Posts Tagged With: Bock

Harvest Moon Maibock Lager

Beer:  Maibock Lager
Brewery: Harvest Moon Brewery
Style: Maibock
ABV: 7.0%

 Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: Harvest Moon Brewery, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Seconary Consumer(s): Kerensa’s family

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OVERALL RATING:

(although the rest of the family wanted to rate it a 4.5)

Sight: Deep, rich amber body with no head. Bright white rim of bubbles surrounds the glass.

Smell: Warm sweet malt scent with a very, very little trace of Noble hops.

Flavor: Oddly enough, it tastes like Fruity Pebbles–sweet from the malts and grains. Dad is impressed with the “nice continuing flavor.” Overall, it’s very balanced, with a slight hop bitterness at end, like a good Maibock should be.

Feel: Thin, but not watery, with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remarks: Although not quite as good as its German counterpart, I’ll be damned if Harvest Moon’s Maibock doesn’t give the German brewers a run for their money. Brewed with Pilsner, Vienna, and Munich malts, the sweet Vienna malt is most dominant (characterized by a rich, caramel flavor).  While this Maibock would have been more “authentic” tasting if the Munich malts took the spotlight, it’s still pretty great. If you’re in the Central New Jersey area, make a trip to Harvest Moon and try this guy out while it’s still in season!

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Paulaner Salvator


Beer:  Salvator Double Bock
Brewery: Paulaner Brauerei
Style:
Doppelbock
ABV: 7.9%

 Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Stein
Drinking Establishment: Austro-Hungarian Pilsner Haus, Hoboken, NJ
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Secondary Consumer(s): Suzy

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Dark, cloudy amber body with a fluffy beige head that quickly recedes to a one-centimeter brim.

Scent: Noticeable alcohol, estery note. Traces of licorice, overripe fruit, spice, and pine. It kind of smells like a combination of a sweet Portuguese bun and the (Black) Forest?

Flavor: It tastes like sweet bread and those caramel square candies. There is a spicy aftertaste.

Feel: Creamy body with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remarks: Paulaner’s Salvator was the first Doppelbock, according to legend. While I have had few Doppelbocks this month that have been better than this…there have been some. But, Paulaner’s original was a fantastic foundation from which to improve upon. It’s pretty much the equivalent of beer candy. Quite enjoyable, but I would recommend drinking alongside a savory, salty treat in order to balance the Doppelbock’s sweetness.

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Yuengling Bock

Beer:  Bock Beer
Brewery: Yuengling Brewery
Style: Bock
ABV: 5.1%

 Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pilsner glass
Drinking Establishment: Ally’s apartment
Primary Consumer: Ally

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Reddish and golden amber hues.  1/2-finger off-white head that quickly settles to a light dusting of carbonation with decent lacing.

Scent: Sweet and malty, with some notes of alcohol.

Flavor: Not as flavorful as the aroma suggests; it’s a weak attempt at some malts, with a note of cereal and some sweetness at the end.  Kind of seltzery as well.  And just like seltzer, it’s pretty darn bland.

Feel:  Thin and somewhat watery.  Sharp, moderate-to-high carbonation that tickles the mouth and throat.

Concluding remarks: For the longest time, I never really considered that Yuengling Brewery–America’s oldest brewery, as it proudly proclaims on every can and bottle–made anything but its Traditional Lager.  When someone said, “I’ll have a Yuengling,” I had only one drink it mind.  So, when I discovered this Bock on the shelves of my local liquor store (shout out to Cedar Grove Wine & Liquors!), I was stoked.  But then I brought it home and tried it…and was a whole lot less stoked.  I mean, I don’t know what I was expecting: the Yuengling Lager isn’t anything to write home about–it’s your better-than-average, found-at-most-northeast-bars, cheap-but-decent brew; and the label of the Bock even proclaims it “tastes good”–not that it’s great, or that it’ll blow your mind, i.e. no false advertising.  Nevertheless, I hoped for more from this simple Pennsylvania brewery, and was disappointed by this dull, flavorless beer.  I guess it wouldn’t be completely out of left field to say this is the Bock equivalent of what Yuengling does for the Lager; and so, if you find it somewhere for very cheap, and your only other choices are Bud Light, Miller Light, and Heineken, go for it.

And for the record, Yuengling also makes a Porter, a Black-and-Tan, an Ale, and what it nebulously refers to as its Premium Beer.

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Narragansett Bock Lager

Beer:  Bock Lager
Brewery: Narragansett Brewing Company
Style: Hellesbock
ABV: 6.5%

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 Serving Style: Can
Glassware: Pilsner glass
Drinking Establishment: Kerensa’s kitchen
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Deep golden, medium-opacity body. Three finger, frothy, white head that very slowly fades to a springy pond of bubbles (too much?).

Scent: This smells like my undergrad house after a keg party. Even though it’s being consumed chilled, it smells like red Solo cups of warm, day-old Pabst, or J.W. Dundee’s Honey Brown (house favorites). Honey Brown makes the most sense, as there is a noticeable dark honey note…somewhere in there behind the prevalent scents of Generic and Macrolager.

Flavor: Yeah, this tastes like I expected, but not as sweet. It tastes like the fine flavors of Rhode Island water (Narragansett is from Rhode Island), sprinkled with some lager yeasts, left out in the sun for a day or two, then put into one of those soda stream/carbonator machines, and then refrigerated for a year. I mean, it’s not that bad. I do appreciate the attempt at “Bockinizing” their flagship, the Narragansett Lager (on tap at many a fine New England establishment and becoming increasingly popular at Brooklyn bars for its tallboy container).  It’s funny, when you first take a sip, it could almost pass as a respectable lager (read: not a Bock). However, the flavor dissipates in–literally, I’m going to time it right now–okay ready, sip….and four seconds later it tastes like I just swallowed a big heap of mineral water. And not the fancy kind. Like whoops, your faucet hasn’t been cleaned in awhile.

Feel: Thin, almost watery, with aggressive carbonation that almost makes it bearable.

Concluding remarks: If this month was Macrolager month, pitting Budweiser against Coors against Narragansett (a peer), this guy would get a 4. I SWEAR! I need to preface that I spent much of my life near this brewery, so I wanted to like it (although I also knew from drinking their regular lager that I would not). But let’s call a spade a spade: this just isn’t a Bock! But nevertheless, Narragansett gave it the old college try, and apparently has since the 1930s when it first brewed this Bock. It says on the can that it was “crafted to be highly drinkable [I guess, but just drinkable, not highly] with a rich, golden color [yeah, check], an elegant, spicy character [elegant like Miller High Life is the champagne of beers] and a clean, dry finish [yeah, like clean water–well no, not even that].” And then it concludes by saying “Enjoy!” Oh, Narragansett, no. Tip? Sell a six-pack alongside one of those Das Boots that the kids like so much and stick to what you do best: providing mediocre affordable beer. No need to slap on the Bock label, or talk about “Bavaria” on the back of your can. Just keep it simple. Less is more. And on that note, less of this beer for me, please.

To further support these claims, Men’s Health Magazine said it was a “must-try” and “killer.”

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JosephsBrau Hofbrau Bock

Beer:  JosephsBrau Hofbrau Bock
Brewery: Trader Joe’s Brewing Company
Style: Bock
ABV: 7.0%

 Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pilsner glass
Drinking Establishment: Kerensa’s kitchen
Primary Consumer(s): Ally & Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Clear golden yellow body.  Small off-white head.  It sort of looks like a macro lager (you know, like a Bud or a PBR).

Scent: Depending on how you approach it, it smells either metallic, like copper, or like apple cider.  Either way, not very Bock-like.

Flavor: This tastes one step up from generic college keg beer.  It’s vaguely German, with a vaguely discernible lager yeastiness.

Feel:  Thin, but not quite watery (like one would expect from typical college keg beer).  Moderate carbonation.

Concluding remarks: When you drink JosephBrau’s (read: Trader Joe’s German alias) Bock, you know this is a German-style beer…but you’re not quite sure what style it’s supposed to be.  It’s a very one-note brew, slightly sweet but generic.  Maybe this is what you’ll find within the keg of a German college student?  Or maybe this is what you get for spending $1 on a beer at Trader Joe’s.  While it’s not offensive or terrible, we’d recommend sticking with the 3 Buck Chuck.

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Weltenburger Kloster Asam Bock

Beer:  Asam Bock
Brewery: Weltenburger Kloster
Style: Doppelbock
ABV: 6.9%

 Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pilsner glass
Drinking Establishment: Kerensa’s apartment
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Dull, dark brown body with a huge, frothy, bubbly beige head that vanishes quickly.

Scent: Sweet, overripe raisins doused with caramel sauce.

Flavor: Milky, sweet malt taste. No disrespect, Weltenburger, but this tastes like a ‘I’m trying too hard to be a dark lager’ lager. What should be subtle flavors are instead in-your-face and make this obscure German beer hard to finish.

Feel:  Light-to-medium mouthfeel.  The carbonation is spot-on.

Concluding remarks: What the H is an Asam Bock and what the F is it doing in my Bock line-up? [The answer, I realize, is 1) a Doppelbock and 2) I am reviewing all Bocks this month, including Doppelbocks.] But this tastes nothing like any of the other Bocks I have tried this month, and not in a good way. I am going to start a petition to have Weltenburger remove ‘Bock’ from its label. It can keep Asam, sure, that’s great. But don’t you dare ruin my Bock, brewery that has been around for almost a thousand years! Clearly I am right and you are wrong!

Editor’s note (and by Editor, I mean the author 10 minutes after finishing the beer): Okay, so I’ve done some research, and I’ll admit that I have been reviewing regular ol’ Bocks this month. This here Asam is my first Doppelbock of the month. It seems as though the cloying sweetness is part of the Doppelbock profile. While I cannot attest to this yet, I will agree to try this beer again after reviewing a handful of Doppelbocks. It’s only fair.

Oh, and for the record, “Asam” refers to Cosmas Damian Asam. I knew that sounded familiar; he was a German Baroque painter who painted a number of religious-themed frescoes in Italian churches–thanks Rutgers’ Art History program! Also, Cosmas’s face is found on the label of this beer. Clearly I should’ve realized this, but clearly I was also too excited to dive in…

Pentecost, 1720, Aldersbach

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Hofbräu Strong Bock

Beer:  Strong Bock
Brewery: Hofbräuhaus
Style: Hellesbock
ABV: 8.5%

 Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Stein
Drinking Establishment: Loreley, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Primary Consumer(s): Ally & Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Clear golden yellow, with a 2-finger fluffy white head that leaves noticeable lacing.

Scent: Sweet, like honey and citrus, with notes of malt as well.  Actually, it smells exactly like a German bierhaus.

Flavor: Initially, you taste the sweetness, in the forms of honey and caramel (the malts); but then, the bitter hops hit the back of your throat; and finally, a bready/yeastiness seals the deal.

Feel:  Crisp, with moderate carbonation.

Concluding remarks: Hofbräu brings another great beer to the table with its Hellesbock.  (Kerensa gave their Maibock a 4-Pint-Glass rating earlier this month.)  The Strong Bock is like the stuffed bretzen–er, pretzel–of beer: sweet bread, filled with a center of hops.  It’s a well-balanced brew, quintessential of its German style.  The Strong Bock is a rare import, so get down to Williamsburg beer garden Loreley ASAP. Have it with a side of Bavarian pretzels like we did, and you will have a well-balanced meal on your hands. And in your stomach.

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GUEST POST: Shiner Bock

Beer: Shiner Bock
Brewery: Spoetzl Brewery
Style: Bock
ABV: 4.40%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Tulip glass
Drinking Establishment: Stuff Yer Face, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Todd
Guest Reviewer Qualifications: He knew that Shiner is brewed in Texas, and he didn’t even have to look it up on his smartphone.

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Dark copper color. Initially a finger’s height of head, which dissipates rather quickly.

Scent: Slight yeasty scent; overall, underwhelming.

Flavor: Very mild flavor; not bold by any means. Has an undesirable aftertaste.

Feel: Light bodied, moderately carbonated. Easily drinkable.

Concluding remarksAmongst the Bocks consumed this night, in my opinion, I drew the short straw with this beer. The dark color got my hopes up for something flavorful and bold. I was disappointed. Not necessarily a bad beer, but by no means great. In the mood for something light, and a fan of Bocks? Sure, why not? Have this one. But I wouldn’t request this again unless there were some slim pickin’s otherwise.

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THANK YOU, TODD! Sorry you drew the short straw with this brew; but rest assured that although your beer didn’t shine that night, your photography skills certainly did.  I’m sure Jon and his boli would agree.

We are always looking for interested and interesting beer consumers to review a brew we might not have seen or had time to review in the month. Let us know if you’d like to contribute something, in exchange for internet fame, a line on your resume, an unpaid internship, a free ride, a huge tax rebate, a happy ending, and everything else everyone else has promised you in life. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.  Email us at wunderassn@gmail.com!

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Švyturys Adler Bock

Beer:  Adler Bock
Brewery: Švyturys
Style: Bock
ABV: 7.0%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Flute
Primary Consumer: Ally
Consumption Companion: Wayne, Ally’s father

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Cloudy, pale golden yellow.  1/2-inch creamy, bubbly, off-white head that recedes to a thin ring of bubbles.  Carbonation bubbles are also present throughout the body.

Scent: Mild hops and some fruit notes, in the way of orange and apricots.

Flavor: Mild and bright.  You definitely taste the hops and fruit flavors that appear in the aroma, as well as a slight note of alcohol.

Feel:  Medium mouthfeel, moderate carbonation.

Concluding remarks:  True to monastic tradition, the Shwed family toasted to Easter with Bocks; and because the Shwed family lives in a very Eastern European town (with lots of Eastern European imports readily available), this Bock from Lithuanian brewery Švyturys was on the menu.  (Švyturys is actually the oldest brewery in Lithuania, opening its doors in 1784.)  It’s a good spring beer–mild and sweet–but it doesn’t taste as malty as I would’ve expected.  It’s not a bold Bock by any means, and might not be the most accurate representation of a Bock for the true beer connoisseur; but for a lighter beer experience in general, the Švyturys Adler Bock is a good way to break your Lenten fast.

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Einbecker Mai-Ur-Bock

Beer:  Maibock-Ur-Bock
Brewery: Einbecker Brauhaus
Style: Maibock
ABV: 6.5%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pilsner Glass
Drinking Establishment: Kerensa’s Apartment
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Thin, clear bubbly amber body. Fluffy two-inch head that disappears almost instantly.

Scent: Robust sweet Munich malt. It smells like being inside a German beer hall. Best. Smell. Ever.

Flavor: As it smells, this tastes like a big helping of Munich malts. (The more you drink German lagers, the more you’ll come to notice this one-of-a-kind malt.) Slight nut and citrus flavors round out the malt taste.

Feel:  Super thin, slick mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Concluding remarks: Yes, this is THE Einbecker, home of the first Bock. While Maibocks were not part of their original 1357 line-up, the Einbecker Maibock is a solid addition. It’s incredibly crisp and refreshing…perfect for a warm spring day. While there’s not a whole lot to note other than its delivery of a balanced lager, it embodies the Maibock style well. Nevertheless, I would always go for the more complex and flavorful Hofbrau over the Einbecker. Regardless, this is one to keep in your spring beer rotation–especially on the rare afternoon that provides a day-drinking opportunity.

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