1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

493 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 493
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 493 | Reviews: 336 | Show All Ratings:
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
Photo of warnerry


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours slightly hazy copper color with three finger off-white head. Head is creamy and has good retention.

S - Lots of toasted malts with some nice florals. A faint sweetness as well.

T - Similar to smell there is a nice toasted malt presence, faint sweetness and a hop presence that I didn't get from the nose. Really nice. Nice hop presence for a year old beer.

M - Medium, slightly sticky and creamy mouthfeel that finishes pretty dry.

O - This doesn't seem to get the same respect as the other 30th anniversary beers, but I really enjoyed it. A hoppier than average Maibock, which is a style I really enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2011 01:18:11 | More by warnerry
Photo of Kinsman


4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this bottle sitting in the cellar for a while but felt it'd be better to drink it sooner rather than later so here it goes. Pours a hazy orange body with a bone white head thats dense and slightly sticky and fills up the upper third of the glass.

Aroma is notably sweet up front with hints of toffee but this sweetness steps aside to reveal a strong note of toasted malt. The mild sweetness sticks around in the background though while a nice floral hop character rounds things out, albeit a bit faded.

Bread and grain set up the base for the flavor while nice caramel malt character adds a sweeter note. Hops a slightly floral but probably a bit faded as this bottle is over a year old now. Finishes with just a slight bitter kick and a little umphh from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pleasantly creamy. Overall, The whole Sierra 30 series was a great success in my opinion. Each beer presented you with a solid representation of topnotch American craft beer and we owe so much to Sierra Nevada and their friends. Not sure about calling this an "Imperial Helles" but hey, I'll happily drink this tasty brew no matter what they call it.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 19:18:57 | More by Kinsman
Photo of meatyard


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

Pours a mostly clear, golden color with ample, visible carbonation and a short, dense, fluffy white head.

While not especially aromatic, the smell is crisp and bready.

The taste is clean, crisp, malty, sweet and balanced. Quite tasty and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is medium towards thin with moderate carbonation and tends toward dry even with the sweetness.

Overall: I found it pleasant to drink but not overly impressed.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 20:46:15 | More by meatyard
Photo of JayQue


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

Nice!!!! Don't know why I waited so long to drink this one. Pours a hazy dark orange color from a corked and caged bottle into my Bud Select Pilsner glass. Not much in the way of lacing....big frothy white head with decent retention.

Mild aroma of caramel malt and floral (hops?).

Tastes good!!! Bready and caramel malts, floral hoppiness and a warming touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a bit light...the alcohol may be involved in thinning this beer out a bit. Still solid enough...the alcohol is warming and the crispness is there also.

This is a good beer. I am in the process of drinking the whole bomber myself...enjoying every sip.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 23:56:25 | More by JayQue
Photo of Thads324


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

nicely presented, corked bottle I have been saving for a while.

A : pours a slightly hazy golden orange. A nice thick and tight slightly off white head. really nice spiderweb lacing all over.

S : the smell is musty and biscuity. some bread and a solid german yeast aroma in the back end.

T: starts a bit sweet and has that nice light bread malt flavor. A tinge of honey sweetness and a good hop bitterness. The hops have a good earthy flavor that stands out better as the beer warms up a bit. Finishes with a good german yeast that is mild and enjoyable.

M : nicely carbed and full flavored. very easy to drink and very little boozy for its high alcohol. finishes crisp and smooth.

A really nice beer. I wasn't expecting it to be as drinkable. Not much else to say here, but I really liked it.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 04:03:24 | More by Thads324
Photo of eclaycamp


3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I’ve been hanging onto this one for awhile, and with the temperatures in the triple digits all day it felt like today would be a perfect day to bust out a Helles, even if it’s of the imperial variety.

The cork pops with a nice sound, and the beer pours quite clear. I’m using a flared lip pilsner glass for this affair. The color is actually darker than I expected, as it comes across as more of a deeper gold than that of a light straw. Classic pillowy head that offers nice lacing and sticks around for days.

The beer has a nice bready characteristic followed by crisp lager sourdough character. It comes across as somewhat muted.

The first taste gives a sense of lively carbonation. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing. You just start to get a sense of the grainy malt character when alcohol takes over. There’s also some alcohol warming in the finish, along with some alcohol character. That’s one of the problems with this style of beer – be it imperial pils, helles, or whatever – there’s just no where for the alcohol to go, so it feels in some respects like a regular beer spiked with vodka. That’s not to say this beer isn’t well crafted – it is – but I’m just not the biggest fan of the imperial style when it comes to lighter beers. I do like the initial impression that this beer gives. There’s a wonderful grainy malt flavor that shines through. Unfortunately, for me anyway, it’s just obliterated by the alcohol in the finish. The more you drink it the less pronounced the alcohol character is, as it’s taken over by a sort of honey malt sweetness that I suspect is a byproduct of the high alcohol levels – alcohol sweetness in other words.

Overall this is a very nice beer and a rather unique take on the Helles style. It’s crisp and clean, though the heavy alcohol profile may not be for everyone.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 00:26:38 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of Knapp85


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

This beer poured out as a slightly hazy golden color. The head was pretty strong looking and left behind a nice scattered lacing. The smell of the beer had some aromas of grain and some sweet malt aromas. The taste of the beer had some bread flavors to it and a bit of citrusy fruits. The mouthfeel wasn't overly thick, somewhere around a medium body I'd say. Overall this brew was really good, Not my favorite of the series but pretty close.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2011 20:48:29 | More by Knapp85
Photo of gabedivision

New York

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

Poured from a big bottle to a SA imperial snifter glass.

Looks good, clear burnt orange, reddish hue, 3 finger head, nice retention. Bready malts fill the nose then crisp citrus hops on the follow, with banana and apricot melt with plumes of alcohol throughout. Malt forward again on the tongue, then a caramel sugar rush,tastes like a trail mix of dehydrated fruits and nuts with a bitter sweet finish. Light body, crisp, sweet very sweet. This was a nice treat from a good friend, a nice enjoyable maibock.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 03:15:10 | More by gabedivision
Photo of UCLABrewN84


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

Pours a light honey orange color with a 2 inch off-white head that fades to a thin cap. Random smears and streaks of foam stick to the glass on the drink down. Smells of sweet malt, bread, and light fruit aromas. Taste is of grape-like fruit flavors, honey, and sweet malt. The carbonation is a bit flat making for a slightly thick and sticky in the mouth. Overall, this is a good beer and the first of the 30th anniversary beers from Sierra Nevada I have had. I am looking forward to trying the other 3.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 03:34:08 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of cdkrenz


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

Cellared at 43 degrees for 1 year.

A - Pours a crisp golden yellow with a hint of orange. The head is big and is an extremely pale tan color with nice frothiness and moderate stamina.

S - Slight fruit aroma amidst sweet malt.

T - It has a citrus note to it, but not that found with hops. More of an orangish mango flavor accenting the mild malts. There is a hinting at some hops as the brew wears on.

M - Watery feel with a slight coarseness in the end.

~ This is a beer that I wish I had not paid $12.49 for. I'd say this is a Helles worth about 2/3 of that. Either way, I have it and it is a decent beer, just not one I would seek out or suggest to a friend.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 02:09:12 | More by cdkrenz
30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 493 ratings.