Bock, Doppelbock, and Weizen
First up, a few doppelbocks from Oregon breweries.
Heater Allen’s Mediator is a straight interpretation of the German originals. It’s strong, dark, and malty. It has a nutty, toasted flavor. But it quickly goes from fresh pecan to burnt walnut, without enough sweetness to blunt the astringent finish.
Gigantic, on the other hand, went for something a little more experimental. Kiss the Goat is a “black doppelbock,” it’s darker and more sweeter. It has the classic flavors of stout porter – roasted grain, milk chocolate, pralines – but the finish is ultra clean. Even at eight percent, a half liter goes down smooth.
Then we got into the weizenbocks, stronger versions of classic Bavarian hefeweizen.
Weihenstephaner makes a weizenbock called Vitus, a strong, fruity wheat beer. The nose has a tablespoon of clove and a pinch of nutmeg and coriander. It’s spicey, but on the tongue a fruity flavor blooms. Bananas for sure. The body is bigger, oilier than a normal weizen and the bready malts are more cakelike.
Aventinus is Schneider’s answer, a wheat doppelbock. It’s darker in color and flavor. The flavor is toastier with more pronounced banana flavor and a caramel sauce drizzle. There’s licorice spice note that reminds me of flat Dr. Pepper. Aventinus tastes like banana bread, or a slightly burnt banana cream pie.
It’s nice to get away from hops for a while and appreciated the maltier side of beer.