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

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Fish Tale Detonator Doppelbock LagerFish Tale Detonator Doppelbock Lager
Very Good
74 Ratings
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of woemad
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
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 -1.8%
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 -1.3%
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 -5.4%
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 +1.5%
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 +3.6%
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 -3.1%
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 PopeJonPaul
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really thick and creamy, probably the creamiest Dopplebock I've had. Nice chocolate smell. Deep dark brown with just a hint of red, tough to see unless you get a light right behind it. Sweet taste of cereal, roasted chocolate, fruit wine alcohol and some extra-dry hops that create a dry finish that clashes a bit with the sweet creamy flavors (weird, but kind of cool.) A bit of Galliano in the finish as well, quite a surprise, I could get used to this.

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Photo of Skidz
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a bright amber brown and sits a deep cherrywood in the glass with a smallish tan head, fading to a bare top, some head retreating to the sides.

Smells of deep roasted malts, borderline burnt and a big waft of alcohol, bourbon oaked. Some nice chocolately tones, a dark brown sugar too.

Tastes rich and malty up front, mildly sweet with a huge oak presence. Wooden tones reside throughout, pairing well with chocolates and faint dark fruits that also sit inside; raisins and dates mainly. Finishes mildly bittered, with a warming glow of alcohol in the background, burly oak presence still noted.

Smoothed out nicely and low-key carbonation. Medium-full body, well powered.

A shining example of what oak aging can accomplish. This is definately well-made, and easily consumed at that.

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Photo of garthwaite
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled as part of a blind dopplebock tasting. This brew along with the Liberator stood above the rest when matched up with a fine group of dopple's. Deep cocoa coloring with tinted ruby and attractive, creamy tannish head. Complex aroma of melted chocolate, richly toasted caramel, burgundy soaked raisins with a mild oak woodiness. This is quite a sweet & rich sipper with delightful layers of deep fruit - prune, raisin, & dark cherry mixing with subtle, but unique hop spice. Constant oak overtones help to blend this decadent brew. Medium to full with a creamy, smooth mouthfeel and dry finish. I must give many thanks to skyhand and RoyalT for sending me a couple bottles to study. Unique & Superb.

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Photo of zacharius
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a brown, almost black color with hints of ruby. Has a tight off white head. Aroma is sweet toffee with a fruitty undercurrant. Taste is sweet toffee malt, no perceptable hops. Some oak aftertase, oak provides some tannic balance to the brew. Hint of smoke in the taste. Nice thick body, moderate to low carbonation. Excellent drinkability, the alcohol is well hidden so you better not have too many.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
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 Crosling
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
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 cokes
2.88/5  rDev -26%
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 WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -8%
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 RedDiamond
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
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 Elemental
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours very nice. Nice deep brown color. The aroma is slightly smocky with some nice hop undertones. It taste is very big and malty with carmel hints and a very bitter finish. To me it tastes like a mix between a dopplebock and a barley wine. Very hoppy and spicy like a barley wine and sweet and big like a dopplebock. It definately has a large amount of smokiness that could be tamed down. Overall a very interesting brew!

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Photo of beerguy101
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark brown color. Large tan head. Aroma is malty, oaky and chocolately. A thick, viscous, full-bodied, dopplebock. Malts are nutty, sweet and smoky. Hops are slightly spicy. Aged in oak barrels, this dopplebock has a wonderful smoky flavor that complements the rich malt sweetness. The sweetness is balanced somewhat by the hops bite. Very smooth. VERY nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is sweet.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black as night with a terrific head that went down slowly and laced the glass, leaving “lave pits” of foam on top.

Smell – Severely burnt malt picks up most of the aroma here, although hard molasses and sugar are present. The nose is malty and full.

Taste – This one has a strong burnt flavor to it. There’s some yeasty bread which is burnt, too. I can pick up some burnt molasses, and there are some chocolate and cherry flavors as well, which are also burnt.

Mouthfeel – Very flat and medium bodied with a slight sense of alcohol.

Drinkability – I won’t have any trouble getting this one down. It is creamy smooth, highly palatable, and even refreshing. I could almost chug this bottle, which I guess would explain the Detonator name.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark, nearly black color, red at the bottom, and with a pillowy, tan, 1/2" head, quite a pleasant way to cap the pint glass!
Aroma: immediately apparent in the air, sweet, subtly fruity, rich and spicy, opening up more and more as we drink it in, giving off more ssociations: cherries, port wine, coffee, figs, dates, rum cake, a hint of anise, even.
Prodigious mouthfeel, dark, deep, viscous, indulgent.
Fullish body, long and roasty finish.
Could have been more, as the texture actually thinned out some, I felt, toward the end. Still, a very, very nice little doppel.
Thanks to Gromit!

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Photo of ADR
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
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 Jason
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
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 Gusler
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

“Well all righty then”, a “Dopplebock”, don’t seem to drink nor find many domestic Dopplebocks, but this one should be a “Hoot”!

As deep as mahogany gets before it becomes brown color on the pour, the head unconscionable in size, spumous in texture, a light chocolate in color, as it evanesces, a silky sheet of lace is left behind to guard the glass. Hints of oak, molasses like, light toasted grains, sweetly malt, fresh an appealing, with a thick malt sweet start, the top is middling in feel. Finish scrumptious in its hop spicy bite, the acidity pertinent to the style, quite dry and the sweetness carries to the “light belly warming” and somewhat alcohol bitter end. A decent beer if a bit to sweet, but not enough to ruin it for me.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought in the 12 oz brown bottle..says: "Detonator" "Doppelbock Lager"
The appearance of this beer is very good and representative of the style..a deep ,dark mahogany red colour topped off with a small tan head which dissapates to leave a goodly lace!
The aroma of the beer is mainly malty..i smell some yeast too..its pretty pleasant though.
This is probably the best American dobbelbock I have ever tasted..its pretty darn smooth yet all the expected choco- coffee flavours are here..all in all its a well balanced beer.
Feels excellent in the tongue just like a "real" doppelbock should.
Very nice representation of an American doppelbock all in all very drinkable till i fall off my seat LOL

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Fish Tale Detonator Doppelbock Lager from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 74 ratings