Paulaner Salvator (500ml, 7.9% ABV)
Bock is a classic style brewed for hundreds of years in Germany – a dark-ish, warming beer that’s heavy on the malt.
Salvator doubles down on the concept – it’s a doppelbock, and the most famous example of the style. You don’t have to go far in Germany to find other beers with the ‘-ator’ suffix at the end of their name. All of them are referring back to this, the original.
It was originally brewed by monks, who named it after the Latin for ‘saviour’, but what is this beer really saving us from? Damnation? Thirst? Sobriety?
It pours red and thick, with a cream-coloured head. The aroma is sweet and coppery.
There’s very little in the way of hops, presumably just enough to counter the sweetness of the grain, and then stand aside so that the celebrated Munich malt can do its thing. And it certainly does do its thing – toffee, malt loaf and raisin flavours abound. It slides across the tongue with a syrupy, honeyish texture, and is seriously quaffable for a beer that’s teetering on the brink of 8% alcohol. A late zing of sugar takes the place of the crisp bitterness you might expect in an English ale.
If you’re tired of the craft beer movement’s propensity for hops, this could be just the antidote.
Written by Richard Salsbury