WINTER SPEZIAL: 73 Points
Nothing Spezial Here
This Dunkel Bock is released seasonally in late Autumn in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: N/A
My Description: I feel that the flavor profile is a letdown considering the quality that Hofbräu usually brings. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head that fades to a film that holds the whole way leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is fine with notes of toasted malt, some bread notes, and a touch of herbal hops. Winter Spezial is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is on the sweeter side with notes of toasted malt and hints of toffee along with a touch of herbal hops. The finish is just terrible, the aftertaste shows very little bitterness with a lingering malty sweet note that just tastes of low quality. I understand that the finish doesn’t necessarily need to be bitter for the style, but in this case it holds the beer back because it pronounces that unenjoyable sweet note. Hofbräu could have definitely done better with this. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, grilled sausage, or stuffing.
ABV: 8.4% Color: Amber/Dark Copper Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
CONSECRATOR: 92 Points
Dedicate yourself to this
This Doppelbock is released seasonally on Fat Tuesday in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Reddish brown in color with a mild hop profile, Consecrator Doppelbock is a well balanced, full bodied lager with hints of caramel and molasses in its smooth, malty finish. As with our other lager brands, Consecrator undergoes a lengthy lagering period. Unlike the 6 week profile of the other two brands, Consecrator experiences a full three months in the fermenting vessel, giving it an exceptionally smooth character.”
My Description: This is a delicious Doppelbock that displays a great array of dark fruit notes and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. It begins with a decent, beige colored head that fades rather quickly and leaves behind a spotty amount of lacing. The aroma smells great and is very welcoming with notes of raisins, figs, caramel malt, herbal hops, and tobacco. Consecrator is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. However, the beer does feel kind of thin preventing this bock from having that liquid bread characteristic that this style is known for but that is a minor letdown because the flavor profile is still excellent. Toasted malt and some caramel notes give way to notes of herbal hops, dried plums, raisins, and a touch of chocolate. The aftertaste is minimally bitter keeping this lager more on the sweet side. Bell’s Doppelbock is smooth, clean, and highly enjoyable. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with smoked sausage, baked pretzels, or grilled lamb chops.
ABV: 8% Color: Deep Red/Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10
MAIBOCK: 94 Points
Gotta Love Springtime
This German Maibock is released seasonally in the Spring months in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “By tradition, the first barrel of Maibock is tapped in the Hofbräuhaus in the last week of April, in time for the merry month of May. The success story of Munich’s oldest bock beer goes back as far as 1614. With its powerfully aromatic flavour and its alcoholic content of some 7.2% volume, Hofbräu Maibock marks one of the high points in the beer-lover’s calendar.”
My Description: What a great beer for the season. It tastes delicious and is very enjoyable. It pours a large, off-white colored head with a decent retention level and it leaves behind some spotty lacing. The aroma smells fresh and inviting with notes of pale malts and floral/noble hops. Maibock is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile isn’t too complex and it doesn’t need to be. Light caramel notes and hints of dark bread blend cleanly with herbal and noble hop flavors along with a hint of light fruit like apples. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and very refreshing. The alcohol is beautifully hidden behind a crisp and smooth body. This beauty is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, fresh asparagus, or baked white fish.
ABV: 7.2% Color: Amber/Copper Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10
CHERRY CHOCOLATE BOCK: 89 Points
The cherry blends cleanly
This Fruit Bock is randomly released in the Winter variety pack in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This special release is brewed just for the holidays. For a new approach to a classic favorite, we added cherries to our traditional Chocolate Bock for a sweet, slightly tart note. Aged on a bed of dark cocoa nibs, the malty, chocolaty, and dark fruit flavors create a rich, complex beer perfect for winter. Cheers.”
My Description: The cherry addition to this seasonal bock adds a pleasant and tasty flavor that blends cleanly with the rest of beer. It begins with a decent, beige colored head that fades to a film and holds for a while leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is malty with a pronounced cherry aroma and hidden chocolate notes that smell great. Cherry Chocolate Bock is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is somewhat rich with malty undertones and dark chocolate with cherries that taste real, not artificial, and don’t overpower the other flavors. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and smooth. This makes for a nice Christmas beer that is memorable. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, blue cheese, or grilled lamb.
ABV: 5.8% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10
BOCK BEER: 84 Points
This Bock is released seasonally between January and March in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The dark satiny texture of Anchor Bock®, with its rich hints of chocolate, caramel and roasted barley, is our interpretation of the strong German beers that signal the coming of spring. Anchor Bock® Beer is brewed from a complex blend of malts, and fresh, whole-cone hops. In the ancient bock tradition, the dark-colored brew is released in time for springtime celebrations.”
My Description: This bock has nice flavors and is easy drinking but it is lacking somewhat on the sweetness and dark fruit notes.It begins with a decent sized, beige colored head that only lasts for a few minutes and leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of caramel, dark fruits, some earthiness, and a touch of alcohol. Bock Beer is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The caramel malts taste great and there are also flavor notes of bread and raisins but for the most part, the flavors feel faint and unsatisfying. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and takes away from the sweetness. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, meatballs, or BBQ ribs.
ABV: 5.5% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
OPTIMATOR: 92 Points
This Doppelbock is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Bottom-fermented Dark Beer “Doppel Bock” with a deep dark color and a rich roasted malt flavor.”
My Description: This a very nice representation of the style; it is smooth, tasty, and filling. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant with roasted malts taking center stage accompanied by notes of toffee, dark fruit, and a hint of nuttiness. Optimator is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The blend of flavors is really enjoyable with notes of roasted malts, molasses, bread, and a light dark fruit presence. The aftertaste is clean and minimally bitter. The alcohol is felt slightly but overall it is hidden nicely. This tasty brew is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, BBQ duck, or chocolate cake.
ABV: 7.6% Color: Deep Garnet Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
RAUCHBIER URBOCK: 97 Points
This Rauchbier is released in the Autumn season in 500 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “(First tapping every first Thursday of October) A smoked bock beer for Bamberg’s strong beer season (October through December). Matured for months in ancient rock-cellars underneath Bamberg and tapped freshly from the oakwood cask. Similar to, but much bigger than the classic Maerzen style.”
My Description: This beer just gets better and better as you drink it; more flavors develop and it gets much smoother. It begins with a pretty good sized, beige colored head that lasts for a long time and leaves behind a nice wall of lacing. The aroma is great with deep malt notes and an apparent smoke presence. It is medium bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The smoke flavor is bold and dominate but there are delicious malt undertones and some caramel to bring some complexity. The aftertaste is slightly bitter which brings a good balance to the flavor profile. The texture is somewhat sticky and the alcohol is completely hidden. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with coal-fired pizza, smoked ribs, or grilled sausage.
ABV: 6.5% Color: Dark Mahogany Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
WEIZENBOCK: 96 Points
Refreshing citrus notes
This Weizenbock is available year-round in 500 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: N/A
My Description: This is one refreshing beer and the flavors are very clean and delicious. This beer starts with a large, bright white colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma smells great with notes of clove, wheat malt, bubblegum, and hints of citrus. The beer is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors mimic the aroma nicely. Upfront, there are flavors of bubblegum, malt, citrus, and a touch of spice that is a welcoming addition. This transitions cleanly into an aftertaste that is minimally bitter with a slight citrus note that lingers. The alcohol is beautifully hidden, I did not notice it at all. This is a great beer for any occasion and it completely satisfies. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with a salmon salad, mango infused protein dishes, or Thai food.
ABV: 7.1% Color: Hazy Dark Gold Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10
VITUS: 100 Points
Weizen at its finest
This Weizen Bock is available year-round in 16.9 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A light-coloured, spicy single-bock wheat beer, for both beer lovers and the beer connoisseur. Extra long and cold storage in our monastery cellars makes this single-bock a really special beer with full body and a distinctively great mouthfeel. Prost!”
My Description: This beer instantly put a smile on my face upon tasting it; Vitus is delicious and the flavors are well integrated, it is very refreshing, and the body is creamy and clean. It starts with a good sized, white colored head that has a good retention level but leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is excellent, there are malt undertones with notes of cloves, bubblegum, and banana bread that pleases and excites the senses. It is roughly medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavors in Vitus do not compete against each other, they work in perfect harmony which shows the quality of this beer. It has a malty backbone with flavor notes of bubblegum, cloves and other spices, and as the beer warms up a warming banana bread flavor starts to show itself. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and overall this beer is nicely balanced. It is best served around 45°F and pairs well with grilled shrimp, sauerkraut, or heavy salads.
ABV: 7.7% Color: Hazy Blonde Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10
KORBINIAN: 96 Points
Delicious liquid bread
This Dopple Bock is available year-round in 16.9 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A double bock beer that has what it takes. Not just for lovers of strong beer. With a malty aroma and great taste, our Korbinian is a true beer speciality. It goes well with smoked meat and fish as well as wild roasts and fowl.”
My Description: This is truly one of the great Dopple Bocks from Germany; all the elements are presented exquisitely, the beer is delicious, and it could substitute a meal. It has a good sized, beige colored head that holds nicely and produces a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of raisins, toffee, malt, and bread. The aroma smells terrific and is a great indication of what is to come. Korbinian is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The texture is creamy and smooth. Upfront there are flavor notes of dark fruit like raisins, figs, and plums. This is accompanied by a hint of chocolate and caramel malt. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and adds a feeling a warmth and satisfaction. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing a good balance to the overall flavor profile. I loved it. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, grilled sausage, or wood grilled salmon.
ABV: 7.4% Color: Dark Mahogany Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
GLISSADE: 85 Points
Gold Color, Silver Taste
This Golden Bock has an IBU of 42 and is available in the spring months in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “With restrained sweetness, we emphasize subtle malt flavor, balanced against delicate aromas of spicy and floral European hops. This complex balance helps Glissade slide across the palate.”
My Description: This is a good bock that is definitely smooth and crisp but it just felt pretty average to me. The quality is great but it doesn’t separate itself from your run-of-mill bocks. The head is decent with minimal retention and little lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty with a touch of floral and citrus hops that smells pleasant. It is an overall medium to full bodied beer with a slightly higher carbonation level. Once you drink it, you will notice that it coats your mouth giving you a big beer feel. At the front of your mouth will be a more malty-sweet taste that is followed by a slightly bitter aftertaste with just a minor hint of alcohol. Overall the taste is pretty balanced but nothing special. Good everyday beer. Best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with burgers, fried fish, or grilled chicken.
ABV: 6.4% Color: Deep Gold Sweetness: 5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
THE VIXEN: 88 Points
This Vixen is a little shy
This Chocolate Chili Bock is part of their “Batch No.1” Series that is available for a limited time. It uses chilies from Mexico, Cocoa nibs from Ecuador, and cinnamon from southeast Asia. Available in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The Vixen is smooth and rich with an enticing touch of sweetness and ends with a spicy heat. For this unique brew we used carefully roasted malts and dark cocoa nibs for a full bodied and slightly sweet flavor. To this roasty and chocolaty base we added an element of warmth and spice with cinnamon and chilies. Dark and alluring, this brew will keep you captivated.”
My Description: This beer has great flavors and it feels good drinking this on a cold winter night but I wish the flavors were more pronounced. It has a decent head that is bubbly and beige in color. The head doesn’t last too long though and only produces minimal lacing. This beer has a moderate chocolate aroma accompanied by a faint spice note that compliments the chocolate scent nicely. This beer is medium/full bodied, very smooth, and crisp. You will taste a semi-bitter chocolate flavor in the beginning along with some roasted malt flavors. The tip of your tongue will also pick up on some minor chili/spice notes. In the aftertaste you will pick up on more of the chili spiciness along with a minor hint of cinnamon and hops. Even though you can pick up on all these flavors nothing was overpowering. I felt that I wanted just a little more chili kick, it was almost like the chili was teasing me. Maybe that is what Sam Adams was going for. This is still a great beer that can hold its own. Best served around 48°F and pairs nicely with short ribs, Southwest chicken, or a good cigar.
ABV: 8.5% Color: Dark Brown/Black Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
CINDER BOCK: 89 Points
This Rauchbier is part of their “Batch No. 1” Series and is available in limited quantities in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The distinctive campfire smokiness of a rauchbier lingers and begins to reveal the rich and velvety malt smoothness of a double bock with notes of toffee and caramel.”
My Description: This is an intriguing hybrid of Rauchbier and Bock that tastes good when you’re in the mood for something different. It has a good sized, light beige colored head with a good retention level and great lacing. The aroma is malty and sweet with a touch of alcohol that really sets the tone of the beer. It is a full bodied beer with a creamy texture and a lower carbonation level. Considering that the alcohol is slightly noticed in the taste, the beer is smooth with a nice malt flavor upfront that leads into an aftertaste that is slightly smokey. You will also pick up on some toffee and caramel notes that add to the enjoyment of the beer. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with bratwursts, baked turkey, or shish kabob.
ABV: 9.4% Color: Mahogany Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
CHOCOLATE BOCK: 90 Points
Chocolate Done Right
This bock has 237 Calories per 12 oz. bottle and has an IBU of 11. It is available seasonally between November and January in the Winter Classics Variety Pack.
Brewer’s Description: “Distinct aroma of chocolate, toffee and malt. Tastes slightly sweet, full bodied with a finish of fine chocolate.”
My Description: Samuel Adams did a nice job with this because not only is the beer itself well made, but you can really tell that the chocolate is of high quality. The head is nice and foamy with a beige color; it fades fast but leaves enough to the very last drop. The lacing is also pretty good too which is nice to see. The aroma is just as you guessed, all chocolate with minor notes of cacao. The aroma is enchanting and gets you excited about drinking. At first sip you will pick up on the chocolate flavor. However, the chocolate was subtle enough not to overpower the beer which was also sweet and malty. As the beer warmed up, cacao started making itself apparent which was a satisfying welcome. You will also pick up on some alcohol notes from time to time. The finish left your mouth feeling moist and clean, a nice touch. This beer is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with braised short ribs, BBQ chicken, or french silk pie.
ABV: 5.8% Color: Black Sweetness: 5.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
WOLFGANG: 95 Points
liquid bread done right
This Doppelbock is released seasonally in the summer months in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewers’ Description: “Wolfgang has heavenly notes of caramel, dark fruit, and toffee balanced by a subtle hop character. While its revered history evokes an appreciation of austerity and sacrifice, this Doppelbock is a rich luxury—no repentance required.”
My Description: Drinking this whole bottle is a meal on its own, so I don’t suggest having this as a dessert to your dinner. It is your dinner! It has a decent, tan colored head that fades quick but leaves some amazing lacing behind. The aroma is not too strong but it is complex and welcoming with fragrant notes of bread, chocolate, roasted malts, and dark fruit. It is a full bodied beer with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. This smooth beer has a great balance of flavors; up front there are notes of sweet malts accompanied by some earth notes and some bread notes. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a touch of chocolate and alcohol. It is a highly drinkable beer and a great substitute for food. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted pork, German sausages, or aged Swiss cheese.
ABV: 8% Color: Dark Brown/Amber Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
CELEBRATOR: 100 Points
Who needs a woman?
This Doppelbock is available year-round in the U.S. in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Celebrator has a creamy head of tight bubbles contrasting beautifully with its profound dark robe. It is full-bodied and velvety from half a year’s aging. Although it is strong, it is not overpowering. There is a wonderful and complex balance between the various malts, the alcohol and the subtle hops. A complex fruitiness of roasted malt and whole hop flowers make Celebrator great as a party drink with friends and family at celebrations. Despite its richness, it has a faintly smoky dryness in the finish.”
My Description: If you think that this beer is just okay then you probably don’t care much for Bocks, what a shame. This is one of the best beers on the market and you need to start training your palate for the finer beverages in life. It has a nice sized, beige colored head with great retention and really good lacing. The aroma is splendid and warming with fragrant notes of toasted caramel malt, bread, molasses, and a touch of dark fruit. It is more on the full bodied side with a modest carbonation presence and a slick texture. The flavors work together in splendid harmony. Up front you will taste bread notes accompanied by some dark fruits like raisins and figs which lead into an amazing aftertaste that is creamy and slightly bitter with a lingering sweetness that satisfies. The alcohol is slightly felt and well hidden. The beer has a great mouth-feel and perfect for any occasion. This lager is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, NY strip, or a chocolate dessert.
ABV: 6.7% Color: Mahogany Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10