With so much talk recently about doppelbock beers, and my mild disappointment with Shiner Commemorator, I noticed Paulaner’s Salvator in bottles at Lukas Liquors during my last fieldtrip, so I picked a couple up. I don’t remember the price, but the larger 25 oz bottles (the label reads, “1 pint 9 fl oz”, but it looks smaller to me than a 22oz bomber bottle, so I don’t know what gives) were probably $3-$4, perfectly reasonable. Salvator is supposed to be a good example of the doppelbock style, too. I drank this beer from a tall pilsener glass that seemed appropriate for the style. Salvator is 7.9%ABV and it seemed like a nice way to start my work trip to Vegas by having one of these for lunch!
The beer poured with the trademark gigantic head that all Paulaner beers seem to have. It wasn’t quite as tight of a foam that I could use to build all sorts of architectural wonders as the Paulaner hefeweizen has, but it was close! Salvator pours an amber-tea color, clear, with a butterscotch tan head.
On the aroma, my ailing schnoz picked up some toffee or caramel, but also maybe some raisiny notes. The mouthfeel is a little on the light side with a slightly watery finish.
As it should be for a doppelbock, there is essentially zero hops flavor, aroma or balance to the malt. Doppelbocks are basically supposed to be liquid bread, and this definitely fits the style! I didn’t pick up much any of the raisin in the flavor that I picked up on the aroma. The predominant flavor was of bread with a touch of roasty caramel bite in the apex of the flavor. This is a very simple beer, in my opinion, but very enjoyable. The flavors are nice and this is definitely a beer that you can use to calibrate your palate for what a malty beer should taste like. I was a little disappointed by the light body, and being a malt bomb this beer did leave a bit of a goober in the back of my throat, but this is a good, enjoyable beer for those times you don’t want any hops but also want to shy away from the roastiness and complexity of a stout or porter.
Now that I know what a good doppelbock should really taste like, Commemorator loses a little more for me, even! I think Paulaner has taken the place as my favorite German brewery!