Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock
Lagers remain one of the few styles of beer that I don’t have a lot of experience trying or a broader depth of knowledge, but I do enjoy them, weizenbocks and dunkelweizens are some of my favorite lager styles and I’ve enjoyed some dopplebocks before so I figured I’d go after one of the most heralded and famous dopplebocks to challenge my palate and hopefully learn a thing or two. Celebrator pours a deep dark brown, almost black color, hints of ruby and burgundy when held to the light and despite the dark color, it has a clear complexion with no haze. A nice tan caramel colored head sits atop the beer with very compact bubbles that dissipates quickly leaving behind only the lightest lacing. The aroma is great, huge notes of dark malt and heavy grains, some faint chocolate is also apparent as well as a hint of tobacco and molasses. The grains really dominate the nose, really brings to life the phrase “bread in a glass.” The flavors are just as nice, big notes of malt and grain, like a nice dark brown bread, some hints of cocoa, molasses with tobacco at the end. I was almost expecting some woodiness, but it never really comes out, there is such an emphasis on the malt bill that the auxiliary flavors don’t really take over like they would in a stout or porter. The one unexpected element to the palate is some dark fruit, black cherry or plums, which added a nice layer of complexity and helped tone down the toasted malt flavors and darker grain and chocolate. The body is somewhat thin when thinking about the flavor profile and the carbonation also a bit higher than I would think is needed, but it’s sticky and coats the mouth very well.
Verdict: Solid stuff from Ayinger. Great mix of flavors that strikes a great balance, the body leaves a bit to be desired, but make no mistake, this is a fantastic beer that is artfully crafted and is one everyone should try. (4.20/5)