At 8% volume this Croglin Vampire Doppelbock really did have a bite (pun intended). Legend has it that in 1685 a vampire attacked a woman asleep in her house in Croglin, in north east Cumbria. Her screams alerted her brothers who chased the vampire away. The vampire returned a year later only to be hunted to a local crypt and burnt to death by the brothers (or second death, as vampires are already classed as dead, or undead?). Doppelbock is a traditional rich malty beer from Munich. This beer lent to that tradition and was brewed at the Old Hall Brewery, in the Lake District. It contained gluten and was brewed using Cumbrian fell water, with English malted barley, a variety of hops from all over the world, and also lager yeast. There was a heavy fruity raisin like aroma on opening this beer, with an almost spirit like pungency. I could certainly smell the strength from the beer, and I could well imagine the vampire had wished he’d had a few of these before he’d tackled the brothers for the second time around. On pouring the beer I was a little disappointed not to find it to be a blood red colour. Although that would mean that it had unnatural colouring added, or some awful red berry or even the blood of some poor virgin added to it. This beer was a dark brown colour and it made my beer mug yelp a little from its strength. The aroma of this beer transferred to the flavour, as it had a strong fruity raisin like quality to it in the initial taste. This was followed by an almost spiritual liquor kick, like a tot of whisky, which made me gasp a little until I’d drunk a few more mouthfuls and got used to the strength. There was a malty twist behind the warming fruity liquor taste of this beer, leaving a raisin wine like aftertaste. Once I’d finished the 330ml bottle I instantly wanted another. This beer would be good to drink in a dark stormy castle, with the freezing rain lashing outside and the wind howling an unearthly mournful cry around the cold stone corridors. Then the old Scotch butler exclaims; “We’re doomed, doomed I tell ye!” So you’d better watch out, there’s a vampire about, though he may be a little tipsy if he’s drunk more than one of these beers!