Origin: Austria | Date: 2008 | ABV: 14% | On The Beer Nut: August 2006
It's as dark a red as you'd expect a doppelbock to be. There's a distinctly festive aroma, all cookies and spiced fruitcake. And booze. Lots of booze. I was expecting a blast of heat on the first sip but it didn't arrive. It's surprisingly clean, though definitely thick, packed full of treacle and chocolate sauce: powerfully sweet with a slightly metallic tang and almost chewably heavy. A dry wheaty cereal element finishes it off and there's a classy tawny port vinousness too.
It shouldn't work, but it does. It doesn't get cloying, it doesn't linger too long on the palate and it doesn't congeal in the stomach the way some strong sweet beers do. Most amazing, though, is that there are no age related off flavours. Having peeled off a cap that looks like it's been through a war, I expected at least a bit of oxidation, but there's none whatsoever. I guess the people at Eggenberg are as good at packaging as they are at brewing strong beer.
I last drank this too long ago to be able to tell you if it has improved with age, but it's grand now and I suspect will continue to be grand for many Christmases to come.