Salvator Doppel Bock | Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG

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Salvator Doppel BockSalvator Doppel Bock

Brewed by:
Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG
Germany | website

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This unfiltered bottom fermented double bock beer has been brewed for over 375 years--always adhering to the original recipe. The taste is unmistakable, with its smooth chocolate flavor, robust dark caramel maltiness and a light note of hops--providing a nice intensity on the palate.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-23-2001

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Reviews: 1,349 | Ratings: 2,645
Photo of Beastdog75
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I see that a German brewery brews a doppelbock, it is usually regarded (either by the brewery, myself, or other beer drinkers) as the "crown jewel" in the brewery's lineup. In this instance, I found Paulaner's Salvator to be a respectable brew, but I would favor their hefeweizen the most. Salvator claims to be the originator in the style, but I was expecting a fairly complex brew here and in the end, I didn't find it in this brew.

Salvator pours a really nice reddish/amber (almost brown) color with a 1 finger off-white head that disappears within 30 seconds, leaving no lace. The smell was quite neutral and unsensational. Some sweet, malty aromas, caramel-like notes and some alcohol were detectable in the nose. The mouthfeel was a bit thinner than expected with a light carbonation. The flavors that were present were good, albeit a bit simplistic. The dark, caramel like malt flavors were the main attraction, with some "dark fruit" notes to accompany it. The flavor of alcohol was present as well. Some nice citric hoppy presence added a slight bite to this beer, but make no mistake this beer is more malty (and alcoholy) than anything. A nice dryness shows up in the finish and continues into the aftertaste, along with some more continued alcohol flavors and graininess. A decent warming sensation finishes out the beer.

I did not find the complexity I was looking for in this beer, and I thought the alcohol was more present than it should be. It struck me as around on par with Samuel Adams Double Bock, but I still like Optimator the best out the doppelbocks I've tried (I've yet to try Aventinus or Celebrator). A respectable brew by all accounts, but I've had better.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a decent beer, but nothing super crazy or anything. It had many great smells with it, as well as tastes. It was fairly sweet, but still had the bold malt flavor that is associated with this style. The alcohol was a little strong for the other tastes, but it wasn't anything too unbearable. There was the flavors of "dull" or "dark" fruits, but they kind of took a side stage to the malt. I am a big malt guy, so this was a drinkable beer to me. The head was a little disappointing, but I guess you can't have everything all of the time.

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Danke schoen" to Bierman9 for allowing me the opportunity to sample this winner of a Bier...

This Bier, vibrantly bubbly and copper in color, presented with a decent head at the start, and held on to some of it throughout the tasting of this brew. The aroma was sweet. Maybe some fruit, but I cannot make out specifically which one(s). Definately notes of caramel in the nose. The flavor carried through with the caramel theme, and offered a good dose of the (in)famous Hallertau hops, which I love dearly. A solid example of this style. One I will be visiting again soon. Well worth seeking out.

Zum wohl!

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After all the reviews I've read, I was expecting this to be some kind of nectar. Hmmm, well, it wasn't. I've got five more bottles to drink, and I hope to have my initial impression changed by them, but though the first one was good, it certainly was not a "4.13" in my book. From a doppelbock, I had expected more complexity, more depth, and a denser mouthfeel. It for sure didn't taste like a $1.69-per-11.6-ounce-bottle beer.

Malt and hops dominated the aroma and the taste, pleasant enough, but it was nothing like the rich roasted darkness or chocolate-spice-raisin taste you might expect from a much touted d-b, not at all like what I find in say, a St Martin Dunkler Doppelbock by Aktien-Brauerei in Kaufbeuren (which is just a few dozen miles from Paulaner house in Munich) or the wonderful d-b brewed by the monks at Andechs.

Mind you, this is a nice-looking, very drinkable beer. Indeed, it is really pretty in the glass -- nice light-tan head, though not very long lasting, and a lovely red-brown color.

Really easy to drink as well -- could this be one of the few "light" doppelbocks? [;-)

Okay, here's a second go-round: 3-29-2004. Just finished a Celebrator -- it's my birthday, so I'm Celebrator-ing! -- and wanted to compare it with the Salvator.
I must say this is certainly a pretty beer! Nice clear amber color and a full head with good lacing that gives way quickly. Really lovely to look at. Unfortunately, it's in the tasting that it fails to stand up to its name -- it doesn't save me from anything.
A lot more hops-bite to this brew than Celebrator, not nearly as much character or depth. After this comparison taste-test, I'm standing by my earlier numbers -- a nice beer, but too hoppy and light-feeling to stand with its superiors. This is a "light" doppelbock!

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Photo of soper2000
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first doppel. Picked it up pretty much on a whim and I'm glad i did. It pours a nice amber color with a white head that disappears pretty quickly. Aroma is of malt and alcohol. On first taste the alcohol is definetly present but so is a ton of malt. This is a malt monster, notes of raisin are also apparent. Mouthfeel is decent. I just don't know how drinkable this one is. 1 will do me for a long time. Maybe it's just not my style so i can't mark it too low.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I keep thinking about the favorite beer listing they have on this website. I thought I loved Imperial stouts best. Then I thought Imperial IPAs. Opening a bottle of Salvator, I'm starting to like dopplebocks all over again.
Smell: The smell on this beer does it for me. Its so malty and fruity and pungent. I love it. It reminds me how great this is going to taste. I bet if you let a plum change to a prune and then to rotten mass of leather fruit skin it would smell like this. That's a good thing too, so we're not misunderstood.
Taste: I must admit, I like it better on draft. But out of this bottle comes all the dopplebock favorites: thick German malts, soft chewy dull cherry, rich prune and raisin, sweet phenols just beginning to mature. I often wonder how this might taste after say 5 years? I'd put it on my waffles. Very earthen flavor. Moss, faint smoke, earth. YUMMM.
It looks good, it smells great, and the only thing I can fault it with is that I couldn't throw them back all night. But who would want to cheapen the beer with binge drinking it? Moderation in all things. Wonderful.

I just picked up a Celebrator, so I should have a nice comparison soon.

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange brown brew.

Smell is sweet with a strong smell of malt and bananas.

Flavor is sweet malt with a caramel and banana flavor. Bitterness mellows the sweetness into a nice finish. Fruity flavors are in here too.

Mouthfeel is full almost syrupy.

Super drinkable, a super German Bock beer.

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Photo of Afterburner
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich russet color. Starts with a thick, foamy head that leaves a minimal lacework as it diminishes.

Smell: Very malty nose. Minimal esters.

Taste: The start delivers the malty promise made by the aroma. A thick, rounded malt flavor dominates the palate. Some fruityness evident, but not much. The low-to-moderate hop bitterness becomes apparent in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy. Full-bodied.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable. This is one of my "session" beers

Notes: I have a personal predilection for sweet, malty, full-bodied beers. So doppelbocks tend to be among my favorite beers. Salvator is certainly an archetype of the style.

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Photo of tjd25
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper color. The beer is kind of transparent. A nice smell of coffee, caramel and malt. The taste is all about malt. Very well balanced with the 7.5% abv. Some sweetness too, light hints of lemon. Some spices too. The mouthfeel is thick. The alcohol became more noticeable as I was drinking. A nice brew, but I couldn't sip on that all night long.

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Photo of pootz
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The original dopplebock...still the standard. Poured a crystal clear deep burnished copper. Low effervescence. Creamy off white head with moderate retention and lacing.

Odors of sweet malt with a distinct dried fruit and coffee tone, light smoke overtone and detectable alcohol wisp.

Starts with an oily mouth full of cocoa-malty sweetness not impaired by the detectable spalter hops until the finish which is herbal hop pronounced with the smokey roast coming in in the final stages. Relatively clean finish for shich a big lager...but that is part of this bock's signature....everything in moderation

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Photo of jimdkc
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a dark, reddish amber. Off-white foamy head lasts a little while then quickly falls back to a ring. The beer is very clear and you can see very tiny carbonation bubbles rising in the liquid. Smell is pretty subdued, mostly malty with some fruit. Taste is really good! Rich malty flavor and a little sweetness. Fruity top notes, maybe raisins and some carmel. Finish includes a taste of hops and alcohol warmness. A little bit of banana in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth with fine carbonation. Very drinkable for a 7.5% ABV beer!

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very fine coppery body in appearance, clear, but with a minimal off-white head that fizzles out quickly. Aroma is thick with bread, butterscotch, and dried dates and raisins, and a boozy alcohol presence is apparent, although not overpowering. Flavour closely matches, sweet malt up from with the dried fruit, carrying through with a buttery marmalade middle, and finishing with a surprising herbal hop finish, and a bit of alcohol kick, albeit a smooth kick. Full velvety mouthfeel, it is a pleasure to have this roll over the tongue and wash over the palate. Very drinkable for a higher abv beer, in the fact that I could see myself turning this one into a sessional (one that I have no doubt I would regret the next morning), as well as that I'd reach for it again the next time I am out beer shopping. Probably not a flagship doppelbock, but it is mighty fine for what it is, and the stepping stone I would use to introduce this style to others, that's for sure.

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Photo of dansteino
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Good. Poured a nice orange-amber color with a nice head that could have held a little better.

Smell: Very good. Caramel. Smoke. Spices. Ripe/Candied fruit (reminds me of a red jolly rancher). Bready. Some hops. Detected some unpleasant alcohol. No coffee/chocolate.

Taste: Very good. Wonderfully caramel and fruit flavors balanced by some hop presence -- though I would have preferred more.

Mouthfeel: Good. A bit thin.

Drinkability: Good. Wears on you after awhile.

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Photo of PCaravan
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been waiting a long time to try this one and I was a little dissapointed. Maybe my hopes were too high. I've tried other dopplebocks and really liked them and though the ORIGINAL would be great but I foudn it not much more than ordinary. It had a mild but destinct breadiness from aroma to taste to finish without the compexity I usually enjoy and expected from this brew. It's appearance was even lighter than I expected. The mouthfeel was better than ther rest of the impression and made this beer easy to drink but that was about it.

This is still an above average beer... just not exeptional.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange copper with a nearly non-existant white head. Minimal lace. The brilliant color and clarity of this beer make it something special to look at.

There is a fruity aroma that is balanced by a bread-like presence that creates a nice olfactory experience.

There is a malty flavor that is punctuated by a strong alcohol finish. The taste is just a little off but not bad.

Pretty thin in the mouth for such a strong beer. There is a carbonation bite that joins the alcohol for a full on attack on the mouth.

Despite its shortcomings, this beer is pretty good. I just don't think it would be my first choice.

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Photo of Realale
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear viscious light mahogany brown. Touch of red. Zero head, and little apparent carbonation.

Nose is a heady mixture of candied fruit notes over a very dark rich bready malt base. Whiff of rummy alcohol adds itself to the party as the pint warms.

Quite thick rich and bordering on sweet in the mouth. Plenty of both fruit and malt, but its well-balanced, by what, I'm not quite sure. Finish is long, although there is a touch of alcohol at the death.

Mouthfeel is lovely and rich - classic for the style. Quite drinkable for what it is, and a pleasant dinner companion.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Salvator Double Boca!
It pours a deep red amber with a full beige head.
A full sweet malt and lightly smoky smell mix with a fruity and slightly perfumy scent.
The biscuity malt is thick and rich, with caramel sweetness and chock full of nuts.
It's abundantly hopped. Lots of citrus notes with just a touch of a metallic tang.
The well-hidden alcohol effect comes on as a sensation before you know it.
This is a robust and complex brew!

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Photo of Shiloh
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice brew but nothing special.
The colour was a medium golden/red with a limited crown leading to a light ring. The body is a medium+ with very little carbonation.
The nose has a roasted maltiness to it.
The taste is of fruits, raisins and plums are the most obvious, in a mash like setting and ending to a bready like quality.
Definite malty continuance.

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Photo of Crosling
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Solid beer from a world class brewery. Pours a dark copper with a nice head and a nice lace.

Nice nose! Big and malty with dark fruits, raisins, figs and apples, somewhat tart as well.

Very Very caramelly and unbelieveably malty. Pretty hoppy as well. Awesome for the style.

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Photo of trekbiker3000
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer poured clear with a reddish copper color. A slight to medium sized head (depending on your pour) quickly dissipates. It left no evidence in the glass that it contained a beer.

The smell was malty with maybe a slight odor of yeast. Not unpleasant in the least. The first impression of the taste was the sweetness, almost a caramel candy taste. I detected a slight hint of alcohol. I can say that this beer does not accompany a white garlic pizza very well.

The mouthfeel is slighty above average. It was refreshing, sort of medium bodied with just enough carbonation.

I thought this was a drinkable brew, but again not with garlic pizza.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: A bit of a stale odor, I did cellar this for at least 9 months waiting for a good reason to pop it. It turned out the “Wednesday” was the reason I was waiting for. Some malt in the nose, but it’s faint.
Appearance: Clear orange amber with an amazing big fluffy tan head that rapidly collapsed to a thin film of head that slowly disappeared without lace
Flavor: WOW, what a malt punch from such an innocent glass! Some very mild spiciness and caramelized banana deep in the taste, but this is all about the sweet toasted malt. No hops noted, and the balance is a bit heavy on the sweet, but this is a double (doppel) bock.
Mouthfeel: Odd, it starts a bit thin and seems to solidify in the swallow. Overall, have to give it a medium-heavy body that leaves a slightly oily coat that lets the malt linger.
Overall Impression: As for drinkability, the taste says yes, the thick mouthfeel and alcohol say no. This is a meal, and while I want another meal… in a few hours, not another one right now, thanks. I find this is in the same class as a Celebrator, which is a good class to be in. I would recommend finding this one.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review gives good evidence to how my tastes have changed in the past several years. I've had this a couple of times in the years leading to this review and have always found it too cloy to enjoy and sometimes to even drink. Not anymore. This was really good. Even in my little burb I can get it easily and at $1.99 a bottle, to me a worthwhile price. I'm converted.

Aroma is quite sweet caramel malt aroma. Slight sourness in the mix. Seems fresh somehow and a slight grain quality.
Pours with an excessive head (a couple of inches) and settles slowly. Head stability is pretty good. Amber, very clear and attractive (other than the large head).
Taste is malty and sweet and somewhat cloy, but not disturbingly so. Because I let it warm some I think it had a less intense malt bite. Sweet and dry on the tongue simultaniously. Alcohol hidden. Mild dry finish. Rather short. Toffee notes more than caramel.
Really quite smooth, but not necessarily soft, although the carbonation is.
Took me awhile to get here, but I can now appreciate this beer and it's good ratings.

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Photo of claytri
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Salvator pours a clear amber with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. It's smell is malty and fruity. It tastes winey with a hint of malt, grapes, and raisins. It has a dry hoppy finish. It feels slightly oily, and has a nice light feel with a dry finish that has some hints of iron. It is a drinkable beer, but lacks some of the strength and complexity of other double bocks.

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Photo of twilight
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very drinkable dopplebock that pours a beautiful ruby red color with no head. The aroma is fruity, but too reminiscent of fruit punch to be necessarily great. The taste is malty, sweet and fruity, leading to a sour fruit aftertaste. Nice. Slight carbonation and light on the palate, but full in the body. A good beer, but has hardly any hoppiness. Still, a good drinkable dopplebock.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle - Poured an amber colored brew with a medium size head. Retention is very average as well as the carbonation. A bit of caramel and sweetness with an above average body. ABV is well hidden. Not the best doppelbock I have tasted but bot bad either.

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Salvator Doppel Bock from Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG
88 out of 100 based on 1,349 ratings.
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