I’ll go ahead and say it. Doppelbock is not my favorite style. I write a lot about beers that fit with the South Florida lifestyle….doppelbock does not. Know what doppelbock pairs well with? Cold German winters, that’s what, sausages and gravy.
OK, I’m being a bit unfair. I do drink this style, just not very often. It’s the original German “big beer,” thick, bready and warming. I once drank an Ayinger Celebrator at Sharkeys out on the water in Bayside, in September – needless to say, profuse sweating was involved. These beers aren’t always the easiest to sit back and drink at a bar, but they do have profound food pairing application, so don’t sleep on them. With the thick bread and caramel malts going on, they make a natural match for any kind of “browned” food. Meats, the aforementioned sausage, etc. Even something like diver scallops with a bit of a caramelized sear would work really well, even though you wouldn’t think of scallops as a food with which to pair a darker beer. I had that pairing at a beer dinner once, and I was surprised to find that it was my favorite pairing of the night. Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, duck – any meal with a bit of heft or browned surface might be a good candidate.
I’m thinking of German doppelbocks, of course, because that’s where the style originated. What’s an Icelandic Doppelbock? I’m about to find out. At the label indicates with the red nose and antlers on the Viking, this is Einstok’s Christmas beer. It has the clear brown/red body with some coarse foam, and yeah, it smells like a glass of a liquefied raisin bread. The beer I had earlier in the evening didn’t really smell like “beer,” but this smells like beer, squared. Thick bread, raisins, a little marzipan. So far, this Icelandic D-bock is true to style.
These Einstok beers have been a pleasant surprise, each one so far has been well-crafted, with good to excellent texture, solid drinkers all around. I like the White Ale better than this, but that’s just a matter of my personal preference. This is almost the prototypical doppelbock, big caramel malts with a nip of alcohol and a light almond, raisin and nutmeg flavor.
One more Einstok left, the Roasted Porter. Looking forward to that one – thanks again Hannah for the opportunity. Skaal!