Sled Dog Dopplebock - Wagner Valley Brewery

Not Rated.
Sled Dog DopplebockSled Dog Dopplebock

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BA SCORE
84
good

102 Reviews
THE BROS
79
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 102
Hads: 178
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 9.7%
Wants: 6
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wagner Valley Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 102 | Hads: 178
Photo of John
4.78/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The "Best of NY" in April 2002 at TAP NY. Every attribute is solid across the board with this fine brew. Rich chocolatey/amber color. Great balance of sweetness, roasted malt and hops. Had it fresh on tap at the brewery, which btw, is a cool place with a view on their deck overlooking Seneca Lake that rivals even that of Andechs. I recommend a visit to anyone in the upstate NY area. Outstanding doppelbock. 8.5% abv. (419 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.52/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: deep brown with a thin head.

Nose: malty sweet, nutmeg and allspice

Taste: sweet, complex and spicy, very very small hop finish

Mouthfee: thick and creamy

I really enjoied this beer. It is an excellent doppelbock that is great for cold nights with a rich bowl of beef stew. (314 characters)

Photo of johnniemarg
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rust colored and a little cloudy. Very little head that disappeared quickly, yet the carbonation at the top, consiting of tiny uniform bubbles and a frothy ring around the glass, is appealing. No lacing.

Smells like sasparilla (sp?), toffee and a little bit of alcohol. Truly smells like candy.

It does taste a lot like sasparilla with a smooth strong toffee malt body throughout and the alcohol is also present. As it taste it more I think I can make out some black licorice. This is really tasty. Although it is a german style, I don't think I've had a german dobblebock (or Maibock) with quite this much malt flavor and thickness. The 8.50% abv is a bit low for a barelywine, but I'd say it has a lot of the characteristics of a barleywine.

This is a thick, creamy, almost chewy beer.

This is an awesome brew. A couple of these will make you feel really good. I last had it at their brewery on Seneca Lake, near Ithaca, NY about 7 months ago, but I don't get the pleasure of drinking this beer as often as I'd like. The brewery is also a vineyard and it is situated on one of the most beautiful pieces of land I've ever seen. They have a huge outdoor deck where you can sit and drink pitchers or pints of their beers while looking across and up and down the lake. It seems like you can see for 50 miles in every direction. The sky seems to go on forever. I'm thinking about that view as I taste this and I'm dreaming of going back this summer and hopefully sharing a pitcher of this with a friend. I suggest you do the same. And certainly try this if you can find it. (1,583 characters)

Photo of Thrasher
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has received some mixed reviews, which should be your first tip-off that something beyond the ordinary is going on here. I could criticize this beer for lacking some of the spicy, zesty hops that most German doppels posess. Also the mouthfeel is crisp, clean and refreshing, instead of sticky and cloying like most German dopps. Furthermore, the flavor is roasty and alive, instead of being the sweet, caramelized, austere, wood-varnish, difficult-to-finish, cloy-fest that many other doppelbocks are. Maybe I'm being harsh on the style in general, but this is a damn good beer! Forget style connotations, do yourself a favor, and enjoy. There's a maple-syrup/brown-sugar forest vibe oozing from the brew (makes sense since this brew comes from the coniferous northern climes of this fair land), and the yeast is magnificent: alive, fruity, robust, healthful. Anyway I should just say, simply: I really like this beer. Any extraneous exuberance or verbiage can be attributed solely to the 8.5% (1,003 characters)

Photo of NEhophead
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle.

Semi-fizzy, yet creamy tan head that fades to a thin, creamy sheet that remains until the final sip. Some thin and condensed lacing with average strength. Deep mahogany/ ruby red in color. Some sediment and noticeable carbonation present.

Plum, cherry, fig, and light oak aromas. A light, yet bold-smelling toasted malt character. A bit of an alcohol aroma as well.

Plum and cherry fruit flavors engulfed by a caramelized malt character. Alcohol presence is evident. A light coffee component meshes quite well with the dark fruit flavors. Sweet but not overpowering. A raisin, plum, and oak aftertaste. Great tasting and extremely complex.

Full bodied yet not too heavy on the palate. The carbonation does a good job in lightening up this lager.

Pretty drinkable given the 8.5% abv. Great tasting version of the style! I was left surprised and impressed by this guy. Worth a try IMO. (921 characters)

Photo of etho1416
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the best dopplebocks I have ever had. The only thing is that it must be bought in the 12 ounce bottles. Almost all the 750ml bottles I have bought from wagner have been flat. I have never had a problem with the 12 ounce though.
The color is a nice dark amber. The alochol content is pretty high but their is no harsh alcohol taste. It is sweet, but not to sweet. There is a little chocolate taste but not to much. It is has a medium body and is quite drinkable. (478 characters)

Photo of tlinner
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Starts off underwhelming. Didn't even tip the glass when I poured, and it didn't really come close to overflowing. In other words: very weak head, and little lacing. However, the smell is big and malty, with sweet caramel and dried fruit dominating. The taste is pure doppelbock; bready malt, caramel, nuts, and dark fruit, with a bit of a sharp bitter aftertaste. I really liked this one, and the cherry on top? It was brewed just twenty minutes from where I grew up in the Seneca Lake. (487 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A deep garnet color with a two finger head that has impressive retention and leaves a slightly patchy, but very large ring of lacing. There are some large bubbles which form on the sides and bottom of the glass.

S - Strong and smooth caramel malt aroma with a hint of pepper. I wish this were stronger.

T - Foretaste is of sweet caramel and smokey bourbon oak with a bit of mild white pepper. The aftertaste is mostly of bourbon barrel oak, a bit of candied sugars and a hint of maple syrup, but there is also still a hint of mild pepperiness. There is an extremely faint medicinal character (which stands out more toward room temp), but it is a very minor feature and is the only reason this didn't get a five. Quite delicious.

M - Smooth, extremely thick and very refreshing. The carbonation makes its presence known a bit too much.

D - Fantastic. I could drink this everyday. It is a bit sweet, but an ideal dessert beer. Would go perfectly with unspiced meat dishes, particularly lamb. (1,005 characters)

Photo of wailingwench
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Eye Candy: Dark brown with garnet red edges. Light clears it up, but still ruddy red. Thin hot chocolate-like head on the edges, thin in the center. Some lacing. Looks thick and complex.

The Nose Knows: Fruity beginning with Oktoberfest-ish toasted malts. Rich and deep. Hint of cocoa. Detectable alcohol esters.

Tongueland: Medium m/f, smooth and creamy m/f. No carbonation.Initial plum/raisin taste, creamy toffee and vanilla middle, finishes sweet with a slight hop bitterness that is barely detectable.

Bender Factor: At 8.5 % ABV, Doppel is evil. The ABV is well hidden in taste. I have tried Wagner at beer fests, always impressed. This lends to their credibility.

The flavor carries out what the aroma threatened with a boldly fruity (raisin, plum) character right up front, some toffee and light creamy chocolate mixed with brandy as it warms, and a drying alcohol finish with lingering sweet malty notes throughout the mouth. Definitely a beer to be savored! Though the alcohol is a little distracting, it's also somewhat unique and fairly enjoyable. Worth trying. (1,088 characters)

Photo of alexkeil
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first taste of Wagner Valley (Vineyards) and I'm duly blown away. I like the label although I like the packaging for their IPA slightly better. Pours smooth, a dark ruby color with a struggling off white head (either because of the alcohol, or more likely from my glass). Huge malty sweet, brown sugar aroma that is impossible to avoid. The flavor is not overcomplicated, 4-5 flavors that are used well: brown sugar, malt, prune, and I swear something like a ripe apple in the back end, but maybe another ripe fruit would be more appropriate to describe it: lets say Asian pear to be really fancy. The mouth feel is silky with a medium to full body. The finish lingers for what seems like hours. If there are hops detectable it is only slight and maybe in the finish but balanced beautifully. My only concern is maybe a tad too carbonated...and in all fairness maybe I served it slightly warm, but it did foam up a bit on initial taste; however, this is nitpicking and in the grand scheme of things unnecessary. (1,022 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear russett brown with a short creamy light-tan head that holds fairly well and leaves some minor lace. The aroma clearly exhibits some alcohol and fruity toasted malts (Vienna?). The body is medium/full with a mild and very fine carbonation that leaves it quite smooth and creamy in the mouth. Nice! The flavor carries out what the aroma threatened with a boldly fruity (raisin, plum) character right up front, some toffee and light creamy chocolate mixed with brandy as it warms, and a drying alcohol finish with lingering sweet malty notes throughout the mouth. Definitely a beer to be savored! Though the alcohol is a little distracting, it's also somewhat unique and fairly enjoyable. Worth trying. (705 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Shippos. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured in an imperial pint glass, forms a 1/2" tan head which laces well. A darkly reddish amber brew, with a strong malty and dark fruits aroma, with a smidgen of alcohol. Taste is very similar to what the nose portends, which is a good thing. The dark fruits and alcohol become even more pronounced on the tongue. Mouthfeel is excellent for the style, and drinkability is great as well. Worth the search to experience. Nice to have a Dopple that doesn't go too far over the edge... (562 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sled Dog is a very malty, brewed with "lots of Munich, dark caramel and chocolate malts, and Northern Brewer and Tettnang hops."
Little carbonation, smooth, slight hop finish. (176 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of my Olivers (Albany) haul .... The Dog has a decent, translucent chestnut color; off-white head initially about 1/2" thick, but rapidly f-f-f-faded away, leaving a thin ring around the perimeter. Lacing was, by and large, ok. Nothing spectacular. Upon poking my nose into the glass I received a pleasant aroma of malty sweetness and toffee. Not overly strong or complex, yet still inviting. The body was about medium, though it had a silky smoothness on the tongue....goes down nicely (always a fine attribute). Plenty of malty sweetness to be found, with more toffee, and a subtle nutty character. Hopping was at a minimum here. Flavor could have more richness to it, yet it is still a decent representation of the style. Sort of a little brother to Salvator. Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

474 (870 characters)

Photo of sponberg
4.14/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep coppery color, very thick, little carbonation.

Aroma of dark sugars, plums. Starts out with a wealth of sweet, malty, decoction-like flavors - toffee, caramel, figs, plums. Stays pretty consistent until the finish when a hit of alcohol arrives to lessen the sweetness.

Then the kids needed tending to, and in the subsequent maelstrom of flying toy Thomas the Tank Engines and associated track the beer sat and warmed up a bit to around 60 degrees. The brew really blossomed - on top of the above, a spicy hop flavor made its way out of the glass and balanced things out wonderfully. Definitely a beer to sip over a longer period, or to serve at a somewhat warmer temperature, as that seems to bring out the most in it. (743 characters)

Photo of Carlton1964
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First taste of a brew from the Wagner Valley folks. Look forward to trying a few more these guys put out.

Upon cracking the top I was impressed by the malty caramel aroma.

When I poured it into glass I only got about a pinky of foam. Not a lot...but hey it stayed for a while!

Taste was what really matters to me....and it had a really pleasant feel in the mouth and a nice flavor with hints of chocolate and mild spice. I kinda felt like I was drinking a stout lite...(not meant to be a negative comment). It was real smooth, yet a little thick and malty. If ya never had...I suggest ya try it! (599 characters)

Photo of Rudgers73
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Hennepin glass. A rough pour produces a 3/4 inch head that quickly settles into a 8th inch thin film. The smell is malty cola, with butterscotch and floral notes. The beer is a deep mahogany with reddish highlights when held up to the light. The taste is similar to the smell in having a deep roasted malt character along with that butterscotch twist. Very light gummy bear and floral hops add an edge to the overwhelming maltiness. In the aftertaste there is a nice nutty taste that I enjoy in Belgians and American and English Brown Ales. The alcohol is also covered up very well. I like this beer a lot, and from what I remember I didn't pay too much for it. Guess I better pick up a sixer next time I'm out. (726 characters)

Photo of stegmakk
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown almost black with little to no head...no carbonation...which is good to a point
Aroma sweet mollasses and...prune?
Taste was good...wasn't as sweet as other dopps, but that is good. It did have a sweet mollasses and tasted fairly balanced some malty flavor in there too...
Overall I had no trouble drinking this quickly...then I noted the 8.5%...mmmm...pour me another (389 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark ruby brown. Slim of slimmest foam is dawned briefly in a stained yellowyness before fading to a simple collar ring at the edge. Minimal lacing is present and most doesn't stick around long as it slowly slips back down to meet the collar.

Aroma is semi dark and plummy with a slight toasted toffeeness to its deeply sweetened malt tone along with a slight smokey chocolate sense to it.

Taste is pretty solid, good malt tones are lightly muting a sense of fruity darkness of fig and plum and a toasty toffee in the front, and more of a tender, silky chocolate in the back. Mellowing and creamy malt laden tastes are manufacturing a solid sweetness that lasts with a good play mixing of dark fruityness, slight chocolate, and a tiny tug of toastyness rounds off towards the finish.

Body is more O-fest -like then Doppelbock-like, but its pretty favorable within a creamy, semi medium, silky, malt body. Glides well across the palate and isn't cloying much in any areas and gains just a tiny warmth pull as ya go.

A pretty solid Doppel here. Favorable in much of its character and beery aspects. Drinks down pretty quickly as the body is easily gliding in a non-sticky creamyness and silken maltyness of sweetness. Could have quite a few of these, no prob. (1,275 characters)

Photo of cooch69
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Sled Dog pours a very deep amber mahagoney hue, with barely a trace of any kind of head.
It's carbonation is pretty low. Just enough to give your tongue a bit of a vibrant tingle.
This beer smells very welcoming. It is just staight up booziness. Alcogol right off the bat, followed by nuances of mollasses, rum and raisins. A bit of a similarity to a strong Belgian Dubbel in the nose.
Upon tasting this beer is caramelly, sugary and alcoholic with hints of figs and raisins.
This beer is syrupy in the mouth with a small brisk carbonation. It is a very inviting beer that is easier on the palate than it's ABV suggests. This is a winter beer all the way. (662 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my Secret Santa 2007 Biegaman for this brew. Cheers!

Dark thin head. Dark amber in color. Bready smell. Nice malty taste and it is very smooth. Not very complex in taste IMO since all I get is the malt backbone. Not very boozy for 8.5% and it is very drinkable. I am a fan of the style & this is a good doppelbock. Cheers! (333 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a chestnut brown with no head at all......mouthfeel is thin and watery for the style....those are the bad things....nose is roasty...with notes of sweet chocolate, vanilla, and toffee....very nice nose....Taste is very similar to the nose but the cocolate is more pronounced..not a bitter cocoa, but a sweeter, Hershey's chocolate milk flavor...also some soft vanilla...not much for hops but it works ok without them in the mouth...I like the flavor of this...

Maybe not your classic doppelbock in body but the flavor more than makes up for it...enjoyable...if I had access to this in my neck of the woods 12-to-24 of these would be in Zap's belly every winter/spring... (679 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours with some viscosity noted. The head is a thin tightly packed off white color. It retains adequately. Within a minute, all that remains is a bubbly collar. The body of the beer is a murky looking crimson color. Aroma is of sweet malt and chocoate. The first thing I note upon sampling is the weak body and mouthfeel. Thinnish and watery. Below average. BUT, it's the only aspect of this beverage below average. The taste is really pretty nice. At first I notice the yeasty breadiness of this brew. Then I catch the slightest hint of alcohol. Sweet maltiness cannot be denied as it surfaces quite a bit. All in all, a very enjoyable brew.

Thanks go out to Davo for my first sampling of Wagner Brewing. (719 characters)

Photo of nycbeerfreak
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A dark color with a two finger head that has impressive retention and leaves a nice lacing.

S - Strong caramel malt aroma with a hint of pepper. I am thinking not to high abv

T - I get sweet caramel and some bourbon oak with a bit of maple. i am getting candy sugar on the back end of this baby.

M - Smooth, extremely thick and very refreshing. The carbonation makes its presence known a bit too much.

D - Sweet I could drink a few of these no prob...let it come up in temp. (484 characters)

Photo of ark57
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a dark mohagany with a slight haziness and a thin tan head. The aroma is fruity and malty with some chocolate and caramel in the nose. The carbonation is a little low for my taste, but it is not bad. The body is smooth and very malty. It is nutty with some roasty quality as well as some cherry and prune. It is slightly bitter in the clean finish and the alcohol lingers a little. (390 characters)

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Sled Dog Dopplebock from Wagner Valley Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.