(8.2% American make from bottle (1 pint, 6 oz bottle)) This brilliant beer is from a local brewery close to my US home of West Chester, PA, USA. The Tröegs Brewery Company is located in Harrisburg, PA, USA (roughly 60 miles away) produces some wonderful beers, and is a commendable operation.
This particular brew, a double bock (or dopplebock) does not disappoint. Poured with a brownish amber body and a beige head, it is a beautiful looking beer. On the nose it smacks of sweet malts being made with Pilsner, Munich and Chocolate malt varieties. The taste is delightfully smooth and well balanced for such a strong beer. It is rich and slightly creamy with a pleasingly sweetened malt flavor, and a persistent bubble (the yeast used is a lager yeast) that does well to not be overdone. The hops (hallertau and saaz) add to the soft dry taste which rounds out the overall flavor. This is achieved through the particular hops used, both what are called noble hops: the saaz hop’s character is defined by having a stronger aroma than bitterness. The second noble hop used, the hallertau, is the original lager hop which works similarly to the saaz hop in its aroma/bitterness ratio.
This particular style, the double bock, or in its true German phrasing ‘dopplebock’ is the stronger version of the original bock – a lager which was brewed by German monasteries going back to the 14th century starting in the town of Einbeck. This brew was substantial enough to act as ‘liquid bread’ during the Lenten period when they were fasting. These are the German equivalent to Belgian Trappist beers in their pragmatic use during a fast, albeit drinking beer as a way of staying pious is a slightly mischievous way of doing it, but hell, they were monks.
The first monks to make what was to become dopplebock were the Paulaner monks in Munich in the 17th c, and after papal approval of their mighty brew, they were actually allowed to enjoy it beyond the fast. Who says monks can’t have a good time!
Quick hint too, the -ator suffix on the end of a beer name means its a dopplebock (hence Troegenator)!