To begin today’s post I just want to share a little message. If you haven’t already, go to Quality Craft Beer Store. Seriously. Go. They have the Winter Survival Pack from Torque (it’s amazing), the Old Ale from Nonsuch (that’s an exclusive to them), they’ve got a huge assortment of exclusive Beau’s beers (including New Lang Syne which I’ll write about soon) and their Russian Imperial Stout Bottle Imp. They’ve also got a variety of other awesome beers. I have to say that in the craft beer market today, Quality Craft Beer Store is killing it.
Wold Top was founded in 2003 by farmers Tom and Gill Mellor. The brewery and farm are a family run business and is currently being run by the third and fourth generation of Mellors. Sitting on 600 acres of farmland, Wold Top focuses on brewing real ales and using tradition methods and quality ingredients. Being on a farm they have access to fresh ingredients that they can grow themselves. Those they can’t are only the highest quality.
A Doppelbock is a German (Bavarian to be specific) style of beer first brewed in Munich by the Monks of St. Francis of Paola. Older versions of this beer had less of the sugars picked up by the yeast and converted to alcohol (attenuation) and as such were a lot sweeter then the modern-day examples of this style. They were considered more like a liquid bread for the monks rather than an alcohol beverage (though they did contain alcohol).
The term doppel (double) bock was coined by the consumers of the beer in Munich. Many commercial examples of this beer have a name ending in -ator which, according to the BJCP history, is to either pay tribute to the prototypical (considered the original) Salvator or to take advantage of the beers popularity.
The style itself is overall strong, rich, and very malty. It is a lager, meaning that it uses a different strain of yeast and undergoes a cold fermentation rather than the typical warm fermentation of an ale. Doppelbocks can be either dark or pale depending on the malt variation. The darker versions have a well-developed deep malt flavour, while the paler versions have slightly more hops and dryness on the finish.
This beer was brewed by Wold Top and named “Ditto” to celebrate the birth of twins between their marketing manager and brewery manager.
Appearance – Pours a dark amber with a thin, quickly fading, beige head.
Smell – Not a lot on the nose. Caramel malt and some sweet bread notes.
Taste – Bready malts, caramel sweetness, some raisin, and plum notes as well.
Mouth feel – Lighter bodied then I’d expect with low carbonation.
Overall – While this certainly does bring a very malt forward character, adding in some sweet bread, caramel and dark fruit notes, I find it to be a little on the weak side. The notes are there but they aren’t as deep as I’d expect from a Doppelbock.
Do I like it? – Yes, I did enjoy this beer, but I felt it was a little weak. It has a high ABV (7.0%) which doesn’t come through at all in the drinking. I think that this is a success in making this a drinkable beer. I had hoped this beer would be a bit heavier on the malt and body character, but it brought a little bit of lightness.