Beer Review 0381: Bell’s Consecrator Doppelbock

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Looking over my reviews, it appears that I have never reviewed a Doppelbock. Time to change that.

A Bock is a strong lager of German origin — several different styles exist in the Bock category, with Doppelbock being a malty, higher alcohol version. The style was first brewed in the 14th century by beer makers in the town of Einbeck. In the 17th century, Munich brewers adopted the style and adapted it to lager-style brewing. The beer became known as “Bock” because the Bavarian accent pronounced Einbeck as “ein Bock,” or “a billy goat.” That’s why you’ll often see goats on the labels of Bock beers.

Doppelbocks are a prime representation of beer being “liquid bread,” as Friars drank these brews when fasting.

Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, Michiagn) produces a Doppelbock as a seasonal release. Their take, Consecrator, is lagered for three full months, and comes in at 8% ABV (alcohol by volume). They recommend you keep the beer refrigerated.

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The pour made a small, soapy head, which quickly faded. This beer was a deep amber in color, almost red; the body was clear, free of particles and sediment. Lacing was sparse to nearly non-existent.

On the nose, loads of sweet caramel and biscuit malt were awaiting, lightly toasted. This beer is quite fragrant; it’s very bready and has a light citrus hop body, perhaps some orange peel. There’s also an earthy yeast, and as it warms, the 8% alcohol shows up, tapping at the door loud enough to let you know it’s there.

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Sipping, Consecrator kicks off with a touch of dark fruit — raisin, prune, some dark, juicy grape, before it washes into the sweet and bready caramel. That dark fruit taste continues to the middle; it was hard for me to tell whether it was dark cherries or grape. You know how sometimes Imperial Stouts give off a grape flavor? This was similar, but sweeter and bready. The finish continued the sweetness, and introduced lingering notes of brown sugar, molasses, and cinnamon to accompany the creamy caramel. This beer has some body; I’d call it full, and the mouthfeel was medium and foamy. The alcohol is present at the very end of the taste and warms the throat.

Overall, a tasty and extremely well-made beer. No surprise from Bell’s. I’m just shocked (and appalled, really) that it took me this long to pick up a bottle of Consecrator Doppelbock. I’ve passed it up before — don’t be like me, give this a try. Smooth, easy drinking, and it has a nutritious body with just the right amount of alcohol oomph for a bigger beer.

And, I need to review more of this style.

Bell’s Consecrator Doppelbock, 91 points. Price: $2.99 US for one twelve ounce bottle.

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