EMMETT’S DOPPELBOCK has a pleasantly unassuming look quite akin to many of the brewery’s fuller-bodied beers: excellent clarity, moderate carbonation, and colored within a consistently narrow range of amber (this one essentially a dusky garnet, a shade beyond the McCarthy Red), albeit with considerably less head than usual. No average impression from the nose, though. The aromas are robustly malty, befitting a bock, but not so thick or bready as expected; instead, bits of cherry, plum, and perhaps some baking sweets play larger roles than any toasted grain or nut. The body is not so robust as expected for an 8.5% bock, though, which leaves plenty of room on the finish for a mineralic tang and the spark of alcohol. Hops are a little more present than the brewery’s description (i.e. not exactly “all about the malt”), and are more of the citric than mutedly Noble variety. Still firmly bracketed by malts, though, with some caramel situated around center and a little brown sugar slipped in close to the medium finish. Thus the weights of both ends–sweet and thicker up front, more brittle and airier on the back–manage to balance into something not precisely on-point for a standard doppelbock but reasonably good nonetheless. Could have featured its toasted malts more and a fuller body to shore up the impression of melanoidins. As it is, the relatively narrow finish and more attenuated body reduce the complexity of this beer, leaving it a little too reminiscent of export lager. But thankfully more poised.
Served: On tap (Emmett’s Tavern, Palatine)