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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
Reviews: 103 | Hads: 185
Photo of wailingwench
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

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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 TagoMago
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of cbl2
2.6/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2


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


Sweet malts with hints of burnt caramel.


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.

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Photo of ark57
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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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 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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Photo of etho1416
4.28/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of Stingray5
1.99/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

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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 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 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 stegmakk
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
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

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Photo of Thrasher
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
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%

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Photo of Shiloh
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not my style but a nice brew.
Not as sweet as anticipated yet a particular sweetness does linger in the palate.
Certainly a full bodied offering and very dark.
The taste is of chocolate...but bitter sweet. Alcohol presence is strong.
Head is short and leaves from there.
As I said, not my style but nice......ABV at 8.5 scares me.....but just a little.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber chesnut color with a small little off-white to tan head that didn't last for me. I did not pour this one very aggresively, but it may not have made a difference. Sweet cherries and burnt grains hit the nose, but not in great quantity.

Crisp start with a blast of cherry fruitiness. It quickly dries out to a more roasty flavor and has a bit of alcohol in the mix. The aftertaste is like toasted pumpernickel with hints of rye and alcohol. A dry cherry lifesaver flavor lingers behind on the palate and really comes in at the end. A very interesting brew here, and it excites me to have some more from Wagner Valley.

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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 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 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 OatmattStout
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The head was small and color was a bit like dark cider and cloudy in appearence. It had a very malty nose and smell of dried dark fruits. The taste was good and sweet with mainly swet caramel and white chocolate accents . The mouthfeel was some what syrupy with little carbonation coming off tap. Over all this was a bit too sweet and syrupy missing some of the true doppelbock charateristics but a good beer none the less if you like sweet. I do.

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Photo of Brent
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown color with a plummy aroma. Malty caramel, with a candy sugar character. Fruity, and quite bright, overall this seemed to have some Belgian aspects, along the lines of a dark strong. My favorite from this brewery.

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