Uncovering a Hidden Treasure
A Review of Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock by Weltenburg Klosterbrauerei
Posted on 12/3/2012 by Chops
                   
Exquisite
When beer enthusiasts start to accumulate their bottles of nectar, chances are that they are going to stash away some hidden gems without even knowing it. Trips to the beer store will often result in peripheral purchases just because an interesting bottle caught your eye. Such was the case when I purchased my bottle of Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock. I adore my doppelbocks and this was one I hadn't seen before. I was on a different mission at the time, but I commandeered a bottle anyway. It sat in my beer cabinet for well over a year before I came across an article a few days ago. Out of curiosity, I was researching the oldest breweries in the world since I had just enjoyed a tasty brew from Weihenstephaner. They are officially recognized as the world's oldest brewery, established in 1040 out of Freising, Germany. I learned that the second oldest by only 10 years is the Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg, established in 1050 out of Kelheim, Germany. The monastery itself dates back to around 620, so many claim that Weltenburg rightfully deserves the title of world's oldest brewery. The name seemed vaguely familiar to me, so I took some time to scan their beer list. And there it was: the Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock. I had been sitting on a world-class doppelbock crafted by the second oldest brewery in the world and I didn't even know it. Needless to say, this beer went straight into the refrigerator as I salivated like a Pavlovian dog.

In the glass, this beer has a dark coffee brown coloration. When I held it up to a light source, I was really surprised to find a crystal clear profile with a rich ruby red hue. It's a beautiful beer and I took my time to admire it. It comes with a thick and creamy tan head that likes to stick around for a very long time. On the nose, that signature sweet caramel aroma reigns supreme. It is followed by a savory candied malt and some mild coffee-like roasted qualities. I also found hints of toasted nuts and brown sugar. I couldn't ask for a better doppelbock introduction, so I grinned ear to ear and went in for that first sip.

The mouthfeel is was immediately caught my attention, which is amazingly smooth and creamy. This beer is very accessible and easy drinking despite its solid medium-thick body, making it a fantastic session doppel. The flavor profile is delightfully complex, starting with a dark bready base infused with rich sweet caramel. From there I found some toasted bread crust, an earthy nuttiness, notes of toffee, a touch of dark chocolate, plus an array of mild fruit notes like prunes and raisins. The hop profile plays a warming role without being assertive, which gave the beer a mild spicy vibe. This was a really cool and unexpected aspect of the beer, which became one of my favorite traits. The beer is beautifully balanced, which isn't surprising considering the brewery's near millennium of practice. The beer exits soft and smooth with a sweet malty aftertaste consisting of caramel and chocolate.

Overall, the Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock is a superb doppelbock. I cannot say enough wonderful things about it, so it should go without saying that I recommend this beer to any and all beer fans. Seasoned beer drinkers will bow to Asam-Bock's greatness while novices will be blown away by its complex yet approachable flavors. As a huge fan of German beers and especially the doppelbock, I feel almost ashamed that I had such an amazing beer under my nose and didn't even know it. Lesson learned: always research any new beer you buy. You never know when you will uncover a hidden treasure.

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Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock by Weltenburg Klosterbrauerei
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