Illuminator Doppelbock
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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Beer Geek Stats:
Bock - Doppelbock
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3.68 | pDev: 17.66%
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States
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Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 9 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Nebraska Brewing Company on 11/26. Review from notes.

They served an *oak-aged version* of this, which while I'm certain is a different tasting beer, will probably not see any release significant enough to justify starting another listing.

The oak-aged version was served while J. Wilson, the homebrewer whose recipe this uses, was signing copies of his book about fasting on doppelbock during lent.

Arrived in a small 8oz glass, which cost $8, as apparently NBC is a bit stingy.

The beer arrived with no head, just a very fine ring of bubbles around the glass. As such, I'm having to rate this solely on body appearance. The body is a dark brown color with orange-yellow highlights. These become particularly noticeable when held to the light. No visible carbonation, in-line with the lack of foam.

Aroma was of rich malt scents, yielding sweetness, breadiness, and a bit of raisin. Characteristic oak was present, too. While good, I would have appreciated a bit more diversity being apparent here, such as additional dried fruit aromas. Still, this let the oak be the second star.

Flavor was heavy on the malt character, as a doppelbock should be. Dominant flavors included caramel and toasted bread, with requisite sweetness. Also noticeable was the oak presence, which added another dimension to this beer. Still, I would've liked more complexity, either more noticeable dried fruit esters or variation in malts used.

Medium bodied with very low carbonation. This was probably more of an NBC serving issue than a problem with the beer. The result was a very smooth doppelbock, with a present, but light, dry-as-in-sticky-syrupy finish. Generally, solid.

Overall, I really enjoyed this doppelbock and would gladly have had another if not for the price. The oak adds some interest and the base is quite good (on-style for a doppelbock) to begin with. Despite the price, very glad to have tried and enjoyed it.

Nov 30, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel brown that became dark harvest orange when illuminated with the brewpub's side windows. One finger of golden toasted almond colored foam looked good on presentation, while ragged rings of lace appeared on the pint glass in the end.

The nose was not laid back, which was its first positive. This springtime seasonal smelled sweet and malty and toasted and nutty and mmm mmm good. None of the darker aromas, such as cocoa, were appreciated.

It was great to still see this brew on the chalkboard earlier today, more than one month after it was first tapped. The words that entered my mind (and were then jotted down) on taking the initial sip were 'damn good doppel'. In fact, the pint had to be rationed so that there was enough left to drink with my lunch. Of course, a second glass would've been an option too.

Illuminator's flavor profile was reminiscent of toasted brown bread (beautifully bready!), caramel-toffee, sugared pecans (nicely nutty!), and a small splash of cold tea. It was a little sweeter than most versions, which was a good thing, and became even more deep and more rich as the pint progressed.

The mouthfeel was glassy smooth, had terrific hang-on, and left a light coating on mouth and tongue, the better to continue to enjoy the beer once it had exited to points south. Spot-on carbonation as well.

There is no question that every one of my favorite IPAs (not to mention DIPAs, Imperial stouts, tripels, et cetera) deserves the big score for taste, so why not one of my most favored doppelbocks? Eric, kudos and thanks for making me love a beer of this style for the first time in recent memory.

Apr 17, 2011
Photo of DesMoinesMike
DesMoinesMike from Iowa

4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew has an interesting back-story. An Iowa homebrewer decided to give up food for Lent. His plan was to have nothing for 40 days but beer and water. The beer had to have a high calorie count so a doppelbock made sense. He worked with an Iowa brewmaster to create a beer worthy of the devout. The result, Illuminator Doppelbock, named for the illumination one received through a religious experience.

Well, I'd say that trying this beer wasn't necessarily a religious experience but it was quite good. The dark tan color seemed lighter than other D.B's I've tried and it was cloudy. The aroma was sweet with some brown sugar and malty goodness. The taste, I just can't quantify the flavor. It has brown sugar like the aroma but some other malts in there I can't pick the flavor out. It's really good I'm just not sure what flavors I would relate it to. It's quite smooth leaving a bit of a tingle on the tongue and has a strong body, like the reviewer.

Definitely a repeat brew.

Mar 11, 2011
Illuminator Doppelbock from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 9 ratings