We had finished recording an episode of Basic Brewing Radio when Kai, James Spencer, Chris Colby and I started talking about great German beers. Kai kept talking about Paulaner. Over and over again, he kept talking about Paulaner. Enough that now, when I see a bottle or a sign in a liquor store, I hear in the back of my mind, Kai’s thick German accent saying “Paulaner.”
Today, I am drinking a Paulaner Salvator Double Bock. The “Original” Paulaner brew. This is the one that the Monks drank during Lent. They have also been brewing it since 1773 when Brother Barnabas originated the recipe that is still used today.
This double bock weighs in at 7.9%ABV and pours with a thick, extremely light caramel head. The nose is of bread and yeast with a nearly sweet aroma that fills your nostrils like fresh bread from the corner bakery.
The head dissipates quickly after becoming rocky then retreating to a thin lace and eventually disappearing altogether.
The color is a dark copper caramel color which hides a majority of it’s medium carbonation from sight.
The Flavor is of malt and bread. The hops seem completely lost in the sweet malt, but there is a bit of citrus bitterness that balances the huge malt flavor and keeps it from being too sweet, that I assume is from the hops.
As this brew warms and I continue to chew on it (Quite literally chewing each sip) I notice that the mouth-feel is a bit lighter that I originally detected. There is also a very bright, refreshing quality to the finish. It’s almost like it’s telling you that it’s OK to be done, and it’s OK to have more.... Up To You. I Choose MORE!
This is a beer that I would recommend to almost any craft beer fan, and anyone looking to experience a more advanced German style beer. Paulaner is certainly as “good as gold” when it comes to style and technique. That is not to say that you can’t find a better double bock on the market, it is just to say that they are the monks that were pioneers of the style and have been doing this for 200+ years.
If you have a chance to try Salvator, I’d say go for it! Pick up two... Because a pint just doesn’t seem like enough!