Doppel (double) Bock brews are typically darker and stronger versions of Germany's Bock lagers. They are sometimes referred to as "liquid bread," having originally been brewed by Paulaner monks to provide sustenance during Lenten fasting. The first examples of these strong lagers appeared in the 1600s, but it wasn't until 1780 that the Doppelbock brew was officially recognized. Their popularity with brewers and consumers alike has spread across the globe.
Ayinger Celebrator, $3-$3.60
A deep ebony in the glass, this is the darkest of the three, topped with a thin head that collapses quickly. The aromas are an enticingly straight-forward mix of sugar, malt and dark fruit. The flavors are delicious plum, fig and date, smooth malt, a touch of char and dark chocolate. The Doppelbock by which others are judged.
Spaten Optimator, $1.60-$1.90
A cola colored pour with a thin head, it offers a complex array of aromas, including sour grain, raisin, smoke, leather, biscuit and toasted malt. Dark fruit, sweet malt and pumpernickel flavors dominate. Lighter bodied than you might expect from a Doppelbock, which makes for an almost sessionable style, though the 7.6 percent alcohol would argue against it.
Wasatch Devastator Double Bock, $2-$2.30
The two-finger mocha head covering this ruby tinged, dark tea colored brew disappears rapidly. The aromas include caramel, sweet malt, dark fruit and touches of herb and nut. Creamy malt flavors lead off, balanced by light citrus, with a smooth, refreshing finish.