In German, Doppel means double, therefore making Doppelbock a bigger and stronger style than the traditionally lower gravity German style bock. With this rich beer comes a rich history of its origin.
The Doppelbock style beer was originally made by Paulaner monks in Munich, Germany. At the time, the German beer was intended to be consumed as liquid bread during the long fasting periods of the Lenten season. This version was generally sweeter, less attenuated, lower in alcohol and given the name "liquid bread". Today's Doppelbock is certainly an antecedent of the original ecclesiastical Bavarian inspired brew.
Doppelbock's made today come in pale (Helles) and darker versions, although the darker examples are far more common. A Helles Doppelbock makes use of large amounts of pale malts like Pilsner or Vienna varieties, which impart lighter color and more subtle flavors, and are often dry and hoppier. A Dark Doppelbock relies on specialty malts such as Munich and Carafa varieties to impart the famous color and rich maltiness. With this brew you can expect a thick creamy head that retains well and can range from white to a medium caramel depending on the lightness or darkness of the beer.
A typical Doppelbock beer will range in color from copper to dark brown and possess a malty sweetness that is dominant, but not overpowering. Rich in mellanoidins, the aroma and flavor are more reminiscent of fresh lightly toasted malt than caramel or toffee malt. German noble hops are added to the brew, however, the aroma is absent, and the flavor and bitterness are low, incorporated mainly to balance the sweetness.
Often with a 7-8% ABV, the brew carries a bit of alcohol warmth. The best Doppelbock glass for this full bodied beverage can be a tulip glass, a dimpled mug, or a stein. This style is also very food friendly and pairs well with strong savory dishes. Some of these fantastic Doppelbock food pairings are venison, cheeses like Brie or Havarti, and a rich dessert like crème brûlée or tiramisu.
The Paulaner brewers named the first and best German Doppelbock Salvator, meaning Savior. Because of this, most Bavarian examples made today end in the suffix "-ator" out of respect to the first commercial example.
Enjoy this unique beer blend straight from your beer of the month club box. Cheers!