Sled Dog Dopplebock | Wagner Valley Brewing Co.

105 Reviews
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Sled Dog DopplebockSled Dog Dopplebock

Brewed by:
Wagner Valley Brewing Co.
New York, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 192
Photo of Nutleybeer
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at my hotel up in Watkins Glen, then had a bit more at the brewey/winery restauarant too.

A nice dark bodied brown bock. A fair amount of foamy head, but not too much. A deep alcohol smell. First sip was good. A strong beer. You taste the 8.50% ABV, but the alcohol doesn't overwhelm the flavor.

Heavy, thick, sweet flavor. Candied fruit comes to mind. Not a session beer, but makes for a nice, slow sipping drink.

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Photo of edchicma
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A syrupy caramel appearance with no head lowered the appearance score for this brew. Smell was disappointing..alcohol, but with a subdued malt. Taste belied the was rich, malty, syrupy, tongue coating. Mouthfeel was excellent..extremely smooth. Drinkability for the high abv was good...easy on the palate.

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Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle purchased at the brewery in late July. If you've never been, the views of Seneca Lake are beautiful.

A: The doppel is a ruddy brown-red color, just dark enough to obscure anything on the other side of the glass. A small head, never more than half a finger, quickly recedes to a thin band.

S: The bockbier has a plenty malty nose, bready malts so concentrated that they take on a fruity glow. Syrupy rich threads have plenty of sweet caramel to go around. A warming nose.

T: The taste starts off with as much richness as the nose offered. Full malts, bready with a heaping of caramel, have a fullness that verges on that of a smoked beer. A soft citrusy hop flavor runs underneath the malts, subtle but a definite change of taste. While the ale is malt-centric, it isn't an overpowering flavor. Heck, I'd be more inclined to call this a bockbier, rather than a doppel. It's nice drinker though.

M: The mouthfeel is caramel sweet, very bready and full. A warming beer that works well on a cool late-summer night.

D: The bockbier doesn't feel like an 8.5% ringer. The bready base that improves over time.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured clear and reddish-brown from a 12 oz bottle with no freshness date or ABV on label. The head was thin and disappeared quickly. Aroma is hard to describe, more like molasses mixed with wheat husk mixed with some hard sugar candy. Taste is a mix of malts, tart and sweet fruitiness. The ABV slowly takes over after a few sips, mouth feel is good. Decent lacing, indeed a different double bock beer, very complex and is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

This dopplebock pours a clear mahogany hue with a thin khaki colored head. Lacing is very minimal with very little stickiness. Smell is a woody malt with a very subtle alcohol tingle on the nose. Smell also carries a nice brown sugar/molases hint to it. Taste is well done. Powerful malt presence that is quite sweet/sugary. A creamy/bread flavor appears a bit in the aftertaste that is actually quite enjoyable. Mouthfeel is quite smooth. The only real issue i had with this beer was the complete absence of hops which takes away from its balance. Alcohol isn't present which makes this quite drinkable for an 8.5% abv. Definitely worth a try if you enjoy your bocks.

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Photo of Phatz
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a translucent amber brown color with a beige head.

Smell: It was a reserved aroma that display some toasty nuts and what seemed like a hint of smoke along with the malts and alcohol of a Dopplebock.

Taste: Malty with sweet smooth body and flavors of caramel molasses a hint of chocolate and dark fruits and a slight warming alcohol presence in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably smooth, slick and pleasing across the palate but not as full and heavy as some I like.

Drinkability: I love Dopplebocks in the winter and this is a good one. After playing in the snow with kids I would happily put my feet up, sitting in front of a fire, and enjoy sipping Sled Dog Dopplebock; and I'd be as happy as a pig in slop.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Bills453
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my new Belgium glass.

Appearance - dark brown color with a reddish tint. No head whatsoever. Makes me sad.

Smell - very nice. Sweet yeasty, breast smell. I could smell this in a bakery and purchase a loaf.

Taste - very similar to the smell. I enjoy the taste quite a bit. Yeasty and Brady once more.

Mouthfeel - average

Overall - a nice offering from this small brewery in Ny. Their stout is AMAZING!

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Photo of Brent
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown color with a plummy aroma. Malty caramel, with a candy sugar character. Fruity, and quite bright, overall this seemed to have some Belgian aspects, along the lines of a dark strong. My favorite from this brewery.

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Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the brewery/winery. In my opinion most of Wagner's wines are sub-par so I wasn't expecting much. Thankfully this beer provided quite a suprise.

Poured into a small, plastic cup. Was a dark semi-clear brown. Tan 1 finger fluffy head. No carbonation visible.

Smell was sweet, malt, grain, honey.

Taste was suprising, thick, brown sugary, a bit of carmel and honey. Very sweet, only a faint hint of bitter on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was thick, heavy, and the lack of carbonation hindered the feel a bit, made me feel I had to swallow it twice.

Drinkability is average. It's a good beer but with a bit of work could be fantastic. Might be a good holiday beer, as the sweetness would blend well with certain meals.

You can buy these at the brewery, and I have a few bottles that I've picked up for pretty cheap. For 1.45$ you'd be hard pressed to find a beer of this quality at a bar.

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Photo of armock
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a dark amber color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is mostly of sweet malt

T - Follows the smell sweet malt with some caramel

M - Has light carbonation the beer coats the mouth

D - This is a pretty good beer a good sipping and relaxing beer

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Photo of everetends
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle thanks to the great Lum and his wonderful care package he sent me. Served this one up in a mug.

A: Pours red, cherry wood type color. Has a really nice brown color with a lot of red coming out. When held to the light, a nice amber comes out. A pretty fst pour only got me about half a finger of head. That head gave way rather quickly but kept a pretty solid white ring through out. The ring creates some lace lines on the glass. The beer is incredibly clear and clean. Nothing awe inspiring, but it doesn't look bad either.

S: Smell is a bit off for me. There is just mostly some sweet, sugary malt coming out. No other smells are jumping out except for a toasted grains and earthiness. This is a bit of disappointment because it doesn't have those powerful doppelbock smells. Pretty average.

T: Taste is a step up from the nose. Those sweet caramel malts and toasted grains are there, don't get me wrong. But, there are the doppelbock flavors. A really nice banana nut bread flavor mingles nicely withhose malt flavors. Then there is a slight touch of spiciness in here with just a touch of ginger and nutmeg. Nice tastes fo sho.

M: Feel is on the light side of medium, with just a touch of wateriness to it. The carbonation is a bit high, with just a bit too much crispness for my liking. Just seemed a bit off to me. The ABV is well disguised especially if it is 8.5%. Aftertaste is mostly just a bit of grains, but it finishes pretty damned clean.

D: Drinkability is nice and this one goes down pretty easily. The flavors are a good, but the aroma and feel is a bit off. This is still drinkable and it would be a good session beer except for the supposed ABV. Is this thing really 8.5%? I mean really? This doesn't even seem like its close. Crazy. Good beer but not the greatest doppelbock.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Slightly hazy reddish brown colour with an average size frothy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was completely gone.

Smell - malts, grapes, cherries, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation but it still feels fairly creamy on the tongue. I can taste a lots of dark fruit sweetness - cherries, grapes, and raisins mixed with some brown sugar. I could also taste apples and as the beer got warmer I could pick up on some notes of chocolate. The beer finished with a malty/grapey aftertaste.

Overall - Although not a spectacular beer, I found the Drinkability to be quite high. The alcohol was well hidden and it seemed like the beer was gone in a flash. Not sure I'd seek it out again, but I'm curious to try some of the other Wagner Valley offerings.

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Photo of joe1510
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

I received this bottle in a trade awhile back from israel, thanks again man! This doppelbock pours a rich cherry wood brown with tiny particles suspended throughout. A few streams of carbonation swirl slowly to the surface. The bone white head grew a finger on the pour but quickly fizzled down to practically nothing but a tiny collar. The head isn't very cooperative and leaves zero lacing behind.

The aroma on this brew is a little off considering the style. Instead of the banana bread that I'm used to finding I'm pulling lightly toasted grains. There's a sugary sweetness that reminds me of moist fruitcake with a sugary cherry here and there. A current of booze flashes through in the background. I actually enjoy the aroma of this beer but it just doesn't smell very dopple to me.

The flavor comes back to dopplebock form and is quite different than the aroma led me to believe. Slight banana bread upfront combines with the lightly toasted grains to form the canvas of this big brew. There's a hint of spiciness in the way back that reminds me of gingerbread. There's a little too much sugary sweetness for my liking in the form of fruitcake, and yes the cherries are back. The sweetness never really gets in the way but does walk the line. The finish brings a mild spicy booziness.

The body is smooth and velvety but slightly sticky on the swallow with a full body. The carbonation is about as mellow as it gets which actually helps the feel out allowing the beer to glide across the tongue.

The sugary sweetness and heat hamper the drinkability but this one bottle is no problem to finish. Sled Dog is a solid winter brew with the warming heat and big flavor.

This is my first brew from Wagner Valley. It's not a great doppelbock but it's solid enough to give a try. I could see myself picking up a sixer each year to drink on these cold evenings. Thanks Israel!

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Photo of nomad
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep browned amber, with a café au lait looking, finger-thick head that fell moderately to a thin head. Also showed a line of stain and some spotty lace.

Smelled of grapes, almost black cherries, with a soft sour tone - quite estery. Almost wafting of alcohol, it nutty notes bouncing around all over, though of above-average quality. Good depth overall.

Taste was fruity but mostly of darker malts. Transitioned into a strong roast flavor that was as much fruity as roasty, blending effortlessly into the small hop appeal nearby. Seemed to be an american bittering hop. Some yeasty flavors created a creamy end to the beer before the prominent finish of burnt toast with an ounce of alcohol wrapped around it kicked in.

Good doppelbock that smells better, but not a convincing taster.

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Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark cherry/ruby towards brown with a small tan head that stays and leaves some lacing.

The smell is lightly roasted semi-dark maltiness - toffee-ish with a cherry-like fruitiness in the back.

The initial sweetness (with a touch of bread), and some fruitiness doesn't have much of a hop balance until some herbal dry-ness in the finish. The maltiness is not as rich as in the aroma, but close.

Medium carbonation in a medium-to-full body.

A nice, warming interpretation of the style!

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Photo of Shiloh
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not my style but a nice brew.
Not as sweet as anticipated yet a particular sweetness does linger in the palate.
Certainly a full bodied offering and very dark.
The taste is of chocolate...but bitter sweet. Alcohol presence is strong.
Head is short and leaves from there.
As I said, not my style but nice......ABV at 8.5 scares me.....but just a little.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronze-like nut brown that reveals a significant infusion of scarlet when backlit. The beige colored cap is (or rather, was) pitifully small even after a vigorous pour. There's very little of it left mere minutes later and the glass is virtually untouched.

I smelled my toast this morning so I'm pretty sure that I wasn't rendered anosmic while I slept last night. I'm beginning to wonder, however, since this is the second beer in a row that has been weaker than weak in the aroma department. Lightly roasted barley... uh... sorry, there's virtually nothing to go on here.

How can a beer with no nose have this much flavor? Sled Dog isn't an upper tier doppelbock, but it's a pretty tasty one. Sweet, dark butterscotchy, dark fruity, lightly chocolatey... a very nice combination of flavors. The beer is malt driven with a moderate amount of roastedness; at least as much as style demands anyway. Although the sweet-bitter balance is good as well, a little less sweetness would improve drinkability.

The beer becomes more flavorful and the body firms up with warming, bumping both scores a half notch. I'd put the mouthfeel somewhere in the vicinity of medium since the enthusiastic amount of carbonation lightens things considerably. The 8.5% is very well-masked and is noted only as a warmth in the belly following each upending of the glass.

Sled Dog will never become lead dog or win glory in the doppelbock version of the Iditarod (to stretch this metaphor to the absolute breaking point), but he's a good hound all the same. The world needs those competent plodders who get by on sheer force of will alone. This one will not let you down if you give him a chance.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wagner Valley Sled Dog Doppelbock is a very clear, ruby lager that's topped with a khaki ring that leaves decent lacing. It smells sweet, melanoidal and grainy. It's full bodied and syrupy with a dry, chewy finish. It tastes slightly sweet and bready. Alcohol is present in the finish. It has a slightly medicinal bitterness. It's a solid doppelbock.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours maroon-tinged copper color. Skim of off-white thick head forms on the pours and has some staying power.
Aroma of some dark citrus (dates and raisins), strong backbone of toffee and just a hint of some grainy toasted malt. Detected some brown sugar or honey notes as well.
Flavor is aggressively fruity, followed by a blast of alcohol and finishes with a sticky sweet note of gooey toffee.
Medium bodied but aggressively carbonated and alive in the mouth.
Drinkability is above average but awful sweet and gooey. Could use a little bit better balance and maybe vut with some more aggressive hops to combat over ripe fruit flavors.
Thanks to Shippos for the bottle.
A decent brew and solid Winter Warmer but a lackluster Doppelbock.

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Photo of tviz33
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, served in a pilsener glass.

A- Pours a clear brown with some red hues, capped by a half finger tan head that quickly disappears.

S- The smell is really subdued, but mostly sweet caramel and just a hint of hops. Maybe some raisins, but it's hard to tell.

T- The taste is quite rich and complex. Slightly sweet dark fruit and a ton of faint complexities that I just can't quite put my finger on. Although this is not my favorite beer, I can respect it as a fairly good representation of the style.

M- Medium feel and a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and a tad prickly.

O- Although it is nothing groundbreaking, I'm certainly not opposed to drinking one of these in the future.

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Photo of Franz4
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish-brown when held to the light. Zero head on this beer.

S- smells biscuity with a little chocolate in it, some spiciness as well (maybe a touch of clove?)

T- Biscuity and fresh, a little toffee is present. I'm not noticing the chocolate that was present in the nose. Spices are present in the finish.

M- Very clean, light-bodied for a d-bock, but feels very fresh.

D- The big plus to this beer was the "clean" mouthfeel, taste isn't anything spectacular, but it is worth trying. It's a good alternative if you want a refreshing doppelbock rather than a heavier one.

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Photo of Litterbean
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown, small head, thin film.

Bready malts all the way through in the smell. A little grainy. Smells good, at least.

The taste is a bit of a let down from the smell. There's a definite bready, malty, syrupy thickness to this brew, but there's some buttery, sour, tart cheese notes in there that is off-putting. A little too dairy for me.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, allowed to warm a bit before being poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Wagner Valley Sled Dog Doppelbock pours a completely clear mahogany to maroon. There are gobs of cherry highlights when the beer is properly backlit. There are about two fingers of light caramel foam crowning the beer. Head retention is alright, but lacing is a nonentity. Not a huge hang up for me given the style though. The nose doesn't come through super well, but what is there is solid. It's a roughly 50/50 blend of plum and fig fruitiness and rich toffee. The flavor is a bit more potent, and brings a bit more variety to the table. Dark fruits and caramel still carry things, but there are secondary notes of biscuit and milk chocolate that give the beer a greater depth of flavor. The carbontion is nice and low, it keeps out of the way of the malts. The body though, just isn't full and rich enough for such a big malty beer. Sled Dog is a solid doppelbock, and one that I would certainly drink again. I don't think I'd seek it out though.

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Photo of RollBounce
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown orange color, basic carbonation, malt, raspberry, and chocolate on the nose, fruity start, nice malty mid pallet, some yeast towards the finish, as well some of the fruitiness is on the finish as well.

Overall; Drinkable dopplebock, not as heavy as most, but a good brew.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is a nice reddish brown. Not much head to speak of, thought it remains throughout the glass. Minimal carbonation.

Thick, smoky, syrupy smell. Has a sweetness under the heavy smell of alcohol. Sweet, malty aroma. Almost no hops to speak of.

Dark, bocky flavor. Almost a hint of raisin, warms you right up. Has a bit of a cellar scent to it, but that could be due to the beer's age, which is unknown. A small bit of sourness; not unwelcome.

Somewhat syrupy. This whole beer just screams thickness. Remains on the palate for a few minutes afterward. Have to sip this one due to it's thickness. I will now drink "one" for every variation of the word "thick" in this review.

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Sled Dog Dopplebock from Wagner Valley Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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