This clear, caramel colored gem emits a soft potpourri of cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, and hints of vanilla. Sweet malt flavors allow for an array of sensations, ranging from toasted almonds to cinnamon graham crackers. The pleasant addition of cinnamon creates wonderful accents throughout the beer that are never overwhelming.
Doppelbock, 7% ABV
Short’s claims this doppelbock, once a tap room-only favorite, is a cinnamon roll in liquid form. This conjures visions of specialty releases of the past, like Strawberry Shortscake and Key Lime Pie — which were a bit out there in terms of style and ingredients. Those beers used things like milk sugar and marshmallow creme. Cinnabilly simply uses cinnamon.
Knowing that a doppelbock on its own tends to be a sweeter beer, one would expect the cinnamon to play well with the base beer. The question is, how well?
Pouring out caramel in color you can practically smell the cinnamon in Short’s Cinnabilly as soon as it hits the bottom of the glass. Sweet aromas of cinnamon sticks, caramel and honey quickly waft to the nose.
Take a sip and you’re hit with warm, drizzled caramel and cinnamon red candy up front. Honey on a buttered biscuit and a slight hint of vanilla frosting is quick to follow. Short’s Cinnabilly is capped off as you might expect, with a light dusting of cinnamon.
At no point is the cinnamon overpowering. In fact, the cinnamon red candy I noted — you know, the ones that came in the red-hued plastic wrapper, tasted like a piece of candy that has been in your mouth for a minute or so. It was a dull cinnamon flavor and not the least bit spicy.
The carbonation was spot on and the body was just right. The 7% ABV was barely noticeable until about halfway through the beer. I am not sure if it was the cinnamon buildup or what, but a slight alcohol burn settled in to my chest for the remainder of the beer.
The cinnamon really compliments the sweet flavors of a doppelbock and adds a nice twist to an already enjoyable style.
Is this a cinnamon roll in a glass? Not quite. At no point did I think I was drinking a melted down Cinnabon. But it did make me think of a baked apple sprinkled with cinnamon and melted butter, which isn’t half bad either.