Dark Doppelbock | Capital Brewery

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90
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56 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Capital Brewery
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
56
Ratings:
86
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
9.8%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 86
Photo of woemad
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of the generosity of @Ri0. Before I received his BIF box, I’d not heard of Capital brewing at all. I’m always happy to try an American doppelbock, and think it’s a criminally neglected style among American brewers, but couldn’t they have come up with a better name than Dark Doppelbock? Sounds like something crafted by the Department of Redundancy Department. Well, I guess that lack of a catchy name means this beer will live or die by how it tastes, which is really how it should be, after all.

Poured into a Hofbrauhaus weizen glass (one better suited, perhaps, to a larger size bottle than 12oz – really need to find some that are somewhat smaller), this was a dark, rubyish, mahogany color that took on an almost crimson color when held up to light. There was a big, creamy-looking beige head that took it’s time settling.

The nose was dominated by banana-y cloves and roasty dark malts, with the cloves taking the lead. Slightly coppery aroma as well. As it warms, things get a little fruity, not unlike apples.

The taste is sweeter than I expected, and less complex than most doppelbocks I’ve had, but is still a treat to drink. There’s a fair amount of brown sugary sweetness, and some toffeeish flavors. As it warms, a little bit of booziness creeps in. The finish is slightly bitter.

Fairly light bodied for a doppelbock. Creamy, coating mouthfeel.

Definitely different when compared to most doppelbocks I’ve had. Lighter and sweeter, with less of a dark fruit flavor than usual, but very tasty. It actually reminds me as much of a dunkelweizen (another of my favorite German styles) as a doppelbock. Very glad to have had this unique beer. Thanks, Ri0!

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Photo of Chaz
3.29/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cola brown, topped with a medium tan head.

Nose is rich and malty, but there's an off character to this one -- medicinal? Oxidized?

First sip and (yep) it's oxidized* -- more on this in the "blather" section. Sweet, rich dark malt (melanoidin) malt character otherwise, and little if any bitterness. Notes of honey, anise (black licorice), ripe plum and prune, dried bitter-sweet cherries really linger. Some nutty oiliness.

Not-so-easy drinking for the style, but it's okay for what it actually is. Still, the medicinal character from the nose (infection?) has me wondering, and it lingers quite a bit on the palate as well, as this one is also rather viscous and palate-coating it may not sit well with many drinkers.

Some dry, biscuit malt character buried beneath the dark fruits and a touch of bittering hops (could use more!), but the booze-y strength begins to catch up quickly.

In the end this one is good for the style, but not great. It's worth trying (if you can even find it -- see blather below) and hey! If you like lagers and dark, rich, boozy ones at that -- it's a Tick, eh?

Notes and blather:

* Is this old, or was there that much oxygen ingress from the screw-top cap? As there are no markings on the bottle to indicate a production date/code (not counting the bottle manufacturer's code, of course) my guess based on this degree of oxidation is that this is a year-old bottle rather than a new one which was caused to oxidize overly much in transit.

Oh well, I'm glad it's just oxidation and not a game of 'another off batch from Capital'.

This brewery excelled at lagerbier brewing in the 1990s, and this brand was one of my favorite regional (dunkel) doppelbocks at the time, and readily available -- we were spoiled!

There then came a span of time few years later when batch after dodgy batch emerged, and this seems to have continued into the post-Kirby era. Nowadays, it can be difficult to find Capital.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is caramel/toffee, malts and a hint of stewed vegetables. The flavor is dark malts, mild toffee, a hint of dark fruit and a slightly sweet/dryish/heat finish.

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Photo of siliconalchemy
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - brown like turbinado sugar; short-lasting off-tan airy head; good clarity - head retention not a concern (strong version of the style)

Aroma - quite malty; slight dark fruit, mostly muted overall aroma (might be chilly yet) - revisited after warming a bit, more malt/fruit aromas

Flavor - rich; dark fruit; malty finish; light alcohol note; lightly toasty; clean finish with a bit of lingering tannin; subsequent sips are warming and smooth, almost booze-like, but not boozy. No hop flavor, but a slight bitterness, likely from hopping; not sweet, but hinting at a sweetness. Progresses to deeper fruit notes with rounded maltiness.

Mouthfeel - incredibly smooth, with mellow tannic pull at the finish; medium-full, but not viscous; moderate carbonation.

Overall - Excellent winter sipping beer; perhaps Capital's best beer?

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a dark brown color that bordered on being black.

Smell - The malts reall come through in the aroma and they lean toward sweet smelling.

Taste - On the initial taste, dark and sweet malts were noted. There was a degree of nuttiness as well. One might descibe the malts as burnt, but they were not bitter. The relative sweetness lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The thick malts coat the tongue nicely.

Overall - This is great example of the style than runs to the sweet side.

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Photo of Ri0
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Dark amber/brown with a 2 finger khaki head. Fades to a thick collar and leaves behind lacing.

S - Nice and malty with chocolate, brown bread and dark fruit.

T - Chocolaty and bready with the roasted malts. Some dark fruits and molasses to go along with toffee.

M - Medium and sticky with a good amount of carbonation.

O - A real malt lovers dopplebock from WI.

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Photo of steveh
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An old favorite brought back by an old favorite brewery. Capital has always done Bocks and Doppelbocks quite well, let's see how the reprisal stands up.

A -- Pours a dark, clear chestnut brown with red highlights and a tight, light tan head that fades fast but revives well.

S -- Sweet dark bread crusts with some mild dark fruit character and lightly peppery alcohol.

T -- Same dark bread crust character up front with some dark fruits and light molasses in the middle. Light alcohol pepperiness in the finish and rich, lightly sweet toastiness through the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is chewy and lightly syrupy with a smooth to dry finish and a medium-robust body.

O -- A terrific Doppelbock from a U.S. microbrewery. The rich malty character begs you to drink more and the 7.8 ABV hides so well that you could be easily fooled into doing so. This beer stands shoulder-to-shoulder with anything from Bavaria. Delicious.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Pours a soft, frothy head that collapses into a thin film. Sweet malt aroma with a touch of toasted malt. Burnt umber color. Starts with a deep, robust toasted malt. Sweet malt, booziness, and notes of coffee and acidic, toasted malt. A high-low bitterness is quite grainy. Finish is grainy hops on top of toasted malt.

This is stellar. Everything I love about a Capital Doppelbock with rich, toasted malt. A great lager alternative for those winter stout yearnings.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a dark amber, brown with a 1 finger tan head. Small wall of lacing rings the glass.

S- toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, slight sour dough aroma.

T- sweet toffee, dark fruits, brown sugar has a slight bitterness and spice near the finish.

M- medium body and carbonation. Crisp feel with a syrupy finish.

O- nice dobbelbock that has sweet maltiness and dark fruits.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm really happy to see this one brought back into production again as part of the 'Capital Square Series'.

Pours out a deep dark ruby-edged mahogany color with a stable 3mm foam lid but only minimal lacing qualities.

The nose contains intense rich toffee, sticky morning buns, brown sugar, plum jam, and hints of anise and powdery cinnamon... a really nice, thick, bold aroma on this one! No ABV booziness is present at all in the nose or even the flavor.

Flavor is partially toasted and nutty, but mostly brown sugared malts (doughy and chocolate about 50/50 blend) with the dark fruits only present as an accent to the malt base. Avoids being as cloyingly sweet as other Doppelbocks on the market, which is a big plus in my book. However, I have a hard time finding the flavor of the spicing accents that were present in the nose with my tongue.

Mouthfeel is perhaps a bit thinner than it ought to be in order to support the boldness of the flavors held within IMHO... but the medium level of carbonation is just fine. There is a light sort of creamy sensation.

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What rating did I give Capital's Blonde Dopplebock? The reason I ask is because this tastes like basically the same beer its just that it is a different color...

I think I have mentioned in other reviews that many of Capital's beers taste the same to me. This is a sentiment that has been echoed by friends of mine as well. Not don't get me wrong, I like their beers as that "taste" is a good one but it seems like a lot of their bocks end up tasting about the same and this one is no exception.

Other than the dark look in the glass and the slight roasted malt taste I got, this could have just been their Blonde version leaving me to wonder if I will buy this particular beer again. I will continue to buy Capital beers (because their Autumnal Fire for example, goes above and beyond some of their other beers) but won't be as excited anymore when they come out with new beers especially if it is in the bock category.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Friar Tuck's in Savoy, IL
No bottled on date (but "1092SP" stamped on bottle)
Poured into a standard US pint glass

Capital's dark doppelbock is a very good doppelbock with classic flavors of toasted, caramel malts, dried fruit esters, and mild ethanol. Using a well-tested formula, the doppelbock pleases with its taste, but the aroma could be more upfront with its offerings. Also, I'm not really sure what differentiates this from Autumnal Fire, perhaps a slightly darker malt bill. Still, if you enjoy doppelbocks, a four-pack of this will satisfy.

Pours a 2cm head of very dense foam, composed of small bubbles, and a pale tan-white in color. Head has very good retention, lasting several minutes as it declines to a thin cap atop the body; lacing i substantial and complex, resembling something of a doily (at least on my glass). Body is a transparent dark reddish-amber, with numerous streams of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Generally, very attractive, and it's hard to think of how a doppelbock could look better.

Aroma is expectedly grainy, with toffee and cracker-like scents derived from them. Significant doses of dried cherry esters are also noticeable, giving this a fairly standard doppelbock scent.

Tasting opens with pleasant caramel malt flavors adjoined to dried, dark cherry fruit esters. Caramel malt intensity builds up through the mid-palate, which also features a slight bit of noble hop presence. Slight ethanol becomes noticeable on the back of the palate, along with continued caramel malt and cherry esters. Long-lingering caramel malt meets graham cracker aftertaste.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy bodied with plentiful, but soft-feeling carbonation that makes this pillow-like and creamy on the palate. Some warming ethanol felt in the nostrils primarily, not much on tongue or throat. Finishes out dry and slightly sticky from the amount of malt used.

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Photo of deedric
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at about 60 farenheit. Pours dark red, decent tan-creamy head that dissapates slowly leaving a lacing that falls. Smells of toated malt, burnt sugar. Tastes of big toated malts, slips to a hint of vanilla, sweet back with a hint of hops. Mouth feel was full, hits of boozy. Overall a rather good to great example of dopplebocks.

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Photo of bismarksays
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours, much like its name, as a slightly darker than normal dopplebock. Its color is between brown sugar and molasses and it has a beige head that is minimal but laces nonetheless.
The nose is rich with malty chocolate and brown sugar goodness, which matches up with the flavor profile perfectly. I know that some purist are going to pout that it isn't "earthy" enough for their tastes. Whatever. It is a beautiful rich malt bomb with nuance and boldness. Not every dopple does or should taste like a Celebrator clone. This is its own beer.
The mouthfeel was nice, but I guess I wanted it to be a little bit fuller. Compared to say..Aventinus, it left a little to be desired.
Overall, this is another homerun from the premier maker of Dopplebocks on this side of the Atlantic. It is an AMERICAN beer. We don't expect American IPAs to taste British and I have never understood the need for some in the beer community to make sure every Dopple tastes German. It checks almost all the boxes, but isn't contained by them. Bravo.

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Photo of adman08
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep clear red with gold on the edges. Moderate amount of slightly off white foam that leaves a nice ring on the beer's surface.
S-Very sweet aromas of crystal malt and brown sugar, fairly faint aroma overall.
T-Taste matches the smell, very sweet, bready, slightly grainy and malty. Slight roasted flavor. Very very faint noble hop flavor.
M-Medium bodied, not overly heavy feeling. Moderate carbonation. Sweet from start to finish.
Overall, another very good dopplebock from Capital. Not a super thick, sticky beer at all, very drinkable. The sweetness is not too sweet or too overally malty, no one flavor is too much. Very good.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Disappointing. Maybe I need to adjust my expectations re. dopplebocks -- it's hard not to expect a lot after having had the majesty of Ayinger Dopplebock on tap (at Jacs in Madison).

Barely perceptible head. Mildly sweet aroma. Toasty roasted malt flavor dominates from start to finish, but not in a good way. Not sweet at all.

Update, 5/28/12
Eureka -- TIL: don't serve this stuff too cold. Allowed to warm up during one of those conversations with the wife, this beer comes into its own as a decent doppelbock. I've raised the score from 3.7 to 4.2.

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Photo of redjameskidd
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Chicago's infamous Map Room.

I can see why "dark" is in the title, though I'm sort of confused, as this appears in places as "Imperial Dark Doppelbock," as well, though that does seem rather EXCESSIVE, to stick that imperial on there.

Really a delicious beer. There is a certain nuttiness to a very rich, velvety, chocolate flavor. A little bit of that German-lager essence to remind you you're drinking a doppelbock and not some sort of cocoa porter, but it does remind one of those beers.

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Photo of birchstick
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a snifter at Kelleher's pub in Peoria, IL.

A - pours pitch black with a small head
S - smells of grapes, wheat, banana, and malts
T - tastes very sweet and sticky -- chocolate malts, and grapes. The alcohol is also very noticeable during the first couple of drinks. Good example of a doppelbock.
M - very full and creamy. It is also sticky.
D - drinkability is decent. It was very sticky and flavorful. Due to the high abv (8.8%), it will be hard to have more than two...

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Photo of morimech
3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It has a reddish brown color with a small head that quickly settles down to a ring that leaves some spotty lacing. Not really dopplebock quality.

But it has big smells. Dark malt and dark fruit that lends a sweetness in the aroma.

The taste is BIG on malt. The malt is so powerful it overwhelms the tastebuds. It finishes with a sweetness but I could not identify any exact flavors. It doesn't finish clean by having a bit of a clingy bitterness on the tongue. It is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall I liked it as a whole but if I pick apart its individual qualities it is rather mediocre.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I reckon JeffKrenner sent this beer

A: Brown sugarish cider looking brew with a cloudy haze to it. Head is a good ½ inch of creamy light tan bubbles.

S: Autumn leaves, pumpkin, molasses, red apple and all spice.

T: Full on malt bomb. Deep and rich caramel apple flavors are the first off the block. Surprising amount of bitterness for a bock hits the front sides of the tongue, add a minor sting if you will. Smooth molasses with burnt caramel, dark raisins and perhaps some cocoa lay a solid malty foundation. Some cashews and hazelnuts add some nuttiness while doughy cinnamon rolls add the bready component. Finishes sweet with a lot of brown sugar and trace aspects of smoke.

M: Medium body, hard and syrupy.

D: Very tasty brew with explosive flavor. Great example of the style.

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Photo of ManicD
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer appeared a hazy red, with a tan head that receded quickly.

The aroma was malty, smoky, with plum/black cherry.

Flavors are similar to the aroma, malty/smoky/plum/black cherry/ raisin, hazelnut?, & a little spice.

Mouthfeel is medium-thick, chunky, with low carbonation.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Capital's Dark Doppelbock is best served at cool cellar (40-45°F) temperatures from a house logo pint glass or Willibecher. This doppelbock pours up with light carbonation that barely creates a low creamish white head that prominently sits atop a bright deep auburn-bistre brown body. The complex nose displays a wonderfully inviting rich melanoidin maltiness that's reminiscent of freshly baked Tin Vienna bread. There's just a hint of fruitiness, virtually no hop spiciness, and some light alcohol ...otherwise very clean! The flavor is dominated by a rich, chewy melanoidin maltiness that is marked by a light spicy bitterness. The full-bodied finish is a touch syrupy, but with sufficient bitterness and alcoholic complexity to carry it all nicely. This finely crafted limited release offering from Capital is as good as most of its continental counterparts and comes highly recommended to all malt lovers. Suggested food pairings include browned, beer-braised Wisconsin Bratwursts smothered with sautéd sweet onions, green peppers & mushrooms covered in spicy brown gravy with a side of herb roasted redskin potatoes or a thick bowl of hearty game stew with buttered slices of freshly baked five-grain bread. Here's to Kirby Nelson and his finely brewed lagers!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.42/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i expected this beer to be dark, because of the name, but it poured more like an irish red. brown with solid red hues, very thick and hazy.. topped by a smooth off-white head that lingers. it caves in systematically, leaving an ice-smooth touch of beer scum.

smells sweet. not wholly unlike the malty richness i expect from a db, partly like an aged belgian in its almost-tart fruitiness. nice smoky caramel followthru though, smells pretty decent too.

sips really nice. a little thin and could use a tad more carbonation (i suspected this when i heard the anti-climactic phft of the cap removal). flavor is big though, and finishes a bit boozy. i detect some unfermented worty sweetness, and the bitter dryness of walnut skins. the finish has a little funk of rotted fruit and a metallic twang that sets me off. i think warmth will mellow the steel, so i let it sit.

yeah its not really the smoothest, although a creamier mouthfeel seems to emerge with warmth.. and the metal cools down. but the off flavors are still there.. although they have been sufficiently covered up by sweet, mellow molasses. i can enjoy the brew in a warmer state.

not the best brew from capital but drinkable nonetheless. thanks tom.

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Photo of sponberg
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of the next reviewer down - thanks, man!!!

Pours a deep reddish brown, head cascades nicely upon pouring then laces the rest of the way. Niiiice. Aroma of brown bread (you know, the kind you bake in a coffee can?), caramel, toffee, and faint noble hops.

REALLY tasty effort here. Big time dark fruity malts, hints of toffee, caramel, Munich malts out the wazoo, almost a coconutty flavor in there, with an underlying just-balancing bitterness. Near the end the alcohol kicks in along with a spiciness - Hallertau? Tettnang? - that rounds things out very nicely. Nice chewy, silky mouthfeel. Could probably drink a lot of these, but the style would make it difficult.

Along with the Hooker, one of the two best American doppelbock dunkels I've had. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a beer to finish...

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Photo of blackie
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The khaki head falls to form a chunky ring and a thin layer on the surface of the beer, which is a medium reddish-brown in color.

smell: Sweet toffee and slightly malty toasted malts upfront. Some dark, sugary tree fruits are found, most notably dates. The sweet aromas are carried by a slight ethanol presence, which is quite nice. There is a slight mineral note and a well done hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a smooth medium, and the beer is medium in body.

taste: Sweet malts give notes of sugary, dark fruits. Some dry, dark flavors meld with a slight toastiness. There is a perfect level of hop flavor, and a light-moderate bitterness that slightly dries the finish.

drinkability: easy

Cellared for about nine months by expatsteve, opened for a doppelbock tasting with dirtylou, golden2wenty1, and myself. Fifth in the lineup of six.

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Dark Doppelbock from Capital Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.
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