Category Archives: Bocks

Hop Nation ‘Rasselbock’ Doppelbock

Rating:

“This mythological creature has the head and body of a lager and the antlers of woodfired smoke, balanced on the wings of lightly spiced aromatics. Notes of caramel and honey carry you high above the forest to soar like the Rasselbock.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Not many sights can present better than a Stein glass full of gorgeous amber fluid which has excellent Co2 activity and a billowing four finger head. That is precisely what we have in front of us.

Aroma: So only one of us Hopheads got to enjoy MC’s Rauchbier Festival. The other has been hearing about it ever since so we thought we’d (re) acquaint ourselves with Hop Nation’s entry for it. Like all good smoked beers it displays a hearty dose of smoked ham hock/bacon, burnt wood and peat. Other delectable scents of cured meats, toast, spice/esters, smoked caramel and honey also come through.

Flavour: Loving how they’ve scaled the smoky element back here. More of that classic rich malty sweetness and dark fruits we come to expect are evident. Some light toasty notes here and there, subtle chocolate/cocoa and nutty malt appearing before it rounds off on a smoky, woody and semi sweet finish. Good length too.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and slick. Medium body with mild-medium Co2. The 7.8% ABV is very well behaved.

Overall: Hop Nation have really surprised us lately. Particularly with Rattenhund but this smoked Doppelbock is a really well structured and nicely balanced beer as well. Kudos!

Riegele ‘Ator 20’ Doppelbock

Rating:

“The fresh taste of Ator 20 results from its cold fermentation and long, cold maturation, 20° Plato, and strong-bodied malt.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Chestnut complexion with a deep ruby red gradient at the edges. It forms two fingers of finely beaded foam and maintains its shape well. Healthy lace work as it ebbs.

Aroma: Very sweet, very bready and just the mildest touch of hops to counterbalance. Definitely picking up the classic German yeast profile – banana bread, earthy spices and apple pie. Layers of caramel and toffee, dark fruits and liqueur (Port, Cognac, Sherry etc), candied red berries, cherry cola and toasty malts. Good complexity and structure. Digging it thus far.

Flavour: Delicious but we must admit the candy/artificial fruity notes could do with a bit of dialling back. It starts brilliantly though, with sweet and chewy caramel, dark fruits and banana bread then the candied cherry and toffee apple opens up around the mid. A nice little toasty accent develops late and leads into a super sweet, tangy and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, well rounded and chewy. Carbonation is kept pretty low key, medium body. The 7.5% ABV is pretty well disguised.

Overall: There’s no questioning its authenticity but if compared to the likes of Aventinus, Sünner or Andechser it doesn’t really stack up. This is in no way a write off as it’s actually a decent crack but there are better options out there in our opinion.

Sünner ‘Hircus’ Malz Bock

Rating:

“Hircus is a dark malt bock which is produced in traditional open fermentation using our own well water. Five fine malts from the Weyermann malt factory and three traditional German hops give the beer its special aroma. Pronounced malt, chocolate and caramel notes characterize this brew and express themselves through an elegant and creamy finish.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Deep ruby red with a light brown tint. It forms a fairly well bonded two finger head which gradually recedes to a fine overlay. Brilliant lacing is strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Dead set this would have to be one of the best smelling Bocks we’ve ever come across. Absurdly rich and sweet but it’s so well balanced by this huge presence of bread in all its forms; toasted, doughy, fresh, crusty, sourdough, dark and rye. It also offers a good dose of dark fruit such as cherry, blood plum and raisin. Layers of dried leaves, wood shavings, toffee apple, cola and banana split adds to the depth. Phenomenal!

Flavour: Hot damn the transition is dead set perfect. It’s just a little bit drier and a touch less sweet than the nose but in our opinion that’s ideal. Mostly because it avoids being turned into a sugar bomb and is moreish as hell. We get toast, cocoa powder, roasted nuts, toffee, woody notes, dark fruits, earthy caramel and dried oats before the complete savoury finish punctuates a flawless beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice and sticky, a bit gelatinous. Mild-moderate Co2, medium body. The 7.2% ABV is well buried.

Overall: Well, well, well we’d be confident in saying that’s the best Bock we’ve ever had. Not a surprise considering one of the best Kölsch also comes from the same brewery. Simply faultless.

Slow Lane ‘Liquid Bread’ Doppelbock

Rating:

“Doppelbocks are a strong, rich and malty lager originally brewed by Bavarian monks in the 17th century. Designed to sustain the monks while they abstain from solid foods during the 40 day Lent period, doppelbocks earned the nickname ‘Liquid Bread’. Disclaimer: We do not condone 40 day beer-only diets.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Chestnut/cola pour with a thumb of tan foam perched on top. Decent retention and a fine wavy lace in its wake.

Aroma: One whiff and the name Liquid Bread makes a whole lot more sense. Not only because Doppelbocks were brewed as a replacement meal during Lent in the 17th century but because it literally does smell like liquid bread! Pumpernickel, sourdough, wholemeal and rye to be exact. Also plenty of dark fruits, carob/cooking chocolate, licorice, jam on toast, subtle fruity esters, spice and rich caramel. Get in my belly!

Flavour: It still holds a lot of the bready character from the nose but this savoury and almost umami-like note comes through. Picking up nutty carob, chocolate chip, meaty licorice, toast and pumpernickel. As it progresses it slowly picks up slightly sweeter hints of dark fruit, jam, fruity esters and toffee then punctuates on a rich, lightly roasted and bready note which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Pretty slick and inoffensive which is impressive considering its weight (8.5% ABV). Slightly lifted Co2, medium body. Very well balanced.

Overall: These guys are notching further and further up each time we try one of their beers. If you’re a fan of old world/German beers then wrap you laughing gear around this seriously classy Doppelbock.

Maisel & Friends ‘Marc’s Chocolate Bock’ Doppelbock

Rating:

“Marc Goebel’s interpretation of an Irish Stout, but bottom fermented as a Bock. Ingredients: water, malt, hops, yeast.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: Gorgeous chestnut/mahogany pour with a sturdy two finger cap. Excellent retention and healthy lace trailing it down.

Aroma: The brewers describe it as their take on an Irish Stout but they still call it a Bock and from the first few whiffs it definitely smells more like a Bock. It has that classic cooking chocolate/carob in spades alongside pumpernickel/sourdough, macadamia nuts, raisin, prunes/dates, toffee, mixed spice, cookie dough and delicate coffee notes.

Flavour: The dryness we find from Irish Stouts is noticed instantly… especially considering how rich and saturated Bocks/Doppelbocks typically are. This straddles the line between Co2 and nitro and at the same time comes on pretty hard with milk chocolate, dark fruits, mixed dark berries, lots of bread i.e pumpernickel, toast and sourdough. Nice and roasty finish which is well balanced by a caramelised malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and creamy but ultimately smooth. Finely carbed, medium body. The 7.5% ABV blends in beautifully.

Overall: The Reinheitsgebot puts strict rules on German breweries so it’s cool to see a somewhat “German craft” beer. The chocolate certainly adds extra depth but we must say we’re still perplexed as to how they call this an Irish Stout. Either way it’s an impressive beer.

Sierra Nevada Pale Bock

Rating:

“At long last, the flowers bloom, sunsets linger, and bock pours sweet like springtime itself. This golden lager, an elusive fan favorite, is back to mark the season with rich, complex malt and easy drinkability.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Honey golden complexion with a billowing three finger head. It gradually recedes but not a lot of it clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Literally smells like a brewery that has just mashed in and we’re pretty sure everyone here knows how freakin amazing that smell is. Extremely bready/doughy as well. Lots of honey coming off, spicy and kinda old-school Lager hops, earthy tobacco, old cedar, cereal grains and floral pot pourri. We’re getting a caramel sweetness from it but it’s much drier and fudge-like. Nice depth and complexity.

Flavour: First thing we notice is that somewhat cloying syrupy sweetness that is overly strong retronasally. Although initially it comes on with a lovely blend of sweet honey malts, cereal grains and old world hops (herbals, spice and florals). It holds this line until it develops a semi-rich bready sweetness which really rams home all of the doughy adjuncts like bread crusts, buckwheat and raw grains in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty chewy. A little creamy but it still holds a typically crisp Lager texture. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. The 6.8% ABV is slotted in nicely.

Overall: We went through patches of like and dislike throughout the whole beer so it’s a little difficult to summarise. Essentially it’s a well structured Bock but the slightly cloying and syrupy features get a bit much by the end. Not bad though.

Burnley Brewing Bockbier

Rating:

“Smooth with alcohol warmth, this brilliantly bright, strong German lager is refreshing and clear due to the 14 – weeks lagering it deserves.⁠”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Clear golden amber pour with a big and frothy three finger head which gradually recedes. Spotty lace as it ebbs. Looks way too light to be a Bock but let’s push on.

Aroma: It smells more like a classic German Pilsner rather than a Bock. Gorgeous Noble hop characters; wet grass/mildew, wilted herbs, subtle tea leaf, pot pourri and black pepper. Sweet and toasty honey, nutty, bready malts which counteract brilliantly. Very delicate yeast esters which provide the hallmark pear drop, apple and banana runts. Super conventional and loving it.

Flavour: Again, projecting more of a traditional Pilsner vibe than a Bock but it’s in no way a negative as the execution is near spot on. The sweet malts only just ahead upfront…displaying tonnes of honey and golden syrup with the grassy, spicy, floral and herbaceous hops giving it some extra lift. Nice carry through the mid on to a rather dry, malty and yeasty finish that holds.

Mouthfeel: It’s crisp and clean yet somewhat chewy…this is where the Bock side of it is finally showing through. Low Co2, mild-medium body. The 7.1% ABV is remarkably well hidden.

Overall: Our first crack at Burnley and even though it acts more like a Pilsner we can taste the depth and sheer quality of it. We’ve been asking for more Aussie breweries to embrace the Euro styles and our requests are answered here! Diggin it.

Schorschbrau ‘Schorschbock’ Doppelbock

Rating:

“Schorschbräu is known worldwide for its strong beers. This SchorschBock 13 is a perfect example of it. This German beer has a nice orange robe topped by a fine white head. On the nose, you will find notes of spices, mildly roasted malt and a fruity aroma. In the mouth, the alcohol is dominant but well balanced with flavours of caramel, peach and a smoky note.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: Deep mahogany pour with a short tan head which rapidly fizzes out. There’s almost zero head remaining and zero lace as a result.

Aroma: Oh my Lord what have we here?! First thoughts are apple and blackcurrant juice spiked with pure alcohol. Then the heavily caramelised malts take over; treacle, toffee and rich caramel fudge. Fist fulls of sweet dark fruits i.e raisins, prunes, dates, fig, blood plum and red grape juice. Christmas cake and spices, gingerbread, caramelised pear/apple and subtle toasty notes. Wow!

Flavour: Lands somewhere between an Eisbock, a Barleywine and a Quadrupel. It is so jam packed upfront it’s impossible to know where to start. This residual sugary sweetness dominates…dark fruits, Christmas cake, Port, sweet earthy spice, toffee, treacle and a soft roasty-ness. It progresses into a more yeast-driven middle: banana split, thick honey and apple pie then on to a somewhat roasty, uber rich and sweet caramelised finish for days.

Mouthfeel: Dense, chewy, sticky and syrupy. Full bodied, low carbonation. 13% ABV is perceptible as anticipated.

Overall: Apart from the sudden rush of alcohol to the brain this Doppelbock/Barleywine/Quad/whatever you want to call it is literally face-numbing, enamel-stripping, hangover-inducing Jesus juice. Bring the noise!

Klosterbraurei Weissenoher ‘Bonator’ Doppelbock

Rating:

“Legend has it that Doppel Bock was first made by monks as a hearty, full-bodied drink to be consumed in the tough fasting period. This ‘Bonator’ is brewed at the monastery at Weissenohe in the most traditional, painstaking way, using the best ingredients. It is named for Bonifatius, a missionary who came to the monastery long after brewing began in 1050 A.D.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: Pours an attractive deep amber with a really soft ruby tint. It forms a big and frothy three finger head which slowly reduces. Thick blotchy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Instantly reminds us of a traditional English ESB with its sweet and chewy malt profile and old world hops. Once it settles the Bock qualities become more prevalent; toffee, caramel, carob, dark fruits such as prunes/dates, blood plum, figs and red grapes. Certainly a hint of toastiness in there alongside nuanced wheat grains, freshly sliced apple/pear, coconut oil and dried leaves.

Flavour: Upfront it’s toasty and uber sweet…we feel it needs a bit of a counterbalance already…like a more perceptible hop bitterness or roast to take the edge off the syrupy sweetness. Some earthiness peeking through but it’s futile. It only doubles down further as the rich syrupy caramel, toffee, dark fruits and Christmas cake surges into a toasty, sweet and sugary finish.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, gelatinous and chewy. Medium-full body. The 8% ABV is extremely well concealed.

Overall: Even though this hails from a highly respected and ancient brewery it missed the mark. It’s just too syrupy and unbalanced for our liking. It’s rare for us not to like a traditional beer like this but yeah, not doing it for us.

Kloster Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel

Rating:

“This is it! The powerful, full-bodied, strong beer which is Andechs’s trademark. Brewed in the traditional Triple Mash procedure and available throughout the year, not just during the “Starkbierzeit”!

Glassware: 500ml Stein.

Appearance: Mahogany with deep ruby red highlights. About a thumb of creamy tan head atop which slowly recedes. Laced well.

Aroma: Classic banana bread lifting out immediately. Quite husky too – tonnes of wheat grains, seed, dried corn and pumpernickel. Big helpings of toffee and caramel, honey, dried dark fruit, fig and a bit of classic yeasty spice. Some very subtle orchard fruits in here too…more like stewed pear or apple pie. Brilliant!

Flavour: Really doughy and semi sweet upfront. Banana bread, dark fruit, apple pie and delicate spice give way to a really intense mid palate of pumpernickel, caramel/toffee, toast, earthy fig, nutty malt and carob. It finishes sweet yet toasty with a touch of dryness to balance.

Mouthfeel: Full-ish but still light and well aerated. Got a bit of stickiness happening too. Low Co2. 7.1% ABV completely hidden.

Overall: As far as traditional Doppelbocks go this shoots right to the top. So rich and sweet but precisely balanced and light on. Next level stuff.

Schneider Weisse ‘Aventinus’ Weizen-Doppelbock

Rating:

“For golden moments by the fireplace: “Mein Aventinus” – the wholehearted, dark ruby coloured wheat beer, intensive and fiery, warming, well-balanced and tender. Bavaria’s oldest wheat “Doppelbock” – brewed since 1907! Its sturdy body in combination with its sweet malty aroma is an invitation to profound indulgence – an ingenious blend with a strong body.  Perfectly matches rustic dishes, dark roasts and sweet desserts – Schneider Weisse.”

Glassware: 500ml Stein.

Appearance: Deep amber with a faint strawberry red tint. It produces a big three finger head which takes an age to reduce. Healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Super sweet but balanced by the spicy yeast, wheat grains and doughy malts. Oodles of sugary fruits like raisin, dates and mixed dried fruits. We’re getting banana bread, cola syrup/sarsaparilla, brown sugar, caramels, chocolate bullets and blood plum as well. Almost smells like a Trappist Belgian Quad. Magnificent!

Flavour: A mirror image of the nose – sweet with raisin, dates/prunes, caramels, brown sugar and banana bread yet lightly toasted and flush with yeast esters and apple/pear. Syrupy and cola-like midway then on to a classic German finish of banana runts, clove, sweet malts and dark fruits. Excellent duration.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, gelatinous texture. Medium-full body. Co2 is kinda tight and unassertive. 8.2% ABV is incredibly well concealed.

Overall: For us these guys are up there with the likes of Weihenstephaner and Erdinger..if not better. Especially when it comes to the dark lagers. Brilliant Doppelbock. Can’t fault it.

Naparbier ‘Aesthetics’ WBA Weizenbock

Rating:

“Whisky Barrel aged Weizenbock is the second beer comming out of our barrel program. Full of banana, caramel, oak, clove and vanilla notes. You may not think about it but autumn is almost here and this is the perfect beer for it!”

Glassware: 500ml Stein

Appearance: Kind of a burnished copper pour with a short head which rapidly disappears. Not a skerrick of head is left so lacing isn’t a thing.

Aroma: Totally dominated by decadent caramel, toffee and sweet doughy malts. There’s a fairly strong yeasty presence too – clove, pear/apple, subtle banana bread. Something a little off-putting though…we want to say apple cider vinegar but we think it may be the whisky barrels clashing with the yeast profile. Pretty bloody average to be honest.

Flavour: Fortunately there’s a bit more harmony here. Still not 100% right though. The whisky and the yeast are a bit better isolated but they just don’t work together. The apple cider vinegar quality it creates isn’t pleasant. Good thing is the sweet caramels, toffee and doughy malt save it from being a total disaster.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous. Medium body, spritzy Co2. 9.1% ABV is reasonably well behaved.

Overall: Not the best way to kick off proceedings with this Spanish brewery. Poorly thought through and average execution. Would have been better off without the barrel ageing. No likey.

Quiet Deeds Doppelbock

Rating:

“While you were going about your day this past winter, drinking hazies and delicately balancing the thermostat – heavy sweater equation, we put something in tank and left it there. Something big and bold, but also traditional. And it needed time, a lot fo time. But now as winter comes to an end here in Australia, we think our first foray in the bock arena is ready. Allow us to introduce you to our Doppelbock. A darker hued, double lager, that will truly thaw your heart for spring.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: 100% transparent deep amber complexion. A loosely packed three finger head surges to the rim of the glass before rapidly receding. Blotchy lace clings as we go.

Aroma: Hitting everything from the traditional toasty malts and dark fruits (prunes, raisin, dates etc) to salted caramel, plum jam, grape juice, chestnut and a strange hint of either blackcurrant or blackberry. That quintessential bready character we find among most German styles is also here too. Promising start.

Flavour: Malt forward…leaning towards the classic toasty, nutty and bready Munich malts. A slight hint of herbal hops shifting in to the sweeter and almost cloying notes of toffee apple, plum and grape juice midway. A bit of a dry patch late in the piece as it finishes with a bit of a syrupy sweetness which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, a bit syrupy but it dries out mid swallow. The 9.5% ABV comes through a little but it’s otherwise well behaved.

Overall: Gotta hand it to Deeds here…we are a bit over their flooding of Hazy beers so it’s great to see them break the mould with this complex and somewhat left field Doppelbock. Not a bad crack either.

Cinema Brewers ‘I’ll Be Bock’ Caramel Bock

Rating:

“It’s the year 2120, your brain has been transferred to a T1000 looking like Robert Patrick and there’s a blistering (nuclear) storm going on outside. But you don’t want to get your metal wet. So what better way to spend the afternoon than to pour yourself an ‘I’ll be bock’, lay down the rocket launcher for a moment and sink into the couch while enjoying the subtle flavours of toasted caramel and good ol’ fashioned German hops. Don’t worry, you’ll be bock.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Chestnut brown with mahogany hues. It only manages a short head which collapsed and struggled to produce any lacing.

Aroma: We can smell it as it sits stationary on the table. Absolute sweetness overload with caramel, toffee and butterscotch leading out. Plenty of support from a swathe of dark fruits like raisin, dates/prunes, blood plum, cherry and blackberry. A bit of a fruitcake accent that opens up more as it settles. Brown sugar, honey, cookie dough and brioche for extra measure. Damn fine aroma.

Flavour: A little bit more yeast coming through on the palate…subtle spice, fruitcake and brioche. Obviously the big and sweet overtones (caramel, raisin, butterscotch) dominate but it’s balanced with a hint of black tea, toast and roasted grains which carry in to the nicely drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty well balanced. Smooth, creamy, some warmth from the 6.5% ABV. Mild-moderate Co2. Medium body.

Overall: We had no idea what we were in for with this very little known Dutch brewery but the risk has certainly paid off! Very traditional German style Bock executed with pin point precision. Brilliant.

Les Trois Mousquetaires Doppelbock

Rating:

“This Doppelbock, or “Double Bock”, is a dark, extra full bodied lager after the best Bavarian tradition. Such beer was created by monks for the tough fasting period of Lent. They called it “liquid bread”. Look for flavor notes of chocolate, candied fruit and roasted malt.”

Glassware: Stein.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby red with a huge four finger head. It rapidly reduces and settled to a bubbly overlay with minimal lace left behind.

Aroma: Gorgeous display of toasty and nutty malts, sweet dark fruits and tangy orange marmalade. Sweet and sticky caramel/toffee and cognac, aniseed/cola, peanut, molasses, chocolate, yeast esters (banana, clove) and a somewhat dark bready presence like pumpernickel or rye. Jeez there’s a lot to unpack here but it’s so worth it. Absolutely superb aroma.

Flavour: Wow. Like the aroma the taste buds are in a frenzy. The stand out flavours are obviously the delicious dark fruits like raisin and prunes/dates but there is also a heady presence of caramel and lightly burnt toffee, nutty malts, toast, yeast esters and slightly pithy orange marmalade. Toasted pumpernickel or dark rye develop late and move in to a slightly dry finish with tonnes of residual sweetness clinging to the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and gelatinous. A little syrupy but the booze (8.6% ABV) and mild bitterness cleans that up nicely. Low Co2. Medium-full body.

Overall: Very elegant. Complex too! But the main thing is the balance as it’s super sweet but so well countered by the additions of marmalade, rye breads and bitterness. Excellent interpretation of the style.

Hobart Brewing Eisbock

Rating:
73372357_1200977143419762_3132942002618892288_n“Long ago, in a small German town in the depths of winter, a tired young brewer left some barrels of bock to the elements of the brew yard instead of rolling them in to the cellar. By morning the kegs had partially froze. Upon tasting the remaining rich liquid the brewmaster’s horror turned to delight and a legend was born.”

Glassware: Goblet.

Appearance: Dark brown which reveals mahogany hues when held near the light. Hardly any head whatsoever with little lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Super malty. Just full of booze-fuelled caramel, toffee, dark fruits and lightly smoked malts. As it settles in it opens up with figs, bakers chocolate, banana split, plum jam, ginger bread and yeast esters. Every now and then we get a fleeting hint of peated whisky. Holy moly that is one good way of opening up the nasal cavities!

Flavour: Proper malt bomb…everything from caramel and toffee to toast, roasted nuts, dark fruits, dark chocolate and smoke. Then backfilled with figs, choc-coated banana, espresso coffee, peated whisky and ash. And let’s not forget the sweet sweet taste of pure alcohol! The length on this bad boy…ooph it just goes on for days.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy and almost like cough syrup. It would be rather smooth and silky if it weren’t for the burning booze (16% ABV) but hey at that number you have to kind of expect it.

Overall: A freakin massive beer but they’ve done a marvellous job of keeping it within reason. We reckon it would go well as an after dinner aperitif. It would also do well after quite a long stint in the cellar too. So if you have deep pockets and good patience the jump on it!

Schloss Eggenberg ‘Samichlaus’ Doppelbock

Rating:
27540440_805952042922276_4121141276573435138_n“Brewed only once a year on December 6. Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world. Samichlaus may be aged for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particulary with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: It hits the glass with a deep ruby red glow. It only manages a short beige head that collapsed to a halo but still works a wavy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Extreme indulgence. Unbelievably rich and complex with booze-soaked dates and raisin, Christmas cake, toffee, spice, cognac, residual sugars, gluhwein, fig jam and glazed cherries. We could practically sit here all arvo and pick out another half a dozen or so but we’ll move on. Absolutely superb.

Flavour: Holy moly! It’s nearly edible. The progression of flavours is next level, opening with Christmas cake, stewed cherries, cognac, residual sugars and toffee then flowing in to super sweet caramelised malts and a crescendo of burning alcohol. It develops a nutty flavour early in the ultra sweet, sugary and yeasty finish. The length is incredible too, really sitting on the tongue.

Mouth feel: Sticky and saturated. Full body and low carbonation. 14% ABV… What can we say, it’s quite vigorous.

Overall: Simply amazing. It’s straddling that line between beer and aperitif. It could be very slowly quaffed, enjoyed with a good Cuban cigar or as a digestif after dinner. Really impressive.

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.