Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying - Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock
It's become a goal of mine to try all of the Top 100 beers of the world as rated by beeradvocate.com. While some of these are near impossible to find, I've made it a point to get my hands on what I can. So far, I've reviewed 17 of the top 100 and I have another 3 or 4 in my possession. One beer that I was surprised to see on the list was a beer I had seen in the beer fridge almost every time I had gone into a local beer store- Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock. Trader Joes carried Ayinger's Oktoberfest beer a few months back and I was really impressed by it, but I didn't think that it was by a brewery capable of producing a Top 100 beer. But sure enough, Ayinger's Celebrator Dopplebock is sitting pretty at #62 on the list, ahead of such great beers as Bell's Two Hearted, Alesmith IPA and Alpine's Nelson. Not bad company to be in. So I made a trip out to the liquor store and picked up a bottle.
Celebrator Dopplebock pours a very dark brown color that almost looks like a dark maple syrup. The beer has a pretty sizeable mocha-colored head that rises up nicely in the glass and shows good retention. On a side note, I have to say that it was a great touch by Ayinger to put a goat ornament (the goat is the official animal of bockfests) on the bottle. Well played, Ayinger.
Usually, I'm not a huge fan of bocks, but this one smells like it has potential. I got notes of freshly baked rye bread, raisin, roasted malt and a bit of nuttiness.
Taste-wise, this one lives up to its high ranking. It's rich and bready upfront with a nice malt sweetness that doesn't overpower the palette. Molasses and hints of smoke, slight hop resins and a faint spiciness are also present. Overall, this was a pleasant surprise and without a doubt the best bock I've ever had.
Final Grade: A