Category Archives: Bocks

Garage Project ‘Dark Arts’ Coffee Bock

Rating:

image“What kind of Faustian pact is this? A dark tryst combining the rich, clean malt character of a strong bock beer with a cold extract of specially roasted beans, creating a brew of milk coffee smoothness with notes of caramel and chocolate. Your favourite beverages together in one bottle – now there’s no need to choose. An award winning brew born of our collaboration with Wellington based fair trade roasting icons Peoples Coffee.”

Served in a Stein. It hits the glass with a chestnut hue that reveals crimson edges when held to the light. The two finger head almost completely dissipates leaving a thin ring that leaves minimal lace.
My goodness, if you’re coffee lovers like us then this aroma will have you on cloud nine. Pungent wafts of raw coffee beans fill the olfactory’s. The malt profile is equally as tantalizing with big roasty notes, burned toast, singed wood, chilli-infused dark chocolate, cacao and molasses in support. An absolute feast for the senses!
Thick and full bodied on the palate. The heavy malt profile ensures a silky/velvety texture as the low Co2 and extremely well masked 7.8% ABV makes this one dangerously drinkable beer.
We were hoping for the flavour to follow the aroma and it has done exactly that. Brilliant presentation of the coffee – strong but tempered. The rich, roasty malts and bittersweet chocolate only build on the magnificent flavour base created by the coffee. The taste just keeps improving until it finishes on a dry, bitter and lightly burned note that goes the distance on the back end.
Simply put…superb. One of the best bocks we’ve ever drunk. This was another one we muled back from NZ so we’re not sure what the availability is like in Australia. But! If you see this…bag it. Absolutely magnificent beer.

Stone & Wood/Willie Simpsons 2016 ‘Forefathers’ Doppelbock

Rating:

18118822_683799298470885_1233470772227135872_nThere are pioneers among us who have set the wheels in motion for today’s burgeoning beer industry. This Annual limited release is a tribute to these Forefathers. For this year’s Forefathers brew, Willie and Brad were inspired by a German Doppelbock. With a rich malt flavour that hints of chocolate and dark fruits, lagered for six weeks to make sure the finish is super smooth.”

Served in a Stein glass. The cola coloured pour struggles to provide much head as what is managed disappears almost instantly. Just a thin ring is left with hardly any lace work as it recedes.
All is forgiven once we take in a good whiff of this aroma. It’s actually quite complex with doughy malt and cashews leading out. The deeper we go the maltier it gets…toffee, caramel, fig, carob, subtle spice and raisins present with muscle. Excellent concealment of the 7% ABV as well, we hardly noticed it.
The beer holds a nice weight in the mouth. Medium-full body with a slick and mildly chewy texture. Nice frothiness from the Co2, adding that effervescence to an otherwise dense feel.
Getting a delicious burst of dark fruity sweetness that marries up with those chewy caramels so well. Lovely bready malt encompassing it all as it’s introduced to some nutty and chocolate notes that carry in to a yeasty, fruity and somewhat toasty finish.
It’s a shame we don’t see more Aussie breweries having a crack at this style. Going off this superb interpretation there’s obviously a knowledge of them already here. Is it the Willie Simpson factor? Must be the combination of the two great minds behind the delicious brilliance. Top shelf stuff.

Erdinger Weissbrau ‘Pikantus’ Weizenbock

Rating:

18033988_680292228821592_4912011927025011635_n“Personal tastes differ; for some people Erdinger Weissbier Pikantus ‘dark bock beer’ is a delicacy for the colder months. However, for many lovers of strong beer the season for Pikantus lasts a whole twelve months. At 7.3% alcohol, this specialty wheat beer has a considerably higher alcohol content than other varieties produced by Erdinger Weissbru. The dark bock beer owes its sharp and full flavour to the use of selected dark wheat and barley malts and a significantly longer maturing process.”

Served in a weizen glass. The chestnut pour reveals a deep crimson edge when held to the light. It generates a massive tan head that takes all four fingers before it gradually peeled back to a collar. Didn’t lace too well.
Lovely aromas of dark fruit, chocolate and fruit cake mix in with hints of caramel and fig. We also detect a yeasty pear and or apple note. Not really getting much of the traditional weizen characters like banana runts, clove or bubblegum though. They all seem restrained and happy to let the rich malty notes to do their thing.
The mouth feel is incredible. So smooth and creamy in texture with the 7.3% ABV basically non existent. Good uplift from the Co2 as well, providing that vital effervescence. Very palatable.
The taste follows the nose with a strong delineation of dark fruits, caramel, fig and prunes on the fore. A lot of similarities to a Belgian dubbel actually. Although this takes a different route with an earthy chocolate malt in the middle that delivers a sweet nutty finish with suggestions of yeasty pear/apple on a length.
Whilst we weren’t completely bowled over this weizenbock still offers plenty of character. A little light on the weizen notes but that’s more than made up for in rich sweet malts that provides a Belgian Trappist quality. Good….but not great.

Deschutes Brewery: Pub Reserve Series Rum Wowzenbock

Rating:

17264395_659298397587642_8309340820456793678_n“The base recipe came from another Great American Beer Festival award winning Portland Pub brew called Wowzenbock. In this Strong Dark Ale, presence of Willamette hops are subtle against Vienna and Munich malts and Wheat. Aged in Spanish Rum barrels for 16 months gives this beer flavors and aromas of toasted caramel, sweet rum spice, tropical fruit, light coconut and banana esters and finishes with light oak tannins.”

Served in a Stein glass. The cola pour aroused a short khaki head that collapses instantly. After a few seconds it’s bereft of any foam, exposing the alluring dark liquid beneath. Not even an inkling of lace in sight!
Ooph, the nose is potent and seriously intricate. Our first thoughts are thick, syrupy and rich with molasses, raisin and figs spiked with a heady alcohol warmth. A suggestion of musty, oaky and dank cellar room provides the segway between the rich syrupy aromas and the somewhat lighter, wheaty and straw-like notes to come in over the top. There’s no escaping it though, this is one hedonistic little number.
The texture is oily and in a way kind of light but it’s pulled down by the monstrous 12% ABV. It certainly isn’t trying to mask the astringent warmth it provides as a slight sparkle adds a nice touch to the overall feel. Kind of drinks like a lightly sparkling red wine.
Flavour wise its rich, super sweet and warming with this recurring dry and oaky wine tannin. As it settles the rum flavours begin to seep in with hints of sherry, dark fruits and glazed cherries backing it up. It drops in to a spicy, plummy chasm before it’s lifted back out and finishes on a dry, spicy, fruity and somewhat straw-like ending.
Geez this beer packs an almighty punch. It certainly has some cloying characters but it’s so unbelievably moreish and flavoursome that it’s hard to dislike. Our main criticism would be that the 12% ABV is a little too prominent, becoming too overwhelming once it warms. Other than that it’s full on but quite enjoyable. Not bad at all.

Staatsbraurei Weihenstephan ‘Vitus’ Weizenbock

Rating:

16195068_634690360048446_7792117375147705020_n“Our light-coloured, spicy single-bock, “Vitus” is saturated with fine yeast and a creamy foam. It is a specialty with a round character based on the extra long storage time. The fruity smell of dried apricots joins aromas of citrus, cloves and hints of banana. Full-bodied and sparkling with an effervescent mouthfeel. Thus, the Vitus does not taste like a typical Bock beer but more like a noble, fruity wheat beer. Perfect with red meat, strong cheese and also able to guide desserts. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill.”

Served in a Weizen glass. Poured in true German tradition with a monstrous four finger head that takes an age to reduce down. It eventually settles to about a two finger overlay and weaves a healthy lace as we imbibe.
Very yeasty on the nose this one. All of those heady spice, fruit and super sweet Weizen notes are working over time here, our olfactory’s pick up the typical banana runts, clove/star anise, pepper, bubblegum, golden syrup, coriander, orange peel and honey. We aren’t the biggest fans of Weizen and Witbier but the nose on this is superb – fresh, spicy and fruity. Very traditional.
Incredibly smooth for a beer weighing in at 7.7% ABV. The texture is quite dense and creamy but it’s still surprisingly palate friendly. There’s some good lift from the Co2, really working to lighten up the overall weight.
The front palate sees a burst of yeasty banana, spice, bubblegum and candied oranges. A subtle salinity carries forward through a malty sweet middle. A little hop dryness is introduced as hints of banana bread, golden syrup, bubblegum and fresh pear completes this taste sensation.
Brilliant drop. For us, as heavy critics of wheat beer, to say this is top shelf should say a lot about the mastery of the brewers. Even as extreme hop heads we can still appreciate the complexity of this beer. Solid offering.

Staatsbraurei Weihenstephan ‘Korbinian’ Doppelbock

Rating:

16106076_631312643719551_5850021349647399380_n“Our Korbinian, the full-bodied, dark Doppelbock with light brown foam, wins beer-lovers over with a balance of fruity hints of plums and figs, a dark malt aroma – reminiscent of toffee, nuts and chocolate. Its roasted flavour goes well with smoked meat and fish as well as venison and poultry. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill.”

Served in a Stein glass. This doppelbock flaunts a lovely mahogany complexion with a bubbling two finger head forming on top. It maintains its height pretty well but eventually reduces to a wispy film with moderate lace on the way down.
Quite rich, syrupy and nutty. Very traditional doppelbock aroma…as expected. We find these to be very similar to Belgian Quad’s with their moreish dark fruit, toffee and toasty malts. We also get a fair amount of spice, chocolate, fruit cake and apple pie that adds layer after layer of complex malty goodness. Intermittent wafts of booze come in and out as well. Sensational aroma.
Nice and dense in the mouth, really putting forward a good consistency. Super smooth in texture, mildly carbonated and effortless in the swallow. The 7.4% ABV is completely hidden. Amazing.
Upfront the palate is treated to a dark fruity sweetness that makes way for a lightly toasted malt to pick up a trace of bitterness as it passes over the mid. The malt turns doughy and sweet before it finishes on a mild roasted note that draws out hints of coffee, cocoa and nuts in the tail. Excellent length.
Geez that’s a superb drop! In this day and age it’s all too easy to forget about breweries like this who’ve been pumping out quality beers for almost a thousand years. It’s not only humbling but an honour to sit here and enjoy the same kind of beer that the Monarchs of Germany would have been drinking back in the 11th century. Mind blowing. Top shelf stuff.

Hunter Beer Co. ‘The Grocer’ Doppelbock

Rating:

15036471_600521053465377_2674136548965424785_nKeith already brews a brilliant all year round Bock but once in a while he will brew a bigger and meaner version – hence the name ‘The Grocer’ or the ‘Grosse’ Bock in German (translating to ‘the big bock’). Keith’s idea of a play on words! It’s brewed with 100% German ingredients. Lassen sie uns stecken in!

Once again our big old Stein glass gets a run. She pours a gorgeous chestnut brown with a short khaki head forming on top. It quickly retracts to a ring with scarce lace left on the glass. The nose is quite rich and complex – we get a syrupy molasses character with freshly cracked grain husks, dried figs, prunes, raisin, slight medical notes and a crusty/bready malt backing. Very traditional aroma, a certain nod to the 100% German ingredients. In the mouth it’s full and well rounded with a chewy and viscous texture. A good Co2 level provides a much needed boost of buoyancy while the well hidden 8.6% ABV offers a subtle all-round approach. A super sweet concoction of dark fruits, molasses, sweet malts and toffee plays out on entry while a caramelized brown sugar sweetness cuts down through the middle and continues across the mid. She then drops a massive malt bomb on the palate which fires hints of cocoa, rum & raisin, fig and doughy malt through to the sweet and fruity finish. We have to make note of the excellent length as well, she really goes the distance on the back end. Really good drop this one. If you were to try the core range Bock you would then get the gist of why this Doppelbock is so good. It is literally the bigger, ballsier big brother. Solid offering.

4 Pines Kellerdoor Series Hoppy Doppelbock

Rating:

14907045_593399780844171_2330739182360628393_n“Once brewed with a holy purpose, this beer packs a punch so strong that Beelzebub himself drops to the floor and quivers at the mere sight of it. This double-down deal with the devil crams in so much super-rich Munich malt flavour it can sustain a monk through months of fasting, and enough contemporary hops to smother the hot fires of Hades. The monks of old believed that liquid cleansed the body and the soul. Amen brothers and sisters, redemption is here.”

We dusted off the old Stein glass for this drop. She presents an attractive crimson complexion with stunning clarity. Just a short head forming on top which recoils to a fine sheet and minimal lace. Our first observation of the aroma is this sharp piney hop note that cuts through these sweet and sticky malts. Kind of has that red IPA character to it with its nicely balanced hop to malt ratio. We certainly detect a good heady dose of tropical stone fruit but as quick as our olfactory’s pick it up and injection of caramelized toasty malts and toffee move on to balance it out. An ingratiating aroma. Really smooth mouth feel, the malts provide a silky texture initially before the 40 IBU introduces a mild hop bitterness. Mild-medium in body with an incredibly well hidden ABV of 7.5%. A surprisingly approachable number thus far. Taste wise we get a hop forward blend of citrus and pine the work in to the toasty and sweet malt base upfront. The bitterness begins to ramp up in the middle as it takes on a somewhat resinous approach. The sweet malts return for a short cameo just before the well drawn out bitterness in the finish. Ultimately it’s a very well brewed beer. The balance on the nose doesn’t carry through to the flavour as much as we’d hoped as the hops do dominate a bit too much for a doppelbock. Aside from that it’s a fun, tasty and enjoyable beer.

Schneider Weisse ‘Aventinus’ Eisbock

Rating:

14581320_582676348583181_1398124734870395322_n“Up until the 1940’s, Aventinus was shipped all over Bavaria in containers lacking temperature control. Consequently, the precious drink partially froze during transportation. Unaware that the brew was concentrated by the separation of water from the liquid. People were baffled by this unique version of Aventinus. By chance, the first Aventinus Eisbock was created. Well aware of this story, Hans Peter Drexler, brewmaster of the Schneider brewery, decided to recreate this classic “mistake” in a modern controlled facility. Thus, the Aventinus Eisbock is reborn sixty years later … Prost!”

Served in a wide rimmed tulip. This elegant looking drop pours an attractive light mahogany hue with dark copper edges. It’s topped with a fine wispy head that doesn’t waste time as it reduces to a bubbling island in the middle. Laced poorly. The sheer depth and complexity on the nose is incredible. It has lots of similarities to a Belgian Quadrupel with its big impression on rich fruit cake, banana bread, toffee, stewed plums, clove, figs/prunes, alcohol and an earthy truffle-like character. Once it warms the boozy aspect intensifies imparting in-your-face wafts of rum and brandy. Superb! It’s like a Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel and Weizenbock were all blended to create some kind of new super strong beer. Simply brilliant. In the mouth it’s uber smooth. Beers that weigh in at 12% ABV shouldn’t be allowed to be this smooth! It’s dangerous! The creamy texture, low Co2, plump body and pure decadence demands this be slowly sipped to really bask in the complexity it has to offer. Our palates are scrambling trying to isolate the inundation of flavour. Everything from port, raisin, clove, brandy and banana to toffee, straight alcohol, molasses and even a kind of syrupy muscat-like flavour that is impossible to explain. This beer is that rich and heavy that it could easily be subbed for an aperitif or cognac. It is absolutely amazing how complex and multilayered it is. Words just won’t do it justice…..If you see it on the shelf don’t think twice just bag it. Phenomenal stuff.

Brauerei Heller-Trum Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock

Rating:

13423980_531134277070722_9196258851654086143_n“While for the classic “Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier” traditionally beech has been – and still is – used, the malt for “Schlenkerla Oak Smoke” is kilned with Oak wood. The resulting Schlenkerla Oak Smoke Malt has a smoother and more multi layered smoky note than the intensely aromatic Beech Smoke Malt. The hence complex smokiness in the “Schlenkerla Oak Smoke” is paired with the multifaceted bitterness of finest Hallertau aroma hops. With 8% alcohol and amber color it matures for months in the deep brewery cellars underneath Bamberg into a special treat for smoke beer lovers.”

We whipped out the old half litre Stein for this bad boy. The copper appearance is covered by a short head that rapidly collapses and leaves no lacing on the glass whatsoever. Without sounding like a ditzy blonde this has enormous smoky aromas. Variations of burned wood, charcoal and ash are all we can smell initially but once it settles in the glass the sweeter and maltier aromas begin to open up. Smoked ham still comes through boldly but underneath a delicate caramelized malt/sugar scent in no way balances, but does offer a brief respite from the hefty smoke that dominates the nose. Maybe just a touch of toffee poking through too. The mouth feel is watery and quite thin in texture. Carbonation, body and bitterness are all mild. In other words, other than the smoke, there isn’t much happening. The flavour profile is literally a mirror image of the aroma. Just this relentless presence of smoke that begins and ends in, wait for it…..smoke. To be fair it does seem to have a unique flavour. We’re aware of the fact that there are differences when dealing with beech, hickory, cherry or oak but honestly our palates just aren’t in tune enough to tell the difference. To sum up, it’s too much. Almost sickening at times. We’re fans of lightly smoked beers but this type of rauchy bier in our view is just excessive and literally drowns out any other characters the beer may have. It’s certainly an acquired taste, one we are yet to develop and respect to those that do. To us it’s unpalatable and simply not enjoyable.

 

Victory Brewery ‘Moon Glow’ Weizenbock

Rating:

12512266_484089485108535_7058095873355745338_n“This richly flavored, dark amber wheat beer features fruity and spicy aromas galore. Significant strength underlies the pleasant citric appeal of this bock beer. Brewed with over 50% malted wheat, this is a traditional Bavarian weizenbock. Full of the flavors of harvest fruit, this is the perfect Autumnal elixir.”

Served in a weizen glass. The slightly pale amber pour is further clouded with a fine suspended sediment that refuses to settle. Covering it is a fizzy three finger head that eventually collapses to a thin film that’s maintained by a steady flow of ascending bubble. Looks good. Fruit esters, yeast and spice work brilliantly in to the dark, chewy malts and toffee initially. The profiles of wheat and dark lager are again presented on a deeper level with scents of banana runts and savoury apple pie combining and setting the olfactory’s alight. There’s an even further fruity undertone to it, maybe figs or raisin. There’s definitely something port-like. Interesting aroma here, quite complex actually. The texture in the mouth is dense and sticky with the body definitely on the fuller side. It’s actually well carbonated but the smoothness does counter it a little, one that would thicken as it warms. The 8.7% ABV injects a slight sting to the tongue but it’s contained and doesn’t overwhelm. Great overall feel. What we’ve noticed so far is this recurring fusion between the yeasty banana and the raisiny/sherry-like crystal malts that blend together beautifully. Hints of pear and the underlying warmth of the booze carry across the mid. A somewhat residual sweetness leads to an extremely sweet, plummy, raisiny and caramelized finish. A touch of dryness over the tongue adds that touch of balance needed to polarize the rich sweetness. Quite potent this one, definitely one to sip on. Considering the sweetness and its sherry-like flavours we reckon this beer would go perfectly as an after dinner drink. An acquired taste is necessary here but there is a lot to offer to the right drinker. Fine offering.

La Trappe Bockbier

Rating:

image“This unique seasonal product is the world’s only Trappist bock ale. Brewed exclusively with natural ingredients, this ale post-ferments slightly in its bottle. It has a deep red colour, an intensely rich taste, and a malty aroma. Aromatic hop varieties and types of burnt malt render this ale its delicate bitterness that blends surprisingly well with its slightly sweet undertone.”

Served from a caged and corked 750ml bottle in to a wide-rimmed tulip glass. The elegant appearance displays a rich mahogany with burgundy highlights. A creamy three finger head is formed but it casually ebbs to a thin overlay with a tonne of wavy lace trails following it down. Looks good. As to be expected the aroma is rich, moreish and pretty complex. The initial scents exciting the olfactory’s include toffee, caramel, brown sugar and dried fig. There are malts a plenty but we can definitely detect a nutty malt along with a chocolate malt aswell. Dark fruits also come through, there is a plummy and or raisiny sweetness that works beautifully in to this savoury apple pie/stewed pear fragrance. Trust these Dutch masters to nail the aroma. Absolutely divine! In the mouth it’s full and creamy with low Co2. So smooth and velvety, it literally coats the whole mouth as it travels down effortlessly. No bitterness whatoever as the rich malts snuff out any alcohol (7%) burn there would possibly be. Superb. The flavour profile opens with a copious malt sweetness. Molasses springs to mind as does prunes/raisins and ripened cherries. A subtle peppery/oriental spice joins the fray as a doughy malt bridges the mid. As it progresses forward the sweet caramel/toffee notes return and deliver a sweet, malty finish with a lingering dryness on the rear palate. Again, so complex and layered. We knew this was going to be a great drop. These Trappist monks of La Trappe have mastered their art and produced the world’s one and only Trappist Bock. Titles aside, this brew is perfectly complex. it’s rich full bodied and packed with flavour but here’s the clincher….They’ve brewed a traditionally German beer better than most German breweries! Gotta love the Dutch eh?

Red Hill Brewery Weizenbock

Rating:

12120129_444766902374127_5496267447564639875_oEvery now and then we come across a brewery like this where it’s core range leaves a bit to be desired. Although what separates this Victorian brewery from the norm is its seasonal and limited release range. Beers ranging from your Belgian blond’s all the way through to their delicious imperial stout, complex brews such as their Christmas ale and to this Weizenbock. OK let’s get in to it.

Served in a beer tulip. The deep crimson pour reveals some even deeper hues of mahogany when held against the light. A modest finger of khaki foam is generated before it rapidly reduces to a halo with basic lace trails. The nose is offering decadent aromas of banana, chocolate, clove, toffee, alcohol, bubblegum, molasses and fudge. Terrific, really complex as it displays that perfect fusion German Weizen aromas with the toasty, caramelly features of a bock. Kind of reminds us of a good Dubbel. Very nice. The texture of the beer is velvety and surprisingly smooth. A slight alcohol warmth (7.9% ABV) adds a little heat as a slightly prickly bitterness reveals itself. The flavour profile opens up with caramel, banana and clove. As it progresses forward the alcohol really lights it up as it crescendo’s through the mid. A delicious toastiness develops as the initial flavours peter out, finishing with a slightly dry, roasty, caramel malty flavour on the rear palate. Well we’d have to say we are quite impressed. It’s not exactly on the level of Ayinger, Scneider Weiss or Weihenstephaner but it’s pretty damn good for a small Australian micro brewery. Decent offering.

Wayward Brewing ‘Devils Advocate’ Imperial Eisbock

Rating:

12095260_441448246039326_7128678132919083464_o“The flagship of our Special Reserve Series, Devil’s Advocate is a full bodied Eisbock with notes of honey and dried fruit and a complex palate of apricot, chocolate and sherry. Aged on oak to lend a smooth smokey finish. Enjoy with rich food, dark chocolate, strong cheese or on its own by a warm fire with special friends. Will improve with careful cool cellaring for two or more years.”

As the description states, this Eisbock can be cellared, albeit carefully, for up to two years. We almost got there as this was bottled in 2014 but the weather here in Sydney is starting to really warm up so we thought we’d get stuck in now. We pulled it out of the fridge to let it come up to just below room temperature before serving it in to a snifter glass. The dark cola pour is capped off by a two finger tan head that steadily deconstructs and settles to a foamy halo around the circumference of the glass. Lacing is scarce but reasonable. As we expected, the nose is rich and extremely complex. Dense wafts of fruit cake, dates, dark chocolate, Galliano, alcohol, cherry ripe, caramelised pear and Barleywine-like residual sugars are mind blowingly moreish and just down right potent! It smells like a top shelf Quadrupel. Wow. The texture is thick and viscous with a heavy weight behind it. Carbonation is low and the body is full. Absolutely choc-a-bloc full of dark malts and an unctuous molassesy density. Upfront it’s astringent, almost medicinal with it’s molasses-like complexity. The alcohol (11% ABV) is somehow drowned out by the dark chocolatey, caramelised fruity sweetness that can best be described as Christmas cake. Hints of rich toffee and caramel carry it all forward and lead in to a seriously rich and lethal finish full of alcohol warmth, liqueur, dates and port. Friends, try at your own risk. This is extremely hefty and fearsome, but absolutely divine if you dig your dark, heavy beers. We can’t help but wish we had a cuban cigar and a big roaring wood fire to complete this situation. Not much we can do about that, but we can just sit back and bask in this remarkably complex brew. What a way to kick off proceedings with this brewery eh?! Brilliant drop.

Le Trou du Diable ‘Shawinigan handshake’ Weizenbock

Rating:

image“This beer is inspired by the Brooklyner -Schneider Weisse brewed in collaboration by two titans of beer: Hans Peter Drexler and Garrett Oliver . She wants to be a nod to two men known for their iron fist and their keen sense of humor, a former Prime Minister shawiniganaise original and the other former coach in the National League , as well as ‘in an affectionate appellation now made famous . Lovers of weizen and American IPA will be embraced happiness before this joyful hybrid.”

Our 3rd entry in about as many weeks for this French-Canadian brewery. We’d have to give full points for this fantastic artwork on their strip too. Very characteristic. We served this weizen bock in to a beer tulip. The pour provides us with a slightly hazy straw-golden appearance that knocks up a fluffy 3 finger head that retains tremendously well. Laced healthily, leaving thick patches of foam behind. The nose presents itself predominantly as a German weizen/Witbier. We get strong wafts of spice (clove, nutmeg, pepper) banana bread, soft candi sugars, apricot, wheat malts, minerals and bubblegum. We are certainly getting the weizen but we aren’t getting much of the bock. Take nothing away from it though, it’s a solid aroma. In the mouth it’s full and extremely frothy with high carbonation levels. We know it sounds strange but it’s actually quite light on and palate-friendly. An explosion of bubbles on the tongue gets us underway as light spices blend with hints of banana, wheat and hay upfront. A firm alcohol warmth (6.5%) hits the back of the tongue as the initial flavours move through the mid and take on a sort of Gose-like saltiness. The finish is mild spicy and yeasty with some lingering flavours of hay and marshmallow on the back palate. We’ll be honest and say that we don’t have a lot of experience with weizenbocks but this brew is pretty damn good. The only fault we can uncover is that there is hardly any bock character in here at all. We love the emphasis on the big, wheaty aroma and flavours, although we were banking on a rich, dark lagery component that was missing in action. Hey, that’s probably what the brewers were after, we don’t know. Either way it was an enjoyable beer.

Balmain brewing company Original Bock

Rating:

imageWe love a beer with a bit of rich history. Especially when that history was made in our own back yard. Balmain (the suburb in Sydney where this beer is brewed) is a quaint and trendy little area with plenty of traditional old pubs, once in the mid 1980’s, home to this brewery where this bock was the go to beer for the locals and keen beer drinkers alike to “knock a few back”.

Served in a shaker glass the opaque dark brown pour reveals deep ruby edges when held to the light. Capping it off was a 1 finger tan head that reduced to a thin film that allows for some mild lace trails. Our first thoughts of the aroma are heavily malt driven with a delicate berry sweetness. Firm chocolate overtones are backed up by hints of coffee, cocoa, nutmeg, cherry and toast. Maybe an underlying touch of peat in here too. Nice. In the mouth it’s silky smooth with low carbonation. Moderately bodied. The taste is quite similar to the nose with a solid malty front palate. Chocolate and light hints of dark fruits and spice are followed by a subtle smokiness through the mid. The finish is light and dry with a roasty back end which lingers nicely. Good duration on the tongue. 5.5% ABV. Pretty good bock here, and to be honest between this, the pilsner and the pale ale this would have to be their best. Decent drop.

Deschutes & Distelhäuser ‘Doppel Dinkel’ Bock

Rating:

image“After a friendship that spans two decades, Deschute’s Brewery and Germany’s Distelhauser decided to collaborate on this unique brew, dubbed Doppel Dinkel Bock, which deftly balances the malt profile from Germany with the hop qualities of the Pacific Northwest.”

We served this in a weizen glass. The light copper pour produced about one and a half fingers worth of beige foam that eventually settles to a halo around the edge of the glass. OK lacing. What’s really cool about this beer is the usual wheat malt that is normally used in Bock’s has been substituted for Spelt which is emanating lovely wafts of hazelnut, biscuit, grain, dough, raisin, malty-sweet, toffee, pepper and marmalade. A decent whiff of alcohol pushes in and adds an extra dimension to this already solid aroma. The mouth feel is thick and creamy with mild-medium carbonation. Medium-full body. Rich flavours of toffee, caramelised banana and alcohol (10.7% ABV) work it’s way forward into a spicy mid-palate, accentuated again by a slight alcohol warming. Some earthy and sweet toffee malts carry forward and deliver a nutty finish with a plethora of lingering flavours on the back palate. Booze, banana lollies, spice and raisin sit on the tongue for an eternity displaying amazing duration. Thick, sticky, viscous and rich. What we have here is a unique, and essentially, top notch beer. We are basking in these complex, caramelised flavours. Big ups, this is an excellent Doppelbock.

Brew dog ‘abstrakt AB:14’ imperial weizen bock

Rating:

image“ABSTRAKT ARE DIRECTIONAL, BOUNDARY PUSHING BEERS. Blurring distinctions between beer and art, transcending categories and exciting imaginations. We release only a very small number of limited edition batches of Abstrakt per year, each batch known only by its release code. They are designed to be aged, collected and savoured with artistic elegance and aristocratic nonchalance.”

Well this is a first for us, we can honestly say we’ve never had an imperial weizen bock. So here goes, served in a tulip glass the murky brown pour produced a compacted white head that quickly diminished leaving streaky lacing to run down the glass. Immediately after the pour a really subtle sweetness emanates with overtones of pear, banana, wheat malts and a hint of sherry. Mild bready hints of sour dough and a rich, syrupy hint of raisin and booze finish off a pretty impressive aroma boasting good depth and complexity. The mouth feel is smooth with a chewy texture. Mild-medium carbonation with full body. Upon the palate, initial flavours of sweet, viscous caramel, booze and dark fruits tantalize the taste buds. Emerging from the mid-palate is again, a sweet and slightly astringent hint of sherry which delivers a subtle boozy finish with hints of banana and burnt sugar that carries well on to the back end. Excellent length. Considering the high ABV (10.2%) and the array of rich, complex flavours this beer is actually highly palatable. A really top notch craft offering. Big ups to the Scots for this beauty, we loved it!

The Mussell Inn ‘spring bock’ colonial ale

Rating:

image“Put a Pale Whale in a pinot barrel for 9 months, stick a Monkey on it’s back, run a Dark Horse past it and then give it a good kick with an Ass. Bringing back the flavours of our forebears. A funky barrel aged semi sour – tasty as!”

Strange one here folks, it’s described by the brewers as an Eisbock (which is a style we’ve never tried before) so we’ll see how we go by the end of the review. Served in a shaker glass the mahogany brown pour shows deep tawny red highlights when held against the light. Crowning it off sits a big, fizzy 3 finger beige head which retains really well leaving thick bubbly lacing clinging to our glass. Onto the aroma. Now this is where we were thrown off, initially we picked up a complex funky sourness. A slightly musty/earthy characteristic is spruced up by a citric splash of lime juice together with hints of oriental-style spice and caramel malts, that add much needed balance to a very loose and erratic aroma. The mouth feel is quite frothy with medium carbonation. Following on from the aroma, the flavour profile also packs a lot of funky/bretty sourness, though the sweet malt presence is brought up to balance it out. Soft bitterness from the hops plus a hint of dried fruits, clove and a very faint warming from the ABV (7.2%) rounds it off. In parts they have it right, maybe we don’t know enough about Eisbock’s but for us it was more like a sour or a wild ale. Just too funky and muddled up for us.

Monteith’s doppelbock winter ale

Rating:

image“A smooth, rich beer with a powerful aroma and fiery red hue that comes from the crafting of four premium malts, in true Bavarian style. Now available all year round.”

This doppelbock would have to be Monteith’s best core range beer by far. We’ve been lucky enough to try this on tap in both NZ and here in Sydney and from what we remember it is rich, malty and chocolatey. Ok enough talking about it, lets indulge. Served in to a shaker glass. This beers cola-like pour constructs a modest fingers worth of cappuccino foam which steadily reduces to a collar. A couple of small patches of lace are clinging to the glass, but that’s about it. Certainly smelling just as good out of the bottle as it does on tap, those big doughy aromas catch our olfactory’s initially, almost reminds us of play doh. Definitely malt driven on the nose, a firm presence of chocolate, cocoa and rum & raisin are blended nicely into a slight suggestion of ripe cherries and currants. Very pleasant aroma. In the mouth it’s nice and thick with this full bodied viscosity. Quite a creamy texture with mild Co2 levels. Almost sludgy. The flavour pretty much follows on from the nose with rich, dark malts and chocolate with a soft roasted component. The mid develops a sort of stickiness to it with hints of toffee and raisin that deliver a soft roasted finish that provides a subtle alcohol warmth (6% ABV) on the rear palate. Yep, just as we remember it. Really good consistency throughout, you just know this is the perfect accompaniment to a big roaring fire or a big grilled steak. Very enjoyable beer on this cold winters night. Spot on.