Mikkeller - Frelser
- ABV: 11%
- Serving Temperature: 54–61° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Burgundy, or Port Glass
Frelser is Danish for “savior,” a reference to one of the archetypes of the doppelbock style: a massively refined malt-forward beer from Paulaner. As one of the descriptions of the Frelser trippelbock makes a point to note, while Salvator was originally brewed as a sustenance beer for the period of Lent, this one is 11% ABV. It’s best consumed not on an empty stomach.
Only about 600 cases of this were allocated for the U.S. market. But we were able to get just enough set aside for this special offer for our Rare Beer Club® members. While bock may not be the hottest new thang in the style spectrum, we thought this trippelbock was just fantastic and a callback to some of our favorite bock experiences over the years. Brewed by the team of Mikkeller and Belgium’s De Proef Brouwerij, it’s a massive, hugely appointed überbock.
And it’s a great-looking beer: deep caramel-brown color, with a dense, medium-tan head that filled our glasses comfortably and stuck around for a while. Lots of lacing left when it finally subsided. Frelser was zeroed in straight out of the fridge, but the aromatics on this open up pretty expansively with a bit of time to warm. We couldn’t help but think of Celebrator, that classic German doppelbock with the goat ornament that we tend to go back to whenever we need a reminder of how good some of the classics are. There’s layered caramel here, tons of deeply caramelized sugars and dried dark fruits and even some dark roast. Red fruits as well.
The flavor’s all smooth caramelization and leather notes: soft, finely carbonated, with a bit of a slickness that works perfectly with the well-integrated and vinous alcohol warmth. Again, it was hard for us not to make Salvator and Celebrator comparisons, with this providing just a ton of rich, intricate maltiness and tempered roast qualities. There’s no sharpness here, none of the cola-forward or fat-bubbled nonsense one gets from lesser bocks. Frelser’s smooth: a pretty much undeniably huge beer, but with perfect texture and nothing that feels overdone.
Though to repeat: don’t try to fast using this beer. It may help give one religious experiences, but probably not the one you’re looking for. This should age just fine for six months at least, but watch that the dried caramel aspect from oxidation doesn’t steer things off course. We’d definitely be inclined, given that caramelization and roast, to try this beside barbecued pork.
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