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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

513 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 513
Reviews: 337
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 22
Gots: 68 | 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: 513 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 25.4oz bottle into 250mL Jenlain flute glass.

Appearance: Pours a lively, deep golden color with a large white head that dissipates pretty quickly and leaves behind large spots of lace.

Smell: Very earthy, toasty, and a bit nutty with floral notes.

Taste: Begins buttery and sweet, finishing with a green-apple sweetness/tartness and herbal hops. Also has a bit of a sweet tea flavor. Very, very clean.

Mouthfeel: Pretty dry from start to finish, with balanced carbonation and a medium body.

Drinkability: A damn good beer, and a very interesting, hoppy American interpretation of the maibock style. Definitely worth it, and this is something I may have to get again before it's gone. If you haven't had it yet, get it ASAP- it probably won't be around too long.

Photo of russwbeck
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter, paired with beef stir fry.

A: Golden brown with a large, thick, white head. Small amount of lacing. Head slowly dissipates.

S: Spicy and Hoppy, no hint of the 8% ABV.

T: Caramel with some sweet, light spices. Maybe some honey. I'm tasting the hops, but they aren't leading the pack. Good, bittersweet aftertaste.

MF: Medium to light bodied.

D: I love this beer. Disappointed it was a one time batch only. I could drink this brew all night long.

Photo of BeerNemesis
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock | 750 ml. | 8.3% ABV | 2010

Brewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Style: Maibock / Helles Bock
Glass: Pilsener

"Charlie Papazian and Fred Eckhardt are tow 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."

Premium-looking Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary bottle. The bottle has an unusual bulge at the neck, but I like the label art.

Golden/amber, lively bubbles, big, foaming white head, great, patchy lace.

Clean floral aroma, spicy hops, toastiness, caramel.

Caramel taste, savory twinge, light spices, flowery/grassy flavors. Mild hops. Bittersweet finish.

Smooth, lithe and lively, the tiny bubbles feel great on the tongue. A thin, albeit medium-bodied feel.

Eminently quaffable. Accessible. Nice flavor harmony. Neither simple nor complex.

Would I get it again?:
Yes, to share with others.

Bottled: 2010
Served: September 6, 2010

Price = $10.99 at Whole Foods (Bowery)

Photo of wikk3d
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Pours a nice full amber color with a very thick head that takes a while to settle into about a half finger foam. Served in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Aroma - Sweet hoppy smell with a hint of lemon and citrus. Floral, maybe a bit of honey as well. Doesn't have a hint of alcohol for an 8% beer.

Taste - Full taste, a bit of hoppiness, not really bitter though, very noticeable sweet citrus and honey flavors.

Mouth - A lot of carbonation, leaves a hint of hops in the back of the tongue. Lasting taste is a little bitter but overall it's very flavorful.

Drinkability - This beer took me off guard, the smell gives you the impression it's going to be similar to most Sierra's and have a bitter taste that's extremely hoppy. It's not. It's full of flavor. The hops are just enough to give it a very unique taste. Great brew. First of the 30th's that I have tried so far.

Photo of scottfrie
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into DFH shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brownish amber with a large fluffy tan head that slowly collapsed on itself into a thick oily film that left great streaks of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet caramel malt and honey with notes of grassy hops. Slight nut aroma.
T: Very full of caramel and honey. Grassy hops are present but take a back seat. Alcohol is just noticeable along with some nutty, doughy flavors. Finish is full of sweet honey and alcohol. Aftertaste is residually sweet with a light spicy bitterness.
M: Full of carbonation but at the same time this beer has a thick chewiness to it. Mouthfeel is actually rather sharp and tingly. Bitterness is right there in the finish along with some warm alcohol. Just below a full body but still quite viscous.
D: I wouldn't say this is a bad beer, maybe it's just not my style. I guess I would describe it as a little rough around the edges.

Photo of Mitchster
3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Graciously donated by a friend. Corked and caged 750ml bottle. Brewed by/for Fred Eckhardt, Charlie Papazian, and Ken Grossman. 8.30% ABV. No ingredients on the mfgr website.

Pours out to a slightly chill hazed dark golden/light amber, forming a tall white head with very good retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is moderate, but releases a healthy whoosh with the cork. The aroma is of cascade hops (not my favorite..doesn't smell like Tett or Saaz), a healthy dose of pilsner, crystal, and munich malts, a clean lager ferment, apple juice, and honey. The mouthfeel is clean with a medium-dense body and a sweet finish. The taste is mostly about the malts, as a good bock should be....mild herbal bitterness with a clean sweetness, big malts, suggestion of sweet tea biscuits/sugar cookies, and a little spice from the hops.

Meh. This is a decent beer at best. It's not bad, but for a 30th anniversary, I expect more than average. I don't know how much it costs, but you can pick up an Ayinger bock for $4 and it's better.

Photo of evilkalla
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a very tall ale glass.

A: Poured a clear, golden amber with a full inch of thick head. Very carbonated.

S: My nose is broken, I can't smell anything.

T: Smooth, strong bock flavor with a solid hop backbone. Sweet on the finish. Very good.

M: Smooth, with a lot of carbonation.

D: This is a pretty easy drinking beer with a very pleasant flavor.

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

Appearance: Pours to a slightly hazy light amber with an off-white head. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Floral hops are most immediately identifiable, followed by some fruit, and a lasting nutty, sweet malt. Quite nice.

Taste: Those same fruit and nut malts dominate the initial taste, followed by fairly strong floral hops in the finish. Relatively high ABV is well hidden. Very well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very nice bock, the light, balanced flavors make it much more inviting than the ABV suggests.

Photo of afordney
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very thick head, off white in color and some good lacing on the glass. Not cloudy but opaque with a deep orange amber color.

Very simple toasty nutty aroma with a little bit of alcohol in the smell as well. Not very many layers to this.

Same simple nuttiness. A bit of alcohol warms the toungue on the end of it

perfectly balanced and has a very light carbonation. The alcohol is not overpowering even though it has a higher gravity to it.

A good beer overall but not overwhelming to the palate. Cheers Sierra Nevada!

Photo of mothman
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Baker for this extra!

Poured into a snifter.

Pours 1 finger of off-white head. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: Sweet biscuit notes with floral hops. Caramel sweetness. I really can't tell its imperial.

Taste: Bigger taste than the nose would suggest. Caramel and bready malts wit some floral/earthy hops. In all reality, this is a fairly simple bock.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, bitter, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with some grassy hops.

Overall, why did they put a beer like this in a 750 with a cork and cage??? This is all marketing. Somewhat drinkable, but this needs to be in a 12 oz bottle 6 pack format. One thing I did like about this beer is how well it hides the abv.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged and corked, poured into two pint glasses. Nice Marigold orange to bronze colored, crystal clear and with a low, tight just off-white head.

Love the spicy hop aroma of this beer, a lovely earthy spice aroma with hints of alcohol and caramel sweet malt. Non of the roastiness mentioned on the label, but who needs it? Smells great! Also a nice floral and earthy hop character in the flavor. Meanwhile a sweet honey-like maltiness and a nice dose of alcohol and ripe light fruits mix in for a great round flavor.

Finishes rather quickly but some hop bitterness does linger with the dry alcohol. Nice sipper, good smooth feel and full bodied for sure. Like this beer.

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. The clear amber lager had a short white head and a mix of herbal spice, lightly toasted malt, and red fruit - berries and apples. It's not too heavy for the alcohol, but is a touch medicinal, but I dont think it really takes away form the beer. Overall, this is a crisp, flavorful strong maibock that makes the most of the style. Very impressive.

Photo of meeekyh
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been looking for this beer for a while now. I couldn't find it because it seems that all of my local SN retailers ordered the first in the series and couldn't sell it. So I was really pleased to find this one in Steamboat of all places.

The beer pours a deep golden-orange and has an ample off-white head. Carbonation appears heavy and the liquid leaves legs as a wine might.

The nose is strong at a distance. Full of hop spice and up close the malts reveal themselves through caramel sweetness. Floral notes come up behind the initial smells and the alcohol that wafts as it is wont to do. Something green, clorophyl green, rears just at the tail end of the smell.

Tastes are subdues for an imperial but strong for a Helles. The usual malt backbone is there but the extra alcohol is not so yummy. I like the malts and the hops do show through but the strength of the alcohol in the taste is off-putting.

Mouthfeel is medium and, again, heaver than an average helles but lighter than an average imperial (like that exists).

Drinkability is OK but not so good that I need another.

Overall I am glad I tried this beer but not impressed as I hoped I might be.

Thanks to the brewers and Slainte.

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

Poured into a St Bernardus chalice with a light to moderate head. Little to no lacing as it lingers. Look is a pretty golden/transluscent orange. Nose is light and delicate but dominated by high alpha finishing hops. Taste has a good malt profile that is well done. Alcohol is well masked and no phenols or esters come through from the basic yeast. I was really let down by the nose being over hopped citrus but it appears that the nose is dominated by the finishing hops and the moderate bittering hops aren't overpowering. The bitter was very present on the finish but not overpowering as it crosses the tongue. While slightly over hopped for my taste even though the BJCP style guidelines for the archetype of the style allow for stronger hopping than traditional bocks. A well balanced beer of a nice malty sweet. This offering will be nice after a year or two of aging. Not bad, and over all probably my favorite offering from this brewery typically associated with solid brewing capabilities but typically over hopped beers for my taste. This is not a style thats possible to brew into a world class offering but a very solid effort thats fairly impressive for what it is.

Photo of wspscott
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle in Sam Adams glass

A: Slightly, hazy, dark copper color, a little darker than I expected. Topped with a 2-finger fluffy white head, that never quite disappears, almost no lace.
S: Sweet, toasted malts, not much in the way of hops in the beginning. As it warms, there is quite a bit of floral hops to accompany the malts.
T: A definite hop presence with a lot of residual sugars, "maltier" than appropriate for a standard for a helles, but not unexpected for an imperial version. Very clear, but seems "confused" like it is not sure what it is supposed to be.
M: High carbonation, very appropriate for a helles, helps to keep things crisp, but not light, very round.
D: This is a fun beer to drink, definitely a well crafted beer, I will happily finish the bottle, but I am not ready to go buy another one. Worth trying, if for no other reason than it is not likely to be brewed again. Cheers to Charlie, Fred and Ken.

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Binny's tasting room--South Loop Chicago

Appearance: copper in color, clear, moderate carbonation, 1/4 inch head

Smell: caramel and light hops

Taste: caramel and some hops--pine

Mouthfeel: light bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet with a bitter backbone.

Drinkability: An above average maibock. I could have a couple glasses of this but nothing I would go out of my way for.

Photo of kbutler1
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Clear copper color with a slight white head. Decent look to it. Sweet corn notes in the aroma along with maybe some floral. Slightly smokey taste that took me sort of by surprise. Matly and sweet taste with a slight bitter hop bite. Clean and crisp flavors. Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of Beejay
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A beautiful medium amber. Just slightly hazy, but with a very nice head on it.

S: This seems a little delicate to me. Sweet malt with raisons, perhaps a little dark fruit, and a nice nutty/bready aroma. Not a lot of hops coming through, but maybe just a touch of yeast.

T: Very well balanced. There is a sweet bread flavor up front with just a little fruit flavor lingering. The finish is all hops, nice bittering, and a good opposing force to the malt.

M: Medium bodied, the carbonation medium, but fits well with the style.

D: Very drinkable. I wish I would have bought another bottle. Very well crafted indeed.

Photo of gford217
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The cork popped with exceptional force on this one and poured a deep, clear amber with a big fluffy white head that recedes to a healthy collar and swirl of bubbles in the center.

Light floral/purfumyh hops, toasted malts and some sugary grains form the aroma. Maybe some light apple hints but it's a pretty subtle aroma overall.

The taste is very sweet with caramel malts and corn syrup dominating. There is a hint of floral hops but not that prevalent. Light spiciness mixed with an alcohol burn in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and close to syrupy with moderate carbonation.

A sweet, malty helles bock with a hefty alcohol presence - this one is certainly not the most drinkable of bocks but it's got lots of flavor.

Photo of ryanmac06
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber with little lacing left on glass. Poured with a great foamy 2 finger head that lasted about half way through.

S - Smell is distant and takes a backseat to the other characteristics of the beer. Some dark malt notes but overall it's subtle.

T - A slight sting of alcohol hits first then is immediately followed by a deep malt character. There's a really nice hop presence that helps balance this beer out. The taste seems to grow maltier as the beer warms.

M - It's moderately light on the palate and coats the mouth well.

D - Very easy to drink. The carbonation really helps this beer's drinkability. It's not hard for me to have a couple of these beers. Overall, a very nice helles bock.

Photo of HalfFull
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served into a wine glass from a corked 750 ml. bottle. Opens with a very robust pop yet fortunately didn't foam over. Pours a clear amber hued golden with an inch of soapy foam and offers good retention and light lacing.

Nose is rather neutral and light initially with some light caramel malt notes and some earthy hop notes through the foam. As the beer warms it offers more traditional bock notes and some alcohol, yet eventually settles out to a bit of a wheatwine character.

Flavor is bready and spicy for the style and with a bit of orange liqueur on the finish. Offers a good feel through most of the pour, becoming a bit sweet as the beer settles yet maintaining a full though variable body. Decent drink but not as bright in flavor as I would like to encourage consumption and the alcohol is a bit forward. I find the Glissade to bit a bit too delicate, and this a bit too brusque, though both well done.

Photo of Strix
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden, with a big frothy head that leaves lacing.

Smell vague, some caramel and breadiness.

Taste bready and grassy. Slight caramel note. Sharp alcohol finish with a metallic note.

Medium mouthfeel.

This was interesting, but not worth what I paid for it. I had higher hopes for a 30 anniversary. In my opinion, the sharp alcohol note and slight grassiness detracted.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Addison Oktoberfest 1.5L Mug a pale yellow with a very thick white head. Great retention and decent lacing down the mug. I'm afraid I can't get much of the nose, but my allergies have been bugging me lately. I think I'm finding some hop notes in there, but my nose is weak. The taste has a great deal of flavors going on. There is a light amount of malt sweetness with some spices mixed in there. There is a nice hop presence through out and a very crisp finish.

This is what I would think a original oktoberfest should be like, very rich in flavor. I could just imagine drinking this in a huge mug on the streets of Munich.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a 750 into a large snifter resulted in 1.5 finger head. Moderate lacing persists. light hops aroma, color shifts from amber (apple juice?) to tinged with ruby (bourbon?) depending on the angle. Slightly cloudy and translucent. Taste is a bit sweeter and milder than the Sierra Nevada IPA (the only other one from them I've tried), but with a similar bitter hops kick. Otherwise, taste is clean yet wheaty with some slight fruit esthers on aeration and a clean dry (slightly bitter) finish. A bit of the "toasted malt" suggested on the bottle is present, though my first impression of this is not a malty one. Toasty is an adequate descriptor, though. I find myself enjoying the taste quite a bit despite my general dislike of hops flavor; if anything could convert me, this might be it. Mouthfeel is bifurcated; discrete portions are alternately smooth and relatively absent of carbonation, or frothy, creamy head. Drinkability is high; I'd say this is pretty sessional though the slightly high ABV, bottle size and price suggest a beer to be shared rather than finished by one person.

Photo of crvcac
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always love what comes out of Sierra Nevada.
Appearance: Golden amber, nice head retention.
Smell: Nice floral hoppiness. Subtle malt backbone. Hints of orange and floral esters.
Taste: Orange, and spice with a smooth hop character.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, slight hop linger. Nice effervescence.
Drinkability: Would love another. Wonderful beer that I would recommend to others.
Extra: Beautifully packaged. Cork head. Awesome artwork. One for the shelves.

30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 513 ratings.