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Mardi Gras Bock - Abita Brewing Co.

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Mardi Gras Bock
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542 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 542
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 14.87%
Wants: 12
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co. visit their website
Louisiana, United States

Style | ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Bock (January – March) is the first of our seasonal brews. It is brewed with Perle hops and pale and caramel malts. Our Bock is similar to a German Maibock in its high malt content, full body and slightly higher alcohol content. Abita Bock is a very popular brew, especially during our Mardi Gras season.

25 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-17-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 542 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%

Appearance: Pours a gold orange color with a small foamy head that settles quickly.

Smell: Very faint smell, if any. You could argue that it is very clean in the nose, but I'd say its weak. The smell, as it warms, begins to smell a bit like day old beer (an unfinished bottle that you find in the morning.)

Taste: Begins with a very refreshing blast of watery sugars and then quickly replaces the flavors with a delicious blend of hops, reminicent of an ESB more than a bock.

Mouthfeel: The body of this beer is pretty well carbonated; I'd prefer to have this flavor in a body that is a bit more less bubbly.

Drinkability: The flavor really allows this beer to drink fast and often. I could imagine making a big session out of this beer - so very appropriate for Mardi Gras.

GuinnessSmurf, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
2.33/5  rDev -32.1%

Pours an amber garnet with a foamy white head that dissipates quickly. Smells sulphury, sweet, and slightly of floral hops. The flavor is pretty lackluster, especially in terms of the malt profile. The only thing holding my attention is the floral hop flavor and the balance to the syrupy sweetness. Mouthfeel is decent. It is neither heavy, nor is it too bubbly or anything. Drinkability? No.

goochpunch, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of cheers2beers
3.15/5  rDev -8.2%

Served in a Mug:

Appearance: A light orange/red hue with a soft white head that disappeared very rapidly.Little to no laceing.

Smell: Earthy malts perhaps a little grassy not very expressive in the nose.

Taste: The more I drink this, the more this beer grows on me but its still doesn't have the it factor.Tart fruits, earthy malts,maybe just a touch hops for a very subtle bittering finish.

Mouthfeel: Clean,thin, goes down easy,Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I won't be buying this one again.It just didnt jump out at me with much of anything,but I can say this for it,it was a cheap sixer only five bucks.Haha i see why now.


cheers2beers, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of UncleFlip
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%

Honey colour with copper overtones...more orange when held to the light. Head is big, fluffy, and white....and falls at a quick rate.

Aroma is...bacon. Oh, wait. that's the bacon cooking in the other room. Ok, nose down in glass...mild aroma, malty and fruity, with just a hint of floral hops. A half-point off for the fact it was just tough to find the aroma in the first place- even without the bacon.

Flavour is a bit woody, and reminds me of an adjunct lager. There is some malt here, yes. The fruity-sweet malt quality builds at the end, crossfading with the bitterness.

Liquid is above thin, but not quite medium. Oddly, the carbonation seems more apparent after swallowing.

This one goes down easy- but I mark off on drinkability because it's not one I'd want twice in one sitting, if there area other more interesting beers around.

Be well

UncleFlip, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of kmpitz2
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours a solid copper color with excellent clarity and minimal head over top. I'd like to see a touch more head on the pour. Nose is not what I was looking for. I get a healthy graineyness, not the toasty maly I want to smell. I'm also getting a touch of buttery diacetyl, but blended in the with the grainey character. Not really drawing me in. Flavor is a bit better. Graney and toasty notes dominate, with just a touch of buttery playing in there. I get just a kiss of bitterness on the finsih to balance things out. Feel is moderate with a healthy moderate carbonation. Overall, an okay brew. Its not doing anything to really grab me. I would like to see the grainy character be gone and a stronger toastyness. I'd have it again, just not too soon.

kmpitz2, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%

It seems Abita is now calling this seasonal beer Mardi Gras Bock, although evidently this is the only change.

There is a trace of dry fruitiness, which at first is reminiscent of champage, on the nose of this light bock. The flavor is crisp and fleetingly bitter, with a finish that is immediately soft and then chased by a resurfacing bitterness. Further into the pint there appears a mild tartess in the nose and the slight indication of alcohol in the flavor and aftertaste.

This is not a bad special entry by Abita, especially given their penchant for making some fairly pedestrian brews, particularly some of their minor offerings. I'd be okay with sucking down several Mardi Gras Bocks while taking in a few parades on St. Charles.

VoodooBrew, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of kbnooshay
3.08/5  rDev -10.2%

Pours a clear yellow amber color with a small foam top.The head didn't last very long.The smell is kinda hoppy but bland. Does every abita brew smell the same to everyone else? It has the same stench. The taste is better though. The caramel flavors hit ya upon first sip. I would prefer more hops in the taste, kinda weak and not dry enough. The mouthfeel lacks punch, kinda syrupy water feeling. Mouthfeel of soda. It sounds like soda too! There are some good flavors here but everything else falls short. It is just plain blah.

kbnooshay, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of acrawf6
4.33/5  rDev +26.2%

Well now its called mardi gras bock, with a new design on the label.
Pours out a dark amber with a white head.
Smells very sweet and malty. caramel notes to it. it smells very sweet.
Taste is excellent. very malty and potent. Slight oat flavor. again very sweet.
Mouthfeel is nice. very full. i wish i knew the alc amount in this, but the alchohol is pretty present. Carbonation is good.

Overall i think this is an excellent beer. One of the best ones i have had from abita, well at least for the seasonals (love turbodog). This years batch seems better than the past years. To me it tastes almost like a light version of andygator.

acrawf6, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
1.98/5  rDev -42.3%

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy yellowish amber color with a few floaties...maybe hops?...I hope. There was about ¼ inch of creamy foam on top of the beer at first pour. The head retained for a couple minutes and was sustained by quite a few bubbles rising through the murky liquid.

Aroma: Amazingly enough, I smell noticeable hops in this beer! So much for being a true Bock style because it is almost distracting. Other than this, I get some nutty/toasty malts that may be Munich as well as some British malts I’d guess. This is a weird combination in a beer.

Taste: Hmmm, how do I describe this? It is really dry for a Bock. It is very attenuated, and the hops are a big player in this beer. There is a little caramel to the beer, as well as a bit of the toasty malts that I got in the aroma. The beer is really light, and the carbonation is noticeable, so it makes the beer come across the palate like a bat out of heck...just leaving you with a bitter aftertaste from the hops. There is some astringency here also.

Opinion: This is the second time I’ve tried this beer, and I remember thinking the last time that it was an OK beer. This one is way out of balance. Maybe they may do better in coming years, but I wouldn’t buy the ’05 again.

SkeeterHawk, Aug 26, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.05/5  rDev -11.1%

A light amber-tan colored head sits atop this brilliantly clear copper colored beer. The aroma is subdued with notes of sweet malt, a hint of sweet orange peel, and a bit of alcohol; not really much there though. The taste is lightly sweet up front with a body that seems both thin and slightly full at the same time. The predominant taste is of sweet malt with a bit of caramalization to it; overall, like in the aroma, this beer is pretty bland. Certainly there is not anything wrong with this beer just a bit uninspiring.

Gueuzedude, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.43/5  rDev 0%

Bright orange-amber, heavily favoring the former. The head is the color of pearls bathed in the orange glow of a tropical sunset and looks so good that it's getting my hopes up for what's to come. Thick and rich and heavily frothy, it resembles a large scoop of tangerine mousse. It's more than capable in the the lace department as well. Thick vertical streamers connect a ring near the top edge of the glass with the rounded mound of now melted foam.

I swear that I was getting pleasant whiffs of the aroma while I was busy describing the appearance, but that isn't really the case now that I'm assessing it for real. It's a bit rough and vegetal with a meager contribution from earthy hops. There are no real negatives here, but then there are no real positives either.

Abita Bock tastes better than it smells. It's well-malted with loads of buttery pale malt and a lesser quantity of toasted caramel malt. The hops are more prominent on the palate and are still earthy and musty more than anything else. They're slightly spicy too, but much less so. A better hop bill would help.

The mouthfeel is a shade more full than medium with a slick mouthcoating that feels out of place. I usually love big bodies, but this one could stand to be scaled back a notch or two. The laid back carbonation fits the mouthfeel.

This is a better than average maibock. At least the brewers haven't scrimped on ingredients like they do in most of the rest of their lineup. Although it doesn't thrill me, Abita Bock is a drinkable springtime seasonal and is the best beer from these guys that I've had yet.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 18, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%

12oz bottle from BigLove as part ofThe Blue & Gray BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" off-white head above the clear, light amber brew. Head lasts well, and exhibits nice lacing. Aroma is pretty non-descript, with minimal pale malt and hops components, and a bit of fruitiness. Taste is upfront with the malty bitterness, and a sort of "off" fruitiness that kind of wrecks it for me. Aftertaste doesn't do it for me either. Have to appreciate the creamy mouthfeel here, even if I wasn't enamored by the flavors, and drinkability is reasonable if the tastes are your bag, I guess. Had better Maibocks recently, so this has probably jaded me for awhile.

ppoitras, Jun 01, 2005
Photo of Chadbrew
3.93/5  rDev +14.6%

Very, very clear it almost looks like apple juice. Light head in the center but the ring around the edges is thick and the lacing is nice. Not much to the smell except sweet malt. The taste is bitter, sweet, and malty all at once that finishes with just a slight bitterness. Lingering flavors of vanilla and cherries with a touch of roasted malts. As clear as this beer is I'm impressed with how much body it has. It looks very thin but you can watch the carbonation bubbles struggle to reach the surface.
I like this style the best of all the Abita's I sampled. It's highly drinkable and flavorful, a real pleasure.

Chadbrew, May 08, 2005
Photo of assurbanipaul
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

Pours awfully light for a bock, a light amber with a nice thick head. Aroma is a nondescript combination of malt and hops, nothing extraordinarily "bocky."

Taste is nice and bitter with a light maltiness. Flavors fall a little flat and slightly metallic. Mouthfeel is light and very drinkable, not a bad beer at all. However, not a trace of traditional maibock/bock/doppelbock flavors are found here -- the deep caramel, the tangy hops. If I didn't know better, I would call this a middle-of-the-road pale ale. Score suffers only in comparison within the style.

Maybe the swamp water cancelled out some of the bock molecules...

assurbanipaul, Apr 07, 2005
Photo of rowew
3.93/5  rDev +14.6%

Presentation: 12 oz short bottle. Best before date notched on the back label. Short description of the brewery and methods on the back.

Appearance: Pours crystal clear and bright orange with a thick white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Slightly fruity with lots of malt aroma.

Taste: Tastes a lot like the aroma - lots of malt and fruity flavor mixed in. Nice hop balance that leaves a nice clean finish. Carbonation is just a tiny bit higher than I would have expected.

Overall impression: This is the first Maibock I have tried, but it is quite enjoyable. Nice drinkability and plenty going on to keep me interested. Another quality brew from Abita.

Thanks to BigLove for the sample, and the Abita glass to enjoy it in!

rowew, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%

pours a crazy bright orange color with little to no lasting head.

smells fine.. clean. not much detectable other than a faint malt and light hops.

taste is good for the light appearance and aroma.. flavorful. sweet like caramel with a bitter bite and fruity aftertaste. well-balanced and plenty complex enough for a light to medium bodied beer.

not too drinkable though- the bitter edge gets annoying after half a bottle's worth is done and there is no overall hop mouthfeel or anything to match.

goodbyeohio, Mar 23, 2005
Photo of kosmoraios
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%

Pours a clear amber color with a small head that leaves moderate lacing. Aroma has some faint caramel and some apple. Taste is nice for a bock, crisp and clean with hints of caramel, apple, and lightly toasted malts. Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth with a hint of spicyness on the tongue. Extremely drinkable. One of Abita's better ales.

kosmoraios, Mar 16, 2005
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.6/5  rDev +5%

Abita Bock is amber-orange in color with decent head. The aroma is invitingly malty, but nothing outstanding. The taste is malty, primarily caramel, not very strong or complex. A slight rawness is a little bit annoying, perhaps it is actually the metallic taste I've be reading about. Nonetheless, I found this enjoyable in the same way I find most other Abita beers enjoyable; as above-average, easy-to-drink beers.

Gagnonsux, Jan 14, 2005
Photo of etaggie09
4.35/5  rDev +26.8%

Appearance: clear dark amber with a small but strong head that slowly disappears but leaves a nice lacing on the glass. lots of bubbles were clinging to the sides of the glass. Head wasn't large enough and retention wasn't good enough, but still it did well.

Aroma: Predominately sweet malt with some toasty and spicy notes as well. Clean and quite nice. Good for the style.

Flavor: Wow! It actually tastes like a bock. Even more so than Shiner Bock and this is a Helles. A solid malty flavor with the hops pulling through in the end to a dry and bitter aftertaste. Some toasted and alcoholic notes are also detected. Well balanced and interesting. This is a good representation of the maibock style.

Mouthfeel: Finally! An Abita beer that isn't too carbonated or watery. I am very particular about mouthfeel, more so than a lot of factors and I had to remind myself I was trying to review the mouthfeel, because I kept going back to the taste. I like it when I don't have to think about mouthfeel. A nice prickly sensation from the moderate-low carbonation complemented the flavor nicely. My only complaint is that it turned just a tad watery towards the end.

Drinkability: This would be my year-round session brew if it weren't a seasonal. Just downright tasty and I got this stuff really fresh. I didn't expect it out till January. A great beer for Mardi Gras and football.

Notes: Well done, Abita. A near flawless stylistic represenation with great attributes that bring it beyond its stylistic descriptions. I really liked this beer and wish that Abita made it a year-round brew since their Purple Haze is awful, their Amber overcarbonated, and their Turbo Dog too watery.

P.S. I have noticed that some people have detected metallic or musty flavors or aromas in the beer and I can only say that I was lucky to get this beer super fresh. There were no off flavors at all and I can only hope that more people will see how great a bock this is when they get to try it fresh. I dont know why everybody keeps talking about a golden color, mine was dark amber, thats weird, maybe they changed the recipe.

etaggie09, Dec 24, 2004
Photo of bditty187
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%

Clear, gold in color, I was expecting a more vivid color; this is dull even for a Pale Bock. A head of one finger in height topped off the beer. The head retention was fair, after a few moments it faded to a small cap and then a soapy collar, sparse in the middle. There was no subsequent lacing. The appearance is bland. The nose is sweet and grainy but clean and fruity. Lightly toasty at the back, with a musty undercurrent that reminds me of every Millstream beer. Not a pleasant reminder. The potency is moderate, while I can’t call the bouquet inviting I wouldn’t call it offensive either. The palate is tasty; there is no getting around that. It is much better than the nose indicated. The sweetness is ideal and it is not weak or wavering, rather firm actually. The toastiness is faint but noticeable. There is a bit of spiciness in the middle that is pleasantly coupled with some fruity flavors. There are no distinct fruits, just a nice marmalade. The finish is the home of the hops, light hints of Saaz I think, and just the slightest taste of alcohol. I actually got a little belly warmth out of this beer. Cool. I mean warm. I mean… whatever. The aftertaste is long but clean, something to be expected (or at least desired for the style). Medium/medium-light in body, low carbonation but the mouthfeel is pleasant but ordinary. I haven’t had many Abita beers but this dandy is the best thus far. I would buy a six-pack of this if it were found locally. But it is not. Thanks Morris729 for the bottle!

bditty187, Aug 05, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
2.93/5  rDev -14.6%

Good looking brew. Brilliantly clear golden with orange accents, forming a proudly soapy white head with a hefty pour, with excellent retention and solid sheets of lace.Carbonation is spot-on...moderately mild:) Aroma of freshly mown hay and Saaz, dry German pale malts, esters remind me of authentic Helles yeast strain. Mouthfeel is semi-spritzy with a medium-light body. Taste echoes the aroma, with a pervasive metal note in the middle (which accentuates the alpha bitterness) and an odd isopropyl cadence with associated astringency. Finish is herbal medium bitterness with grass and distant husk lingering in the aftertaste. Difficult to finish, and somewhat offensive.

Not quite sure what to make of this. It's kinda between a Kolsch in it's carbonation, mouthfeel, and dryness, and kinda like a Helles or Dortmunder otherwise. Either way, it's not very impressive. One is plenty enough for me. Would probably be better ice-cold.

Mitchster, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
2.08/5  rDev -39.4%

Lil' stubby 12 oz’er with a ‘best before June 14th' date etched into the paper label. This pour is a sub-par brew in all aspects. Slight head, pale yellow, clear lemonade hue with minute head sliding down the glass. We're talkin' bust out the microscope.

Scent didn’t show up to my nose, other than scant ginger ale & skimpy malts.

Tastes like a malty kolsch lager rather than a pale ale without much of a hop balance showing up to the party, here. Watery & grainy aftertaste.

Last swigs: Best aspect? No adjunct tastes. That is the highest compliment I can give. Why does ABITA make these freaky brews? Bock? Really? Marketing ploy to fill out the 12 x 2 mixed case? I guess. Oh well…every lottery ticket can not be a winner. Emeril’s fave *BAM* turn-it-up-a-notch Turbo dog rocks. ABITA Bock turns it *fizzle* down a notch.

*** UPDATE ***
Second time reviewed...no biggie. I up'ed the Feel to a whopping, Earth shattering 2.5. Other than that, My previous review still stands.

Beer is good. Happy grainy brewing.

blitheringidiot, May 06, 2004
Photo of schoolcb
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%

This beer I would put in the top three of the Abita offerings, behind Turbodog, and their Amber Ale. This beer is an excellent example of the style, has a great malty nose, followed up by a clean malty flavor. I had the priveledge of drinking a couple of pints at the Abita Springs Brewpub and would highly recommend making the trip if you are ever in the New Orleans area.

schoolcb, May 02, 2004
Photo of shapudding
2.23/5  rDev -35%

Pours with a thick head, but very thin lacing and almost no head retention. Golden color. Heavy carbination, but not too much. Very light aroma, hint of champagne in the scent, and there is an almost sweet champagne taste in there too somewhere. Maybe it is apple juice -sparkling cider? Slight bite in there, light bitterness that is left in your mouth afterwards. Light tasting beer, smooth, would be good for hot days in the sun. Goes down easy. One of the better of the Abita's.

shapudding, Apr 17, 2004
Photo of jackndan
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%

Abita Bock: a nice tasting MaiBock from Abita, in fact this is probably my favorite Abita beer. Pours a deep golden, with just a hint of red around the edges. Not much head, but what it had was a wee bit sticky. The taste is very nice, rich hearty malty Mai-Bock flavors. Sweet and slightly fruity, with mild tastes of red apples. Very nice, and worth picking up if you see it.

jackndan, Mar 19, 2004
Mardi Gras Bock from Abita Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 542 ratings.