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Hells Bock - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
Hells BockHells Bock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

57 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 13.02%
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: 57 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

lordofthewiens, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

GratefulBeerGuy, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +8%
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.

mikesgroove, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of IBUnit63
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

IBUnit63, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of jdhilt
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

jdhilt, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of u2carew
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

u2carew, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

Metalmonk, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of Sycodrummer
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
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 beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

beerthulhu, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +8%
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!

jwc215, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of smcolw
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

smcolw, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of SaintPeter
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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 imagineiii
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
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 NEhophead
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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 thekevlarkid
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

thekevlarkid, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of Iceman77
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
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 JMScowcroft
2.53/5  rDev -29.9%
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 BeerTruth
3.13/5  rDev -13.3%
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 DrJay
2.53/5  rDev -29.9%
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 iceball585
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

iceball585, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.08/5  rDev +13%
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...

dsa7783, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of Gavage
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
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 vtjim
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

vtjim, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Jan 14, 2008
Hells Bock from Rock Art Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.