Ayinger “Celebrator” – Doppelbock – 6.7% ABV – IBU’s: 24
Here, my friends, is another perfect brew. This is the kind of beer that reminds us why we love beer. It’s pure art. This beer is like Lance Armstrong: it has kicked ass, swept awards, won medals, made its competitors envious, and made us wonder what magical chemicals must be in its body. And the bottle is the most memorable one I have ever beheld: the neck of every bottle contains a small plastic white goat ornament on red twine. Why a goat? Because “bock” in German means “billy goat”. What’s the connection between billy goats and beer? Just look that one up before this review becomes too convoluted. And in case you were wondering: yes, my Christmas tree is loaded with these precious little charms every December. But forget about the ornaments for now. Allow me to enlighten you on what is inside the bottle.
The appearance of my beloved Celebrator is dark chestnut brown. The head is decent; it is khaki tan, somewhat thick, contains mostly large bubbles, and dies fairly quickly and unevenly. The aroma is malty with the scent of cola. The flavor profiles contain malt, walnut, toffee, fig, cola, a dab of black licorice and a touch of tobacco smoke. There is no flavor of booze whatsoever. Its carbonation is moderate and loose. It has a rich, thick taste but is very drinkable and goes down like a toothless Las Vegas hooker when handed 5 grand in casino chips. It has a gentle, bitter aftertaste of coffee and roasted malt, and fades away with marshmallow/chocolate sweetness and wheat toast. The lacing is mild and not noticeable. But it’s hard to notice anything when the awesome flavor of this beer hits the palate. A class of pre-school children on fire in a mosh pit at the center of my living room would have a difficult time directing my attention from this beer, and my living room is about the size of a jail cell. And forgive me for being callous, but I would finish this beer before putting out the fire of those flaming children. Before you consider me inhumane, at least give me credit for drinking the beer quickly in the unlikely event that happens. I’m not a monster, you know.
And now I’m going to write about the late, great Michael Jackson. No, I’m not referring to the world-famous pop-star who danced like he was gravity defying liquid, and wanked across the chests and silky faces of prepubescent boys in a bubble bath (allegedly). I’m referring to Michael Jackson “The Beer Hunter“, beer and whisky journalist, author, and legend among beer connoisseurs. According to his book, “Great Beer Guide”, Celebrator was originally named “Fortunator” by Ayinger, but the name was changed to sound less clumsy to American consumers, and thus it was changed across the globe to “Celebrator”. It is even reported that Michael Jackson himself selected the name (that I cannot confirm). And before he died, he referred to Celebrator as a “world classic”. I suppose it’s obvious everything he ever said he said before he died, but anyway, The Beer Hunter was correct.
This beer is priced at$3.50 – $4.00 USD per bottle and is an excellent bargain. With a price tag so low relative to quality so high, every bottle is a gift from Ayinger. And FYI: all of Ayinger’s beers are fantastic. Ayinger is, in my opinion, the crown jewel of the Bavarian brewing industry. And Celebrator is the crown jewel of their catalogue.