7.7% ABV on draught
Made a specific trip to the great House of Brews on 51st and 8th to try a beer that I have only ever seen there — the Brooklyn Brewmasters Reserve Brooklynator Doppleback, an absolutely magnificent brew. Unfortunately, that beer is now out of rotation until next year and thus my formal review will have to wait. Drats. I nearly cried upon the bartender informing me it was no longer available. I was left speechless, as if somebody died, and was unable to possibly think of anything to say and a beer to order. I almost didn’t want to drink. Yes, I was too depressed about the lack of one certain beer to drink more beers. I almost felt like going home. Fortunately, however, Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver makes sure that House of Brews always has the latest Brewmasters Reserve on tap and thus I was able to sample their helles bock, a beer with a little less thickness and potency than the dopple, one befitting the summer months — or so they say. I was predictably leery as we all know my thoughts on summer beers.
Quite frankly, I was barely able to enjoy the first half of my pint as I was still so mournful over having missed out on saying goodbye to the dopplebock for the summer. The helles is much lighter and less flavorful, but still refreshing. Which was actually a good thing as it was about 95 degrees in Manhattan at the time. The dopplebock might have felt akin to drinking a cup of coffee.
Eventually I was able to forget about the dopplebock and focus on my beer in hand and slowly but surely I realized that this one was deceptively complex. On the first sip it seemed like nothing more interesting than, say, a Blue Moon but as I continued drinking it I noticed all of the maibock’s brilliant subtleties. It’s very malty, with light fruit flavors and hints of honey. Most impressively, it does an amazing job of hiding the alcohol content. It’s actually quite remarkable that a 7.7% beer can be so light and refreshing. I would have never guessed it was that high. It might be a good beer to sneak into your opponent’s stack if you’re ever both immature and classy enough to have a drinking contest featuring only highly-rare craft brews.
I may not have totally given this beer a fair shake, I will be honest. I don’t think it’s a masterpiece like the dopplebock, but I hope to return soon to confirm this. Nevertheless, it is very good. And, it proved to me that maybe I need to be thankful for what’s in front of me rather than sad about what’s behind me. I think Confucius said that. Or maybe it was the star of some gay gang bang porn film.