Cherry Oak Doppelbock (Brothers' Reserve Series) | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Cherry Oak Doppelbock (Brothers' Reserve Series)Cherry Oak Doppelbock (Brothers' Reserve Series)
162 Ratings
Cherry Oak Doppelbock (Brothers' Reserve Series)Cherry Oak Doppelbock (Brothers' Reserve Series)

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: German Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Released September 2009

Malts - Pale, Munich 20 L, Caramel 40L & 60L, Dark Chocolate
Hops - Alchemy
ABV: 9%
OG: 24 P
AE: 8 P

Added by msubulldog25 on 09-23-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 |  Reviews: 142
Reviews by wchesak:
Photo of wchesak
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found at a Total Wine. Poured into a Great Divide Yeti chalice. Maybe a half fingers worth of creamy taupe head. The beer leaves good ink blot-like lace. Lots of sweet, alcohol backed cherries (more bourbon soaked then rum soaked), spicy hop notes try to fight in the aroma. Spicy bitterness leads of at first, but moves quickly into the sweet caramel cherry tinged with a bit of milk chocolate. This beer is definitely thick but fits the style and objective of the brewer. The lingering aftertaste is a bit more dry than expected. Mid bomber the burn from the alcohol begins to take effect but never overpowering. Good beer overall, but would have expected more oak character.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This is a solid dark brown in color with a very interesting head that didn't come up much but showed amazing retention and left some beautiful lacing.

Smell - You really get nothing from this nose when the beer is cold, but once it warms there is a nice malt aroma that is squashed by the overindulgent oaky notes. It's like that Godzilla vs Bambi short from the 70s. Splat!

Taste - I'm always afraid with these oaked beers that the wood flavor is going to overpower the beer, and in this case my fears are well founded. The cherry oak flavor though is unusually tasty, the quality is top-notch, so it gets points for that. But again, as my chief complaint about oaked beers always is, I can barely taste the bocky malt flavors.

Mouthfeel - This is full-bodied and slick in the mouth with the faintest hint of alcohol and a slight bitter bite. The carbs are low, too. Other aspects of this beer were a bit off from the style but here it is dead on 100% exactly what I expect from a fine DB.

Drinkability - The big wood notes took something away from this one but overall it was pretty decent.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #34 (Nov 2009):

Craft beer is stepping it up--more breweries are producing oaked, fruit-flavored, big beers that come in special packaging, but we know all the proof is in the pudding regardless of what a brewery can come up with.

Dark, alluring garnet-brown color; stiff lacing holds well on the glass. Subtle aroma of sweet cherries and a thick maltiness. Big, thick body lumbers around; sweetness is every- where, but mellow. Hint of cherry juice and a dull pucker of oak present. A little bready and a little bit of caramel in the back. Slight herbal kick from the hops. Alcohol is tame for 9 percent--the warmth is pervasive. Really, with each sip, this whole beer opens up more. Sweet finish, with a quick flash of dark brown sugar.

You can dress a beer up and put it in a fancy box, but at the end of the day, all that mat- ters is what is in the bottle. Widmer prevails with this stellar brew. Kudos to the brothers.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure how this beer ended up in Gary's in Portsmouth, but I'm glad it did. In a pilsner glass the beer was a dark brown with a thin tan head that still left a little lacing. A sweet malt aroma. Strong malt taste, and the cherry came through very well as a cherry liqueur taste. A very "big" beer, substantial and fun.

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Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twenty-two ounce bottle pours a mostly clear, radiant dark copper body with a creamy beige head that reaches three fingers of height in the glass. Nice retention and plenty of island chain lacing.

Lovely aroma opens with subtle oaky vanilla tones, followed quickly by candied dark cherries. Chocolate and toffee notes lie underneath, accented by a hint of booze.

Body is lighter than expected, right around medium. Very smooth on the palate, with a creamy carbonation.

Taste is complex. Toffee, toasted caramel, and a soft milk chocolate maltiness are balanced cleverly with a restrained earthy hop bitterness and some alcohol warmth. The oak is quite subtle, but adds a nice vanilla and woodsy character. The cherries play the starring role, adding a tasty sweet/tart component all the way through and into the aftertaste.

Very well done. The components come together very well to create a tasty experience. I'm curious to see how this will do with some aging. Vanilla, chocolate, oak, alcohol, cherries...What's not to love here!

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Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$6.99 for the bomber, in a cardboard box.Why? Has a date etched on the bottle and on the label, no indication of what it means. Pours pretty dark brown, with a dark, rich plum hue. Light mocha head, of moderate height and retention, leaves extensive and nice looking webs of lacing. Cherry, light wood and dark malts on the nose. Dense notes of moderatly sweet cherry, dance around the mouth with some more wood, and plenty of malt qualities. Thick mouthfeel, alcohol evident, but not overly boozy. Warming and tasty. Quality sipper/nightcapper. Quite enjoyable. Nice beer with dessert after a quality cool weather meal.

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Photo of tigg924
3.29/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, low carbonation, red-brown in color, hazy, some sediment

Smell: oak, vanilla, cherry, and caramel--This is an awesome smelling beer.

Taste: cherry taste similar to SA cherry wheat, toasted malt, caramel, alcohol, and a touch of oak.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium-heavy bodied, sweet with an oaky backbone

Drinkability: This one is overly sweet. This beer smells as amazing as any I have had, yet the taste does not follow the complexities of the nose. An OK beer but one that is one and done for me.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a small tan head. Not a lot of carbonation in the pour. Smell is a mix of malts and dark fruit. I am not necessarily getting cherries, but there is definitely fruit there. Flavor is cherries with quite a bit of oak. The aftertaste is where the oak comes in. About what I expected/hoped the beer would taste like. A pretty thick mouthfeel for the style. I wouldn't drink more than one in a night because this is more of a sipper, but still very good and drinkable.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.61/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A cherry-oak aged doppel? Why not. Poured a dingy reddish-brown with a massive pinkish head. Thick lacing. Smell was a bit medicinal, as in cherry robitussin. Lots of sugar and sweet malt with pleasant oak/vanilla notes. I'm just not sure of what to expect. Syrupy mouthfeel was not pleasant. Taste is a bit of a mess. Again, the cherry oak takes over to the point of sickening me. I let it warm and it got moderately better. You could at least taste some very nice malt and vanilla. However, you still had to endure an ungodly amount of sweetness just to get to what was already a sweet beer. Sorry fellas. This actually had me hoping the 22 oz. bomber was a 12 oz.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a dark woody brown with some nice deep cherry red when held up to the light. Not much of a head but some light brown lacing. Nose is quite oaky and not much booze given the abv, a light malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is nice and full with very nice carbonation filling the mouth. Finish is all cherry and it's got a very nice light warming as it goes down. Taste is sweet and maybe even a bit tart from the cherries. Fairly well balanced with a tart bitterness on the back of the tongue.

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a very good beer!!! A nice thick foamy head with good lacing. It has a good flavor of dark chocolate, cherries, and oak. It is slightly bitter, and has a thick body. The ABV is 9% so after drinking this beer you really feel it. The cherries are not overwhelming and are just a very subtle hint. This beer has a sweetness that isn't highly detected right away. This beer is excellent served around 50 to 60 degrees. The reason why this beer is better closer to room temperature is to allow the flavors to really hit your taste buds.

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Photo of brow1901
4.24/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep dark red, practically black. With a thin wisp of a light tan head. Retention is nil, and lacing is thin.

S- The cherry is really evident in the nose. Smells of fresh tart cherries, kinda reminds me of the smell of a sour, faintly.

T- Its an interesting taste to this beer. The flavors really develop and change in your mouth. Initially the tart cherries strike the tounge lightly. And it finishes in a real smooth kinda buttery, maybe some oak, finish.

M- Nice and smooth but not slick.

D- I like this beer it is a good drink, keeps you refreshed and really keeps the attention of the taste buds. Overall a good brew, I wish I would have saved one for the cellar.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Small snifter time!!

Deep amber color with many reddish hues, like the sun is setting! The liquid quckly spreads out after a heavy looking pour. Looks like brandy. a well retained clump of foam in the middle spreads out slow, eventually, gone. looks aged and mellows later on.

Wow, the malt is sooo damn complex. It smells aged and matured! Sweet smoke-wood flavor's abound, a very deep malt, slight sweetness with gentle brown sugar, dark caramel and light fruits but the he and complexity does not make it slick, it's aged and mellow. A delightful balance of earthy, semi-bitter and dry hops makes this one tough to put down.

This is simply a brilliant Amrican Dopplebock, huge complexity and be sure to finish this one of with a mighty fine cigar!

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Photo of GilGarp
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber in a box. A nice presentation.

Bottled 9/9/09.

Served cool in a pint glass. The beer pours a deep tawny red color with good clarity. The thin white head is short lived.

Aroma is very mild. The only thing I pick up is a hint of cherries but it's very muted. I would've liked a bit more here.

Flavor is really big on cherries. It's sweet, especially up front, with fresh dark cherry juice. The oak is surprisingly dominant as well. I'm not sure if it was aged in a barrel or on chips but the oak is almost too strong. I would also be interested in how they got the cherry flavor. Unfortunately, the doppelbock backdrop, which seems pretty solid, starts to get lost in the excitement.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body and low in carbonation which makes it a great sipper. Definately one-and-done but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the label: "This limited release is a Kurt Widmer favorite," with the names of the brothers listed underneath. Kurt's box is checked, Rob's is not. You suppose Rob thinks this stinks? Har. Humongous thanks to msubulldog25 for hooking me up with this limited release from America's Beer Paradise (aka Portland, OR).

Pours a splendid mahogany that edges toward a burnt burgundy color. Head is toasted light golden-brown, and it doesn't stay around long. A constellation of dots thrown on the glass in the head's wake.

The aroma is absolutely wonderful--caramel, milk chocolate, gooey cherry (like cherry taffy, or ice-cream), toasted nuts. Pretty much offers everything its simple name promises.

Flavor is full, round, and, despite the novel use of oak and cherry, comes off in a direct, straightforward manner. It's a big flavor for sure: lots of gooey caramal-chocolate candy chews, big succulent cherry sweetness, subtle flashes of fresh-cut wood, background husky nuttiness. Juicy as hell and slippery too. A light fruit tang in the finish, mildly puckering but not in a distracting way. Full-bodied, slightly syrupy and exceptionally rounded.

Golly...this is just great. It doesn't need the overpackaging of a classy box to impress, and I'm pretty sure brother Rob likes this too. How could he not?

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Photo of cjgator3
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color with an off-white head. 

S- The aroma is very nice! There is a lot of sweet malt and caramel in the nose with a touch of oak and cherries as well. I must say that I am impressed. The cherry notes are very subtle in the aroma, and really add a nice character. 

T- The taste like the aroma starts out very malty with hints of chocolate and some sweet cherry flavors added in as well. Like the aroma, the cherry flavors are not overpowering nor does it seem out of place like some fruit infused beers. Well done.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a little better than expected. It is a quality brew that is recommended!

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Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Goebels in Wichita

Pours an effervescent chestnut hued ruby red with a finger of tan head. Nice head retention & average lacing

S: Slight oakyness, fruittyness (apples & Pears)

T: Bready with hints of cherry juice, oaky dryness, some fairly sharp tartness & sourness. I get a kiss of booze as this warms along with some apple peel, more cherry, figgyness & a touch of vanilla. Finishes with cherries, figs & dryness

MF: Fairly chewy with minimal carbonation

Drinks alright & I can appreciate it as a one- off, but not breaking into my dopple rotation wanders too far off the path for this dopplefreak. This would make a great winter seasonal release. I almost would classify this as a Belgian Style Dopple, due some of the fruitty flavors in this. I would love to glaze a ham or some pork chops, or baste some smoked ribs with this one! This would work well with many foods IMO

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Photo of HalfFull
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with rich ruby highlights. Clear and deep with a half inch of off white head. Retention is moderate at best, yet offers decent lacing.

Nose is rich and malty, yet roasted. Caramel malts exude and mix with dark cherry. Sweet grape juice notes, vinous.

Flavor of dark cherry is abundant. Oak is a bit of a reach, perhaps revealing itself as a bit of spice in the flavor. Pretty well balanced as for malts, not overbearing in richness, allowing for a good feel and drinkability.

Value: C-

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Photo of thagr81us
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to funkydelic for sharing this one with myself and beeruser at one of our weekly tastings! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a brownish orange with minimal cream colored head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, cherry, alcohol, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, wood, cherry, dark fruit, and bread. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. You definitely picked up on the cherry and oak aspect going on in this beer right off the bat in both the aroma and flavor as it was very pronounced. The alcohol on this one was a little off-putting but not totally invasive to the palate. The dark fruit added a nice touch to help balance out the alcohol some and make it a little easier to drink. However, I did find this one a little too much of a sweet cherry aspect rather than a tart cherry which I was disappointed in, but you can't win them all. Worth trying for a fan of the style who wants to try something new.

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Photo of GRG1313
2/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours dark, black but with a seemingly red cast or edges; no head, even upon a good swirl.

Beer was served room temperature which usually highlights nose and flavors at their best. Nose was almost nonexistent! No nose but for a whiff of light cherry fragrance and one really had to stretch and search.

Mouthfeel was thick but without any appeal or character.

Flavors are of burnt charcoal, overcooked red meat and spoiled wine. There is nothing appealing about this beer whatsover. Bad bottle? There's hints of chocolate, hints of cherry and hints of coffee - all of which are simply out of balance, not integrated and not appealing.

Finish is of burnt toast and unappealing bitter coffee. I'll try another bottle tomorrow and revise review if bottle was bad. However, September 09 bottling so unlikely that bottle is bad and also unlikely that there is bottle variation.

Some might say that it will improve and "integrate" and soften with age. I would not agree; this one will never get better. Not a good effort.

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Photo of Bung
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Dark brown/ruby pour, just minimal white head, but some bubbles throughout. Sweeter aromas of caramel, toffee, malt some oak and charcoal. Taste is also pretty sweet, but the tannic cherry adds an interesting off set to the caramel, toffee and malt sweetness. Warming, but alcohol not overly present. Drinkability improves a bit as it warms, the tartness fades. An interesting take on a doppelbock, worth trying.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the Limited Release #1 marked 16:31-OR-SEP0909. Sampled on April 23, 2010 after storing it on a shelf for six months. Served at around 45 degrees. Thepour is a handsome looking crimson brown with about a finger of short-lived light brown silky head. Cherry and oak top the aroma as advertised along with malts and something not unlike licorice. The cherries stand out in the taste more than the aroma wikth a kind of wooden, dry malted, overripe fruit flavor to boot. The 9% ABV is not well masked as this has an odd hard liquor feel to it as well. This was something I wanted to try at least once.

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Photo of BierFan
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a mug. Bottled on September 9th of 2009. Limited Release #1.

Appearance: Thin tan head on a dark body. It looks like a flat cola except that the body of the beer is a little hazy.

Smell: The cherry and the oak manage to come through on the smell. Even with the cherry and oak it's still unmistably a doppelbock.

Taste: Pretty dang good. Cherry is front and center but it doesn't overpower the rest of the beer as fruit often does. Oak adds a little more complexity. A little smokey in the aftertaste. Bitterness is pretty low.

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Photo of Docer
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed 4 bottles at The BeerMongers ... looked forward to this one for sure!

- Heavy center pour into a tumbler... hardly any head even with the heavy pour.. but bubbly... leaving a small ring of off-white head around the edges... and some slight hazing floating in the center... a reddish slightly cloudy caramel/molasses look... not totally black at all... cola..

- Nice malty smell... balanced sweetness with some dark cherries... currants, fig.... woodiness... very good smell...

- Very good creamy roasted woody caramel malt.. bit of an oakiness to it... slightly chalky.. some ester, cherry.... light rum or bourbon...

- Slightly chalky, and sticky... but overall decent... smooth... lingering cherry..

- Overall this is very drinkable and good.. hides the strength... and not really over-the-top... but I was lat down just a little bit.. not quite as good as I expected.. but overall very nice seeing some reserve series coming from Widmer... and a bit late at that!

Got 3 others to age! Right next to my 25th anniversary Dbl. Alts!

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Photo of bgjohnston
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours and looks like a nice dopplebock, dark reddish brown with a light tan head.

The smell is very pleasing: a hint of dark cherries, and a nice chocolate sweetness. a sip brings on a lot more of the dark chocolate flavor, while the fruit retreats, only coming back a little on the finish.

Feel seems appropriate for the flavor, and despite claiming a 9% ABV, is quite drinkable. Only the richness of the flavor really slows you down, and you really should go slow to enjoy it for the full ride.

I really don't know much about this brewery, and this is the first beer I have tried from them. Too bad this one is supposed to be a very limited release. However, I am encouraged to try others.

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Cherry Oak Doppelbock (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 162 ratings