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30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

495 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 495
Reviews: 336
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.87%

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: IrieJackalope on 05-29-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 495 | Reviews: 336 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jadjunk


3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Charlie Papazian and Fred Eckhardt are two of the country's most esteemed homebrewers and writers. Their influential books and steadfast promotion of brewing culture helped propel the craft brewing movement. Charlie and Fred agreed to work with us on this very special brew in honor of our 30th Anniversary. This Imperial Helles Bock is a testament to the ever-evolving brewer's art. Bold yet balanced with distinct toasted malt character, moderate sweetness, and clean floral hops. Brewed in the style of a Helles Bock, released once in 2010.

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a Sierra Nevada imperial snifter. Served north of 57º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy eggshell white head of a thick, sudsy consistency. Body color is a very hazy copper orange, with large, reserved carbonation. Retention is above average, with a medium thick surface cover. Appearance has certainly held up well. 3.75

(Smell) Time has imparted a few notable effects in the way this beer smells. The malt bill consists of a wet german pale malt, a caramel note, and a hint of rye. There are pronounced fruity esters of pear and apple that join a largely faded floral and grassy hop murmur. The Spices range from mild clove to zesty cinnamon, but are collectively shallow. Some mild oxidation is obvious. 3.25

(Taste) Malt bill is similar in composition, with a pronounced graininess to join the rye bread note. Fruity esters are more of mellow semi-sweet grape and raisin than of pear and apple, clove is mild. Hop presence is light and faded, some musty grass hops linger. Drinkability is very high and no flavors come off as cloying or forced. It's an enjoyable flavor, even after all this time. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick and mildly thick with a breaded cleanliness, very little off-flavors. Carbonation is light and nonintrusive. Body is light/medium for the style and medium overall. Alcohol presence is light. I really enjoy the texture of this beer. 4.25

(Overall) Perhaps not the best choice for aging, this beer has held up remarkably well over the past 3 years. The drinkability is very high and the alcohol isn't enough to tuck you in for the night. With very few off flavors and an overall enjoyable malt and yeast balance, I'm inclined to recommend this should you happen to find some in the near future. It may not be extraordinary by any means but it sure is tasty. 3.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
30th Anniversary Charlie, Fred & Ken's Bock

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 02:25:52 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of nataku00


3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass, couple of years old that I found in a box recently. Beer pours a cloudy copper with two fingers of fluffy off white head that quickly dissipates to a film. Good amount of carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass, tiny bubbles floating up.

Nose is caramel malt, cherry, yeast ester bubble gum, clove, banana, mild grassy hop note.

Probably not the best beer to age, leads with caramel malt, cherry, and fruity ester flavor, but there's a bit of cardboard flavor. Still a bit of hop flavor, slightly grassy and floral on the finish, with some lingering caramel sweetness and the cardboard.

Medium body, with some yeast particles, mildly carbonated so it's very soft on the tongue. Shouldn't have aged it, unintentionally.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 04:12:46 | More by nataku00
Photo of 4000qtrap


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: 22oz bottle, aged ~2.5 years

S: Lots of honey, moderate perfumy minty floral hops that mingle nicely with apple sauce, caramel, wonder bread (and crust). Hints of banana and straw. Seamless flavor notes with a lot of complexity, mystery, and depth.

T: Caramel apple up front, very tasty and delicious with depth and a sweet-sour liveliness. Moderate mint/floral hops work very well. Bitterness is clean and incredibly smooth. Overall, for an imperial beer this is super smooth, almost creamy (low carbonation), with a definite richness and no rough edges. Lots of melded flavors, very deftly done and the 2 years of aging probably helped to some extent. Not quite the imperial punch I'd be looking for though. Finish is a little dry with a rye bread quality and really makes me want to take another sip.

Notes: Incredibly smooth but lots of flavors. The perfect fall beer with very high drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 22:16:47 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of GilGarp


4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle served chilled into a goblet.

The 30th Anniversary Bock is very hazy amber orange color with thin head. It settles quickly leaving no lacing behind.

Aroma is sweet and boozy with a fruity, slightly oxidized quality that actually works well together.

Flavor is also predominantly sweet but fairly well balanced. It has the same fruity notes as in the nose but also has an earthy hoppy character.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. It's balanced and drinkable in a slow sippable way.

Overall an enjoyable bock but probably the least favorite of the SN Anniversary beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 02:33:34 | More by GilGarp
Photo of superspak


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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/25/2010. Pours very hazy orange amber color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, apple, pear, bread, toast, brown sugar, grass, herbal, floral, light clove, and earthy peppery spiciness; some moderate cardboard as well that reduce as it warms. Pretty nice aromas with good complexity and balance; despite the oxidation. Taste of caramel, apple, pear, bread, toast, brown sugar, floral, grass, light clove, and earthy peppery spiciness; slight cardboard as well, but not too bad. Lingering notes of caramel, apple, pear, bread, toast, brown sugar, grass, floral, clove, and earthy peppery spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance with good complexity; with a nice malt/spiciness balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good imperial helles offering. Nice balance and complexity of malt and spicy flavors; and very smooth to drink for the gravity. The oxidation certainly knocked it down a bit; but it was still a very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 05:32:51 | More by superspak
Photo of Amalak

New York

4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had at Muggs Alehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

A/S. It has a nice deep opaque color of brown, with a good head of foamy white with a bit of lacing. There's a very nice strong citrus and alcohol scent to it.

T/M. It has a nice lemon and citrus taste with some dark fruit and a bit of hoppiness. A bit of a sour aftertaste.

O. A good fruity and sweet IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2013 19:59:03 | More by Amalak
Photo of harrymel


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this a few times, time to review.

Golden with a persistent sheet of white foam and a brilliant clarity. Smells malty, sweet and light bread, tea, cola, candied pecans, touch of german yeast character, a touch of freshly cut alfalfa and a hint of rose. Flavor is floral: malts, slight oxidation, a bit of bread and caramel. There is a ton of flower character in here for me with rose hips, a little bit of hibiscus and orange peel likeness in here. I like the complexity of the flavor, delicate as it is. Medium bodied with limited carb and an almost dry finish. Nice beer, glad how this one has evolved.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 10:08:18 | More by harrymel
Photo of MatthewWilde


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample: 1 bottle 2012

A: Dark orange in color, pours a strong off-white head that sustains, moderately strong internal carbonation, slightly cloudy throughout

S: Moderately fragrant, elements of mild citrus and dried fruit, sugar cane, some caramel, interesting, slight alcohol

T: Much akin to the nose, more alcohol than expected, especially given the age, sweet, creamy, followed by citrus and dried fruit notes

M: Smooth and certainly drinkable, but not exactly cellar worthy, more alcohol than should be present, no aftertaste, not lingering or drying on the palate

O: Not sure what a fresh version tasted like, but not entirely impressive, still true to the style and worth a try, but nothing to write home about (a review on Beer Advocate is a different story, however)

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2012 01:16:42 | More by MatthewWilde
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 6/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark orange amber. Strong pop on opening. Light, white head with little lacing. Mild caramel malt and hop aroma. Hop forward with light malt flavor. Peppery, grassy and boozy. Medium, slightly creamy bodied. Not as well integrated as it could have been. A satisfactory, but not remarkable maibock.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 23:49:32 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice golden/orange color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down slowly and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of sweet caramel, fruity notes, citrus, bready malts and some grassy hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it a has a nice caramel sweetness, some bready malts, floral/grassy hops, some fruit but all and all it was not as flavorful as what the aroma led me to believe.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance
and feel.
Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 20:42:41 | More by SebD
Photo of falloutsnow


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Friar Tuck's in Savoy, IL
No bottled on date, but "0147614:53" is stamped on bottle
Poured into an Ayinger willi glass

SN's imperial maibock is significantly bold and upfront variation on the style, with robust malt, hop, and ethanol presences. I enjoyed this more than Smuttynose's imperial maibock, though I believe this one could be more highly hopped to counterbalance the massive malts without any ill effect. Also, the ethanol could have been more effectively hidden within a bock's body, though I suppose part of the goal of an imperial anything is to put some emphasis on the ethanol, too. Would I get this again? Sure, it's pretty tasty, but I'd want to have a partner in polishing off the 750ml bottle.

Pours a 2-3cm head of off-white foam, composed of smallish bubbles on bottom with larger and medium-sized bubbles on top. Interesting how this seems to be a fairly common type of head for bock-type lagers. Eventually, the head settles to a 0.5cm cap atop the body. The declining head leaves some modest lacing along the sides of the glass. Body is a nearly opaque copper-orange/red color, fairly dark in hue. Bringing it up to light allows for the orange tones to explode in intensity and lightness, as well as see all the haze in the glass. Carbonation is visible, but very minimal and sluggish.

Aroma is sweetly malty with a bit of buttery diacetyl, notable floral hops, sweet fruity esters, and a faint note of ethanol. The sweetness of the bock is definitely present, but could use a bit more tempering by the hops.

Opens with a bit of lagered bread-like sweetness combined with floral-tasting hops and light fruit esters. Front of palate adds additional details/complexity floral and fruit characters. Mid-palate adds intensity to floral notes, some orange rind, honey, and a bit of spice drop flavor from mid-palate on: can't tell if this is an anise approximation, nutmeg-like phenol, or ethanol. Maintains sweetness mid-palate through close, with ethanol in the back of the palate through the finish, also contributing some warmth at those moments.

Beer is medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation, seems to be meeting expectations for the style. Ethanol is definitely felt in the nostrils and back of throat after a sip, which kind of detracts from the overall enjoyment of the flavors and the qualities of sipping this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 23:06:43 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of BostonHops


3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served in a nonic.

healthy pop from the 750ml, corked bottle... pours a nice, hearty amber tone with a large off-white head, though not a great particularly great showing in rentention or lacing.

nose is good, with a distinct biscuity-malty / hopppy presence. flavor opens with bready/biscuity malts and the hops growing stronger mid-palate. notes of light fruits, maybe apple... nicely balanced.... a touch of alcohol in the fairly dry finish. overall a tasty beer though not quite the cat's pajamas.

medium bodied, average carbonation; moderately drinkable. again, good but not great.

originally reviewed: 11-21-2010

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 21:52:51 | More by BostonHops
Photo of MisterE


4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this 750 ml bottle almost a year ago at Ward's and have been waiting for warmer days to return.

A: pours a not quite clear, deep golden color with a tall, off-white head that slowly recedes

S: clean, almost grassy aroma with sweet herbal and fruity tones

T: subtle and smooth, with bitter hints of hops and sweet malted barley - alcohol comes through later

M: medium body and moderate carbonation - nothing unusual for this type

O: pleasant enough, but not my favorite beer style

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 21:19:37 | More by MisterE
Photo of Murrhey


3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a mug. Reviewed live.

A- I got a little...liberal with the pouring, so there is a massive four finger creamy white head sitting on a cloudy reddish gold body. The retention is significant, so I might have to wait a while before I taste. But truly a nice looking beer. Thick lacing.

S- Some cloves and bananas like you would find in a weizen. Floral hops perfume the beer as well. Smells fruity and sugary, more so than I would have expected.

T- Dark flavor with a distinct booziness and some banana notes. Toasted malts and cloves are also present. Very complex beer.

M- Thicker, but the booziness thins the feel out mid drink. Somewhat dry.

O- Very pleased with this beer. Maybe I should have aged it longer, but I'm happy with how it tasted today.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 23:51:57 | More by Murrhey
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fills a hand-blown pilsner glass with a clear, dark, golden-amber beer and three inch, puffy, white head that lasts a long while before turning creamy. Lots of sparkling carbonation within and lacing above.

The aroma is crisp and citrusy with lemon and orange. There is background grain as well. With warmth one can perceive pine and caramel.

This bock is surprisingly tart. It is tasty with lots of caramel. Citrus comes out with warmth, all followed with a grainy mild finish.

A medium body and oily texture combine well with fine carbonation and a modest presence of alcohol.

Quite interesting, this works well as a stand-alone while relaxing or in place of a cocktail. Alcohol is a bit high for a session, but it does warm well so you can take your time.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 13:01:54 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of beergoot


3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The body looks a golden orange. The head is thick, white, and long lasting. Good lacing and rings form down the glass.

Smell seemed more malt forward than hoppy (in the Maibock / Helles Bock description). Notes of malt, caramel, and some slight fruitiness (apricot).

Heavy sweetness is the initial taste (kind of a heavy, dark fruit-like character). It then transitions a fair, mellow bitterness. Finish is rich with some alcohol warmth indicating its relatively high ABV.

Certainly an okay beer, but seems a little ham-fisted for a maibock or helles.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 00:55:11 | More by beergoot
Photo of Beerdregs


4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from corked, caged 750 ml bottle. The cork would have blown across the room had I not had my hand firmly on the cork. Pours light amber color, good clarity with ample 2.5 finger head.

S: Smells of fresh baked bread and some light citrus hop aroma very slight. I also perceive some alcohol in the nose as well. Is there some vanilla there?

T: Flavor is honey like maltiness with dried plum. There is a fairly heavy sweetness there not cloying though.

M: Heavy carbonation with a dry finish.

O: This is a wonderful bock. I think the age has taken away quite a bit of the hops but I think they were there as I picked them up in the nose slightly and I know SN likes the hop. The sweetness of this beer is well balanced by the heavy carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 02:47:55 | More by Beerdregs
Photo of Doppelmax

New Hampshire

4.97/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just another great big beer from SN. My wonderful daughter brought this one up to me from NYC. You have to raise them correctly!

Actually I'm a bit partial as bock is my favorite style but this one hits it out of the park. Imagine this as a Doppelbock a Sierravator.


Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 01:35:25 | More by Doppelmax
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: Pours a beautiful golden color with an amber center and a very hazy appearance, pours with a thin finger of fine off whit lacing which dissipates quickly leaves
S: not much in the way of scent, I'd have to say lemon and whiskey
T: real solid taste, begins with nice vanilla taste, then kicks into a very slight whiskey taste, vanilla lingers on the palate long afterwards
M: smooth and creamy, very very little carbonation
O: one hell of a representation of the style

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 02:27:50 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a nice mellow bock after a bit of aging. pours a rich golden color, bordering on copper in hue. smallish white head. smells german malty, a touch sweet, and a little strong. flavor is smooth as can be, plenty of nice mellow malts without being filling in any way. a toffee like candy flavor in the finish, very autumnal harvest feeling for me. mouthfeel is great, very well blananced, just enough carbonation, and a memorable drinkability. overall a solid beer that has definitely benefited from some time in the cellar. all of the 30th anniversary beers have been excellent

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 00:08:04 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of BucannonXC5


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint, 9.4 oz. glass into a pint glass. Color was honey caramel. Decent amount of head, probably 1 ½ ounces. Healthy amount of frothy, white lacing on the top. Very little film on the sides.

Smelled pungent fruit right up front. Seemed to be plum, pears and raisins. Also a touch of honey and caramel malts. Had some mint in there, too, maybe candy cane?

Not much like the nose in the initial taste. I got caramel up front with a dark fruit backbone. Honey seemed to be in there in all aspects. Feel it all on the tongue after, just slightly bitter.

Medium-to-light body. Oily texture. Lively (moderate) carbonation. Long finish.

Everything about this beer says, “Good.” Not my favorite Sierra Nevada, but one I’d definitely recommend.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 05:11:18 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of rlee1390


3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Cloudy deep orange, two finger head, tries to leave some lacing behind.

S-Earthy, grassy notes. Some hops still present. Rather malty.

T-Starts with bread-like malts, ends with some earthy/floral hops.

M-medium bodied, good carbonation still.

O-Although I don't have a review from fresh, it seems better with a little age on it. The malt meshes well with the remaining hops.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 02:23:06 | More by rlee1390
Photo of JDizzle


3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 25.4 oz bomber into a Imperial Pint glass.

After a money cork pop, the aggressive pour leads to a head that takes off like a mf'r. Bright White foamy head with a light hazy copper color that looks good. Smells like a biscuit with fresh sliced pears on top. A little Belgian tinge to it-which I don't like. Not my usual style, but I'm trying to venture out and explore. Really nice compare to a Lagunitas Bock I had! Taste is real bready, spicy. a banana flavor kinda comes out, but refreshing.
Not my usual style, but glad I picked this up. Can't wait to try the other styles in this series.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 03:06:35 | More by JDizzle
Photo of Haybeerman


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Gold/amber color; slightly hazy. Poured a 3 finger dense off-white head with good retention to a cap. Laced in wavy patches.

S: Big biscuity malt and sweet baked bread. Light grassy aroma.

T: Follows the nose; sweet, bready. Light-colored fruit character ahead of a warm and lighlty bitter finish.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Sweet and smooth, rich and warming. Though sweetness lingers, not cloying.

O: Nice malt character and some hop balance. A bit sweet and a little warm. All good for style.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 19:59:56 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of ckeegan04


3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden amber in color with a thick off-white head. Head is a solid three fingers and slowly recedes to about one finger of foam. Beer is clean and clear.

S - Lots of biscuty maly and toasted white bread in the nose. Just a hint of sweetness comes through with a touch of caramelized sugar. Very bready aroma.

T - Sweet and bready up front. Light fruitiness as well. Lots of biscuit and just a bit of toasted bread. The fruitiness comes through more as the beer wams with a touch of pear and a little peach.

M - Light to medium bodied with a moderate cabonation. Sweetness sticks long after the drink.

O - A nice beer here with a zesty feel and nicely moderated sweetness. Always fun to come across beers that show off their malts more than anything else.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 19:13:59 | More by ckeegan04
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30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 495 ratings.