If You Ever Want to Understand German Cuisine
A Review of Doppel-Hirsch by Privatbrauerei Höss Der Hirschbräu
Posted on 5/18/2011 by Chops
Privatbrauerei Höss Der Hirschbräu's Doppel-Hirsch (boy that's a mouthful) is a very special beer to me. This was the beer that taught me about bock purpose. I had sampled many different bocks before this beer and I definitely enjoyed them, but I never fully understood their place in the beer world until Doppel-Hirsch. So here's the story...

There is a wonderful and well-hidden authentic German restaurant nestled in the Appalachian foothills of Black Mountain, NC called the Berliner Kindl. My wife and I were introduced to this place by a friend's recommendation. He had been lucky enough to live in Germany for many years, so he vouched for the restaurant's quality and authenticity. It certainly lived up to expectations and quickly rocketed up to our short list of favorite restaurants from across the globe.

So one day we were at the Berliner Kindl enjoying a fine evening meal. I had ordered a Doppel-Hirsch from their impressive list of quality German brews and was enjoying it before the meal. Then the meal came, a jäger schnitzel and spiced bratwurst platter with potatoes and sauerkraut. We dove right into the meal, savoring every delicious bite. Then I took a sip of my doppelbock. I paused. My eyes widened. I looked at the meal. I looked at my doppelbock. I looked back at the meal, then back at the beer. I threw my arms up in the air in harmonious victory. For I had finally understood the bock.

German cuisine is front loaded with big savory flavors. There are a lot of hot, spicy and sour flavors all fighting for dominance. When you introduce a bock, a rich sweet beer, it perfectly balances out the equation. The food adds a certain zing to the beer, and the beer adds clarity to the food. It was a magical moment of revelation. Bocks went from being tasty solo beers to absolutely incredible food pairing beers. From that moment on, I have rarely opened a bock without pairing it to some sort of strongly flavored dish. It makes a world of difference and makes you appreciate the beer that much more.

Doppel-Hirsch has a very large body, even for a doppelbock. It actually drinks more like a strong dark Belgian. It's very thick, silky smooth and surprisingly easy drinking for a 7.2% ABV. It has that classic dark brown coloration, but with a slight reddish hue and a more transparent appearance. Doppel-Hrscih has many strong flavors, including thick bready malts and that signature caramel. There are many other flavors swirling around as well including dark fruits and other earthy undertones. This is a very hearty beer, definitely not for the weak.

Overall, Privatbrauerei Höss Der Hirschbräu's Doppel-Hirsch is a top-notch doppelbock and is on the more savory end of the flavor spectrum. I would definitely recommend it to the strong beer crowd. Belgian fans will love this beer and I think stout and porter fans would enjoy it as well. My only caveat would be to enjoy a Doppel-Hirsch just before and then during some sort of hot and spicy cuisine. The complimentary notes and taste difference will amaze you.

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Doppel-Hirsch by Privatbrauerei Höss Der Hirschbräu
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