Hells Bock - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
Hells BockHells Bock

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BA SCORE
82
good

58 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.71%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 44
Photo of JMScowcroft
2.56/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Look - Extreme red artwork on the bottle. Pours pale yellow and settles light amber in the glass. Clear, very little carbonation. Impressive, frothy head.

Smell - Hoppy and fruity, smells like it could have some bite to it.

Taste - Immediate fruitiness, smooth, even for the advertised "heavy on hops", I would say the hops are unfortunately minimal when it comes to the taste. Surprisingly smooth for an 8.0%.

Mouthfeel - Hops is about all that sticks around, but it fades rather quickly, in perhaps three to give minutes or so, not that impressive.

Drinkability - Not impressed, a bit rough on the stomach and just not that overall appealing.

Decent beer, but definitely not one of Rock Art's finer moments. I wouldn't buy this beer again.

Photo of DrJay
2.6/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy orange/gold with a frothy cap of yellowish/beige bubbles. Lots of spotty lacing, decent head retention. Aromas of bready malt, caramel, and a bit of citrus, a little floral. Not bad at all. Bitterness, while not overly strong, definitely overpowered the malt. Grassy hops stayed in the forefront, while a bit of malt hid in the background. Citrus filled out the middle and it finished with bitter resin and alcohol. Medium bodied up front, but thinned out at the end of each sip. Moderate carbonation with a little warmth. This really didn't work for me. It was way out of balance, even for a "big bock with twice the hops!" I went in hoping for good things, but not every experiment is a success.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.68/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown body with a wispy, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of caramel, dough, and tart-smelling fruits.

Taste: Flavors of caramel and dough initially, but very little sweetness. Mild hints of dark, tart fruits. The bitterness is cutting, almost astringent, and throws the whole beer off balance. The alcohol is quite evident.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Oh, I wanted to enjoy this, but didn't.

Photo of Gavage
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: hazy orange in color with a short 1/4" head that breaks apart immediately to some surface bubbles. A spot or two of lace shows up during the session.

Smell: caramel sweetness and some light citrus comes through.

Taste: sweet bready malt is predominant. Some caramel, honey, citrus, and decent bitterness rounds it out. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Smooth throughout. Long aftertaste as the sweetness lingers quite a while. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: ths one was a bit too sweet for me. Definite slow sipper but didn't improve as it warmed.

Photo of BeerTruth
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into a pilsner glass.

Ok, it's Maibock season, let's see how this VT brewery does it.

Pours a mostly clear medium copper hue with full one finger head that dies down to thin layer of foam. Stickiness is pretty good with a fair amount of lacing on the sides. Smell is different, but I like it, sorta. Creamy malt, white grapes, and light grassy hops. There also seems to be an interesting pepper and spice aroma in the nose too. Taste is a bit medicine like with a syrupy sweetness. Toasted grains, floral hops, and fresh pine with a solid caramel malt backbone. The spice flavors come out in the aftertaste with a some alcohol as well. Pretty big carbonation with a medium body. The syrup characteristic is present which isn't the most appealing. I think this is a style of beer that needs to stay low in the abv department. Good attempt, but not for me.

Photo of Iceman77
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with a finger of creamy head which recedes fairly quickly, decent lacing. The aromas are a mix of hops, yeast and fruit, after initial smell these are not as prominent. Up front the flavor is slightly fruity, the hops are definitely noticeable but more for their bitterness, not so much their flavor. There is a faint hint of malts behind that. It is a little sharp on the tongue and the hoppy bitterness remains in the aftertaste. Decent bock, but I think the extra hops advertised on the bottle actually detract from the overall flavor of this brew.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden/amber color with a smallish off white head that quickly dissipates. Smells of caramel and brown sugar with a touch of ethanol, and sweet almost herbal aromas wafting from the glass. The flavor is sweet and dark sugary and caramel like the aroma promised, but with a solid shot of dark sweet fruits as well. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Decent enough beer, but seems caught somewhere between a bock and a barleywine. Confusing but drinkable I guess.

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bomber into a Celebrator glass the eer was a muted orange color with a bit more than one finger of creamy white head. Sticky bubbles on the sides of the glass and some spotty lacing.

The nose is big and hoppy - lots of grapefruit.

Hops hit the palate first with a prickly carbonation and medium bitterness. The taste balances quickly with a slick semi-sweet maltiness. This seems more of a pale ale than a bock. Balance is good but favors the hops.

Medium body and quite carbonated.

To style, I didn't think this one personified the maibock well. But the bottle arns clearly enough that this is far frm a traditional version of the beer. Hopping up is one way to make an onld style new - but it didn't work here. Not a bad beer but not what I was hoping for.

Photo of ixodus
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy amber with reddish hues, off white head with poor retention. Small traces of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Caramel, toffee, raisins, sweet citrus, slightly grassy, some plastic like phenols. Not as hoppy as I was expecting knowing Rock Art and having the label say "twice the hops".

T: Sweet caramel, biscuits, toffee, grape, orange peel, grass, has a nice moderate bitterness to finish it up. Almost tastes like a sweet pale ale. Alcohol is non-existant.

M: Full bodied, moderate carbonation has a slight bite to it. Pretty good drink ability.

O: Overall it's a decent beer. I can't see myself seeking it out but I wouldn't turn one down if it was offered. Alcohol is hidden extremely well so that's a big +.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – amber color, a bit hazy, and with about two fingers’ worth of dark khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly. Very high carbonation.

Smell – a bit sweet smelling, almost like a soda, but with a hop-like edge to it.

Taste – definitely more of a hop-like taste than I expected. You taste the hops, and then you feel them via the bitterness. There still is an air of sweetness about it, mostly around the middle of the taste. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, but does lean more toward the watery side.

Overall – not a bad brew at all, but at the same time not terribly interesting to think about.

Photo of imagineiii
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poors a hazy light mahoghany color. Decent creamy head. Head diminishes after a couple minutes leaving a decent lace and a thin white layer on top.

S: Lager-like cleanliness. Bright but simple. Swirling reveals clove, leather, and honey and apple.

T: Smokey, big and creamy. Bitterness on the tounge. Overall, its a little bit of a mess of flavors but reasonably well balanced.

M: Carbonation and malt are pleasant on the tounge. Bitterness at the end is not overwhelming. Smokeyness is a little strange.

D: Smokeyness and creaminess of such a big beer (8% lager, 85 IBU's) make this beer tough to drink. While flavors are interesting, it hardly goes down easy.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy clay red/tan, finger khaki head,
good lacing

S: malt, fig/raisin, biscuit, hint of spice

T: sweet malt, biscuit, hint of pine, short crisp finish

M: med/light body, hint of oily
mostly crisp/semi-dry mouth

O: Enjoy Rock Art beers, but
this fell short for me. Needed little
stronger flavor. ABV well hidden.

SOLID, NOT MUST HAVE!

Photo of 9InchNails
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Off white head that doesn't look like its going anywhere. Very bubbly with a hazy golden copper color. Soapy lacing clings to the glass.

Bread, crisp clean lager aroma that I get with lagers. Hops are noticeable -- I hope so with 75 IBU's but nothing crazy.

Tastes like a Bock meets a Pale Ale. Bread and a doughiness up front with a clean crisp taste that I get with Lagers and some hop bitterness at the end.

Medium body with medium Carbonation. No alcohol burn at all. Nothing really that great about the body.

The 8% abv. with no evidence of alcohol in taste or warmth -- 75 IBU's and its only slightly noticeable. A whole lot of high numbers but nothing to show for; this is only a decent number in my book.

Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger off-white head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Slight citrus hops nose. Flavor is piney hops and caramel. $3.99 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT. Bottled Oct 2008.

Photo of NEhophead
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.

Pours a hazy, dirty straw in color. Finger's length, densely foamy white head that plasters and cliings to the nonic's sides. Walls of ringed lacing with very good strength.

Bright citrus hops profile: lime and grapefruit with mild pine notes. Malted wheat with a noticeable grainy base; consistent with a Helles Bock, but with a hefty hop addition and slick alcohol presence. The malted sweetness is a little excessive.

Sweetened, grain-filled malt character. A lingering astringency makes its way to the forefront along with a dirty, pine-filled hop flavor. Very phenolic as the wheat and grains turn almost burnt. A moderate, brief bitterness, filled with pine and burnt floral hops, mark the finish with a citrus and phenolic aftertaste.

Medium bodied; smooth until the hops kick in at mid-sip and the texture turns rough. Not quite on target for the style; but then again, this one is in a stylistic category all on its own.

Unique across the board. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy this one, but it's tough to judge within a particular style. Good flavors, mildly unbalanced, but worth a try for the novelty.

Photo of Bierman9
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hells's Bock is from a 22oz bomber. Label is similar to most other biers in their "Extreme" series, save for the color (red, here) and the biers name. No freshness info found. Small side-blurb suggests having this with "bratworst". I suggest getting a proof-reader (their Infusco label mentioned "alchohol").

Pours a clear, rich, medium copper color. Very limited carbo within, and the head is short and tight, a fine, creamy light-beige layer. Lacing is good to good-plus. Nose is on the mild side, though evidence of florality and some toasty malt comes forth. Body is medium; no qualms there. Fairly smooth and creamy on the tongue, with a small bit of foamy/bubbly action.

Flavor has some more light sweetness, courtesy of the toasty malt action. This tastes pretty good, with subtle suggestions here of light caramel and a touch of butterscotch. Soon thereafter, hopping hits home, with an earthy, floral quality. It almost, almost has a hint of sour, green apple. Almost... The floral character lingers a bit, though this bier has a mostly dry finish. Not a bad bier, overall... in fact fairly drinkable. Though quite likely it will reside in the bottom 3rd, or so, of Maibocks I've had.

Zum Wohl!!

overall: 3.7
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5

972

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty good looking crisp light amber colour with a medium to smallish white frothy head that has moderate retention time and leaves more residue on the glass than expected.

The aroma is a blend of floral hops, a bit of bread, some caramel and maybe a touch of fruit sweetness. Perhaps even a bit of grass.

The flavour is similar to the aroma, but a bit harsher, I'd say. Bread come through a lot more along with a bit of dirtiness. Sweetness from caramel, floral notes, etc is much more subdued here. If anything, the grassy hope notes shine through the most. This one has a good amount of bitterness throughout. There might even be a touch of spice here and there. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and has a bit of a bite to it.

Pretty good overall. I'd have liked to have see the more balanced, sweeter notes from the aroma come through a bit more in the flavour but said flavour was still good regardless. It also doesn't help that I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this one represents it well overall. I'd probably put it toward the end of my list of Rock Art brews sampled thus far, but with that said, I haven't had a bad one from them yet so that's not a negative in the least. If you like the style, you'll certainly enjoy this one...

Photo of IBUnit63
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bomber pours with a decent Germanic malt tone - that slightly brown-sugar bock character works well. Solid carbonation; good eggshell-colored head with some retention to speak of. Carbonation works well and moves quickly.

I get a mix of the sweeter, concentrated roasted malt and some more raw grains typical for a Helles. Slight tinny feel here which maybe speaks to the German malt quotient. Hop pine is there but isn't huge.

We have more of the raw grain character on the taste profile. Hop silage indicates some Saaz is in there. A little bit of bock sweetness and concentration shows up and adds a slight boozy touch.

Nice mix of raw malt and deep, sweet bock character keeps the finish even and well-balanced. Not TOO much of a booze character but there's just a little bit.

This does get a little bit heavy, even after the first glass. It's a decent enough package but it's a little much to knock a bomber down.

Photo of SaintPeter
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Rock Art Extreme Series - Hell's Bock, 8.0%, Lager, $3.19/22oz Bomber- Hunger Mtn. Coop, Montpelier, VT
Bock Glass used

Pours a deep amber color turning into red in the more volumous bell of the bock glass. Huge beige 4-finger head that subsides very slowly leaving a lace work on the interior of the glass, leaves what looks like a map of the world.

Potent hop aroma emerges from the glass and I wait as the head slowly recedes... The hop aroma is mellowed by a malt, hints of vanilla and evergreen tree

Smooth mouth feel, almost creamy in texture....then the potent alcohol hits! That strong alcoholic hops monopolizes the flavor.

Taste of higher alcohol, the 8% really comes out in this, bold and up front.
A hop bitterness upfront, in the mid- and in aftertaste. The back of the throat doesn't like it too much, leaves a sour linger, like eating pine tar.

Tasted in the same month as bottled - maybe that is the problem, it needs some time to age in the bottle. I'll try it again in the Spring and re-do the review.

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of Brad007
3.73/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of u2carew
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of smcolw
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
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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Hells Bock from Rock Art Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.