A Lump of Krampus

Brewery and Country of Origin: Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg of Eggenberg 1, Vorchdorf, 4655, Austria

Date Reviewed: 12-10-13

In America, if a person is on Santa's naughty list, they usually receive a lump of coal. To us, this never seemed like such a bad thing because the overall price of fossil fuels has been steadily increasing. And when this Christmas tradition was conceived, there was no central heating, so being naughty could actually keep you alive in the dead of winter. But if you're a spoiled kid who knows of no real repercussions for his or her actions, perhaps you shouldn't read on. Well, if you're a child, you probably shouldn't be on this website to begin with. Anyway, we all know of the Abominable Snowman, who is currently employed at Santa's workshop as a tree star topping manager. And then there is the Winter Warlock, who is now just simply, the winter season. Both of these once evil entities are now helping society with some of their biggest problems in purely benevolent ways. But there is one evil creature who is doing his bit in a less orthodox way. His name is Krampus, and he is essentially the opposite of old Saint Nicholas. Naughty American kids who receive coal for Christmas are essentially blessed that they live in a country without Krampus.

This doppelbock is brewed in Austria, the second home of Krampus (after Germany). Each year around this time (officially Yule season), Krampus builds his fame by kidnapping naughty children, throwing them in a big sack, dragging them back to his lair and, well... doesn't do nice things to them (they're usually relegated to live in hell forever). Occasionally, he'll decide that a kid is on the fence, so like American Santa, he too gives them coal. He and Saint Nick work together, rewarding good kids with presents and capturing bad kids. And Krampus is as ugly as his name sounds. He is a hairy beast like figure with twisted goat horns, a long Gene Simmons like tongue, crooked teeth, and an overall devilish appearance and demeanor. There have been legal bans on portraying him (Chancellor Dollfuss), and many Austrian psychologists believe that his character can be too traumatizing for small children. Still, because of the way many entitled tweens are today, we'd like to believe that Krampus is out there, delivering justice. He doesn't have to appear so evil if there are no evil children, right?
Date Sampled: 10-24-13 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA 02134, USA
Beer Style: Doppelbock
Alcohol by Volume: 8.50%
Serving Type: 330 ml Bottle, 16 oz Tumbler Glass
Rating: 2.95


Eggenberg's dark brew pours very smoothly with a low level of carbonation, generating a very thin, almost absent foam head with a medium density, and essentially no retention. This beer has a deep dark reddish brown color and a clear appearance with no visible sediment and a low amount of shine in only bright light. This beer displays no lacing, and has a minimal amount of effervescent effect.


As is with all doppelbocks, this beer's aroma has a rich, deep, dark malty character highlighted by a very strong presence of roasted coffee and some slightly sweet caramel full of dark espresso notes. The aroma also has a slightly metallic tinge. Very robust overall, and contains a very small amount of alcohol smell. Some semisweet dark chocolate is detectable as well. No fruity notes. The aroma is also slightly nutty with a bit of biscuit like subtleties.


This is a medium bodied beer with a smooth overall feel and texture. This beer has a medium high viscosity with a bit of weight, and a low amount of carbonation. There is a dull, wet, and somewhat lingering finish which offers little in the way of any refreshment or crispness. This beer does not contain any alcohol warming or bite, despite an elevated ABV.


This beer has a strong, full dark roasted sweet malty experience which is dominated by a sweet earthy and coffee taste. This is complemented with a large, bold robust dark chocolate secondary. An awkward metallic and somewhat malty finish with a moderate linger diminishes this beer's overall effect. There are no real hoppy notes, and some apparent alcohol flavor, as well as a bit of pale lager like grainy notes are detectable.

Our Take

We'd probably prefer the story where a bad person gets nothing but warm Bud Light Lime for Christmas, but that may be a bit too harsh an alternative to good ol' Krampus. But for us nice people, we could decide to go with Eggenberg Doppelbock. This fairly underwhelming brew probably won't make any wish lists, but it does give us a good understanding as to what strong Austrian lagers are like. This beer's rich, malty flavor was a key highlight, along with a roasted coffee and bold aroma; all things you've come to expect out of a good bock. But this beer's alcohol tinge and a distractingly present metallic aspect were too much for a discerning perspective, who believes that this beer is simply average overall.