GarrettB (899) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 9, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
January 24th, 2012 - Trader Joe’s (and in reality, Gordon Biersch’s) entry into the winter warmer category is another dose of generically sweet malty brews. It is the median roast, toasty dark beer, with the only exceptional trait of being stocked at Trader Joe’s. It pours like any other dark brown bottle sized dose of sudsy anti-freeze, and the smell that leaks through the head is generically malty, with a nice touch of cracked wheat to lighten an otherwise very brunette profile. Slightly sweet and very carbonated, the Winterfest does what it was designed to do: deliver semi-sweet roasted notes and malts to the tongue, but on a palate that’s a lighter and more buoyant than an ale-based brew of the same flavor profile. The aftertaste rounds out the taste, adding more roasted notes, before fading.
DBob5150 (175) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - FEB 1, 2013
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a typical bock, dark amber body with a frothy beige head that sticks around. Nice lacing. The aroma is faint, slightly coppery. Taste is light considering it’s a double bock, caramel, hops, slightly metallic, leaves a sweet, metal aftertaste. Not bad, pretty typical bock.
Scrapersnbeer (1392) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 15, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Light toast and toffee aroma, obvious that it will be sweet beer. Clear, dark chestnut appearance. Sweet flavor, but not a sugary smack like some. Good bitter balance, although this feature fades as the beer warms. As a heretic I prefer doppels ice cold anyway. Sludgy, cloying body that kicks around on the palate. Two thirds as good as premium German bocks for hald the price.
brokensail (9852) - Orange County, California, USA - JAN 2, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Amber pour with an off-white head. Nose opens with caramel, toffee, and toasted bread. Nice dark fruit and cola notes, a hint of chocolate, and very light roast. There’s a slight bitterness to the flavor, but otherwise it’s mostly sweet malt. Caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and dark fruit. Some cola, roast, and mild chocolate flavors, too.
blutt59 (5999) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 15, 2012
2.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle, dark cola color with creamy foam, malty dark bread aroma, flavor is spicy and hot, malt, caramel notes , cloying
tongatim (28) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - DEC 8, 2012
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Typical Gordon Biersch high-quality lager at incredible TJ value. My problem with Doppelbocks is that the sweetness and/or alcohol often overwhelms, but this rendition has a fine balance of rich maltiness, mellow warming alcohol, smooth bitterness. The malty aftertaste lingers long enough on the tongue for the alcohol to gently infiltrate the senses.
This will be my go-to winter beverage. Might be worth setting aside a case to see how it ages.
malrubius (1559) - Willowick, Ohio, USA - DEC 3, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark amber brown with lasting head and lace. Earthy caramel toast hay aroma. Roasty caramel medium sweetness with earthy woody bitter finish and some lingering roasty malt. Medium body. Clean and balanced. FRESH. Pretty good.
chinchill (1269) - South Carolina, USA - NOV 27, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12 oz bottle served in pint glass in 2011, 1+ month before "Best by" date
Deep mahogany color; clear; thin off-white head with brief duration but lasting ring. Nice aroma of roasted and caramel malt. Malts are also the main flavor components, but it has some spiciness as well. Not very sweet overall, and definitely not as sweet as the aroma; IBU = 28.
Hophead22 (2880) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - APR 19, 2012
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12oz bottle. Rating #235. Very dark amber pour with a beige head. Light toast with a caramel sweetness. Flavor is more caramel, mild bitterness and a bit more toast. (2331)
sonnycheeba (2976) - Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 25, 2012
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pours clear tawny with thin, creamy off-white head; decent retention and spare lacing. Aroma is caramel and cookie malt, toffee, floral hops, and figs. Flavor is heavy malt with light hops; sweet finish. Light/medium body, medium carbonation, and low warmth.