Oct 27, 2009

Widmer Cherry Oak Doppelbock

Widmer Cherry Oak Doppelbock

Shortly after posting the press release for this limited release from Widmer Brothers, I happened across it in a trip to Total Wine. While understated in overall design, seeing a box amongst a sea of bottles helps this one stand out on the shelf.

According to the press release, this particular brew is “…cold-fermented with dark sweet and red tart cherries, then conditioned on new, heavily toasted American oak.” And all those qualities come through, but so did a bit of a medicinal trait that was a little off putting. Overall though, I enjoyed the brewery’s foray into smaller batch, limited releases and look forward to more from them.


Cherry Oak Doppelbock pours a deep mahogany in color with a quickly fading light tan head.


The cherries are certainly in the nose, as is a yeasty note. The oak is fairly subtle and backed by a solid alcohol heat.


I served this one at about cellar temperature (60° or so) and my mouth was immediately overwhelmed with tart cherries and plenty of heat. My first and not so pleasant take on the beer was that it came across as a bit too medicinal for my liking — similar to cherry cough syrup. But I stuck with it, and as the beer warmed and my palate adjusted, the beer began to remind me of Samichlaus a bit, but fuller. The oak aging really doesn’t make much of an impact and is only lightly present in the beer’s finish.


This one took a bit of getting used to for me. I ended up enjoying it, but the first few sips were a challenge. I do love the mixture of cherries in the beer and may take a chance on aging a bottle to see if the alcohol mellows some.


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