It isn’t too often that I go out of my way and buy a beer to try based on other beer reviews, but this is an exception! The Brew Club has been reviewing a bunch of Winter Seasonal beers, as well as some traditional Christmas beers, but I’ve been reading an awful lot of good things about the Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Limited Edition. I just had to try it. I’m not really sure that the Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock is a wintertime-only brew, but its a good choice for the season. I’ll make it fit!
So, I ventured out to my regular place and sure enough they had a few boxes of Chocolate Bock on display, ready to go. Great! I grabbed one, but before I did I noticed that the black bottle with special label cost $11.99! “Holy crap!” I thought to myself – but then I remembered that this was for science and research and not enjoyment per-se. I convinced myself it was alright to purchase this beer, and scratched the stupid milk and apples and eggs off of my shopping list instead.
Once I got home and chilled the bottle a bit, I removed with great anticipation the foil-covered top to begin! The beer pours into the glass a very, very dark color which appears black. In the light, one can see it is an extremely deep reddish color – and it produces quite a nice dark-beige head of foam that does not linger for too long. You’ll be able to get to drinking this one quickly I think!
The smell, I will confess, is somewhat less than I would have expected. Inhaling deeply, I can pick up on some malty smells, and indeed the chocolate is in there, but not too much else. Very mild, and nothing really jumps out.
Now, the taste is really quite different than anything else I’ve tried! Let me see if I can explain it by first revealing to you the contents of the little tag that was attached to the Chocolate Bock bottle. The little tag states that the beer contains Noble Hops from Bavaria, uses an ancient brewing process called ‘Krausening’, and then the beer is aged on a bed of ‘chocolate nibs’ (not sure what they are, chocolate nibs) from ‘Felchlin – a renowned Swiss chocolatier’. Apparently, the Chocolate nibs go to Switzerland all the way from Bolivia for this very special beer to be aged on. Sounds like a heck of a process to me! (Probably why is costs so much!)
So, the taste turns out to be spot-on in regards to the little tag. You taste a lot of malt, and there is some nice sweetness that comes through – mostly chocolate, but lingering in the aftertaste is a bit of sweet honey. This is really an interesting beer, and in my opinion is just about PERFECT for the cold months of the year. Don’t get me wrong, you are not going to drink this beer and confuse it with Yoo-Hoo, but you will definitely pick up on the chocholate taste especially in the finish. It is very nicely done.
The Sam Adams Chocolate Bock definitely has a thicker feel to it, medium to heavy body I would say, but it’s really a smooth sipper – no sting, no bite, and I can’t really pick up on much of an alcohol taste at all. This is a 5.5% ABV beer, so it isn’t too strong in that regard anyway.
So, I’m happy I tried this Sam Adams Chocolate Bock, and now I know what all the fuss is about! Was it worth the $11.99+tax? I would say so. Winter is but once per year, and I could easily see this becoming a yearly tradition for myself. Go out and try it!