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Sled Dog Dopplebock - Wagner Valley Brewery

Not Rated.
Sled Dog DopplebockSled Dog Dopplebock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

165 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 165
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sled Dog Dopplebock Alström Bros
Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnniemarg
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%

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.

johnniemarg, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of Gavage
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%

Appearance: cloudy orange / copper in color with a short 1/4" head that quickly disappears to a surface spot or two. No lacing. Low carbonation.

Smell: very sweet malt and nuts are easily picked up.

Taste: overall a toasted and sweet combination created by decent malt, brown sugar, slight nuttiness, ripe plums, and a mild bitterness. Alcohol is barely noticable.

Mouthfeel: smooth at the start and finish, almost approaching light syrup, with sweetness lingering well into the aftertaste. Medium / heavy in body.

Drinkability: decently drinkable, overall a slightly above average doppelbock.

Gavage, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of Boto
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%

Draught: I had the draft at the brewery.The beer pours a deep, ruby red color. Not a lot of carbonation, but it has a bit of a tan head, although it didn’t last long. Big malt sweetness to the nose. Hints of caramel. Taste is sweet, almost syrupy. A touch of roastiness that I hadn’t previously noticed. Hints of fruit and chocolate? No discernable hops in the taste of the nose. Somewhat warming. Not a bad brew at all, just not anything that stands out.

I don’t know if it was the freshness or an evolution of the recipe, but it is a bit better in my latest tasting.

Boto, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of LucaBrasi
2.63/5  rDev -28.9%

Pours a deep red color and creates a minor head. Smell is malty. The taste has a strong cherry aftertaste and the malt is very prevalent in this. There is also there is a warm kick to it. Mouth feel could be described as slick or oily with little carbonation. I overheard a employee of a local beer store recommending this one so I decided to pick it up. In my option it was a bad call.

LucaBrasi, Aug 27, 2005
Photo of HappyHourHero
2.85/5  rDev -23%

Small, dense, light brown colored head fades quickly to a ring. Glowing mahogany colored beer with a ruby hue. Faint aroma of sweet caramal malt and a bit of grainy burnt malt. Moderately thick beer with a smooth, almost slick mouthfeel. Mildly sweet caramel and dough flavors up front. There's a sort of cherry flavor that kicks in towards then, and it all fades as the alcohol warms your stomach in the finish. I bought this out of the cooler at the brewery just over a week ago, so I doubt it's old. There's something just not right about the aroma, and the flavor takes a wacky turn towards cherry cough syrup. Disappoinnting to say the least.

HappyHourHero, Jul 14, 2005
Photo of Truh
2.28/5  rDev -38.4%

Placed in the Iditarod with this one on 4/17/2005. 12-oz. bottle poured in a shaker glass.

Land slide of big bubbles, but otherwise deathly quiet which served as an initial warning. Deep mahogany hue with a bunch of crap floating in suspension, like an ash filled Mars landscape snow bubble that never settles. Very light bouquet, to the point of non-existent, though there is a faint, sweet molasses and some tin. Kind of a gimpy caramel on mouth, with some earthy malt, but on the whole a somewhat limp mouth feel and taste to match.

On the whole, this was completely nondescript and uncomely. I had hoped for more when I first picked this bottle up in Albany, NY.

Truh, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of Billolick
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

I sampled a 12 ounce bottle, couldnt find any freshness dating.. Bottle openend without any gaseous release, and poured w/ a minimal tan head and light lacing left behind, low carbonation, but not flat. Faint sweat malty nose. Lighter bodied DB, notes of plums, berries, maple and caramel. Sweet throughout, no hop presence/bitterness. this is a pleasant dark, wintery quaffer. Would go well with hearty winter fare, stews, roasts etc.

Billolick, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of sulldaddy
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%

I am sampling a 12 oz bottle that Stopper gave to me. Drinking at room temp in a snifter.
THe brew pours a clear mahogany with some garnet tints as well. A quickly dissipating thin layer of beige colored head foams up quickly and is gone. Aroma is chocolate, rich ripe plums and pears, raisins and maple syrup. QUite enticing aroma I think. First sip reveals a fairly thick body almost chewy with next to non-existant carbonation. Very smooth. Flavor is similar to nose witha mix of chocolate, red grapes, toffee and dark fruit. Very rich and lingering syrupy sweet palate coating finish. Quite enjoyable brew.

sulldaddy, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of mentor
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%

Thanks to Francisweizen for this one. 12 oz bottle with no freshness date. Hard pour generated a couple bubbles, but no head over a somewhat cloudy brown liquid (had a reddish tinge when held to light). Smells of caramel, chocolate, and alcohol. Bock character is present, but much more subdued than I was expecting. Tastes sweet with noticable alochol. This beer is thick, sweet, and lightly (not?) carbonated. Some bock character is present as is a hint of chocloate and/or roasted grains. An acceptable doppel. Where's the carbonation?

mentor, Mar 11, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%

Bronze-like nut brown that reveals a significant infusion of scarlet when backlit. The beige colored cap is (or rather, was) pitifully small even after a vigorous pour. There's very little of it left mere minutes later and the glass is virtually untouched.

I smelled my toast this morning so I'm pretty sure that I wasn't rendered anosmic while I slept last night. I'm beginning to wonder, however, since this is the second beer in a row that has been weaker than weak in the aroma department. Lightly roasted barley... uh... sorry, there's virtually nothing to go on here.

How can a beer with no nose have this much flavor? Sled Dog isn't an upper tier doppelbock, but it's a pretty tasty one. Sweet, dark butterscotchy, dark fruity, lightly chocolatey... a very nice combination of flavors. The beer is malt driven with a moderate amount of roastedness; at least as much as style demands anyway. Although the sweet-bitter balance is good as well, a little less sweetness would improve drinkability.

The beer becomes more flavorful and the body firms up with warming, bumping both scores a half notch. I'd put the mouthfeel somewhere in the vicinity of medium since the enthusiastic amount of carbonation lightens things considerably. The 8.5% is very well-masked and is noted only as a warmth in the belly following each upending of the glass.

Sled Dog will never become lead dog or win glory in the doppelbock version of the Iditarod (to stretch this metaphor to the absolute breaking point), but he's a good hound all the same. The world needs those competent plodders who get by on sheer force of will alone. This one will not let you down if you give him a chance.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 07, 2005
Photo of CRJMellor
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%

Pours maroon-tinged copper color. Skim of off-white thick head forms on the pours and has some staying power.
Aroma of some dark citrus (dates and raisins), strong backbone of toffee and just a hint of some grainy toasted malt. Detected some brown sugar or honey notes as well.
Flavor is aggressively fruity, followed by a blast of alcohol and finishes with a sticky sweet note of gooey toffee.
Medium bodied but aggressively carbonated and alive in the mouth.
Drinkability is above average but awful sweet and gooey. Could use a little bit better balance and maybe vut with some more aggressive hops to combat over ripe fruit flavors.
Thanks to Shippos for the bottle.
A decent brew and solid Winter Warmer but a lackluster Doppelbock.

CRJMellor, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of ProudBeerSnob
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%

Served in a nonic pint glass. Nearly nonexistent head, but great color. Taste matches aroma nicely. Nice dopplebock flavor, it has that sweet maltiness that kind of eases into your taste buds. Drinkability is the draw back here, and maybe it's because of the style, I'm not sure. Better than most, but not as good as say, Celebrator. Definitely worth a try.

ProudBeerSnob, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of wailingwench
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%

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.

wailingwench, Nov 20, 2004
Photo of NEhophead
4.33/5  rDev +17%

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.

NEhophead, Nov 11, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%

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...

ppoitras, Sep 09, 2004
Photo of TagoMago
3.33/5  rDev -10%

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker glass.

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown, almost chestnut in color. The beer pours with a very thin head which quickly fades to almost nothing. No lacing is present.

Smell: Sweet malts with some fruity, esthery overtones.

Taste & mouthfeel: Smooth and slightly syrupy. Sweet malts hit the palate upfront, with some chocolate and coffee in the background. Some candied fruits are also noticed in the background. The finish is lingering with only some slight, lemony hops noticed.

Overall: A fairly middle-of-the-road doppelbock, but certainly worth a try. My one problem with this beer is that it's a bit too sweet, reaching almost the point of being cloying after only a couple.

TagoMago, Jul 21, 2004
Photo of cbl2
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Appearance:

Dark brown with hints of red and little to no head.

Smell:

Sweet malts with hints of burnt caramel.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

This is some funky stuff, and not in a good way. Overly sweet to begin, the mouth then fills with a diacetyl/labrusca wine flavor which is highly unpleasant. This is made by Wagner Winery in Lodi NY, and it almost tastes like grapes instead of malts were used in the brewing process. I'm traveling to the Finger Lakes this weekend, and planning on making a trip to Wagner. I'm going to give this one another try at the source. Hopefully the bottle I had was skunked.

cbl2, Jun 24, 2004
Photo of ark57
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

ark57, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%

This bottle exploded on me on opening, and while I could slurp some up, not every drop was salvagable, though it gave me an idea what to expect.
Appearance: dark crimson color, nearly caramel in hue, with, a fully carbonated, viscerally effervescent head, cream-soda like in color.
Aroma: nutty, and cola-ish, rich and fruity.
Taste: again, full, even too-full carbonation, very effervescent, lightly fruity on the tongue, loaded with toffee and caramel flavors, a rich, tasty, mess of darkly sweet flavors
Medium bodied, medium-finish, everything is just so, except that the flavor remains too cola-ish, a flavor that the doppelbock needn't cozy up to, just for comfort, and the malt never quits either, feels lush and rich in the mouth.
A nice little dopplebock ... and cheers to running4beer and BiF for allowing me this samplinjg

feloniousmonk, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of canucklehead
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%

Thanks to Malto for this sample.

This beer is a winter seasonal done up in the style of great German beers such as Celebrator and Optimator. The colour was reddish brown with a nice head but the first taste was pretty bracing. I noticed a predominate sweetness that never really left the beer. The malts and hops were out front but a lack of balance and finesse made this beer suffer in the drinkability area. Kind of reminds of Dick's beer from Washington; a bit unrefined but ambitious in attack.

canucklehead, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of etho1416
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%

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.

etho1416, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of Stingray5
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Normally I don't have much to say about the packaging of a beer, but in this case, the foil around the neck and cap of this 750ml was a real pain in the ass. It was a pain to get off, left a strange residue around the mouth of the bottle, and there was just a regular old bottlecap under there - not even a cork to pop.

Appearance is a dark amber with a marginal head. Absolutely nothing in the aroma, save for an odd metallic smell. Slight chocolate notes appear as it warms, but they're not pleasant. Medium mouthful, not enough carbonation, like soda going flat. Taste falls flat as well, with some malt and mostly that same metallic taste that was in the aroma. I can only liken the finish to sucking on a dirty nickel.

Big disappointment here. Not recommended.

Stingray5, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Pours a deep dark brown with an almost non-existent head. Smells very fruity. Lots of cherry and plum to the nose with a slight hint of grain in the background.

Taste is very fruity/chewy without being overly thick or sweet. It strikes a nice balance between the malt and fruit. Hops are nowhere to be found in this beer. Not too shabby. Good brew for over the cold months. Could definitely see eating some good sharp cheddar with this.

yankeeheel, Oct 29, 2003
Photo of nomad
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured a deep browned amber, with a café au lait looking, finger-thick head that fell moderately to a thin head. Also showed a line of stain and some spotty lace.

Smelled of grapes, almost black cherries, with a soft sour tone - quite estery. Almost wafting of alcohol, it nutty notes bouncing around all over, though of above-average quality. Good depth overall.

Taste was fruity but mostly of darker malts. Transitioned into a strong roast flavor that was as much fruity as roasty, blending effortlessly into the small hop appeal nearby. Seemed to be an american bittering hop. Some yeasty flavors created a creamy end to the beer before the prominent finish of burnt toast with an ounce of alcohol wrapped around it kicked in.

Good doppelbock that smells better, but not a convincing taster.

nomad, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of WesWes
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%

The beer pours a dark brown/amber color with a nice off-white head that later fades and laces. The aroma is malty with the smell of roasted malts and nuts. The taste is also very malty. There is that warming from the elevated abv.. There is a very dark taste. This is not a weak watery ale. This beer has some character. The mouthfeel is nice, although I could use a bit more carbonation. This is a heavy bodied beer , that goes down smooth. A good drinking beer for those cold nights when you need a warmer and a good buzz.

WesWes, Aug 21, 2003
Sled Dog Dopplebock from Wagner Valley Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.