Monday, January 19, 2009

Dark Horse Perkulator Doppelbock

Dark Horse, the brewery from Marshall, MI, was the first brewery I blogged about. The folks from the brewery were kind enough (cornered) to speak with me for over 2 hours about what they're doing and their philosophies. We talked about the five stouts that they brew and what was coming for the years to follow. They mentioned brewing kombucha, a fermented sweet tea, as an alternative for non-beer drinkers. In the meantime, they've also brewed some great beers - the Crooked Tree IPA continues to be a stalwart and classic example of the style here in the Midwest. The Double Crooked Tree is one of those sought-after beers that we all brag to our friends that we managed to score a six-pack of.

I'm a big fan of the Sapient Trip Ale, a dangerously drinkable Belgian Triple. And with this beer, and others in their oeuvre, Dark Horse reminds me a lot of Furthermore. They both are relatively uninterested in leaving well enough alone. A Belgian Tripel? Bah! Boring, let's screw with the basic ingredients and the yeasts to make an absurdly refreshing 9% beer. Should we call it "Makeweight" or "Trip Ale"?

And now the Perkulator Dopplebock; a fall seasonal released in September. What does the brewery have to say about it?
"Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock"
Very insightful guys. A dopplebock? Eh. It's been done - let's add coffee to it. Sound familiar? Maybe because we've already heard it with Mexican steam beer.

BeerAdvocate rates it a B+, RateBeer advocates a 77. But you know how we feel about ratings, right?

Dark Horse Perkulator Dopplebock
Appearance: two-headed goat, color label (there are multiple labels for this beer, one is in-color, the other is black-and-white, though I couldn't find anything online about this); served at an appropriate 54 degrees in an oversized snifter, it poured a thin, white, wispy head onto lot of a nice, dark-roasted coffee colored body
Aroma: less fresh coffee and more like wet coffee grounds, has a damp mustiness to it that is similar to a coffee filter after you've made a fresh pot of coffee; some aroma of caramel and roasted malts, a faint winey brightness
Flavor: dry and roasted coffee; tastes exactly like it smells
Body: solid medium body with a dry, clean finish and lingering coffee bitterness
Drinkability: while I wouldn't finish the six-pack in one sitting, that's not really the point here and I would keep this six pack to mix in with other winter staples
Summary: a lack of complexity and an overbearing coffee flavor prevents this from rocketing to the top of my list, but it's really a fun, solid doppelbock that I would not hesitate to recommend to someone who was looking for something a little different (provided they are a coffee drinker)

1 comment:

  1. There's also a label featuring a number of silver coffee percolators on a flat white plane, emitting steam; a couple of them are rocketing into the sky. I don't know enough to say whether this is an older or newer release of the beer than the baphomet label, but my pour from it had a lot more of the bright, oily, aromatic espresso coffee elements than it sounds like you found. They really harmonized with the malts well, and it stuck in my memory as a top-notch coffee beer.


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