Winter beer is such a fun phenomena, mainly because it results in deep, rich ales that boast a lot of flavor but are still smooth and drinkable. And of course, they combine all this with a high alcohol content. Yes, winter beer reminds us of simpler times when the winter season was cold, windy, and people stayed warm by liquoring up with something which stuck to their ribs!
And in that respect, I have secured my latest winter seasonal, Phillips Instigator Doppelbock! In keeping with the Phillips tradition of limited releases and seasonal beers, Instigator is back for the winter of 2012. And much like its predecessors, it’s a dark, smooth, semi-sweet, and quite strong, everything one would expect from a Doppelbock!
Appearance: Dark brown/amber, transparent and mild foam retention
Nose: Rich malts, mild notes of caramel, brown sugar
Taste: Smooth malts, slight sweetness, hints of caramelized sugar
Aftertaste: Slight smokiness, tang, mild hop bite
In many ways, I was reminded of Creemore Urbock and Hoyne’s Best Bock, and believe me, that’s a flattering comparison. Much like these other fine beer – both of which I look forward to drinking again very soon! – it boasted the right kind of smooth, semi-sweet flavor with a very clean, drinkable profile. Comparatively speaking, it was somewhat lighter, but still a winner in my book! Glad I picked it up at my local watering hole!