The More You Know…About BEER: Paulaner Salvator

June 19, 2009

Paulaner Salvator
By Paulaner Braurei (Schörghuber, Munich, Germany)
500mL (1 pt. 09 fl. oz.)
7.9% ABV

Paulaner Salvator

Paulaner Salvator

Commercial Description:
The Paulaner Salvator with its strong,typically malty taste is the original Paulaner. The bottom-fermented Doppelbock-Bier unites the finest hops and dark barley malt. The Paulaner monks served Salvator as a replacement for food at Lent. Their most famous brewer was Brother Barnabas, who was the head of the Paulaner monastery brewery starting from 1773. Its original recipe is today almost the same as it was in Barnabas’ time. In order to protect the original recipe, Paulaner had the trade mark “Salvator” patented in 1896.

Original wort 18,3%
alcohol 7,9%
calories 68,0 kcal/100 m

When I hear Doppelbocks, I think of one word: malty. Doppelbock means “double bock,” and this was coined by its Munich consumers. Before I get to Doppelbocks, let’s talk about its precursor, the Bock. Last week, we basically had tried a Smoked Bock (Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock). There are many stories where the word “Bock” originated from. I will only speak of the two dominant ones. First, many scholars believed it originated from the town it was created in, Einbeck. This town was well-known for this dark, strong, malty lager and the name “Bock” came from the corruption of the name “Einbeck” in the Bavarian dialect. Second, the word “Bock” also means “billy-goat” in German and you’ll see it used in logos and advertisements for this style. The Doppelbock itself is stronger version of the Traditional Bock or the Helles Bock, not necessarily double the strength.

The Doppelbock was first brewed in Munich by the monks of St. Francis of Paula. The modern versions are more well-attenuated (drier, fermented out) than the historical versions, which were sweeter and lower in alcohol levels (hence the term “liquid bread” by the monks). I bet some of you have noticed that most breweries that make Doppelbocks will end the name of those beers with the suffix “-ator.” That is either as a tribute to the prototypical Paulaner Salvator or to take advantage of Salvator’s popularity.

Paulaner Salvator’s Doppelbock pours our reddish-copper to light amber. The head is tan-colored and has tightly formed creamy head with moderately-low retention. Malt profile smells of caramel, plums, and dates and a slight hint of grapes. Despite its high alcohol content, the aroma is quite smooth without any fusel (high alcohols found in distilled beverages) warming. No hop aroma is present. Initially, toasty plum/raisin-like malt flavors dominate but is finished but a moderate floral hop spiciness giving it a moderately dry finish. There is a smooth alcoholic warming but isn’t harsh or astringent. The low spicy hop character helps detract from the heavy malty sweetness but doesn’t quite balance it. This beer is definitely full-bodied and has a low level of carbonation that is subtle but perceivable. A very big bold malty lager with lots of malt complexity. The sweetness comes from low hopping, not underattenuation (incomplete fermentation). Probably the most classic example of a Doppelbock. I would find this to be most enjoyable on a cold summer night or even as a desert.

Category 5C: Doppelbock
Aroma: 11/12
Appearance: 3/3
Flavor: 18/20
Mouthfeel: 5/5
Overall: 9/10
Total: 46/50