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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

506 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 506
Reviews: 337
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.87%
Wants: 22
Gots: 69 | 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:
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: 506 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Traquairlover
2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

Traquairlover, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of Brad007
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Brad007, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Jwale73, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of Docer
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Docer, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
3.95/5  rDev 0%
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.

DaveHS, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of MexicanSkittel
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

MexicanSkittel, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of lackenhauser
3.48/5  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".

lackenhauser, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of EnVinoVeritas
3.83/5  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.

EnVinoVeritas, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of atsprings
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
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!

atsprings, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

barleywinefiend, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

JoEBoBpr, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of billshmeinke
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

billshmeinke, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

kingcrowing, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of t420o
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

t420o, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of beertunes
3.31/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

beertunes, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Overlord
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Overlord, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Gmann
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear bronze color with a huge soapy tan head that slowly settles into a solid cap. The aroma is rather non-distinct. Some lightly toasted grains with a touch of honey. The taste is of a bready malt, lightly toasted. There is a tea like character with a candied fruit and honey sweetness. It doesn't have that distinct maibock flavor. I don't pick up any munich malt. Some grassy hop bitterness in the finish but it is tame. Definitely tastes like a big golden lager, again not so much on the helles side. Fairly heavy feel with tingly carbonation, not slick or sticky, almost crisp. Quite clean flavors, easily drinkable, abv seems well hidden. I like the beer but doesn't quite seem to fit the style, golden american bock maybe?

Gmann, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of SFLpunk
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL brown glass mini-champagne cork (aka regular crown cap sized opening). Proprietary code on shoulder.

Appearance: Crystal-clear with thin white head that recedes quickly.

Nose: Aroma is AWESOME! Fruit loops (lime, orange, lemon and cereal grain) straight up. Lots and lots of hops! Something odd too like a scented cleaning product (but not chemical-smelling).

Palate is bitter right up front with hops and lots of citrus that draws out to lush German dark lager malt. The length of development in flavor is awesome and the finish is persistent and looong!

Notes: An EPIC imperial version of an odd style for American brewers. Is it a good example of helles bock? No. Is it a good example of hardcore American brewing ingenuity? Abso-fucking-lutely!

SFLpunk, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of NewGeneric
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dansteino for getting this.
Poured into my Delirium tremens tulip.

A: Pours a clear bronze color with 2 fingers of slightly off-white head that fades pretty quickly. Splotches of lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: Smells light and fresh. Caramel malts and grassy hops. Little bit of lemon zest as well. Clean and crisp.

T: Very similar to the smell, except bigger. Lemon zest and grassy hops go back and forth with caramel layered in between.

M: Incredibly smooth. Just enough bitterness to complement the medium bodied, yet slightly syrupy slickness. Great carbonation. Almost perfect.

D: Goes down easy. I like it. Thank you.

NewGeneric, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous gold with a touch of amber. A nice two finger head leaves a small amount of lace down the glass.
Smells of earth and grass with a sweet undertone, maybe caramel.
Tastes a little like a stronger version of their Glissade (not that this is a problem for me) with a bit more of a malty background. Nice bitterness on the finish. A little on the sticky side for me, carbonation gave me the hiccups so that was a little high as well.
A very enjoyable part 2 to their 30th anniversary series.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of Norfawkers
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Although we prefer other styles, this Bock holds up pretty well and is surprisingly smooth and mellow

Appearance: Hazy golden with minimal head

Smell: Mostly malt; faint

Taste: Malty with very light hops

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy

Drinkability: Very delicate despite the 8.3% ABV and may be paired with a meal to bring out more flavors

Norfawkers, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into my New Glarus stemmed pilsner. It looks quite nice. Its a bright toasty tan beer with superb clarity. The head gets pretty big but its nothing unmanageable. It sticks around a while but not much lacing is left. There are tons of little bubbles effervescing to the top.

S- Weak nose. It really just smells "typical" and plain to me. Just like a normal Maibock or oktoberfest or something. Bready, toasty malts with floral hops. Well balanced and delecate, just not special.

T- The taste is a little better than the smell, but I still think its sorta ordinary or basic. It does hearken back to its traditional German roots but it does kick it up a few notches. Alcohol is much more prevalent that in a traditional lager of this style.

M- Light but not too light. The alcohol is not hot but you can just tell this isnt an ordinary lager.

MbpBugeye, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of philbertk
4.68/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company--SIERRA XXX 30th Anniversary--Charlie, Fred & Ken's Bock--Imperial Helles Bock--A Collaboration of Pioneering Brewers #2--2010 25.4 oz. Bottle. 8.30% ABV. 41 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Helles--Imperial. Rich thick lacy white head. Clear brilliant amber color. Aromatic sweet malt mild floral Noble hop front. Rich smooth creamy mild sweet crusty toasted caramel malty mild fruit delicious Helles body. Smooth tangy hint of hop spice crisp clean end. Flavor gets even better as Brew warms. Penultimate Bock! Sampled 6/12/2010. 2 @ $10.79 Each.

philbertk, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a becher at ChurchKey.

After a nice surprise with the previous anniversary brew (the stout, baby), I was a little excited to get this on draught at CK while Ken was in the building. It pours a clear pale light amber straw (deal with that succession of adjectives, you pansies!) topped by a finger of quick-dying white foam. The smell is an interesting combination of caramel, maple, and light hops; it's like a lighter bock being brewed in a flowery lea. These notes return in the taste, joined by further greenery (I'd expect there'd be a decent amount of grass in that meadow, after all) and a touch of honey. The body is a light medium, with a bitingly active carbon and a crisp finish. All-in-all, not the best thing out there, but tasty enough and a good brew to have during these really humid DC summer days.

TMoney2591, Jun 11, 2010
30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.