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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

372 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 372
Reviews: 208
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.93%
Wants: 74
Gots: 33 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 372 | Reviews: 208 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MmmIPA
4.65/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Warsteiner pils glass.

Very clear red body with a thick off white head and tons of bubbles streaming to the top.

Very malty and some carmel smells.

I taste some dark fruit then roasted nuts then some chocolate and it finishes very clean.

It seems like the carbonation is heavenly and is perfect.

Thanks Joe! This stuff is worth buying a case of.Very tasty and a sipper for sure.

Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Alkey

Pours a clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little tan fizzy head, leaves some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is slightly roasted malts, and caramel. The taste is malty, slightly bitter, with a dry finish. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad bock at that.

Photo of gottajiboo2
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a dark cherry color with a medium brownish tan head fading to a thin bubbly carpet. smells of damp malty sweetness and cherries. The taste was a herbal cherry thickness, layers of maltiness and warmth and a chewy mouth feel. very good beer, just one or two though.


Photo of Braudog
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a well-chilled 12 oz bottle. Deep brown or crimson with a bare whisper of a off-white foamy head that virtually disappeared after 10 seconds. Aroma? Not much ... a virtual whimper to the olfactory senses ... roasted barley, maybe a slight swirl of fresh pine. Thankfully, the flavor is more entertaining ... moderately robust with some dark cherry, bitter chocolate, and a bitter finish. Good. (#2724, 2/23/2007)

Photo of Minkybut
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured beer from bottle to tumbler at 45 degrees which was too cold. Beer had a nice dark roasted color with a fine bubbly tan head. Roasted hop taste, light nutty slightly. Beer was lighter tasting than it looked. I though the beer was kinda flat tasting also but might just have been this bottle. Even though I did not give this beer a high rating, I believe I will try it again just to see.

Photo of Fish113d
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass fridged to about 47 degrees, it pours a ruby colored body with copper tones throughout (maybe reverse that). The head is a solid surface layer of pale tan color that reduces itself to an oily surface layer with some slight cling on the edges. Bold and malty on the nose, some fruits come through to me right away (cherries) along with some chocolate aroma that basically reminds me of malty chocolate covered cherries, or of a Whitmans Cherry-filling chocolate square. Malty body on the sip followed along with some cherry flavor and chocholate that makes this seem like a nice dessert brew. Finish is slightly bitter and some hops even come through a bit. Sipping, the tip of my tongue tingles from the carbonation, but the alcohol hides in this one quite well at least until the finish and aftertaste, which sticks around a bit. Overall drinkability? Outstanding brew from Penn. I am not an overly-joyous fan of many of the offerings, but this one was great. The only thing hurting the drinkability of this one is the "higher" alcohol content, but who's counting??? Cheers!

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of jaluria
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark crimson color. Semi-opaque but still simmering in the light. A tan colored head develops but quickly dissipates and leaves some lacing and some big bubbles on the surface. Aromas of dark fruit, roasted grains, plums, and yeast. The alcohol and fruit flavors dominate. Sweet malt flavors come in a wave form; adding depth and interest to the beer. Slightly chewy and very bread-like in the finish. Enough sweetness to pair nicely with sweet dishes and still bitter enough to handle creamy sauces.

Photo of deejaydan
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep red, bordering on brown. Starts with a big, fluffy head. Aroma is alcohol and molasses. Taste is good, malty, alcohol is hidden, but there is a minerally taste to this beer. Must be the water? Carbonation is spot on for this beer. Mouthfeel is kind of thick, but that is to be expected, yet the alcohol and carbonation keep it balanced. Nice. Very drinkable. Thanks to Secret Santa and Imstillthegman for this one.

Photo of jhicks12
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I give this beer 4's straight down. I had this beer at a dive of a college bar was shocked they had it. I got a pitcher. Beer was a nice dark brown in appearance which a nice sweet malty smell that one would exepy from a bock. inital taste was nice sweet and balanced, also what i would expect from a well made bock. nice medium mouth feel all the way though, leading to make this beer nice and drinkable...i ended up drinking two pitchers of it and got cut off by the bartender for the night!

Photo of bigdeuce
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red to black color. Smell is fairly average. Price is good at $6.99 a sixer. Tastes like it has chestnuty brown to it with nice chocolate malts and a little hoppy backbone. More toward the sweet side and excellent winter brew that should be available year round. I recommend this one.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chestnut color. Off white, somewhat tan head. Malty, somewhat spicy aroma. Great, malty flavor. Slight hop bitterness. Has a soft, mellow spice flavor to it. Good, full body. Very, very drinkable brew. Wish I could have gotten this in years past.

Photo of jasonm
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a Mad Elf chalice

A - Color is a medium reddish mahogony color. Fleeting head of off-white soapiness receding to a ring of lacing.

S - Sweet grain aroma along with some darker fruit esters, raisins, and a hint of alcohol.

T - Bittersweet chococlate, roasted malts, some mild grain astringency. A nice touch of hop spiciness and alcohol give it a nice kick midway through the palate. Finish is more roasted malts with a more green hop bitterness.

M - A little thin, dry, prickly carbonation.

D - Dangerously drinkable, goes down easy for %7.50. Really good flavor. Im glad to see the locals stepping up with some great seasonals.

Photo of Alkey
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured a dark amber color with small foam white head and nice lacing on the glass. Smell of sweet fruits, and malts make up a mouth watering scent. Taste is a nice blend of some sweet fruit malt and hop bitterness That taste like fresh cut grass smells in the finish. A medium feel in the mouth is not to heavy or light with a touch of carbonation on the tongue. This is definitely one of my favorite Penn brews and very easy to drink.

Photo of flexabull
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber / brown color with a decent looking head.

Beer smells like malts, breads, and grains. A bit sweet too.

Flavors are crisp up front, and creamy on the finish. This has a very grain like quality to it, not much in the way of hops noted, but quite a bit of flavor from some sweet slightly roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is a bit lean, but not bad.

Not a bad bock. I'd have no problem having another. Not spectacular, but certainly solid and drinkable.

Thanks for this one MuenchenerKindl.

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

12 oz bottle:

Appearance: First off, I love Penn's bottle labels. Everyone of their beers has a very class label with great artwork. That being said St. Nick (with old world style Santa Claus on the label) pours very dark, not quite black like a porter but way more brown than a brown ale with hues of ruby shining through. An off white head is relatively small and fades fairly quickly to a sheer lacing on top of the beer. A nice ring of lacing borders the beer.

Smell: Hints of chocolate, biscuits with a little caramel thrown in for good measure to give it some sweetness then the roasted, burnt malts hit your nose.

Taste: Starts off with a touch of bittersweet chocolate malt followed by a more bready and roasted malts with a hint of coffee in the mix, the middle is more malty goodness then finishes with more "burnt" and roasted malts but this is also where the hallertau hops give it a pleasant bitterness. Finish is rather short and dry leaving a lingering burnt taste in the mouth. Alcohol well hidden but definitely can feel its warming effects.

Mouthfeel: Medium bordering on thin with ample carbonation. Very dry and short in the finish.

Drinkability/Notes. St Nick is different than most bocks that I've had before. Not as sweet as some bocks and has a distinctive roasted/burnt flavor and aroma that makes it interesting. The meld of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt plus the bitterness of the hallertau hops makes for a pretty well balanced, though malty beer. A cold weather sipper for sure, a beer to savor not just drink. Highly drinkable with the 7.5 % abv being hidden but noticeable on the face. Highly recommended, an interesting bock bier. Seek and enjoy.

Photo of Luchman
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to akorsak for this

Poured into a pilsner glass

A: Dark, but not murky, ruby red color with a one finger off white head that calms down pretty quick, but never seems to fully dissipate. Clumps of lace can be found down the glass.

S: Malts, dark fruits, and some spice. Subtle hops and alcohol can be found too.

T: Sweet malts and toffee! Spice and the dark fruits can be found towards the end, all mixed up with a nutty, earthy tone. Finishes pretty crisp.

M:Medium body that goes down smooth and refreshing.

D: I like it. Nothing really mind blowing to me, but I could drink a couple of these and enjoy every bit of it.

Photo of tugdriver7
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I eagerly bought a whole case of St. Nick yesterday, so I may be modifying this report as it grows on me a bit. I bought the last case in the store. The box looked a little worse for the wear, so I hope it's a new (2006) batch and not something that had been sitting around for a year or more. I found out later that it was at least a year old; so this review is a bit off the mark, so-to-speak.

The beer poured into the glass very dark amber, with a gorgeous head that left a nice lace as it disappeared. In the smell I caught hints of roasted malt (as I expected) and a slightly fruity (hops?) odor that seemed a bit stronger than I had expected. The mouthfeel was thinner than I thought. The taste, however, was confusing. I hope that the complexity of the brew is the reason (and not a year's worth of sitting in a warehouse). It tasted not bitter, not tart, but something akin to sour. I didn't expect that. Perhaps that's what it should be (from the other reviews I've read that cite "raisin" or "berry" or "fruit" in the taste). Even so, no matter how good the product, I couldn't give this batch (or this bottle) a high rating. I'll amend when I find it fresh.

Photo of jcdiflorio
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tall slender pilsner glass from a 12oz.brown long neck bottle with crimped-on cap. 20 years on top label.

Beautiful clear ruby red color,thick/rocky off-white towards tan head.Good retention with chunks 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.Can't seem to keep my nose out of this beer.

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

A medium mouthfeel,very creamy,slightly cloying a treat for the palate.
Very robust,tasty and enjoyable.Could drink all night,and have done it many times over the last 20 years. The beer gives me something to look foward to every Christmas season. Here's to another 20 years.
Everybody need to try this Christmas jewel !!!!

Photo of guinnessfan
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle from variety pk at Breski's poured into Das Festhaus pint

A: Light brown, amber color with a slight cloudiness. Tan head disappears into a thin ring within the glass.

S: Malt, light sweetness like molasses or brown sugar.

T: Initial sourness, perhaps darker fruits, tamed by malty sweetness and a darker roasted or burnt flavor.

M: Smooth, rich, yet not too thick. Clean with perfect carbonation.

D: Good beer, full bodied flavor, easy to drink. Too strong to be sessionable, though.

This is my first Penn product and I am excited to try the others in the variety pack.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful ruby brown color with about two fingers of creamy tan head.

The smell is a mixture of roasted nuts, dark fruits, brown sugar and spices, with a faint hint of hops. This one is all about the dark, sweet malts.

The taste is delightful. Dark fruits and roasted nuts up front with a bit of a light roasted coffee flavor in the middle and a spicy hop bite towards the end. All of that wrapped in a warm alcohol blanket.

Good mouthfeel, but a bit thinner than I thought it would be. Crisp, slightly dry finish. I find myself wanting to grab another one of these on this cool night. The Bigfoot I had first was a bit too much, but this seems just right.

Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of Phatz
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany plum color with a beige head that fades to a halo.

Smell: Malty with a smell of ripe fruits, brown sugar a hint of hops and alcohol.

Taste: Very over ripe dark fruits, plums cherries and raisins, sprinkled with spices and drizzled with caramel; a heavy malt feel and a zippy hop alcohol blend in the finish with a bit of cocoa in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth rich medium body feel that is a bit barley chewy but not cloying.

Drinkability: It is rich and malty and thick and heavy in the stomach, but tasty. It is a beer for sipping and it is one that caps the night. Certainly *not* a session beer but a tasty sipping bock.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of mjc410
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has been in my cellar for overy a year, the very last bottle from a case bought Iast summer, already on the bargain shelf (this is a Winter 04-05 bottle).

The pour into my trusty La Moneuse tulip, which has been able to hold the entire contents of every 12 oz bottle I've had for weeks, could not contain the massive two inch puls head this monster put up, so I had to wait for it to settle to finish the pour. The head is a nice light tan, and leaves incredible lacing. The body lets through just a bit of ruby light in an otherwise jet body. The nose is very vinous, of apple cider and cinnamon as well, very sweet. It reminds me of smelling Old Stock Ale, but more intense. The beer certainly didn't smell like this last summer, so I'm noticing that it's breaking down quite a bit. Still, this smell is wonderful. The taste is smooth, slightly acidic, a bit fruity in an apple way, and has a nice rich malt flavor in a pretty thin body, with very low carbonation. A subtle milk chocolate flavor works its way into the flavor profile eventually, too. A fairly mild taste, but quite unique.

This experiment resulted in a beer that is arguably better than the fresher samples I've had.

Photo of laintringulis
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pub glass. Dark burgundy color with a little pinkish head that turned to a film quickly. Quite stunning color.

Smell yeasty with a citrus backbone. Light spicy nutmeg, cinnamon, earthy, grassy smells.

Initially, nicely malty, sweet with a brief nutty-caramel taste, without being too sweet. Very spicy, citrus, middle that finishes with a drier citrus taste and light alcohol presence.

excellent mouthfeel, not oily, finishes with a nice dryness and crispness that leaves you wanting more. Highly sessionable, easy to drink. Just the right amount complexity in flavors and drinkability. The alcohol is balanced well in the beer.

St. Nikolaus Bock Bier from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 372 ratings.