Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
This is Ayinger’s version of a double bock. Going up against my beloved Paulaner Salvator (the original double bock) is no small feat. Not surprisingly, it stands head to head with a tremendous personality that stands out as its own beer, not some also ran double bock modeled in the same style. Once again, Ayinger comes out and makes a stand with yet another superb brew.
The Celebrator is one of the highest rated beers I’ve tried – it’s in the 100th percentile at RateBeer.com and has an overall 92 at BeerAdvocate.com. On RateBeer it currently ranks as the 47th best beer in the world.
This beer is aged for a half year before they ship it, giving it a full body. It has a strong pour with a dark tan head that gets big and lasts several minutes before dissipating almost completely. The color is deep brown and burgundy, another one that looks almost black in the glass until you hold it up to the light. It has a rich smell of roasted malts and chocolate with secondary aromas of black licorice and earth. These smells seemed pretty clear to me on this one and weren’t too hard to pull out. There may be some other smells hiding in there but I wasn’t able to discern them.
It has an intense flavor that sits perfectly in your mouth. It has a good sweetness with chocolate, coffee and malt flavors prominent. It reminds me of the intense flavors from the Rochefort 10 with a lot less alcohol (but at 6.7% it’s still more than a normal beer). It has a well balanced mouthfeel – you almost want to chew it. It is a dry beer, but fantastic – like a good dry wine. It has a good aftertaste that wavers very little from the taste itself – a little smoky but very nice with no bitterness. A very true beer.
As with some double bocks, it may be too sweet for some people. It’s just perfect for me. It’s not an every day beer but it’s a tremendous treat when the time is right. The fact that the bottle has a little plastic ram on a string attached to it (a keepsake of your beer journey), coupled with the excellent taste, gives this one of my top ratings at a 9.
Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock Rating: 9 out of 10 (?)
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