Brothers' Reserve: Cherry Oak Doppelbock
Last night, Widmer Brothers Brewing held a media dinner for the release of their new Brothers' Reserve series. This series is a semi-annual, limited release, that will alternate between recipes from Kurt and Rob. The inaugural release was created by Kurt: a Doppelbock, fermented with local dark cherries, and aged in bourbon barrels for three months--aptly named Cherry Oak Doppelbock.
It is a complex beer: a nice cherry nose, and tastes that included dark chocolate, slight tartness from the cherries, wood from the barrel, and strong malts to support the 9% abv. Where all of that alcohol was kept is a secret--it is definitely a gentle giant, drinking much more like a 6% beer. Kurt Widmer admitted to the beer being served a little too cold and about 15 minutes later, a warmer temperature revealed the subtleties of the beer.
Widmer sent out about 2200 case of this beer, to be released on October 1st. The retail price should be about $8.99 - $9.99. Squeezing in under the $10 mark makes this beer a great value, and I'll snatch up a few more when they hit the shelves. There is also a limited amount that will go on draft at the Gasthaus, on October 1st as well.
Reserve series are becoming more popular with larger breweries, which seems to be a back-to-roots direction and departure from churning out cash-cow styles and brands. Any experiments with styles and recipes is a learning experience for the brewers-and often consumers-who go outside of their comfort zone to bring us unique beers.
Oh, and if you don't catch this one when it comes out, you'll never see it again. Kurt promised two things for the reserve series: they will do their best to create great beers, and they won't be brewed twice.
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