The Curator Challenge

Let me begin by apologizing for another extended absence.  I truly appreciate your patience and pledge to be more consistent moving forward.  I have many stories to share from recent travels.  Now, back to the business of beer.

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Earlier this year my good friend Ben (you remember Ben don’ t you?) and I were discussing dopplebocks.  As you probably know dopplebocks (or double bocks in English) are a fortified bock  beer first created by German monks to sustain them through their Lenten fast.  We talked about the merits of this brand and that and of how our American versions stack up again the German originals.  While I have tried many different ones over the years in the end there is Celebrator and then everyone else.  To my surprise Ben (who knows his dopplebocks) disagreed.

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“Have you tried Curator?”  I shook my head.   Not only had I not tried it,  I had never even heard of it before.  “Kirk, Celebrator is good but Curator tastes like heaven’s vagina”  (Did I fail to mention that Ben is given both to hyperbole and color metaphor?)  Once we both stopped laughing Ben pressed his point.  “Kirk, you need to try this beer!  In fact, if you try it and don’t agree with me that it is best dopplebock out there I’ll convert to Christianity!”  In terms of religion Ben walks the line between agnostic and atheist so needless to say this caught my attention.  We shook hands and called it a bet.

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With lots of work to do it took me sometime to actually track this beer down.  No bottle shop I visited had it, indeed most had never heard of it.  But finally I found it.  The weekend after Easter I was taking a much needed Sunday off from work and   was staying downtown with my lovely wife.  While walking around Olde City we wandered into Bierstube.  Knowing they were a German beer bar I immediately read through their bottle list and to my delight found my long sought after goal.

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The bartender (who knew her stuff) brought out the large bottle, popped the top and set it front of me next to an empty glass.  The first thing I noticed was how cold the bottle was.  She agreed with me that it would be far better to let it warm up.  I wanted not only to be fair to Ben but also to get the most out of it.  So in the meantime I enjoyed a half liter of happy hour special pilsner and conversation.  Once my mug was dry the hour of truth had finally arrived.

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WP_000038The color was quite dark, somewhere between brown and black.  The aroma was remarkable, rich and full of a huge range of malty overtones.  The beer itself was quite delicious.  However, I was immediately struck by the amount of fruit, especially plums and raisins, that seemed to be present.  Moreover, while it finished well, it was a bit sweeter and more cloying that I was quite expecting.  In fact Curator reminded me more of a good Belgian Quad than of the kind of thing I was looking for in a dopplebock.

Wanting to be sure that I had gotten a good bottle I asked our barkeep and she confirmed my perceptions as accurate.  To serve as proof, I snapped this picture with my phone (apologies for the poor quality) and texted Ben my conclusions.   While Curator is indeed a good beer, I’ll be sticking with my Celebrator whenever the dopplebock craving strikes.

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In fairness, once I told him that I respectfully disagreed Ben never protested.  We are still trying to get him booked into catechism classes but will keep you posted.  If you have ever tried Curator, Celebrator, or otherwise have a favorite dopplebock, please let us know.  Until next time….

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One thought on “The Curator Challenge

  1. I used to prize that pitfruit character in heavily malty lagers, but now I find that I very much prefer the “dry” maltiness I find in beers like Celebrator, Optimator, and Troegenator.

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