SBC Toboggan Chocolate Doppelbock

So it seems more and more often I am writing an apology to all you fine readers about my lack of postings and writings. Unfortunately I am doing it just one more time, however I promise I have as good excuse as any! Over the course of the last month or so I have been getting my life in order and my ducks in a row post completion of my undergrad degree, and in the thick of job searching. To make a long story short, I have since found part time employment, moved to DC, and am beginning the next chapter of my life. However, like any good book, there are constant undertones and themes that carry throughout the story, and my passion for the water and hops will remain steadfast.

NOW….I have been planning beer reviews for certain beers for some time, which in turn means that I have had some of these beers in my fridge for a while….which means some of these beers may not be made anymore (this is the case for the selection today). The Toboggan Chocolate Dopplebock by Susquehanna Brewing Company is a winter seasonal, and I wanted to get to it before it became to springy. So lets get to it! (P.S: because of the move, I do not have my proper beer glasses with me yet, so bear with me.)

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Appearance:

For something labeled with chocolate in the name, I have to say I was expecting something a bit darker. This looks more like tea than coffee, but that being said it does look the part as a winter seasonal. This would look perfect sitting in the glove hand of a man or woman in one of those puffy winter jackets that makes you look like the Michelin man, flannel scarf draped across their neck, accompanied with a facial disposition that resembled 50% contemplation of life, and 50% ‘good god, when will the damned winter end?!’ (I may be a bit scorned by how long this winter has lasted) All in all, nothing too out of the ordinary…moving on.

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Smell:

The nose on this beer is slightly misleading. The aroma is undeniably malty and wholesome. If you were to catch a whiff of this you would assume it really packs a wallop, and that you may need to have a light snack while you drink just to rein it in. I get no chocolate however. Again, for something with chocolate in the name this is decidedly chocolate-lacking.

Taste:

Where is my chocolate??? Seriously, just get rid of the word chocolate of the label, I think there might have been a mishap when they were bottling – maybe this label was supposed to be on another bottle? This is not to say that the flavor is displeasing, it is just not chocolate. In addition, this is when you realize your nose has lied to you. There is no punch, there is no wallop. Again, it is not unenjoyably, just completely incongruous with all that you’ve assumed about the beer up until now. The malt in understated and paired well with a light/fizzy carbonation. This hits you on the sides of the tongue in a way that citrus usually would, which is most unusual. The Toboggan is refreshing in a way that I would expect form a beer much lighter than this.

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Overall:

I was caught completely off guard by the Toboggan. I was let down in some aspects, but in other I was surprised (and occasionally confused).   If you want chocolate in your beer, this isn’t going to be quite right. If you want malt and predictable winter warmer attributes, you’re going to have a bad time. If you want a drinkable, semi sweet, drinkable, semi-forgettable beer – this hits it right on the head. Again, I don’t want to paint the picture that I dislike this beer – I would totally drink another (and maybe another after that). My hang-up is I don’t really know who this beer is for; its not dark enough for the true chocolate beer lovers, but its not quite light enough for those that like to put away 3 or 4 at a time. I’m confused, so if you can get your hands on one (I got mine at Wegmans) let me know what you think.

3.75 Stars Out of 5

P.S. I was totally watching Rush while doing this review, hence Thor in the racing helmet behind the one photo-  If you haven’t seen rush, do it.  It’s a pretty badass movie.

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