Friday, January 18, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 18, Penn Brewery ST. Nikolaus Bock Bier


In fact, too sweet!

I just burped nutmeg!

This beer is a bock.  A German lager created by monks and it is typically a celebration of moving away from winter.  It therefore needed to be hearty and to be hearty it has a ton of malt in it.  This required many months of cold storage to both ferment the lager yeast and to let all the heavy malts mellow with time.  That is my synopsis of a bock.  I generally like bocks.  Salvatore being the most common to me and my standby.  This one is a bit different.  I believe that I taste some winter warmer style spices (nutmeg, etc...) in the mix and smells like a gingerbread man.

After glancing over 25 or so write ups of this beer I think that I am a minority in saying that I don't really like this beer.  Let me get to it...

Bottle:  Homebrewer points!  Thank you Pittsburg!  You gave me Straub 16 oz. bottles and now Penn offers a reusable bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown and coppery amber when backlit.  It's really pretty!  The head is thin and white and soon fades to only a ring around the glass, but for me, that is fine.  Ultimately the carbonation is a tad low for this style. 

The aroma is MEGA malty and bready like a holiday Jule Log or gingerbread.  There may be some roasted notes in there, but to me they are faint.  Some people mention chocolate notes, but I am not getting them.  

The taste is pretty much befitting of the aroma.  Generally bocks are sweet, but this one is a bit over the top.  Mouthfeel is nice and creamy.  Carbonation is a bit on the low side, but that is OK.  Lacing is almost non-existant.  Body is sweet and yet lacking something.  I don't get much in the way of hop aroma or taste.  I get some taste at the end after all the malt and spices are through.  Mild hop.  Hallertau, which are one of my favorites.  After all that the finish is very slightly dry.

I think I would get sick if I drank more than two of these.  Then again, I'm not a fan of cinnamon, nutmeg and the like.  They are mild in this beer, but too much for me.  I would, however, drink this beer again as it is growing on me.

I'm gonna have to give this beer a 7 out of 10 .  What do you think?


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