Oasis Nileator Doppelbock
- Product Reviewed: Oasis Nileator Doppelbock
- Brewed By: Oasis Brewing Co.; Boulder, Colorado
- Review By:David Brockington
- Original Posted to Usenet: February 4, 1996
Oasis Brewery and Restaurant
1095 Canyon Blvd.
I received my MA this past year at Western Washington University
in beautiful Bellingham, Washington. Political Science at WWU is a terminal
masters program; if I wanted to further endure this endless odyssey of
graduate school I would have to do so elsewhere. I sent out a battery of
applications, and the offers came sprinkling in during the month of March.
Considering all sorts of preliminary factors, I winnowed my list down to
the University of Colorado and the University of Washington. I was serious
about possibly leaving Washington State, so I visited Boulder in early
April of 1995 to check out the program at Colorado, the town, and all the
usual sort of ancillary appointments one expects in a place to call home for
four or five years.
Of course, one such appointment in my life is beer. The reputation
of Boulder's beer makes it out to Seattle, but I needed to see
what it was all about for myself. In fact, I could be charged with disguising
a beer trip as an academic meeting since I visited three of Boulder's
brewpubs the evening before I met the fine people at Colorado's political
science department. I do have my priorities firmly in order.
Oasis was the second of the three I visited, which also included
Rockies Brewing (the former Boulder Brewing Company) and the Walnut Brewery.
Oasis was the best of the three, by far; while I liked the shirt I bought at
the Walnut, the beer was lifeless and insipid. I sampled several beers at
Oasis that night in April, but the one that I took detailed notes on was the
In the glass, the beer was deep amber, almost garnet. It was
brilliantly bright; the bartender confirmed that the beer was filtered.
The head was pale tan, and retention was medium.
The telling feature of a good doppelbock is the depth of maltiness.
Technically, doppelbocks ought to be crafted using decoction mashing.
Such a procedure maximizes melanoidin production, which several
beer scholars argue is essential to achieving the deep malty aroma and flavor
that distinguish excellent doppelbocks from the pretenders. (See
Darryl Richman's excellent treatise on the subject, entitled Bock,
which has a good treatment on the subject of melanoidens and their production.)
The aroma of the Nileator had the requisite level of maltiness
worthy of a fine doppelbock. While I do not know whether or not this beer
was decocted, the aroma was close to spot on.
Unlike the previous doppelbock that I reviewed to this forum,
the depth of maltiness encountered in the nose carried through
to the flavor profile. The first flavor encountered, in fact,
was an excellent deep maltiness. This moved into a moderate warming effect
from a high level of alcohol. The finish was sudden and truncated with
a dry chalkiness. While doppelbocks are supposed to emulate Munich's brewing
water, which is moderately high in carbonates producing a dry finish,
one should not encounter an abrupt chalkiness. That would seem to implicate
a high sulfate content, characteristic of a liberal dose of gypsum to the
brewing water. All of the Oasis beers that I sampled that evening had the
same rough and abrupt chalky finish. Finish aside, the overall flavor profile
was crisp as a lager ought to be; there was no perceptible evidence of
fermentation byproducts such as fruity esters or diacetyl.
While the maltiness was evident in the nose and flavor, the truncated
finish of this beer really detracted from the experience. Furthermore,
even though the depth of maltiness was nice, it tended to be an unexciting
maltiness. A doppelbock ought to have some spicy notes from the use of a
good Munich malt, which this beer lacked in its flavor. Munich spiciness
may have been present, but it could have been overwhelmed by either the
alcoholic warmth or the abrupt finish. Some alcoholic warming is expected
in a beer of this strength, but it should support existing flavors rather
than be a central characteristic of its own. Malt/hop balance was good; while
the beer had an amazing depth of maltiness, it wasn't cloyingly sweet.
Overall, a good effort; with a little work this could be a great doppelbock.
Wharf Rat Blackfriar Stout
Bell's Special Double Cream Stout
Copyright 1996 by David Brockington, all rights reserved.
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