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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
St. Nikolaus Bock BierSt. Nikolaus Bock Bier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

206 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 206
Hads: 383
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 16.16%
Wants: 79
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SheepNutz on 12-03-2002

Munich and various roasted malts give it a very malty, rich flavor with a hint of burnt flavor. 100% imported Hallertau hops, moderate bitterness and aroma.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Nikolaus Bock Bier Alström Bros
Reviews: 206 | Hads: 383
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from BeerBeing as part of UTBIF. Thanks for the opportunity. No month notched on label.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" tan head above the slightly cloudy dark amber brew. Frothy head lasts nicely, with lots of foamy lace. Aroma is creamy sweet malts, with dark fruits. Taste has a reasonable grain base, but seems to be more leaning towards the tart fruitiness than I would prefer. The tartness lingers, coupled with a somewhat chalky aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both pretty good, but I had higher hopes here.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a very dark brown color with a nice creamy light tan head with very good retention and lacing. The aroma is burnt and roasted malts, nuts and caramel. The taste is roasted malts, chocolate, hints of coffee flavors and some hops in the finish. Overall, this is one of the better bocks that I have had. This beer is very highly recommended.

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Photo of rudzud
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jlindros for sharing this bottle with me. This is batch 002 from 2006 and was brewed back before the brewery closed and reopened. Poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a cloudy garnet with a light white head that leaves spotty clouding and a little side lacing.

S - Nice fruits and sweet malts as well as older hops. Brown sugar, molasses, and light chocolate.

T - Very nice and complex. Front has alot of smooth, sweet darker fruits that have really mellowed with aging. Past them is more sticky malt sweetness followed by older hops.

M - Nice carbonation for something thats 5 years old. Its somehow light and crisp!

O - Really enjoyed this older beer. Glad I got to try it from jlindros at his place. Aged very well considering the ABV.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and slightly murky crimson. Small tan head recedes to a collaring in less than a minute. Really nice bready malt nose. Smells like I'm in for a meal. Some slight dark fruits are noticeable as well. This bock agrees with my palate tremendously. . Carmelized sugars, raisin and prune, molasses, some wood and a firm maltiness are accented by a ghostly herbal and dry hop character. Very pleasing. The body is damn near full and the mouthfeel is quite luscious. Nice Bock. I'd drink a lot of this in March if it were available here.

Thank you beergeek279.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I brought a bottle home from Pittsburgh last week, and drank it after a 90 degree day. Not the conditions for this beer to shine, but its time was up.

Dark burgandy brown color, crystal clear, thinnest of heads. The smell was malty, sweet, and a little roasted-like. The flavor was richly malty but surprisingly bitter in the after-taste. Not bad, pretty good, I'll try it again this winter if it's available in OH.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a hazy dark brown/amber with very little head.

S - Slight caramel and roasted malts with a bit of bitter hops. Smells strong.

T - Wow creamy without being too bitter! The roast and caramel come great in taste next to hops and finishes creamy with little bite. Tasty bock

M - Medium to heavy. Kind of a sipper.

D - I liked this one over the private reserve since it has less body and more taste. Great overall beer!

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this in a 12 oz. bottle w/ no batch number, so I wonder if mine was slightly different/another batch. I actually tried this in a flue glass, and it didn't leave much head or lacing, but the smell of chocolate malts creamed my nose.
Has a light, somewhat seethru when held to light composition that I would describe as a copperish-auburn.
I easily tasted the chocolate and roasted malts (I wonder if they used oak or honey in the recipe as well) and the beer went down extremely smooth with a pleasant malty backbite that could be described as coffeeish. The high ABV is hidden well, and this is a very good drink and surprised me with how smooth and lightbodied it was.
I couldn't keep downing this, like most "winter" beers it is not designed for mass consumption, but one after Christmas dinner warms and relaxes the spirits.

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Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep amber with caramel highlights and a solid one finger light khaki head that lingers, leaving lacing.

Aroma is toffee, caramel, and bready, toasted malt. A slight nuttiness surfaces.

Sweet caramel malt carries the flavor, with toasted bread crust leading to a fairly dry, bitter, slightly spicy finish. Cola flavors surface as it warms

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation. There's a slight alcohol warmth.

Overall, fairly one note. More malt complexity would really improve the experience. Somewhat weak.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, sent by blackingstone, during bracketology

appearance: poured into an imperial pint, lovely amber-mahogany body, garnet hues, creamy beige cap and very nice retention

smell: clear munich malts balanced by euro hops, toasted grain, earthy and green

taste: lots of toasted grain, big time munich malts, hallertau hop balance...very grainy and earthy - nice bock

mouthfeel: smooth as silk, light hop bitterness

drinkability: good

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another 75 cent beer. I could get quite used to this. After yesterday's disaster at work, I better drink something cheap 'cos I'm lucky I still have a job.

The neck label denotes that this is the 20th year of PBC, which would make this a 2010 winter release? Clear with a mild haze, this is a deep reddish brown with a dense, light brown head with good retention. Lacing is minimal. This looks good.

The nose is rich, bready and fruity. Rather like fruitcake with raisins, brown sugar, toffee and vanilla. I'm guessing there's some Munich malt here, it's got that intoxicatingly complex signature of this malt with a darker, more caramelized character. No hops are detected. The palate opens with a blend of burnt sugar, a little vanilla and a moderate fruitiness. Despite this, it doesn't really _taste_ too sweet, and my guess would be that the burnt sugar bitterness has something to do with it. The bready character I picked out on the nose isn't really noticeable on the palate, though there is plenty of malt complexity - brown sugar, burnt sugar, caramel, a little toffee and a little butterscotch too. Drying on the finish with some toffee and burnt sugar bitterness, this beer has a medium body and is rather excessively carbonated for my liking. Still, this is a great bock, though in many ways, it's closer to a dopplebock.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a deep brown color with a small tan head. The head fades very fast to leave only a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was chocolaty with hints of caramel and honey sweetness. Mixed with these sweeter aromas was a nice backbone of a roasted malt and brown bread aroma with a very light almost earthy smell rounding it all out.

Taste – The taste begins of toasted malt mixed with a bit of chocolate. Upfront there is also some sweetness of a caramel taste. The chocolate grows a bit stronger more toward the middle with a honey flavor coming in as well. While it was on the slightly more sweet side upfront more toward the end it dries out a bit as some holiday spice and nut flavors come to the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the average side in terms of creaminess with a carbonation level that was on the slightly lower to average side. It keep it rather easy drinking, but really was not too light to where it took away from the darker flavors.

Overall – A pretty nice holiday brew. Not overly spiced and when combined with its roast and good level of carbonation and thickness made for a good easily holiday drinker.

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Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: ½ inch head, moderate carbonation, dark brown in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt

Taste: toasted malt, chocolate, and slight holiday spicing

Mouthfeel: slightly sweet, moderate carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: An ok holiday offering. I could certainly drink a six but for the price, I think I may pass. None of the flavors are overpowering and I think this beer could use a bit more ummph.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean copper/ amber color, with a light tan head. In the aroma, a roasty malt, caramel and a small chocolate note. In the taste, quite malty and some cocoa hints. A smooth, malty mouthfeel and a malty sweet cocoa aftertaste. Easy to drink, yet malty for some. A nice cocoa sweetness.

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Photo of RBorsato
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear dark brown (auburn to light source) with a low light brown head. Malty aroma - Chocolate and biscuity notes. Chewy, rich, smooth malty flavor with chocolate and dark caramel tones. Medium bodied (leans full) but deceptively strong.

One of my favorite, if not my favorite, non-hoppy winter brews !!

Label states: "Bavarian Hallertau hops"

ABV: 8.4% per the book "Best American Beers".

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 edition, but over 8%ABV so that's not a problem with this one. This bock beer pours a lovely dark-brown, almost coca-cola like colour, with an off-white/tan head. The aromas are all sweet malts and bread. Lovely. The taste is sweet and malty, this is a very well balanced single-bock beer. The mouthfeel is excellent as well, as is the drinkability.

Overall: This is a class bock beer!


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Photo of Gmann
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear ruby brown color with a fairly small white head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is faint, I pick up some munich malt and a hint of red wine. The taste is of the bready/doughy munich malt, mineral water, and a nice lightly toasted grain. Quite a clean taste. Perhaps some red grapes in the end. The bock has a moderate body with crisp carbonation, nice malty sweetness, very easy on the palate. A highly drinkable bock, very clean and crisp, nice malt flavor. The 7.5ABV is nowhere to be found. Good brew.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Nov 2007.

Some old world folklore in Germany with St. Nikolaus. A deeper look into the folklore and a helper of the saint, Knecht Ruprecht, would beat or possibly eat children that were bad. Thankfully that is myth and the real St. Nikolaus was a Greek from the 3rd century. Either way, we'd rather be good and drink a bock.

Stunning dark chestnut-brown color with good clarity, the lacing is not too bad either with a few patches left on the glass. A clean alcohol, sweet molasses cake-batter and a faint herbal hop in the fresh aroma. The smoothness has depth with a medium crispness in a slick malty body. An abundance of malty, bready and sweet graininess, more on the bready side than anything else. Mild-mannered hop bitterness keeps the beer on an even keel. Toasty and borderline roasted grain flavors in the semisweet finish.

A tasty treat and a great switch from the plethora of winter warmers. Not that there are many German-style Bocks imported into the US; this one stands out the most with a true-to-style flair. Give this one a go.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from trade, and my first from Penn. pours dark brownish red, somewhat opaque, with some red shin fun through and an off white to khaki and creamy head. Aroma screams lager with sweet brown sugar, lager yeast, a little dirty, some dark fruit. Flavor is chocolate covered prunes with some brown sugar sweetness. A bit on the watery side in flavor but easy drinking with light plus mouthfeel and medium low carbonation. Acceptable brew and worth trying.

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Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: allagash glass, the beer is a clear, deep brown in color, good retention, light lace

s: toasted german malts supported on a clean lager malt body, crisp noble hops, malty but well in balance, dark grain breads, munich, toffee and an elusive cold-smoke, raw sugars, very nice

m: carbonation on the low side of medium, full-medium body

t: flavors of lightly toasted munich malt and toffee ride a generally clean lager base, delicate roast astringency, the moderate sweetness is well-checked, intriguing hardwood smoke in the finish, crisp noble hops give a mild bitterness and spicy flavor

d: a well crafted, authentic, very drinkable bock

single from Norm's, Vienna, VA

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best bock around as far as I'm concerned. Good appearance: dark enough to not see through, good head and retention, not a whole lot of lacing. Smell is weak, but good.

Taste is great. Awesome dark caramel flavors.

Good mouthfeel, everything in order. Could drink these all night as well.

4.0 A
3.5 S
4.5 T
4.0 M
4.5 D

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Photo of Bierman9
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint of this at the Georgetown Deli on 25JAN12 during a lunch-stop enroute to Ft Indiantown Gap.

My shaker pint glass contained a clear, deep, deep chestnut offering. Carbo was steady and plenty, and the head was creamy and tan, leaving good lacing. The aroma was malty caramel and a hint of sweetness. Body was good, with it being a medium all the way, and the feel was pretty smooth.

Light sweetness was the first flavor-component noted. It was malty good, with more caramel and some toffee playing on the palate. It had what was almost a toasty character to it, though the hopping was quite restrained at the finish. A decent accompaniment to my buffalo chicken sub, all in all. Prosit!

3.68/5 rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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Photo of tpd975
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice amber color with an average head. Minimal lacing is noted.

S: Nice roasted nutty malt aromas with a touch of chocolate. Hops play subtle piney role in the background.

T: Nice bock taste. Nuts, malt, coffee, and hints of chocolate. A gentle sweetness under it all. Pretty nice brew, though bocks are not my thing.

M: Nice and full bodied.

D: Bock lovers will probably love this one, me not being one of them I am glad to say I tried it.

Overall: A fine example of a bock. Nice layered taste that is actually pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown color. This has three fingers worth of mocha-colored head, and its retention is quite good as well. Streaks of spiderweb-esque lacing is left on the glass. (3.5)

Smell: Wow, this is smokier than I expected. Then again, seeing as I love Schlenkerla's rauchbiers, this is a huge positive. It's also backed by notes of brown sugar, gentle roast, noble hops, caramel, and even some diacetyl. Even with that latter note, the maltiness of this bock is really nice. (3.25)

Taste: I'm really getting a lot of caramel and brown sugar on the flavor profile. Touches of diacetyl actually help to break up the monotony, instead of introducing an unpleasantness to this offering. Hints of baker's cocoa powder and smoke appear after a few sips, while the gentle hopping on the back end keeps it easy to drink. A very well-made bock without any frills - then again, any frills would likely ruin this. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Its texture is somewhat full, and yet that lager crispness keeps it easy drinking. I really enjoy how it manages to be creamy yet dry-finishing at the same time. Carbonation is medium. (3.5)

Overall: A regular bock is pretty low on the totem pole of favored beer styles nowadays, but to use that as an excuse to dismiss this offering is folly. It's not that big in flavor, but it's surprisingly complex by lager standards. I'd love to see a doppelbock version of this...oh wait, Penn Brewing *DOES* make a doppelbock version of this. ISO. (3.5)

3.54/5: Viva la lager!

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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.