1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
88
very good

499 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 499
Reviews: 337
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.87%
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:
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 Raters
Ratings: 499 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wspscott
wspscott

Kentucky

3.93/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 23:54:43 | More by wspscott
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2010 16:58:43 | More by tigg924
Photo of kbutler1
kbutler1

Minnesota

3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 12:23:47 | More by kbutler1
Photo of Beejay
Beejay

Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 02:18:08 | More by Beejay
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 00:39:15 | More by gford217
Photo of ryanmac06
ryanmac06

Texas

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 23:34:16 | More by ryanmac06
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 05:02:51 | More by HalfFull
Photo of Strix
Strix

Wisconsin

3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 01:53:22 | More by Strix
Photo of whoneeds8
whoneeds8

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 00:58:11 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of zaphodchak
zaphodchak

Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2010 23:07:37 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of crvcac
crvcac

California

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 16:10:23 | More by crvcac
Photo of mexikrainian
mexikrainian

Ohio

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

750ml bottle poured into a Piraat tulip.

Appearance: golden copper with thick, foamy 3-4 finger white head and lace.

Aroma: honey, vanilla, caramel and spicy notes with subtle grassy hops.

Taste: light malt with citrus notes. slightly sweet, hoppy and creamy.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium body with low acidity and carbonation.

Overall impression: this was my first bock and i was impressed. it reminds me of a softer barleywine. slightly sweet and crisp hops with citrus notes.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 00:31:28 | More by mexikrainian
Photo of JoePat
JoePat

Kentucky

4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a crystal clear dark golden/pale tan color with a thick white head that passes with a few minutes.

The aroma is bready, malty, and has some cooked corn like aroma all mixed into one smell.

The flavor starts off with a sweet caramel maltiness then a slight hop spicyness followed by a less pressent but noticable cook corn flavor but then the malt rounds it out and finishes clean and malty.

The mouthfeel has that clean, smooth mouthfeel that all SN beers have but this beer moves toward the maly syrup side of that balance which is probably what helps to round out the flavor.

Very drinkable beer (not that a helles shouldn't be) but this goes down like a normal Helles not an imperial.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 23:30:51 | More by JoePat
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

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

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours an apricot gold with pretty good head retention and lacing. I get very little on the nose, just some honey and light cherry cough drop. On the palate... good grief. This beer is very much on the sweet side, with honey, cookie dough and syrup. There's also some noticeasble alcohol on the finish which I'm not digging. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long finish. Drinkability is definitely not this beer's strong suit, as the combination of sweetness and noticeasble alcohol really wear out the palate.

A little bit of this goes a long way, and it's hard to imagine downing a pint of this. Just not my cup of tea...

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2010 17:36:58 | More by John_M
Photo of riored4v
riored4v

Colorado

4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 7/2/10

Pour in to tulip glass resulted in big, 4 finger head that was white. Slight haze, nice golden color with hints of amber.

Smell was crisp, light and had hints of caramel. Mild maltiness and notes of floral hops and toasted malts.

Taste was pleasant. Big floral flavor with almost no bitterness and the overall mildness gives a crisp finish. Hints of toasted malts and mild sweetness. No signs of abv. Very light tasting with big flavor.

Mouthfeel was medium-light body with a crisp and dry finish.

Drinkability was good with zero signs of abv. Good crispness and balance.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2010 21:43:01 | More by riored4v
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark gold with a large white head with a lot of large bubbles. Has decent retention, and then fades to leave only a thin disc around the top. Smells of sweet malt with some caramel and bread / biscuit characteristics. There are also grassy / floral hops in the aroma.

The flavor has the same characteristics as the aroma. Sweet malt, with both caramel and bread, combines with grassy and floral hops. A nice balance between sweetness and bitterness.

Slightly above medium bodied. nicely carbonated, and somewhat creamy. A nice beer overall, which I am glad I had a chance to try.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2010 18:06:17 | More by hardy008
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

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

Ahhh. The second installment of Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary series.

This Imperial Helles Bock pours a light copper color. It's very clear. Backlighting gives it a bit of an orange tint. A sturdy white cap covers the top. It stands nearly two fingers tall, and is relatively slow to dissipate. A moderate coat of sticky lace lines the glass as it descends.

The nose is interesting, and good. It kicks off with a stronger hop presence than I ever expected. It's definitely floral and earthy. I don't know what the profile is, but it smells like noble hops to me. It smells a little sweet and earthy. Caramel is easily noted, in addition to a light toasted malt scent. Alcohol is a little noticeable. All in all, it smells good.

The flavor is good. Better than I anticipated. I'm still trying to wrap my head around an Imperial Helles Bock. It kicks off with a sweet, malty flavor. It features caramel and a hint of toasted malt. Hops quickly follow. They're earthy, grass, and floral. It has to be some form or combination of noble hops. They're a little bitter and dry, but add a nice jolt to the overall flavor. Alcohol is mildly noticeable. Finishes grassy, a little sweet, bitter, and dry.

Charlie, Fred, and Ken's Bock has a medium body that is relatively smooth. Carbonation is active, but it does have a nice, smooth feel overall. Drinkability is good. This stuff goes down easy, and is enjoyable. I'll finish this 750 with little trouble.

Thus far, Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary series has been impressive. Charlie, Fred, and Ken's Bock is not quite as impressive as Fritz and Ken's Ale, but it is quite good. I'm not entirely certain what an Imperial Helles Bock is, and this release does little to enlighten me. It's good beer, and seems consistent with what one would expect from the style. It's not mind-blowing in any sense, but is a very straight-forward good beer. Grab a bottle and see what you think.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2010 03:22:46 | More by prototypic
Photo of AdamGarcia
AdamGarcia

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml C&C'd bottle served in SN 30th snifter.

A: Cork comes out with an audible pop and wisps of "smoke." Pours with a hefty 3 fingers worth of cream colored head. Body is a deep straw color, with copper highlights. The head retreats slowly, leaving rocky peaks along with some clingy lace. Looks great.

S: Smell is of carmel and honey. Crisp hops add a little spice. Slight yeasty aroma as well.

T: Crackery malt. Very crisp, fresh flavors. Saaz-like hoppiness. Slight peppery spice note. Creamy vanilla and some oak. Faint citrus. Finishes with just a bit of warmth. More hop aromas become apparent as the beer warms.

M: Very pleasant. Carbonation is prickly on the tongue, but overall the mouthfeel is rather full and soft. Creamy smooth texture. Viscosity is appropriate.

D: Not bad. I wouldn't want to drink more than a serving of this at a time.

This is far from my favorite style but I found it enjoyable. Certainly not as good as the Fritz and Ken. I'm really looking forward to the next two in the series.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 05:41:20 | More by AdamGarcia
Photo of vkv822
vkv822

Oregon

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

750ml bottle into tulip pint.

The beer pours a clear lightly orange hued golden color with a beautiful, thick, foamy, rocky off white head that fades into a thin bubbly veil.
The aroma is of grassy hops with a very enjoyable biscuit and light caramel malt backing.
The flavors that stand out the most to me are doughy, slightly sweet malts, some herbal and spicy hop notes, as well as a faint alcohol bite.
The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with good carbonation.
This is a nicely done Helles Bock, and the slightly higher ABV is very well integrated. I really feel I need to try more of this style, and lagers in general though.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 00:46:56 | More by vkv822
Photo of BigIrishman
BigIrishman

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours clear orange to amber with big fluffy white head. Soapy and leaves a bit of lacing.

Smell: Pale malt sweetness and hints of light fruit (maybe a bit grapey with hints of a slight citrus undertone). I also happen to be picking up some pine notes as well. The breadiness or biscuitiness I usually pick up from a Helles are there but super subdued.

Taste: Sweet but not cloying with nice hints of a breadiness I expect in a bock. The pine and citrus fruits are present but really mixed in well. I'm picking up a bit of an alcoholic bite but not overwhelming (or what some would call hot), but rather seems to hang around to remind you this is not your average helles/mai.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and viscous for something of this color (although nearly dead on what I'd expect from the style). As I said earlier it's definitely sweet so it finishes leaving a wet palate.

Drinkability: I had an idea of what I though this would be and it outdid my expectations a bit. This style is becoming one of my favorites and this one hits home as an americanized version of an old style (a bit more piney then I expected). Not overly sure how this one will aged but with a higher than average ABV...who knows? I guess time will tell.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2010 01:06:53 | More by BigIrishman
Photo of Naugros
Naugros

New Jersey

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

Caramel to orange in color with a nice frothy head that sticks around. Lace is spotty and very little of it clings to the glass.

Sweet on the nose with caramel and brown bread. There's a very light, citrusy hops presence as well and a hint of spice, but I can't be more specific than that.

The malt taste doesn't really alter once you take the first sip, but the hops are more assertive. The bite at the back of the throat lets you know that American hops were used to make this celebration of one of the classic breweries. Oh and that spice, it comes through as black pepper.

It's got the nice light mouthfeel of a helles bock with the hop bite of an American pale ale, but not overly so.

I usually don't like to see all 4s across, because calling every element "good" seems so noncommittal, but that's what I've got on all counts here. This beer is well-balanced (but not perfect), it's tasty (but not delicious), it smells nice (but not incredible). It's good across the board.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 23:36:54 | More by Naugros
Photo of Lukecook
Lukecook

New Brunswick (Canada)

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

A- light bronze in color, thick head receeds quickly, minimal lacing.

S- toasted malts with a slight hint of booze.

T- toasted malts, a little sweetness, although I could smell a hint of booze, alchol is hidden well in the taste.

M-light to medium body, seems pretty balanced to me, good carbonation.

D- Good beer will buy again if I get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 22:36:50 | More by Lukecook
Photo of jjh19
jjh19

California

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden color with an impressive head that holds its form.

Smell: I didn't get much in the aroma.

Taste: Big malts, a touch of spice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, considerable body. The malts linger with some of the bitterness of the hops. Tight carbonation.

Drinkability: I don't have a lot of past experience drinking this style of beer, but this tastes quite good. Very enjoyable, an easy recommendation.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 05:24:36 | More by jjh19
Photo of deltatauhobbit
deltatauhobbit

Maine

4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opens with a pop and pours into a chalice with a golden/light amber color with a perfect sized white head, fades slowly at first and leaves a cap.

The smell is pretty much all sweet malt with a light fruitiness.

Taste is light and crisp, carbonation is spot on and lends a nice creaminess, the sweet malt is really the show with this beer with a hint of caramel, the strength is not evident at all.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 23:02:31 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of BMoney575
BMoney575

Texas

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

Sampled on 8-7-10

Pours a relatively clear deep gold color, with a few lines of bubbles rising to the surface. A thin white head leaves a few sticky rings of lacing.

Smell is a very light malt sweetness, followed by a great earthy hop kick. Grassy hops dominate, finishing with aromas of burnt sugar and caramel.

Taste is very familiar, earthy hops are the main character, then a strong boozy sweetness that reminds you the malt is there. The flavor is totally a bock version of SN pale ale.

Mouthfeel is good, super thick and creamy to accent both the sweetness and the hops.

Drinkability is good, if you're in the mood for sweet.

Overall, and interesting take on the style, and the more I have the more I like it.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 21:01:30 | More by BMoney575
30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.