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 Derek
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep mohoganny, light tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Big malty aroma (bready, dark fruit/raisin), demerara, light spicyness & alcohol.

T: Very bready malt, dark fruit, demerara sugar, toffee, woody spicyness (with a little grass & hint of herb), slight caramel, assertive bitterness for the style, slightly winey alcohol flavour. This one wasn't sour at all.

M: Full body is well-attenuated with the alcohol drying the finish; Light to moderate carbonation.

D: Wunderbar!

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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 TheBungyo
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is ruby married with mahogany. Nice creamy head tops this one and leaves behind lacing like Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs to mark the drinker's progress. Nose is slightly bready, coupled with notes of caramel, brown sugar, black berry jam, and toastiness.

I taste raisins, caramel, subtle vanilla, and a finish that is somehow dry. There's a tobacco smokiness that I could almost miss were I not paying really close attention.

The carbonation is light enough to not distract and the mouth is rich. I'd drink this a lot if it came in smaller bottles with smaller price tags.

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Photo of BigBry
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown bottle, slightly taller and narrower than Canadian industry standard. Nicely painted label (as pictured above), spawned on May clipped into side of label.
Deep, dark brown color, tan colored foam of small tight bubbles. Great head retention with thin lace strands caoting the glass. Lots of aromas, toasted malt, prune/plum, maybe even some coffee. Smell intensifies as it warms. Full flavored beer with roasted malt, chewy and smokey. Balanced by some bitterness and slightly sour in the finish. Alcohol (8.5%) is well hidden, overall everything seems well balanced. A slow drinking enjoyable beer.
My first Doppelbock, this has set the bar quite high for the style.

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Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Presario for sending me, so I could make my flight with but the single carry on bag. Seeing Pootz had this, I felt no guilt in consuming my bottle by myself today. I have found several samples of this style I have enjoyed. A tasty drinkable dark brown and reddish highlights concoction, with an acceptable amount of sourness. The cask characteristics added to complexity of taste.

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Photo of pootz
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Thanks Brian

Puts a deep chestnut brown lager with some ruby highlights in the glass...3 finger tight pored cap lasts and laces well.

Aroma of dark toasted breads, figs, mocha, grass some fusil, light woody tones...lush smell to this one.

Profile: In the front side you bite down on dark (almost charred) toasty malts, this gives a burnt raisin toast effect as the woody-herbal Hallertauers dig in their heels to balance...mid palate this gets more complex: smoked figs, some walnut skin astringency, woody-earthy tones run just below the roast malts...surprisingly this rich dark lager finishes up dry with some hop bittering and charred black malt astringency taking over.

A very good bock teasing sweetness bur never going there...covers it’s alcohol well, herbal hopping, earthy-wood tastes from the barrel aging...very well done drinkable dunkler bock.

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Photo of AltBock
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with a label that's just plain and simple. The label has a painting of an upstate Washington Mountain scene during autumn with the snow covered mountains in the background, trees that have their leaves turning brown, and a babbling brook with a fish in the foreground. In front of this mountain scene is the name of the beer in medium sized gold letters, the style of the beer, ABV% of 8%, the words "aged in oak," and the Fish Tail symbol of a rainbow trout flapping its back fin at who ever looks at it. On the right outer rim of the label is where they put the Government warning, barcode, contents, refund prices, and a notched "spawned on" date that was notched in between February and March. It didn't give a year, so I don't know how old it is. It's probably from 2007. A Doppelbock aged in Oak? I sure hope it taste as good as the label suggests. Should be fun. Served in a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Wow! This has quite an appearance! It poured an almost black dark mahogany brown with some cranberry red highlights in the middle of the beer. It had a massive 5 inch pillowy head of toffee colored foam. I'm not too sure of the height, but whatever the height was, it made me stop pouring the beer because it would have overflowed the glass if I hadn't. If that wasn't enough, this head of foam had excellent retention that left behind a small 2 inch head of toffee foam, tan colored rings along the edge, and tons and tons of tan colored streaks of lace around the glass. I can't say enough good things about the appearance. It was just pure beer eye candy.

Smell: I honestly thought the aroma would be filled with a few Doppelbock aromas and with some oak in the background. That wasn't the case with this beer. It started off with SOUR cherries and grapes and then went into the Doppelbock aroma of sweet caramel, roasted malts, a few non sour dark fruits, a dab of dark chocolate, and decided to end with a slight aroma of oak. I never would have thought that an intentionally sour Doppelbock would have smelled so good! The sour fruits were a nice touch.

Taste: The taste was a lot like the aroma, except for the order in which they came in. The taste started off with the Doppelbock taste of dark roasted malts, sweet caramel, dark chocolate, a few dark fruits, and with a pinch of oak to send the Doppelbock part of the beer into the sour region of the beer. The sour part of the beer consisted of only dry sour cherries and a touch of sour green apples. A Doppelbock with oak and sour fruits in them? I never would have thought they would be so good together. Fishbowl did a nice job containing the sour fruits from becoming Flemish Red sour strength. Even without the sour fruits and oak, the Doppelbock itself was still very good. If you can't tell already, I just loved the taste.

Mouthfeel: For an 8% ABV beer, it was light to medium bodied with a soft lingering aftertaste of sour fruits mixed in with some roasted malts, caramel, and few roasted hops. It was nice to see the hops make an appearance. Better late than never. I should also mention that it completely masks it's somewhat high 8% ABV. If they didn't list the alcohol percentage on the label, I wouldn't have guessed it was at 8%. It's as slick as a rainbow trout that had just been plucked from the river.

Drinkability: I know I've said this before, but I just have to say it again. A Doppelbock combined with a sour beer? Never would I have thought they would taste soooo good together. I wish I had another one of these beer waiting for me to open and drink it's fine contents, but I only had one. I wish to thank the fellow beer lover who gave this one. Damn, I want another one right now! If you like an intentionally sour beer combined with oak and a really good Doppelbock, then you really need to trade for this one. It's just a great beer!

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Photo of vanrassel
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I typically haven't been a big fan of this style, but this beer went some distance toward changing my opinion.

It poured with an almost opaque cola colour and a frothy, two-finger head. It smelled mainly of chocolatey roasted malt, though there were some smoky and vinous aromas too.

The taste starts smoky before the chocolate kicks in — nice and smooth, not bitter. The ending is malty and grainy, but again it's nice and subtle. A smooth and drinkable beer that doesn't show its high ABV.

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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 4thoseabout2bock
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Steve's University Blvd in Madison. Excited to see Fish this far East!

Poured brown into goblet. Thick cream colored foam that reduced but hung around for a while. Not much in the way of smell. Some sweetness with a slight whiff of alcohol.

Taste: Big and brown, malty, roasty. Dry ending with maybe a little hop? Not really a doppelbock (no signature german tastes, and not overly sweet). More just a big brown. Perfectly nice and drinkable. Does not taste as strong as it is (says 8.5% on the bottle) and nice body. (Spawned on date said May, I assume 2006 batch)

Another fine beer from Fish. Happy we still have some aging from our trip to the PacNW this summer.

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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 Orrshow
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Dark with ruby red tones reminding me of mahogany. A small amount of tan head is produced which holds reasonably well and leaves no lacing

Smell – Some dark fruits, licorice, and brown sugar arise. It is sweet. This one smells of dark rich malts big time.

Taste – I get a lot of roasted malt and wood flavors off the bat. This is accompanied by some sweetness and alcohol. I really taste raisins as well. It’s very malty and rich. Quite good all in all.

Mouthfeel – Almost chewy. Its very thick and not much carbonation is there. Nice.

Drinkability – Not bad. It’s almost overwhelming sometimes but it was hard to drink.

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Photo of blackie
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The khaki colored head recedes to a ring around the glass and a chunky island of bubbles on the surface. The beer is a clear, chestnut brown in color.

smell: At first I find notes of nutshell and wood. There is a moderate, tosaty malt sweetness, and a light touch of hazelnut chocolate creme. Light noble type hop aroma.

mouthfeel: Just above medium in carbonation, and lighter in body

taste: I find a toasted, nutty malt flavor upfront with a touch of toffee candy. The light sweetness is balanced with a moderate hop flavor and subtle bitterness. In the dry finish there is a light roasted flavor. Not deep in character but soundly made.

drinkability: The alcohol is pretty invisible, and this seems like a nice attempt at the widely ranging style

My contribution to a doppelbock tasting held with the three BAs below, and fourth in the lineup.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle courtesy of dirtylou and Blackie, shared with expatsteve and myself over an impromptu doppelbock session.

Pour: dark, clear ruby/mahogany with a smallish khaki head.

Nose: roasted toffee malt, caramel sweetness, hint of nutty/spiced notes.

Taste: caramel/toffee bock malts, earthy peat, bitter hops/booze and a bit of spice in the finish.

Feel: smooth, thin body, velvety crisp carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: an interesting, spicy doppel with a unique hops presence. Not exactly traditional, but a fun addition to the line-up nonetheless.

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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 dirtylou
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, overpriced at Woodman's West, split with Blackie, expatsteve, and golden2wenty1 during a recent doppelbock session

appearance: poured into a 2006 great taste tasting glass...dark garnet body, bubbly dark beige/khaki head

smell: strong dark fruit, red apple, very earthy tones throughout, well toasted malt structure

taste: the first thing i noticed was a well placed smoky nature, very earthy, light woody notes, more boozy than the troegenator, touch of licorice, light metallic hop presence, toated malt. I like it

mouthfeel: rich and full

drinkability: pretty good

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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 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 woemad
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My earlier (much earlier) review of this beer doesn't do justice to this beer, mainly due to the fact that I was just starting down the road to beer geekdom at the time. So, here I go again...

12oz bottle from Jim's Homebrew in Spokane that set me back $2.55. Prominently displayed by the label: "Aged In Oak - 8% Alc By Vol." According to the label, this was "spawned" last May.

Pours a very dark brown with a tiny, wisp of an off-white head that dropped quickly to a slight foamy collar. No lace to speak of. When held to the light, there is a modest maroon shade to be seen.

This is a very distinctive smelling beer! I don't think there's another doppelbock out there with a nose like this one.The oak-barrel aging gives a winey scent to the proceedings, which are dominated by a sweet, brown sugar smell and the scent of dark fruits. There is also vanilla in the nose. Smells damn tasty!

Like the smell, the taste is best described as glorious. All sorts of flavors impact the taste buds at roughly the same time. There's a sweet, brown sugary, mollasses flavor that vies for attention with figs, cherries and a slight taste of dark chocolate. There's also some vanilla that 's present. Luscious red wine can be detected in the background, lending a very slight dryness to the taste. This is an incredible tasting beer.

Not too much carbonation to this, as one might expect for the style. This is a sipper, and it's thick, viscous qualities lend themselves to an after dinner, dessert kind of role. Or just make it the meal itself, that'll work, too!

A very tasty doppel from the ale dominated Pacific Northwest. If the rumors I hear are true - that Fish is no longer going to bottle this, along with Poseidon, Leviathan, Monkfish and Old Woody - I'm seriously pissed. The oak aging makes this a less than traditional tasting doppel, but it makes up for that by being a tasty treat.

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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 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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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 BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark 'cigar wrapper' brown with a preponderance of red when sunlight is allowed to filter through. The light brown head is small and unimpressive. As I type, it has fallen to a microthin film through which beer will soon be visible. No lace. The color is the only thing salvaging an acceptable appearance.

The nose, while underpowered, isn't bad at all. It's roasted chocolate malty to the exclusion of all else, but then that isn't surprising given the style. Unfortunately, there's very little depth or complexity. There may be some dark butterscotch/dark caramel, but there aren't a lot of accessory aromas.

Much better on the palate. I was beginning to wonder if Detonator had any sense of pride whatsoever. It does and apparently it was saving itself for the most important test of all, the taste test. It's more of a 'tamed brute' than an 'elegant gentleman' of a doppelbock, but there's nothing wrong with that. It's stilll dark chocolate malty with an underlying peaty sourness that brings to mind the wee heavy style.

I also taste anise and a vinous fruitiness reminiscent of port wine. The oak barrels that the beer was stored in for 3 months previously held Merlot and this brewery's barleywine and Imperial stout. That brings into play a great many possible flavors that I don't claim to be able to appreciate. Nevertheless, my above impressions stand. There's also a very mild hoppiness (Hallertauer, Columbus) that gets lost in the malty shuffle.

The body is medium-full with a mouth pleasing syrupiness that increases with warming. A faint hint of alcohol is evident, but is well integrated, as it is in the best high-ABV beers. A sweet, sticky finish cements the notion of a characterful sipper that one can enjoy as dessert or as a before bed treat.

Detonator impresses where it counts most, flavor and mouthfeel. In the end, eye candy and nose candy are all well and good, but how a beer actually tastes and feels in the mouth is what's all-important to me. This is a damn fine doppel that I'll pick up whenever I have the opportunity.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle, acquired on a trip to the Northwest this past fall. Appearance is a medium brown, very clear, with mere wisps of off white head, carbonation level on this one seems rather low in general (not thsat there's anything wrong with that). Aroma is like inhaling a smore, sweet, milk chocolatey, any a bit toasted around the edges. A bit of woody essence and alcohol detectable as well. Body was definitely on the medium side, seemingly becoming more visoucs as it warmed in the glass. Taste is well populated with roasty and chocolate notes, along with some subdued dark dried fruit. The oak begins to tell its tale towards the finish, adding a nice pleasant round woodiness, and delicate vanilla mingling with a bit of alcoholic warmth. Quite tasty...

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