Surly Brewing Company

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German Doppelbock
Ranked #21
Ranked #6,015
4.16 | pDev: 13.94%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Very Good
Notes: quadruple bock
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 45
Photo of SaxmanRick
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick tan head, which receded quickly. Moderate lacing remained. Liquid was dark brown.

Aroma offered roasted malts with a slight hint of sour...suggesting a classic bock.

Taste similar to aroma...roasty, malty, slight hint of sour. The 11.5% ABV is really well-hidden. Classic, just a great bock.

Mouthful very appropriate for the style...moderate carbonation, not thick/not thin.

Simply a terrific representation of the style.

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Photo of deebo
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at brewery.
A-deep garnet color with a ringing of light tan head. Clear
S-smells like a dopplebock. Rich caramel malts dominate. A little bit of ripe plums noted.
T-similiar to the aroma. Big and malty.
M-moderate to high carbonation which covers up some of the mouthfeel. A little burn in the finish.
O-I'd like to see this more quad and less bock but the use of lager yeast has given this beer a dopplebock characteristic more than anything else. Decent brew and well crafted but not memorable.

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Photo of spacecake9
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted on tap at Surly January 2016.
A - Pours a clear brown with a small white head.
S - Aroma is somewhat sweet, almost candy like.
T - Flavor is toffee and bready with a sweet finish.
M - Medium body and carbonation.
O - didn't know what to expect but this was good.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Surly’s Beer Hall. 10 oz. serving in a chalice. 2016 rebrew.

Appearance: Color is a dark brownish copper. Solid finger of tan head that slowly settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A toasty and fairly sweet malt driven aroma with a scent of caramel, biscuit, and dark fruit. Toasted malt with a scent of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, smoke, yeast, and slight chocolate roast. Big dark fruit presence with hints of raisin, fig, cherry, and dates. Sweet hints of molasses. Subtle hop hints. A pretty nice aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a toasty and sweet malt forward taste with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, and dark fruit. Toasted malt with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, grains, and yeast along with some subtle chocolate and smoke. Dried dark fruit notes of raisin, cherry, fig, and dates. Sweet notes of molasses. Subtle earthy hop bitterness. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a drying finish. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A really good take on a big Bock. Good mix of toasty malt and dark fruit flavor.

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Photo of jakemn91
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery. It is a remake of the original.

Pours a clear dark copper with an off white head.
Aroma is toffee and dark fruit.
Flavors of dark fruit, caramel, slight molasses sweetness, slight licorice on the tail end.
Medium to full body

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Photo of mothman
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-brew of the anniversary beer. 11.5% January 2016.

Beige head. Clear copper color.

Malty. Lots of caramel and toffee with some molasses. Lots of dark dried fruits. Raisins. A little heat. A touch of sweetness. A touch of cherries.

Full bodied and smooth.

Very easy to drink for how strong it is. Definitely glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of brdc
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the pleasure of getting multiple pourings of this fantastic beer at the Great taste of the midwest. Poured into a sample glass.

They call it a quadruple bock, which is a style we obviously do not have. It certainly feels a lot more than a simple doppelbock, and it is certainly not a pale lager.
Brewed presumably July 2006, with a blend of 7 different malts and candi sugar.
Deep brown, nice caramel color head, great retention and lacing. I spent a lot of time with this beauty, just admiring it and enjoying, sip by sip.
Malty, caramel heavy aroma, with an intense fruitiness, and molasses.
Full bodied, creamy as a beer can be, sweet although not even close to cloying.
Fruity and caramelized, some licorice, vanilla, moalsses, more fruits.
Very hard to characterize, but nothing short of spectacular. In a day with multiple spectacular beers including a variety of Dark Lord incarnations, Canadian Breakfast stout and others, this was the one I kept going back. I could only dream they would bottle this.

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Photo of mnstorm99
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I am happy that Surly brewed this beer. Not a style I typically drink, First time I had it, on tap at the Happy Gnome, Impressed with the deep red color, extreme fruity (dates, raisens, apricot) aroma which is the best part of this beer. Taste is very sweet, good but almost too sweet for me. The second time I had this I went to the brewery and got a growler, more of the same but I learned that the second one tasted better once my palate was trained. Very good beer I would have again, just not my favorite style.

I can't wait for Two, not until February though!

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Photo of beckje01
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark amber look and still not much activity.

S- Nice fruit nose, not sure what exactly but its nice.

T- Full fruity taste with a good malt backbone. Really great balance. Overall a wonderful taste.

M- A little tingle with a nice thickness.

D- Very good and very drinkable.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to JeffKrenner for this growler.

A: Into my oversized Fischer tulip it goes. Mahogany chestnut on the dark side of things. Only maybe a dozen or so bubbles meander from the bottom of the glass to the top. Head is of medium size, creamy, almost a straw/cardboard color.

S: Huge rum raisin, apple cider, milk chocolate, brown sugar with a hint of fennel. Strawberry too, I’d reckon. I’m thinking Scotch ale so far.

T: Begins with loads of dark prunes, over ripe figs and cantaloupe (of all things). Absolutely seeping with sugary malts that taste like they were leached from marinated brown sugar and unrefined molasses. Almost like a caramel sherry if even possible. A surprising minor bitter streak runs through it, adding a touch of dimension. The sugar is sticky and lip smacking, although I could see this getting cloying after a while. Hints of bubblegum, vanilla and cherry cordial as it warms. Finishes with unhindered alcohol esters and berry fruitiness.

M: Medium body, syrupy yet smooth.

D: I think two glasses is all I could do of this one. I’m craving a large glass of water to cut some of this sugar. One of the sweetest beers I’ve had in while, I think I can feel myself getting fatter with every sip. A fairly unique beer resembling somewhere between a scotch ale and perhaps Belgian. If bottled it would probably age quite nicely.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a lovely tulip glass at the Happy Gnome, poured a dark, dark burgundy to mahogany brown, no head and little lacing to begin with, started off a bit cold may have affected it, as a nice off-white head is brought about with a good swirl, and lacing in bubbly sheets increaded as it warmed too. The aroma had nice malty sweetness, molasses, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs, sugars, very nice, but a bit faint.

The taste mirrored the aroma a lot, same delicious fruits and tangy, malty sweetness, only better, stronger, smoother. The first sip said to me Belgian Strong meets Doppelbock, and its a brilliant combination. The mouth is ooooh so smooth, goes down like velvet, the finish is long, and its really just a well crafted beer. Its a great, innovative brew to cap an amazing first year of success. Congrats guys, and keep up the good work.

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Photo of Mdog
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On a cold Saturday in February, I ventured to the Surly Brewery. I was one of the lucky few to get a growler of one.

Appearance: Good looking stuff. Brown with red highlights when held to the light, plenty of bubbles streaming up through the beer and a nice head. My second glass actually foamed over!

Smell: Bready sweetness, not really strong.

Taste: Molasses, toffee, raisins--plenty of malty sweetness in this beer. It's less sweet than the Sam Adams Double Bock I had recently, and there's a kind of earthiness that lies underneath that keeps it in balance.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat slick.

Drinkability: This beer is pretty strong but extremely drinkable. The alcohol is well hidden. I could probably down the growler in a day, but I'll show some self-restraint and save some for the next couple days.

I had Surly's first anniversary beer several weeks ago at Washington Square Bar & Grill and liked it a lot. Finally growlers became available so I could review it in the comfort of my own home. It's another great beer from Surly.

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Photo of dfried
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark in color but not quite black, it's like looking through a dark, purpleish ruby. There was about 1cm of bubbly white head on it when the server brought it out, but that fell quickly to a thin ring. A little head would come back with a swirl, but wouldn't last more than a few seconds. I couldn't extract much from the aroma other than sweet and malty, sugary, some caramel and molasses notes as well as some dark berries and plum.

Up front I noticed a lot of black licorice flavor. The candy sugar is quite noticeable too, it made it very sweet and almost fruit juice like, but not cloying like generic, from concentrait juice, it was like fresh juice from concord or some other dark grape. But then more of the black licorice shows up, and you start getting tastes of thick molasses and bourbon. Some other fruits make appearances but don't take leading roles, figs, raisins, and plums, some brambles did linger in the very background too, but none of these are what this beer is about. Low carbonation and plenty of sugars made this beer slide down quite well.. With how sweet it was I don't know if I would call is silky but it was along those lines. Strong alcohol is noticeable enough to make it a sipper for sure, but it's hard not to dive in for more.

Verdict: what the hell did I just drink? I am not sure, but it was awesome. Surly definitely is staying original with this one. It is not a doppelbock, doppel-ish? kind of, but it would kick the best doppelbocks ass. Too much black licorice and molasses, not enough fruits and brambles to be a doppel for my taste. But this beer shoud not be compared with only lagers, it could butt heads (no pun intended) with some of the best big beer ales.

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Photo of ballenc
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. tulip glass on tap at Mackenzie

Another delicious brew from Todd and Omar at Surly. It pours a deep brown with a reddish tint. No noticeable head to speak of. The first thing I thought of when I took a whiff was fruit preserves. Strong and sweet. The taste mirrored the aroma - fruit jam, raisins, figs but not overly sweet or sugary. A solid thickness on the tongue. At 9.0%, probably couldn't do more than two of these at a sitting but definitely a drinkable brew - and this is from someone who typically favors ales over lagers.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed on January 27, 2007. On tap at the Blue Nile. Faint tangy malt, with some wheat sugars and a number of rested cherry pits. Dark ruby and mahogany pour, with little head. Clear and deep. Flavor is an intense chewy amalgamation of brown sugar, bourbon, molasses, black cherry ice cream, nips of cold sherry and lots of bold hazelnut, with wisps of aged pipe tobacco. Fantastic, especially for a lager. The nuttiness is complex and complementing to the bravado of the fruit character, which stays mid-range and sweet. Texture is silky, liquid smooth and bright. Lots of residual sweetness and the candi sugar shows, but it doesn’t have any unpleasant cloying qualities. Hops appear as a bit of an afterthought with some long vegetal quality. There’s been some discussion as to what this really is and I think it can be best described as a Belgian Dark Lager. If that makes any sense. I just get a real grasp of the chewy, rich malt complexity of darker belgian beers, with the piquant fruitiness of German Lager techniques, yet a mouthfeel somewhere in between. Go Surly!

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Photo of tavernjef
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Blue Nile, who knew: A limpid ruby brown with nary a head to be found. Hmmm...I sense a malty "One", perhaps a skimpy collar and a whispy residue is strewn across the top of the liquid. Lacing minimal within a few strings and spots, but mostly a clear oily-like film is covering alll areas the liquid touches.

Aroma is sweet with a ample dispaly of freshly squeezed fig and raisin paste and a slice of dark candied bread.

Taste is more sweet to go with the smell...and a whole lot more. It's Doppelbock meets Belgain Dark with a good load of super fresh raisin and fig innards, squishy sweet and sticky with dark fruit gum and glues. Nice dark Belgian candy-like tendencies spark and develope as it draws out through the finish. Leaving long sticky sweet stuff all over the palate. Not drenchingly so like mollases or syrup, but with a high, dark sweetness that encompasses the Doppelbock realm. Yet the candy flavors mixed within pull from the malt flavors more then what they can make up for and make for a nice drinkable lager. Or is it an Ale due to its Belgian likeness? Well, what ever you want to call it, or label it, or decide to call it or label it, it's a sweet ride, as in sweet with a whole bunch of malts and candy goodness. Its tender and longing with a big sweetness all across its character.

Body is super smooth and silky sticky with all sorts of stuff holding on to your cheeks making for a sweet and heavy, yet, smooth bodied brew. This "One" is completely drinkable! The overall sweetness in flavor is a little much after a while, but somehow not bothersome at all as this was still downable enough and really quickly due to its finely crafted soft silky smoothness. Its a pretty decent Doppelbockish-Belgain Dark-thingy-lagered-ale.

Happy Anniversary Surly! Keep em coming.

Next up...a Barleywine stout?

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"One", an anniversary lager. ("But don't call it a doppelbock.")
Brewed July 2006, with a blend of 7 different malts and candi sugar. 9% abv, 28 IBU.

(this was hard to categorize, as it's not a double pilsner, not a malt liquor,...I thought I'd err on the safe side and just enter it as an all-malt lager.)

Sample bottle poured into a wide-mouth Belgian chalice.

Deep mahogany hue. ("Tawny brown", says the brewer, but we're both right.) Slim whitish head.

Aroma: nice and malty, lightly spicy, with prominent notes of raisin and plum. Molasses isn't far off, either. Delicate sweetness.
And, though I tried not to copy the brewer's notes, yes, there's vanillla and licorice in there, too, can't deny it.)

Taste away: Mmmmm. That's all I'll say: Mmmm



...okay, seriously, this is quite a slick, delicious treat, and they're right it's not a doppelbock, it's unlike anything I can think of at the moment, and I think it's brilliant.
Those dark fruit flavors ride on top, coated with a candyish sheen and it's jostles the realm of the syrupy, but not quite. It grabs hold of the palate with each new sip, drips this sweet concoction all over the tongue and it splashes the roof of the mouth, coats the senses, then softly fades back, though the beautiful flavor never quite quits.

Alcohol is not as forward as you'd think, going into a 9% lager, but I still would advise against tippling too many!
Finish is long, body is medium to full, and the taste is well-tempered, very sweet, but not too much so, at least not to me. Those who can't stand a touch of sweetness may not like it. Their loss.

Happy 1st Anniversary Surly!
Here's to many more!

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One from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 45 ratings