Dovetail Brewery

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Lager - Helles
Ranked #12
Ranked #6,772
4.14 | pDev: 10.39%
Dovetail Brewery
Illinois, United States
Notes: A golden, malty, rich, creamy complex lager with aroma of malt and fresh hops. Easy to drink with a lingering pleasant after-taste and foam that stands like a cloud above the rim of the glass; lacing at every sip.
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 51 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

2.13/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

16oz can from @FBarber

Bright golden, touch of haze, and lively carbonation that initially produces a foamy head that quickly fizzes away to nothing. Biscuit and honey in the nose along with hints if diacetyl (buttery). Super fizzy on the palate with a smooth, fairly light body, and bit of chewiness in the back. Smack of lemon, sweet and toasty grains, and more biscuit and honey notes. Overwhelming buttery notes. Some metallic and earthiness. Dry, crackery finish.

I was really hoping to love this lager, but the head retention and diacetyl issues thwarted that from happening.

Aug 02, 2021
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larryi86 from Delaware

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you FBarber for this
16 oz can poured into a mug

A- A slightly hazy golden straw with a two finger white head.

S- Biscuits, sweet malts, earthy, touch of wet grass, hints of lemon.

T- Biscuits, wet grass, floral, earthy, some sweet malts.

M- Smooth, light to medium body.

O- A nice Helles, just a little heavy with the floral/grassy flavors for my taste.

Aug 01, 2021
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MNJR from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dovetail makes two different brews, "Helles Lager" and "Lager." Not sure what is being reviewed here as the picture is of the Lager but the description says Helles Lager. They have both, and this review is of the "Lager."

Beautifully done with perfect flavors of sweet grain, lemon and the faintest hint of bitterness. This is possibly the best standard no-frills lager I have ever had. Superb, delicate and extremely satisfying. It pours with a raucous foam, so take it slow when pouring or you might get it a bit flat in the glass. If you are a fan of the most delicious subtleties that can be created in this style of beer you will find your dreams realized. A lager by which others can be judged.

Mar 06, 2021
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Canned on 12/11/20; consumed on 2/25/21

Pours a clear, golden honey-hued body ride with a casual effervescence and capped with multiple fingers of tight, fluffy, white foam; good head retention leaves a rocky, half-finger of cap, a moderate, frothy collar, and dense splotches of webby lacing spread along the walls of the glass.

Aroma offers a continued exposition of pale malt from the start, bringing white bread and water cracker upfront as slightly more hearty biscuit develops with bread dough cut with a touch of lemon zest over the middle; a slight bit of peppercorn and distant grass mark the back end of the bouquet as wet granite and crusty bread closes.

Taste opens with subtle notes of white bread as light grass and straw contrast for a tinge of wild herbs before cracker and biscuit evolve over the mid-palate, where a touch of wildflower honey grazes the backdrop; a lemondrop tone into the back end is bolstered by a fresh bread dough finish.

Mouthfeel features a light body, taut and delicately crisp, contrasted with the pillowy ease of a carbonation just north of moderate; a delicate grit with a distant twang offers a vivacious counterbalance over the mid-palate and into the back end, where a heft tightens the finish to resume a crisp ease past the swallow.

Executed with stunningly beautiful simplicity paradoxically to the point of reflection, this is a peaking example of the sessionable Helles lager; the subtle brightness of hops maintained against the confident air of an overarching malt profile for an end result that is casually expressive and entirely unencumbered.

Feb 26, 2021
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to FBarber for this one, from a ninja box in NBS BIF #12. 16oz can (date unreadable) poured into 14oz teku. Poured a lightly cloudy dark yellow color with an inch of white head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma had a basic "beeryness" presence, with earthy grains and floral hops being the main aspects.

Similar on the tongue, basic beer at first, then the grains and hops start to shine across the middle and back.

The body smooth, even, medium, and had a semi-dry finish.

drinkability was good, an easy quaffer for sure.

Overall, a solid and enjoyable brew. Worth a shot if you see it.

Oct 26, 2020
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darktronica from Indiana

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Such an excellent lager. Very crisp and bright, bursting with florals and malt on the nose. Light wildflower honey, avocado, some mild berry notes. A touch more malty sweetness on the palate than I would prefer, drowning out the hops a bit. Otherwise, an outstanding everyday lager.

Jun 24, 2020
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz tallboy can poured into SP wine stem / balloon glass.

Appearance: Translucent golden pale yellow bodied beer with a tall bone white head. Great staying power on the head of this beer. Plenty of lacing on the glass. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Smell: bread / biscuity malts. Hint of honey sweetness. light fruity lager yeast.

Taste: biscuit sweetness with a hint of honey from the malt profile. lightly fruity lager yeast. Slightly bitter note of grassy and herbal hops in the finish that pleasantly lingers after each sip.

Mouthfeel: light body with moderate carbonation. Crisp and clean lager. Lightly dry finish. Its really dialed in and very nice!

Overall: I would consider this the "unofficially" official flagship beer at Dovetail. A delightful lager to drink. Lots of complexity and the mouthfeel tells me that this was crafted intentionally to be such a stellar brew that it is. What a treat to have this beer in a can. Would be fantastic to see this in a can on a regular basis.

Mar 29, 2020
Photo of eppCOS
eppCOS from Colorado

4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - classic Lager copper color; good lacing, not much head retention, canned 3.20.2020 - opened 3.28.2020
S - Bready dough malts, some small amount of sweetness on the nose.
T - Where this beer beats the hell out of most lagers, it has a honeyed effect, and is like drinking clean, pure bread. Amaze-balls.
F - Great carbonation, balance. The weight of a PBR/Hamms/AAL, but with REAL lager taste. Phenomenal beer.
O - Another traditional "Killer" from Dovetail. Go visit them in Chicago, Dagnabbit!
(special thanks to @77apm for sending this on during the COVID-19 shut-down).

Mar 28, 2020
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fairly bland, decent grain, biscuit and mild hops throughout. Solid aroma. A bit lighter on flavour on the palate, has a decent carbonation to it, a slight bit more astringent than expected. It doesn't seem to come together as well as it should.

May 16, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap and now can. Basically take a full bodied, bready, lager you really liked with honey and slight fruit accents, this is it. Feel is just so spot on and rewarding, breadiness is a perfect level, super crisp and full. Smell and taste are clones, grains, white bread, honey, and buttery malts. Taste has an amazing crisp bready finish that puts it over the top. Nothing crazy or innovative, just done damn well. The wife loved it. A house beer for us!

Nov 19, 2017
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filstan from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer is well designated as "lager". It corresponds with what I would identify stylistically as a German Franconian lager beer . Those beers are well balanced, with a bready yeasty, fruity malt, and some mild floral hop on the nose. As this beer is unfiltered there is some light mild haze. It could be called a Kellerbier in this regard, but it is not hoppy enough for me to lean in that direction. The initial dense creamy foam holds and leaves a collar on the beer all the way down the glass leaving a lovely lace and firm drink lines. Mouthfeel is full and creamy soft. With an abv at 4.8 Dovetail lager is welcoming and enjoyable glass after glass. The decoction mashing combined with open fermentation make this brew and other lagers brewed at Dovetail old world quality of some distinction. Best served imo in a 1.2 L Willy Becker, or better yet in a ceramic stein. Proud to have this on tap at my home. These guys are getting it right.

Jul 31, 2017
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Qbdoo from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden with a hint of orange in the color. Nice white head. Aroma is bready with hints of apple. Taste is similar. Feel is light and crisp but there's a bit more texture than you find in a lot of lagers. I've had this twice now with dinner at a local restaurant, and though I drank only one each time, I think I could drink this all day. While I don't drink a lot of lagers, this is probably my favorite.

May 22, 2017
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emerge077 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Half liter served in a tall branded mug at Long Room.

Hazy golden color, dense and unfiltered with a long lasting head of creamy foam. Flecks of lacing all around the glass, and concentric rings form as the beer disappears.

Aroma is fresh and yeasty with light apple and vague floral elements, doughy yeast and bready malt.

Taste is crisp with a light hop grassiness behind the fresh yeast and malt flavors. Bready malt, light apple, doughy biscuits. Triple decoction mash gives it some enhanced depth of flavor. Supple and smooth feel, easy carb level, quenching. Hard to put down and very drinkable.

Great first effort from these guys, hope to try more at the new taproom when it opens.

Edit: I've been back to Dovetail many times now, and this beer never fails to disappoint. A fantastic everyday session beer.

May 26, 2016
Lager from Dovetail Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 51 ratings