Atwater Brewery Voodoo Vator Doppelbock (9% ABV)
Pour: 12 oz. bottle into a snifter
Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-black that’s only barely opaque when held up to the light. About a half-inch of tannish head that lingers. Good edging, not a lot of lacing.
Aroma: Very sweet – a lot of stone fruits like cherry and plum, plus some toffee and/or caramel notes and some chocolate as well. This smells fantastic.
Taste: Toasted malts up front, maybe some coffee notes. The middle is bitter chocolate with stone fruits underneath – cherry and raisin, mostly. Plum and raisin in the finish as well, with a sharp, bitter aftertaste. Surprised at the lack of alcohol in the finish, given the high ABV.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, in keeping with the style. Definitely coats the tongue, though it’s also very smooth.
Even though this was my first time trying one of their beers, Detroit’s Atwater Brewery has apparently been around since 1997, specializing in German-style lagers. Doppelbocks are a dark, full-bodied take on the German lager, characterized by their maltiness and their higher ABV. They also tend to be rather filling, earning them the nickname of ‘bread in a glass.’
As far as doppelbocks go, Voodoo Vator is a decent example of the style. It smells fantastic, but there’s something sharp in the finish that keeps it from being as satisfying as it could be. Most of the doppelbocks I’ve had tend to have a malty finish – caramel or toffee, mixed with dark fruit flavors. Eventually I got used to it, and the beer ended up being very drinkable. I’ll definitely try other Atwater beers, but I don’t know that I’ll pick this one up again.