Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oshkosh Beer Sampler 034: Tanjanator Doppelbock

A slanted and endless survey of what’s pouring in Oshkosh, tallied one beer at a time.

What: Tanjanator Doppelbock by Old Bavarian Beer Company, Appleton WI.

Where: At Festival Foods in Oshkosh they’re selling 22 oz. bombers of the beer for $6.99

Why: Because this is a great time of year to enjoy an authentic Doppelbock. Plus, this beer has its roots in Oshkosh. Tanjanator is brewed and bottled by Fox River Brewing Company of Oshkosh on contract for Old Bavarian in Appleton. Previously, the Old Bavarian beers had been brewed by the Milwaukee Brewing Co., but last year Fox River took over production. Just last month, Fox River began bottling Tanjanator for Old Bavarian. So now for the first time in 18 years (since Chief Oshkosh Red Lager slipped off the shelves), you can walk down the beer isle and pick up a beer with “Oshkosh” printed on the label. Hey, it made me feel good. And that’s not the only Oshkosh connection here. Steve Olson, the brewmaster who develops the recipes for Old Bavarian, is a former member of the Society of Oshkosh Brewers. OK, that’s all fine, but what about the beer?

It goes like this: Tanjanator pours to a deep, dark red with a full, creamy head. The aroma is intense and malty, leaning heavily towards the munich malt side of things with a lot of biscuit and toast coming through. From that I was expecting a big hit of rich malt flavor, but the beer is a bit lean on the toasty melanoidans I was anticipating. It’s a substantial beer to be sure, but just not quite as full-bodied as what the aroma leads you to believe it will be. Still, there's plenty there to enjoy. The beer finishes with a welcome and firm bitterness that keeps you coming back to the glass. Tanjanator is an exceptionally drinkable Dopplebock, despite the fact that its ABV has to be in the 8% range. It’ll warm you, that’s for sure. If you appreciate a good Doppelbock, this is definitely a beer worth checking out.

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