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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 Rudgers73
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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

Poured a very deep reddish-copper color with modest tannish creamy head.
Smell is notable for a toasty malt and a bit of alcohol.
Flavor is a bit harsh for me with strong alcohol notes that seem to overpower any other taste sensation.
Finishes with more alcohol. Not something I would revisit.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

This dopplebock pours a clear mahogany hue with a thin khaki colored head. Lacing is very minimal with very little stickiness. Smell is a woody malt with a very subtle alcohol tingle on the nose. Smell also carries a nice brown sugar/molases hint to it. Taste is well done. Powerful malt presence that is quite sweet/sugary. A creamy/bread flavor appears a bit in the aftertaste that is actually quite enjoyable. Mouthfeel is quite smooth. The only real issue i had with this beer was the complete absence of hops which takes away from its balance. Alcohol isn't present which makes this quite drinkable for an 8.5% abv. Definitely worth a try if you enjoy your bocks.

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Photo of charlesw
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber, nice dark tan head of itty-bitty bubbles that just seems to last with a completely covering lace even 5 minutes after pour.
Interesting smell... Sweet and it smells like a beer that tastes like raisins, if you know what I mean. Nothing of hops, here...
OK, some of that raisin in the mouth, too. Sort of gently sweet and raisiny. I guess that really sums it up, you know? Like, no aftertaste or hops to speak of.
Great mouth - nice and rich and thick - like I like 'em...
So, yeah, I'd drink 'em. A lot of 'em, I suppose! Ha! And this stuff is local and inexpensive? Heck, if I didn't homebrew so much I'd drink a lot more of this stuff!

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Photo of riversider76
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I think of this style of beer, I think of Ayinger Celebrator, or Spaten Optiomator.This beer is not even close. Pours amber brown, not much head,and minimal lacing. Smell is weak,but boozy. Some dark fruits,and malts. Taste was boozy,but again weak. More like a very light Belgin Brown, than a Dopple Bock.Dark fruit,and rasin mostly,but very week.This beer is not awful,but not a good representation of this style.

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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 Phatz
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a translucent amber brown color with a beige head.

Smell: It was a reserved aroma that display some toasty nuts and what seemed like a hint of smoke along with the malts and alcohol of a Dopplebock.

Taste: Malty with sweet smooth body and flavors of caramel molasses a hint of chocolate and dark fruits and a slight warming alcohol presence in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably smooth, slick and pleasing across the palate but not as full and heavy as some I like.

Drinkability: I love Dopplebocks in the winter and this is a good one. After playing in the snow with kids I would happily put my feet up, sitting in front of a fire, and enjoy sipping Sled Dog Dopplebock; and I'd be as happy as a pig in slop.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of aquatonex
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, I had a taste of this on tap while up in the Finger Lakes, seemed quite good. Took some bottles home, and they are a bit disappointing, not sure if it's this batch or what...

Pours medium brownish-reddish with light carbonation, a little flat. Tiny bit o lacing. Smells of light malts, light caramels, and a little funk. The funk also is noticeable in the taste, which ruins it a bit for me. I like higher ABV beers and even the ones that taste like alkie, but this one was funky, maybe it went sorta bad in the bottle. Overall, I think this one is better fresh.

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Photo of psinderson
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown, maybe a bit of ruby red color. Thick, light brown head that dissipated rather quickly. Not much stickiness on the glass.

Smell: A faint malty caramel aroma and bready, but not much else.

Taste: Sweetness and mild roasted notes up front with a mild hop bitterness finish. Malty but otherwise quite simple.

Mouthfeel: Mostly medium body, little carbonation.

Drinkability: Decently drinkable considering the ABV. I could see this being quite dangerous.

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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 williamherbert
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is a nice reddish brown. Not much head to speak of, thought it remains throughout the glass. Minimal carbonation.

Thick, smoky, syrupy smell. Has a sweetness under the heavy smell of alcohol. Sweet, malty aroma. Almost no hops to speak of.

Dark, bocky flavor. Almost a hint of raisin, warms you right up. Has a bit of a cellar scent to it, but that could be due to the beer's age, which is unknown. A small bit of sourness; not unwelcome.

Somewhat syrupy. This whole beer just screams thickness. Remains on the palate for a few minutes afterward. Have to sip this one due to it's thickness. I will now drink "one" for every variation of the word "thick" in this review.

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Photo of becktone
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nearly black in color, mahogony in color when held up to the light. Pretty clear when held up to the light. Small head (could be due to the fact that it is too cold) tannish and creamy with poor retention. Very little lacing.

Complex malt aroma in this beer, no hop aroma present. I can detect a definitive chocolate character in this beer, there isn't much more to smell than this. Smells sweet to the nose.

Pretty good taste on the tongue. Flavors easily identifiable are roasted and chocolate malts.

The beer is heavy on the palate, with light carbonation. There isn't all that that is special about this beer. Infact; each of these beers from Wagner Valley has been so-so. Not really great, but not bad either. I probably won't buy this again just because I want to try other doppelbocks. Overall not a bad beer, if I wanted a doppelbock and this was the only one I wouldn't be opposed to buying this again.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of johnniemarg
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

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

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.

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Photo of LucaBrasi
2.65/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Truh
2.32/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

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

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.

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Photo of mentor
3.02/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

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?

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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 CRJMellor
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

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