Live Oak Brewing Company

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German Doppelbock
Ranked #72
Ranked #19,186
3.89 | pDev: 8.74%
Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 44
Photo of kojevergas
3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

32oz grumbler acquired and filled a few hours ago at The Growler Room here in Austin, Texas and served into a Spaten stangenglas. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery. Reviewed as a doppelbock since the tap handle identified it as such.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm a bit over the course of consumption. Side-poured with slightly extra vigor as mild carbonation issues are anticipated seeing as this is a growler pour (albeit a very recent one.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of nice pale khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Good frothiness. Head retention is good for a doppelbock - about 6-7 minutes. No real lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a semitranslucent nontransparent amber-brown of average vibrance. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

Overall, it's pretty standard fare for a doppelbock. I'm optimistic, but there's nothing unique or special here - nor are there any obvious flaws.

Sm: Brown malts, bready malts, tame malty sweetness, caramel. Brown bread is dominant. I think I even find rye bread and pumpernickel. A pleasant malt-dominant aroma of average strength.

No yeast character, alcohol, or hop character is detectable. I don't find any off-notes.

T: Definitely a bready doppelbock - the kind of beer that makes you realize why this is the style so many monks relied upon to get them through fasts. Brown bread and some light pumpernickel. Hints of bavarian yeast. Brown malts. Biscuit malt. Bread crust. Hints of vague fruit; I just can't identify it.

Admittedly, there isn't much going on here. It's got a simple malt build and little else - no alcohol, hops, yeast character, spices, etc. I've definitely had far more complex and intricate beers in this style. Balance is decent, but only because there are so few notes. Below average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Lacks nuance.

I like it a general sense, but it's far from impressive. This isn't a real inspired or bold beer.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Full-bodied. Fairly thick. It's a heavy filling beer with a decent presence on the palate. Average softness. Unrefreshing. Decent carbonation.

Not oily, gushed, hot, astringent, boozy, or harsh.

Overall, this texture suits the taste well in a general sense, but there are no indications that this mouthfeel was custom-tailored specifically to this flavour profile. It's a pretty basic doppelbock texture.

Dr: Ultimately a rather underwhelming doppelbock which won't please discerning fans of the style. I feel a bit bad I already committed to send this out to a favourite trade partner given its middling quality. If I were on a beer fast, sure - this'd be my go-to beer; it's about as brown bread-forward a beer there is. But it doesn't make for a great drinking brew and while it's certainly drinkable, I doubt I'll ever get it again. It's pretty boring stuff, and I'll work my way through this grumbler without much fanfare. Not Live Oak's strongest work by any means.

Low C+

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Photo of champ103
4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Barley Swine in Austin. I was not surprised at how awesome the beer turned out to be...

A: Pours a dark, nearly opaque brown color. A two finger beige head forms with excellent retention. Sticky lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: A big old malt bomb. Toasted malts, bread and biscuit. Cereal grains. Light chocolate flavors. Very nice.
T: The malt takes on a whole new level here. Almost more roasted malts than toasted. A bit of sweetness, chocolate and caramel. Bread, biscuit and cereal grains. The middle is a bit sweet, but ends dry. Amazing, this is Ayinger type depth of character.
M/D: A full body and fine carbonation. So velvety smooth and creamy. This is like silk. I can drink this by the gallons. Just amazing.

It is very impressive that Live Oak got the same big full flavors of Ayinger in particular. I am so happy to have come across this, and with DR 13, an early candidate for Texas beer of the year.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A new addition to the Live Oak lineup (though I think it was around several years ago). It's easy to overlook it, if you mistake it for the regular winter seasonal ("Liberation").

The beer is a nice, rich, clear brown with a yellowy-cream head. Sweet malty, nutty, grape juice aroma. The beer is full, rich, malty-syrupy and fruity. Some light chocolate. Finishes lightly bitter with a touch of alcohol sourness. It's a more aggressive style for Live Oak and they've pulled off a winner, I think.

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Liberator from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 44 ratings