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Sierra Nevada Double DeBockEl | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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43 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: German Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 41
Reviews by Douglas14:
Photo of Douglas14
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light golden color with a nice white head. It smells sugary and hoppy, not really what I was expecting, but still pretty good. The flavor compliments the aroma, but also throws me off...in a good way, though. The beer is super smoothing in the mouth. It is pretty hoppy and has a nice lingering bitterness to it. This beer is way creamier than any bock I have ever tasted. Good beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of cokes
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The ruby-orange body supports a tight ecru capping of foam, and a few struggling bubbles of CO2 meander their way up to join it.
Sourdough aroma, bolstered with caramelized pineapples, brown sugar, sherry-like alcohol vapors, and a fairly loud hop contribution, with pine needles and dead leaves.
Bready and generally dry at its onset into the mouth. It sweetens with a toasty-sweet Munich-like maltiness, with a small nuttiness, and then ventures towards dates and caramel. It never settles in here, as the hops and alcoholic sting turn this briskly bitter, with big fallen leaf and dry pine overtones. The inhale finds some vinous heat.
Medium+ in body, with enough tiny carbonation to keep it from any kind of stickiness, but also enough to keep it from feeling as rich and brawny as it needs to be.
You'd never mistake this for a traditional doppelbock, but that doesn't seem to be the intent. The hopping is attention-grabbing, but the rest of the beer doesn't hold much intrigue.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Found on-tap at the brewery in August 2004.

I was amazed to see no reviews of this beer. It was one of my favorites at the brewery.

It came mid-taste session in a small sample glass. One sip had me ordering a whole pint for a proper review.

A muddy ruby, lightly laced, cara-malty masterpiece, this was one of the best beers of the trip. I felt that it fit better to style than most any other SN varieties. That characteristic bitterness only sneaks through at the very end, but this deviation was a plus for me - nice and thirst-quenching and provoking at the same time.

I'm looking into getting this installed at my house.

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Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Monster B's in Stamford, Conn. Poured cloudy dull tangerine, minor off white head and then stingy fine lacing. Wheat and fruit in the nose. Lots of ripe fruit, wheat malt, lemon/lime, melon notes. Alcohol in a understated mode. Moderately zesty and oddly refreshing. Nice offering from powerhouse SN

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Photo of Stimack
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a growler of this for this past weekend. Very interesting as I think this is the first offering of this brew, at least the first time I have seen it. The brew poured to a nice amber brown color with a thick off white head that had fair retention and did leave a little lacing. The aroma was unexpectedly more hoppy than I would have envisioned, while that aroma was nice I think it somewhat distorted what this beer should have been. I also pick up a nice malt aroma, slight roast and caramel, but for me it seems to take a back seat. Also present is an alcohol aroma that at first I liked but as it warmed got a little to boozy for me both in the nose and in the flavor. The aroma was similar to the nose where the hop flavor was quite intense based upon the style. The malt flavors where there, again for me they took a back seat and as the brew warmed the alcohol flavors just got to be a little to much. Overall, I did enjoy this brew but don't feel that it is in the style, I could be wrong, but would have anticipated much more of a malt base.

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Photo of motleybrew
4.87/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As a bock fan, there was little I could fault this beer for except that it was so high in ABV that I couldn't drink MORE of it. I had one pint, and was ready to start singing German pub songs...I was not in a German pub and I wasn't German.

There was ever so slightly a lack of clarity which is why a 4.5 instead of a 5. the thin head left lacing all the way down. The orangy apricot color was pure and told me what to expect. malty overtones were not just present, but perfect. As my mouth filled with the brew, an even balance of malt and fullness were so perfect I knew I'd found the promised land. There were hops, sure, but as little as a bock of this type needed.

I got to the end of the first pint and because I had somewhere to go i asked for a different beer...and when I was told the keg was dead on what I ordered, I was glad to have the opportunity to change my mind, and indeed took another draft of this DeBockEl. It was every bit as good the second time through, and the second tempted me to a third, for which I'd sadly run out of time.

This will rank on my list of beers: If it is offered, there is no other choice. If it could come to 7% and be as rich I would encourage it...but my guess is, if there is a fault to have "that I cannot drink enough of it" is the best one.

Suffer me this brew...as often as possible.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a light caramel crystal clear body with a thin sticky head of light tan with a gentle carbonation. The head doesn't last long.

S- The smell of dry malt is soft and has a very light toast to it. The finish is a pine hops that is very slightly pungent.

T- This beer has a soft toasted dry malt note with a hint of biscuit and a big boozy finish. There is a pine hop to the finish aswell. As the beer warms there is a soft nougat note in the malt.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slight slippery/watery texture and plenty of alcohol heat.

D- This beer has some big boozy flavors in a thin malt profile. I'm not sure what style I would call this but it doesn't really have the body of a dopplebock.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draft at Summit's in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Dark copper body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Pale malts, grains, and a muted citrus component. Wait just a damn minute, are you telling me Sierra Nevada slipped me yet another IPA?

Taste: Pale malts, a touch grainy, and having a light sweetness. Lightly citrusy hops deliver a punch of moderate bitterness. Pepper-packed booziness throughout. Tiresome, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Very light stickiness to the mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Waiter! Oh, waiter! Yeah, I ordered a doppelbock and got this ho-hum IPA instead. What gives?

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Photo of kkipple
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a growler off the fill station at Green's in Columbia. Wasn't planning on drinking this for my birthday but these things happen. Thanks Kasey!

Pours a very non-doppelbockish autumn leaf orange. Mostly clear, a few timid bubbles make their way to the surface in a vain attempt to prop up the light toasty head. It pretty much looks like a dark DIPA, but that's ok... There is some lace as I dig into this glass, and subsequently, the growler.

Hm, doesn't smell much like a doppelB, either. Sweet malts akin to a Marzen are here, but there's a big American hop note of citrus... and sappy, bitter cones that, while delicious, are quite far from the style. A little too clean... could use some more nuance. But that's ok too. Overall, Debockel smells good, a little reserved and with just a smack of alcohol... is this really 9.4%? Hmm....

Double DebockEl is mis-named. There, I said it. This ain't no doppelbock. In fact, I'd be shocked if it were a lager. This is a malty, hoppy brew that is pretty much a double IPA with some curious malt character going on. Big in-your-face hops with a nice balance of pine-citrus and more than a little malt caramel sweetness make this one of the most aggressive Sierra Nevada brews I've had. A fine malty-sweet, overhopped brew that belies its booze content. Quite drinkable and tasty.

Mouthfeel is fine, decently carbonated. Finish is dry hop bitters and sweet toasty grain sweetness, but mostly bitter.

As I'm on my fourth glass of this stuff, I rate the drinkability accordingly.

Sierra Nevada Double DeBockEl is *not* a doppelbock. It's just not. But it's good beer. So that's ok.

Recommended. Not at all sure why they released this as a Doppelbock. I don't know what exactly this is supposed to be, but it's Good Beer (tm).

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/27/09 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, dark fruit, lager yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet and malty, with flavors of caramel and dark fruit. Then a strong hops presence for the style comes in next to balance things out. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, it's a good beer overall, but even though a liked the high hoppiness for the style, there are other Doppelbocks that I would choose first.

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

On tap at BSP.
Nice deep brown/amber with a slight bit of whitish tan head. The head fades fairly quickly but leaves a ring.
Nose is toasted malts and floral hops. A bit unexpected considering the style.
Taste is sugary roasty malts and heavy hops. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Nice hints of brown sugar and an earthy leaning. The roasted malts are not overly intense, but still curiously strong and overpower the hops a bit.
Good mouthfeel, and relatively drinkable.

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Photo of Hautacam
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a double bock ?
I seriously thought the bartender made a mistake or the keg was mislabeled.
It looks, smells and tastes just like a double IPA. There is a bock like malt background, but that doesn't show up until the beer is pretty warmed up. When cold, it's just a big, hoppy DIPA. Some alcohol makes it through....not too much.
It is a good tasting ale , though, and I enjoyed it. Dense , low carbonation. Was served a pint of this.... a buzz inducing dose.

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Photo of Kendo
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got it on tap at the Lionheart in Albany.

A: Body is light honey in color with a small off-white head that settles fast. Rings of lace up top, but no lacing on the way down the glass.

S: Nose is predominantly skunky, with some leafy and earthy hops noticeable as well.

T: Sweet and fruity malt -- caramelized sugar and boozy fruit -- that is knocked back and dominated by a spicy, leafy herbal and skunky-type taste. Alcohol heat is definitely noted.

M: Medium-bodied. Appears light in carbonation but has some active fizz to it.

D: OK. Skunky spice detracts from overall quaffability.

Notes: I'd never seen or heard of this beer before I saw it on the chalkboard at the Lionheart tonight. I had no idea it was 9.4% ABV when I ordered it, but in hindsight it makes sense, as there was plenty of heat. That overall impression of skunkiness took away from the experience; it was almost like drinking a Euro Lager from a light-struck green bottle in some ways. I will try it again to see if second impressions are the same, but if they are, I wouldn't really recommend this SN offering. Though it does provide a nice buzz. . . .

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting name for a doppelbock.

Clear golden body with a thick white head and tons of lacing.

Sweetish aromas with citrus hops in the nose. Some alcohol as well.

Flavor is sweet pale malt up front followed by a signature cascade hop bitterness.

Full bodied with light carbonation create a creamy mouthfeel. All-in-all not bad, but certainly not to style. Think hoppy American big lager.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap @ the Blind tiger

Poured a light carmel brown crystal color, with a thin head and light lacing down the glass. The amora is of dry, toasted malt, piney hops also dominate. Up front bitterness in the taste, never had that before in a doppelbock, dry malt and hints of bread, with a strong alcohol finish and pine hop. The mouthfeel is medium with a oily texture and heat from the alcohol. Not the smoothest/easiest drinking doppelbock i've had, this is definitely not your average doppelbock.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber orange color, mostly clear, with a nice centimeter thick head of medium sized bubbles that stick hard and last for a while.

The head certainly didn't mask the aroma much - tons of hops, some spicing, and brown sugar.

The flavor is exquisitely complex and unique. Great presence of caramelized sugary malts, a nice nod to the style. Tons of hops, including an herbal component, some citrics, and a really inviting floral sweetness. Great balance overall for a beer; for a doppelbock there are a ton of hops.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, nice and full. Awesome. Finish is similarly excellent, spraying the floral, spicy characters all over the mouth and barely leaving room to appreciate the prick of alcohol. Outstanding in all respects.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First of all, this is not a doppelbock... it is actually far from it. It's something like an American interpretation of the style that's lighter but retains the depth of malt character that doppelbocks are known for. The hops are outrageous though. Interesting. On to the review:

Pours a perfectly clear amber/gold with minimal head that lasts only as a ring. If it had better head retention, this could be a perfect score, because the beer itself is beautiful.

Aroma is of caramel, honey, sweet malt, piney hops, and a good bit of alcohol.

Flavor is much like a doppelbock except with tons of hops balancing and overriding in the finish. Rich, honey-like malt dominates initially, then is overcome by grapefruit hops and a rather bitter finish. Alcohol is quite evident as well in the flavor, especially in the finish.

Medium carbonation, full body, intensely dry, astringent, and warming in the finish, with a lingering dryness in the back of the throat.

This beer is certainly drinkable and well worth a try.... But is very strong and a bit overwhelming. Overall it's more like an "American strong lager" than anything else. Get your hands on it if you can. SN has done an interesting work with this.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at The Brick Store Pub. Pour amber with a fairly fine white head and very nice lacing. Smells very light with some slightly sour graininess and some firm malt. The taste is rich and malty and quite good with some earthy hops at the finish. Its a little sweet with some fruitiness that is balanced by a nice dry spiciness. his does not at all seem like it is as strong as its abv. The mouthfeel is a bit spicy and quite dry despite all the malt. Very nice, I'd have several if it weren't so strong.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear ruby hued amber with no head in this tulip. And really. Who needs it? More room for beer. Nose is malty sweet. Flavor brings the same malty sweetness. I'm not getting a lot of complexities, but it's smooth and tasty. And I'm feeling even more buzzed than before, which is good right now. The high abv isn't noticeable at all. Hmmm. Think I just got some apples on there. I like. Very smooth flavor profile. Feel is thick and a bit sticky. Carbonation is lower but still has a bit of a bite to it. This is deadly drinkable. You'd get easily suckered into many many of these and you'd feel it the next morning.

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Photo of atsprings
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Raleigh's Flying Saucer. Served in a tulip glass a nice crisp orange with a thin diminishing head. Aroma was a nice balance of malts and citrus hops. The taste was just what I expected from these guys, all the crisp malt bite of a Dopplebock with a load of West Coast citrus hops, hoppier than a Dopplebock should be, but still fairly well balanced. The beer was on the heavy side of medium with some sticky alcohol. This was a very enjoyable beer, one I'd love to see bottled.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Mahar's

A: A nice copper/ amber color with 2 fingers of white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Hops up front? Oh yeah. Definately a different experimental twist on the style. The malt was certainly there but the hops dominated the nose. Little bit of sweetness towards the end.

T: Again the hoppiest doppelbock I have ever had. Not as hoppy as the nose. More malt in the taste. Probably just used a ton of hops at the end of the boil to give it that nice nose. A little bit of dark fruit but I feel the hops killed this aspect of the beer.

M: Nice and creamy. Really nice.

D: I had no idea this was 9% while drinking it. Totally different take on this style. Glad I was able to try this beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Brewgrass festival in Asheville, North Carolina. Consumed on 09/20/2008 and reviewed from notes taken at the time.

Ok, now this one I was getting excited for. I had heard rumblings that it might make an appearance here, but never thought I would actually see it. Immediately went for the tent and grabbed one of these. Poured a nice medium amber with some definite dark hints roiled throughout it. A nice clarity revealed some carbonation coming up towards the surface letting me know this was anything but a dull beer. Good sized head on here, maybe a half an inch or so that clung to the sides of the glass though out the session.

The aroma was rich as hell, I had no idea Sierra Nevada was going to come out with something this nice. Rich roasted malts with a hint of alcohol just oozing with sweetness. A touch of honey maybe? All of it wrapped delicately inside a shell of a hoppy presence. The flavor though bore no hops that I could find with any certainty. This was a malty bock like beer, ridiculously smooth for over 9% and with a creaminess in the body of it that was just stellar. Rich caramel and nut like flavors rolling across the tongue and mixed with an ever present touch of sweet wheat like alcohol. Light earthy hops in the finish, just enough to offset the alcohol.

Overall I have to say I thought this one was excellent. I remember this as a stand out almost immediately and was just blown away with it. Really a very solid beer and good job to them for getting it done.

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Photo of jophish17
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Taco Mac, Marietta GA, served in typical TM fashion- frozen pint glass

Aroma: a very sweet smell, and strong too - the hops and alcohol also come out in the nose

Appearance: nice looking for a doppelbock, if standard with the dark amber body and thin head that doesn't do much

Taste: A sharp taste on both ends, nice sweetness with caramel and toasty malts coming out strong, but with a hop profile and alcohol content to let you know this is made in the USA. A

Feel: I actually LOVED the medium-bodied mouthfeel as it just seemed to have a perfect flow across the palate with the hops and malts doing wonderful things to tickle me.. this is what a doppelbock should feel like..

Drinkability: is ok - its a very strong beer and Sierra Nevada certainly did not try to mask the alcohol too well, nor the hops nor.. well, anything. Very strong and biting, a nice beer to have once but not one I could drink all day

I was pleasantly surprised to see this beer on tap at a place like TM so I had to try it, and I must say it delivered a really good [though admittedly strong] example of a doppelbock American-style

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Photo of ncvbc
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber with brownish shades, medium head with pretty solid retention. Good smell which is malty as it should be, though surprisingly hoppy as well. Some caramel and toffee with light fruits. Taste is much of the same. It had the malty sweetness that you'd expect but the hops play well here. Not your typical Doppelbock but a good version of one. Sweet and malty, nice toasted bread as well. Great citrus hops that come through toward the finish and give it a crispness that I'm not used to. Mouthfeel has a bit much in the bitterness department and doesn't allow it to be as full as normal. Still, I enjoyed this take on the style. A very nice hop presence made it very interesting and quite drinkable for me. Sure, it's not spot on for what it should be but I can't hate it too much for that. Yummy stuff.

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Photo of gford217
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.

The appearance was just the beginning of the surprises with this one. It pours a light, clear orangish amber with a small tan head that recedes to a collar quickly, leaving no lacing. It certainly doesn't look like a doppelbock.

The aroma continued the trend with some roasted malts and lots of hops. The hops are on the earthy side of things but the aroma is fairly subtle overall. It doesn't smell like a doppelbock.

The taste is slightly better but still is dominated by roasted caramel malts and lots of earthy hops. It's got a toasted character overall. It doesn't really taste like a dobbelbock either.

The mouthfeel is fairly light for a doppelbock, though I don't think that comparing it to a doppelbock is relevant at this point.

I'm still a little confused on this beer as I just can't fathom how it can be considered a doppelbock. It's a better-than-average IPA, but that's about it. Weird.

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Sierra Nevada Double DeBockEl from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 43 ratings