Fish Tale Detonator Doppelbock Lager | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

very good
67 Reviews
Fish Tale Detonator Doppelbock LagerFish Tale Detonator Doppelbock Lager

Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Reidrover on 03-22-2003

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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 74
Photo of cokes
2.88/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark rust and barely translucent, teeting right on opaque. The head exists momentarily as a skimming of beige.
Nose of mentholated cherries and plum brandy, touched by a sour oak note.
Begins with an arid, parched roastedness. The dryness is immediated deposed by a dark fruit swarm. Blackberries, overripe cherries and prunes. A harsh, grainy astringency lingers throughout. Alcohol rears up towards the close, and joins a sour, woodiness contributed by the oak. Tannic and vinous on the linger.
Medium bodied and oily, with too much feel given by the booze quotient and too little from the actual malt load. It crosses the mouth all too similar to some sort of brandy-based concoction.
It stops just short of being a chore to drink, but there are many far superior examples. A lot was attempted here, but precious little of it was actually successful. I'd like to try this off the oak, just to get a baseline.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid chestnut color. Yeastless bottle. No head, no lace. Faint roasty aroma that's very dry and Kahlúa-like and also slightly burnt. Something about the smell also says, "The kids got into the chemistry set and, ....oh my God! Where is the cat?"

The taste too, is faintly Kahlúa-ish with burnt sugar and cola nut. There's an unpleasant contrast between an influx of smoke and a washout of strained malty sweetness.

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Photo of JDV
3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared at tasting I believe courtesy of Humulone_Red.
Pours a dark chocolately brown with a malty and lightly alcoholic smell. Taste is chocolate and caramel like malt. Smooth, creamy, caramel with a medium body. Decent beer, but nothing special stylewise

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Photo of Bighuge
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Spawned during the the month of May, 2006.

Deep tone of burgandy. Not a lot of light gets through. Thin light brown head. Lacing is quite good. The aroma is chocolatey, bready, slightly boozy and sweet. Sweet taste with a little rum like booziness. Caramel base with chocolate accents. Bits and pieces of fruitiness, but nothing that's easily discernible. Not much depth to this dopple. Body is medium at best. Could use a little heft. Very average dopplegoat.

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Photo of Jason
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown long neck with no freshness date. “Aged in Oak” on the bottle.

Appearance: Nearly black in appearance, the foamy head stops at about a half inch and stays … amazing.

Smell: Whoa! Hints of smoke, mild charred wood and steely sweet malt.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Creamy and slick with a long and drawn out smoothness in the back. Charred wood flavours come flailing first with a barrage of drying woody notes. Subtle smokiness moves in with a wave of alcohol, it warms the mouth and leaves the palate with a charred flavour. The sweetness in the back end get to the palate.

Notes: If it were not for the oak aged character this beer would be sickly sweet, even still this brew stays on the sweet side and the flavours don’t seem to meld too well together.

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Photo of expatsteve
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Chocolate brown with tan hues. Light suds after a minimal head Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Smoky chocolate and cocoa malts, which grow sweeter as it warms. Lager finish with metallic hops in places.

Taste: Peppery peaty front palate, followed by a dunkel lager middle palate. Malts aren't particularly sweet, but the bitterness is refreshing in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, but cleansing. Low carbonation, with bitterness that lingers in the finish and in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Fairly simple--not much by way of complexity or development. Nonetheless, the lager notes are pretty good.

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Photo of Crosling
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep red bordering on brown. Malt driven, strange, hearty and earthy aroma with a hint of caramel, dark fruit and oak. Deep, characterful malt driven flavor with a hardly a touch of oak flavor (compared to their other barrel aged beers). An odd range of flavors. Notes of chocolate, caramel, coffee, pit fruit and a hint of cellar mustiness. But, not exactly the malt flavor that I desire in a Doppelbock.

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Photo of waldowin
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark caramel, with a finger-thick light tan head that faded to just a ring. The beer is almost opaque in the center, with just a hint of ruby working its way through in the light.

It smells of bananas, caramel, and cinnamon, a nice rich smell.

It tastes of bananas, caramel, oak, and a hint of bourbon in the finish. Not terribly complex, and very smooth. Much smoother than I'd expected even from a dopplebock.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, thick, and full, with little carbonation. The alcohol is completely hidden in the malts.

This is a solid beer, but a bit thick and sweet to drink that much of in one go. A good dessert beer, maybe, but not something you'll drink more than one bottle of at a time.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a malty scent that boasts of roasted barley and crystal malts. It appears dry and nutty. The taste is decent. It has a rich malty flavor with a dry finish. It goes down slow and warms. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent doppelbock, but it just doesn't do it for me. The abv. shows and the flavor is too dry.

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Photo of ohmybock
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was glad to find some of this beer recently in Gainesville, FL (Ward's). The aroma smells somewhat like a porter and lets you know there will be some dark malt flavors to come. The flavor has a blast of dry chocolate malt up front, but with a lingering pleasant and smooth maltiness along with other dark malt flavors. My first thought was that it tasted like a porter, but yet there is a definite lager quality at the same time. (If nothing else, I would call this beer a porter brewed with lager yeast.) This American-take on the dopplebock style doesn't have the German-stereotypical bock maltiness that usually only comes from a long (decoction) mash. There's too much chocolate/dark malt flavor compared to most German examples of the style, yet this is still a decent brew. I would never mistake this for a German-brewed bock, but it is quite good for what it is. This is sort of a crossover beer that would appeal to some German bock drinkers as well as porter drinkers. Check this one out and see what you think!

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Photo of elricorico
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a very dark brown, and appears black in the glass. A half centimeter of tan head formed, and faded back to a ring and some pools within a minute. Looks appetizing.

Smell is quite a mixture. Lots of roasted aromas, toasted coffee bean, a hint of bitter chocolate. Mixed in is a touch of black licorice. Fruitiness, consisting of raisin and cherry. Quite nice.

A big old malt bomb here. Sweet licorice and dark fruit. A nearly syrupy taste. Alcohol makes its presence known in the finish, with a mix of bitter and burning liquor. There is a burnt malt flavour that holds on as an aftertaste. Interesting flavours, but I find it a bit too "in your face".

The mouthfeel is thick, almost syrupy thick. Carbonation is low and doesn't seem to cut through the heavy body. I never thought I'd say that a lager is too heavy in mouthfeel, but here we are.

Worth trying if dopplebocks are your thing. I could see myself revisiting on a cold winter day, but this isn't going to be a common purchase for me.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 picked up today at the Coop for about $8... 2008 vintage poured into my Chimay goblet.

1" head bubbly head dies back relatively quickly... leaves some lace... the brew is deeeep walnut brown very clear dark ruby highlites when held to a light.

rich maltiness... very toasty.. and a significant amount of chocolate.. smells very clean.

big malty out of the gate.. rich but lacking depth mid palate.. has a little sour twang/vinous quality.. a little of prune furitiness.... flavor falls off after this... finish is a little acidic.. sorta like coffee.

body is on the light side for the style... and the carbonation may be a touch high.

I wanted to like this one more... especially for the price tag.. but it just sorta falls flat for my tastes... it seems too scattered and not enough focus on the rich maltiness of a well made dopplebock.


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Photo of Procrastinator
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22-oz. brown bottle poured into tall slim mug. No dating, but at 8.5% ABV, I'm not overly concerned.

Appearance: root beer brown with reddish tints and a beige creamy head. The head totally dies after a moment with just a bit of lacing remaining. Carbonation is running up the sides of my glass.

Smell: sweet candied fruits of figs, plums and raisins along with definite alcohol. Sweet brown sugar rounds out the profile of what could be a Christmas cake.

Taste: the flavors closely mimic the scents with candy sweet plums and raisins, brown sugar and alcohol. A taste of licorice is in the background. The hops come through at the finish attempting some balance.

Mouthfeel: slightly overcarbonated, full bodied syrupy qualities make for a rich tasting brew. Hops actually linger too long at the finish for a rather bitter sensation on the tongue.

Drinkability: the alcohol and lingering hop finish are the only issues keeping me from enjoying more than one bomber, otherwise a pretty decent dopplebock.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-hazed amber, maroon and brown. Light bti fairly dense tan head kicks of a little bit of lace.
Aroma of caramel malt and a fresh fruit hit with some oaky wooden notes jumping in and out.
Flavor is dark caramel malt with cassis undertones and a slightly burnt hot chocolate note. Some dark bread and resiny hop notes are also present.
Mouthfeel was really alive but not too heavy. Oak aging comes out in a very mellow form.
Drinkability was solid. Small group needs to take a look at some kind of restirctions. Go Tirget.


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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring into a pint class, the beer the color was a shimmering chocolate brown with some copper hightlights which swelled into a thick bubbly brown head that fell itno a thin film. Good lace as the beer went down. Chocolate found itself in the taste as well as caramel--lots of malt, and sweet. The beers tastes a little hot, the 8% alcohol comes through the nose and taste. Light malty smell with little hop. Bold, sweet, and smooth. Good beer. This sample was a little light struck from a flourescent light in the cooler; at least, there seems to be a consistent off taste from all the beers I bought at this location. When I'd had a bottle of detonator a year ago from a better liquor store, I rated it about a 1/2 a point higher than listed. Fun dopplebock, and wouldn't hesitate to get it again or to order it in a bar.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Doppelbock from Fish Brewing poured a dark amber color with not much of a foam head with very little lacing.

The aroma was roasted malts with a sweet brown sugar smell. It was smooth and malty all the way through with a tiny chocolate overtone. It was moderately carbonated. It was a decent offering but a little overpriced in my humble opinion.

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Photo of ADR
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark one, almost opaque dark chocolate brown with a creamy and nicely persistent 1/4 inch head of foam. Good dripping laces. Deep and sweetly malty aroma, brown sugar and maple. Excellent mouthfeel, soft and velvety with low carbonation and a thick lingering malt impression that magnifies the flavors noted in the aroma. A slight bit of fruit mid mouth, then a smoky roastiness rises out. Hops are non-assertive. The alcohol (8%) is decently hidden in this drinkable Doppelbock. Strays toward over-sweetness, would make a good chilly Autumn brew.

Source: Liquid Solutions

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Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby tinged chestnut with 2 fingers of tan head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Breadyness, brown sugar & some booze as this warms.

T: Cakeyness, brown sugar, a bit of brown bread & a bit of roasty malt up front, a bit out of place for the style. Brown bread, a touch of peppery rye?? as this warms, plus a bit of astringency. Finishes with roasted grain, toffee, a touch of treacle & a bit of dryness. Almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Chewy, moderate carbonation, the astringency/roasty malt kind of messes up the balance for me

Drinks pretty good, I could do a couple with some BBQ, smoked ham or liebekuchen. That roasty/astrigent flavor prevents this one from hitting a home run. I'd happily drink this again though

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured slightly hazy dark brown. The head was off-white, small and compact, but lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was deep maltiness with dark caramel and dark fruit aromas of raisins and plums. Also in the deep malt presence was a nice chocolate aroma. The aroma also had a mild alcohol presence.

The flavor was malty with chocolate and a light bittering component coupled with a mild alcohol presence.

The finish was just almost dry with a caramel chocolate component lasting long into the aftertaste. The body was medium full. The chocolate was a bit overdone, but the beer was a nice beer to drink despite the alcohol warming and alcohol present in the flavor.

12 ounce bottle. Thanks weefisheads.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the one and only Jazz Hands McGay (aka younger35) for this one...I probably beat him at something so that's why he sent it my way. Thanks man!

22 oz. bomber poured into a pilsner glass. 2008 vintage.

Pours a dark ruby with a fairly quick two fingered light khaki colored head. Minimal amounts of spiderweb lacing hold on to the sides of the glass here and there with a fair amount of bubbles racing to the top. Smell is rich with sweet malts; caramel and molasses. Some fig and raisins tickle the nose as well. Underneath all the sweetness is a bit of leather, tobacco leaves, and booze as well. Pretty complex aroma fo shizzle, I'm liking it. For some reason the taste falls a bit short of the smell. The leather flavor really dominates witha touch of vanilla and warming alcohol. Midway some chalky caramel emerges on the tongue with a bit of roasted nutiness as well. Aftertaste is somewhat smokey with some sprinkled brown sugar. Body is a bit light for the style, still smooth, just lacking the creaminess I enjoy that typically comes along with Doppelbocks. Carbonation is light and fluffy. Not a bad Doppelbock, but not earth shattering either. Worth a shot, but Autumnal Fire and Celebrator will still be my top brews in this category. Thanks again're still a pansy

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Photo of tavernjef
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, nearly blackened blood black with a sliver of amber at the bottom. Great capping that lasts and lasts of densely firm, creamy lightly tanned foam. Actually, it hardly ever moved even while being consumed. Started at about a chubby finger high to reside to a pinky height always present. Tons of lacing in patchy sheeting and some densely populated spotting. Great looking Doppelbock!

Aroma is a bit soft and hesitant to let loose with any real guff of Doppelbockyness. Slight toasted breadyness, old raisins, maple, cocoa, and a peculiar dryness of smokey grasses or grains.

Taste isn't as malty rich as I would like to see out of a Doppelbock. It starts out more like a beefy brown ale with some dryish breads and grains, cocoa as well puffs about within the mid ranges, some light vanilla, maple, and fruityness touches off the finishing back end with a partial raisin and fig ascent, but is quite short and uncomplexing.

Body is a bit short of medium with more of a drying sense of breads and grains then of rich chewy, gooey, fruity, malts. Again, seems more like a beefy brown ale.

So, even though this didn't quite live up to what I like out of a Doppelbock, I quite liked it; if it were a brown ale(style wise and being a bit strict and beer snobby here) would be solid. Other than the style seeming off to me, I'd drink a bunch of this no problem. The numbers reflect more of how I felt with the style not matching. The label says its a Doppelbock so...reviewed as so.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up in Appleton WI over the last weekend.... Nice label on the 12oz bottle. Poured a deep, dark, clear ruby/chestnut hue. Lovely color! Head was creamy and tan, though short and thinning to a fine layer rapidly with some lacework. Nice, sweet malty nose, with caramel and hints of something like a fruitcake aroma. Body was decent, and it was medium smooth, tongue-wise. Semi-sweet flavor throughout, with mucho malty caramel and light toffee. Also has the same dark, rich fruitcake like notes I found in the nose; perhaps a product of the oak-aging listed on the label. Has just a minimum of hops, as far as I could tell, and finished on the dry side. A bit different, due to the oaking, but tasty nonetheless. Prosit!!

overall: 3.8
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of ppoitras
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single somewhere in NoVA, either WF/Vienna, WF/Annadale, Norm's, or Rick's.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" light tan head above the brownish burgundy brew. Head is gone in a flash down to some bubbles here and there, but that's not so surprising from something aged in oak, with minimal lacing. Aroma is deep sweet malts, with alcohol prevalent. Taste starts with some dark malt sugars, quickly overcome by dark fruits and the leathery alcohol just bitch-slaps my tongue. I kind of enjoy it. Mouthfeel is a bit harsh, but grows on you, and drinkability is not bad for a sipper. Slow and easy, this one can be enjoyed for awhile.

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Photo of drpimento
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was served with a nice foamy frothy head that dissipated down to very little and almost no lace. warming. nice caramel aftertaste. hazy brown color. Not a bad, beer, but I can't see it living up to its rep. anyway. Light carbonation. Sweet, but not too sweet. Had much better dopples, but is a different take on the standard formula.

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Photo of Cwrw
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a hard time coaxing much of a head out of Detonator as I poured, but once in the glass, the head is at least a pleasant creamy mocha coloured layer, albeit a little patchy in the middle. The lacing makes up for the small head, leaving coats of tiny bubbles cascading down the glass. The head also went down very quickly without sipping from the beer. The liquid is extremely dark brown, almost black in the middle. Held to light you can see some dark almost ruby-brown hues. Leathery phenolic smells first greet my nose. Malty spices, extremely roasted and smoky. Dark grainy bread when I smelt more closely, along with raisins and other dark fruits, and that extremely strong solvent smell common to many doppelbocks. Just as a doppelbock should be, the aroma is extremely robust--not for the faint of smell. Giving the beer a swirl and then smelling really helped conjure up some of the notes that I otherwise could barely detect, such as a rich burnt brown sugar, fresh baking pastry, cayenne pepper, and dough. There is an obvious and highly delicious licorice presence here too. Little to no discernible hopping in the smell. Untuous taste, with mainly the dry malt leaving peppery feels in the mouth. All the usuals are here for a doppelbock: smoky malt, licorice and bitter chocolate, hints of raisins and cream, resin, syrup, dusty lactose, and notable bitterness. An extremely chewy, malty offering, just as it should be. The burnt malt leaves the bitterness: again, almost no hops are detectable in the taste. Creamy, low carbonation and a full, mouth-coating body. Try it with sharp cheese to balance the grainy dryness but note that this beer is not easy to tone down with any food. Powerful and dominating, is Detonator. This went down surprisingly quickly, but I could not personally drink many of these in one sitting--it is just too filling, which is exactly how it is meant to be. No wonder the monks drank this during fast. Bread in a bottle, indeed. Detonator is something to be consumed slowly and contemplatively.

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Fish Tale Detonator Doppelbock Lager from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
3.88 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
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