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Double Skull Doppelbock Lager | Epic Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
83
good
49 Reviews
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Double Skull Doppelbock LagerDouble Skull Doppelbock Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company
Utah, United States | website

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed as liquid bread by fasting monks this Doppelbock is rich and filling. Crisp and delicious for the winter months.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 12-31-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
49
Ratings:
158
Avg:
3.66
pDev:
19.95%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
22
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 158
Photo of AltBock
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber bottle with a simple black and white recycled paper label. In the middle of the black part of the label are two not so scary skulls. Above the skulls in big gray letters is the name of the beer. Directly to the left of the skulls in big ass bold white letters is the brewery's name. The white part of the label contains the mandatory US info, brewery's address, and a small box that contains the release number and ABV%. This bottle was release #2 and has an 8.5% ABV. An average consumer wouldn't know how old release #2 is.

When poured into a Paulaner Salvator Pilsner glass, this "deathly Doppelbock" was a semi hazy dark amber with some brief orange highlights along the sides. The head of foam was about 1/2 an inch in height and dirty white in color. This dirty white head of foam had decent retention that only left behind a skinny string of rings and one tiny blot of lace. The head of foam wasn't much to write home about, but I really liked the color that this Doppelbock had.

Up front this Doppelbock was all about the lightly roasted malts. Behind the malt wall was a whiff of week old wheat bread, a speck of dark chocolate, a drop of caramel, a pinch of alcohol, and a gentle touch of roasted coffee beans. When its swirled around, this beer had a hidden surprise. The aroma will be less malty and the lack of malts will leave a void which will be filled by fruits. It was hard to pick out the fruits. It was just a big jumble of fruits.

The taste was just as malty as the aroma except for one small thing. These roasted malts tasted like they were soaked in alcohol after they were roasted. In fact, everything tasted like it was soaked in alcohol. After the alcohol dipped malts, in comes a dash of dark chocolate, a drop of roasted coffee beans, a speck of sweet caramel, and a pinch of black cherry. After all that, this beer then finishes up with a bitter grapefruit alcohol taste. It was a little weird. The alcohol couldn't help itself. It even coated the citrus hops with alcohol. Long story short, the taste loved the alcohol.

This was a medium to full bodied Doppelbock with a good level of carbonation and a full flavored aftertaste. It's too bad that the main flavor was alcohol. The alcohol was kind enough to let a few flavors out in the aftertaste. My tongue received roasted malt, dark chocolate, and citrus hops. The aftertaste liked the alcohol a little too much for me.

This Doppelbock had too much alcohol in the aroma and the taste. If the alcohol let go of its power just a tad and let more roasted elements come through, this would be one hell of a Doppelbock. Would I buy another bottle? Yeah, if I wanted an alcohol based Doppelbock. I don't usually ask for those.

 2,726 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a brownish red color with a light tan head on top. The retention is thin, the with a scattered lacing. The smell of the beer goves off some caramel aromas, roasted malt and subtle chocolate. The taste gives off some sweet earthy malt with a hint of chocolate in the finish. The aftertaste has a nice spicy hop finish to it. The mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied and gently carbonated. Overall I like it, it's a damn good brew in my opinion.

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Photo of armiakhe
2.92/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

When I saw the Double Skull being poured out of the bottle it was a light brown coloring. The smell was a bitter smell and a bit bready again. The taste was very thick and bitter in my opinion and was very full and a little carbonated. It did not go down well for me just because I am not used to Lager beers.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured chilled into flared glass

A: dark copper-color; thin head; modest carbonation; lacing not great
S: copper/metallic smell; brown sugar and molasses
T: sweet and malty; not much in hop profile; darker malts/brown sugar prominent; more on complex side; alcohol is disguised nicely
M: heavy; smooth but dead (like a casked beer)

Not bad

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Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - dark brownish amber with a huge, thick, dense, off white, brownish head that has decent retention

S - big bready notes, caramel, lagery

T - caramel, dark fruit, lager yeast

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a decent doppelbock but nothing earth shattering. The flavor is decent and it's definitely drinkable. The ABV is well hidden. There are definitely better doppelbocks out there but this is a nice beer all the same. It was nice once, but I won't buy it again.

 481 characters

Photo of Bung
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz. Dark mohoghanny pour, a little less than a finger of off white head. A minute amount of lacing.

Aroma, heavy raisin, malty caramel and toffee.

Taste, nice and malty. Big bready malts, toffee, tobacco. Some lighter dark fruits. Toasted malt and nut like, some herbally notes in the finish, which is a little mild.

About medium body, but a tad watery feeling. A good level of carbonation. Just a faint warming.
For the price this is well worth trying. A good German like version.

 487 characters

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; Release #2, bottled 2/15/2012. Pours slightly hazy reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings to the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, chocolate, raisin, nuttiness, biscuit, earth, leather, and light herbal. Damn nice aromas with big malt complexity and balance. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, chocolate, raisin, nuttiness, biscuit, leather, light roast, earth, and light herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, biscuit, chocolate, nuttiness, raisin, light prune, earth, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic malt complexity and balance; with almost zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent doppelbock! Fantastic malt complexity and balance; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering; one of the better doppelbocks I have had.

 1,240 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Release #5 brewed on 9-4-12 and packaged on 10-5-12.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brownish amber with some ruby. Lots of rising bubbles and about two fingers of off white head which quickly fade into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: A dark, toasty, and fairly nutty malt driven aroma. Roasted malts with big hints of biscuit, toasted bread, chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, yeast, nuts, and a little smoke. Undertones of dried dark fruits including raisin, dates, and fig. Hop aroma is pretty light but things do smell fairly grassy. A very bready and fairly dry aroma. Solid smell.

Taste: Very bready and nutty like the smell hints at. Roasted malts with tasting notes of bready biscuit, toast, burnt caramel, chocolate, toffee, nuts, yeast, and a slight hint of smoke. Also a decent presence of dark dried fruit with notes of fig, dates, and raisin. Hops are subtle but there is a drying presence of grassy hops towards the finish. A pretty nice bready tasting lager.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and pretty smooth. Starts sweet and finishes fairly dry. A little alcohol heat is detectable, but its not overly hot.

Overall: A pretty nice take on a Doppelbock. Nice bready and nutty flavors that avoid becoming too sweet.

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Photo of beerismysavior
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Release #4 -- 9.0% ABV

Glassware -- 20oz Stange (slender cylinder)

Appearance -- brown body w/ moderate opacity and a twinge of ruby highlights. Well formed but quickly dissipating light tan colored head. Moderate lacing with low overall retention.

Aroma -- characteristically clean, somewhat toasty and some subtle raisin characteristics on the back-end. Presence of booze is detectable, not overwhelming.

Flavor -- stops just shy of having a burnt or roasted malt derived bitter characteristic. This is rather intriguing. Doesn't quite step into the realm of "roasty". Very slight woody characteristic, may be a combination of caramel + booze creating this effect.

Mouthfeel -- clean up front with just a hint of lingering bitterness on the back-end. Not on the other order of typically "bitter" beers, just a small hint of bitterness. Not sweet on the palate, but leaves a significant amount of sugar-y feeling on the lips.

Overall -- an interesting beer, one worth trying. Can't say I've had many other doppelbocks to compare with, but this one seems to match the style. I'm partially biased in that I don't typically love high alcohol lagers. Not that there aren't redeemable qualities, I find that these are not typically the styles of beer that I gravitate towards.

 1,279 characters

Photo of oberon
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

9.0%ABV per bottle label.Poured into a 1/2 liter stein a clear rich deep bronce with a large two finger fluffy crown that spit and spattered slowly declining into a a froth.A great as the looks were the aromas were pretty plain,light toast and buttery/caramel notes and that was about it.Clean and spicy on the palate wich was a little odd for the style,this has a hefty dose of noble hops,it could use a little more sweetness but it's a bit of a different take.The alcohol sweetness comes into play as I drink more but still not over the top sweetness.It's different but it's actually pretty good,another Epic beer that I like more than most everybody else.

 658 characters

Photo of Glibber
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This years beer clocked in at 9.1%. I have been seeking out Doppelbock styles as of late, and saw this offering in the new Whole Foods in Boise. It poured a dark color with a decent 1/2 inch brown froth and minimal lacing. Both my wife and I really enjoyed the taste. Low carbination an not much of an aroma, but a nice mouthfeel, and some good chocolate, malt, flavors. not much of a bite at all, and just a little aftertaste.

 427 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep golden-red with a billowy off-white head. The filtration on this beer is pretty exceptional--it's crystal clear.

S: Some sweet, raisin and fig aromas, albeit a little muted. Malts impart a 'not-quite-biscuit, not-quite-cookie' aroma.

T: The flavor is its saving grace, at least following the smell. While the nose seemed a little light, the flavor is more expressive: rum-raisin, modest spiciness, a little toffee.

M + D: Medium bodied, with carbonation that's a tad sharp. Nonetheless, it's a reasonably tasty beer, and it doesn't cost as much as many of the other bombers out there (I found this one for $4.99). Certainly worth checking out, if nothing else.

 673 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tall pilsner style glass. Release #4.

Off the pour a seriously looking deep ruby brown amber, good mix of slow rising cola carbonation, with an off tan and redish head, settling very fine with a whip cream like dollop top. This looks like long dark brown inky blood in a glass. I am thirsty just looking at it.

Nose has lots of chocolate goodness, milky and soft. There's a nice peanut sort of nutty component coming out, a little bit of umami olive oil like fat also.

Palate hits with a little bit of noticeable booze, but luckily all the good doppelbock characters come through. Toasty light malts, with a good thick wash of caramel all over the tongue. Nut component comes through a bit not unilke a brown ale. A real nice mix of chocolate and peanuts sensing.taste. Umami fat rich in feel also, but some heat takes away some of the fun. Some hints of burnt clove and nutmeg wash as well.

Truly like a Snickers bar in a glass as a good friend said! I agree. Fun tasting doppelbock I must admit.

 1,031 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #61 in my great Utah Brew Hunt.

Release #3 states it is 8.5% abv.

This is an okay doppelbock. Strikes me as quite boozy. Though, the characteristics are there that you'd want to see for the style. It's okay, but there are definitely a lot of wrinkles that need to be ironed out in order to make it a decent interpretation.

 330 characters

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Release # 2. 8.5% ABV. From the website:
Less Perle hops and bigger body due to the yeast working overtime. A fantastic winter warmer.

There aren't separate listings for batches 1 and 2, so I'll review here.

This one is a dark, thick and heavy sort of red-brown. The hues run deep and add a bit of amber and copper as well. The tan head grows to a thick and creamy two fingers but it diminishes to one, though it isn't shabby by any means. Once it's faded to half a finger or so it fades no further. A good amount of lacing is left behind in patches.
A good malts backbone sets the foundation and the tone. In the aroma, it's almost like gingerbread cookies without so much of the ginger. Otherwise, it's plenty bready with a gentle sweetness that isn't cloying and even a floral note from the hops. It's really very good; my only complaint is that it could use more strength.
A bit more nuttiness and some spiciness comes out more strongly in the flavor along with breads and a touch of caramel (no doubt from the particular combination of malts, as it doesn't seem caramel malts were used specifically). The floral hops presence makes a good addition and adds balance, being just enough that it doesn't take away from the malty character. There's not much of the typical molasses and licorice; they're present, but very lightly. Alcohol is well masked. Again, only a little more strength would be good, as the finish thins out a little. Generally, though, nicely done.
The body is medium. It reminds me most of Great Lakes Doppelrock; a bit light for the style but a good combination of lightly but not overly crisp with a smooth flow.

 1,639 characters

Photo of Domingo
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I love doppelbocks...at least good ones. This one seems to fall victim to the same things most other American ones do, though.
Looks pretty good. A good amount of foam, clear lacing, is the right dark cherrywood color.
However the flavor profile is pedestrian. Malty sweet, but not really bready, or caramel-like. More like just syrup. There’s a little chocolate and some rummy fire. While doppelbocks should have a kick, that’s really all this one seems to have. It’s not horrible or anything, but it wasn’t my first beer of the evening and I couldn’t help but think about how strong it tasted. There’s a certain depth and control a good DB should have, and this one really doesn’t.
I split this bottle and it took a while to finish.
Not sure what I paid for this, but I would’ve been better off getting some German ones instead.
There's a certain mystery to getting tons of depth from a strong lager and this beer didn't get it right.

 952 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, release #1. Pours light brown with a smallish frothy off white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is grainy chocolate and toasted caramel malts with some acidic hops.

The flavor is sweet grainy chocolate and toffee malts with a little dark fruit and some hops that lead to a dry finish with some alcohol. As it warms, some leathery notes come out. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a kind of strange doppelbock. OK.

 501 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Release #2, 8.5% ABV.

4.0 A: Dark brown black color. Two and a half fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is decent and a moderate amount of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Dry roastiness along with a good bit of toastiness as well. Smells kinda like an imperial schwarzbier. Caramel and molasses.

3.5 T: Follows the nose for the most part. Roasty, toasy, caramel, and molasses. Light neutral malt sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden.

4.5 M: Medium to heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess in this. Very nice.

3.5 D: Not the most exciting offering, but more than solid. Epic is making a statement with me.

 648 characters

Photo of GilGarp
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch #1.

Bomber served slightly chilled into a pint glass.

Double Skull has a redish brown color with great clarity and creamy head. The head settles quickly and does not leave any lace.

Aroma is mild and sweet with a slight fruity quality.

Flavor is much more pronounced with a big toasted malt body, strong bitterness, and a drying, alcoholic finish. Not as complex as I had hoped, this beer seems a little bit one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body and slightly over carbonated.

Overall a solid beer but one that may benefit from further cellaring. As it stands, a little too strong and lacking in character.

 629 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.24/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks nice. Dark amber/mahogany. Creamy, soft white head. Settles to a film and collar.

A bit of a boozy aroma, strong dark fruit that has past fermentation early stages. Light baked caramel and cocoa. Mostly boozy though

Flavors are better as the booze subsides. Still the dark fruit (red plum, raisin, some caramel) are a bit harsh. The sweetness just isn't there. The booze thins this beer out and the structure weakens. Slight spice and hoppy grass in the finish.

More malt profile would help.

 512 characters

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
1.86/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a standard pint glass at the South Park Tavern in Dayton, OH.

A - One-finger head of off-white foam that disappears almost immediately, leaving a very fine sheen of lace on the surface. Beer is a deep red-copper that's clear and slightly opaque.

S - There's no nose to speak of, even after the beer warms in the glass. I have to really work at getting even a hint of toasted malt out of it.

T - Alcohol punch right up front, followed by roasted malts and dark caramel sugars. There's a faint hint of something almost like mint in the backend. But overall, there's really nothing here that's at all distinctive. Again, even intentionally letting it just sit and warm up produced nothing additional.

M - Slightly fizzy, low carbonation. Thin, almost watery body. Structure lacks cohesiveness. No finish. Reminds me of a new homebrewers first effort. In fact, everything about this beer reminds me of that.

O - The SPT is well-known for its outstanding line-up of constantly rotating taps, and while the bartender was clearly new, two other members of the waitstaff assured me that this was the Epic Doppelbock, as listed on their website. The only thing about this beer that matches the style is the alcohol level. This beer was a real let-down - it's at best just a simple, boozy malt-focused ale made from mediocre ingredients and poorly brought together. This is a "I want to get drunk quickly and I don't want to taste anything" beer. It's a great object lesson in how much hype and bad beer has infiltrated the craft scene lately. Say something positive? Ok - drinking a beer like this makes me appreciate even more how good the DoppelRock from GLB and the Celebrator from Ayinger are.

 1,705 characters

Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep gold color. off white, moussey head. great retention. very clear.

smell is very malty.caramel. sweet. not much of a toasted aroma. very slight hop aroma. very slight alcohol aroma. very slight aroma of a crisp lager. smell is predominately malts, with subtle undertones of biscuit and caramel.

flavor is immedialtey sweet and malty. pleasantly complex. caramel flavors.some toastiness. no hop flavor. crisp lagered finish. flavor of the alcohol is apparent. slight hop bitterness.finish is sweet.

medium-full mouthfeel. i think the alcohol is cutting down on the apparent mouthfeel. carbonation is soft, and smooth.

i think i may be drinking this beer a tad young. the flavor of the alcohol is persistent and lingering. but i will give this beer the benefit of the doubt and imagine that i am drink a bottle of this that has had a chance to grow out of its youth. all and all a very nice doppelbock. if you find yourself with a bottle of this i recommend cellaring it away for a year or two. cheers.

 1,008 characters

Photo of chrisbues
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing batch #2, bottled 2/12. Purchased a bomber from Bottles 101 in Kent,OH on 3/2.

A-Ruby red appearance, with a generous head

S-Smelling the malts here.

T-Malts, as expected, but with some hoppy bitterness. Smooth.

M-Nice and smooth.

O-One of the better doppels i have had, and I really enjoy doppels. Not too malty.

 328 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at Bier Thirty.... Shared tonight with Inflatablechair... Thanks for having me Sammy.... I needed it.

Pours a slightly hazed amber.... the head is off white but with a persistent retention and okay lacing.

Nose is pretty good... nice deep toast and some nice caramel... I think maybe hops are there, but I could be lying to myself.

Flavor actually has some hop bitterness that helps balance the malts.... light caramel and more toast... a bit nutty... again, I swear I get of grassy hoppiness... With warmth I picked up a bit of fruity esters... not exactly "clean", but pretty good on a tough style to do right.

Body is medium... carbonation seems about right, but is definitely "big bubble"...

3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5/4

This is a pretty good first attempt... I will rereview with further batches... a lager of this ABV is a bit of a challenge, and this is a nice jumping off point.

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Double Skull Doppelbock Lager from Epic Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.
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