The suffix “ator” is applied to most all authentic German Dopplebocks. There are over 200 dopplebock “ator” names registered in the German patent office. The Paulaner Friars who immigrated from Italy to Munich in the early 1620’s may well be the very first people to brew traditional Dopplebock beer as a “liquid bread” to be used in observance in times of Lent and other religious times of fasting (cleaver monks, indeed!) Today’s Paulaner Salvator literally means “Savior”…or thank God for Dopplebock!
Dopplebocks are rich, full-bodied, malty lagers. In keeping with tradition, Noble Hops are used to temper, not overwhelm the sweetness of the malt character. Dopplebocks carry a fairly potent ABV (7% - 12% ABV) when compared to Bocks, Helles Bocks and other Bocks in the family of Lagers.
Now comes yet another New England Dopplebock, Saxonator Dunkles, to join the likes of Thomas Hooker Liberator, Samuel Adams Double Bock (boring name/exciting beer) and Smuttynose S’muttonator. If you’re into big malty, boozy lagers, Saxonator fills the bill nicely.
Serving type: 16.9oz dark brown bottle. Served in a tall stein mug.
It pours a deep coppery amber color with a rather large foamy beige head. The lacing trickles and slides slowly down, leaving patches and webby lines behind.
Smells of plums, figs and raisins floating in dark rum mix with smells of brown bread and light whiffs of resinous hops.
The flavors are definitely malt forward. I’m thinking rum-laced Figgy Pudding. Tastes of prunes and raisins in fresh baked bread are quite noticeable. The spicy hop bitterness does its job in keeping the malty sweetness in check, but eventually fades into a distant memory towards the end (in a good way).
At 9%ABV, Saxonator doesn’t even attempt to hide its boozy nature. You won’t be tricked with a sneaky alcoholic punch with this brew. Alcohol is present and accounted for in the smell, taste and aftertaste. It is exactly what you expect from a big, beefy Dopplebock.
What does surprise is the fluidity and gulpability of Saxonator. Looks are deceiving here. Some Dopplebocks can be a bit too thick-bodied and/or cloying in the mouthfeel. Not this one! Creamy, velvety, but very drinkable! Maybe too drinkable?
Cheers! Or, more like it, Prost!