Pricey stuff, the Troeg brews are. So rarely have a chance to try them unless they go on sale, and that’s just what happened so finally got a chance to pick up a sixer of their flagship mind-melter, the Troegenator Doublebock. You know i love bock beers, and doppelbocks are simply a higher plane of bock existence. With a menacing portrait of a goatman with bushy eyebrows on the label, i just knew i would like this, once i could afford it.
Label calls the color “bronze” but i’d say it’s brown, and it’s see-through, unlike some at this end of the bock spectrum. The label is plenty helpful with everything else i want to know too: 8.2% alk; 25 IBU’s; and the hops used: Brewers, Magnum, and German Northern. There’s a blurb mentioning “caramel, chocolate and dried stone fruit.” Well, that middle attribute can be taken with a grain of something, coming as this does out of Hershey, Pennsylvania, the home of some other company you might have heard of.
The nice thing is that everything on the label is true. This does have that “chewy” character and it is a liquid meal. The one thing i want to know is this: where is the regular Troegs bock? To make doppelbock, you need to make a bunch of regular bock beer. I have not seen that on the shelf. Maybe they only sell it local in Hershey?
The smell at the glass rim is heavenly, a mix of foreboding meal grains perverted from their original nature, a sour mash of cannibal yeasts eating their own dead, and velvety charcoal. The taste is the same, no deception allowed in a doppelbock. Sweet and sour like a Chinese restaurant wishes they could replicate, this tastes like a drop of vinegar on a caramel cube wrapped in soggy pumpernickel bread. That sounds gross, but try it before you deny it.
Light carbonation and high alk, and these would be be detractions if this was not a double-bock beer because, you see, 2x bock is the pinnacle of beer flavor. The only step up from doppelbock would be beer schnapps, and that’s been tried, only to be discontinued after someone realized that nobody drinks schnapps without a fruit or menth in it. So this is flat and buzzy, but the sheer joy of concentrated beer flavor is well worth it.
I don’t know about “dried stone fruit” but there’s a wild array of other tastes in Troegenator. Walnuts, venison jerky, limed mushrooms, crushed oat chaff, a tizzy of flavor in every sip. It’s like you left Black Forest bread in a pan of water and let the fruitflies and wild airborne yeasts attack it to the point of fermenting. Disgusting, but wow what a result!
Ooof, just in joy here. My god, what a great beer. Every time i drink a stout, i wish it was a doppelbock. Even Guinness is a shadow of what beer can become once you concentrate it like this. When i am emperor, there will be no small beers, and every beer will have to go through 3 years of brewing and then re-brewing to make doppelbock. Honestly, every time i have a doppelbock, i wonder “why bother with single-run fermentations at all?”
Now, back to Earth a tiny bit. How to rate this? Obviously it’s high, high, high. Spaten’s Optimator Doppelbock is one of my highest rated beers. The Celebrator Doppelbock will come up for review here before long. How to rank the Troegenator among its peers?
Well, it doesn’t have that genuine German twang to it, that odd backthroat gotcha which is the hallmark of real German beer. But it does have some other flavors inside, which you don’t get in Europe. And like a good doppelbock, i can’t have any other beers tasted for review any longer today, because the Troegenator, like a doppelbock will, has seized my tastebuds and will not let go for several hours.
Doesn’t have the absolute sublime beauty of Optimator, but for an American 2x-bock it’s a wizard. This is a really tough call, but 9.3 seems about right. That’s a very high rating, and there’s room to move above, because Celebrator is coming soon to a tongue near me.