Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tasting: Smoked Doppelsticke

Having missed the opportunity to barrel age this beer, it simply aged out for a month or so and then bottled. I've gone through about a 6-pack of the Doppelsticke, and it's really developing nicely. It is certainly skewed towards a malt heavy beer with just enough hops to balance without adding much flavor. The smoke is more subtle than Mike's version, and it's likely to do with how fresh our respective Rauch malts were. This will certainly be a much better beer in a couple months as the temperatures dip.
Aroma: Rich caramel, darkly toasted whole wheat bread, a light to moderate smoke note without the bacon overtones. The yeast character is forthcoming with notes of dark, ripe fruits, sugar plums, raisins, brown sugar. Overall, you can tell this is a rich, sweet beer just from the aroma enough.
Appearance: A dark mahogany brown, nearly opaque but with some really beautiful ruby highlights. A really tight knit, densely packed off-white to tan head. This is a gorgeous looking beer.
Flavor: Up front, dark fruits, sweet caramel candy, light campfire smoke, rich melanoidan malts. Through the mid palate to the finish there's a touch of lightly spicy hops and a firm bitterness that balances all the sweetness. There's a light clove like phenol towards the finish that is interesting, and I wonder if it's fermentation or smoked malt derived. It doesn't have the yeast flavors of German Ale (Wyeast 1007/WLP036) that I think define a great Alt, but the cleaness is certainly there.
Mouthfeel: Moderately high carbonation due to overpriming really helps to calm down the rich malty sweetness. Most folks would want such a rich beer lower in carbonation, but for me it's good. Because of the high FG, it has a huge body and a milky creaminess finishing with a moderate belly warming.
Overall: I had some really high hopes for seeing how this did in a Bourbon barrel, but without that extra dimension, I still think this is a solid beer. I would definitely increase the smoked malt next time, and change the yeast to 1007 to get a bit more attenuation out of it (shoot for 1.015-1.018 instead of the 1.022 I got). I'll have to experiment with the Alt category some more come fall when the temps are more manageble.
Recipe and notes

1 comment:

  1. Agreed, could have more aggressive with the smoke malt. Still a fine beer. Going to funk up my 2nd 5 gallons of it.