Friday, October 31, 2008
I was throwing some beers back last night at a local favorite watering hole that carries 10 different Michigan brews and another 6 micros from all over the place. As I was quaffing a pint of Founders Harvest Ale (great offering this year...), I spied the label on the tap: Dark Horse Brewing Company (Marshall, MI) Perkulator. It's a coffee doppelbock.
Today's review is going to be uncharacteristically lacking in hyperbole. You see, I had a whole heaping ton of Perkulator last night.
The bartender handed me a glass of a hazy russet brown/chestnut beer with a thick, foamy off-white head. She wasn't exactly reverent as she handed it to me, but she did a good job of not sloshing any beer out of the glass. I appreciated that.
The armoa was all coffee. Underneath all that coffee was your standard doppelbock: chocolate, bread, malty-sweet malted milkball kinds of aromas). I was skeptical of whether the coffee would go well with the chocolatey-sweetness and malty richness of a doppelbock, but I got the impression of coffee-with-my-coffeecake as I whiffed the lovely brew, so yeah, I guess that kinda works!
The taste is a much more balanced blend of flavors than the aroma let on. The coffee mixed with the doppelbock flavors created a coffee-with-cream impression, which while I don't usually put cream in my coffee, I'll make an exception in this case. The malt profile of the Doppelbock is excellent. It wasn't overly-roasty or chocolatey, but balanced. Great molasses taste as well, which really added to the coffee-and-cream feeling. It finished sweet but had a great coffee bitterness to provide a balance to that sweetness. As appropriate, the hops are virtually non-existent. Anhy bitterness came from the coffee and the roasted malts.
The body was great for a Doppelbock: full-bodied but not cloying. The coffee flavors mixed-in really added an impression of a thicker body but, again, cut that cloying sweetness out of it.
Overall, this was a solid offering from this creative brewery. A coffee Doppelbock satisfies two of my vices at the same time, which rates pretty high in my book. Also, kudos for creative use of the historically-appropriate usage of the "-ator" suffix in doppelbocks.