Ballast Point Brewing Company

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German Doppelbock
Ranked #123
Ranked #25,635
3.81 | pDev: 11.55%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 94 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Antg8989
Antg8989 from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bready and raisiny. Pours dark Amber. Aroma is raisins and hints of alcohol. Medium carbonation and a slight warming on the tongue. Wish this was more available in bottles.

Jul 03, 2018
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tekstr1der from New Hampshire

3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Thirsty Moose Taphouse. Ruby brown put with finger of off white foam. Very pretty. Aroma is of caramel, Malt, and booze. Flavor is similar, more alcohol comes through than expected. Finish is slightly astringent, a little disappointing.

May 01, 2016
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Zach136 from Georgia

3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearace: Crystal clear amber

Aroma: Cereal and caramel malts

Flavor: Touch of melanoidin, some sweetness, that for whatever reason feels artificial. Caramel.

Mouthfeel: Not quite crisp enough.

More of an imperial Oktoberfest than a dopplebock IMO.

Apr 01, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

not enough bocks of all shapes and sizes out there, so this is a welcomed treat. its as much an english barleywine to me as a german dopplebock though, with a ton of caramely even candy sweetness coming from the grain, and a pretty low key yeast strain. copper in color, light hazy, short lazy of white head. smells like apples and breakfast cake and toffee and slight alcohol. almost smells like it has a little vanilla oakiness to it, but i dont believe this has seen wood. the flavor is a lot like the nose, complex malt layers folding together, becoming quite sweet in the finish, but masking the strength well, and building a real long finish. this is sort of the other side of malt driven beer, and although i cant drink a ton of it, i really like it, and i definitely think it takes the style to a place it doesnt often get to go. not as dry in feel as i usually like, and the lower carbonation again makes it seem more like a barleywine, but this is a very cool style fusion, nice in mid february.

Feb 11, 2015
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Natureboy from Virginia

3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured out of the tap with a nice tan head that dissipates completely within a minute. Dark brown in color. SRM 36. First sip hits you with brandy and alcohol vapor. Notes of dark candi sugar give way to a finish bittered by alcohol. No hop aroma. Really syrupy nose. Way too sweet in a sugary way and not a malty way. Not a good example of a dopplebock. A total dessert beer.

Jan 03, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a hazy dark orange-red with a foamy bone colored head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and dark fruits. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

Apr 08, 2013
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TheBrewo from New York

3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer was served from the tap at Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY. It arrived in a snifter, glowing a reddish cola coloring. It held a half finger tall head of tan bubbles, showing weak retention, but leaving spots of lacing. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be medium. The aroma gives big syrupy sweetness, with caramel and pale malts, sugary vanilla bean, plum, strawberry, light adjuncty grain, and date puree. To balance are more bittered notes of medicinal phenols, fusel booze, and light citric hops with fresh leafy oiliness. Our first impression is that the flavoring is, at first, bitter, but quickly glosses over with malty dextrins and fat notes of fruit. The flavoring opened with cereal grain, vanilla sweetness, fresh fruity esters, and cooked brown sugars that were quickly overpowered by bitterness via booze and phenolic clove. These latter components enhanced to the peak, where strawberry sugars, sweet ethanolic bite, and more fruity esters pushed passed and effectively cut that initial bitterness. The finish showed more spicy booze, banana esters, strawberry sugars, pale malts to wash, and brush of lightly buttery diacetyls. The aftertaste breathed of browned bananas, plastic phenols, caramel and pale malts, plum syrups, warming booziness, and the spice of black pepper and cinnamon. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium, but did feel flat at times. There was decent slurp, smack, cream, and froth, with a wet coating left around the mouth. This eventually gave light astringent dryness, tracing down the hard palate and down the throat. The abv was fine, and the beer drank decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its aroma. This gave nice fruity syrups that sat well against the decently dark malty background. Where we lost points was through the translation to flavoring. The expected sweetness was certainly there, but there was not enough of a deep and roasty grain bill to match. This afforded a lack of substance through the end of the sip. Ultimately this is okay for the style, but would do well with a bit more roast or smoke to the malts to give it that seriousness it needs.

Mar 15, 2013
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Phelps from Arizona

3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at Tops.

Deep maroon with cherry highlights. A thin, wispy tan head.

The nose: raisins, brown sugar, a touch of tangy teriyaki. Baked bread.

Tastes like bread dipped in brandy. Overripe grapes and fermented cherries, a touch of green apple, some mint. Fairly sweet. An odd little flavor. That tang is here too, mild but noticeably there. A touch of well-baked raisin bread.

Velvet-smooth medium body with nice viscosity. Moderate fizziness with some prickly carbonation. Fairly clean finish, lingering bitterness and teriyaki tang.

Not like many doppelbocks I've had. An odd flavor. Interesting, but can't do it in large quantities.

Nov 08, 2012
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

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

On-tap 8/23/2012 at Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ, served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains maple, coffee, dark fruit, lager yeast and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark fruit maple and caramel. Then some bready flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character come in. The hop spresence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Sep 16, 2012
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musicman575 from California

2.56/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear cola color with a very small rosy whiet head.

Smells phenolic with coffee, hops, and lots of booze.

Doppels are supposed to be much more of a grain heavy beer. This one didn't register as a bock at all. It was way too sweet and lacked all that thick graininess of the German doppels. It was too light bodied for the style. Alcohol isn't covered up a bit.

Jan 08, 2012
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IronCitySteve from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Fat Head's Pittsburgh.

A: Pours a deep dark brown color with some deep reddish hues on the edges. Provides a thick tan head with nice retention. Some lacing but not much.

S: Lots of toasted biscuits, buttered toast, caramel, brown sugar, dark dry fruit like raisins. There is a slight whiff of alcohol as well.

T: Starts off with a big amount of malt. Caramel, buttered bread and toasted biscuits. In the middle the sweet dry plums and raisins come through blending nicely with the sweet malt. Finishes with more malt character and some brown sugar.

M: A nice full bodied beer that leaves a thick rich creamy taste on the palate.

O: This is a really tasty Doppelback. Goes really well on a cold winter night. Very warming, the smell is inviting and the taste is fairly balanced. Certainly worth seeking out.

Dec 31, 2011
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HopHead84 from California

4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


2010 batch on tap at Home Brew Mart.

A: Dark brown with a mahogany tinge and a small creamy beige cap.

S: Toasted bread with pronounced melanoidins. Toffee and caramel waft from the glass. Fruit notes are pervasive, redolent of raisin, date, and plum.

T: Rich caramel blends with toffee and toasted bread. Dried date and prune suffuse the palate. The malt profile is rich and complex. There's a low earthy bitterness and a touch of chocolate. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Upper medium in body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with warming.

Overall: I haven't had this beer in a while, so I'm unsure if the age has improved it or if it's always like this. Regardless, it's very good.

Sep 21, 2011
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rfgetz from New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice chestnut to mahogany brown, decent cap of dense kahki head, good lacing. Scent is dominated by the rich, roasty, carmely and nutty malts, solid profile of dark fruits and leafy and earthy hops. Taste beings with a handful of honey roasted nuts, malt dominates the beer as it should, earthy hops and light dark fruits, notes of bread, spice and chocolate peek through. A nice, solid dopple that doesnt overdo the sweetness like many do. Good for fans of Troegenator.

Jun 06, 2011
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emmasdad from Colorado

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this one on tap at the Ballast Point Brewery/Home Brew Mart in San Diego. Poured from the tap a nice mahogany color with a slight off-white head. Aromas of burnt caramel, toasted grains and raisins. On the palate, this one was surprisingly light bodied, with flavors of caramel, toasted grains and dark fruits.

May 28, 2011
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SDtastentune from California

4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Darker brown with not much head or lacing.

S - Smells of deep malty raisin and kinda sweet alcohol.

T - Kinda raisin like with some sweet alcohol maltyness.

M - Good carbonation an good aftertaste.

O - Overall I think its a great presentation of its style, I usually need a more bitter hopped up brew though.

May 27, 2011
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largadeer from California

4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Dark ruddy brown, almost opaque; the edges have a crimson hue.

Smells pretty fantastic, heavy on rich toasted malt, raisin and a bit of chocolate. Roasted nuts, brown sugar, quite decadent and definitely American.

The palate is lightly vinous and fruity up front, which transitions into sweet raisin and brown sugar, toasted bread, a little molasses and chocolate. Medium-full in body, though it's surprisingly refreshing. It opens sweet, but ends vinous, roasted, mildly hoppy.

I'm usually wary of American doppelbocks, but this is great stuff.

Apr 26, 2011
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Kaiser81 from California

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half pint served at the old grove brewery location

A - Muddy brown color with ruby highlights. About a finger width of head that dies quickly. It leaves great lacing on my glass.

S - Rich dark malts mixed with some candied fruit.

T - Follows the nose with a slight alcohol bite on the end. It lets you know it's a 8% beer. Smooth on the tongue at first, but that alcohol takes over a bit too much for me.

M - low on carbonation with a heavy body.

D - Glad to try it, but it misses the mark a little for me.

Aug 31, 2010
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Craft Ale House...
Appears a murky dark rust with a small off white cap thY quickly fades into a mild cap. Tiny speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of toffee, cocoa, caramel, and raisins.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a doughy yeast that stands out.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, syrupy, and sweet.

Jul 08, 2009
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AltBock from Ohio

2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I was able to try Ballast Point's Doppelbock during TJ's infamous Ballast Point vs Bear Republic promo. I just recently found my notes of this beer that were done on the spot at TJ's. TJ's served this beer to me in an English style Imperial pint glass.

I loved the color that this Doppelbock had. This Doppelbock poured a pure dark crimson red with no highlights. It was just a great looking crimson red color. On top of this crimson colored beer was a 1/2 an inch off white colored head of foam. This small head of foam had fast retention that left behind nothing in its tracks. No spots, no lace, not even rings. When that happens, the glass is usually cold, but the glass I had was at room temperature. Well, at least the appearance at the color.

When I first took a whiff of this beer, I was surprised to find out how sweet this Doppelbock was. I was just a shade off from being sweet like candy. The aroma was sweet with sweet roasted malts, molasses, rum raisins, a gentle touch of sugar plums, and a subtle whiff of alcohol. I don't mind a sweet Doppelbock aroma, but this one was too much.

For the taste, you take all the sweetness that was found in the aroma and add a ton of alcohol. The taste was on the sweeter side of things with the taste of rum raisins, sweet roasted malts, a hint of molasses, and then like a boulder falling off a mountain, in comes the alcohol. There was so much alcohol, that it completely covered up all the sweetness. Let's just say that had to be a huge taste of alcohol to completely cover up all the sweet flavors.

Even with all the alcohol, this was a medium bodied Doppelbock with a low level of carbonation and a sweet aftertaste of sweet roasted malts, sugar plums, molasses, and of course, alcohol. Even though I could taste alot of the alcohol, I really couldn't feel it.

Ballast Point had made some of the best beers that I've ever had and unfortunenly, this isn't even close to those beers. I tried so hard to like this beer, but I couldn't. I wasn't able to find many positive aspects of this beer. The color of this beer was great, but the aroma and taste was far too sweet and a little too much alcohol. If I ever saw this on tap, I would only ask for a sample glass of it. At TJ's, I almost had to choke down the last few ounces of this beer so I could get another beer.

Jun 27, 2009
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SacoDeToro from California

4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beachwood BBQ.

Well-brewed dopplebock are hard to come by outside of Germany and with Ballast Point's outstanding job with Abandon Ship, I had to give this a try.

The beer poured a dark garnet with a small off-white head. In the light the beer was brilliantly clear.

The aroma of the beer was full of Munich and melanoidin-rich malts. Mild notes of lager yeast were mixed in. No hops or diacetyl in the aroma, which is exactly how it should be.

The flavor of the beer was rich with melanoidins and clean pilsner malt. A mild dose of noble hop flavor helped balance out the sweetness although this beer did have a reasonably dry finish for a dopplebock. The flavors were very clean, but there was a faint chocolate malt note in the finish, which was slightly inappropriate for the style, but that's a very minor criticism.

The beer was full-bodied with a medium mouthfeel. The carbonation was medium and appropriate to the style. The finish was relatively dry for a dopplebock which made it incredibly drinkable.

Cheers to BP for pulling off an often misunderstood and under-appreciated style with aplomb. When I have a beer like this I am both thrilled and disappointed. I'm thrilled to have such a great example of the style, but disappointed since well-brewed German-style lagers are often unsung, even by beer enthusiasts.

Apr 03, 2009
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens on 3/18/09. Served in an 8 oz glass.

Pours an extremely dark clear amber/almost brown with a thin tan creamy head. Retains mostly around the edges, flaring up nicely, and leaving a solid looking cascade of lacing back. The aroma is a bready bomb of roasted notes, cocoa powder, and caramel. A touch of darker fruits lies in the foreground, as does some light warmth. Quite robust smelling.

The taste is similar but brings it even more, with a big doughy feeling base of bread, chocolate, and caramel sweetness up front. A flush of roast and hop bitterness then pulls in, as does some dark fruit character, mixing with the present sweetness, and imparting a deep tangy feel. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied with a prickly feel at times but I'm picking up a bit more alcohol beef in this than I would have liked. It fits in with the heavier flavors but does inhibit the drinkibility a bit for me.

I know that Ballast Point doesn't tackle Lagers much but this was a solid take on a Dopplebock. Lots of big chewy flavors but this was maybe just a tad too warm for me. I wouldn't hesitate to revisit it again though.

Mar 31, 2009
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Halcyondays from California

3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint on-tap at Beachwood,

A: Pours brown, with a small white head, not long-lasting, mild lace.

S: Brown sugar and dark bread, it certainly smells like a dopple.

T: Liquid bread for sure, good malt flavours and to style, not overhopped. Not a great intensity of flavours as I've come to expect from a beer like Korbinian or Salvator. The beer reminds me of Optimator a lot.

M: Smooth and sugary sweet, but not cloying. Good amount of residual sugar here. An easy drinker for it's alcohol which doesn't show a trace of itself.

D: A good lager from BP, a nice base beer, barrel aging is where this beer really shines though.

Mar 25, 2009
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beernut7 from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This powerful dark lager is the first lager brewed by Ballast Point. Aged for nine months before its release, this sweet medium bodied high alcohol bock is quite a mellow enjoyable beer. Many American made bocks are fairly harsh in their malt character, but aging this brew for several months really allowed the melding of the flavors and mellowing of the malts.

Aug 26, 2002
Navigator from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 94 ratings