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Hells Bock - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
Hells BockHells Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.

44 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 44
Hads: 58
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 02-07-2007

We felt that lagers are being left out of the new revolution, so try this one! This spring, break out a bottle or three on that first sunny warm spring day when you get that itch.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 58
Photo of BeerNinja007
4.41/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased for $3.99 at Beverage Warehouse in Winooski VT. A huge bargain. Served chilled in a standard pint glass.

Clear golden orange brew. Gigantic rocky tan head with great retention and lacing seems to grow as big as I dare to pour it. Big bubbles of carbonation flow slowly upward. Thick chunky lacing throughout, spectacular appearance. Hearty aromas of yeast and raw grains, hints of nutmeg and orange. Taste is mixed pine and grassy hops, spicy ginger, vanilla, orange, pineapple, some mild fruity/floral esters, background of thick biscuity malt and raw grains. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, abundant soft carbonation. alcohol not apparent. Highly drinkable. One of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was given to me by msubulldog25 during my last visit to Portland. Thanks for the freebie, man!

Pours a rusty color that looks very mildly hazed, and slow bubbles crawl up to a rocky, wonderfully creamy head that leaves plenty of lace on the glass.

Aroma is butterscotch, honey and somewhat rum-like, including a nice waft of supporting alcohol. Has a more hops-induced character than most others of the style. Something green and earthy in the background, though I can't put my finger on it.

Flavor is big round butterscotch taffy, honey, overripe pear, and some prickly orange-y hops. Juicy Fruit gum too, which comes into the finish along with the hops. Alcohol is only there to add a little warmth, really well-integrated. With warming something came in that reminded of seaweed, or maybe edamame -- sea-like, green, a little salty, of the earth...strange, but good-strange. There's such good balance here.

There are hardly any indications that this is a lager, as it tastes and even feels more like a big hoppy ale from the west coast or something. This is a bit gooey, big and slightly sticky, yet the carbonation tingle provides some balance and liveliness. Or maybe it just shows that lagers shouldn't be underestimated or looked down on.

Hell's Bock is on the sweet side but not overpowering, and I admit I didn't expect it to be quite this good. The "B" grade it currently has here on BA doesn't quite match what I'm tasting, and the other reason I didn't expect this to be very good was because the other Rock Art beer I've had, Ridge Runner barleywine, was one of the worst BWs I've ever had. So this was a pleasant surprise, and as much as I like a traditional maibock, I like Rock Art's big-craft twist on it.

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Photo of skivtjerry
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear, with a nice white head. It has a very clean malt aroma, with no perceptible hops. Hits the tongue with a nice malty flavor that is appealing but not overpowering and demands another sip. Noble hop flavor is barely there. Extremely drinkable; could be a product of Germany.

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Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased this summer on a trip to vermont. sampled oct 2/2010.

pours deep orange, not quite red, with a big fluffy off-white head. the pour is pretty clear until the last 10% of the bottle when the chunks start to appear. the head drops fairly fast and leaves plenty of spotty lace as it falls.

aroma is nice. big caramel nose. bit of toffee. light honey. light orangey citrus, but no harsh grapefruit or pithy bits. white bread and cracker. hint of biscuit. touch of alcohol.

taste is good. slightly sweet candied orange and tangerine quickly gives way to a lightly biting hop bitterness and fades into slightly toasted whole wheat bread, cracker, and a bit of biscuit. bitterness is just above medium level, slightly resinous.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. nice balance, hiding its alcohol well and balancing out the bitterness. i've had mixed reviews of some past rock art brews, but i'm fond of this one. you definitely get a nice malty bock character and a pleasant hoppy bite. the citrusy hops and candy sweetness go well. good stuff.

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Photo of Viggo
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Big thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a mostly clear orange, some golden highlights, very thick and rocky white head forms and settles down to a medium layer And ring around the glass, huge lace sheets stick to the glass.

Smell is nice, sweet and malty but somewhat plain, a bit of honey and brown sugar sweetness, solid biscuit, alcohol is present but well hidden, light floral and some toast, clean and quite nice.

Taste is similar, very clean, lots of biscuit, some caramel, a touch of apple cider, bready, some alcohol, big and malty, a bit of orange peel and some light floral/herbal hopping.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, some alcohol warmth but well hidden. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of dsa7783
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint, 6 fl oz bottle copped for $3.05 from Liquor Outlet Wine Cellars in Boonton... never heard of this brewery before I stopped in here, and they had a bunch of different samples for a pretty low price, so I decided to grab a few... "A big Bock with twice the hops" on the red front logo sticker... Pours a hazy and cloudy dark orange color with a modest head that soon receded... although this beer might be labeled as a Maibock / Helles Bock, the smell and taste really resembled a mellow IPA more than anything... nose was full of fresh hops, citrus, and nectarines... taste complemented the aroma, with fresh florals, tangerines, hops, citrus, lemons, grapefruit, and florals.. Overall, I was really impressed with this sample, it was very interesting, different, and unique, and for the price, I couldn't go wrong... really worth it, with a nice mouthfeel and very good drikability, especially due to the fact that the 8% ABV is hardly detectable behind fresh, rich flavors... good stuff... Recommended...

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Photo of vtjim
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I was expecting more body given the alcohol content, but was pleasantly surprised by the nice hop character, which wasn't as "in my face" as the label seemed to suggest. Very drinkable. If it had a bit more body, I'd give it a better taste rating.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one of the prettiest beers I've ever had. In a pilsner glass, it was an amber color with a thick, off-white, whipped cream head. Beautifully carbonated, lots of lacing. It had a floral and malt aroma. Big malt, big pine flavor. Nicely balanced. Gotta have more of these.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, honey, fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of honey, caramel and citrus fruits along with a touch of spice. There's a nice hops presence that comes in next and brings some balance. The malt character is hearty and provides a good breadiness in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, this is a very good beer to drink for a long time. It's light enough to drink a lot, complexly flavorful enough to hold your interest and strong enough in ABV to pack a good punch without knocking you out.

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Photo of scottum
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark hazed redish color with a huge off-white headskie that doesn't quit. Full body and sweet bock malt bill are balanced by an extreme 75IBU hopping. I've never had a beer like this. Certainly in the Helles Bock category, kinda sorta. A big beer in every way. Extreme series ain't no lie. Worth checking out.

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Photo of middletonman2001
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I went to the Rock Art Brewery in Morrisville, Vermont and got a case of 12 bombers for 50% off, which came out to about $22. I poured the beer into my Long trail glass and it was very carbonated and had about a 3 inch head on it. The beer is light brown and looks like a glass of apple juice. It has a very sweet smell with a touch of hops. I am very surprised with out it tastes. At 75 IBUs i was expecting it to be alot more bitter than it is. And at 8% alcohol you really can't taste that either. It does have the sweetness of a bock, but I think that the hops gives a nice balance so isn't as sweet as most bocks, which i'm not usually that big of a fan of. As for mouthfeel i'm not really sure how you charactize it, but it has a light feel to it. Like I said I'm not usually a fan Bock's but this one is pretty good, if you like bock's I would recomend it.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark to medium golden yellow/straw color with a good inch or so of fluffy lacy white head.

Aroma reminds me of a hoppy brown ale or amber ale and not something in the lager category. Some definite grassy and citrus smells along with a good dose of caramel malt.

Flavor is reminscent of a malty pale ale with some caramel and brown sugar notes. It also has some peppery and spicy flavors as well.

I love it. At $3.99 in VT, Rock Art is by far the best value as far as craft beer goes. Solid and very drinkable at 8%.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bomber of Maibock (Helles Bock) poured out a light amber/gold color with a one finger head of eggshell white foam. Mediocre lacing and retention but great clarity. The nose was a little unusual, slightly sweet, pale malt, white grapes and citrus. The flavors were more malt based, sweet honey and caramel malt at first, then wheat bread, yeast and dry grains with floral hops and hints of grapefruit at the end. Rather complex though they don't all flow together in my opinion. Good mouthfeel is slightly fizzy which helps bring all the flavors out. For a rather difficult style this is a good interpretation and displayed nice depth in the palate. If you see it, try it.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An extra hoppy bock...sounds great. 75 IBU's 8% abv. lets go....

a slightly hazy, yeastie amber with golden hues, bone white, creamy head, slow to dissipate...the head is impressive. Damn sticky lace too.

Syruppy sweet hops, pineapple, big juicy fruits aroma, tangy heat tingle, malt is sweet smelling all over.

Very fruity and tangy hop flavor's pound your taste buds, big bitter factor but the fruitiness cuts it and segues smoothly into earthy, herbal, dry effect which is doubled by the complex lager yeast behind the big hop complexity. A dry, zippy feel without the malt holding it back at all, the malt comes over as a gentle sweetness. slighty musty but mostly dry earth and veggies from the yeast. a big, full feel but clean and not heavy. It's good to see the flavor is not dominated by pineapple, the aroma is mostly pineapple and red fruits, the flavor becomes more complex than that, luckily.

A well executed Hell's with some major hop presence.

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Photo of iceball585
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden amber color, semi-clear, one finger thick white fluffy head that faded slowly to a thin cover, tons of tiny bubbles rising throughout

S- Earthy hops, citrusy, grains, wheat, slightly sweet malts smell

T- Grains, flowery hops, light malts, honey, citrusy, hint of caramel, slightly bitter bite

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, light dry bite then semi-oily finish

D- Definatly worth trying

This is an interesting beer to say the least. The auroma and taste are fairly average but the appearance definatly gets two thumbs up from me.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a gorgeous looking beer from start to finish. Pours extremely fresh, bubbly effervescent, lacing throughout, aggressive carbonation but not over the top, nicely balanced.

Taste interpretation is very true to the European style. Bug yeast, flowed my starch hops, and a slight malty, bitter finish.

At 8%, this is a very drinkable beer. Rock Art is on its way up. There extreme line of beers are bringing them to the forefront…at least in Vermont.

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Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours copperish orange with a thin, lasting, off-white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is grainy, bitter, with some sour notes.

The taste is of caramel, grain, bitterness. A helles bock with a bitter, American-influenced kick, keeping a traditional underlying flavour.

This one made me long for brats with sauerkraut. A bit chalky, and alcohol isn't exactly covered, but it's a nice hoppy interpretation of a helles bock!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on't even know where this one came from but it popped up in my fridge yesterday so I decided to open it up. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/21/2010.

The pour was decent, I should rephrase that for the style it was actually a pretty darn good pour. Nice bright golden color, almost a nice tea looking amber with a big head of white that towered up and over the top of the glass and settled down nicely with a decent amount of side glass lacing. Aroma was light, muted grains, hints of a musky alcohol, a touch of clove and light pear like fruit. Warming brought out tons of grains, and bready notes which washed across the tongue with the first chance they got. Huge notes of bready, herbal notes just sitting on the palate, waiting, cloyingly so to bounce. Light dose of caramel now coming through, rich with a bold, medium body that was more then adequately carbonated and really pushed through quite well. A little big for sure, but it seemed to work and I was able to easily muscle my way through the bottle.

Overall a solid effort as just about everything from Rock Art is. I would have no issue at all with trying this one or expanding my horizons with them in general.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear tangerine orange with a monstrous 2 finger + frothy light cream-beige colored head that left large ice-berg like sculptures after floating on the surface. Retention was extraoridinary and left a thick, clumpy and spongey coating down the glass walls. Visible effervesce was light and lazy.

S: limited in complexity and moderately strong in overall strength. Fresh oranges with fresh pine needles contributed to the huge hoppy nature this beer had to offer.

T: The flavor was as hoppy as the nose suggested with a big dose of dried grapefruit and dried orange peels. A generous amount of piney hops also coat the tongue along with some dry grassy notes. Dry, with a sharp pronounced hoppiness that leaves pine and grassy afterthoughts after the swallow.

M: a light medium consistency and was smooth in texture. Had a soft carbonation factor.

D: Generously hopped and overall a good experience that leaves quite the hoppy impression on your tongue. Definitly one of their better and bigger beers and worthy of checking out.

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Photo of smcolw
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very impressive off white head of five fingers. Dissolves into a mound of froth. Leaves ample chunky lace on the glass. Neutral amber color with the slightest chill haze.

Strong earthiness to the aroma. Dry and astringent, almost like sniffing dirt. I detect notes of nutmeg and pumpkin in the background with lots of cream.

This is a heavily hopped bock beer. Could easily pass for a Double IPA (although it is lagered). Not a speck of sugar in the glass--a very dry beer! The earthiness is muted by the generous hop level, which dominates the aftertaste. A decent chewiness that I'd associate with a bock.

An absolutely beautiful looking beer.

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Photo of u2carew
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A) Pours with a frothy head. Hazy. Rust color. Sticky lacing.
S) Fruity. Berries. Hop citrus notes in the mix.
T) Some fruity notes - orange. Malty sweetness - caramel and toffee. Earthy. Noticeable hop bitterness.
M) Slightly syrupy. Some grittiness. Dry.
D) A nice maibock. The hops and malt mix for a brew with nice character.

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Photo of Brad007
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice brown color with a decent head. The aroma has a caramel-ish malt character to it. The taste is smooth and malty with very subtle hints of roasted coffee in the mouthfeel. You almost cannot taste the alcohol in this beer. As I said, it's pretty smooth and I would say drinkable, if you can pair it up with something decent for food. A good interpretation of a bock. The only other bock that Rock Art has done is their annual holiday bock and I would say this is a better representation of that style.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bought somewhere during a Middlebury/Burlington visit.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head over the slightly cloudy reddish chestnut brew. Head holds on with a miser's grip, leaving incredibly thick layers of sticky froth. Aroma is nutty and sweet. Taste starts heavy on the sweetness, segues into the fruit, then comes on pricky hoppy at the end. Closes with a combination of the flavors, and maybe they all just shout a bit too loudly. Mouthfeel is is a bit overwhelming with the cacophony of flavor, and drinkability feels the same. A good beer, just probably not one to start the day's drinking, as I have done today.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge fluffy and fizzy 2.5 finger head that fades fairly quickly as it seems to collapse from within, but leaves almost no lacing, pretty much what I would expect from an 8% beer that is over carbonated... the beer is hazy slight sediment laden cranberry reddish tan colored beer. The head disappears to a very slight head covering fairly quickly.

Nose is malty as expected, and a bit fruity. Dark wheat like aromas add the bock feel, with some caramel and molasses sweetness and slight maple, with juicy stone fruits, like a fig and plum like blend, hint of bananas foster, and a reddish stone fruit like aroma.

Taste comes with more bock flavors, dark wheats, dark malts, caramel and molasses sweeteners again, candy like that reddish candy on candied apples, light biscuity and nutty toffee, reddish malts, etc. Fruits again, bananas foster, reddish stone fruit again, fig, hint of candied raisin and craisin, etc. Light earthy hops bring some bitterness, and come through with spicy hops towards teh finish. The sweetness comes on fairly strong at first, bringing some warming booze with it, but dries slightly on the finish, which is also a bit syrupy and sticky, fairly bitter as the spicy hops ramp up a bit and bring some earthiness, as well as more lingering wheat, fruits, and caramel molasses sweet flavors.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, decent carb, some warming booze.

Overall not bad but not great, nice malts and wheat flavors but too sweet, a decent bitter hop addition, but nothing really special overall. The booze balances the sweetness well, and it has some bock flavors but not as much as I expected.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a killer malt profile that boasts of Munich as well and bisquit malts. It's sweet with some bready notes. The taste is decent. It has a nice Munich malt flavor with plenty of hop bitterness up front as well. It goes down with a bit of warmth and a very dry bready finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinker, although it's one of their weaker offerings. I probably will avoid buying this again.

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Hells Bock from Rock Art Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.