Posts Tagged ‘bock’

Bock Damm (350 of 1001)

June 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.9

The second ever beer brewed by Barcelona’s Damm brewery and introduced way back in 1888, this beer is still one of the most popular dark beers brewed in a country those beer scene is almost completely dominated by pale, blond lagers. This one is a beer that features on the 1001 beers list and as a result is one that I’ve been looking to try on my last few trips to Spain but was surprisingly unable to find it one previous visits before finally stumbling across it at the tail end of last month when returning to Barcelona. The beer is actually available in a number of pubs and some supermarkets in the city which makes it all the more odd that I wasn’t able to pick it up sooner but I eventually sampled a pint of the stuff in a local bar just off the Placa Reial in Barcelona city centre just over a week ago. Despite the name of the beer, this ‘bock’ is actually much closer to a Munich style dunkel lager and due to it’s lack of bitterness was in the past aimed at female drinkers in its advertising campaigns while the bottle itself features the image of a goat which was added as a play on the fact that the word ‘bock’ translates from German as billy-goat.

Appearance (3/5): Dark mahogany coloured with an opaque body and quite a thin head on top that was a foamy texture and slightly off-white in colour; there’s was some touches of lacing on the sides of the glass and the surface was covered well too.
Aroma (6/10): Quite nutty on the nose initially with some basic roasted notes and malts coming through in the early going, there was a touch of caramel in there too. The beer turned out to be lighter than expected on the nose which was surprising given it was such a dark beer but some hints of sweetness did manage to appear alongside some grassy touches nearer the end.
Taste (6/10): The taste started off in much the same vein as the nose with a lot of nutty flavours and some lighter caramel sweetness backing it up, there was faint biscuit and some roasted malts in there too. Around the middle I managed to get some lighter grassy flavours but there was no sign of any hops or bitterness and it came across as quite a basic offering.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied and moderately carbonated, this one was a semi-sweet offering thanks to the touches of caramel coming through at times. There was a fairly basic feel to the beer and it seemed a lot lighter than expected too but the balance was a decent one and it proved easy enough to drink without being an overly enjoyable one.

Overall (10/20): Quite a basic dark beer that wasn’t quite as strong or as pronounced as I’d been expected with the majority of the taste coming through the roasted malts and faint caramel that featured throughout. There was no sign of any bitterness or hops to the beer which sadly made it seem quite bland and basic but the light sweetness off the back of the caramel was at least somewhat enjoyable. It’s definitely not a beer to go hunting for but it’s always nice to check another beer off the 1001 list even if it’s not a great one.

Brewed In: Barcelona, Spain
Brewery: Damm S. A.
First Brewed: 1888
Type: Dunkel
Abv: 5.4%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Cerveceria Canarias, Barcelona, Spain
Price: €4.60 (£4.01 approx.)


Dolden Berg Sturer-Bock

Rating: 3.3

Another random beer that I managed to try in Berlin when visiting last month, this one is actaully the penultimate beer from the trip that I’ve still to review here. The beer is one that was picked up for me from a Netto supermarket in the Alexanderplatz area of the city and appears to be one that is brewed exclusively for the retailer and available only at their stores, it is brewed at the Jacob Stauder brewery in Essen though and for that reason I’ll list the beer under that particular brewery. The beer is one that I had in the late afternoon back at my hotel and to be honest I wasn’t expecting a great deal from what was essentially a supermarket own-brand, strong beer but it turned out to be at least slightly better than expected without being one I’d rush back and pick up again; here’s how it turned out.

Appearance (4/5): A malty looking, almost caramel amber coloured beer that was semi-clear and had quite a nice and thick looking head sitting on top of it. The head was a foamy looking one, sitting a creamy white colour with some nice lacing on the sides of the glass and looking much better than I’d expected.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a strong beer on the nose, this one kicked off with a lot of caramel malts and some early sweetness as well, it seemed relatively thick on the nose too with some solid sugars and darker fruits featuring nearer the middle. I managed to detect a combination of plums, raisins and some dates with a few sticky grains in there too. Towards the end some of the alcohol starts to show and it did seem stronger than the 7.5% abv. listed on the bottle but it fell short of being overpowering at least.
Taste (6/10): A very malty beer with a lot of sweetness in the early going, there was some strong hops coming through as well with a touch of warming alcohol backing it up. Towards the middle there was some citrus before darker fruits started to come through, I got touches of plum and raisins with some dates rounding things off nicely but it wasn’t an overly complex really.
Palate (3/5): Quite a thick, almost full-bodied beer that was very malty and strong, opening with a lot of sweetness before some touches of warming alcohol and grain showed up. It definitely seemed stronger than the 7.5% listed on the bottle but remained drinkable, it’s definitely not one to rush though. There was an abundance of sugars in there too, coupled with the fruits and this one was quite a sweet offering that was light on bitterness and perhaps just a touch too strong for my liking at times.

Overall (14/20): Quite a boozy and strong offering with a lot of sweetness throughout, it’s probably not the best beer to kick off the night with but it was drinkable and enjoyable at times without ever threatening to be a classic. There was a lot of dark malts and fruits coming through, most notably plums and dates but nothing out of the ordinary for the style really. It’s one that’s worth trying if you stumble across it, mainly because it’s not as bad as you’d expect from the price but it was probably just marginally better than average and not one I’d be likely to pick up again.

Brewed In: Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Brewery: Privatbrauerei Jacob Stauder
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Doppelbock
ABV: 7.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Netto (Berlin)
Price: €0.69 (approx. £0.60)

Samichlaus Classic Bier (341 of 1001)

February 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.05

A ridiculously big beer now and quite a rare one too, this is a 14% abv. doppelbock from Austria’s Schloss Eggenberg brewery that is only brewed once a year, on the 6th of December for release the following year. Now brewed under license by the Feldschlösschen brewery in Switzerland, the beer is aged for around ten months before being bottled and I will be reviewing a 2014 vintage of the beer that I picked up from the BeersOfEurope website a couple of years ago but never quite got around to drinking given it’s such a strong beer. This one will be the 341st beer from the 1001 beers list that I’ll have reviewed here but will be my first Austrian offering from it, I’m still listing as an Austrian beer since it’s still brewed under contract from an Austrian brewery, even though the actual brewing takes place in Switzerland there days. It should also be noted that the beer is quite a well received one and it is also well reviewed online too; it is currently listed as the 25th best doppelbock in the world on the BeerAdvocate website and the reviews are good elsewhere too.


Appearance (4/5): Lighter than I’d expected for some reason, despite the fact I knew very little about this one going in. The beer is a caramel to copper brown with a thin head that’s an off white to cream brown, sitting mainly round the edges of the glass. There is a few bubbles showing through the head as well but the body is a still and slightly hazy one; overall the beer looks great,  especially for the such a strong one.
Aroma (9/10): Really sweet in the early going with plenty toffee and caramel notes, it’s not overpowering but definitely stronger than I thought. I got some darker fruits, mainly figs and dates with a bit of raisin and plum in there too. This was followed by some vanilla or butterscotch notes before a little spice and oak made an appearance. Quite a few sugars feature nearer the middle alongside biscuit and the odd earthy malt too, with a couple subtle hops towards the end. The balance on the nose was quite a good one thankfully and only a hint of alcohol showed itself despite the strength of the beer.
Taste (8/10): Following on well from the nose, the beer opens with a lot of toffee and caramel malts that give it a fairly sweet taste that comes through stronger than the nose without overpowering. There was a lot of sugars following this and I got some biscuit flavours too before some plum and fig flavours showed themselves. Again the balance was good but it did seem a little stronger than with the nose, some more alcohol and grains appearing at the end than was previously the case.
Palate (4/5): Quite a thick, full-bodied offering that’s sweet and almost syrupy with a lot of fine carbonation and some spice too. There was plenty of sugars with a lingering sweetness that gets stronger as things go on and there was touches of warning alcohol nearer the end that gave it a boozy feel. Initially the beer wasn’t overly strong but things stepped up a gear after the beer opened up a little; it’s definitely not one for the faint of heart.

Overall (15/20): Quite a strong beer with a full body and a very sweet mouthfeel, it opened up as a fairly balanced offering but gradually things got sweeter and it eventually began to overpower towards the end, almost seeming sickening but not quite. Some nice malts featured alongside some decent caramel flavours with plenty ripe fruits as well which is what I expected but it was just a touch too strong at times. The beer had good carbonation levels though and by the end it was also quite boozy with a pretty warming feel and solid kick to it. Overall it was a very nice beer but due to the strength it’s probably more likely to be a one-off for me rather than something I’d go back to often, if at all.

Brewed In: Vorchdorf, Austria (udner contract at Rheinfelden, Switzerland)
Brewery: Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg (under contract at Feldschlösschen)
First Brewed: 1979
Type: Doppelbock
Abv: 14.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Price: £4.99

Abita Andygator

November 4, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.6

The final beer of six I was given as a gift from relatives returning from the United States over the summer now, this one being the third Abita offering that I’ll be trying. I’ve decided to keep the strongest to last in the hope that it’ll also be the most enjoyable; although to be honest with you, the beer doesn’t exactly get the best reviews online and it’ll have to go some way to beat the same brewery’s Wrought Iron IPA or SweetWater’s Goin’ Costal which have been the pick of the bunch so far. Coming in at 8% abv. and labelled as a helles doppelbock, this one was originally brewed in the late ’90’s as an occasional offering from the brewery at their brewpub but only seems to have been available to the wider public since sometime around 2005. The style itself if one that I’ve tried a few times in the past, but it’s not one of my go-to beers so this one should be a nice change of pace as we get into winter.


Appearance (3/5): Quite a light and clear looking amber, this one definitely has the appearance of a pale lager in the early going with it being topped with a fairly thin head that is white and initially covers the surface before fainting at one end and turning patchy. There’s a few fine bubbles rising to the surface that hint at good carbonation and there’s decent clarity like I said as well but the lack of a solid head was a slight disappointment.
Aroma (6/10): Quite sweet on the nose in there early going with some butterscotch and a few alcohol notes in there a bit sooner than I’d have liked. There was some grassy touches and a hay backing with a few lager malts and earthy type hops. Nothing particularly stood out beyond the initial sweetness though and the malts came through secondary to it throughout. The odd toasted aroma started to come through nearer the end with further grains, sugar and a bit of vanilla to round things off with.
Taste (5/10): Following on from the nose, this one is again dominated by an early sweetness that bordered on sickening at point here sadly. There was the vanilla and butterscotch flavours that the nose hinted at but both seemed slightly more pronounced this time round, there was a few grains and an earthy taste towards the middle too. Further on and the sugars came through to add to the sweetness and accompany some toasted flavours and a touch of oak alongside more alcohol than I’d have liked and a slightly off finish; disappointing really.
Palate (2/5): This one was definitely an overly sweet beer with far too much sugars and an almost sickening sweetness at times. The beer seemed stronger than you’d have thought and the balance wasn’t particularly good either, although carbonation levels weren’t too bad on the whole.

Overall (10/20): Quite a disappointing offering overall, the beer seemed quite ordinary and definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, especially given it was the last of the American import beers I had to try from over the summer. There wasn’t too much variety to the beer either, beyond the sweetness some pale malts and typical lager type flavours featured alongside an earthy middle and some toasted touches nearer the end; I can’t say this is one I’m likely to have again I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Abita Springs, Louisiana, United States of America
Brewery: Abita Brewing Company
First Brewed: circa. 1997/98
Type: Doppelbock
Abv: 8.0%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Price: Gift

Bibock (307 of 1001)

October 9, 2015 2 comments

Rating: 3.1

Only my third Italian beer from the 1001 beers list now and one that follows on from the recently reviewed Tipopils, a beer that is also brewed by Birrificio making this one my second from the brewery. The beer is one that I managed to find on-tap in Venice in August of this year when I was on holiday in the city and I stumbled across it in one of the cities few craft beer bars, a place called Il Santo Bevitore. One of the first beers the brewery produced, this one was first brewed back in 1997 and has apparently changed some since then but like all Birrificio beers it still uses Weihenstephan yeast from Bavaria which I was surprised to learn recently. Sadly this is the last Italian offering from the 1001 beers list that I am likely to review any time soon since so few of the country’s good beers seem to make it to the UK but hopefully that is something that will change in future and give me a chance to make more progress with my list.


Appearance (4/5): Cooper amber with quite a small foamy white head on top that leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.
Aroma (5/10): This one starts with some herbal notes and a touch of spice before some grain and pale malts start to make an appearance. The nose wasn’t the most pronounced but at the same time it wasn’t quite weak either, there was some touches of cinnamon and nutmeg coming through along with a faint hint of citrus; not exactly the best of starts from this one.
Taste (6/10): The taste kicked off with some pale malts and nutmeg alongside plenty of spice and a few herbal flavours before some background orange and citrus made themselves known. There was some caramel and burnt sugars in there too with the taste a definite step up from the nose but still not exactly great.
Palate (3/5): This one had quite a full-bodied feel to it with a lot of spice but it was still fairly smooth on the palate with a slight tang from the citrus, touches of sweetness from the sugars and soft carbonation with an okay balance.

Overall (12/20): This is a beer that I wasn’t all that sure about when I was drinking it, on the one hand it was easy enough to drink and didn’t really have any off-flavours but on the other it was quite one-dimensional and unexciting with the nose a little lighter than I’d have liked as well. The beer is quite an average offering and not one that I’d be quick to recommend unless you’re trying to work your way through the 1001 beers list as well.

Brewed In: Lurago Marinone, Lombardy, Italy
Brewery: Birrificio Italiano
First Brewed: 1997
Type: Heller Bock
Abv: 6.2%
Serving: Draught (500ml)
Purchased: Il Santo Bevitore, Venice, Italy
Price: €7.00 (approx. £5.13)


Rating: 3.4

My second review of a Brouwerij ‘t IJ beer now and one that quickly follows on from the review of Zatte that I added here not that long ago. Like Zatte, this offering from the Amsterdam based brewery is a bottle that I managed to try whilst in the city early last month on a long-weekend city break. I tried PaasIJ in a café/bar in Amsterdam’s canal ring after spotting it as one of the few beers in the place that I hadn’t already tried or that I knew I wouldn’t be able to easily find back home. Despite being unaware of this when I tried the beer, PaasIJ is a maibock/heller bock style beer that is a spring seasonal from the brewery and is released around Easter time each year so it seems my decision to go for this particular beer was a good one. First brewed back in 1989, the beer is bottle conditioned and quite fruity with plenty of coriander, a perfect way to welcome in spring according to ‘t IJ.


Appearance (3/5): Quite a light bodied beer with it sitting in the glass a clear amber colour with little in the way of visible carbonation. There is a thin, bubbly white head on top that quickly turns to a slightly patchy surface lacing.
Aroma (6/10): Slightly sweet on the nose initially with some fruity aromas coming through alongside some lighter malts and a few grassy hops. There was a touch of vanilla on the nose as well and to be honest the beer had a fairly unusual aroma with some hints of coriander in there too.
Taste (7/10): This one had a slightly hoppy taste to kick things off with some earthy malts in the mix as well. Some faint citrus flavours and a touch of yeast came through around the middle and this was accompanied by some sweetness and a touch of acidity thanks to some lemon coming through as well. The beer started to hint at some bitterness towards the end but there was also some apple and grapes here too and that helped the balance some.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and medium bodied with an almost creamy feel in places and above average carbonation levels. There was quite a lively feel to the beer with a nice citrus tang on the tongue that kept the finish as a dry one but overall the balance was quite good.

Overall (14/20): This one wasn’t a bad effort from ‘t IJ although I didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as I did their Zatte tripel. This one had quite an unusual aroma that I couldn’t quite place at times but the taste wasn’t a bad one at all and overall the balance of the beer was pleasant with some bitterness at the end to counter the sweetness that featured throughout. An easy enough beer to drink and one that I’m glad I tried, particularly as it’s a spring seasonal but I’m not sure it’s one that I’d pick again.

Brewed In: Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Brewery: Brouwerij ‘t IJ
First Brewed: 1989
Type: Maibock/Heller Bock
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Café van Daele (Amsterdam)
Price: €3.80 (approx. £2.81)

Weihenstephaner Korbinian

January 19, 2015 1 comment

Rating: 3.95

This one is a beer that I am very excited about, a beer from Weihenstephan that I’ve yet to try which is a pretty big deal for me as the brewery is one of my all time favourites thanks to their outstanding wheat beers. This one will be the second from the brewery that I will have tried that doesn’t fall under the wheat beer banner, the only other being their fairly disappointing Oktoberfestbier offering Festbier that I reviewed here some time ago. Hopefully that beer isn’t a sign of things to come and the brewery isn’t just all about the wheat beers but that remains to be seen. This particular beer takes its name from Saint Korbinian, founder of the St. Stephen church in Freising in 720 which the Weihenstephan Abbey proper followed on from some time later. As I’ve mentioned, this is a beer that I am very much looking forward to and hopefully it won’t disappoint and that I’ll be able to pick up further Weihenstephan offerings over the coming year.

Weihenstephaner Korbinian

Appearance (4/5): This one sits a dark mahogany colour in the glass, there is a very big, light tan coloured head on top of the beer that is pretty much standard for Weihenstephaner beers and the retention is pretty good as well with a very gradual reduction for the initial three and a half to four centimetre tall head, eventually subsiding to leave a head about half its original size.
Aroma (9/10): Quite unusual given all the other beers from the brewery I’ve tried have been wheat based ones, this one is very malty to start with a lot of roasted malts and nutty notes coming through that was unexpected for the brewery although not so much for the style. Some darker fruits such as prunes start coming through with some raisins and a little caramel with some further malts. There is some caramel in there with a little burnt sugar and touches of chocolate, perhaps even a bit of banana too. A very nice smelling doppelbock with plenty going on to keep you interested and quite a good balance too.
Taste (7/10): Starting with some nice roasted malts and a slightly nutty flavour, there is a touch of sweetness to it but certainly not as much as the nose indicated there might be. I got some of the darker fruits I was expecting, some plums and raisins but nothing was particularly strong. A little chocolate made itself known with some earthy flavours accompanying them with some prunes in there too and caramel malts with some sugar rounding things off nicely.
Palate (4/5): A smooth medium body with an almost chewy feel to it and plenty of sweetness and a pleasant balance. Carbonation levels were light-medium and the finish was a nutty one.

Overall (15/20): Weihenstephan is definitely one of my favourite brewery’s and personally I don’t think anyone makes a better wheat beer so I was very much looking forward to this one. The beer was a nice one with plenty of malt sweetness and dark fruits coming through, sure it didn’t quite match the brewery’s flagship hefeweizen but it was still a very nice doppelbock with enough going for it to make things interesting. A decent beer well worth picking up but it’s not one of the brewery’s best offerings, mainly because they have already set the bar so high.

Brewed In: Freising, Germany
Brewery: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
First Brewed: Brewery since 1040
Type: Doppelbock
Abv: 7.4%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Price: £2.99