Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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 CortexBomb
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is standard for a doppelbock, darkish brown with a modest head on top. The nose is heavy on the coffee and malts.

The flavour is essentially a standard, though unremarkable doppelbock with caramel malts being prominent, and then pairs it up with coffee. I think the combination works, but that it isn't particularly remarkable.

The mouthfeel on this: purely average given the style. Doppelbocks are big beers, they need to be at least moderately thick, and this is. The drinkability: also average: if you're looking for a coffee beer you can do much worse than this, but I don't think it's amazing either.

The bottom line: Dark Horse has done a decent job pairing up the classic doppelbock flavour with java. I would personally prefer the full-on malts of a pure doppelbock, or the aggressive coffee flavour of a stout or coffee tinted porter personally, but you can do worse.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Orange body with white head.
S-Smells a little like coffee, but it is very subtle
T-Very subtle coffee. If I hadn't read the name of the beer I wouldn't know it was there. Lots of malt
M-Medium body and smooth
D-Above average, but I would not go back for another.

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Dark brown and mahogany. Some ruby highlights. 1 inch head dies fast. Moderate carbonation.

S: Strong, coffee aromas at first. Almost dirt-like. Not terribly roasty. Followed up by some dark fruits. Figs and cherries. Some acidity in the end.

T: First you get a strong coffee flavor. Once again, it isn't the most roasty of coffees. I get an almost earthy or dirt-like flavor. This is followed by a bit of bittersweet chocolate. It isn't my favorite coffee blend, but it is ok. The rest of the beer is a faint dopplebock. Plenty of dark fruitiness with figs, prunes, and cherries in the in. There is some tartness in the end, perhaps provided by the acidity from the coffee paired with the dark malts. The downside for this beer was that there was too much coffee flavor and too little dopplebock.

M: Light to medium bodied. Smooth, yet dry. Nice carbonation.

D: An above average coffee beer. I'm not sure if I'm sold on a coffee dopplebock yet. I like my dopples without a roasted, coffee component and prefer them as a malt bomb. It was interesting nontheless. Worth a try, but not worth getting a whole 4-pack.

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Photo of deebo
3.32/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Dense white head. Clear with dark reddish brown color.

S-Sweet dark roasted coffee (slightly burnt) malt bomb.

T-Heavy on the coffee. Slightly bitter. Quick finish. Coffee flavor takes away from the beer-ness.

M-Smooth with a bit of coffee bitter astringency.


O-A pretty nice beer, only complaint is a little heavy on the coffee bitter astringent bite. If you like coffee- this is your beer.

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Photo of mactrail
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lots of coffee, but it tastes more like scorched green chiles. Kind of a burnt over the campfire flavor. Thinner body than expected but fairly malty. Sharp and a touch of the sour. Smokey nose. Old vegetable broth with chocolate cherries. Nice golden brown color with long-lasting lacing.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
No date on the bottle or info. Awesome label!

A - Poured much lighter than I expected, it's a murky brown amber color that's on the verge of being an opaque brown. Dense light khaki foam rises to the top and lowers slowly but leaves little lace behind.

S - Coffee grounds are immediately evident on the nose with a background of toasted malts. The aroma has a very earthy feel to it, almost like dirt smell but, with this beer, it works out ok. Very heavily roasted cold coffee overall.

T - The earthy flavors overtake the coffee. The sweetness of the toasted malts are well balanced by the coffee ground bitterness but that fine earthy aroma in the nose doesn't translate well to the tongue. The finish tastes like dirt and...

M - ...has the mouthfeel of dry, crusty dirt. Of course that could be from the coffee. Perkulator is medium-full bodied and bitter on the finish from the cold coffee grounds. It's still got that nice lager character to it though.

O - This beer starts out nicely but the earthy dirt-like flavor stemming from the coffee is bothersome. The idea of a coffee doppelbock is awesome but either this is too old or the idea wasn't executed to the best possible way.

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Photo of cbutova
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Red-brown with a fizzy light tan cap that dies down fairly quickly. No lace sticks around from the small ring.

S- Spent coffee grounds are up front with some nutty, cocoa and slight caramel and vanilla notes.

T- Very intense spent coffee ground flavor, almost burnt and somewhat bitter. Some dark fruit in the background and well as nutty malt and caramel. Slight hops. Slightly sour even.

MF- Creamy light-end body with silky high carbonation. Somewhat bitter from the coffee.

DB- The coffee flavor is very intense, I would have to say a bit too much, it feels one dimensional. A strange Doppelbock. The sour, bitter coffee and a bit of alcohol eventually make me tired of this one.

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Photo of jampics2
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into my Troegs Mad Elf tulip.

Murky brown, next to no head.

Coffee, prunes, hops; honestly, the smell just isn't appetizing to me. But the coffee smells nice.

This is a wild ride. Starts with some dark, sticky bitterness that may be hops or stale coffee rinds then fades into a coffee roast,.

Good for a dopplebox in terms of m/f. A subtle sting from the carb makes the taste much brighter!

OK drinkability but not for my personal taste. Kinda a one trick pony IMO.

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Photo of ElizabethCraig
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark brown and cloudy with a tan head. Poured into 2 sample glasses to split between my husband and I so can't really get a sense for how the head measures or lasts.

The scent is sour coffee and hazelnut. Sour? Yes. Sour.

Taste is medium roast coffee fading into a sweet dark caramel to a sweet malty taste.

Ends tingly on the tongue and a little sour.

I'm unsure about this one. As much as I do LIKE deliberately sour beers, I'm not sure if I feel the sour characteristic goes with this one. Either an interesting yeast was added to it, or the coffee was roasted to deliberately or not include sour characteristics.

I'd love to love this one more, but I have to say the sour in this particular beer isn't my preference.

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Photo of peabody
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very clear and amber brown with two fingers of off white small suds that dissapate really quickly.Lacing on the glass.
Smell is fruit and malt. Raisin and date and strong malt/hop/yeast burn in the nose.
Taste is mellow malt and sugar caramel with a hint of coffee. Very little coffee here.
Mouthfeel is clean for the most part but the sugary malts take over after the alcohol leaves the palate.
Very light on all the flavors and the alcohol is way too prevelant.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a coffee colored brown with a thick bubbly head

Smell is of coffee, cold coffee grinds and subtle malt scents as well.

Taste it like cold bubbly coffee. Pretty good but it needs a little more something.

Mouthfeel thin and bubbly, this beer has quite a bit of carbonation.

Average drinkability, average beer. Worth trying though if you are in to the whole coffee beer thing.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is dark brown with a decent dose of red highlights. The sand hued head struggles to reach one finger. Light soapy lace can be acheived form a swish around the glass.

The aroma is black coffee grounds right out of the gate. It has a black dirt like hint to it. I can't pick much else out. The nose is just totally overwhelmed by black coffee.

The flavor seems to mirror the nose. All black coffee with a hint of earthy black dirt. Maybe a hint of malt but i'm struggling to pick it out. The coffee seems to just throw this beer out of whack.

The body seems a bit thin with light carbonation.

Overall the beer is just to disjointed for me. All coffee and no malt to balance it out. Not what I was looking for in a Dopplebock.

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Photo of Stu_Grimson
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a brownish amber color with a finger head that disappears to leave little lacing around the side

S- smells of roasted malts with hints of peppers, a little like charred habeneros

T- light taste that starts with lighter malty taste with a coffe taste to follow

M- light and easy drinking

O- not my favorite, wasn't really sure what to expect and was left a little disappointed. The coffee was not as present as I would have liked

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Photo of zeledonia
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: A slightly reddish, chocolatey brown, opaque, with a two-finger tan head that withdrw to about a half-finger of foam, and stayed there. Nice streams of bubbles rising up.

S: Like no beer I've ever encountered. The caramel malts are present but a bit subdued, and the coffee is there too, but not overpowering. Nutty, with some sweet fruit. To be honest, it kinda smells like a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich.

T: Coffee flavor is there, but without any bitterness - nice. Again, it's rather nutty and sweet, with a bit of tangy spice. The malts are hiding behind the nuttiness and coffee. I don't get a ton of the doppelbock flavor here.

M: Medium to medium-heavy body, nice carbonation, suits the beer well.

D: Certainly a unique beer. Coffee, nutty flavors, and sweetness. A nice combination, but I was hoping for more of that doppelbock malty sweetness. This is a beer I wanted to love, but it's not quite there for me. The flavors mix in odd ways and just don't mesh well.

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Photo of TomTown
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Deschutes Tulip.

Pours a deep brown that's nice and clear.

Smells pretty faintly of coffee and some caramelly malt sweetness.

Flavor is of old and over-roasted coffee. I'm wondering if I just got a hold of an old bottle but there's no date to be found on the bottle. Slight dark fruit character but also an odd vegetal character ever few sips. Not a fan.

Mouthfeel is pretty light and doesn't linger as long as I'd expect from a doppelbock.

Overall, would like to try at the brewery to see if it's better fresh. I'm hoping this is simply the byproduct of a poorly stored bottle.

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Photo of PerHops
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I didn't have super high expectations prior to drinking this beer. It poured a murkey almost, but not quite opaque brown with very little head, or carbonation visible. Smell was minerally, biscuity, and just a trace of coffee. Taste was predominately coffee, with some cocoa in the background. Tasted like an iced mocha. Carbonation lightened it up a little bit. Overall, i wouldn't buy this again, but I did drink the whole thing, if that's sayin anything.

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Photo of clint1019
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Am I the only person who tastes and smells cayenne pepper in this beer?

A - Pours a amber brown color with a slight orange tint to it. Has a caramel colored head that dissapated almost immediantly and no lacing what so ever.

S - Cayenne Pepper with a slight hint of coffee.

T - Has a stong taste of cayenne pepper. Also, taste a hint of coffee flavor, but picking up more of the acidity from the coffee.

M - Light bodied. A little thin for a dopplebock.

O - Didn't really enjoy this beer. I can certainly taste the coffee flavor especially in the aftertaste, but it's that spicy cayenne pepper flavor that dominates most of the other flavors in this beer.

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Photo of brendanbeer
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a. i like the dark mahogony color. but no head at all, eventually i can generate one by swirling my glass, but it doesnt last long.

s. faint coffee smell, like watered down coffee.

t. like watered down iced coffee. nice coffee bitterness and nice coffee sweetness, but its way too subdued and bland.

m. not much carbonation, doesnt linger much on the palate.

d. very drinkable, but not very enjoyable.

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Photo of phlegon
3.22/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I enjoy a good cup of coffee and a good brew so I thought I'd give this a try. This brew poured smooth and had an excellent appearance. I really liked the smell but the taste was simply too much coffee for me. The coffee taste overpowered the dopplebock. It's very unique. This was like drinking cold coffee infused with beer. I don't know if this has any caffeine in it or not. If you're a coffee lover give it a try!

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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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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.

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