Devil's Backbone Skull Crushing Ape Schwarz-Weizen-Doppelbock

I've had two beers from these guys before, and one of them was pretty good, and the other was just okay. Two beers aren't enough to judge a whole brewery, so let's add another to the list. This strange combination schwarz-weizen-dopplebock may knock it out of the park, but it may also be a bit ambitious for any brewer to attempt. Let's see what we get, anyway.

The brown beer makes such a good effort to be black that I'll give it the extra 2 degrees of color to get the whole way there. The head is pretty minimal, but what's there is a very light tan and not sticky at all, so no lacing for me this evening. The aroma is very strong with this one. I smell vanilla, smoke, oak, oats, fruit, and spices. My mouth waters in anticipation.

First sip is a fairly strong wheat, bananas, and spices. The aroma does not evenly match up with this sip. The aroma was definitely better than this. It was more gentle, and it had more levels than this. The sip really strikes me as a slap rather than a caress like it should be. I'm not sure that a six pack of this was the way to go, but I've come this far, and the gulp has often separated the bad from the good, and it may help out here.

Tip-in is fair carbonation tingle (bordering on burn) with light banana and wheat alongside maybe a hint of caramel. The middle comes in with an intensifying of the carbonation to the point of definite burn. The flavor thins out a bit while the smoke drifts in gently. It's more watery in the middle than I would have expected. The finish brings more flavor as it creeps in with a wheat twang and some oats. caramel and toffee sweeten things before the hops cut in with bitterness. Bananas trail off.

Bottom Line: The best banana-based beer I've had, but that doesn't make it great.



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