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Anchor Bock Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Bock BeerAnchor Bock Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

967 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 967
Reviews: 571
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 26
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GClarkage on 05-26-2005)
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Ratings: 967 | Reviews: 571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pecan shell brown with candied cherry highlights... that is actually darkest crimson when backlit. This is, without a doubt, the darkest bock that I've ever seen; excepting doppelbocks of course. The beer is crowed with a gorgeous brown sugar milkshake of a head that deposits vertical streamers of sea foam lace from the glass rim downward. A great start.

Given the dark, rich color, I shouldn't be surprised that the nose is dark and rich as well. Dark toffee, dark brown sugar, molasses... I can't believe that the beer will be as sweet and sticky as it smells. I keep looking for chocolate/cocoa, but the nose is solidly in the caramelized cane sugar family. With more power, it'd be a world-beater.

When I drink Anchor beer, it's hard for me to escape the notion that I'm drinking--if not the necessarily the best version--the definitive version of that particular style. I felt that way about Anchor Porter, about Old Foghorn and now about Anchor Bock. It tastes exactly like I'd always thought, and still think, a bock should taste.

It's darkly malty and continues to favor caramel over chocolate. There are, however, some cocoa powder notes on the palate that I didn't appreciate in the nose. Some variety of earthy hop has been used and provides exactly the right counterpoint, both in terms of flavor and bitterness, to the primary maltiness of the beer.

As expected, it isn't all that sweet. As is often the case, it favors (mildly) sweet early and (mildly) bitter and dry late. This is an extremely well-crafted lager that is a cinch to drink. The 5.5% ABV may put it on the low end of the style scale in terms of alcoholic punch, but it's definitely on the high end in terms of flavor and overall quality.

Keeping in mind that it isn't a doppelbock, the body/mouthfeel is just about where it needs to be (I'll resist the urge to call for bigger). It isn't what I'd call full, or even medium-full, but it has enough sustainability to keep that beautiful bock flavor on the taste buds long enough for them to deliver the goods. I love the contrast between the full flavor and the relatively light body.

I haven't had a great deal of bock experience, but I recognize quality beer when I taste it. Anchor Bock is a truly wonderful effort from a brewery that specializes in brewing 'gold standards' and is one of my new favorites of the style.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.43/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my big glass mug. Very nice DARK color. Bam, looks like a schwartz bier. Good carbonation and a nice big brown head that fades to a covering and a small lace.

The smell is very roasty, Dark caramel and some chicory.

The taste is very good, slightly sweet Dark roasted malt flavors of coffee and chocolate, the burnt toast finish is dry. Lip smackin good!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, Oh yeah swish it around and enjoy.

Drinkability is very high every thing here leads you to want another. MK

Photo of Solomon420
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Anchor Brewing during a recent tour. Great overall taste on this one, great beer! Its a newer beer for them, and they have hit the nail on the head with this one. Not as heavy or sweet as their barleywine, but just as enjoyable to drink. Recommended to anyone wanting a slightly thicker, more complex darker beer.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased at Hollingshead Deli in Orange Ca. for $2.19 in May, 2006; consumed and reviewed in June 2006.

Pours a deep dark brown with the slightest hint of red-brown highlights when backlit. A pretty tan head fades to a solid cover that doesn't appear to be planning on going anywhere (except my tummy!).

Aroma is roasty caramel/chocolate (slight sweetness) but also slight bitterness- nice yin/yang. The bitter is almost a sharp tangy barbeque like notes. Quite fun!

Taste is rich deep roasty malts. A very sharp ending in the back of the mouth.

Mouthfeel is nice and solid- not overwhelming, and not thin. Just right!

I am not necessarily a big fan of the bock style in general, but this is quite tasty- I like it!

Photo of JanM
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor's dark beers have been appearing on my table at Christmas dinner for some years now. This one pours with thick, creamy foam, brownish in color. The color of the beer is reddish, dark brown. Smelling sweet, with hints of fruits and coffee. The taste is bitter with roasted hops and bubble-gum. It almost has a powder-like mouthfeel. It definately measures up to Anchor quality, although the tastes could be a bit more pronounced.

Photo of Fugazme
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark... near black, ruby highlights against light... smallish, tan head. Lots of lace.

Aroma is complex. Alcohol, chocolate, malt, caramel... very strong.

Mouthfeel is creamy upfront... a touch dry on the swallow, but finishes sweet. A tad chalky. Some cola-like flavors with roasty malt tones. Little hop character.

This is a decent bock... wouldn't be a first choice, but highly drinkable.

Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It came to me a dense brown with chestnut highlights, and the merest smidgeon of light tan head that disappeared before my eyes. Minimal lacing dotted the glass.

The aroma was fresh and busy with sweet malt and caramel, as well as dark chocolate, raisins, plum, and black cherry. A flit of floral hops dashes across the landscape.

Upon sipping, the deep malt sweetness rushed forth, bearing a slight charred molasses note, as well as chocolate, coffee, and raisins. An understated but present yeast note came through in the middle, doughy and slightly tart. As the close drew near, the residual malt carried a more mellow fruitiness, with cherry and berry popping up, before a soft hop bitterness lingered fairly in the finish. It's not stunning or remarkable, but it is a fruity fest, and a fun flavor profile.

A bit short of medium bodied, the malt feels chewy on the palate, and the flavor remains some time.

The look was kind of blah, but beginning at the aroma, it redeemed itself nicely, carrying a flavor that seems dependable and lip-smacking good. I had one, but had I not had kids in tow, I would gladly have had another, and it would have been every bit as good as the first. This is the kind of beer that makes bock season a joy...it's basic but fairly complex, and goes down smooth and mellow. That's a fine Springtime scenario.

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.38/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never did see this on the east coast, nor had I really known about it, so I had to grab a bottle of this upon finding it in CA. Crimson brown with a well held tan head. Spicy nose hints at plums and licorice. Flavor is really toasty with very nice complexity; subtle coffee, plums, an enormous chewy malt profile and a fair smattering of hops on the palate make this one interesting brew. Kind of reminds me of their OSA without the pine/spruce element, but still has a flavor profile all its own. Extremely drinkable at 5.5% as well. I'd be happy drinking stein after giant stein of this one.

Photo of tonistruth
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- dark brown color with a 1" tan head, good retnet. Some lacing

S- sweetness, raosted malts, and coffee aromas as well

T- sweet roasted flavors, some hints of fruit flavor also (but very slight) no bitterness that i could pick up, roasted aftertaste.

M- nearly everyhing about this brew makes me think stout except that the body isnt as full as a stout. Smooth with the refined clean lager feeling.I think its a lager but i've never tasted one like this.

D- i see this as a nice to try every season it comes around. I dont plan on stocking it in my fridge. Awesome play on the bock style.

Photo of tgbljb
4.38/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very deep brown color with impressive reddish notes. Smell is loaded with malt infused with a nice dark fruitiness (raisins, figs, dates, prunes). taste is fruity sweet with the prune and dates really showing through. Finish is initially very sweet but a pleasant hoppy bitterness begins to assert itself. A very nice creamy mouthfeel is the perfect ending for this beer. Great drinkability. Really a winner.

Photo of Gusler
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Upon the beers disemboguing the 12-ounce stubby bottle a deep chocolate brown with a massive creamy dark tan head that ever so slowly erodes leaving a thick blanket of lace upon the glass. Nose has a molasses like sweetness, big malt aroma, hints of hops and a bit of chocolate to this old schnozzle, start is somewhat sweet with a good grain presence, the top moderate in feel. Finish is lightly acidic, the hops pleasant in the spiciness, very dry aftertaste, a throwback to the old Bock’s like Pabst.

Photo of jockstrappy
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, dark mahogany color with a frothy and sticky 2" head. Aroma is roasted malts, with chocolate and toasted bread notes. Taste is sweet maltiness up front, with a mild alcohol kick mid-sip, and an ever so slight hop bitterness. This beer finishes VERY indeed, nothing lingering afterwards....very nice! Not a huge fan of this style, but this is one beer that will have me trying a few others.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful black hue with a two finger creamy caramel head. Good retention and lacing throughout.

The smell was of malty sweetness with a hint of coffee.

The taste was of a deep roasted barley and coffee. A nice subtle sweetness, but a dry finish.

The mouthfeel was light and finished dry.

Very drinkable.

Photo of edskirk3
4.65/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's the 12oz, signature stubby bottle of Anchor Brewing fame, with a goat's head ("bock" is German for "goat") on the label, holding hops in his (he has horns, although if you study his face he looks a little effeminate) mouth.

Pours very dark brown, just barely translucent, showing shades of ruby in the light. Almost no head to speak of. One barely forms and goes away in the blink of an eye.

Anchor Bock has a rummy, raisiny, bready scent. It smells more alcoholic than it actually is. The taste is reminiscent of wheat bread, except darker, like pumpernickel or something. There are also undertones of figs, rum and hop bitterness. Very very slightly medicinal. More complexities are at play here that are beyond my limited senses.

As indicated by the near absence of head, this beer is almost flat, and is syrupy and sticky by the end of the glass.

Put it all together and you got yourself one swell Bock. Delicious enough to sip, but not too strong that you HAVE to sip.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very nice, thick and dark maple-chestnut color with a mighty, sparkling, stained cedar pompadour of a head. Creamy foam breaks up into huge bubbles but retains well anyway.

Smell: Pine. Fig. Plum. Dark rum. Yum. Also: cherries, glutamic acid, wheat, a little coffee, and a little sour yeast.

Taste: I never thought I could enjoy a bock this much, but damn! Chocolatey malts, rich but not mean in their bitterness. Great hop character, adding just a little leafy snap mid-sip. Finish is mostly dry, but kind of weak. This could practically be a Doppelbock.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, but well-carbonated.

Drinkability: Pair this with figs (or Fig Newtons). It really brings out the chocolate and rum flavors beautifully.

Photo of bennetj17
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark coffee color, with red hues as you can see through it in the light, revealing nice clarity. The slim head doesn't last long at all, and leaves a very faint ring in its wake. Aroma of tangy brown malt, sweet with licorice, nut, and brown sugar notes. Flavor is of clean, nutty sweet malt, slightly tangy in the finish. There is a slight roasted character present and perhaps a hint of cherries. Mouthfeel is decent, medium thick, adequate carbonation. This is fairly mild, with solid, clean flavors for a darker beer, making it an excellent choice for a session ale. Another fine offering from Anchor...

Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, deep chestnut with ruby highlights. The light brown head left behind some clumpy lacing. Rich, malty sweet aroma with caramel and a bit of chocolate character, also mild alcohol and a hint of hops. There's a hint of roast that adds to these qualities in the flavour, along with a bit of toffee and apple core. Light lingering bitterness and malt. The body was a little lighter than expected, but certainly not approaching thin. Fairly dry with low carbonation. One that I'd definitely give another try. Thanks HogTownHarry!

Photo of Zorro
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an impressive looking bock beer. A clear deep walnut brown beer with a nice light brown stick head.

Smell is fruity and very heavy on malt. Strong and appealing chocolate aroma here along with a bit of figs and cherries.

Taste is very malty and full of chocolate and tastes very much like malted milk minus most of the sweetness. Fairly fruity flavor is present it is just hidden under all that chocolate; it is the usual fruitiness you find in English ales.

Mouthfeel is milkshake thick.

If you don't like Chocolate under no circumstances try this beer you will hate it. This is classed as a bock but it is much like a thicker and heartier version of Anchors Christmas beer. To me this is really a Milk Stout and a damn good one too. I won't quibble about the adherence to style, which this doesn't really do. This is simply a damn tasty beer.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogony colour with mocha head, lots of lace. Molasses and chocolate malt aroma. Creamy and tongue tingle. Molasses and roast coffee aftertaste with coffee oil slickness. Bittersweet. Medium-full mouthfeel. It all works together, and would have again.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, dark brown with reddish undertones and a 1" tan head that dissappates to a very substantial lacing.
Aroma is faint but slightly sweet...carmel? No noticable hops or fruit.
Mouthfeel is initially rich and full but then thin when you swallow. Nice light carbonation.
Taste is warm burnt malt and a very slight taste of bubblegum<?> Not unpleasant...more like the aftertaste of a german wheat.
Only a slight alcohol afterburn with a bitter (pleasant) lingering taste.
Easy drinker...I put this second after Anchor Steam as the best from this brewer.
Would buy again and could session this beer.

Photo of DogFood11
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brown, Rich looking body, Filtered. Easily managed 1.5 inch head.

I couldn't find much of a balancer in this other than some earthy tones, mostly a toasty, doughy, dark candied fruit smell and taste. Mouthfeel is absolutely stellar. Creamy, Mollasses syrupy feel that washes completely away on the finish. Perfect.

Another fine performance by Anchor. Could have had this again and again but I was at a beer bar and wanted to share the wealth. Went well with a steak sandwich.

Sweetness in the nose, roasty-toasty, toffee-ish, very pleasant.

Malty attack on the tongue, and wonderfully mellow. A bit grainy and gritty, but still fruity and flush with flavor. Rich, dark, tasty. Chocolate malts? Very solid.

Warm and comforting in the mouth, easily drinkable, tenaciously tasty...I like it, I like it...Good roast for a bock. I'd like to have this again, and again...very smooth, and luscious on the palate, an expertly brewed bock.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 12 oz bottle purchased for $7.99/six pack at Bev Mo San Mateo. Pours with a creamy and fluffy brown head. The head shows excellent retention with about 1 cm of foam remaining for a long time. The beer is dark brown with very little light coming through.

Smell: Malty with some sweet toasted notes. Some faint earthy and grassy notes in the background. The sweetness smells mildly of grape molasses.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Sweet and grainy with a toasty malt backbone. Some fruity undertones like grapes and raisins. Very sweet but not cloying at all. The texture is slightly gritty in a good way. This grittiness contributes to make the beer feel medium bodied and bold. The roasty flavor is interesting in that it is paired with a very flavorful breadiness. It is full and rich and almost oily with toffee and caramel to boot. Very tasty.

Drinkability: This is definately my favorite offering from Anchor. Full of flavor with a nice texture. It's sweet and mostly to style. Very tasty though it is a bit low in ABV for a bock. No matter, this is a tasty beer.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Anchor Bock pours from the 22oz bottle a deep chestnut brown with a nice half inch of foamy khaki head atop the brew. When held up to the light the deep blood red streaks shine through. Aromas of deep roasted dark & chocolate malts with a strong dark fruit aroma. Black cherries mix with raisins, molasses and a touch of caramel. A tad bit burnt with hops chilling in the background. Nice!

First sip brings a nice, slightly sweet roasted malt upfront Notes of chocolate, dark fruits and burnt toast emerge. There's some raisins and molasses in the middle. Toasted toffee finish with only a touch of hops and a dry grain husk aftertaste. Malty madness all the way that's really quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a slight creaminess and good carbonation. Fills the mouth nicely and satisfies the beer craving without incident. This is a bock I'd look for more often if it was available. Hopefully Anchor will put this out again with wider distribution. Another feather in the cap of one of the original microbrewers! Thanks to irishsnake for the opportunity!

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: One of those classic looking Anchor bottles that grew up, filled out and put some weight on. The standard Anchor “Bowling Pin” profile - but bigger at a Bomber Bay laden 22 ounces. Only seen this bottle used for the ‘Small Beer” before. The oval label has a simple look and the words ‘Anchor Bock Beer’ runs in a banner above a picture of a Horned Goats Head chewing some hop vines. Reverse label has the code 5YH. The neck label contains a little more information and describes the heritage of the beers manufacture and name. Simple brass colored crown cap, which surprised me, other Anchor brews had decorated ones. No discernable strength or freshness date anywhere.

Appearance: Chestnut brown with a polished mahogany depth when backlit. Nice thick creamy head rises with a viscous smooth thickness that looks confident. Has a dark brown tan cap, darker than most. The desk lamp reveals a constant set of rising streamers, but the bubbles are widely spaced apart and rise slowly. Head retention is very good, but the lacing, which I expected to be sticky, soon slides back down into the dark beery pool. Solid looking brew, awesome in my straight sided Tumbler.

Nose: Wow, a real surprise, real strength and character. Malt sweetness right off the bat but like a cooking meal it gets complicated as it bakes. A rising thick caramelized sugar bubbles away and thickens like melting white sucrose in a shining copper pan. Dark fruits and toffees with a brazed sugared plum finish. Very nice aromas…..like a baking meal.

Taste: The nose hints at the taste, and there is no disappointment here. The malts are heavier though, like a home-made Bonfire Toffee the taste is thicker and deeper and sticks hard to the top of the tongue. Bumbling dark fruits explode with the lazy carbonation. Roasted and toasted there is some upturn in the finish, maybe some hops, I get them only a few seconds after the swallow on the cheeks.

Mouthfeel: Quite rich and smooth in the feel. Malty yet refreshing and far from sticky. A tad chewy, chocolate flavored toffee in the middle, but it finishes thinner than it starts. Medium overall but pleasing and it never feels wanting.

Drinkability: Often Bocks turn me off in the long run; the burnt sugary sweetness takes over and becomes cloying. So I am secretly impressed by this one. I damaged the liquid levels in the Anch-Bomb-er with no effort, but the one bottle is enough for me.

Overall: I had heard and read of this only 6 or so months ago, but it seems that it does not travel far from its home turf up in the wilds of the West Coast Bay Area, either that or it is a limited offering. I actually snagged this flasche at Bottle Barn, Santa Rosa for just $2.59 - pretty good value and a nice brew, despite warnings from one of my highly respected fellow BA’s, I quite enjoyed this!

Photo of baiser
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coke colour, with a creamy tan head. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and body is light. Very nice bock. Sweet, caramel, coffee, roasted flavours. A good amount of firm hoppy bitterness. Very drinkable. Overall a great beer to quaff. Just the right amount of alcohol. Wonderful bock imo.

Anchor Bock Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 967 ratings.