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Pontificator - Karbach Brewing Co.

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very good

68 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 9
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%

Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co. visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: champ103 on 02-18-2012)
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 9 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ExaltedNecrosis


4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

32 oz half growler poured into oversized Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark brown / mahogany with hints of dark ruby. There is a substantial creamy light brown head, about 2-3 fingers.

S - Smells like caramel, smoke, and bready malt.

T - Just what I've come to love about doppelbocks. This is full of sweet caramel, thick smoke, biscuit, molasses, and sweet bread. The sweetness is tempered by the smokiness and the combo is just right.

M - Moderate-to-thick body with moderate carbonation. The feel is a bit on the sticky side. Good aftertaste of smokiness and caramel.

O - One of the better doppelbocks I've had. Great amount of smokiness gives it a little extra dimension with the sweet caramel and bready malts. One I will be getting again, thanks Karbach!

Serving type: growler

03-26-2014 03:38:37 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Good looking beer, dark ruby with little tinges of orange that peek through just on the edges, but otherwise quite dark, with a nice brown head and sticky lacing.

Aroma is right off the bat smoky, and the smokiness remains throughout the beer as it's foremost quality. However, there is balance, and other flavors and aromas are present. Sweet brown sugar, a little dark fruit, maybe a touch of root beer, and a biscuit-malty base round out what's a quite tasty brew.

I'm not getting much in the way of hops, but I'm also not looking for a west-coast IPA when I buy a smoked dopplebock. Hops have their place, and blasting this beer with hops would have been a mistake. I think they gave it pretty good balance for the style.

The body is thick and chewy and you need a knife and fork to drink it. Sweet and smoky is the finish, with a little lingering smoke, but as the beer warms the sweetness starts to move towards the front of its flavor profile.

Whether this should be a dopplebock or a smoked beer might not be completely clear, but I'm ok with dopplebock as the sweetness is pretty notable despite the smoke. Also, smoke-heads might want even more smokiness (I think the level is fine tho).

Overall Karbach has been doing a great job in getting my repeat business. Hard to say which is my favorite, but it's probably hopadillo IPA, which I just realize I have glaringly forgotten to review, despite having it quite a few times. That'll get fixed right soon. Good job on this one guys.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 02:23:40 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of Rifugium


3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Darker brown color, slightly hazy, with a finger or so of off-white head that receded to a ringlet, lacing the glass. In the nose, smoked ham (I'm guessing cherrywood-smoked malts here?), cocoa, dark sugars; kind of clashy. Taste of burnt caramel, cocoa, smoked ham and bacon, birch beer, rum raisin, and a bit of tea-like astringency in the finish. Just kind of messy. Medium body, uncomfortable mouthfeel. Not entirely bad, but I wouldn't be able to do a whole bottle myself, that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 01:13:46 | More by Rifugium
Photo of superspak


4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with icetrauma. 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but likely bottled this year. Pours lightly hazy very dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big caramel, chocolate, toast, toffee, biscuit, molasses, dark bread, raisin, prune, wood smoke, ham, roast, light nuttiness, and toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/toasted malt and smoke notes with moderate dark fruits; and good strength. Taste of big caramel, chocolate, toast, toffee, biscuit, molasses, dark bread, wood smoke, roast, light nuttiness, raisin, prune, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, toast, toffee, biscuit, molasses, dark bread, wood smoke, roast, nuttiness, raisin, prune, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark/toasted malt flavors with moderate smoke and dark fruits; with big robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent smoked doppelbock style! Awesome all around complexity and balance of dark/toasted malt flavors with smoke and dark fruit; and very robust and smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 03:56:03 | More by superspak
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark copper in color. Beige tan head.

A lot of smoked malts. Bacon flavors. Chocolate and roast. Some molasses flavors. Very rich. Dark fruits muddled in.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. A nice texture.

Very non traditional dopple, but I enjoyed it. Pretty heavy.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2013 20:45:01 | More by mothman
Photo of jaymesbawned


4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at the Hay Merchant.

Never had a smoked doppelbock before, but I have like smoked beers, and loved doppelbocks, so I figured I should give this a try. This one works out very nicely. As stated in a previous review, smokeheads will be dissappointed. Not an overwhelming amount in this beer. Very well balanced smoke and biscuit flavors. Really enjoyed this one!

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2012 15:23:05 | More by jaymesbawned
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brown with 2 fingers fluffy tan head, lots of lacing

S - smokey, caramel, sweet malts, light hint of hops

T - very smoked flavor, sweet, slightly fruity - this is delicious

M - very smooth flowing, the smoked taste is not overwhelming which makes it a nice session beer

O - as far as smoked beers go, this is great. i've only had one that was better than this, and that was at the yard's brewery when we did the BBQ competition this past summer. it's also hard to tell the amount of alcohol on this, which can be dangerous - it tastes very sweet and is easy to drink. had i not read the abv on here, i'd be hammered by 9am!

Serving type: growler

02-28-2012 12:56:55 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of lnashsig


3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Petrol Station. Poured a half pint glass. Pours a dark brown but pretty transparent color. Toward the bottom of the glass, light seeps through leaving a cola-ish appearance. Smell- a touch of smoke, tea leaves, mocha chocolate. Taste- some real complexity here. I get some nice liquorice, chocolate, campfire smoke, cola, dark tea leaves, and some nice hop bitterness on the end. A nice beer from up and comer Karbach, very solid work

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2012 21:46:56 | More by lnashsig
Photo of champ103


4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hay Merchant in Houston, TX. This is a smoked Dopplebock.

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights around the edges. A two finger beige head forms and sticks around a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Toasted malts up front. Sweet caramel and chocolate. Smoke is light but is noticeable towards the end. Very well balanced.
T: Follows the nose. A nice sweetness of caramel malts up front. Toasted malts and smoke meat lingers. Not a full on smoke bomb, but really well balanced.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Really easy and enjoyable to drink. The balance is what works so well here.

Smoke heads might be a little disappointed with this because the smoke is not up front and center. Though I think it is really well balance, which makes this very enjoyable. I would recommend this.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2012 21:55:53 | More by champ103
Pontificator from Karbach Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.