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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's ReserveSt. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

140 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 55
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jcdiflorio on 11-22-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NoProblem
5/5  rDev +19.3%

NoProblem, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of rjvanston
5/5  rDev +19.3%

rjvanston, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of jordanmiller
5/5  rDev +19.3%

jordanmiller, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of ncrbrew
4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Penn Brewery's regular St. Nik bock leaves milk and cookies for santa. The brewers reserve leaves santa a bottle of Jack and a Louisville Slugger. Get some get loaded. Short of the high abv i'd drink this stuff nonstop. Another great small batch brew from the guys at penn.

ncrbrew, Apr 04, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml capped green bottle into Scandinavian mug. 7.5% ABV. Batch 002.

Deep mahogany hue. When held up to the light I can see that the beer is clear, with ruby highlights. A thick and dense two finger even head slowly settles to a thick cap. The settling head leaves behind about a finger of solid lacing. Rings of solid lacing.

Very light, but also very complex. Those usually don't occur together but this one somehow pulled it off. Heavily toasted grains give off a little bit of brown sugar and caramel.

My first impression from the flavor is it's extremely smooth and creamy tones. Some roastiness builds in the middle and shifts to a slight bitterness. A bit of caramel comes in here and there.

Smooth, yet complex. Oh so drinkable. A good amount of roasted malts and caramel. A very enjoyable bock. Recommended.

BeerSox, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of Paymygasbill77
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured from a 220z bomber labeled "St. Nikolaus Brewer's Reserve". This beer pours a nice dark brown with a slight ruby color around the edges. The head is a thick, off-white cream that fills the top of my yards glass.

S - Amazing. Dark malt, coffee, a little toasty with a hint of cacao.

T - The same as the smell. Amazing! The front hits with the warm, sweet, malty, toasty flavor, moves into a small bit of alcoholic hotness and ends with this amazing roasty, chocolate-coffee flavor.

M - A little thicker than the average beer. It coats your mouth in it's glory, tapers off and leaves you wanting more.

O - A world-class beer. I can't believe this was only $5.50 a bomber. If you can get this beer, get it. I am going to buy a case of it so I can cellar it for a year or more... FANTASTIC!

Paymygasbill77, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of irishevans
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage poured into my O.G. Duke Pilsener glass @ 00:10 on 5/17/2012

A- Dark Mahogany color with a slight orange/light brown hue coming through the sides when held to the light. the head is a light tan/cream color, that formed to just under two fingers width, then settled to a thin film. and that later turns into just a ring around the glass with a trace of the film left in the middle. leaves behind a bit of lacing, not overly thick, but that could be due to the sheer age of the glass.

N- Toasted grain, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, and a bit of date/raisin smell in there too.

T- the Dark fruit comes out right away, along with a bit of boozy heat. the caramel then shows up to the party, followed quickly by the cinnamon coming out. it finishes sweet, and the chocolate taste that is rather subtle in the beginning add itself to the mix more potently. I should add that this is a graduated effect, once one flavor comes out it's there throughout.

M- medium viscosity, but thicker for the style. still nicely carbonated, but not over done. there is a dryness, presumably from some earthy/herbal hops, that don't really seem to affect the taste, but add a nice crispness to the feel. not an overall dry beer though. All in all a great mouthfeel for the style.

O- I'm in love. I think I cracked this it the right time. maybe could have gone longer but I'm quite satisfied with having imbibed it when I did. All this in mind, you had better beat me to the Penn Brewpub this winter, because I intend to get as much of this coming years vintage as my wallet will allow for.

irishevans, May 17, 2012
Photo of russpowell
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this from melbatoast93, Cheers Hart! Or should I say prositz?

Batch 001 pours an effervescent chestnut/ mahogany with 2 fingers of rocky sandy head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Faint herbal hops, a bit of chocolate & not much else, until it warms & then booze & dark fruit take your nose for a ride!

T: Herbal hops, caramel, cakeyness, & a touch of dark fruits up front. A whisper of black patent malt & dark chocolate, a touch of dryness, nice breadyness, apple pie spices, figs & plums as this warms. Finishes fruitty, dry, chocolatey & just a touch of herbal & tobacco hops

MF: Medium bodied, chewy & rich, soft carbonation

Drank very easy, this one took a little while to open up; my suggestion: serve closer to ale serving temps than lager. A very good bock as good as most or better than ones I've had in the fatherland or any where else!

russpowell, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 bottle,foil wrapper with crimped cap,in a velvet bag,sevred into a Delirium tulip glass.

Clear,deep alburn color,2'' tan head very dense and creamy with excellent retention. Very tiny bubbles tightly knitted on the sides of the glass,leaving some sticky webby lacing on the glass.Comes to life like the first pour with every swirl.

Complex aromas,moderate, very fruity with dark fruitiness of figs/dates.Roasty,chard wood with spicy noble hops,with the slightest hint of alcohol.

Dark fruity tastes come through first, followed by an easy complex maltiness roasty,some coffee,dusty chocolate with light burnt notes.Very well balanced with a nice pleasing spicy woody hoppiness. No alcohol tastes of a beer that's 8.5%.

Extra smooth and creamy,has a very light mouthfeel,just melts away in your mouth. Unbelivable drinkability,just kinds of slides down. Just can't belive there is alcohol in the beer. You do feel it though. Must try beer,get it while you can. I'll be looking for a case.

jcdiflorio, Nov 22, 2007
Photo of ejimhof
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

ejimhof, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks for getting this one to me. I have been dying to try this for what seemed like forever. This 750ml bottle that was wrapped in gold foil and capped on the top arrived to me in the red velvet drawstring bag, which I have to admit is a very nice touch. Served at cellar temp and poured into a pilsner glass, this one was consumed on 10/21/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich and very hazy dark brown color emerging from the abyss. Nice head of tan that reached a height of around two inches before settling back down top earth and leaving behind some very nice side glass lacing. Very thick, and full looking bock.

The aroma was super rich and sweet, really just a joy from the moment I opened the bottle. Nice and rich and airy, caramel, toffee, hints of earthy hops just dancing in and throughout the flavor. Some light spices, cinnamon, nutmeg perhaps, also intruding in upon the flavor, and giving it that little bit of a holiday like hint. The real story though here was just the smoothness and ease of drinkability here. Simply outstanding. Rich and luscious with a decadent, almost dessert like feel to it that was just a breath of fresh are. Rich caramel and toffee like notes just rippling in throughout the finish leaving the tongue coated in rich flavors and really just a fine example of a delicious bock.

In the end, wow, this was damn good. Who would have thought I would have been drinking a Andescher and this is in the same three day period is just absurd. There are far too few of these good bock biers out there anymore and it is a shame. This was one solid beer I would love to see in regular rotation.

mikesgroove, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of NotMilko
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%

NotMilko, Nov 06, 2014
Photo of schildres
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%

schildres, Oct 23, 2014
Photo of righthereisay
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased a case of 750 ml bottles (12 of 'em) Batch# 002.

Had them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, contributed to some Christmas parties, and finally the final Steelers game of the seaon...

Nice dark color. Some tan head. The smell isn't as good as its taste.

Love the complex taste. Lots of raisin, carmel, fruit flavors. Lots of spices. A little bit of bitterness. Sure wish it was a tad creamier, it may have been perfection.

You could throw down a lot of these. I don't think anybody would hate this beer. Grandma's, cousins, friends all enjoyed it. Only concern is the alcohol content.

righthereisay, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of stewart124
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001
Picked this up at the brewery last holiday season.

Pours a very dark amber with a decent tan head that is just a bit sticky.

The smell is not as strong as I would have imagined. Some dark malts are present in the nose with a touch of sweetness. Slight bready note.

The taste is so clean and very very tasty. Bready character with a touch of roasted malts. Lots of caramel.
Mouthfeel is creamy and has a nice sweetness. Finishes dry on the palate. This gets creamier as it warms a bit. Just a solid lager. I could put down a few of these before the alcohol caught up to me. It's well hidden and the only trace is a nice warm feeling in my stomach.

Hops are only slightly present and I can taste just the faintest bitterness.

Aother solid beer from Penn and I'd like to get my hands on another one.

stewart124, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 001. 750 ml gold foiled, green glass bottle. Served in a red velvet stocking.

A delicious looking beer that bears strong resemblance in colour to a creme caramel dessert. All subconscious associations to the custard aside, this looks as though it will be one scrumptious bock! It adorns a modest crown of white and, with a strong source of light behind it, becomes illuminated and will take on a most lush tone of mahogany.

The aroma pulsates with a rich, succulent, nourishing, full-bodied maltiness. It smells sweet and sticky but also crisp and toasty. It's also far more complex than most lagers are known to be and boast notes of creamy caramel, molasses syrup and butter pecan. My nose is also definitely picking up on hints of dates, plums, and chocolate covered raisins.

These savory flavours continue to seep through in the taste. The flavours seem to borrow on those of rich desserts: creme caramel, butter pecan pie and fig pudding in particular. Bowls of dried fruits (prunes, raisins, figs) have marked their spot. Even a touch of spice - a tea sort of spice - has also soaked in. Add in rum raisin and spiced eggnog, blend them all together, douse them with molasses and then caramelize with brown sugar - voila!

This beer is nothing short of delicious and seems to have lost none of its edge during the year it spent on my cellar shelf. There's even a vinous, grassy hop presence that seems to conclude each sip, although the bitterness is definitely washed over by all the sweetness. That said, the beer is balanced and maintains an astonishing level of quaffability considering its strength. This certainly one of the best bocks I've tried outside of Germany.

Saint Nikolaus (whom our beloved Santa Claus is modeled after) was said to be known also as 'Nicholas the Wonderworker'. If you ask me it's a wonder how this brewmaster could fit so much flavour and hide so much alcohol to create a bock this quaffable. It is far from overly sweet, far from overly strong and, only perhaps, far too drinkable.

Bocks were traditionally brewed for special occasions, including religious festivals like Christmas. I personally would consider the Winter Holidays to be a perfect time of year to enjoy this style and Penn Brewing has treated me with this late Christmas gift. There is no doubt St. Nikolaus (note the German spelling) would be especially proud of this rendition of the traditionally German style - I bet he'd like to have one too after a long night's work!

biegaman, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of Jimbo87
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$5.99 bottle (1 pint 9.4 oz) from Total Wine. Batch 001.

Poored almost opaque, hazy brown into pilsner glass with a 1 finger very pale brown head. Left little lacing.

Smells like caramel and toffee.

Taste had caramel, toffee, maybe coffee. Roasted malt. Very porter-like. It's definitely balanced, because it's not overly sweet, but you don't really notice the hop taste per se. Alcohol not evident, though it is higher than average for a bock. Delicious beer.

Mouthfeel was good. Medium mouthfeel. Not as thick as a stout, but thicker than a bock like Sam Adams Winter Lager. Medium-low carbonation.

Very drinkable because the taste was delicious and it goes down smooth. I split the bottle with my parents, but I could've finished it myself no problem.

This was my second bock. I did not like Sam Adams Winter Lager. I didn't want to finish it. So I was afraid I wouldn't like this one. But to my surprise, I loved it. Highly recommended. I will definitely buy again if I see it for $5.99.

Most of this beer in the store was priced at $11.99, but on one shelf it was priced $5.99 and I got the last one. I don't know why it was cheaper. Maybe it was old. But it makes sense that it would age well for a bock because the alcohol is higher than average for the style.

Jimbo87, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of jamiemottram
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

jamiemottram, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

hoppymcgee, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of blackie
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pilsner glass, dark nutshell brown in color, capped with a tight little head kept alive by a constant stream of bubbles from the glass bottom

s: fruity, dark lager malts - caramel and raisin, nuts, a bit woody with some ultra-smooth roast, a glimpse of smoke, rich

m: smooth light-moderate carbonation, medium bodied

t: great bock flavor - lots of rich, toasty german lager malts, a mix of dark fruits and smooth roast, full flavored but with a clean, focused lager character and a crisp bitterness with a touch of smoke in the finish

d: easy, really like this one and didn't expect it to age so well

750 from Whole Foods, Reston - Batch 002

blackie, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of dsshuck
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

dsshuck, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of creeker2258
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

creeker2258, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of foureyedgeek
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

foureyedgeek, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of ramrod666
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

ramrod666, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of spedprof
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

spedprof, Jan 07, 2014
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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.