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Hells Bock - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
Hells BockHells Bock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

59 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 59
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.71%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | 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:
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 added by: Bierman9 on 02-07-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mactrail
2.25/5  rDev -37.8%

mactrail, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of tnbeatty
2.5/5  rDev -30.9%

tnbeatty, May 15, 2013
Photo of JMScowcroft
2.53/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

JMScowcroft, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of DrJay
2.53/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

DrJay, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.65/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of SMason
3/5  rDev -17.1%

SMason, Nov 20, 2011
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.

Gavage, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

BeerTruth, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of JMS1512
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

JMS1512, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of Mini4x
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Mini4x, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

johnnnniee, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of Sycodrummer
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Sycodrummer, May 23, 2009
Photo of Iceman77
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Iceman77, May 25, 2008
Photo of ixodus
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
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 +.

ixodus, Apr 18, 2012
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.

Nerudamann, Mar 31, 2012
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.

imagineiii, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of BeerLover99
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
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!

BeerLover99, Dec 02, 2011
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.

9InchNails, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Trashcat
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Trashcat, Yesterday at 06:54 PM
Photo of Jacob007
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Jacob007, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

brandoman63, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Kelp, Jun 04, 2013
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.

NEhophead, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of SaintPeter
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

SaintPeter, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
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...

SixpointJMH, Jan 09, 2008
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Hells Bock from Rock Art Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.