St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 333 | Reviews: 203 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev +6.3%
Huge thanks yet again to G311 for sending this to me just because he could. I owe you, sire. Currently the #1 Bock. After having it, I concur that it deserves the title. Served in a wine glass.
Pours a clear tawny-brown color with an average, creamy tan head with good spotty lacing as it moves down the glass. The nose carries through some heavy malt character. Brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, molasses, toast, and a hint of a nutty character come through. The flavor hits hard on the brown sugar and molasses plus some bread. Light hop presence in the background. Flavor is moderately sweet and has an average length through the finish. Lit bitterness. Smooth and creamy medium body with light carbonation. Really a fantastic version of the style. Thanks again, Vince!
05-21-2011 11:38:36 | More by Thorpe429
4.43/5 rDev +12.2%
Gauzy dark tawny with festive cranberry highlights and waxed orange trim. Christmas in a glass! Atop the liquid sits a splendid looking crown of lightly toasted gold. I mean that literally; the foam looks like a crown with ragged, raised edges of lace surrounding a humped 'head' in the middle of the glass. That particular look fades pretty quickly, but it was fun while it lasted.
One would think that after all these beers and all these years an original nose wouldn't be possible; but here it is in all its bockiness. St. Nikolaus smells like spiced pumpernickel bread pudding slathered in sweet, buttery, vanilla hard sauce. Is the Christmas theme going to my head? I don't think so. I think that Penn has simply crafted a lovely holiday lager.
This is good beer with a cherry on top and is, far and away, the best bock that I've had yet. It's wonderfully dark malty with a modicum of roasted malt that brings porter comparisons into play. It also tastes like sour, dark fruit, so lets add chunks of barely ripe plum to that bowl of bread pudding. I don't know if any spices have been added. I'm perfectly willing to attribute those flavors to the hops or the yeast.
Sweet, sour and bitter are all present and accounted for, especially the first two. Rather than conflict with one another, however, they add a dynamic tension that contributes a great deal of flavor interest. Warming brings a deepening and a more complete melding of the already deep flavor profile. The finish allows the bitterness of the hops to make a minor splash; yet another facet of this gem-like beer.
The body/mouthfeel is medium in heft, with an appealing lagery smoothness. I often wish for more of a full chewiness, especially in beer that tastes like this one, but I wouldn't change a thing in this case. The well-mannered carbonation combines with the lightly sinewy mouthfeel to render the beer impressively drinkable.
I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever drink a bock that was more than minimally pleasant and ultimately forgettable. St. Nikolaus Bock replaces that wonder with a new one... the wonder of Christmas morning when the present that brings the greatest amount of joy comes from the least likely of places. A true holiday treasure.
03-20-2006 15:56:37 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.2/5 rDev +6.3%
Appearance: Pours a dark amber color; the head foams up and disappears fairly quickly, leaving scant droplets of lace
Smell: Smells vaguely like a German chocolate cake with a cherry on top; lager twang in the aroma, too
Taste: Starts out with a cherry and chocolate character; after the swallow, moderate bitter flavors kick in and while there is a lager twang on the finish, the other flavors cover it up pretty well; nice lingering chocolate after the swallow
Mouthfeel: Medium body with lively carbonation; slight warmth down the gullet
Drinkability: A rarely encountered style that Penn pulls off very well
Thanks, eclectic, for the opportunity
02-04-2007 17:39:01 | More by brentk56
4.2/5 rDev +6.3%
Pours a deep brown with some nice reddish highlights showing thru with no head to speak of,arom is on the lighter side of almost buttery notes and some sweetness.A real chewy tasting brew with some caramel sweetness and some earthy unsweetened chocolate flavor that hits and lingers thru the finish,very appetizing.A nice full flavored beer to drink before bed.
12-30-2003 20:21:58 | More by oberon
4.3/5 rDev +8.9%
A rough pour delivers a slightly hazy mahogany body with a reddish-orange cast and a tall, foamy, light-tan head. It drops quite a bit at first, but maintains a pretty solid quarter inch of creamy foam that looks almost like a milkshake and leaves some nice spotty lace. The nose is lightly spicy from alcohol, and possibly hops, but it doesn't seem that any actual spice has been added. A dark, sugary caramel malt rounds out the aroma. Its medium body teams with a very fine and moderate carbonation to leave it creamy, smooth, and very drinkable. The flavor starts with a gently sweet, toasty and caramelized maltiness up-front; followed by a touch of light spiciness before finishing with some subdued bitterness and drying alcohol. It's quite a refined winter seasonal, and certainly not a hit-you-over-the-head beer. It's uncommon deeply-caramelized and almost-burnt-sugar maltiness combined with its subtle spiciness keeps it interesting - but never really satiates. In fact, it's far from overwhelming the palate and leaves you wanting more! A welcome winter specialty that can be enjoyed with a meal or on its own.
04-03-2003 18:34:35 | More by NeroFiddled
4.13/5 rDev +4.6%
Pours a clear, dark, ruby hued brown with a decent creme head. Nose is malty and leafy. Flavor brings the same. Consistent sweet tone that's not overdone. It's mostly a mix of the malts and that deep sugary tone. Feel is low on carbonation and slick and sticky on liquid. Quite easy to drink.
03-10-2009 05:38:12 | More by RblWthACoz
3.78/5 rDev -4.3%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a medium brown gold color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is of fruit, roasted malts, spices, lager yeast and some hops.
T: The taste is malty up front with flavors of dark fruit, caramel and spices. There is some good breadiness coming from the lager yeast along with a touch of smokiness. There's a decent hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.
M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
D: Flavorful with a good complexity to it, goes down easily, not very filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a good beer to drink for while if you're in the mood for the style.
04-09-2009 03:37:28 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.1/5 rDev +3.8%
Appearance: This local favorite christmas brew pours a perfect toasted crimson brown hue with a nice silky smooth tan nice sized head, leaving behind specks of lacing. Aroma: Spieces, toasted nuts, with a great Hallertau hop aroma going down, malty and rich smelling definitely a warming bock bier. Taste: Carmel malt sweetness with toasted nuts and a nice bitterness from the hops tames the barrage of sweet malt and festive spices. Mouthfeel: Medium to light in body mild carbonation just a bit spritzy. Drinkability: Classic by all means when referring to a local christmas bock beer, in the Burgh.
12-01-2003 22:46:47 | More by WVbeergeek
4.05/5 rDev +2.5%
Appearance: a bright plummy color, with a short, slight head above.
Aroma: Super-fat malt at the forefront, thick, rich, sweet, wow!, loaded with character, slightly spicy, quite a treat.
Taste: considerable heft on the palate, again, rich, malty, spicy, chock full of dark fruits, cherries, berries,raisins, etc., plus a yeasty bready quality. Quite a kicky ginger cookie we've got here, just the thing to make the jolly old man pleased as holiday punch. Medium to full body, with a long, lingering finish, sits happily on the palate, gets comfortable, provides a spicy, fruity blend of pleasure with every sip.
Very nice bock, and thanks to fellow felonious, Phil!
01-22-2004 07:57:24 | More by feloniousmonk
4.28/5 rDev +8.4%
I took this from Thorpe429 when he wasn't looking. Poured into a Bock glass, there is too such a thing look it up.
Beer is dark brown and mostly clear. Thin tan head, big bubbles are stuck to the bottom of the glass like they are waiting for a checkered flag to wave to tell them that's it's OK to go.
Aroma is mild, malty, good.
Beer is medium in body and really smooth. Mildly malty but not overly sweet. Easy drinking, great mouthfeel. A really wonderful bock, truly so.
05-24-2011 02:03:46 | More by drabmuh
3.95/5 rDev 0%
Picked the bottle up at Thirsty's in York, decanted cool into a German lager mug.
A - A medium brown w/ a reddish tint when held up to the light. 2 full fingers of creamy foam from a vigorous pour. There is a fine bead in the head and the lace sticks moderately well.
S - A malty aroma w/ yeasty lager and German malt aromas. Slightly nutty and hints of chocolate malt in the nose.
M & T - A combination of sweet caramel malt and full creamy sweetness w/ a touch of dryness in the slighty salty feel.There are herbal tinges and lightly spiced hops under the bevy of maltiness that give contrast to the slightly lactic and gently biscuity notes in the ever so lightly roasted malt flavor.
D - A very smooth well crafted Bock that has such nice flavors w/ creamy textures and hides the abv well. A nice American Bock w/ a classic influence.
01-25-2008 17:43:12 | More by Slatetank
4.18/5 rDev +5.8%
Batch 002 thanks to Noslenwerd, it's been sitting in my fridge for a while, and finally found a good time to break it out. This one was from the era before they were shut down and re-opened.
Hazy super dark molasses ruby brown color just hints of light, pretty much no head.
Nose has a nice aged bock, lots of aged malts soft and complex, lots of dark fruit, huge raisin, fig, date, touch of hazelnut and vanilla, brown sugar and molasses, some darker wheats, hint of cocoa, and touch of booze and esters.
Taste is similar to the nose, lots of fruit with brown sugar candi and brandy soaked raisin, plum, fig, a bit nutty. Then soft aged malts, complex and malty with hints of dark wheat. Slight cocoa and vanilla, semi sweet brown sugar and molasses. Nice aged flavor, touch of booze and esters. Finish gets slightly bitter with slight dryness but a bit sticky, touch of black tea with the bitterness, dark fruits and lingering nutty soft malts.
Mouth is med bodied, very soft and almost creamy, decent carb for being quite a few years old.
Overall pretty good, great aged soft malts, nice dark fruits, complex, aged well. Really hits the spot when looking for a good doppelbock style.
11-05-2011 21:48:41 | More by jlindros
3.58/5 rDev -9.4%
Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle.
The beer pours a medium orangish-brown color with a white head. The aroma is toffee, grain and other malts. The flavor is lightly roasted malt, some alcohol and some lighter toffee malts. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. A clean tasting lager, but nothing really stands out.
03-27-2010 16:26:59 | More by Mora2000
3.8/5 rDev -3.8%
Rich, tight head that settles slowly and rocky. Leaves a blanket of chunky lace. Reasonably clear broth that is light ruby-brown.
Disappointing smell. There's an element of unwanted sourness (especially in a Bock). Also, I detect a decaying meat smell.
The flavor is a huge improvement to the smell. None of the negative attributes show up here. Instead, there is a caramel malt flavor without much sweetness. This stays true to its roots, but there is a subtle hop bitterness in the swallow that provides superb balance for the style. Thin with a high carbonation, but this also fits the profile.
Get by the smell and you have a near perfect example of an American styled Bock.
01-27-2012 23:10:58 | More by smcolw
4.2/5 rDev +6.3%
On tap at Ortino's Northside...
Appears a deep, dark brown that borders a light black. A 2 finger off white head that leaves streaks of lacing around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, raisins, roasty nuts, and a touch of cocoa.
Taste is of the same aromas that have been mildly toned down a notch.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with roasted malts with a small amount of carbonation running along the tongue.
01-15-2006 01:33:22 | More by weeare138
3.93/5 rDev -0.5%
This was served to me at Bridgewaters Pub with a big, thick, foamy, deep-tan head. The Nose was verymalty with an almost chocolate-like sweetness. The color was a deep garnet or ruby red, so dark as to appear black until held up to the light. The mouthfeel initially struck me as too thin for a bock, and so I recommend letting it warm up some. Even then, it still came across as thin, but the flavors really came alive. The big tatse is caramel, but I also noted a fruity taste, like cherry, on the finish. Overall, it was okay, but I'd prefer something bigger and chewier for the holiday season.
12-23-2005 19:17:49 | More by woodychandler
3.95/5 rDev 0%
I sampled a 12 ounce bottle, that came with freshness dating notched onto the label. (month only unfortunatly) Pours dark honey brown, with a rich malty nose. Tan head, leaving some sticky lacing. Medium carbonation and also medium bodied. Sweet malty brew, notes of vanilla, cookies, caramel, toffee and bananas, Almond nut liquer in the back ground. Nice, smooth winter sipper.
03-25-2005 11:34:47 | More by Billolick
4.1/5 rDev +3.8%
A 12 oz bottle from a mixed case purchased at Westy's.
A: The bock is deep, dark ruby red. When held to light, the reds are accentuated and highlighted. The initial pour was busy and thick but the glass retains little evidence of that.
S: The aroma is very grainy with a slight hint of smokiness. The grainy malts are very concentrated, giving the beer a sweeter scent.
T: The malts are nicely done here. They are strong, giving the beer a malty sweetness, but they are accentuated by a subtle smokiness. That smokiness has roasted malt notes that are not quite chocolatey but definitely a toasted malt character.
M: The mouthfeel is a mixture of sweet and roasted malts, resulting in a smooth mouthfeel that has a nice long toasted grain finish.
D: Very drinkable. The last time I had this beer, I was graduated from the Pennsylvania State University a whopping seven years ago (for anyone questioning it, the verb 'graduated' is correct in this sentence). It is as good as I remember and worth a purchase if you can find it.
11-03-2006 03:25:29 | More by akorsak
4.13/5 rDev +4.6%
(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer has a deep transparent walnut brown body with a medium head of off-white. The carbonation is one of gentle tiny bubbles.
S- This beer has a nice caramelized malt aroma with a hint of sweetness.
T- This beer has a smooth caramel malt flavor with some deeper roasted malts in the background. There is a soft sweetness with a hint of alcohol and smoky flavor at the finish. After the finish there is a faint bitterness from hops with some sulfur hints that balances the sweetness.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with some nice light fizz quality to enhance the mouthfeel.
D- This is a smooth nice lager that has good balance and nice roasted malt notes.
01-11-2006 03:42:23 | More by rhoadsrage
St. Nikolaus Bock Bier from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.