Brew Review

Beer Review – Great Lakes The Doppelrock Doppelbock Lager

If you are one of our loyal readers, then you are well aware that we have had some freshness problems with a few of our Great Lakes Brewery beer purchases. This isn’t the fault of Great Lakes since they clearly mark all of their beers with an expiration date. This freshness problem has more to do with the fact that Great Lakes isn’t very well known in this area, and it therefore winds up sitting on the shelf for too long. Now that I am aware of this issue, I pay extra special attention to the expiration date on any beers that I buy, and since this particular bottle of beer had a June 12, 2011 expiration date, I thought I better try The Doppelrock before it gets way past its prime.

Here’s what Great Lakes Brewing Company has to say about this beer:

“Our doppelbock (German for “double bock”) celebrates the style originally developed by medieval monks. Living by the strict rules of their order, monks were regularly required to castigate themselves by periodic bouts of fasting, when next-to-no solid food was allowed to pass their lips. The longest and most taxing of these periods of culinary abstinence was, of course, Lent—the 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Because the monks believed that liquids not only cleansed the body but also the soul, they would make plenty of “liquid bread” instead of solid bread from their grain and then drink it in copious quantities… the more, the holier.”

Based upon their description, I’m trying this beer a bit late in the year since Lent ended almost two months ago (this beer is released in February and March). Thankfully, our early summer heat wave has subsided for a few days, and tonight’s temperatures are expected to drop into the mid 50s. Sounds like a perfect night to finally review this beer! Here goes…

  • Appearance: Dark walnut color at first glance. Deep ruby tint when held up to the light. Rapid rising one inch head that dissipates rather quickly. Lots of fast rising bubbles. Minimal lacing.
  • Aroma: Rich roasted malt. Dark chocolate. Faint smell of coffee.
  • Taste: Medium carbonation. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with lots of bubbles that pop and fizz on your tongue. A fair amount of alcohol, but never overwhelming (in other words, not too boozy). Loads of rich roasted malt from start to finish. Dry finish.
  • ABV: 7.8%

It’s a pity that I waited so long to finally try this beer. Though I usually prefer beers with megadoses of hops, I am slowly starting to appreciate the other end of the beer spectrum. The Great Lakes The Doppelrock is a very rich and flavorful beer. It’s also exceptionally smooth and very easy to drink. I can definitely see myself having more than one in a sitting (I can also see myself eventually falling off the stool). This is a beer that can be enjoyed on its own or with a wide variety of foods. I would definitely buy this again. Once again, well done Great Lakes!

16 replies »

  1. I question your ability to comment on beverages that were designed in the spirit of monks and Lent. Of course, since the description appears to suggest that this beverage was designed in the spirit of monks skirting the restrictions of Lent, you could be let back in under a loophole.

    Your review makes it sound like this is a beer right in my comfort zone.


    • I totally agree! Great Lakes is a great brewer. This one is right up there with the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and the Burning River Pale Ale.


    • I didn’t know they existed until last year’s Philly Beer Week. Definitely a solid brewer with very high standards. Well worth seeking out.

      Thanks for the comment!


  2. I’m one the the lucky ones living in C-Town that gets to enjoy Great Lakes all the time. In fact, I’m going to the brew-pub to knock a few right outta the tap 🙂


    • Lucky? Cleveland? … Don’t they call that place the Mistake on the Lake?

      Just kidding. My wife originally comes from Cleveland so it has a special place in my heart.

      BTW … If you are at Great Lakes and find that Clevelander who named his kid after Dirk Nowitzki buy him a beer on me.


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