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Instigator Doppelbock | Sly Fox Brewing Company

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Instigator DoppelbockInstigator Doppelbock
Very Good
104 Ratings
Instigator DoppelbockInstigator Doppelbock

Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by NeroFiddled on 04-07-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 |  Reviews: 86
Photo of WesWes
4.94/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a deep black color with a thin tan lace head. The aroma is perfect. It has a rich malt scent that is dominated by an intense caramel aroma; awesome!!! The taste is great! This beer has got the best damn flavor for a doppelbock. It has an intense dark malt character. It is rich with caramel malts and finishes sweet. The mouthfeel is perfect. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is the best doppelbock ever. It goes down slow and is very enjoyable.

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Photo of nomad
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep and dark with a tight, even head of Stout-like foam, this must be the most imposing doppelbock I've ever seen. Complete wall of lace all the way around and lots of stain. An example of Doppelbock appearance.

Smells of dark roast, nuts, and strong grassy hops. An occasional fruity waft comes up from the deep and dark background that envelops all of the more distinct smells. Though its a smooth lager it does open to scents of mint and dark dipping chocolate.

Hugely flavorful and smooth - big, round, and roasty grains lead to an even toastier finish. Perfectly complementing German hops pepper the malt with mint-like accents. In the middle of the expansive body of roast and black malts is an entangled pairing of smoke and sweetness that amazed me for two days. All told, this beer's like a creamy espresso-like profile in its complexity and balance. Almost velvet smooth moderate mouthfeel has spot on carbonation.

This lager straddles the line between full-flavor and drinkability. Close to an imperial stout in its size and brusque meatiness with hop balance. I think this might be the best Doppelbock I've had beyond the renowned Celebrator.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark red/brown body, good clarity, topped by several fingers of tight, level beige foam.

Good size chocolatey aroma is very enticing. Some bready yeastiness too.

Taste invokes dark chocolate, a depth-full kind of sweetness entwined with a contrasting bitterness. Unlike some dopples, its never too sweet, cloying, this is balanced from the first sip. Alcohol is well hidden as well. Balance slowly slips the other way for a pleasant lingering hop zing in the aftertaste. As that gradually fades, a warming glow settles in.

Good solid medium mouthfeel. Drinkability is truly exceptional, and while "dangerously" may be a cliche, I'll throw that in too.

I expected much, and the expectations were exceeded. With all the hub bub about the Sly Fox cans, don't forget their bottled beers.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

Caramel color with a fizzy beige head that thinned to a light layer leaving bits and pieces of lace.
The aroma is filled with sweet dark fruits and molases.
The taste is worthy of this brew being called a 'malt bomb', sweet and sticky all the way through.
Medium bodied with mild carbonation.
Goes down way too easy. If you like sweet malty beers this is a 'must try'.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A wonderful version of this style. Deep and rich without being overly cloying. Deep and rich malty notes in the nose, as this dark, almost black brew presented before me with a modest head. The caramel-like notes combine well with the almost chocolatey goodness on the palate. The mouthfeel was a bit lighter than I had expected, and the ABV makes this one a tricky brew to consume in volume, but this is one dame fine dopplebock that I am glad I went out of my way to try.


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Photo of bierman2000
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a dark almost black Doppelbock. Malty and smoky with an excellent finish. It is highly drinkable and being a malt lover it is very refreshing. Not too sweet and a beer to enjoy slowly as the alcohol does not seem to kick in till the end of the pint.

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Photo of sublimesipping
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beautiful dark mahogony color with nice buttercream glass lacing. Falvors are subtle, serious, enticing with hints of caramal and chocolate covered cherries. Nice balance to the mouthfeel and a sweet nuttiness to the aroma make for a beer that presents smooth, confident sophistication. a worthy, memorable experience in a truly wonderful quality brewpub. May I pull my Bryon out now for the growler in the fridge.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark clear brown body, medium head, fades slowly, very creamy and solid.

Smell: Rich roasted sweet graininess, loads of brown sugar and a little maple to boot

Taste: This very malty is very roasted, a little chocolatey and has a very strong molasses flavor and brown sugar flavor that is a great take on the style. Smooth and easy drinking, but with a distinct flavor.

Drinkability: Nothing really to complain about with this beer, I love the heavy molasses in the flavor, mouthfeel is rich and full. Above average vs. the style. Thanks to BeerBeing.

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Photo of Jarod
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When this beer was served to me it had the appearance of a deep dark walnut color that had a reddish/brown hue to it. Very rich looking. When first sent it had a rich, full beige/tan colored head that was not very lasting and fell to a small thin skim that covered the top of the beer. The lace that was left behind was more of a thin covering more then lace. The aromas that came from the glass were of fresh grass, flowers, some dark fruit, big dark roasted malt, and fresh hops. The tastes that came out of the glass were better then the aromas. I tasted like dark roasted malts, some hints of smoked nuts, roasted nuts, caramel, floral and bitter hops, and alcohol. Kind of sweet, kind of dry, kind of roasty this beer takes you through the whole spectrum all in one glass. Nice and creamy, fresh and full of flavor. These are all words that I would use to describe this beer. Well done, nice beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An almost black body reveals deep mahogany highlights when held to the light. The foamy tan head drops slowly to a thin but solid cap and remains in place throughout the serving. As it drops it leaves temporal sheets of lace. A very nice appearance! The aroma expresses floral and mildly grassy hops amidst a deeply toasted malt character with hints of light fruitiness. As might be expected, its firmly malty body is creamy and smooth across the palate. The flavor is rich and surprisingly complex with more hop flavor than is usually associated with the style. It starts with some dark, mildly roasted, and lightly acidic malt that warms to become much more caramelish and softly sweet before crossing-over into a lingering, dry, roasty, and bitter finish. Very nicely done! It's exceptionally clean and well brewed with a subtleg alcohol and vibrantly fresh malt and hops. It's a bit more roasty than many examples, but that gives it an edge of distinction. Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of Gavage
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a deep burgandy / brown color with a thick three finger tan head. Nice lacing develops during the session.

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, and brown sugar sweetness.

Taste: a hearty malt backbone here, with brown sugar, toffee, and hints of bitter dark chocolate. Mild bitterness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: basically smooth with soft crispness at the start, but moves to an entirely smooth finish. The maltiness lingers briefly into the aftertaste. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: I found this to be very drinkable and enjoyable. The alcohol is not noticable at all as with some other doppelbocks. Glad they decided to bottle this one so I can get it close to home.

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Photo of Phatz
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks froggyfrog for hookin me up.
Served from a bomber that had plenty of time to warm.

Appearance: Pours a dark burnt caramel color with hints of ruby. Massive head. The tan head exceeded 4 fingers and had great retention. Loads of lacing were pasted to the side of the glass the entire duration of the beer while a frothy cap lasted just as long. Beautiful.

Smell: Toasted malts, brown sugar and the sweet nostalgic aroma of caramel covered apples, with a hint of smoked wood and gapes as well. mmm m mm m mmm

Taste: The flavors of dark sweet tart apple cider and that grape juice stuff, lead off, and then it just get more malty malty malty as hints of smokiness, wood, more dark fruits and a sprinkle of hops, maybe citric fruit, building and then - the beer peaks short of my eyes popping out =) and then fades to a dry burnt shoe-fly pie aftertaste. I LOVE IT!

Mouthfeel: Big malty creamy and well carbonated. It has a gritty course sugar laden malt kind of creaminess, and a dry finish lingers unceasingly.

Drinkability: dangerously easy for this Dopplebock fan. I really love this beer. It is a good thing I didn't get a case of this... or I might not be making it to work all week =) yummy!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of oelergud
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear but dark ruby body with moderate carbonation. Uneven but not quite rocky light tan head with large to tiny bubbles and a velvety look. Retention and lace are ok.
Sweet mild caramel and buttery undertones are the first impressions of the smell. Fresh cut hay very faint but it's there mixed with sugar.
Taste is butter up front quickly replaced by a strong spiced honey, concentrated molasses and burnt brown sugar rush. Aftertaste is a gentle and undulating hop sensation which is still under clear influence of the malts.
Mouthfeel is slick and full. Good coating and feel on the tongue.
Very pleasant to drink, the somewhat high ABV doesn't show.
Thanks to Weeare138 for this great brew.


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Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of laintringulis
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pubglass, lightly chilled. Pours a dark reddish brown with a large foamy beige head that lasted almost until I was finished drinking it. Moderate amount of circular lacing left in the glass. Medium body.

Smells heavily of sweet, roasted malts, banana, and carmel. Lighter smells of butter, clove, and vanilla.

Initially, strong spicy carmel/butterscotch and toasted marshmellow taste. Finishes with a dry hoppy finish with a smoky oakiness. In the middle, light banana and brown sugar/molasses taste is present. Very hard to describe, but it all blends together nicely without being overpowering or offensive. I thought from the smell it might be too "busy" in the taste, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Medium bodied, not filmy or oily, not watery. I would have liked it a little bit fuller for my preference.

Quite drinkable. Quite refreshing, not overpowering. I think this would be a sessionable beer.

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Photo of stirgy
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On a Saturday night, I finally had a chance to settle down with a growler of Sly’s Doppel. This poured a very deep and dark ruby color. Much darker than I had imagined. Very clear and even after a week in the fridge, it still managed to produce a decent and creamy head of foam. Which kept bouncing back after subsequent pours.

The aroma gave off faint fruity notes which seemed a bit muddled and indistinguishable. Something like an orange liqueur came through along with winey cherry notes. The taste is very subtle with light malts and a buttery sweet tang of light citrus fruits. Also detected some caramel spice and almond extract. Very mellow with some soft bitter qualities coming through.

As the beer warms up, the flavors slowly emerge from deep inside this beer. Has a nice solid body of malt but comes across only semi-sweet, unlike say a Salvator. Although light in bitterness, this is more definitely more accented towards the hops. I guess you could say it is somewhat of an American version of the more sweet and bolder German Doppel. Overall this is extremely drinkable. I finished off a growler by myself in only about an hour and could have had some more. A damn fine beer.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is back in bottles at Sly Fox. Glad I took a trip up there today for lunch. This was well worth it at $4.50 a bottle! The beer poured a very deep brown, almost black color with a creamy 2 finger tan head that lasted for awhile. The aroma is of toasted malts with a bit of toffey or caramel. Very pleasant. The taste is a bit hoppy but the main attraction is the toasty malts that I taste. The more I drink of this bottle, the more I like it. With a medium body, it is pretty darn drinkable.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium brown color with modest tannish head. Very little lacing to be found.
Smell is rich and malty with strong dark fruit notes.
Taste is also firmly malty with dark bread notes combining with the fruit and molasses notes to form a complex taste sensation.
Nice full creamy mouth fell.
Nice beer for a cool autumn evening.

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Photo of Foxman
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It came to me a rich deep chestnut, with garnet tinges at the edges. Two fingers of frothy light tan head dawdled for some time before slipping down to a thin sheen of tiny bubbles. Lacing was plentiful and intricate.

The aroma was rife with the products of sweet roasted malt, bringing caramel, toffee, and brown sugar to the fore. A black cherry note mingled with a trace of floral hops and a hint of alcohol.

upon sipping, the malt again stood tall, toasty and sweet, casting about notes of caramel, dark chocolate, raisins, and black cherry. A subdued citrus element poked through, a hoppy vestige, along with malt and hop general bitterness. A smidgeon of alcohol merged with a vinous hint to give a port-like character to the middle ground. The finish was sweet with residual malt, and lingeringly bitter from the chief aspect of the hops. While a bit ohppier than many of the style, it was still well weighted toward the malt, and very pleasing to drink.

Heavy bodied, the thick malt comes across syrupy and coating, while the modest but ambitious hops give a bit of tingle for the effort.

There's never any question that the malt is the headliner, but the hops make enough of a show to keep the interest high. Everything about this was fun to drink, and I enjoyed every drop, even mroe so as it warmed in the glass. It has plenty going on, but it's blended very well, and even balanced in its stylistic way. The ABV is just big enough to notice, but with proper care, it is in no way a hindrance. This is one beer I'll greet gladly each spring.

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Photo of barknee
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Instigator Doppelbock pours a deep walnut color with a generous frothy tan head. Nose of sweet roasted malts, cola, and flan. Taste sensations of rich, smooth sweet roasted malts and chocolate. Very plush - very creamy. Warming alcohol well in proportion with the weight of this brew. Medium bodied with a posh, lip-smacking mouthfeel, this is a super enjoyable Doppelbock.
Kudos to Sly Fox Brewing!!

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Photo of DrJay
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. This poured a clear, dark chestnut with reddish purple highlights and a fluffy, light brown head that left thick, clumpy lacing behind. Good retention too. Big, malty aroma with a bit of dried fruit, alcohol, raisins, and cakey malt -- like a fruitcake. The fruitiness faded a bit as it warmed though. There was a bit of yeast character present, along with some caramel. Low bitterness with lots of cakey malt, but it wasn't overly sweet. The fruit character was a little less pronounced than in the aroma. Slightly metallic aftertaste. Medium/full bodied with smooth, creamy carbonation, light alcohol warmth, and a bit of dryness. This beer tastes great, but there was a lot more fruit character than expected.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This growler arrived on my door step from pezoids as part of BIF 20. The beer poured out dark ruby brown with no head and left only spotty lacing. The growler was well sealed before opening, so I am assuming this is how this beer is meant to be. The malty aroma of cherry, molasses, raisins, and chocolate gave a good hint of things to come. The taste was super smooth, with dark skinned fruits, brown sugar, and citric sourness mixed with a dose of spicy noble hops. Soothing and chock full of flavor, the beer was very satisfying. Body was a touch thinner than other Doppelbocks, but the level of residual sugars made this little feel more substantial than it really was. While not an earth shaking experience, this was very pleasant indeed.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the 22 oz. capped bottle a dark burnt sienna hue allowing some, repeat, some light escaping with a desne dark tan head cap.

Scents are of dark vanilla chocolate and buttery toffee. Surprising yet interesting aroma for a doppel.

First swigs: Caramel and grainy. Sweet almost maple syrup like notes in the middle of this thick brew. A touch doughy and fresh bread backed by a chocolate sampler sweet. Warms up towards the very end.

Feel is a touch soft and gentle which leads to the problem *wink* of easy drinkability and at 7.3% ABV, look out!

Last swigs: Thank gawd that SF finally started to bottle this doughy malty treat. Simply elegant doppel. Yum!

Beer is good. Happy local doppel beering.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

brown color with a smallish off white head. Quick fade left behind a somwhat flat looking brown liquid with no head, lace, or side glass contribution.

Aroma was decidedly smoked with a nice hint of caramel in the back. There was some earth grain present and more of a dark grain tone.The flavor was nice, classic dopplebock with lots of smoked flavors and a great overall malt profile. Thick flavor with a somewhat tangy finish

Very smooth with little in the way of carbonation

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Photo of loren01
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish brown color, huge billowy white head, good lace down the glass
S: Fruity, malty, yeasty also some alcohol scent
T: Fruity almost apple cider like. Also tastes of dark fruits, fig/rasins. Good malty profile, also slightly nutty. Wonderful mix of flavors, very complex taste
M: Medium to full bodied beer, maybe a little high in carbonation
D: Very drinkable beer, don't have this style much, good change of pace. Got this via jasonnm, thanks for the excellent brew!

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Instigator Doppelbock from Sly Fox Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 104 ratings
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