It is almost impossible to spend time talking about bocks and dopplebocks without talking about the original dopplebock. Paulaner Salvator is the beer given credit for starting the dopplebock substyle.
Originally brewed in 1773, this was the beer that the Paulaner monks would subsist on during their lenten fast. That was the idea of it all. The beer was brewed to a higher starting gravity and finished with a higher terminal gravity. This gave the beer more body and also increased its calorie count and nutrients. Salvator (meaning salvation) was the monk’s saving grace during the month they were not allowed normal food.
It was in 1896 that the monks trademarked the Salvator name. Despite the trademark dopplebocks still carry the suffix -ator in honor of this great beer.
This beer pours a deep copper with a voluminous (say it with me vol um i (wait for it) nous) head. The first thing that hits you is the huge blast of fig in the nose. And then you take the first sip. Again, fig, but mixed with chocolate and caramel and toffee.
At 7% alcohol it does not carry any alcohol warmth. But the body makes up for that. It isn’t quite chewy. While at the same time this beer is far from watery. There is quite a bit of sweetness but it isn’t cloying. With all due respect to the monks who gave us this gift, the beer is like a love affair in your mouth. It is sweet and a bit sinful but over so quickly. I mean this in a good way of course. I mean don’t expect the beer to be killing your rabbits and cooking them on your stove top.
If I were to pair this beer with food right now, I would opt for a classic tiramisu. The flavors would complement each other and the subtle differences would allow them to dance and play on your tongue.
Time for a pint…