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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: 11.87%
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 smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of frenchblood21
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle into tulip.

Appearance- Dark brown...no head whatsoever. Decent lacing.

Smell- Brown sugar, malt and honey hit me right away. Yeast and hops come through in the end.

Taste- So much different than the nose. Much more hops. Malty with honey and spices.

Mouthfeel- Great feeling in your mouth. Just right.

Overall- I could never drink a whole 6 pack of this stuff, but one or two on a cold night does a body good.

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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 AdamBear
3.37/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown with a slightly ruby tint. thin tan head

S-syrupy holiday spices. somewhat fruity. faint smell.

T-comes in with a solid taste of pumperknickel bread, caramel, and winter spices. the after-taste is strong, matching with some creaminess and bitterness. good flavors and strong flavors.

M-creamy low carbonation with a slightly dry finish

O-doesn't quite stand up to the test of time. its actually a great bock, but it seems to taste more and more syrupy as i drink this. i'll admit that i've ordered this several times though. its definitely not a bad beer when options are limited.

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Photo of nukem5
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's in my kegerator right now about 1/4 full ,1/4 bbl, and just relised I had never submitted a review for one of my fav local holiday beers.

A:Pours a great coffee color with a thick pillowy cap of foamy goodness laying on the top invitingly.

S: The aromas present are as folows,Caramel, coffee, rich dark malts, and some fruity flavors almost cherry.

T: Taste is of mostly the same but there is a quality and balance in there that begs drink me, the taste is very malt oriented with accents of coffee, caramel, and the fruity character possibly from the yeast used.

M: Mouth feel is of a medium bodied beer with a good carbonation level some tiny legs clinging to the walls of the glass.

O: Overall I do enjoy this annually with friends and family, it has become tradition in this home for this holiday beer to be around. Thanks to the crew at the Penn Brewery for the great beer.

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

Bought a variety case last winter. Kept in my beer fridge for a nice cold night like tonight. Poured into a favorite mug of mine.

A: pours a clear amber with ruby highlights. Moderately strong carbonation throughout. Nice head that fades to an 1/8-inch coating. Some suds cling to the side of the glass as volume goes down.

S: notes of caramel, chocolate, toast, bread, and caramelized sugars. Mostly malts going on in this one.

T: tastes of caramelized brown sugar with dark fruit and a touch of spiciness. A very well made beer.

M: medium tasting with nice even bitterness. Wish this had a bigger body and a more fuller feel.

O: a very solid offering from a nice Pennsylvania brewery. Will go back to this one anytime again. Prost!

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark ruby brown with a small ivory head.

Aroma is nutty, slightly roasted, woody, earthy, sweet and malty.

Taste has a distinct nuttiness that is enjoyable. Vanilla sweetness complements earthy oak flavors.

Medium bodied and sessionable.

Quality Bock

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour an amber/light brown color with a good sized head, fades at a slow rate and leaves a thin cap on top, only small bits of lacing on the glass.

Smell is heavily caramel malt, dash of molasses and sweetness, there is faded hop presence that adds a touch of bitterness to the nose.

Taste is quite smooth with a subtle slickness, caramel malt is the primary, not overly sweet but just the right amount with a subdued hop bitterness in the aftertaste to balance things.

Overall a very solid Bock, it doesn't reinvent the wheel but it rolls just fine, definitely hits the spot during the Holidays.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very dark red. or brown. it's hard to say exactly. looks like more of a brown. head started off super thick, but the retention isnt exactly lust-worthy. good lacing though.

S: earthy hop undertones interact with caramel and a slight burnt brown sugar. some roasted in there too. not a ton, but similar to the roast you would find on a roasted chicken.

T: nice and roasted off the bat. a moderate amount of bitterness backs the roasted grain. a little bit of toast too. probably munich malt. super clean flavors. solid bock lager.

M: moderate carbonation level. i would call this a solid medium body. not too much or too light.

D: a solid bock sampling from penn. very enjoyable brew with clean aromas/flavors. glad i picked this one up in my make-shift holiday/winter mix-six.

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Photo of soulfly1492
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep ruby red, appears to be clear when held up to light. Pours a tall medium brown head with tons of lacing and good retention.

Aroma: Sweet and bold. Dark malts, roasty, worty, sweet molasses. Some spices. Rich malts is the overall theme here.

Taste: More bitter than expected from the aroma. Still lots of sweet malts showing up though. Lots of molasses, some chocolate and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Oily overall, a bit of drying from the bitterness thanks to the roasty malts and hops.

Overall: A winter classic. Very pleasant and easy to drink for a stronger bock.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a somewhat dark brown/majogany with small 0.5 finger head.

S - Nice and malty, sweet caramel malts, light fruits, a hint of chocolate, very sweet smell.

T - Good amount of roast and hazelnut flavor, fades into sweet fruit, before finishing with a touch of more roasted malt and a tinge of hop bitterness.

M - It's thin but robust. Very smooth.

Overall - A solid bock beer here. Good blend of roasted malt and sugary fruitness.

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Photo of cooch69
4.85/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice deep mahogany with some ruby red highlights. The head on this one is really tiny. Less than a quarter inch of off white/tan head which leaves a nice ring around the edges for the length of the drink.

Nose on this one gets the senses going.
At first dry and roasted followed by nuts, mostly filberts. A nice dose of caramelized and brisk malt snapiness. Some brown sugar caps it all off for a wonderfully complex nose.

I've had this one two years ago as I could,nt find it last year. So I knew what to expect when I poured this one. Just a rediculious amount of goodness is contained in this bottle. My first sip almost brought me to my knees.

Really dry roasted and nutty at first. This one turns out to be semi-sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar, cocoa powder and even a slight bit of banana.

The mouthfeel on this one is a solid medium. The carbonation was perfectly in sync as well.

This is the definition of a winter session beer. For the colder months of the year, especially here in the good old northern US of A this beer has a nice solid body and tons of delicious flavor, yet is so drinkable at 7.5% abv. it is dangerous.

Enjoy this one in front of the fireplace and forget the rest of the night.

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Photo of VOW22
4.92/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tall pilsner glass from a 12oz.brown long neck bottle.

Pours beautiful clear ruby red color,thick/rocky tan head.Good retention with lots of lace sticking on the sides of the glass,lots of strings of tiny bubbles racing towards the top of the glass.

A delightful fruity and spicy aroma,woody,very malty with a sweet carmell/roasty/light burnt,smoke and hints of chocolate,very complex and inviting. Addicting nose. Can't seem to keep my nose out of this beer. Ah.

A delicious,complex taste,malty and sweet carmell/toffee tastes, also
chocolate,a bit nutty,a nice tartness,finishes crisp,clean with a lingering spice.

A medium mouthfeel,very creamy and a treat for the palate.
Very tasty and enjoyable.I will drink this all nigh, but will have to watch the ABV does not sneak up on me. This beer gives me something to look foward to every Christmas season. A built in X-Mas gift for anyone looking to purchase something for me this holiday season. This is a must try for everybody. You need to try this Seasonal Christmas Superstar from Penn Brewery.

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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 jlindros
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, very deep ruby/mahogany color, when held up to the light, the red comes through a lot more. About one finger of head formed and reduced down to a ring of foam. Little bits of lacing remain.

S: Some caramel malt and grains, there is a sweetness as well and a little bit of dark fruit. Opens up a bit as it warms.

T: Nice malt flavors. The dark fruit is more prominent than the aroma, the caramel flavor is quite strong as well. Has a doughy/bready flavor on the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth mouthfeel. Slightly sticky finish.

O: Very nice Bock, really easy to drink. Nice representation of the style.

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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 billab914
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Alesmith pint glass. It poured a dark caramel color with a very thin and fizzy head barely covering the beer. The head completely faded away rather quickly unfortunately.

The aroma has a big malty presence with caramel being the most dominant. I get some bready qualities to it with a little bit of some fruity, cherry like notes as well.

The taste also showcases the maltiness throughout the flavor. It starts out with more of the bready and malty flavor along with just a hint of bitterness. As you get to the finish it shows more sweetness to it with caramel and cherry flavors coming through.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it had some very nice flavors to it and it doesn't hurt that it's one of my favorite styles. A pretty solid beer and was a great choice to drink while watching some football this afternoon.

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Photo of brendanbeer
2.92/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

barcade in brooklyn. on tap.

a. dark brown, little head. at first is appealing, but the head soon dissolves into nothing, and it looks less than satisfactory.

s. not much, spicy bock notes... a little.

t. also not much. mellow spicy bock with slight malt and yeasty vibe. not much hop balance. unimpressed.

m. average beer mouthfeel, a little smoother and mellower.

d. easy to drink. im not sure what my "average" 3 is... but its closer to "not impressed" territory. its not something i would pay for and be excited about. but, regardless, cheers!

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Photo of OneDropSoup
2.77/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Just translucent, dark brown with nice ruby highlights & a thin, bubbly collar, just barely a wisp of head.

Nice smell -- lightly roasty chocolate, some dark licorice, & just a little coffee. Yum! Very clear malt smell, good stuff.

Huh. Taste is a bit of a letdown: a little watery, even mineral or aluminum, with some vaguely roasted notes hanging around. Even at a pretty reasonable ABV, the alcohol comes through too strongly. Man, that sucks! I was hoping for a nice, full malt taste, it's like the bottom just dropped out of this one. Aftertaste is like weak coffee, but that you got stuck with the grounds at the same time, slightly charred.
A little caramel sneaks in, but that's it, that's the high point.

Mouthfeel is thin & watery, & leaves behind a kind of astringent feeling.

Wow, what a curveball. I've had this in the past & loved it, & the aroma was right where I remembered it, but the taste was really lacking - in just plain wrong, too! Don't know if I got a bad bottle, but this in no way lives up to my memory of it.

EDIT: As I was rinsing out the bottle, I noticed a crescent of white residue on the bottom. I don't know if this had something to do with it not being up to snuff, but if it did, I'd hold the brewer accountable for that.

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Photo of scootny
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cola brown with a light beige head. Decent retention and lacing on the sides. Very clear but still opaque. Smell has notes of toffee and sweet roasted malts. Some banana tinged fruity yeast esters. A bit of plum wine. Mild earth. Taste had toffee and brown bread fused into a roasted grain coffee. Sweet fruity desserts with light spice. Coffee gets bigger toward the finish with a faint sweet alcohol flourish. A bit of sourness. Bitterness flows into tea leafiness and leaves a dry caramel graham with toasted biscuits. Feel is light and crisp with spot on carbonation. Super drinkable. This is a great winter beer but it is so good that anytime is a fine time for this brew. A real winner and something to seek out.

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Photo of beerphan
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> american pint

Pours a dark brown with some chestnut highlights A small head recedes quickly to a starred puddle of dish suds. Only some small dots of lace.

Nose: Some charred malts, caramel, candy

Full bodied. Huge malt blast up front with charred grains and caramel mixing. Light molasses and candy sugar add to the sweetness. A balancing spicy bitterness fights a loosing battle against the plentiful sweetness. Finished very boozy and warm.

This beer seems to be right on the style, which I am still acquiring a taste.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

fairly dark brown with a decent tan head that left some lacing behind.
Malt dominated in the nose as expected.
taste was pretty good, not as 'big" in the malt as I expected though. Hints of burnt sugar, fruts but seemed to be a bit thin on the mouthfeel

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