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Beer Reviews

Big Butt Dopplebock

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Chippewa Falls, WI

Style: Doppelbock

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

I always thought of Leinenkugel’s Big Butt Dopplebock as their only “real” beer. Like a lot of Midwesterners, I was weaned off of the macro crap by this regional brewery up in Chippewa Falls with beers like Northwoods Lager, Leinie’s Red and the variety that I drank more than my share of, Honey Weiss. But as my beer horizons expanded, I gradually left Leinenkugel’s behind as a little too wimpy, too watery, too commercial. Them being owned by Miller didn’t help all that much either. Sure, given no other viable choices I would happily drink a Honey Weiss, but it’s come to the point that I barely consider them a craft brewery any more.

But I’ve always thought the Big Butt was a “real” craft beer, with more color, aroma, body, alcohol and overall “oomph” than your average beer philistine was willing—or able—to handle. Of course, it can’t hold a candle to the true masters of the style—basically, anything brewed in Germany, or at Capital Brewery. But I decided to curl up with one at the local bar (where it was on tap!) and write a review.

The bartender slid the glass over to me, a mahogany delight with a finger of creamy head. This particular bar wasn’t all that smokey, but even so the aroma wasn’t all that easy to capture. Definitely some light toasty malt notes, a bit of caramel, maybe a hint of chocolate. Tastewise it had a nice smooth, creamy mouth feel and a medium body—which is actually pretty light for a doppel. No avalanches of flavor—just some hazy touches of caramel—but it went down pleasingly smooth, far too smooth than a relatively big beer should on a Wednesday night. In short: a “session” doppelbock, one you can have a few of without fear of falling off the bar stool … which is a real danger with this style. Not with the Big Butt, though. Drink up!

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on March 15, 2007.
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