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Sled Dog Dopplebock - Wagner Valley Brewery

Not Rated.
Sled Dog DopplebockSled Dog Dopplebock

Educational use only; do not reuse.

103 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 103
Hads: 185
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 18.43%
Wants: 7
Gots: 13 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sled Dog Dopplebock Alström Bros
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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 185
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Pizza Plant on Main,poured a deep crimson color with a touch of brownish tint a tight 1/2 finger white head atop.Aromas of dark fruit soaked in alcohol mainly prune and raisin a faint roasted nut quality showed itself as well but it was faint.Deeply malty to be expected with brown sugar and raisin being dominant a touch of earthy-like unsweetened chocolate shows itself in the finish and the alcohol becomes more prevelant as it sits.A bigger malt bomb somewhat sweet and quite sustaining,well made in my opinion.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another new one for me, I have been lucky to have a ton of NY brews to try lately. This one was served cold and poured into a pint glass, consumed on 10/04/2009.

The pour was about dead on for the style. Rich brown in color with a small tan head that peaked at about two inches but settled down and left behind only token amounts of side glass lacing. Aroma is caramel malts, hints of bready touches and a light grainy touch to it. Rolls right into the flavor, only know here is that it is a little thinner then I would have liked to have seen, but still nice feel. Rich caramel and bready flavors dominated here. Smooth, with no hint of the abv at all and a long and drawn out flavor of candied sugar that caps it all very nicely.

Overall a solid example of the style. Nothing earth shattering but it does its job. I would not turn it down.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of Jason
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz brown long neck with no freshness date.

Appearance: Very thin lacing that holds together for the time needed, mildly hazed amber brown colour shines dim in the light.

Smell: Melanoidan malt aroma, quite cloying in a way with a restrained smoky distemper.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Slick and creamy in the mouth with a heavy malt back ground. Rich dark malt flavours erupt on the sweet side of the tongue. Hops struggle all the way through. The alcohol character stay on the mellow with a spike of warmth towards the end.

Notes: I have had better double bocks but this one did me just fine. Its worth a try that is for sure … the chocolates played nice with the malt flavours as well.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I guess we're trying the whole Wagner Valley line here. This one pours a clear amber brown with minimal head. Nose is malty and sweet. Flavor is pretty nice. Seems like a touch of apple tones. Smooth feel. Overall nice to drink. Not too shabby really.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

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Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark cherry/ruby towards brown with a small tan head that stays and leaves some lacing.

The smell is lightly roasted semi-dark maltiness - toffee-ish with a cherry-like fruitiness in the back.

The initial sweetness (with a touch of bread), and some fruitiness doesn't have much of a hop balance until some herbal dry-ness in the finish. The maltiness is not as rich as in the aroma, but close.

Medium carbonation in a medium-to-full body.

A nice, warming interpretation of the style!

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Photo of WesWes
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Billolick
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an upfront sweet malt with hints of chocolate malt and dry fruit.

The taste was upfront sweet caramel with elements of charcoal, cocoa and spiced fruit.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side and rather chewy.

Overall a tasty and relatively complex doppelbock.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle purchased at the brewery in late July. If you've never been, the views of Seneca Lake are beautiful.

A: The doppel is a ruddy brown-red color, just dark enough to obscure anything on the other side of the glass. A small head, never more than half a finger, quickly recedes to a thin band.

S: The bockbier has a plenty malty nose, bready malts so concentrated that they take on a fruity glow. Syrupy rich threads have plenty of sweet caramel to go around. A warming nose.

T: The taste starts off with as much richness as the nose offered. Full malts, bready with a heaping of caramel, have a fullness that verges on that of a smoked beer. A soft citrusy hop flavor runs underneath the malts, subtle but a definite change of taste. While the ale is malt-centric, it isn't an overpowering flavor. Heck, I'd be more inclined to call this a bockbier, rather than a doppel. It's nice drinker though.

M: The mouthfeel is caramel sweet, very bready and full. A warming beer that works well on a cool late-summer night.

D: The bockbier doesn't feel like an 8.5% ringer. The bready base that improves over time.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
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...

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Photo of Bitterbill
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with Nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

This pours a clear deep amber with a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell is malty as heck...bread, chocolate, roasted.

The taste is equally malty with plenty of caramel malt and bready malt up front with lots of grain and a light taste of chocolate. There's *some* bitterness and a mild tartness in the background that is interesting. The alcohol is very well hidden here; not even a bit of warming after the swallow.

Good medium mouthfeel with a light level of carbonation, it finishes decidedly on the sweet side but not overly so.

Drinkability? A good solid, tasty example of the style that fits the style very well. I'd drink more, for sure.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Slightly hazy reddish brown colour with an average size frothy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was completely gone.

Smell - malts, grapes, cherries, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation but it still feels fairly creamy on the tongue. I can taste a lots of dark fruit sweetness - cherries, grapes, and raisins mixed with some brown sugar. I could also taste apples and as the beer got warmer I could pick up on some notes of chocolate. The beer finished with a malty/grapey aftertaste.

Overall - Although not a spectacular beer, I found the Drinkability to be quite high. The alcohol was well hidden and it seemed like the beer was gone in a flash. Not sure I'd seek it out again, but I'm curious to try some of the other Wagner Valley offerings.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A fairly dark caramel brown with just a 1/4 inch of head that reduces to just a mild sticky lace ring.

S - Smells of mostly caramel and raisin with mild fruity notes not bad.

T - A very tasty dopplebock with zippy caramel, raisin, and plum taste. I don't get much baked rum bread flavor so this is just and average entry to the style.

M - Medium kind of chewy pretty close to on style.

Overall I like this beer but not only can I not get it again but I find better styles of it.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.22/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased at Chocolate and Vines in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a mostly clear amber, with a small head, and no lacing.

Smells like rum soaked raisins, chocolate, and toffee.

This is really pretty mild, when it comes to dopplebocks. It's got a slight booziness, with a thin malt backbone, some dark fruit, raisins mainly, a little bit of chocolate, and toffee. It doesn't have that deep malt complexity I desire in this style. Fairly disappointing.

This is pretty thin bodied for a dopplebock, with a moderate to lower level of carbonation.

Really disappointing stuff here. It's certainly not bad, and I happily finished the bottle, but I couldn't recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of ZAP
4.06/5  rDev +10%
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...

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Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of Suds
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, reddish-brown with a thin head. Nutty, almond-like, caramel aroma. Although the smell is very good, it's not nearly as intense as a great dopplebock. The beer has medium malt-sweetness. Creamy, full mouthfeel, with slight carbonation. The beer is drinkable and enjoyable, but not an outstanding example of the style.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
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


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Photo of canucklehead
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Sled Dog Dopplebock from Wagner Valley Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.