Karminator | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

very good
14 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Extremely rich and malty German-style lager, so intense it's named after our founder! Karminator Dopplebock has a traditional double-bock flavor, brewed with an over-abundance of the absolute highest quality imported Munich malt to create an irresistible toasted barley flavor, with hints of caramel & toffee. A lot of care, time, and know-how has gone into creating this complex, memorable, and majestic lager.

Added by deuce9259 on 04-05-2013

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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 60
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$ 12.99 (Including tax)/bomber ($ 0.590/oz) at Giant Eagle, Hermitage, PA
Undated bottle at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – weak malt and a hint of olives
Head small (Maximum < 2 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy/creamy, diminishing to a three mm ring and thin partial layer
Lacing - none
Body – dark reddish brown, murky and translucent, some effervescence
Flavor – sweet and malty; no trace of hops, alcohol, diacetyl, or the olives that appeared in the nose
Palate – full, almost syrupy, moderate carbonation

Definitely a malt bomb.

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3.25, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5

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Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours copper/caramel with 1+ finger of fluffy cream colored head. Great lacing & slightly better than average head retention

S: Brown bread, woody hops, herbal hops & faint pine

T: Follows the nose, caramel & toffee, some leafy hops & dryness up front. More leafy hops, brown bread & woody hops as this warms. Finishes with leafy hops, dryness, faint brown bread & fainter caramel

MF: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Body thins a bit as it warms

Had higher hopes for this one, worth a try, especially closer to the release date I am sure...

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Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear dark reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige colored head that quickly died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark fruits are present in the nose—raisins seem to stand out in particular.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of raisins and caramel malts with slight hints of brown sugar.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This doppelbock feels a bit lighter in body compared to some of the other beers in the style, so it isn't nearly as filling but is rather drinkable. It does a very good job at hiding the alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Ricelikesbeer
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't tried much from Hoppin' Frog except for the various stouts they offer which have all been great. at $6 for a 9% doppelbock seems like a great deal.

L: light brown pour with light beige lacing. Head doesn't linger long. Clarity is fair. Overall looks very appealing.

S: caramel/toffee/toast notes from the heavy malt/munich presence. no hops. aroma does not "pop" but is there and is pleasing.

T: Lots of caramel toffee, but not cloying. Very clean finish which is nice on the palate. Not heavy on the toasted flavors so I really like that. The booze is there but it is clean and adds to the experience rather than detract.

O: This is a very nice offering and one I'd buy again. would be nice with some additional age. Overall a clean, strong, malty doppelbock that is well put together.

F: medium bodied, light carbonation, goes down smooth and easy.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark scarlet, minimal head, fair amount of lacing.

Karminator was one of my first craft beers, and really launched me into this world. I'm only now just rating and reviewing it, after having had it a number of times. It is definitely near and dear to me, one of a kind.

Flavor and aroma profiles, as with all Frog beers, are outstanding.

Extremely prominent caramel, malt, and raisin characteristics are featured in this brew, as well as a touch of cherry, even fresh, bright grape. Yeast and lager notes aren't as strong on the forefront as I remember, but this is a righteous beer nonetheless.

At this point in my beer life cycle, it's sweeter than I remembered, but my palate has become more accepting of the bitter flavors some craft beers gravitate towards.

Thinner than some of their brews, but still more robust than about 99% of their competitors. Soft, but with a slight kick of carbonation on the palate.

Totally delicious, maybe not exactly on the same track as true German doppels, but Frog is always pushing the envelope with big, bold flavors.

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Photo of beergoot
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark ruby-hued body; thick, dense, dirty white head; lots of lively carbonation. Rich caramel and toffee aroma; boozy; mild spiciness. Caramel, toffee, dates and prune flavors; fair amount of bitterness; boozy. Heavy body; somewhat heavy sweetness with a slightly dry finish.

This is a great looking and smelling doppel but rather chaotic as far as pulling the flavors together. Alcohol presence and heat dominates the malt sweetness and gives a rather unbalanced sense to things. This certainly isn't a bad example for the style, just a wee bit off-kilter when compared to classic, top-rated examples.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been aging this one for just over 2 years.

Looks normal. Smells of light caramel and tons of concord grape.

Strong bready and fruity flavors dominate with slight caramel going in and out.

mouthfeel is nice. Overall I could take or leave this one and probably would age again.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, poured into a mug at approximately 50 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby-red amber, and forms a decent head of pale orange-tan. Huge bubbles cling to the bottom of the mug, and occasionally fly upwards through the beer. There's some decent lacing, as well.

Smell: Sweet toffee and caramel, and lots of them! There's also some hints of cooked raisin or dates, and a bit of a boozy kick to the aroma.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely, opening with a sticky-sweet explosion of toffee and caramel malt, before date and raisin flavors swirl in. There's definitely more than a little hint of alcohol presence, though it isn't overpowering. By the finish, there's an almost medicinal taste, like a sweetened child's cough syrup, that lingers a bit after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, sticky, and full, with quite a bit of lively carbonation.

Overall: Not a bad US go at a doppelbock - solid malt flavors, excellent feel. It's not quite as bready as I'd like a doppelbock to be, but it's also not terribly far off for the style.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle poured into nonic pint

A: reddish brown hue hazy coloring almost no head with an aggressive pour

S: malty bready sweet Carmel

T: very nice sweet on the tongue follows the nose bready malty little toffee and Carmel

M: very soft feel not as chewy as some other doppelbocks light carbonation

O: this is a solid beer I like that it's not sickly sweet like Great Divides Wolfgang but I'm disappointed it's not as heavy on the tongue. if you like doppelbocks you will like this.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pils glass
A: Dark brown, somewhat opaque with a one-finger head that lingers
S: Sweet, caramel, fig, a hint of molasses
T: Matches the nose- sweet, with dried fruit and caramelized sugars
M: Full-bodied, you can tell the alcohol is there but it's buried in the sugar
O: Worth a try if you have friends to share it with but not a repeat buy - better dopplebocks and better Hoppin' Frog brews are both easily found

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 2/2013. Pours moderately cloudy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big molasses, caramel, raisin, prune, fig, pear, toast, toffee, brown sugar, biscuit, light chocolate, light pepper, light nuttiness, and yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good complexity of big syrupy-like malt and dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big molasses, caramel, raisin, fig, prune, pear, toast, toffee, brown bread, brown sugar, biscuit, chocolate, light pepper, light nuttiness, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of molasses, caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, fig, prune, pear, brown bread, brown sugar, biscuit, chocolate, and light nuttiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and dark fruit flavors; with a nice sweetness/fruitiness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very slick, moderately syrupy, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good doppelbock style. All around good balance and complexity of dark malt and dark fruit flavors; and quite smooth for the ABV, but is still definitely a sipper. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.07/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From: The Andersons, Columbus, OH
Date: None on bottle (purchased 5/2013)
Glass: Ayinger Celebrator glass

Hoppin Frog's Karminator is a good, albeit quite strong, doppelbock that satisfies any craving for a malt-heavy beer. While the toasted bread crust and caramel components are easily accessible in the flavor, the dried fruits and any complexity is either lost to the ethanol or simply not present. Additionally, I thought the aromatics were fairly weak. Would I get this again? Nope! for the price ($8 per 22oz), I'd rather get four 12oz bottles of Celebrator. Better than a straight, boring average, but still not "worth" the price.

Pours a 1cm tall head of tan colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles, giving a very frothy appearance. Retention is average, the foam lasting about one minute in a decline to a medium-sized ring around the glass and a small island of residual, wispy foam resting atop the body. Lacing is minimal, a few small spots cling to the sides of the glass. Beer's body is a dark amber brown color, with light bringing out reddish-brown hues. Carbonation is visible through the mostly transparent (20-30% opaque) body, low in number and activity.

Aroma is surprisingly mild for such a huge beer, somewhat disappointing. What does exist is of rich, toasted bread crusts, caramel, and slight mineral character.

Overall flavor is of deep, heavy Munich malt with plenty of Maillard reaction products generating toasted bread, caramel, dried dates and brown figs, with a noticeable, yet not over the top ethanol presence. Front of palate picks up heavy sweetness with significant Maillard reaction products: rich caramel and toasted bread crusts, faint and slightly herbal hop notes, and a touch of ethanol. Mid-palate of heavy, toasted bread and crusts and caramel, with lesser dried date and dried brown fig flavors, mild ethanol being present in the background. Back of palate has large accents of toasted bread crusts, caramel, dried dates and brown figs, slightly herbal hop characters, and mild ethanol. Aftertaste is of spicy ethanol, slightly herbal hop characters, and toasted bread crusts with a bit of caramel.

Beer is medium-heavy in body, with medium-high levels of carbonation that foam this beer up on the palate almost instantaneously, yet without any fizziness or harshness. Significant ethanol in the nostrils and on the back of the throat. Why is it that US brewers cannot either hide their ethanol or brew a lower ABV beer? Closes dry, with heavy stickiness on the lips and palate from residual sugars.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark mahogany with thin off-white head that dissipates to a ring around sides of my Hoppin Frog snifter.

Smell is ripe fruit and a strange cedar type character to it. Reminds me of cedar shavings in a hamster cage but without the hamster shit. Alcohol detectable too.

Taste is raisin and mild hints of chocolate. Alcohol pretty apparent but not overpowering. Mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and prickly.

Overall this was good and worth a try.

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Photo of deuce9259
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with Jdobe13. Poured from 22oz bottle to tulip.

A - Pours almost no head. Transparent deep red amber. Minimal lace.

S - Sweet nose, rich carmel malt, hint of dark fruit. Get some brown sugar as well as the alcohol.

T - A little dark fruit, tart, possibly raisin. Definitely brown sugar, as well as carmel, toffee and fig. Taste the alcohol, but its not overpowering.

M - Warms the cheeks. Somewhat thin (probably due to the abv). Finishes with just enough carbonation and sweet character.

O - It’s very smooth and tasty...as are most of the beers HF puts out. Classified as an Imperial Doppelbock Lager, I can't say that I've had too many in this arena. Would recommend to any fan of the style if it is available.

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Karminator from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
3.81 out of 5 based on 60 ratings.
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