Recognized with a Silver Medal/Highly Recommended rating by the Beverage Tasting Institute in 2006, and a Silver Medal at the 2006 World Beer Championships, this double bock (doppelbock) has won over quite a few fans. Let's get right to it, shall we? The beer pours a rich, clear amber color with garnet highlights when held to the light. Give it a good high pour to fully bring out the lightly caramelized meringue-toned head. After a moment to let it settle down, take in the aroma. Expect honeyed, ripe red apples and a touch of grapes on the nose, with a sweet-dough note and a touch of the traditional German yeast mustiness. This beer stood out among our beer panelists because it asserts its own unique personality. Some might say it has a bit more of a schwarzbier-like nose than traditional doppelbock, but this is within the permitted profile for the style. Also on the nose, look for juicy, chewy, sweet malts and a slight hint of blonde tobacco. On the palate, the beer goes down a little edgier than many doppelbocks (which often run very sweet and smooth), with an assertive carbonation level and an overall flavor that lands a bit on the bitter side, which helps stave what might otherwise have become a cloying sweetness that some doppelbocks suffer from. Expect to also pick up some alcohol notes, which contribute a little more bite and edge. A pretty complex array of flavors develops as it warms. There's a pleasantly fruity character which provides notes of apples and grapes, as well as rum-soaked raisins, rye, and a ghost-like juniper note. Look for a late-breaking, sweet coffee-like note toward the finish (think Viennese coffee). Notice that the hops are also a bit more present in the finish than is typical for the style, but they nicely help bitter things up and contribute a slightly grassy character along with the slightest hint of lemon-peel/zest. Overall, this beer's got a nice kick to it and an assertive, somewhat rebel character. And it's not afraid to show it… Be sure to put a bottle or two aside—this will age quite nicely (try 12-18 months, kept at cellar temperatures (45-50°F)).