Bourbon Barrel Doppelbock - Hinterland Brewery Restaurant
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
3.06/5 rDev -17.7%
From: Binny's, Lincoln Park, IL
Date: None on bottle (believe this was a late 2012 release)
Glass: Ayinger Celebrator bock glass
Hinterland's Bourbon Barrel Doppelbock is another unfortunate doppelbock to suffer from a barrel aging program that manages to strip most of the life out of it, accentuating only (mostly?) the bourbon and ethanol characters. While this is disappointing, I don't know what the base doppelbock was like going into the barrels, and so while it may have been excellent, I suspect it was fairly average due to the modest bock flavors in this beer. Hinterland's bourbon barrel doppelbock is less of a bourbon-and-ethanol mess than Schmaltz's, but that's not saying too much. Not one I'd pick up again.
Pours a 1.5cm tall head of tan colored foam, made up of small to medium-sized bubbles, yielding a frothy appearance on bottom, sponge-like on top. Head retention is above average at 1.5 minutes, fading to a thick ring around the glass and some small, scattered islands of wispy foam lingering atop the body of the beer. Lacing is present, but minimal, a few medium-sized splotches cling to the sides of the glass. Body is a very dark amber color, with light bringing out orange-brown hues. Carbonation is visible through the transparent body, low in number and activity.
Aroma of modest bourbon and oak character, some melanoidin (caramel-like) sweetness, and hints of chocolate and vanilla. A bit more bland than it sounds, this is still far more nuanced, graceful, and appealing than many other bourbon beers (certainly not a bourbon bomb, like another bourbon-barrel doppelbock I recently tried...)
Dominant flavors are of mellow bourbon and cocoa, with ethanol being close nearby, then some melanoidin characters and licorice. Front of palate is of mellow bourbon and cocoa-on-bread-crusts. Mid-palate is of increased bourbon, reduced cocoa and bread crusts, moderate ethanol, and a bit of licorice and char; makes me forget I'm drinking a doppelbock a little bit, and think I'm drinking a bourbon porter. Back of palate detects an increase in fairly generic sweetness, with ethanol, bourbon, and slightly roasty cocoa also being somewhat prominent. Aftertaste of molasses, bourbon, ethanol, cocoa on bread crusts, and slight licorice.
Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a slightly fizzy (1/5), foamy (3/5), and smooth (1/5) mouthfeel (appearing in that order). Ethanol heat fairly easily felt on the tongue, throat, and in the nostrils, somewhat surprising for a 7.4% beer; I am not impressed. Closes dry, with fairly heavy stickiness clinging to the palate and lips.
11-14-2013 06:44:26 | More by falloutsnow
3.2/5 rDev -14%
First, to Hinterland: take a fucking road trip to New Glarus & get a lesson on how to wax a bottle. I needed seven minutes & three tools to get the stupid thing open. That alone will keep me from buying this, or another waxed Hinterland beer, again, because I'm fucking annoyed before I even peep the beer. Oh, hey, I see other people had this problem, too. 16.9 ounces of well-shaken beer.
Pour is a dull brown with staid red highlights, like a Willmar girl who hasn't been to the salon in too long. Carbonation is quick & done, despite the vigorous handling. Nice dopple nose with caramel, toffee, sweets, & a quick flash of vanilla. Pretty nice.
Bourbon Barrel Dopplebock is as thin as a starving mannequin. Mouthfeel is skeletal, watery & aimless. The base beer is a letdown from the smell: toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, but all washed out & lifeless because of the lack of a backbone. On the plus side, the lack of thrust makes it very easy to drink...perhaps my first session barrel-aged doppelbock.
A big step down from the nose to the mouth, & the base beer appears to be outclassed & pummeled into irrelevance by the barrel: it needs to hit the gym. Overall, just another mediocre beer. But that fucking wax...
02-13-2013 03:38:09 | More by maximum12
3.29/5 rDev -11.6%
16oz bottle with a plain Jane label. This label just has the Hinterland "H" above the name of the beer. The name looks like a stamp on the side of a bourbon barrel. Flanking the names on both sides is the mandatory US information. A bottled date or best before date would have been nice. This must be the new vintage. There was no wax around the cap.
When poured into a Salvator Pilsner glass, the barrel aged beauty was a deep dark cherry amber with a beautiful cherry red center. Toward the bottom of the beer, there was a sprinkle of honey amber. The only thing that could ruin the appearance for me would be the head of foam. Fortunately that wasn't the case with this beer. On top of this beauty was a 1/4 to 1/2 an inch dirty white almost beige colored head of foam. This head of foam had great slow retention. It left behind a long lasting skim of foam and a small number of tiny blots of lace around the glass. My eyes couldn't get enough of this beer.
The appearance needed a separate paragraph. It's a creature all by itself. Everything else can be rolled into one small sentence. This is one weak barrel aged Doppelbock. There I said it. Everything besides the appearance was just lacking. The aroma was mostly bourbon with some muddled chocolate covered nuts, oak, roasted malt, and dark fruits. It was almost the same story with the taste. The taste was all about the bourbon booze with very little chocolate, roasted malt, oak, and dark fruits backing it up. The boozy bourbon took control of this beer and ran with it.
In the end, this is one of those beers where my sense of smell and taste were jealous of my eyes. I saw everything great about this beer. When it came down to the truly important parts, it was a big disappointment. Would I drink it again? Only if I'm in the mood for a bourbon boozy Doppelbock and I'm never in that mood.
08-04-2013 14:16:46 | More by AltBock
3.4/5 rDev -8.6%
Ok, so before reviewing anything, I've got to agree with the other guy who made the comment about the wax. THEY. USED. WAY. TOO. MUCH. The thing took me probably 10 minutes just to get the cap off, and now I've got all these little black wax shavings on my desk. Sure, it's a nice touch, but jesus jones back it down, Hinterland.
As for the beer when I was actually able to pour it...
Appearance: Deep dark copper brown, with maybe a finger of thin white head. Minimal lacing.
Smell: Definitely get a lot of bourbon straight out the gates, followed by the standard barrel smells of vanilla and oak. A little bit of syrupy smell too.
Taste: Less bourbon than the nose, but definitely present. Sweet and malty, but not as flavorful as I'd like. I mean I really like the flavor, but it's a little weak, almost watery.
Mouthfeel: Too thin. The carbonation is fizzy, not rich, and overall it is lacking in body. I think this is the most disappointing part of this beer - it's like I'm drinking a really really tasty Coors Light or something.
Overall: Good, not great. I'd certainly drink it again, but I doubt I'd buy it again for $6 a pint. Although, this might be a really good session beer - you have to spend so much time fiddling with the wax that there's no way you could get hammered on it.
09-28-2012 01:21:16 | More by scones
3.43/5 rDev -7.8%
Ok let's start with the bottle itself... If you want your beer to be enjoyed, make sure you can open it. The wax was so hard and brittle that it took 10 minutes just to chip it away so you could get some leverage on the cap... Then some wax inevitably made it into the beer itself... Unfortunately packaging is not a rating here, but I wanted to voice my opinion.
A - thin dark copper color, clear with a trace of tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.
S - toasted oats, caramel and vanilla... Very sweet, but nicely apparent
T - this reminds me of maple brown sugar oatmeal... The vanilla from the bourbon barrel is up front, with a nice bready backbone. No off flavors here.
M - thin, watery... Would expect something this to be a little thicker in mouthfeel
O - an average doppelbock... I think the bourbon barrel aging plays well, but the base beer was poorly executed
12-14-2012 03:31:21 | More by csiewert
3.43/5 rDev -7.8%
Pours out a dark brown color with two fingers of tan head that lasts for about two minutes, but doesn't leave behind much lacing on the glass. Medium-light body and carbonation levels. As an aside, the bottle had FAR too much wax on it, I really had to struggle with knives for several minutes to chip away enough of it to pop the cap off.
It has a medium dollop of bourbon flavor and aroma to it that seems well balanced with the caramel, toffee, and dark bready malts. Still, it's not quite at the intensity level of bourbon / wood that most other barrel aged beers I've had present. It's an easy-going BBL aged doppelbock, something I had no idea even existed up until now, and I'm not sure I'd seek this one out again when I can access bolder offerings on the shelf at the store for similar price points. And that thinner body is somewhat distracting. What this beer needs to do is maintain the balance levels of it's parts while turning up the volume knob to 8-10. Because right now, it's at 5.
11-16-2012 21:29:13 | More by WastingFreetime
3.46/5 rDev -7%
Appearance- Pours a darkish ruby, I can see the bottom of my glass when I tilt it to the light. Not much head but a small ring that lingers around the edge.
Smell- I get vanilla with mild Carmel at the end. I think the barrel is dominating here.
Taste- Carmel sweetness with a nice vanilla note. I get some wood but that's basically it. Again the barrel completely overwhelms the base.
Mouthfeel- Amazingly thin which makes it an easy beer to drink but also leaves some to be desired.
Overall- Flavor is decent but they could easily up the quality of the base beer and make something special. It is odd drinking something with big barrel notes that is as thin as this. The wax sucked but it wasn't as bad as some were making it out to be.
06-06-2013 23:30:00 | More by Jfriz25
3.48/5 rDev -6.5%
Very nice balance of bourbon flavor and malt .Hinterland has to be the Silkiest doppelbock I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. I'd really like to sip on one these bad boys on a nice fall Sunday at lambeau field. Now I have another reason to go to Green Bay besides watching the packers lose. Really nice beer, give this one a go sometime.
07-28-2013 17:22:04 | More by iLovehops23
Bourbon Barrel Doppelbock from Hinterland Brewery Restaurant
84 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.