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Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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444 Reviews
Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee DopplebockDark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by oberon on 10-18-2007

For Trade:
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Reviews: 444 | Ratings: 1,026
Photo of tectactoe
2.92/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Dark Horse's only publicly distributed lager... Interesting. With a name like Perkulator, how could I not pick this up? It pours a muddled, swampy looking brown and tan color. It is 100% opaque and has very small bits of sediment that suspend in the beer. The head is thin and light-tan in color; overall, a pretty ugly looking beer.

Incredibly roasty coffee beans plague the aroma. The beans smell strong, burnt, and pungent; very deep and obviously coffee-heavy. Unforauntely, there's not much else to be appreciated in the aroma, save for a very, very light caramel sweetness that is only noticed when the beer starts approaching room temp. This smells more like an actual bag of old, burnt coffee beans than a beer.

The taste isn't quite as heavily roasted as the aroma, though coffee beans are certainly at the forefront. The mild burnt coffee beans up front transfer slowly to a somewhat sweet and scarcely malty profile. Light caramel and toffee are noticed, though this beer still doesn't taste malty or sweet enough to be a true doppelbock.

The heavy roast induces a deep bitterness at first, but never gets too overpowering. What's throwing me off is a strange astringency and a weird tartness that comes about halfway through each sip. Slightly green apple-like in character, I'm thinking it's acetaldehyde. Not enough to make the beer awful, but enough to dock the taste a bit.

Thin bodied for a doppelbock, though I'm starting to realize that this beer really isn't all that "doppelbock-y" in really any facet, other than the fact that it uses lager yeast, which also goes unnoticed. Dry, slightly metallic, strange aftertaste that wears on the palate with time.

Very interesting beer all around, and really quite far from what I was expecting. I wanted a malty, sweet doppelbock with a nice, light coffee addition. It tastes more like straight up burnt coffee beans with almost no mention of doppelbock in the flavor or the aroma. It's not bad, but it's not something I would regularly reach for. Dark Horse should stick to ales.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out as a brownish orange color without much head. The beer is a bit lighter in color than I expected. The smell is heavy with coffee. I'm not really able to pull much more from this. The taste has a big and bold coffee flavor to it. There isn't much depth here. It's like drinking a chilled black coffee to me. I wasn't able to get much malt of hop flavors at all. The coffee just really over powers everything in this beer. The mouthfeel in medium and doesn't have much carbonation. Overall this was a little disappointing.

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Photo of weatherdog
2.98/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a John Smith snifter

It pours a slightly hazy mahogany with a 1 finger head that dies quite quickly. No lacing on the sides of the glass and the beer looks fairly lifeless in the glass.

The nose is immediately strong coffee. Upon deeper smelling and thought I conclude that the coffee, while strong, isn't really that great. The aroma is akin spent coffee grounds after they had sat all day in the coffee machine. You know what I'm talking about, you get up to make a pot in the morning and find that your wife, or more likely you left the old filter in there. It's not unpleasant by any means, but I'm well versed enough in coffee beers to now this isn't the best aroma.

Sadly that stale day old coffee ground type flavor comes through into the flavor. I really love coffee flavored beers and this one isn't doing it for me. It's fairly bitter with just this overwhelming old coffee taste. A positive about the flavor is that the finish has a nice malty sweetness that allows the bitterness to subside.

Mouthfeel is medium and carb level is right where I'd like it and within the style guidelines. Drinkability is average simply for the stale coffee taste. No alcohol flavor or aroma can be detected which is good.

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

poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a SN Hops tulip. A moderate to hard pour created minimal head which faded to an island of light tan, then nothing. The body was a hazy cola/leather color.

Smell was mild coffee and plums. Sweet grains. Stewed fruits.

Taste was malty. Light coffee flavors that linger with bitterness. Brown sugar. Primarily doppelbock characteristics with a understated coffee presence. Nicely done.

Mouthfeel was medium in body with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of kkleu357
3/5  rDev -19.6%

From notes on 3/26/14

Medium brown color. Very carbonated pour. Very odd aroma. Reminds me of a hot sauce smell. Tastes fine. A little coffee flavor comes through over the caramel taste if the body. This beer is just ok.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A fairly aggressive pour produces an opaque, dark copper-brown beer with plenty of visible carbonation near the top. Head is very light brown in color, about 1cm high, and quickly descends to a moderate ring around the glass. No lacing present.

Scent is predominantly of stale coffee that's been left out for some time that drowns out most of the malt sweetness here. Perhaps very slight hints of walnuts under everything else...maybe. Very one-dimensional, despite the possibilities.

Tastes mostly of malt sweetness mixed with stale, sour coffee and the slightest hint of bitter chocolate. Aftertaste of sour coffee and baker's chocolate.

Medium to heavy-bodied with adequate carbonation to keep things interesting and moving along. Finish is dry and slightly sticky, but not saccharine or annoying.

An interesting take on the doppelbock, but this version completely drowns out most of the doppelbock nature and therefore primarily fails, in my opinion. This is more of a coffee bock than a doppelbock (and the coffee doesn't even taste particularly good).

 1,061 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle served in a lager glass.
Pours clear copper-brown with a massive, foamy bone head. It took several pours and some patience to get the whole bottle into the glass.

Unappealing odor, characterized by wet earth, used coffee grinds and wet grains. Similar characterization in 2nd sample: stale coffee grinds.

Followed by a decent flavor with some sweet and roasted malts and a good bit of coffee.

Feel: smooth medium body with a bubbly feel.

O: likely a contaminated bottle; 1st such ever from Dark Horse. Will re-review with another bottle from a different source. / Similar characterization but more positive in 2nd sample: stale coffee grinds in aroma with notably better flavor.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a straight-sided mug)
A- This beer has a dark dense brown body with strands of carbonation trailing up the sides of the glass. The head is a thin white film of tan swirling around the middle of the glass.
S- This beer has a dry prune hint that turns more nougat and a big cold coffee grounds aroma that dominates.
T- This beer has a soft dry dark roasted malt flavor that quickly gives way to a big cold coffee ground flavor that lingers a bit. M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight little fizzy finish. D- The stale coffee ground dominates the flavor and aroma and is tough to get through a full beer.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle opened and a slight bit of head protruded - uh oh. Poured into a tall pint glass, color is brown, opaque, head is big and lingers big with some lacing.

Smell is muddled, coffee is prominent, a bit harsh, malt is subtle slightly sweet, maybe a touch of chocolate.

Taste is coffee forward, somewhat harsh, slightly earthy metallic bite, malt comes through in the finish, subtle chocolate, touch of vienna or munich style flavor. I don't like the blend, the coffee flavors seems to harsh and the doppelbock backbone is overtaken by this flavor.

Mouthfeel is a bite biting, harsher flavors and presence around the mouth, flavors linger after the finish with the biting coffee upfront.

Overall, an okay brew, a bit harsh on the coffee flavor and underdone on the doppelbock backbone. Maybe the size of this doppelbock needed to be a bit higher to compensate the coffee.

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Photo of budgood1
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out a slightly murky dark mahoghany colour with a slim off white head. that reduces down farily quickly and leaves just some sparse lace. i also notice that this doppel is bottle conditioned, so i'm assuming that i am about to sample something out of the realm of any preconceived style guidelines. the aroma is predominatley coffee, but the spent and burnt kind...lots of ashiness to the overall smell. it sort of overwhelms any malty doppel notes, so commenting on the malt and hop nuances is pretty much impossible. the flavour profile allows some of the maltiness to come through...it's semi sweet, a tad smoky and rather one dimensional. a stabbing alcohol burn is quite noticeable...then there is the coffee profile; astringent, bitter and rather overwhelming in its manner of dominating other respective flavours. for a doppel, this has a relatively light body. the mouthfeel is overly smooth and seemingly on the watery side. strange drinkability...i keep thinking that all these flavours should mesh better, but then they don't.

overall...a good idea that just doesn't work in this concoction. add that into the fact that it seems like this is a weak doppel on its own reduces the enjoyment factor even more. good idea, poor overall result.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Looks like iced tea. The coffee flavor is definitely there, and as a fan of coffee, that was a big plus. It had a nice, creamy feel to it, and for the first half I was really enjoying it.

Then, I began tasting a more and more sour flavor. It was like sour milk. It wasn't overwhelming, but seriously hurt my overall perception toward the brew. It was a bold and unique offering, just not a great beer.

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Photo of Overlord
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks Unclejedi!

Pours a dark, somewhat brackish brown. Tan head that slowly settled down into a very long lasting thin film and crust.

I'm not the hugest coffee fan, so consider that as you read the review. Still, Speedway Stout is highly ranked amongst my reviews, as is Peche Mortel ... so clearly, there's room in my palate for well structured coffee beers that integrate other flavors into the mix.

This beer does not. Smells like coffee. Basically, coffee beans. The taste may add a bit of malt (along with a strange metallic twang), but it is, again, straight coffee. Like drinking a cold cup of java. The only aspect of Doppel Bock I get is a bit of a smooth malt aftertaste and finish that lends some much needed sweetness.

The beer grew on me a bit as I drank, but I couldn't but think that a Bock-lager was just a bizarre choice to add coffee to. You need a real strong backing to prevent the brew from being overwhelmed, which is what happened here.

Nice creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of benito
3.07/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I've been on a bit of a coffee beer kick lately, and I was excited to add a new base style to the list of coffee-infused brews that I had had...a doppelbock...unusual I thought at first, but the bursting malt body makes sense, like a brown, this might be a perfect match for coffee. How did the folks at Dark Horse do with this creative experiment?

Light, ruddy, reddish brown with a thin, fixxy head that sticks around as an ever-present ring. Aromas of coffee and brown sugar; the initial coffee flavor gives way to a juicy, malty middle and an abruptly dry finish. There's a hint of alcohol warming, and the aftertaste has a very bitter bite. Had I not known the base style, I would never have guessed that this was a doppelbock.

What's best about this beer is the way the coffee flavors are both assertive and balanced. I wish that the beer tasted more true to the doppelbock style--more malts, greater length, heavier feel and less bite.

Overall, this is an above average coffee beer and a mediocre bock; though, I'm glad Dark Horse went for this experiment and eschewed the porters/stouts-only path for its java brew--there's great potential still with this combination.

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Photo of circlenine
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed and reviewed on 12/2/10. Poured into a chalice.

Let me begin by saying this is my third coffee brew in as many days. The first was Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout, the second a Peche Mortel. The Peche was good, but definitely expected more. And now I turn to the Dopplebock.

A: Pours a nice thin Dark Brown. My pour resulted in about a 1/2 inch head which quickly dissolved with no lacing.

S: I definitely expected to smell more coffee than I do, although there is a definite smell that I can't place my fingers on - it's almost sweet smelling.

T: As a huge fan of coffee I wanted to taste more of it. The sweet smell is definitely present in the taste, almost to the point of distraction from the coffee - what should be, in my opinion, the prominent element.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Not at all bitter and very little after taste. If it wasn't for the sweet taste, this beer would be a high 4 for drinkability.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.09/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Dark copper beer, slightly hazed. Tan head appeared thin, and it receded quickly.

S-Coffee aroma is very prominent, dry coffee character, slightly sweetened by the dopplebock underneath.

T-Coffee is deinitely there, but it seems a bit more subdued than in the aroma. The coffee tastes sweetened as the caramel malty sweetness comes through, with a slight chocolatey nuance. Finishes with a residual sweetness and lingering coffee aftertaste.

M-Moderate body feels comfortable on my palate. Carbonation melds nicely with the body, complimenting it.

D-I think this brew can pretty much hold its own, but I feel like it's lacking something. Propes for creativity with coffee in a dopplebock, though.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pedestal style glass I like to use for bocks. Nice dark mahoghany color with substantial head. A nice looking beer. Coffee dominates the nose; not much else. Malty flavors upfront. Where's the coffee? It was so prevalent in the nose, I figured there would be some coffee flavor in the beer.

Very thin, not all that drinkable.

Glad I tried it; had been meaning to try something from Dark Horse. I just won't try this one again.

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Photo of Dope
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A very dark amber/mahogany pour. Big fluffy chocolate milk head. Retention is good. Lacing is ok.

S: Smells like coffee. Can't even discern anything else.

T: More coffee as expected, but not as strong as the nose. A bit of sweetness helps balance the coffee bitterness. A little bit of toffee and molasses but it's pretty much all coffee.

M: Pretty thin but otherwise smooth.

O: A simple coffee beer. Definitely one to try if you love coffee because there isn't much more to this one. It's not like a coffee porter or stout where there are other aspects, this literally tastes 95% like cold coffee with a bit of alcohol in it.

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Photo of BrewerMike
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What I like about this beer:
The aroma is reminiscent of fresh-brewed black coffee. Very nice. This is a relatively well-balanced beer. Nice sweetness, not too bitter. The alcohol is well-hidden, although the beer is nice and warming.

What I don't like about this beer:
The coffee flavor is a bit off-putting. It tastes like cheap, bitter black coffee mixed with beer. It's quite a strong flavor, too; a bit overpowering for the style.

That's about it. Overall I liked this beer enough but I have enjoyed several other coffee beers more. I think this flavor needs to be backed up by a much bigger, maltier beer. Not bigger in alcohol, more so in body and overall flavor. The coffee porters and stouts I've enjoyed have handled the coffee much better. I'm actually curious how they added the coffee, whether it was flavoring, beans, grounds, or straight brewed coffee. Maybe changing the method would work better IMHO.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is coffee, and hints of malt. Really though it is all coffee. Very pleasant, but very simple. Luckily there is a lot more malt in the taste than there is in the aroma. There is still a ton of coffee though. Maybe too much....yes, too much. Way too much. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this beer has the biggest coffee character of any coffee beer I've yet tasted. Until now I never thought I would think a beer had too much coffee, but this one certainly does. Although I am a huge coffee beer fan I have never been a coffee drinker. This beer is more like drinking coffee to me than drinking a coffee beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: pours a deep reddish brown with a bit of clarity and a thin tan head. The head has poor retention as a small color is all that's left after about 5 minutes. Very little lacing.

S: the aroma hits big with spent coffee grounds, bitterness, almost some mustiness from the coffee character, with some sweet and caramel malts underneath

T: Big coffee character on the front, again it has that used coffee grounds flavor as it seems many of the bitter compounds from the coffee are in the beer. The coffee is very strong and dominates the palate. Some sweet malts come through on the back in the form of candied fruits and caramel.

MF: low carbonation, medium body, smooth

D: Interesting pairing- coffee with doppelbock.. can't say that it's my favorite combo, but I'm not sure if that is more due to the stale coffee character or if it is the pairing I'm not the biggest fan of. Either way, the beer is drinkable, but not very well balanced.

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Photo of MistahBeah
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a muddy brown with a thin tan rim of head around the glass. Mild carbonation. Lots of sediment. To agree with some of the other reviewers, this isn't a terribly attractive beer

Aroma: Definitely roasted coffee. Some smoky notes. Some chocolate in there. Kinda smells artificial but its not a bad aroma. Syrupy

Taste: Follows the nose including the syrupy artificial flavor. The coffee is a nice touch but it's kind of all there is. Big roasty coffee steals the show. Some chocolate notes in the aftertaste. Not unpleasant but not my favorite

Mouthfeel: Smooth and pretty full-bodied

Overall: Worth trying but isn't a go-to for me. Again, the coffee is a nice touch but it could have been done better I feel

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drawing inspiration from the savory, malty-rich bocks of Germany, the Dark Horse Brewing Company immulates these flavors with common grains of American microbrewing along with artistic additions of coffee that seems to emphasize the earthen roast and bitterness already exhibited in the base beer.

Perkulator opens with a firm brown appearance that's mostly clean. Only a mild haze casts ruby highlights beyond the brown hue. Building a creamy tanish head, the beer retains and laces fairly- where the beer doesn't dissapoint, I'm looking for better foam character as well.

Caramel and coffee floods the olfactory senses along with peripheral notes of lightly scorched toffee, bread, and lighter nuttier coffee attributes similar to Kona. Lightly fruity, mild notes of cherry, dates, and figs round out the scent with a twinge of alcohol lurking behind.

Malty-sweet to taste, the overt malt taste carries bold caramel, molasses, and toffee- some on the lightly burnt side. It's these flavors that bridge into the coffee additions seamlessly. The earthy char of toasted malts reach into the pungent, herbal, and chocolaty notes of coffee and pull out a more moderate java tone of spent coffee grounds. A late arriving palate shows the fruity bock notes of burnt currant, dates, and cherries just before the alcohol taste gives mild tawny vinous taste to finish.

Medium bodied, but seemingly fuller because of the relatively high residual sweetness, the bock starts and ends with a semi-sugary texture. An extended middle palate delays the finish, making the beer much more of a sipper that drinking beer. Alcohol warmth and malt-balanced finish signal closure but extends well into the next sip.

Although Perkulator is inspired by traditional dopplebocks, I would prefer more adherence to the malt richness rather than caramel sweet taste. The base beer favors the sweet tooth rather than the savory fullness and bready textures. As the coffee registers with the taste buds, they seem a bit strained and lacking the freshness or silkiness of the classy coffee shop. This version is a satisfying beer but becomes a bit ambiguous.

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Photo of seeswo
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a thin brown with a small head. Smell is pretty reserved coffee, not much else. Tastes like a cold coffee poured into a Sam Adams. Finishes with just a hint of sourness. As it warms, more coffee, bitterness and sweetness comes out. It's a bit odd tasting and not particularly enjoyable. This is a bit thinner than expected for a doppelbock. Overall, I don't think this is a very successful experiment. It seems like they toned down a Doppelbock's sweetness and body to allow the coffee to come through to neither's benefit. Not undrinkable by any means, but not nearly my favorite.

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Photo of mentor
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown mildly cloudy liquid with a small tan head. Smells like a bag of freshly ground fine coffee beans. With searching some toffee.

Tastes refined coffee. Clena leaves fresh ground coffee flavor hanging in aftertaste. Caramel with deep searching. Decent sweet to counter the coffee, but pretty one-dimensional. Mild sting from carbonation. Clean lager that avoids off-flavors. Md body with clean alcohol sting. Decent beer, but very simple.

 455 characters

Photo of cosmonick
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a mug

Appearance: Murky brown with some red tones. It poured with a medium sized, thick bubbly brown head.

Aroma: Super strong coffee aroma with a little vanilla.

Taste: Sour coffee with a little bit of roasted malt and slight dry bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Just a little bit thicker than water

The warmer it gets, the more sour it smells and tastes. Definitely worth trying but I think the aroma is much better than the taste.

Eis Igian,

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Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,026 ratings.
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