Thursday, August 12, 2010

Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Review

Brewery: Boston Brewing Co. | Beer: Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock
Style: Bock | ABV: 5.5%
| IBUs: ~25
Serving Method: 750ml bottle poured into Pilsener glass

Samuel Adams Chocolate BockChocolate Bock is one of the occasional rarities from Sam Adams that shows up every few years. Sold in a handsome bottle adorned with a wrapped neck, neck tag, and metallic label, it presents well enough on the store shelf to justify its twelve dollar price. It hasn't been brewed since 2008, and the notes below were taken back then.

As for construction, the backbone is built from Two-Row Harrington, Metcalfe, Copeland, Caramel 60, Munich 10, and Chocolate malt varieties. Hallertau Mittelfrueh and Spalt Spalter hops provide bitterness and the house lager yeast brings it all to life. All of that is brewed, fermented, and krausened on a bed of Felchlin cocoa nibs. As a final touch, a "hint" of vanilla is added to "meld the symphony of flavors together." The ingredient bill seems to reflect the premium price tag.

Here's how the brewery describes the finished project:

Smooth, rich, and dark, with the robust flavor and creamy texture of chocolate. Distinct aroma of chocolate, toffee and malt. Tastes slightly sweet, full bodied with a finish of fine chocolate.
Sounds good to me. Let's crack this pretty bottle open and see if the beer inside can live up.

Appearance: A rich reddish-brown body with laser beams of red highlights. Up top, a little over a finger of tan head that burns out quickly and leaves little lacing.

Aroma: Standard dark fruit and darkish malt Bock aromas with just a hint of milk chocolate.

Taste: Much the same as the aroma. It's essentially a regular Bock with all of the usual nutty, raisiny, and malty notes. The milk chocolate character is more prevalent in the flavor profile but still not as prominent as I'd like. The aftertaste is roasty with a mild hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Very sessionable, though you'd quickly run up quite a tab at this price.

Verdict: Unfortunately, Chocolate Bock falls a little short; it's not much more than a middle-of-the-road Bock with some mild chocolate flavors mixed in. While this would work as part of a mixed twelve-pack, this 750ml doesn't quite measure up to the over ten dollar price tag.

Grade: B-

Note: While this review is being posted in 2010, the tasting notes contained within were taken when the beer was fresh in late 2008.

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