Friday, February 8, 2013

Full Sail's Pale Doppelbock

I am apparently a late bloomer when it comes to west coast breweries outside of the borders of California. Once I discovered Rogue over a decade ago, it took me about four years before I allowed myself to explore more deeply into other non-Californian west coast craft brews . Well, recently I found a brewery that also hails from Oregon, and can seriously give Rogue a run for their money (or market share). That brewery is Full Sail from Hood River, Oregon. Yes, they've been around for 25 years (slightly longer than Rogue), and I am completely aware of how late I am in discovering them, but I am just grateful I finally got into their brews. Oregon is a bastion of amazing breweries, and I completely fell in love with Full Sail over the winter after purchasing a six pack of their Wassail winter warmer ale.  A fantastically spicy, peppery winter warmer that deserves far more than the 86 beer advocate gave it. Well, I'm not here to review that beer, however, I am here to review their Pale Doppelbock. So, here it goes...
Beer Name: Full Sail 25th Anniversary Pale Doppelbock
Brewery: Full Sail
Location: Hood River, OR
ABV: 9%
Price: around $8/1pt 8oz. bottle.
Packaging: bottle (1pt 8oz)
Poured into a tulip glass
Appearance: A bright amber color, indicative of a lager. A finger thick cream colored head, with a slight caramel tint. The head leaves spotty lacing behind on the glass.
Aroma: Bread and peppery hop notes on the nose, as well as some caramel and slight brown sugar. Also, some mild spiced fruit notes.
Taste/Mouthfeel: Moderate amounts of carbonation, and a medium body. Sweet bread notes up front, with mild pepper in the middle. There is a slight alcohol bite on the finish (hardly even noticeable) followed by a nice, lingering hop bitterness. Think of a more spicy, peppery lager with a larger bittering hop finish. The malts shine in this brew, and the bread/biscuit sweetness is really this star.
Overall: 8/10 I really enjoyed this brew, but I was expecting more of a full body There was an unexpected hopiness to this on the finish, which I found a bit misplaced but intriguing and enjoyable. This beer reminded me of a traditional British IPA crossed with a lager. Sweet, spicy, with a medium body. It was very drinkable, and very dangerous with a 9% abv. If it wasn't for the slight bite at the end, I would swear to heaven I was drinking a session lager. Overall, a successful brew that has you scratching your head afterwards wondering just what style of beer you just drank. Worth trying, and I would definitely try again. Cheers!

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