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Liquid Bread for Lent

A look at three doppel bocks

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The brewing of strong German lagers called bocks has a history dating back to the 14th century. Typically dark and malty with a very light hop profile, they're associated with Bavarian monks. Doppel or double bocks are a stronger version of the style, with alcohol levels ranging between 7 and 12 percent. This richer brew originated with the Paulaner monks, who gave it the name Salvator (savior). Referred to as liquid bread, bocks were consumed during times of fasting like the Lenten season when solid food was prohibited.

Epic Double Skull Doppelbock Lager

In the glass, this brew is a bright mahogany with a two-finger, tan head that fades quickly. The aromas are light but lovely with toasted biscuit, nut, caramel, dates and raisins. The palate offers roasted malt, fig and dark chocolate flavors that carry through on the supple finish. This one comes in a 22-ounce bomber, but at 9.2 percent alcohol, sharing is advised.

Innstadt DoppelBock Extra

This beer pours a murky dark chocolate with a thin mocha head that, despite being very porous, shows persistence. The sweet whole wheat bread aromas are colored by caramel and lively, sour citrus notes. Creamy malt flavors dominate the palate with elements of toffee, molasses and mineral. The finish is clean--sweet but not cloying--with hints of chocolate and fresh grain. This brew is bottled in a cork-finished, 500-milliliter format.

Paulaner Salvator Double Bock

This dark amber lager throws a thick, lingering head. The nose is filled with ripe cherry, plum and tart apple, along with caramel-laced malt and notes of fresh-baked bread backed by light hops. This beer is balanced on the palate with a rich, malty character and an outstanding depth of flavor. The finish is oh so smooth. This is the original Paulaner beer, brewed with the same formula since the 18th century.

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