Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

207 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 207
Hads: 378
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 8.06%
Wants: 77
Gots: 38 | 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: 207 | Hads: 378
Photo of wedge
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says 6.9% ABV

Dark mahogany color with a nice creamy head that leaves some drippy lace on the glass. Malty, bready aromas followed by some pale fruit and berries. Rich malty flavor...sweet berries, caramel, raisins. Clean and a little sticky. Medium bodied and smooth. Not bad...not the greatest bock in the world though. (329 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
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. (533 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
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! (1,542 characters)

Photo of mbrasi
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Aroma is sweet with noticible alcohol not pleasant. Flavor is smooth with a partially clean finish. A little staleness in the finish. Malt dominates the flavor profile as expected for the style. I just think the finish can be a little better. After the undesirable aroma I was expecting an bad experience but the beer is actually quite drinkable. (360 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle.
Clear, dark, red-brown ale with a good off-white head that fades slowly.
S: The aroma is mainly of roasted malts, with only faint hints of yeast and hops. Attractive but light.
T: The taste is well-balanced but a bit under-flavored.
M: Medium body seems a bit too thin, good, if slightly high, near-medium carbonation.

O: Certainly a good beer, but tame for style (versus European versions): a bock leaning towards an amber (454 characters)

Photo of Kolsch
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap: Headkeepers, Greensburg PA

Appearance: Dark mahogony cola like. Even as the bartender did a pretty decent pour on this, virtually no head to speak of. Carbonation problem?

Smell: dark fruit and caramel smell. Tastes like this is going to be a very sweet beer.

Taste: not as sweet as it smells. Dark malt imparts dried fruits, chocolate, molasses and a hint of cinnamon. As the beer warmed, it became blander in taste. Carbonation needs upped on this. Alcohol was well hidden and could drink a couple of these no problem.

Overall though, I wish this was amped as I felt the malts were too muted. I was little let down on this but would have again. I definitely want to try St Niks cousin the "Reserve" to do a comparison. (734 characters)

Photo of Braudog
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
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) (424 characters)

Photo of JISurfer
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first beer from Penn Brewing. I actually bought this last christmas time, so it's been in my dark, cool closet. I'm not sure if it changed the taste any, but it was quite tasty. Had nice subtle hints of chocolate malt and slight hops. I was a little disappointed with the appearance. Not much to the head, died out pretty quickly. Can't really tell there's 7.5% in it, which could make it dangerous. (402 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (326 characters)

Photo of beerphan
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> american pint
2010

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. (549 characters)

Photo of RVigz
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer was cloudy dark amber in appearance.

S: A very spicy and slightly malty smell.

T: The taste was slightly bitter with lots of spice and a nice roasted barley taste. I could taste slight nutmeg and cinnamon malts.

M: The initial mouthfeel was bitter but smooth. (275 characters)

Photo of FenwaySquid
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle, no dating but the neck label proclaims this is celebrating 20 years, poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a relatively clear reddish brown color. The head formed a sticky 2 fingers thick and faded very slowly.

Aroma: Grainy malts, that's all I got.

Taste: A mixture of sweet caramel malts and dark chocolate up front. The grainy taste comes through in the middle, and the chocolate becomes more assertive. The finish is a little sweet, reminds me a little of raisins. There's also a slight alcohol warming at the end as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, veryt smooth. The carbonation balances nicely.

Overall: Tasted good on a very cold winter's night, but really nothng spectacular. (717 characters)

Photo of DIM
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: Dark ruby colored. Poured with a thin yan head that faded quickly.

s: Mild nose on this one. Some roasted malt, cocoa, and vanilla.

t: Some sweet caramel, toffee, and chocolate notes. To a lesser extent cherries and floral hops.

m: Lack of carbonation hurt this score.

d: Not a bad brew, but once and done for me. (320 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (558 characters)

Photo of
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Clear, chestnut color with ruby tones. Small, light tan head composed of medium sized bubbles.

Aroma included yeast and was very fruity -- dark mainly, raisins and figs came to mind. Hints of coffee and chocolate. Earthy.

Taste was more sweet than bitter. Fruity, like aroma, raisins and prunes. Light caramel. Chocolate. Touch of herbal bitterness at finish.

Medium in body. Low to medium carbonation. Sweet.

Quite good. Not the biggest malt fan, but this was very tasty. Just enough bitterness to contrast the overall sweet malt profile. Very drinkable, perhaps dangerously so with the ABV. (610 characters)

Photo of Drew966
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

St. Nicholaus Bock Bier pours a mahogany color with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is malty. The flavor is mostly malty, but there is a bit of sourness at times and a bit of spice (most likely from the alcohol). Decent, but didn't blow me away. (268 characters)

Photo of tpd975
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (545 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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

1433 (779 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (418 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pours into my glass a deep ruby brown that retains a lot of clarity when held to the light. A half inch of fizzy eggshell head on top. Aromas begin with roasty, chocolate malts. Somewhat fruity as well with a light fig aspect. Grainy with a touch of herbal hops. Pretty good.

First sip brings a crisp, lightly roasted malt with accents of chocolate, caramel and a dark fruit background. A bit of a bready aspect. Slightly sweet it flows down with just a touch of herbal hop bitterness. Finishes clean.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a medium body and ample carbonation making it an easy to drink brew. Overall, this is a solid bock and I can appreciate it even though it's not one of my favorite styles. This is my first Penn Brewing beer and hopefully I'll have a chance to sample more in the future. (820 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mymrnngjckt for this one.

Poured from a bottle a clear orange-amber with a light beige head.

Light aroma of sweet malts, bread and a hint of molasses. The alcohol is well hidden.

Tastes of sweet malts, raisin, and bread.

Medium mouthfeel, somewhat dry, and mildly carbonated.

A good bock, but sadly, not a great bock. A little light in my opinion. (363 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (684 characters)

Photo of jaluria
3.73/5  rDev -6%
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. (509 characters)

Photo of brewQ
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It was Mardi Gras and a Bock sounded right.
I asked the Pittsburgh area bar what they had.
I was quite surprised to see Santa on the label!
Seemed like a blurring of seasons.

The dark jewel like color made me think of a Porter.
A firm and steady off-tan head reinforced that image.

The nose was chocolatey and malty. Though it was not overwhelming in the taste. Actually quite clean and balanced.
Residual sweetness in the finish.

A great brew. I'm still a bit baffled on the style and presentation: Bock, Doppelbock or ? Santa? (542 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (1,230 characters)

St. Nikolaus Bock Bier from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.