smoked Doppelbock from Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
84 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.