Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel
Review Date 12/28/2016 By John Staradumsky
For Christmas of 2015, my wife bought me a really cool present: BeerAdvent Calendar 2015 from Kalea. In truth, my wife got me a lot of nice presents (she’s the best wife ever), but the nice thing about the Beer Advent Calendar is you get it early. You have to, since it’s comprised of 24 different imported German beers in a box with little doors that you open, one per day from December 1st through December 24th. All of the beers are listed on the side of the carton, however, so be careful not to look and spoil the daily surprises!
I love German beer more than beer from any other country on Earth, so this was definitely right up my alley. Knowing this, my wife got me another for 2016. I told you I was lucky! Last year, my one criticism of the calendar was there were no bocks or doppelbocks (not fair!), but otherwise it was just an amazing way to sample 24 German beers I had never seen before. I got mine a Costco here in Georgia and paid $59.95 for the box, and it was running the same price for 2016. That might sound steep, but when you distribute that price over 24 different half liter cans, it only works out to $2.50 per can. Not a bad deal at all looked at that way.
I enjoyed several of these beers in December of 2015, but saved a lot of them for 2016, the “Year of German Beer” if you will. I call it that because 2016 marked the 500th Anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot, or Bavarian beer purity law. The 2016 calendar acknowledges this:
The Reinheitsgebot is the world’s oldest regulation for food. The Bavarian order of 1516 was introduced in part to prevent price competition with bakers for wheat and rye. The restriction of grains to barley was meant to ensure the availability of affordable bread, as wheat and rye were reserved for use by bakers. The text of the 1516 Bavarian law is as follows “…Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, markets and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be barley, hops, and water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the court authorities confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail…”.
To this day, all beer produced in Germany is complying with these regulations!
It’s important to note too that the Reinheitsgebot was also very much intended to keep suspect ingredients from being used to brew beer.
For 2016, there are a few differences in the beer advent calendar. This year, it’s labeled as the “Brewer’s Advent Calendar” and has no year on it. Last year, it was called the “Beer Advent Calendar 2015”. Most of the beers are actually the same, although there are a few new ones. There are reports again as with last year that not all of the calendars have the same beers for the same days. So don’t panic if yours are in a different order.
Day 18 was a happy day indeed, for it was the day I got my wish from last year: a doppelbock! Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel to be precise, a product of the Memminger brewery. There are several Memminger beers in the 2016 assortment, all brewed under contract by Egerer for the calendar.
I was so excited to try this beer that I hopped on over to the Kartauser page on the Memminger website and read the following:
Zum Erhalt der Kartause in
Buxheim kreierte die Memminger Privatbrauerei eigens ganz besondere
Bierspezialitäten. Vollmundig, süffig, mild aromatisch im Geschmack und
von goldener Farbe erfüllen die Kartäuser Biere die Anforderungen an ein
nach allen Regel der Kunst gebrautes Bier.
If you don't know German, this basically tells you that to obtain the Kartauer monastery of Buxheim, the Memminger brauerei created full bodied, drinkable, mildly aromatic flavorful and golden colored beer specialities according to all rules of the art.
Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel is, at 7.5% alcohol by volume, the strongest beer from either the 2015 or 2016 collections, but then doppelbocks are amongst the strongest of German beers. My can is stamped as packaged on 01.07.2016 and expires on 01.10.2017. Don’t be fooled by the European date coding format, that means packaged July 1st 2016 and expires October 1st 2017.
Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel pours to a beautiful dark caramel color with a thick creamy head and a soft sweet nutty malty nose. Taking a sip, the beer has soft notes of caramel, toasted nuts, a hint of molasses, pasty malty notes, a hint of Munich malt, and a warming alcohol finish. While this is tasty and lusciously malty, it doesn’t quite have as much Munich malt “oomph” as the best German doppelbocks I've tasted. Still a tasty beer and a fair doppelbock, but nowhere near the equal of say, Augustiner Maximator or Ayinger Celebrator.
I’m greatly enjoying my Beer Advent Calendar 2016 with the day 18 beer. Here’s looking forward to the remaining 6, and another assortment of 24 in 2017. We’ll be on the lookout next year at Costco once again! Follow them on their Facebook page.
The beers of the 2016 Beer Advent Calendar:
Day 1 Alpkönig Weitnauer Märzen
Day 2 Wittmann Urhell
Day 3 Lowenbrauerei Passau Urtyp Hell
Day 4 Egerer Eaglebrau Weizenbier Dunkel
Day 5 Memminger Gold Marzen
Day 6 Edel Bayer Urtyp Hell
Day 7 Herrnbrau Jubilaums Sud
Day 8 Egerer 1516 Schloss Weisse
Day 9 Kloster Urstoff Marzen
Day 10 Rieder India Pale Ale
Day 11 Bierkutscher Edel Pils
Day 12 Spath Brau Osser Osser Gold
Day 13 Schlossbrauerei Herrngiersdorf Publiner
Day 14 Egerer Altbayrisch Dunkel
Day 15 Alpinebrauerei Burgerbrau Alpen Stoff
Day 16 Kress Bayrisch Zwickel
Day 17 Hofbrauhaus Friesing Huber Weisses
Day 18 Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel
Day 19 Hosl Marzenbier
Day 20 Alpenkonig Gold
Day 21 Ankerbrau Nordlingen Grandl Helles Lagerbier
Day 22 Herrnbrau Tradition Bayerisches Festbier
Day 23 Egerer Winterfestbier
Day 24 Egerer Kress St. Bonifacius Bock
Glad I tried it? T
Would I rebuy it??
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.