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Notes on beers in the style

Bock

Holsten
Festbock

500 mL can, from the LCBO in Guelph, ON, Canada. Great color - a ruby reddish, orange Doppelbock/Märzen pour - but the head is poorly retained and offers little lace. It looks really good in terms of color, but the head is a bit disappointing to be honest. A shame given the hue. Is this a straight up Bock or a Festbier? Not sure, so hedging my bets. Requisite light caramel on the nose, some toffee. Tastes kick in as one would expect, with the caramel sweetness tempered by the light hop...

Fighting Billy Bock

12 oz single, many thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this beer. Pour is an encouraging, reddish brown affair with some nice clarity and good, attractive highlights when the light catches it correctly. The head is a little small, quite poorly retained and lacks much lace, so the good work provided by the color is unfortunately undone almost immediately. Shame. The carbonation seems a touch low. A malty beer with fairly simple caramel and sweet characteristics without getting...

Schell’s Bock

12 oz single, thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this one. Pour is a slightly reddish brown, with some good clarity, a smallish head that is not retained all that well and does not really give much lace. The nose and tastes combine to yield a very nice malty, alcohol flavor that is compact and fairly short without fuss. The beer is pretty light with a straightforward approach that delivers a bready finish and some simplicity and depth that is uncommon. Robust, perhaps a little nutty...

Winter’s Nip Bock

Drank at the brewpub on 12/28/2010. Comes with a nicely capped white head, some lace all sitting above a decently colored, garnet/brown, clear body. The beer drinks true to style with some clean edges and a nice, malty base. Typical Gordon Biersch simplicity with their German based lagers. The mouthfeel was pretty light and made for some simple, easy drinking, Tasty beer.

Berghoff Winter Ale

This beer appears to be now called simply "Berghoff Winter Ale". 12 oz single, thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this. Pour is a very attractive, dark maroon color with a decent head and some nice lace. There is excellent clarity on the pour, and to be honest the beer looks really nice and inviting in the glass. Nose is somewhat muted, and gives very little even on warming. A little bit of alcohol and perhaps a buttered toast whiff. Tastes are fairly neutral but revolve around light...

Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock

Very happy to see GB bottle their beers now, as I have always felt that they are generally under-rated and get a bad rap when in fact they make some half decent beer. Not stellar, but decent, especially in one or two, specific, German style areas. Blonde Bock six pack from my local Publix supermarket, $8.99. Pour is a golden body with a nice head that forms quickly. Sadly the head is poorly retained and there is a little lace. Sweet malt nose with some alcohol and some pale malts. The tastes...

Yuengling Bock

On tap Taco Mac, Douglasville, GA, USA. Pour is an attractive, mid to dark copper colour with thinnish, wispy head. Fades quickly. Lots of bready malts in the nose. One of the more "bready" beers that I have encoutered of late. Clean delivery of good malt and hop balance. Bitterness with a gentle metallic aftertaste. Slight sweet and sour combo brings the whole thing together. Conversely for the typical malt profile, this bock seems to finish a touch on the dry end of the spectrum. Adding to...

St. Nikolaus Bock Bier

12 oz single from a recent trade. In a nutshelll a very simple and nice example of the style with a slight twist. Pour gives a mahogany based body with a reserved head but some nice lace. The nose has a twang, perhaps from the spice notes that may (or may not) be present, and a touch of alcohol. Malts start to come through even in the aroma. The tastes are typical for the style with malts taking the lead,. Quite smooth with a little bit of orange peel. The finish brings a touch of bitterness...

Zwaanend’ale

Thanks go out to BA deepsouth for the trade. 750 mL capped bottle, yellow dot-matrix indicates a 04/14/06 bottling. 3.5 years old, DFH, THIS should be interesting! Uncapping leads to a hint of gunsmoke and a brief "pssst". Amber, hazed body with a nicely formed tight, white head and some cream like lace. Very solid looking in the glass. Nose gives off some honey, pineapple and lighter tropical fruits along with a dash of Madeira and some rum-like aromas. There is also a touch of that musty,...

LongShot Traditional Bock

In a nutshell, a very solid beer, to style and drinks well. 12 oz pour from the Longshot 6 pack. Lovely amber, mahogany body with a nicely formed, dense head that looks substantial. The beer has a malt based, sweet nose with a touch of alcohol. Good lace and retention. The alcohol comes through in the taste and it drinks every bit of the advertised 6.80%. Lots of malty depth, coating the mouth nicely and producing a satisfying experience. A touch of nuttiness in the finish as well. Alll in a...

Julebuk

Another one of the Scandanavian imports. This one came from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. $11.99 I *think* for the 500 mL bottle, so definitely on the pricey side of things. A very nice, deep mahogany pour that would would expect for a beer that is categorized as a Bock. Seems well carbonated and it produces some darkish, tan colored head to boot. Quite a noisy pour and some depth to the mouthfeel. Creamy feel. Nose and tastes reveal a heady mixture of musty malts, spices and a winter warmer...

1888 Bock

12 oz single from Tower on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. 5.2% ABV advertised on the label. Nice pour with a very nice chestnut brown body and a high (if somewhat light, off-white head). Good clarity, some lace and some retention. Bready nose. Malts are refreshing with a tiny hop bite in the back end of brew and in the aftertaste. Extremely refreshing and for that reason I found the drinkability very high. Almost lemony or citrus in parts like sweetened grapefruit. NOT grapefruit in a classic IPA,...

Einbecker Ur-Bock Dunkel

Updated notes (and pictured) 02/11/24 I stand by the fact that this is a bit maltier in terms of sweetness than some Dunkels. It has an English Bitter note about it, which for me at least is a good thing. Still insanely drinkable, still delicious. I've always loved the presentation of all of the Einbecker beers. Original notes 03/15/09 Delighted to find this as an 11.2 oz single at Green's on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA for $2.75. The Einbecker Mai-bock is arguably one of my favorite beers of all...

LTD Series – 01

12 oz single from Total Wine at Perimeter in Atlanta, GA, USA. Nice looking, clear dark amber pour with some creamy head and lace. The head drops away fairly quickly but still produces a creamy film and collar. Looks solid. Good clarity in the body. Nose has a light hop note but not much else. The tastes are pretty much solidly in line with the style. Drying malts with a touch of bitterness in the finish. A good, rich and creamy mouthfeel to the beer too and the sweet, dry and bitter...

Pandora’s Bock

12 oz single from Mac's, Atlanta, GA, USA as part of their $8.99 sixer. Rich, garnet color as one would expect, but the head and lace are disappointing. An "A" for color, but below average for the production (and retention) of head. Lovely clarity in the body color. Nose and tastes are SPOT ON for the style. Very rich and malty with a nice depth to the body (don't forget this is NOT a Doppelbock). Very tasty indeed. Lovely, sweet depth to the beer and some serious drinkability. If they could...

Mountain Holidays In Vermont Rich Creamy Bock Lager

Thanks go out to brad007 for the chance to try this one. 22oz, gold foiled bomber. 2008 vintage. Nice to see a lager getting some special treatment. Solid red brown body with an ivory head with good retention. Some sparse lace. Very clean nose, not much to report other than some balanced malts. Funny this, because I kept expecting to taste it and get some smoked malts!? I have no idea why - odd mind games. Creamy mouthfeel and a robust feeling permeates the whole beer. Simple malt and hop...

Gimme Shelter Bock

Enjoyed two small glasses of this at Max Lager's yesterday. Chill-hazed, dark brown appearance with hints of red clarity. Nice, well formed egg-shell head. Good retention and lace. All the components of a solid bock are present with dominant (but balanced) malt backbone and a hint of hoppy bitterness. More like a double bock than a straight up bock to me. I have no idea if the advertised ABV is correct, if it is it drinks WELL below that number and in that respect is a little dangerous! All in...

Highland The Shining Rock Lager

12 oz single from Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. $1.50. Superb color on the pour which I would describe as a deep burned orange color. Head is initially high but fades to not much. Lace is decent. If the head had lingered more I would have given this a 5 for appearance. Definitely a Bock beer - there's just no mistaking that rich, malty goodness, but this has some other interesting elements. Firstly there seems to be a slightly peppery, spicy note in the finish. At first I mistook this...

Special Edition – Bock Beer

12oz single from Total Wine, Kennesaw, GA, USA. Amber pour with a tasty looking head and some chill haze. Not much lace. Head fades quickly though. Nose has a lot of sweet malts which is an excellent sign for the style. Really tasty and malty upfront tastes as one would expect. There is a little residual bitterness in the finish which is an interesting departure. Alcohol provides a small kick too. All in all a very nice beer which is very much in style and in that respect it pleases me.

Anchor Bock Beer

This one has been a LONG time coming - glad to get here eventually. Not available in GA, this one came from a recent jaunt up the east coast. 8JW dot-matrixed in the usual Anchor manner. Good, mahogany color from a noisy pour. Rich body, head and lace - very nice looking. Head is very nicely retained with good lace. Tastes lack a bit of sweetness that I was looking for, and have an almost tea-like taste. Good mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden. Some bitterness in the finish, but not much....

Knuckleball Bock

Thanks go out to Brewfan for this an an "extra" in a recent trade. Great clarity on the pour with an atractive garnet hue. A small spotty, creamy head is formed after the initial pour. Minimal lace. Appearance may be the strongest point of this beer. Caramel malts with a thinnish body dominate this beer. Simple, clean and refreshing, but certainly lacks depth. Some dry character to the ending. A non-offensive, easy drinking offering but nothing to write home about.

Mahr’s Christmas Bock

Bullock's, Marietta, GA, USA as a single. Quite why a Maibock/Helles is being marketed as a "Christmas Bock" I'm not sure, but there it is. Opening the bottle produces some pretty aggresive foaming. Pour is a cloudy, honey colored body and comes with an impressive, rocky head. The carbonation continues to impress in the glass. Good looking beer. Plenty of residual sweetness with brown sugar and burned molasses - surprising for such a ligh colored brew. Minor hop bitterness cuts across the...

Thomas Creek Jingle Bell Bock

On tap, Taco Mac, Decatur, GA, USA. OK, I've given Thomas Creek every opportunity to come through and this is just another let down in a long line of let downs. Actually this was much worse than a let down, and I am not at all sure what this beer is supposed to be. First off it's NOTHING like a bock to me. Medium brown pour with a decent head, but it fades quickly. The smell and taste are UTTERLY bland and weak. Lots of wet cardboard, some nasty plastic aftertaste and a mild bitterness. I have...

Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock

Very nice brew. Excellent color - real vibrant yellow, with a super, fluffy, rocky head that looks very inviting. A nice combination of mild hop bitterness and sweet backbone hold the beer together. An unusual combination of satisying mouthfeel and substance, along with a very drinkable and refreshing beer. I found it very easy to consume a lot of this, but be careful, the 7.0% ABV will catch up with you quickly. Nice.

Stegmaier Brewhouse Bock

Thanks to SilentSabre and the BeerBeing for hooking me up with this. Orange amber pour with minimal lacing and head. Frankly bit flat looking. It looks a bit thin too, but it drinks better than that would initially suggest. Nice, rich caramel, toffee cream flavors and a full sweet mouthfeel make this drink much better than it looks. Creaminess is certainly the main event here and it is very round. Malty and distinct lack of hop bitterness in keeping with the style. The nose offers up some...

Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock

Deep garnet pour with plenty of brown and red/brown highlights at the extremities. Nice tan head, good size and some lacing. A little repeated agitation starts to reveal more head with some good carbonation. Reminiscent of a quality brown ale. A very mild burnt and smoky feature in the nose as well as a tiny bit of chocolate, but it's not strong. Taste has a very slightly acidic chocolate essence character. Definitely an artificial taste, but at the same time not unpleasant. Again, a small...

Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Very servicable brew. Clear, dark copper with big fluffy head. I found this really quite satisfying, both from a body point of view and the decent ABV. Very malty and bready all the way through with a nice smooth ending. Lacks any spice for the style, but still is a nice package. Refreshing too which is an unusual characteristic for the style.

Dogwood Bock

Didn't really care for this much at all. Organic smell (grass, hay, outdoors type whiff) with some alcohol. A somewhat acidic experience was the overall feeling. Some maltiness too, but a dry, sour, alcohol taste was left behind after drinking. Poured dirty brown with a somewhat drab appearance and a head that disappeared almost immediately. Might give this another chance, but for now I'm done.

Michelob Amber Bock

I guess the question is, "What are you expecting?" It's a drinkable macro, that has some saving graces, but they are few and far between. In a pinch, it's beer - and that can't be a bad thing (hardly ever, anyway). Certain caramel character in this brew that certainly has the look of a coke when poured. A decent head initially, is almost all gone the second that the beer settles in the glass. I detect the usual grainy aroma, but no unpleasant skunkiness or strong alcohol aromas (good things)....

Shiner Bock

Frankly I was disappointed. The darker the better for me, and this promised much (from what I'd heard) but came in as a bit of a lightweight. I found the experience a little "tinny" and fairly acidic. It did look good, and certainly would be a good candidate for a prolonged session, but too carbonated, light and watery for my taste. I thought it was too much like a decent dark beer that had been slightly diluted by accident.