Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock | Dark Horse Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 444 | Ratings: 1,026
Photo of MacDomer
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my standard pint glass.

A - Pours a nice dark-roast brown. Hit of red when held to the light. 1-finger head to start, quickly diminished to a thin off-white ring within 2 minutes. No lace to speak of. A really nice beer to look at!

S - Surprisingly, coffee! Rasted malts and dark fruit. Cake batter, too - almost a sweet milky smell. Quite appealing, not overly intense.

T - Cafe au lait, accented by some caramel, malt of course, and dark cherries. Good, not great length relative to doppelbocks.

M - Quite nice! Tiny effervescent carbonation. Medium, but not heavy body. Brown sugar in here as well. Excellent coffee bitterness on the finish, dry.

D - Yes, please. I could do two of these easily. After that, on to the next adventure. Kudos on the attempt at something new here.

Overall, recommended, especially as a one-off purchase. A 4-pack would be sufficient for me.

 908 characters

Photo of cokes
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a muddy auburn with a inch of khaki suds, which diminish over a minute or so to a collar with modest lacing.
The cocoa-imbued coffee beans are the hallmark of the nose. Mild-medium roasted, with lurking plum, fig, and burnt peach maltiness. A port-like vinous alcohol concludes each sniff.
The bean are first across the tongue, moderately roasted with accompanying bitterness. Dry cocoa ensues, as the backing malts begin to unfold, still dripping with coffee, and ever will be. Plums, concord grapes, carob, and fig are the more identifiably traits, but some suggestions of grilled pineapple and peaches are deeper within. Interwoven through it all is a blanket of scorched caramel and vanilla beans. The finish is peppery and dry, and while hops probably have some say in this, the beans are the louder culprit. Alcohol comes through less in the taste than the nose. It's brings just traces of vinousness. You know it's here, but it's also not here.
Medium bodied, perhaps a touch thinner than might me expected from a brawny doppelbock. Carbonation is minor and sedate, leading to a fluid, silky texture.
It's more than a novel approach to a d'bock. The coffee is prominent without totally overshadowing the base malt characteristics. It works, and is plenty tasty...but in order to have more than 1 in a sitting, I'd like a decaf version. Over time, the coffee comes close to getting in the way, and there's a very solid regular doppelbock underneath it all.

Oh, and the artwork is killer, especially the evil version.

 1,533 characters

Photo of joe1510
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$7.99 4-Pack
RT. 6 Liquors

2008 Edition with the Two Headed Beast.

Perkulator is my first coffee infused doppelbock. This beer pours a deep rich brown with garnet highlights flashing around the edges of the glass. The body glows mahogany when backlit and the carbonation rises in streams to the surface. A standard pour produced a fingers worth of beige head that fell rather quickly to a skimming with an island of foam here and there. The collar was slightly thicker and leaves behind tiny patches of lacing after each drink that eventually fall back into the body.

The coffee in this beer is mild, so the nose suggests, but it is the first thing coming from the glass. The coffee gives way to the more malty characteristics. There's a good deal of peppery spiciness but the main component to this beer is a rich rather sweet malty character that centers on toffee and figs. The aroma doesn't really have a great deal of doppelbock but it smells inviting whatever it is.

The flavor varies from the nose in that the malty sweetness hits first. The toffee maltiness leads the way before mild coffee grounds make themselves known mid palate but fade just as quickly to black pepper spiciness. The figs seem more like rum soaked raisins, although the boozy quality is rather dull. Mild leafy hops bring up the rear and add a sense of balance. The coffee comes along once more on the swallow. Not quite a dopplebock but a well crafted beer regardless.

The body feels light as it hits the tip of the tongue but quickly gathers its composure and eventually has a slight viscosity. The carbonation is nice and soft making this beer roll across the tongue.

This is an easy drinking coffee infused beer. I can drink a few of these in a sitting without a problem. The coffee is balanced out nicely by the malt and it makes this beer go down easily.

Perkulator is another well made beer by Dark Horse. The flavor is good and it's nice to find a coffee beer where the coffee acts as a compliment to the beer instead of the main component.

 2,046 characters

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle - Pours a clear root beer color with small quickly dissipating head. Below average carbonation. Smells only of coffee and not much else in the nose. First sip is all coffee and more coffee. There is a fairly nice malt backbone. Very nice, very drinkable. Excellent bitter finish.

 298 characters

Photo of jwinship83
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- brown body thats slightly see through around the edges under a finger of creamy beige colored head that leaves little to no lacing

S- toffee and a faint smell of coffee.

T- woah, way more coffee than in the nose! in fact, way more of the toffee as well. no trace of booze.

M- light but not too thin. very crisp and refreshing

D- more of a novelty, i doubt i would want more than one of these in a sitting. a must try for the coffee lovers out there. dark horse wins again.

 480 characters

Photo of Roeters
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz into a Pint glass

Deep dark brown with a redish tint to it little to no head, no lacing.

Strong coffee aroma with a mild roasted malt aroma that slightly hidden behind it.

nice coffee flavor in the front and in the back with a great coffee after taste but allows bock to come out in the middle with some nice roasted flavors and a hint of hops

light on the mouth with a good level of carbonation.

refreshing, not over powering.

 437 characters

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Good finger of head on a dark amber body. Standard.

S - Smells like coffee grinds! I didn't really pick up much else, just lots of glorious coffee grinds.

T - Ah, there are the doppelbock qualities... Caramel and fruit sweetness accents the malt at the entry, soon followed by, you guested it, roasted coffee flavors! It starts mild, and slowly takes over the mouth. Esters and alcohol mix with the roastyness to make a nice, enjoyable finish.

M - Full and crisp, with some nice prikley qualities from the alcohol.

D - This is what it is, a beer dominated by coffee. Fun experiment, not exactly one for the purists. I will enjoy the rest of the 4 pack...

 662 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown. Nose is pure coffee. Flavor brings a lot of the same. Not really much complexity, but coffee, yes indeed. As one sided as it is, it's still enjoyable. Feel is a bit thick on the liquid and the carbonation is middle of the road with a slight bite on the tongue. A nice coffee beer (above it being a doppelbock really.)

Thanks to aqsprint for this one.

 372 characters

Photo of Windigstadt
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a hazy, deep chestnut with an ample but quickly dissipating off-white head.
S- As one would expect, a burnt coffee aroma dominates. While I'm not so sure the coffee aroma works as well with the bready sweet aroma of a Doppelbock as it does with a roasty stout or porter, it's not bad.
T- A hint of coffee tinges the malty sweetness of the Doppelbock that immediately hits your tongue. The malt profile of the Doppelbock is excellent. Not very roasty or chocolatey (perhaps so it doesn't compete with the coffee) but nice molasses and honey notes. Finishes sweet with more coffee bitterness providing the counterpoint. The hops are virtually non-existent.
M- The body is exactly where you want it to be for a Doppelbock... full but not thick.
D- While fans of most American Doppelbocks might find this perfectly drinkable, I subscribe to the German philosophy that you should be able to drink your Doppelbock a half-liter at a time, and that's not the case with this beer.

Overall: This is a noble experiment and for the most part executed well. However, it seems to rely too much on the coffee to provide bitterness and the end result is a slightly unbalanced brew. Coffee fans should definitely try this but overall I'd rather have a four-pack of Dark Horse's non-caffeinated Doppelbock offering.

 1,307 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from West Lakeview Liquor - no date on the bottle, but they just got it in so I'm guessing it's fairly fresh. Used a pilsener glass for this one...

A - Pours with a thick serving of head that dissipates quickly. Rich dark amber color, with small amount of carbonation present.

S - Mmm...coffee. There's a little bit of caramel and malt underneath.

T - It's like drinking an iced coffee with a lot of cream, and malt used instead of sugar. It's hard to look past the coffee flavor as it overwhelms pretty much everything. A little one-dimensional...

M - Creamy and rich - lingers in your mouth. Carbonation is just right.

D - No idea how strong this guy is but it doesn't taste overly strong. If I were in a coffee mood I could have a couple of these.

It was nice to see a doppelbock getting in on the coffee action that seems mostly limited to porters and stouts. The malty nature of the doppelbock really complements the coffee flavor and makes it drink like an alcoholic iced coffee - which is both a strength and a weakness, as it makes this brew a little shallow.

 1,091 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.29/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsener glass

A: Pours a clear, almost glowing cherry wood, looks a bit like fresh brewed iced tea for those familar with the look of that beveredge. The beer is topped with a inch of foamy, bubbly, sandy brown head which could benefit from a bit more staying power.

S: This beer brings the coffee to doppelbock. Rich, almost woody aromas mix with fresh ground coffee with just the slightest bit of malty sweetness hidden in the back end.

T/MF: From the look of this beer I was expecting the body to be a bit on the lighter side, but the first sip I took threw all of those thoughts out the window. This beer is thick, on the fuller side of medium bodied and just about the chewiest thing ever. Beginning is much like Surly's Coffee Bender, in that ever aspect of the beer's inital taste is coffe, coffee and more coffee, midway through the beer begins to show some of its sweetness and the malts begin to shine through. The finish is nice and grainy and leaves behind remnants of coffee flavors on the tongue, which last and last after the sip is gone.

D: While this beer does not seem to match up with traditional doppelbocks in terms of fitting into style guidelines, the beer still tastes and feels great and drinks way, way too easy. I could drink this all night, but then again I am a coffee lover. Could look a bit better though.

 1,368 characters

Photo of champ103
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep mahogany brown color. A small tan head forms and leaves patchy lace.
S: Coffee and some smoky wood aroma. I mean tons of coffee, like you are sticking your nose in a cup of dark roasted coffee.
T: Again, deep and dark roasted coffee dominates. Some wood and smoke that follows the nose. I am talking about straight black coffee here, and the flavor lingers on forever.
M/D: A full body that is very rich. Carbonation that is just right. Not that the alcohol shows, but the heavy coffee flavor takes away just a bit from the drinkability.

This is very unique. I really enjoyed this beer, and something I would recommend to coffee lovers and those that want something different.

 694 characters

Photo of ATPete
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle received in a trade.

Damn i wish i got the cool evil looking label instead.

Perkulator pours a mahogany brown color with some orange/red highlights and a small tan head. The nose and taste share similar notes of bourbon, wet wood, sweet molasses, coffee bean, whiskey malt or corn mash, and very musky, cherry vanilla sweetness. The alcohol content is not threatening. Coffee doesnt come through as bright as had been expected but it plays a critical role in its bitterness and overall texture. Full bodied, this is a large brew great stuff though, very drinkable.

 579 characters

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at the Main Party Store in Ann Arbor, MI.

This is a great coffee beer for it's balance. In my opinion, too many coffee beers are all about the beans, with beer just acting as a prop. Perkulator pairs the smooth malty caramel of a doppelbock with fresh, dark-roasted coffee and I'm loving it. Easy to drink from the not-too-thick (for a doppel) body and delicious. A must-try for fans of coffee beer.

 419 characters

Photo of FrognutUnl
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany brown with not so much a head as a mild fizzing that sticks around on the edges of the glass. Smells of coffee and a malty sweetness and a mild bread-like smell. Taste is malty, chocolaty coffee with the coffee dominating the finish. Notes of cinnamon poke out as the glass warms a bit. The coffee has definitely toned down in the 6 months or so since I purchased it, but I think that is actually an improvement as the other flavors of the beverage are allowed to come forward. Overall, another solid, well-balanced brew from Darkhorse that I could sit and drink all evening and probably will.

 615 characters

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 BMoney575
2.52/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 6-17-08

Pours a very deep reddish brown, with a filmy off-white head and super thick lacing.

Smell is stale coffee, with just a little malty sweetness in the back.

Taste is alot like the smell, with grassy, stale coffee in the front. It continues into the middle, with a stale coffee bitterness to finish things up.

Mouthfeel much too thin to be a good doppel.

Drinkability is poor, the stale coffee flavor becomes gross after awhile.

Overall, not a good coffee beer, and not a good doppelbock.

 511 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured a deep copper color bock with a small foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of medium coffee notes with a lightly sweet caramel malt base. Taste is also a mix between a lightly sweet caramel malt base with some nice medium notes of dry coffee. Average body with some OK carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not extremely complex but well done and interesting take on the doppelbock style.

 439 characters

Photo of mully
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a thin brown head that leaves no lacing

coffee, carmel and sweet no hop structure of note

coffee some blended bitterness with some coffee and some hop - good malt but not as much sweetness as the nose would indicate. more mild than I expected, in a good, balanced well crafted way.

a little light, but im not sure what I was expecting, I think the coffee thins out the bock but, im used to the coffee in syrupy stouts so this is a refreshing change.

very drinkable but I think I would get weirdly drunk with the coffee and alcohol mix, who knows

good, balanced beer

 586 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark amber color with a rocky beige head that dots the pint glass with lace

Smell: Caramel aroma with hints of coffee; much more restrained than expected

Taste: Opens with a combination of caramel and coffee with cinnamon and cream - sort of an odd combination that tastes a bit better after the swallow; a bit peppery in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; slightly creamy

Drinkability: Sometimes you like beers better than you think you will and sometimes you don't; this time I don't, although I like coffee beers and I like doppelbocks; I drink my coffee black and don't like sweet coffee combinations and that is the problem I have with this beer

Thanks, hoppymeal, for the opportunity

 745 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown in color with a nice quarter inch head that recedes quickly to nothing. Not a whole lot going on in the nose, barely detectable slight coffee.
This is a very interesting combination. Decent doppelbock with just a slight amount of coffee. I'm liking it. Decent mouthfeel.

 282 characters

Photo of tpd975
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew from knight84

A: Pours a dark brownish light blackish color with hints of red showing thru. The half finger head quickly rises only to die just as fast. Several small spots of lacing.

S: Perkulator is a fitting name. This one is coffee, coffee, and more coffee. A bit of toasted caramel malt as well.

T: Matches aroma. Tons of nice fresh coffee. The coffee taste starts a bit strong and bitter only to be overtaken by a wave of sweetness. The sweetness sort of lingers at which time a creamyness comes out. A bit of hops and bitter chocolate peek thru in the finish.

M: Very light brew with light carbonation.

D: The taste makes this one very drinkable for me.

Overall: I love coffee brews. This one has a nice level of coffee flavor with a perfect amount of sweetness. I am not a huge fan of dopplebocks, but this is my third coffee dopplebock. When you add coffee to this style of brew I reaaallly like it.

Thanks knight84.

 945 characters

Photo of seaoflament
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hoppymeal for sending this interesting extra.

Pours a muddy amber color with about half an inch of foam.

Coffee aromas upfront. Pretty much just sweet coffee, caramel, toffee, and a few spices. Very interesting, and I can say that I've never had a dopplebock like this one. Some bready aromas try to cut through the coffee but so far it's just suppressed. I'm also getting a bit of raisin.

Coffee dominates the taste again with just a touch of alcohol and some sweet bread flavors in the aftertaste. I'm getting a flavor of toast, sometimes faint and sometimes a little stronger. Strange, as soon as I take a sip I get a glimpse of the malt but as soon as I move the beer farther back the palate the coffee takes over and masks the malt.

Good carbonation, kind of finishes a little thin for a dopplebock but that doesn't seem to be the problem; it doesn't taste like your typical dopplebock. I like this beer but I wish the coffee could play as just another flavor in the mix and not overwhelm the malt.

 1,017 characters

Photo of JDV
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle courtesy of alexgash. Thanks!
Pours dark maroon with a large medium sized beige head. Smell is of sweet maltiness and nice strong coffee. Taste is about what I'd expect from the name. Rich and malty as expected from a dopplebock with a nice coffee flavor as well. Finishes more malty with little coffee flavor at the end. Pretty nice and drinkable. Medium to slightly rich body with good carbonation. Fairly noticeable tartness in the finish that detracted somewhat.

 473 characters

Photo of younger35
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this brew as an extra from the very generous Hoppymeal. So far I've been super impressed with Dark Horse and I love coffee in my beer. Drank from my Rogue Kells Irish Style Lager pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark reddish brown with a decent half finger light tan head that recedes fairly quickly. Leaves behind a super light cap and a fairly thin collar and zero lacing.
Smell- Coffee, coffee, coffee and a bit more coffee. If I didn't know that it was a reddish brown color I'd swear that it was jet black just from the nose. A bit of sweet caramel malt mixes with the coffee and is a bit reminiscent of hazelnut Starbucks.
Taste- Starts lightly sweet with a bit of warm caramel and some chocolate. The coffee is always around but definitely not as dominant as the nose. A lightly citrus twang is evident on the way down before the alcohol has a chance to kick in. The aftertaste is of lightly toasted coffee grinds.
Mouthfeel- A bit thin but smooth and slick with lightly crisp carbonation.
Drinkability- Yet again Dark Horse blows me away. My main man tpd975 was right when he sang the praises of this brewery. This is a great brew if you like coffee but if you don't, it probably won't be your favorite. The aftertaste can be slightly sweet but that is about the only negative. Big thanks again to Derek!

 1,321 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!