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Weihenstephaner Korbinian | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

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1,211 Reviews
Weihenstephaner KorbinianWeihenstephaner Korbinian

Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Korbinian, the full-bodied, dark Doppelbock with light brown foam, wins beer-lovers over with a balance of fruity hints of plums and figs, a dark malt aroma - reminiscent of toffee, nuts and chocolate. Its roasted flavour goes well with smoked meat and fish as well as venison and poultry. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001

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Reviews: 1,211 | Ratings: 2,588
Photo of Duff27
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- One inch big-bubbled light tan head on a dark, dark brown lager. Leaves very good lacing with above average head retention.

S- Muted dark fruits.

T- Follows the nose. Muted grapey presence. Well hidden ABV,

M- Smooth, nicely carbonated. Medium to medium-thin mouthfeel.

D/O- Very easy drinking for the style, first off. That only works to Korbinian's advantage here. World class? Yes. Are there other dopplebocks right up there with it? Yes.

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Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a lightly hazy bronze / brown color with a nice 2" head. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: toasted nuts, toffee, and some brown sugar sweetness.

Taste: a nicely balanced combination of toffee, toasted nuts,and caramel with hints of alcohol and sweet ripe dark fruits. The bitterness balances the sweetness well.

Mouthfeel: medium - heavy in body. Crisp at the start and finish with a long malty sweetness.

Drinkability: Very smooth drinking. A super dopplebock, and I am glad I picked it up.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It boasts of roasted malts and a dry yeast scent. It has a nice subtle dark malt aroma that is not sweet, but still pleasant. The taste is good. It has a rich malty core with a bit of black and roasted malts which round out the flavor. It goes down a tad thick and finishes dry. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine doppelbock, but I've had better. It just isn't as smooth as others, but still satisfies with good flavor.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I have been looking for this for some time now, but I found it at a local German deli. My travels are done, so now I can finally settle down with this. On to the beer:

The beer pours a dark brown into my flute, encouraging a large head to form on top of the body. In the glass, it looks more like a dark ruby red. Head retention is very good. The aroma notes sweet dinner rolls and thick syrupy toffee.

Okay, now the meat and potatoes of the review, the taste. It's a very smooth flavor and well balanced, although the feel seems just a little thinner for a doppelbock, as is the taste, which costs it a chance to earn a "5". Sweet, but not an over the top maltiness like other doppelbocks. You could consider this a lethal weapon the way the beer hides the alcohol.

A very good example of a doppelbock. Too bad I didn't have this in my possession when I did the "Weihenstephaner Invite" many months ago, it would have made a great contestant.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from 4/2010 notes. Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a dark semi-opaque brown with a small light brown head. Aroma of sweet malt and caramel. Nice dark malts up front with some smoke. Hints of molasses, root beer and a touch of hops. A light slightly flavored finish. Creamy medium bodied. Nicely made, as with all Weihenstephan beers. Prost!

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Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma has a great mix of fruit and malt. I get some nice cherry, grape and prune notes, as well as some heavy toffee. The flavor is very similar. There is a ton of toffee and caramel as well as some cherry and grape characteristics. The body is a little thinner than I expected, but it does have a very nice, clean lager taste. Medium carbonation.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color, nice carbonation, huge three finger plus creamy tannish head, lots of sticky/creamy lacing to follow. The nose is malty, kinda yeasty/bready, lots of caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious, malty, slight licorice, maybe some spice's, and lots of caramel. Medium body, very smooth/creamy brew. Very drinkable, man what an awesome Doppelbock, I thought Celebrator was one of the best if not the best, this brew is totally different in body/charactrer. It could be the ABV thing though.

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Photo of tone77
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a small head. Smell is of malts, caramel, and dark fruits. Taste is very mild compared to the smell. Some malts, caramel, and alcohol is present. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good quality beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a tall Hard Rock Cafe Washington D.C. pilsner piece.

Korbinian has that dopple look with a deep dark brown mixed in with a red tint here and there. A stealth pour yeilded no more than a 1/2 inch of flimsy medium dark tan foam that simmered down, No lacing, just a ring around the glass.

Smells incredibly malty and sugary, sweet but very inviting. A nice caramel/toffee blast with big toasted malt, some faint chocolate and a touch of cherry. Bold and big.

Taste is pretty much the nose in the mouth, very similiar. Up front the caramel mixed in with toasted malt is large followed by bread and faint chocolate. A little bit of Werther's original floating around.

The taste is great, the body only builds off that. A rich, luxurious body on this thats about medium with a light carb going for it. This stuff just glides down. Sweet, not cloying, no trace of booze, just bread and caramel afterwards.

One of the better Weihenstephaner beers i've had in a bottle, maybe I finally got a fresh one, who knows. The body really set this off for me. The bottle would do, no need for more. This is a meal on it's own.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Personal Milestone: Review #900

Appearance: 500 ml bottle. Poured into its proper branded weizen glass, Weihenstephaner Korbinian pours a rich dark brown with a light brown/off white head with excellent frothing and retention. Good lace stickage.

Smell: Bready malts, soft banana, sweet yeast.

Taste: Bright green banana fruityness, big roasted malt and toasted grain. As it warms, a bit of raw cocoa. Noble hop bitterness and light tea like expressions. A really tasty dark lager beer, decent complexity and great flavor. Nice and clean, little to no alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good amount of carbonation, sweet aftertaste.

Drinkability: A truly tasty doppelbock. Overall I was impressed by this offering by Weihenstephaner, but they have yet to dissapoint me.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage bottle, Sampled March 2007, from the bottle at Stuffed Sandwich
This beer has been aging in Sam's storage for quite some time (Sam refused to tell me how long) as it has a completely different label than the current version of Korbinian. the beer has a hazy, dark amber color and is well carbonated, yet despite a vigorous pour did not summon forth much in the way of a head. There is a touch of a foamy, amber tinged ring around the sides of the glass. The beer has a soft, well integrated oxidation character to it; notes of sherry are definitely evident. The taste takes on notes of prunes, which are also noticeable in the nose as well. As the beer warms up a bit lots of flavors open up; notes of Madeira, sherry and fig become noticeable as well as a touch of chalky dark malt character in the finish. The beer also starts to become clearer as it warms. This has aged quite gracefully, certainly the flavors have softened and melded quite a bit, but this must be fairly old and it is still quite drinkable.

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Photo of biegaman
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Palm date purple that becomes stained in blood red when held up into the light. At rest it appears quite dark, muddied brown almost, and opaquely shady. As stated, however, the beer is capable of radiance and is in actuality, perfectly clear-bodied. A sandy, bubble encrusted patch of ecru formed shortly after the pour (and partly faded just after that).

Dopplebocks really aren't too hard to describe - they are very rich and malty, lightly toasty, perhaps slightly chocolaty and invariably full of sticky sweet caramel and dried dark fruits. The best examples of the style will showcase all that in aroma alone. Notes of sugary malts, dates, currants, prunes and a light suggestion of cocoa imply this is likely to be one of those aforementioned leading examples.

These beers are lagered and well-attenuated which means they have a crisp, clean, refreshing disposition but a rich and complex character. No one need be alarmed by the alcohol percentage because, frankly, you'd never catch wind of it if it weren't listed on the label. Like everything, beer comes down to personal tastes. If you like rich, hearty drinks with dark fruity flavours then chances are you'd enjoy this traditional Bavarian specialty.

And if the idea of coarse, multi-grain bread toasted and smeared in plum jam sounds appealing then you should flat out love this. I feel relatively familiar with dopplebocks as a style now and I'd have no hesitation in calling the Korbinian one of the tastiest examples. It tastes just like a fig-raisin compote, the sugar syrup being flavoured with cinnamon sticks, cloves, ground almonds and additional candied fruits.

Weihenstephan ("holy Stephen") claims to be the world's oldest brewery. I can't be sure of that but I do know that dopplebocks developed near the brewery's location around Munich around the Middle Ages. If this brewery really is the world's eldest than good on them for continuing the production of the monastic "liquid bread" that sustained monks during their periods of fasting. No food but plenty of bock beer? Seems almost a fair trade...

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

picked up at Belmont Station over the weekend.. poured into my Chimay goblet.

1" head.. doesn't stick around too long.. nice splotchy lace and a good cap.. the brew is dark chocolate brown.. crystal clear deep ruby when held to a lamp.

this is definitely a "dark" smelling doppelbock.. I get cocoa immediately .. very rich and only the faintest whiffs of caramel.. mainly cocoa and toasty notes.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a smack of "prune" that sorta trails from close to the front all the way to the finish.. the cocoa still plays lead.. very rich.. hard for me to describe.. tastes "darker" than any doppelbock I can remember.. never burnt.. just tastes "brown"... even a little nutty. The body is very very smooth.. and what carbonation there is, only accentuates how rich this brew is.. maybe even hints of smoke as it warms.. very complex.

The drinkability is interesting.. not because I could drink a bucket of it.. but just because I want another sip... just to analyze it... I am a big fan.. and this is my first ever bottle... and my last until Weihenstephaner makes it back to Boise.


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Photo of Halcyondays
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz. bottle, 500th bottle review here,

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown, with an average, fizzy off-white head, no real lacing to speak of.

S: Strong malt, dark wheat bread, pumpernickel, nutmeg, raisins, fruitcake.

T: Taste goes right along with the smell, this is a malt bomb and great for the style. Dark wheat and rye bread, caramel, milk chocolate, just a solid mix of malty flavours.

M: Medium-bodied, very sugary, medium viscosity, smooth.

D: A very good dopplebock from the oldest brewery in the world, one of the class of its style for sure.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown brew.

Smell is sweet and super malty; banana is smelled in this too. Mild spicy smells too.

Taste is sweet and lots of malt with plums and raisins in the taste. Mild hidden hops.

Mouthfeel is good.

A respectable Double Bock, I like the Erdinger version a bit better.

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Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark brown-amber color with a finger of compact tan foam. This looks like it could be pretty good.

Smell: huge malt flavor with plenty of caramel and musty notes of raisins and plums. Quite appealing.

Taste: quite delicious. Big flavors are similar in profile to the aroma, but the caramel is more muted and the musty fruits are farther toward the front. Alcohol is noticeable and there is just a hint of tartness. Finish is very dry.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a low but nice level of carbonation. There's a bit of a syrupy texture here as well. Between the dry, musty flavor and the low level of carbonation, I want to call the mouthfeel "ashy", but kind of in a good way.

Drinkability: quite tasty and drinkable, though too high in alcohol to be a real session beer. I'll call it good.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On a Weihenstephaner kick tonight. This bottle was purchased at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a dark brown, with some ruby red highlights. 3 inch head billows up, and fades slowly, leaving some decent lacing down the glass.

Smells like caramel, brown sugar, and raisins.

The taste is the same, and oh so rich. Some roasty, toasty malt, some dark fruits (plums, raisins, figs), a little bit of an alcohol twinge that's welcome, some caramel, brown sugar. Just real damn complex.

Very low level of carbonation, almost too low, creamy sweet mouthfeel, very drinkable, even with the higher ABV. Full bodied.

This is 2nd to only Celebrator for Dopplebocks for me. Just great stuff.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brown half litre bottle, obtained in Berlin earlier in the year, best before 30th July 2009, drank on a sunny warm evening in late June 2009.

Poured into huge glass mug.

Teak wood red, a deep mahogany brown, you choose the colour you like best. A thick tan coloured head sat on top. Held to the light it showed a clear body with bubbles rising to the head.

Liquorice aroma and taste, with Victoria Plums and dates in both the smell and taste too. A sweetness is also present, mixed in with a dark chocolate aftertaste.

This a very complex beer, the 7.4% is well hidden, the beer being very 'more-ish', I wanted another as soon as I'd finished this one.

This is very close to beer heaven for me, a rich, creamy, well balanced strong Doppelbock that just rolls down the tongue and screams drink me!

The highest score I've given since joining this site (almost 800 beers ago).

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Photo of tobelerone
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown bodied beer with faint reddish highlights at the edges. Small head dissipates quickly; patchy lacing remains behind. Massive malt aroma is bready with a touch of smoke and dark fruity sweetness. The flavor follows suit; its a bit on the simpler side, again with lots of chewy malt character and subtle dark fruits in the way of raisins and prunes. Just a touch of smokiness tops things off.

Medium body and carbonation with a semi-dry finish. Not bad certainly, but not amongst the best examples of the style or the best beers by this revered brewery, who can do no wrong when wheat is involved.

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Photo of John_M
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very pleased to see this beer on tap at Max's the other day.

The beer pours a darkish brown color with minimal head retention and fair lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose either, just some light malt and spice. However, on the palate this beer is just delicious, with a ton of chocolate flavor, woven around some spice and a touch of wheaty sour. There is also some nice cinnamon flavor that I'm enjoying as well. Mouthfeel is smooth and long, and drinkability is superb. I would never guess I was drinking a 7.4% alcohol beer.

A very nice beer. One that is all too easy to drink, given the abv.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium brown with a tan pancake head that doesn't stick around.

The smell is exceptional- a rich malty, winey, estery wonder. I could just smell this beer all night.

Very complex and unusual taste profile. Starts out malty, rich, and creamy and picks upo some bitterness that starts hoppy and fades into bitter cocoa. There are also some faint soy sauce notes as the cocoa flavor starts. The finish is not sweet, but rather creamy and a little astringent from the bitter chocolate taste. Very interesting.

The body is a little thin, but it is also quite creamy so that the mouthfeel is still quite pleasing. Smooth as velvet.

Very drinkable- it almost goes down like a cold glass of chocolate milk- atr least what one would taste like in a more beery dimension. Its very easy to drink with very little noticeable alcohol and intersting characteristics. Delicious!

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Photo of Kelp
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my glass as a darker brown color with a bit of tan head. Lots of lacing in the glass.

Smells of malts and grains. Also some dried fruit smells.

Sweet caramel taste to the brew. Then the fruitiness comes next with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Medium brew with a decent amount of carbonation.

It was a good brew, but not a great brew from this company. This is the worst brew I have had from Brauerei Weihenstephan but it is still better than most beers.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours chocolate-brown with a really large tan compact whipped-cream-like head, that slowly sets into great lacings.

S: Dark roasted sweet malt. Dark dried fruits and some liqourice. Bitter hops.

T: Sweet and roasted malts. Some chocolate and coffee, liqourice and loads of dark dried fruits. Perhaps there is a tad vanilla. Some smoked ham.

M: Long bitter aftertaste, very sweet. Body is full while carbonation is moderate. Smooth.

O: I don't think this old brewery can make a bad product - this is no exception.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 25 fl. oz. bottle #5269. Sampled on July 17, 2010. The pour gurgles loudly and slowly into the glass and becomes a dark amber color with ruby red hues and a thin but long lasting beige head. I find the aroma to be an inviting interfusion of roasted malts, toffee, and molasses. The bold mouthfeel is as eloquent as the way it sounded pouring into the glass. Although the ABV is over 7% the alcohol taste is well buried beneath the bitter but malty sweetness sensation at the start with a finale of light hops. Defintely a beer to have again.

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Photo of Derek
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this (vom fass) at the brewery restaurant on March 20, 2006.

A: Ruby-black/chestnut, slightly off-white head, unreal retention, great lace.

S: Malty (Bread, caramel, nut), slight spice.

T: Bread, raisin, prune, some chocolate, dark caramel, raisin, brown sugar, a little nut and a slight hint of licorous. Not at all burnt, but a nice/pleasant roastyness. Perfect bitter/sweet balance with a hint of tartness. Nice spicyness to round out the flavour. Alcohol is really well hidden.

M: Moderate to full body is smooth and slightly creamy, carbonation is moderate.

D: Truly exceptional.

In my opinion, this is the best Doppelbock I've had the pleasure of tasting! I think the Domhof Doppelbockbier is a close second. The Domhof is more of a malt bomb (and a little syrupy), but this one's a little more well rounded. I consider both of these a small step up from Celebrator, which is certainly a serious step above the others.

On the second tier I'd put Maximator, Triumphator & the Union Dunklebock. Probably the Optimator, but it's been a while since I've tried it. All quality brews to seek out.

On the third tier I'd put Salvator, Andechs and surprisingly, the Apostulator from Eichbaum Brauereien. These were all good, but I actually prefered my own home-brew doppel (which was obviously brewed to my taste).

Bringing up the rear would be Hacker-Pschorr Animator, followed by the few other smaller breweries I've tried.

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Weihenstephaner Korbinian from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
4.2 out of 5 based on 2,588 ratings.
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