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No matter how much we deny it, at the heart of every beer enthusiast lies a ticker – or maybe, if you want, a Beer Hunter. Be your notes mental, scribbled in a Moleskin (so expensive!) or on your Iphone (that’s me), there’s always a little ‘to do’ list knocking about, spurring on your beer purchases, driving your eyes across that bar for that one beer you’ve been after for a while.*
Paulaner Salvator (7.5%abv) was one such beer for me – but from the pages of a book, this time. My battered old copy of Michael Jackson’s Great Beer Guide provides much of my list, even now. There’s such gold in there; beers that are probably not even around anymore; beers that are familiar but have much more modern labels now. It’s fun (to me) anyway, to see how much these beers have changed visually, but always take Jackson’s tasting notes as Gospel. Even the care taken to make sure every beer was presented in its correct glass astounds.
I don’t know what appealed the most about Salvator. Maybe it was the strong, stout label design – all Red, Black and suitably Gothic. Or was it that it was a slightly rarer beer from a brewery that I’ve enjoyed much of; familiar and exotic all at once. Or was it that the term ‘Salvator’ – The Saviour – is so strong, so Omnipotent, for a simple Doppelbock.
Drinking the beer was a pleasure. Sure, nothing unexpected of the Doppelbock style; dense, fudgy sweetness in a dark-amber cloak, a brief, crisp snap of hops lifting everything before more spice-cake sweetness finishes things off. But this is the one.
As I drank, I mentally ticked off a much-desired beer that I’d finally managed to pull out of the pages from one of the first (and finest) beer books I’ve read, into the glass in front of me.

*There’s a fantastic little resource here about Doppelbock, and Salvator in particular.*