These are two beers that have been sitting in the cupboard for quite a while, and that I picked up on impulse during separate beer runs. Both are German, both come in swing-top bottles, and both are bocks.
First up is the Flensburger Frühlingsbock. It pours a slightly hazy pale gold, not unlike a glass of piss. Unfortunately, there's a certain urinal element to the aroma too, as the stingy yeast is what hits me first. Already I'm thinking this may be an off bottle. Grapefruit is very pronounced, as is the metallic bite, and both do their best to smother and hide the quiet caramel malt underlayer. The taste is practically the same, except that it has none of the yeastiness of the aroma, and packs a bit more malt into the finish.
I'm finding it hard to find nice things to say about the beer, but really it's just not good. It may be an off bottle, though I can't help but feel I'm getting paranoid about 'off' beer. Maybe I sometimes need to admit that beer can suck.
At least this one comes in a really nice bottle.
The Doppel-Hirsch is a completely different story. Yes, it too comes in a lovely bottle, but the contents are far more impressive. It pours a dark yet crystal clear brown, with a small slice of creamy off-white head. The aroma opens with a touch of something I pegged as tobacco, which is nicer than it sounds, followed by a hint of booze and a sticky sweet malt bomb. This can be divided into toffee, chocolate, brown sugar and maple syrup. In the taste, you get all those with added dark fruit, vanilla and wood. The body's nice and thick and completely coats your mouth, while the 7.2% ABV lends a touch of heat to the finish.
This beer has surprised me, and I can already see it becoming a regular tenant of the cupboard. In my notes I signed off describing it as something like a Quadrupel with the drinkability of a lager, and I stand by this. I do concede that for some it may just be too much of one thing and not enough of anything else, but as someone who prefers the warmer, maltier beer, I have to say I bloody love it.