This category contains more strongly flavored and higher alcohol lagers from Germany and the Baltic region. Most are dark, but some pale versions are known.
A strong, rich, and very malty German lager that can have both pale and dark variants. The darker versions have more richly-developed, deeper malt flavors, while the paler versions have slightly more hops and dryness.
Good clarity, with a large, creamy, persistent head.
Dark versions are copper to dark brown in color, often with ruby highlights, and an off-white head.
Pale versions are deep gold to light amber in color, with a white head.
Very strong maltiness, possibly with light caramel notes, and up to a moderate alcohol aroma. Virtually no hop aroma.
Dark versions have significant, rich Maillard products, deeply toasted malt, and possibly a slight chocolate-like aroma that should never be roasted or burnt. Moderately-low dark fruit, like plums, dark grapes, or fruit leather, is allowable.
Pale versions have a rich and strong, often toasty, malt presence, possibly with a light floral, spicy, or herbal hop accent.
Very rich and malty. Hop bitterness varies from moderate to moderately low but always allows malt to dominate the flavor. Faint hop flavor optional. Most examples are fairly malty-sweet on the palate, but should have an impression of attenuation in the finish. The impression of sweetness comes from low hopping, not from incomplete fermentation. Clean fermentation profile.
Dark versions have malt and ester flavors similar to the aroma (same descriptors and intensities).
Pale versions have a strong bready and toasty malt flavor, a light floral, spicy, or herbal hop flavor, and a drier finish.
Medium-full to full body. Moderate to moderately-low carbonation. Very smooth without harshness, astringency. A light alcohol warmth may be noted, but it should never burn.
A Bavarian specialty originating in Munich, first made by the monks of St. Francis of Paula by the 1700s. Historical versions were less well-attenuated than modern interpretations, thus with higher sweetness and lower alcohol levels. Was called “liquid bread” by monks, and consumed during the Lenten fast. Breweries adopted beer names ending in “-ator” after a 19th century court ruling that no one but Paulaner was allowed to use the name Salvator. Traditionally dark brown in color; paler examples are a more recent development.
Pils, Vienna, Munich malts. Occasionally dark malt for color adjustment. Traditional German hops. Clean German lager yeast. Decoction mashing is traditional.
A stronger, richer, more full-bodied version of either a Dunkles Bock or a Helles Bock. Pale versions will show higher attenuation and less dark fruity character than the darker versions.
The entrant will specify whether the entry is a pale or a dark variant.
16 - 26
6 - 25
1.072 - 1.112
1.016 - 1.024
7% - 10%
Commercial ExamplesDark Versions – Andechs Doppelbock Dunkel, Ayinger Celebrator, Paulaner Salvator, Spaten Optimator, Tröegs Troegenator, Weihenstephaner Korbinian; Pale Versions – Eggenberg Urbock 23º, Meinel Doppelbock Hell, Plank Bavarian Heller Doppelbock, Riegele Auri
Past RevisionDoppelbock (2015)
amber-color, bock-family, bottom-fermented, central-europe, high-strength, lagered, malty, pale-color, traditional-style
A strong, full-bodied, rich, and malty dark German lager often with a viscous quality and strong flavors. Even though flavors are concentrated, the alcohol should be smooth and warming, not burning.
Deep copper to dark brown in color, often with attractive ruby highlights. Good clarity. Head retention may be moderate to poor. Off-white to deep ivory colored head. Pronounced legs are often evident.
Dominated by rich, intense malt and a definite alcohol presence. The malt can have bready, toasty, qualities, with some caramel or faint chocolate, often with dark fruit notes like plums or grapes. No hop aroma. Alcohol aromas should not be harsh or solventy. Clean fermentation profile.
Rich, sweet malt balanced by a significant alcohol presence. The malt can have Maillard products, toasty qualities, some caramel, and occasionally a slight chocolate flavor. May have significant malt-derived dark fruit esters. Hop bitterness just offsets the malt sweetness enough to avoid a cloying character. No hop flavor. Alcohol helps balance the strong malt presence. The finish should be of rich malt with a certain dryness from the alcohol. It should not be sticky, syrupy, or cloyingly sweet. Clean fermentation profile.
Full to very full-bodied. Low carbonation. Significant alcohol warmth without sharp hotness. Very smooth and silky without harsh edges from alcohol, bitterness, fusels, or other concentrated flavors.
Extended lagering is often needed post-freezing to smooth the alcohol and enhance the malt and alcohol balance. Pronounced “ICE-bock.”
Originating in Kulmbach in Franconia in the late 1800s, although exact origins are not known. Fables describe it as coming from beer accidentally freezing at a brewery.
Same as Doppelbock. Produced by freezing a doppelbock-like beer and removing ice (“freeze distillation”), thus concentrating flavor and alcohol, as well as any defects present. Commercial eisbocks are generally concentrated anywhere from 7% to 33% by volume.
Eisbocks are not simply stronger Doppelbocks; the name refers to the process of freezing and concentrating the beer, and is not a statement on alcohol; some Doppelbocks are stronger than Eisbocks. Not as thick, rich, or sweet as a Wheatwine.
25 - 35
17 - 30
1.078 - 1.120
1.020 - 1.035
9% - 14%
Commercial ExamplesKulmbacher Eisbock.
Past RevisionEisbock (2015)
amber-color, bock-family, bottom-fermented, central-europe, lagered, malty, traditional-style, very-high-strength
9C. Baltic Porter
A strong, dark, malty beer with different interpretations within the Baltic region. Smooth, warming, and richly malty, with complex dark fruit flavors and a roasted flavor without burnt notes.
Dark reddish-copper to opaque dark brown color, but not black. Thick, persistent tan-colored head. Clear, although darker versions can be opaque.
Rich maltiness often containing caramel, toffee, nuts, deep toast, or licorice notes. Complex alcohol and ester profile of moderate strength, and reminiscent of plums, prunes, raisins, cherries, or currants, occasionally with a vinous Port-like quality. Deep malt accents of dark chocolate, coffee, or molasses, but never burnt. No hops. No sourness. Smooth, not sharp, impression.
As with aroma, has a rich maltiness with a complex blend of deep malt, dried fruit esters, and alcohol. The malt can have a caramel, toffee, nutty, molasses, or licorice complexity. Prominent yet smooth Schwarzbier-like roasted flavor that stops short of burnt. Light hints of black currants and dark dried fruits. Smooth palate and full finish. Starts malty-sweet but darker malt flavors quickly dominate and persist through the dryish finish, leaving a hint of roast coffee or licorice and dried fruit in the aftertaste. Medium-low to medium bitterness, just to provide balance and prevent it from seeming cloying. Hop flavor from slightly spicy hops ranges from none to medium-low. Clean fermentation profile.
Generally quite full-bodied and smooth, with a well-aged alcohol warmth that can be deceptive. Medium to medium-high carbonation, making it seem even more mouth-filling. Not heavy on the tongue due to carbonation level.
Most commercial versions are in the 7–8.5% ABV range. The best examples have a deceptive strength that makes them dangerously easy to drink. The character of these beers varies by country of origin, so be careful about generalizing based on a single example. Some beers are truer to their English roots, while others are more of the style first popularized in Poland.
Developed indigenously (and independently) in several countries bordering the Baltic Sea after import of popular English porters and stouts was interrupted in the early 1800s. Historically top-fermented, many breweries adapted the recipes for bottom-fermenting yeast along with the rest of their production. The name Baltic Porter is recent (since the 1990s) and describes the modern collection of beers with a somewhat similar profile from these countries, not historical versions.
Generally lager yeast (cold fermented if using ale yeast, as is required when brewed in Russia). Debittered dark malt. Munich or Vienna base malt. Continental hops. May contain crystal malts or adjuncts. Brown or amber malt common in historical recipes. As a collection of regional beers, different formulations are expected.
Combines the body, maltiness, richness, and smoothness of a Doppelbock, the darker malt character of an English Porter, the roast flavors of a Schwarzbier, and alcohol and fruitiness of and Old Ale. Much less roasted and often lower in alcohol than an Imperial Stout.
20 - 40
17 - 30
1.060 - 1.090
1.016 - 1.024
6.5% - 9.5%
Commercial ExamplesAldaris Mežpils Porteris, Baltika #6 Porter, Devils Backbone Danzig, Okocim Mistrzowski Porter, Sinebrychoff Porter, Zywiec Porter.
Past RevisionBaltic Porter (2015)
any-fermentation, dark-color, eastern-europe, high-strength, lagered, malty, porter-family, traditional-style
Doppelbock means double bock. Most versions are dark colored and may display the caramelizing and Maillard products of decoction mashing, but excellent pale versions also exist. The pale versions will not have the same richness and darker malt and fruit flavors of the dark versions, and may be a bit drier, hoppier, and more bitter. While most traditional examples are in the lower end of the ranges cited, the style can be considered to have no upper limit for gravity and alcohol, provided the balance remains the same.