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Friday, January 04, 2008

The Session #11 Doppelbocks: Celebrator from Brauerei Aying

It's time for the monthly edition of The Session. The topic for Beer Blogging Friday this time around is doppelbock. You can check out Brewvana, the site hosting the event this month, later in the weekend to read the round up from beer bloggers about bock x 2.

I can remember a time -- not really that long ago -- when doppelbocks were quite mystical. They were among the heavyweights of the known beer world during my formative beer years, really only trumped by the rare barleywine and on occasion by an old ale. They were a stylish answer to all of my friends who thought Molson Brador was the heavyweight champ. In today's world of high gravity beers, doppelbocks almost feel mild when compared to Baltic porters, imperial IPAs and Belgian muscle beers. Rest assured, however, that the goats still pack a punch.

I picked up a four pack of Celebrator Doppelbock from Ayinger for The Session #11. I have enjoyed this brew previously and, with the limited number of doppelbocks available in North Carolina, I was glad to see it on the shelf at my local Total Wine outlet.

Popping the cap on this brew released an amazing bouquet. Fig and cocoa mixed with a decidedly alcoholic nose. The pour was a mahogany liquid with a very bubbly head with staying power. My first sip was a malt lover's delight. There is a good amount of dried fruit, wood and nut tones running through this brew. The German hop tang is way in the background, but clearly present. The beer actually hints at something more powerful than its 6.7 percent alcohol by volume content. Perfect for the chill of an early January evening.

I am not certain what foods would best match with Celebrator. I think it could be a very nice dessert beer. Celebrator and a warm fudge brownie is a natural. It might also do some interesting things if contrasted with a smoked beef brisket and caramelized onion sandwich. It has enough depth to stand up to plenty of different foods.

Brewed at Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer in Aying, Bavaria, the beer is imported to the U.S. by Merchant du Vin Corp. In Germany, the same beer is sold under the Fortunator label. The brewery also runs a restaurant and guesthouse in Aying, the Brauereigasthof Hotel Aying. That just could be the perfect location for an evening session of Celebrators.

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