Thursday, February 23, 2012

What's Bob Drinking Now?

On a recent trip to New Beer, I came across a 22-oz bottle of Sprecher Dopple Bock. I was in the mood for something malty, and at $5.75 it seemed like a good choice.

The bottle had a very simple but classic old world look, with the neck having a thick coating of gold colored wax, further adding an air of dignity.

I've had beers from this German-centric Glendale, Wisconsin brewery in the past and have enjoyed them all, such as their Bavarian Black beer.

This Dopple Bock (I think that "doppel" is the correct spelling, though) poured out with a modest tan head and a dark brown color, as you'd expect. It had a bit of an oxidized note mixing with tangy malt aroma.

But then the first taste -- zing! Sour! Yes, this one probably spent a bit too long in the warehouse. I have no idea how old the bottle was, but the Sprecher website doesn't have any pictures of this beer in the 22-oz format, so, it could be "vintage."

I have to say, I wasn't disappointed with the beer at all. Knowing full well that this is not the way it's supposed to taste, I'm quite fond of sour beers, and coincidentally almost bought a Jolly Pumpkin. The sourness was really pleasant, not harsh or over aggressive. And there was still ample maltiness in the flavor, and reasonable body in addition to some bitterness.

When I gave the glass to B.R. to try, not telling her what it was, I asked her, "What do you think that this Sprecher is?" She tasted it and gave me a look. I said, "No, it's not supposed to taste like that."

"Oh," she said, "you mean it's not supposed to be a bad attempt at a Flanders Red?"

When we visited with the Barcade boys a few weeks earlier, they had brought a doppel bock from the Climax brewery and it was very similarly soured. And I enjoyed that, too! And a few years ago I was treated to a glass of Blue Moon at a midtown bar (the best thing on the menu) that had gone wonderfully off (I had a second!) -- I guess that I really take that old adage to heart, "if life gives you sour beer, pretend that it's a rare, expensive Belgian import!"

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