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

Not Rated.
30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

514 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 514
Reviews: 338
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 21
Gots: 67 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: IrieJackalope on 05-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 514 | Reviews: 338
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Bruery tulip.

Pours a lightly hazy dark copper bordering on brown, with a solid 3-finger khaki head that ever so slowly settles down to about one finger. Excellent retention, and decent lacing. probably 4.3, but I'll swing it up a bit.

Nose is sweet, bready, light toast, with a bit of spicy alcohol making things interesting. Light notes of clean, fresh red berries. There's a just a bit of spicy Saaz in there as well, balancing the whole experience effortlessly.

Taste is again bready, sweet, lightly toasted, lots of bready caramel, lush. Light notes of Saaz come through to balance as you swirl the beer in your mouth, and linger delicately on the long finish alongside a bit of spicy alcohol and some bready remnants. Fairly straightforward, and not precisely to style at all, but what style exactly would fit this better? Failing to think of any, I shrug and go on rating as normal - a very tasty beer that hit a lot of right notes for me. Barely short of 4.5. Will check in again when I drink the next bottle.

Mouthfeel is light yet soft, lush, and creamy. Possibly my favorite aspect of the beer. Beautiful, almost impossible dichotomy. Faint alcohol burn on the swallow is the only thing that keeps it from perfection.

Drinkability is quite good. Delicious, near-perfect mouthfeel, well-balanced and with a nice lightness to it. The alcohol and resulting mild burn hinder it a bit, but still quite good.

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

750ml into a SN XXX Snifter.

Pours a deep golden color with a giant fluffy head that recedes to a thin froth that sits dutifully atop the beer. The nose is bready and spicy, with plenty of earthy notes- almost haylike. Taste is spicy up front. Very very interesting. Malt sweetness holds up the backend very well. Mouth is slick and moderately heavy, feels great. This beer is very drinkable. The spicy notes beg to be explored. Overall, a well crafted, easy drinking brew.

Photo of jamie2dope
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was happy to see all of these great brewers take on one of my favorite styles, Maibock. This one pours out a clear orange color, with three fingers of white heading that fades quickly. Red rye in the nose, wheat, some strawberry, overall very bready. More of the same from the taste, though there is an element of cinnamon and toast that adds a nice complexity. Mouthfeel is full bodied, dominated most of all by the malt and the alcohol. Although the booze is somewhat noticeable in the taste, it is not readily apparent in other respects. I suspect this will be a good beer to age as well. Overall a pretty good Bock that could get a whole lot better with some age to it. Looking forward to the other collaborative beers in this series.

Photo of oberon
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 1/2 liter stein a rich clear copper/bronze with a large fluffy white head atop that turned nto a creamy mass as it settled slowly.Aromas were pretty clean with floral and spicy hop dominating,light toastiness and caramel are there but they are pretty faint.Lighter feel for the style and pretty clean on the palate,light caramel malt and a bit of sweet dough with a hefty drying,spicy finish.Not true to form, its to hopped up wich I dont mind,but it just seems to lack a little heft in my opinion.

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

After the fantastic 30th Anniversary Stout that was released a couple of months ago, I had high hopes for this one. It certainly did not disappoint.

The appearance is near-flawless. This is exactly what a big Helles should look like.

As for the smell and taste, I see a lot of people knocking these categories. This isn't a DIPA that you are going to smell right when you crack it open. I think both the smell and taste represent the style very well. As the beer warms, the alcohol comes through a little more, which hurts the drinkability.

Overall, this is another great beer from Sierra Nevada. I anxiously await the next two in the 30th anniversary series.

Photo of argock
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 750mL brown bottle into a clear Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date other than anniversary labeling. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $11.29.

A: Crisp pale brown-tan with ample 3-finger wheat-colored tightly bubbled head with good retention and spots of lacing.

S: Aroma is dominated by clean malt and grassy, herbal hops but alcohol creeps in and starts to assert more presence with warming.

T: The flavors echo the aromas pretty closely with pale and light caramel malts providing a nice round sweet profile cut with herbal, lightly minty hops. The alcohol component again sneaks up and provides a lot of fruity ester which is a little too forward for my taste.

M: Clean feel in medium body with moderate carbonation and a crisp finish.

D: A good beer but doesn't fulfill the potential or the price tag.

Photo of blackie
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: unibroue tulip, initially slight head quickly slinks back to leave nothing on the surface, the beer itself a pale copper color

s: lightly toasted, aromatic euro pale malts - light caramel, sweet fruits - white grape, booze present, faint marzipan, grassy noble hops

m: carbonation lively at first but smoothing out over the course of each pour, body on the full side of medium, almost slick but quickly drying

t: begins with toasted euro pale malts providing flavors of crusty bread and some sugary fruits - perhaps grape, then abruptly moves to a hoppy finish with a big dose of grass flavors, not particularly complex, seems more a solid standard maibock with an extra booze kick

d: easily drinkable, doesn't pack the flavor expected under the "imperial" billing, but it's a solid maibock regardless

750 from Norm's, Vienna, VA - paired with sauteed kale and dutch oven chicken and rice

Photo of larryi86
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into snifter

A- A yellow/golden color with a hint of orange and a two finger white head.

S- Mainly sweet malt, with earthy notes and spices.

T- Well balanced with a nice malt base, with a great honey taste and a hint of alcohol.

M- Smooth and not too light, very refreshing.

D- Easy to drink a whole bottle in one sitting. The alcohol could be hidden a little better, and is a little disappointing compared to the 30th Anniversary Stout, but is still a great beer.

Photo of Traquairlover
2.86/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle. Given that this is called an imperial helles bock, I was unsure exactly what glass to use or how to rate it to style. In the end, I decided to use a tall thin tulip and to simply rate it based on enjoyment, since I do not know how I could fairly rate an imperial to a helles bock standard.

A = A coppery, honey colored brew with a large foamy of white head that recedes very slowly and becomes more billowey as it does so. Leaves only a small amount of lacing and has large numbers of very tiny carbonation bubbles.

S = Very interesting mix of smells here. Though there is a spicy, earthy, bready base to it, I am picking up quite a bit of grapefruit rind which I frankly did not expect and am not sure I think really blends well with what else is going on.

T = Taste is slightly better than the smell, mostly because the hops flavors I was worried about didn't materialize, but the tastes do seem strangely muted compared to the smell, too. Where I really got some white pepper, rye bread, and other complexities, on the taste I mostly get a little rye bread with honey, but more bitterness than that description would suggest. It's not bad, but it's not really good either.

M = Fairly light bodied, a bit of bite from overly aggressive carbonation bubbles and a bit of alcohol.

D = Can't say I really feel like finishing this bottle or having any others. It is a bit strange in the nose, underwhelming in the taste and almost unpleasant in the feel.

Photo of Brad007
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mild golden color with a one-finger head into my glass. Nice presentation, though perhaps I was hoping it would be darker. Still good though.

Aroma is full of sweet, slightly smoky malt upfront with perhaps a hint of raisin/plum.

Taste is full of caramel, raisin/plum and otherwise sweet and chewy malt. It's a bit hot but nothing too overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is full of raisin, plum and sweet malt that linger. Decent.

Certainly another excellent collaboration between Charlie Papazian, Fred Eckhardt and Ken Grossman. Worth a shot if you liked Fritz and Ken's collaboration.

Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle served at 50 degrees in my SA Perfect Pint. Poured a translucent, orange-copper-gold with a three inch foamy, cream-colored head that sizzled and popped as it slowly condensed into a mostly consistent 1/8th inch skim; some spots of lacing, but no real retention. Nose is very interesting and complex - a subtle citrus quality, herbal hops aromatics, light toasted malts and some fruity sweetness hidden in the back. Taste consistent with nose; however, the sweetness that was barely detectable at the back is very much forward in the flavor profile. A little earthy/grassiness and some lingering booze comes out towards the back and at the finish - this is a really delicious Maibock that has a nice balance between the sweet and the bitter. Mouthfeel is medium-light and slightly viscous, with a lively, even carbonation. Many of the Maibock's I've had tend to get cloyingly sweet after a while. That being said, I found this beer quite drinkable for the style. I have to say that I'm really looking forward to the 3rd and 4th offerings from SN.

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

Nice big pop from the bottle... pulled right out of my cellar/cooler at 12 deg. C and ready to drink.

- Pours a nice clear copper/amber... very bubbly with a nice fizzy off-white head.... leaves a nice thin layer for some time.

- Light grain, oats.. wonderful sour-like pilsner notes.. toasty.. biscuit, and woody with some nice floral and crisp bitter hops in the nose.

- Roasty and sweet grain... clean grain.... and lots of sugars.. caramel, candy.... nice floral and grassy hopping... slight skunkness to it which is actually spot on for this... very well balanced and just a little hot or warming yet. Loving the grain..

- Little touch chewy, buy mouth watering sweet and balanced.. light to medium bodied really... smooth sailing.

- Just a touch hot yet, but with a little time in the cellar... this would be amazing... though, it still is amazing, and seems very spot-on for the style. The sweetness and roasted flavors from the grain are amazing... as well as a very distinct and foreign hop presence to compliment the style. I'm impressed.

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

Pours the color of perfectly toasted white bread. The fluffy off-white head fades away quickly, leaving beautiful rings of lace. Crisp aromas of pale malt and toasted whole wheat bread, offset by light spicy and floral hops. The flavor profile is elegant and refreshing. Sweet and malty, with a delicate touch of hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and manages to conceal the high ABV very well. An interesting take on a classic style.

Photo of MexicanSkittel
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Currently one of my favorite beers to drink. I've had the privilege to enjoy this tasty treat on tap, and out of a corked 750ml bottle.

When I received this in glass the first time, I was drawn to the depth of browns and blackness that overwhelmed the glass. The head was light, and soft with a caramel hint to the foam. The nose brought a slight toasted coffee, caramel and spice.
Mouth feel was soft smooth, with a medium carbonation. This was not too much, but just enough to allow the rich chocolate black pepper, malt, and so very slight bitterness from the hops to all come through.

All in all I really enjoy this beer, I will continue to enjoy this over the next couple years as I've got a 6 pack in my cellar to track its developments.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A perfect pop out the caged & corked bottle. Excellent carbonation (which held throughout the entire bottle) and color, orange to brown, which again, remained vibrant and attractive throughout. Aroma had a twinge of Euro sweetness to it.

Pepper, Euro Hops (saaz/tettenang?) seemed to rock the party that rocks the body. Drank so smooth, could've believed this was 5% alcohol. Was so effortlessly light on the palate throughout, just some tangy pepperish hops, so easy to drink. It might not be for newbies or flipside contrarian curmudgeon snobbies, but it is a blast for everyone in between.

Very refreshing, had this laying around the pool and previously, down by a river (not in a van). I remember drinking Pale Bock this time of year a decade or so ago . . . this really brings you back, good for warm, but not hot (well maybe?) weather. Enjoy this one while it's available. Can't wait for the next two. About time this beer got an American kick in the ass. Enough whining has been listened to from detractors regarding this style for the last decade in my experience.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.47/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly standard copper color-nice sized head with each pour from the bottle. Somewhat metallic aroma, then a pleasant toasted grain and caramel scent comes thru. Very malty but has an "odd" sort of bite to it. Lingering grain flavors. Ok enough mouthfeel. Ok beer for the style and hype. SA does some decent lagers for everyday consumption, I just dont find this anything really "special". Worth a try for the series sake, just not all "that".

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

750ml bottle poured tulip.
Poured 06/20/10

A: Caged bottle with cork - nice carbonation judging by champagne-like pop. Light/medium amber color and off white head - beautiful looking with thick head and big bubbles.

S: Floral hops in yo' face! Toasted malt.

T: Big toasty sweetness up front finished by a nicely balanced floral finish. Slight alcohol aroma.

M: Nice and lively with good carbonation - helps lighten up a beer that could be a bit heavy if not adequately carbonated. Medium to thick mouthfeel.

D: I am new to Helles Bock, so I am by no means an aficionado on the style. From not knowing what to expect, I was very pleased with this effort in the 30th Anniversary series. I will undoubtedly try them all.

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

750mL corked and caged bottle into a Duvel snifter a nice crisp bubbly orange with a nice frothy off-white head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer and leaves just a trace of lacing on the glass. Aroma is some sweet bready toasted malts and nice subdued grassy hops. The taste is an interesting blend of somewhat sweet malts and a nice backbone of floral hops with a slightly heavy alcohol presence as well. The beer is on the heavy side of medium bodied but there is a nice smooth carbonation that makes this one more drinkable than I expected with the alcohol strength. This is a very enjoyable Imperial Lager, one that was appropriately released just in time for Summer!

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deeper, thicker straw yellow with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Smells of toasted malt, sweetness

T: Actually has a wheatwine feel to it, sweet, malty with toasted grains. Very good for the style

M: Sweet, a tad bit syrupy at times

D: Good for the style indeed.

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

Poured into a pilsner glass form a 750ml bottle.

A - Cork makes a loud deep pop when opened. Pours a dark golden color with some nice orange hints as well and a nice off-shite head that is very dense and about 3 fingers tall. Very very nice. THe head slowly recedes but with very little lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S - Initially a very grainy and earthy malt aroma. The grains are intense and lingers in the nose for a while. Fresh baked bread come to mind as those a slight hop flowery aroma.

T - Bready and smooth grain flavors are up front and pretty intense. Sweet malt flavors and some earthy tones are accompanied by some nice dry and bitter hop finish. There is also some nice hop spiciness that isn't as present in the nose. As it warms there is a boozy sweetness and the alcohol burn is actually very present in the mouth.

M & D - Good CO2 but not overwhelming with a light body and good overall flavor. A bit boozy and higher ABV as expected from a Maibock.

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

Poured into a Biere du Boucanier tulip.

2 1/2 finger off white head that dies down to a half finger layer of foam. An amber golden color, semi opaque. Little bubbles rushing to the top. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smells of lots of pale malt, and some spicey hops.

Sweet pale malts, I even get some vanilla, spicy hops, some floral and resin hops flavors as well.

Low carbonation and pretty slick and smooth. High end of medium bodied.

It's a pretty straight forward, and easy to drink.

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

750ml corked & caged bottle poured into a schlitz mug.

Pours a light golden amber with a small white head that slowly fades. Nose is nice, light and floral. There's a hint of vinegar but it's nice.

Taste is quite interesting, it's light, sweet and malty with a touch of booze but it's not too much. The carbonation is nice and refreshing without being over the top it. Quite an easy drinking odd style.

Photo of t420o
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stone Brewery/ Bistro

Poured golden in color. very complex. Drinkability was excellent. I was telling my friend with me that this was a beer I could drink all day, especially in summer. Very refreshing. The alcohol is hidden very well. It doesnt have quite as much flavor as most of the beers I drink but it was excellent. A must try and worth every penny I paid for the $4 8 oz. glass I had.

Photo of beertunes
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip. Poured very lively, a tall, fluffy, white head that had great retention and OK lacing. The beer was an attractive medium gold color.

The aroma was malty, a bit spicy, a bit yeasty and a touch sweet. That also describes the flavors fairly well, but there was a noticeable alcohol bite on the finish.

The body was good, full and smooth. The drinkability was very good, but lost a bit for the alcohol sharpness. Overall, a very good beer, worth seeking out while it's around.

Edit 11/14/13. Original scores 4.0/3.5/3.5/4.0/4.0. Thanks to Justin (OKComputer) for cracking this, shared with Victor. Doesn't seem like this is aging well. The sweetness in aroma and taste has become more pronounced, and there's a fruit aspect I didn't pick up on before. The alcohol burn on the finish hasn't really mellowed out at all. It seemed like it was a bit more difficult to drink this time. Overall, if you got it, drink it now, more time probably won't help.

Photo of Overlord
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, let me say that the breadth of Sierra Nevada's brewing styles is incredible. To be able to achieve what they have while maintaining consistency and variety is remarkable.

Pours gold. A few inches of bubbly white foam.

Smells like sweet, slightly toasted malt, and a hint of grassy/earthy hops. Surprisingly ... ESB like? Intersting.

TAste is overwhelmingly sweet malt, with some balancing grass, earth, and dank bitterness. Sweet, supple, slightly toasted notes. Ahh....I can imagine quaffing a flagon of this chilled in a bucket of snow after pillaging and raiding the village of a neighboring nation.

Pretty drinkable.

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30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.