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Aviator Dopplebock by Goose Island (Clybourn)
8.50 % ABV

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Review by joe1510 on 02/21/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
72 2 7 15 4 8 2010
64oz Growler
Goose Island Clybourn

Aviator Doppelbock pours a chestnut brown but glows mahogany when backlit. A surprisingly large three finger dirty white head formed on the pour and fell a thick cap of creaminess leaving patches of lacing after each sip. This is a good looking doppelbock for sure.

When I bury my nose in the glass I immediately get a big dose of caramel. There's even a touch of banana bread with the bread being more prominent than the banana. Brown sugar, raisins, and dates round out the big maltiness. There's a cola-like sweetness that although not bad does detract from the aroma slightly. Floral hoppiness and spicy alcohol finish things off and add some complexity.

All the malts come together seamlessly in the flavor. I'm happy to say the cola sweetness is non-existent in the flavor. When all the maltiness comes together it's actually softer than the nose suggested and combined with the floral hop character on the finish becomes a quality doppelbock. The alcohol is just spicy enough on the finish.

Medium bodied with a touch of drying alcohol. The alcohol keeps the sweetness in check and the medium body keeps this an incredibly easy drinker for the abv present.

As I said before, "this is a very easy drinking doppelbock". There are mellow flavors minus the big sweetness that can be a turn off in other examples.

Aviator is another good brew from Clybourn. I drank it by itself at the bar and here at home. This just happens to be one of the easier drinking doppelbocks I've encountered. I'd drink this again at Clybourn. This is a solid example of the style.

Reviewed: 2/18/08

Price: $19.00 Served In: Pilsner Glass

Review by SAP on 05/16/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 3 10 15 4 8 2009
20th Anniversary Release; Sampled March 2009
As I pour this beer it visually reveals a viscous heft and has an interesting cranberry aroma. An average pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a two-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark amber, full brown color that shows a clear, cranberry amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma is rich and malty, but leans towards raisin and berry aromatics at times. Spicy brown malt aromatics are joined by toasted whole-grain bread notes, richly caramelized malt aromatics that are not quite burnt, but certainly concentrated, though not cloying. The nose is quite nice and is in fact spot on for a Doppelbock; spicy, bready, dark fruit notes and rich smelling, just like a hearty Bock should be.

The beer has a spiciness to it up front, and it even has a light tartness to it. The flavor is a bit more roasted than the aroma would have suggested; it has a burnt acidity, it gets a touch acrid at times and has some charred malt notes that linger on the palate. This is not roasted like a stout, though it is in the Porter realm of roast flavors. The carbonation adds a fizziness and accentuates the tartness that lingers in this beer. This almost tastes lactic at times, which seems to accentuate a tart raisin-like notes and perhaps even a hint of tamarind. Some warming alcohol contributes a warming quality and a spiciness to the finish.

When served cooler, the tartness is tamed a bit more, which allows the rich, toasty malt character to come out a bit more. Browned malt character, rich toasted brown bread, and a light malt sweetness are also a bit more noticeable. This is not overly heavy, but it is certainly a sipping brew (especially when you consider the complexity).

This is thoroughly enjoyable, but I find myself dwelling a bit on the tartness here; it seems like it might be more than just dark grain and poor mash PH control, but it is not so tart that I can definitively say it is an infection. This is tasty though, in fact, with this flavor profile and if it had a substantial wheat character, it would make a really nice Weizen-Bock. In the end this is stylistically a bit off, but it is still quite tasty.

Served In: Tulip

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