Much like the hefeweizen, the doppelbock is a style the Germans do best.
I was excited to try Weihenstephaner Korbinian since it’s the
doppelbock made by the world’s oldest brewery - how much more authentic
can you get? And while it’s a good beer for sure, it’s not quite a great
one. Still, there’s a lot to enjoy and appreciate here.
I poured a 500ml bottle into a lager glass. It cost $3.59 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Seemingly opaque brown hue, but actually a deep violet or
ruby red. Forms a large, tan, soapy head which leaves some lacing and
never completely dissipates.
Smell: Classic doppelbock aroma of pure malt essence, but milder than most. Dark fruit notes, but no alcohol.
Taste: Weihenstephaner Korbinian starts out with a gentle delivery of
dark fruit, molasses and a hint of chocolate on the finish. It’s sweet,
yes, but not cloying or sticky compared to some of the syrup-like bombs
out there. A touch of bitterness or tang right on the finish, but not
much in the way of actual hop character. That’s fine by me because it’s
still a flavorful, appealing palate overall.
It’s quite possible my bottle was a vintage, which might explain the
surprising mildness of this brew. That’s not to excuse it for being less
robust than I prefer, though. The palate still works well for what it
is and what it should be.
Drinkability: Though technically a lager, Weihenstephaner Korbinian
drinks not only like an ale, but a cask ale. Amazingly soft and
comfortable in the mouth with a smooth texture and ridiculously easy
finish. A slightly sweet aftertaste, but nothing overbearing. The 7.4%
ABV is well hidden, making this drink and feel like a lighter beer than
it is. Still, one 500ml serving is the perfect amount.