Ayinger Celebrator from Brauerei Aying (Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG) in Germany pours a deep chestnut-ruby colour with amber highlights around the edges when held up to light and a small tan coloured head that gets retained as a thin, but frothy collar without leaving much lacing. This doppelbock has a rich and complex malty aroma with a strong oak tone. Dark fruits, chocolate, coffee and molasses can all be found and a hint of alcohol comes out as you make your way through the glass.
The taste of Ayinger Celebrator follows the aroma and is equally rich and complex. Dark fruits, chocolate, sweet malts, roasted grains, oak and a hint of vanilla are all present before a bitter and herbal finish takes over. The mouthfeel is creamy and hearty with a low-medium carbonation and a yeasty sensation on the tongue. The aftertaste is dry with oak and fruit tones. This heavy beer is surprisingly drinkable, with little trace of alcohol aside from a pleasant warming effect.
The label of Ayinger Celebrator looks like it was drawn in the 1920s and features the image of two goats holding a glass of beer. The bottle comes with a small white plastic goat ornament tied around it, which adds some character. Gravity information, a best before date and an ingredients list can also be found on the label.
Ayinger Celebrator is a truly excellent beer that is a must-try for fans of the dopppelbock style and would be a great choice for a newcomer as well. The beer can be enjoyed on its own and is more suited to snacks and appetizers than meals because of its heavy, filling nature.
You can find Ayinger Celebrator in limited quantities at select LCBO outlets as part of their fall 2011 release and the beer is regularly distributed throughout the USA, Europe and western Canada.
2012 Update: Available at LCBO again. The bottle’s shape has has changed slightly and is heavier, raisin is the dominant flavour, The alcohol content is 6.7% and there is less carbonation.
Brewery: Brauerei Aying (Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG)
Format Purchased: 330 mL
Alcohol Content: 6.9%