Samuel Adams Triple Bock - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
69
poor

908 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 908
Reviews: 650
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 38.1%
Wants: 70
Gots: 111 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  17.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 01-10-1998

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Though the little cobalt bottles still decorate the shelves today, this beer only had 3 vintage releases; 1994, 1995, and 1997. Brewed with two row malted barley, water, Noble hops and yeast, along with maple syrup, it was then aged several months in oak whiskey barrels before being bottled. At the time it was considered the world's strongest beer, and a precursor of today's Extreme Beers.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 908 | Reviews: 650
Photo of Bunuelian
3.98/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

900th tick but first written review. Why not? Here goes.

Appearance: Black, viscous with a hint of brown at the edges. A swirl presents legs not unlike a fine scotch. Perfectly still with zero carbonation.

Smell: Tar, prunes, black licorice, dark fruit/raisins, burnt caramel, subtle alcohol and wood.

Taste: Similar to the smell - plums/prunes, raisins, char, ash; very sweet but also has an umami-like quality similar to soy sauce.

Feel: Sticky, thick and syrupy with no effervescence whatsoever. A sip coats the mouth and lingers long afterwards.

Overall: This was the 1995 vintage so that makes it 20 years old as of this tasting. While this wasn't a great beer, it really wasn't too bad considering the notoriety and age. The cork self destructed when I attempted to remove it but honestly that really didn't bother me too much and I considered it part of the experience. Truthfully, this beer probably sucks but I was really glad to have the chance to try it and I get a great story out of it so I'm going to recommend it but it would probably be best shared with a larger group of people.

Photo of helios7
3.43/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1997 vintage. Very, very strong and extremely sweet. I enjoy it for the novelty, but I wouldn't want to try to get through an entire bottle by myself.

Photo of hophugger
2.99/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

rated from previous tasting notes

Photo of JandJMD
2.42/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased in the mid 90's. After "drinking" one then, this one either sat on a shelf or was buried in a box for 20 years while moving from place to place. Finally decided to open it up.

There is some sort of smegma (don’t google it) around the cork and the neck of the bottle. No carbonation. Has a faint red to cola colored appearance – leaves a nasty brown lacing around the glass. Wow, the smell is definitely soy sauce. Can’t really get past it. The taste starts with an extremely sugary sweet or syrupy taste – just a mess – and then it goes sort of sour and sticky. The aftertaste actually gets to a stout.

Ugh. More smegma in the bottom of the bottle and clung to the side where it laid on it’s side for a while. There is actually a coating on the inside of the glass – a “crust” – like something you’d scrape off the bottom of a boat.

Photo of BKotch
1.68/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

1997 batch but only bought at the local liquor warehouse in maybe 2009 or 2010. Fairly nasty in just about every respect.

Photo of SierraFlight
1.25/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

1997 vintage. Cork bits knocked into the brew. Flat soy sauce. Thick, viscous texture. A bad, bad beer.

Photo of pwlong19
4.05/5  rDev +37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this back in the day. So strong back then that I cut with Harp and other beers. Sipped straight but too strong for me back then. Reason I'm rating it now is the Dragon's Milk I had today reminde me of this beer but DM is drinkable by itself. BTW, with the cork, my last bottle of triple bock lasted for well over three years with the ocassional pour. I'd buy more in a heartbeat.

Photo of fenlop54
3.9/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Not bad for a 20 year old beer. Wish I hadn't got the last pour from the bottle though.

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
4.29/5  rDev +45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Ok, so you can't drink this beer and think of it as a beer. It is, but it's sort of in a category by itself. This is a drink you want to have served in about a 2 oz. pour, not much more. It's a sipping beer that should be enjoyed as such.

When this beer first came out, I purchased a case. After tonight, I'm down to just three. I've had some from others over the years that were horrible. Much of the experience is going to be due to the quality of how it was stored.

I've had some over the years that were as many describe....soy sauce. I've also had some that were like tonight, a fine liquour, where the 8.45 oz. bottle could be shared by 5-6 people.

The exerience this evening was excellent...thick and syrup-llike, fabulous aromas and a complex blend of sweetness and malt experience.

Based on the 20+ times that I've tasted this unique brew since 1994, I am confident in telling you that the quality of the storage will determine the quality of your experiece. At this point, the cork will undoubtedly crumble as it did tonight.

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer is Russian Roulette. If you are lucky, its a pretty solid beer (especially with >15 years) but if you aren't you are in for a world of sorrow.

Photo of AllDayAdams
4.5/5  rDev +53.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the '97 and loved it!

Photo of tb4475
4.47/5  rDev +52%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

good example of extreme beer

Photo of cubs943
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was pretty good I thought.

Photo of jaasen64
4.74/5  rDev +61.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

8oz bottle poured into a HF taster glass. '94 vintage received in a trade a couple years back.

A- Cork slides out fairly easily without any crumbling. Pours a dark black, completely still- no head or carbonation to speak of, luckily no visible signs of the sludge that I've heard people complain about in the past. Wasn't expecting much carbonation from this, from what I've heard this is looking good so far.

S- Dominant aroma of chocolate covered port soaked raisins, just a hint of oxidation but not bad for 20+ years in the bottle, can't really detect much booze at all which is great considering the abv.

T- Taste follows the aroma with chocolate covered raisins, fudge, fine port, slight figs, molasses, and almost no oxidation to speak of. Tons of flavor and tastes like a very fine liquor that's been aged to perfection. One of the best beers I've tasted never mind factoring in the fact it's over 20 years old.

M- Coats the mouth and really brings out the flavor, starts off a little bit thinner then I was expecting and gets a little bit thicker towards the end of the bottle- overall probably one of the thicker beers I've had but stays away from being too cloying or overly thick. No carbonation to speak of but I think that actually helps this beer, goes down insanely smooth- almost can't even tell it's alcoholic.

O- Time and time again I've heard people say how horrible this beer is, almost the epitome of how bad a beer can get. I was expecting the same, but luckily this bottle was near perfect. Probably the second best aged beer I've had next to Rodenbach's Alexander. While I'd still exercise caution in trying to obtain a bottle, I can honestly say this is still drinking like a champ if a good bottle and one of the best beers of it's time period.

Photo of BeersAndBears
3.75/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.75

This was much better than advertised, however I was told by multiple people that it's the best bottle they've ever had. I actually liked this beer which apparently is not common.

Photo of JGam115
3.47/5  rDev +18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a wine, no head. Strong prune, black currant, some booze, ripe bing cherries. Whoa - big pruney, maple syrup. Crazy beer

Photo of MNishCT77
2.22/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

12 oz. (?) bottle from Fri., 01/02/2015 tasting (thanks, Erich and Sara!), 1995 vintage, poured into a snifter glass, drank over ~30 minutes

Photo of HopHead84
3.47/5  rDev +18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/30/14

1994 vintage. Thanks to Jeff for sending this extra a few years back. We opened this expecting it to be horrid, and we were all surprised when it wasn't. Very dark in color and still. The aroma has a lot of maple, and sherry and teriyaki oxidation. Date and plum are evident. It smells like a stepping stone to Milennium and Utopias. The flavor is rich with a big savory umami character. Lots of port notes, as well as plum, date, and maple. Teriyaki is evident but not overly so. It's very rich. It's pretty much still with much warming on the palate. Very rich and oxidized but not the nightmare I thought it would be. Can't drink much of this but it was definitely nice to try.

Photo of Shandycan
1/5  rDev -66%

Soy sauce.

Photo of braugon
5/5  rDev +70.1%

94'

Poured out the blackest liquid I can imagine coming from a bottle. The neck was completely stained with a ring in the neck that had slightly dissipated over the years. Smelled like prunes and raisins and other dark dried fruits. Taste was similar with port wine like qualities. 17% abv not detectable. If you've had Utopias you can imagine how the same brewery made this beer. Mouth was big, full and viscous. Huge amount of malt left on the palate. The sediment left at the bottom of the bottle was thick, pure black mud. I was scared of this one, but I'm glad to say a 68 / 100 rating for this beer is bonkers. If you happen to have a 1994, open it.

If anyone wants to "troll" me with more Sam Triple Bock please feel free to PM me.

Photo of kscaldef
2/5  rDev -32%

1994. Wet cardboard, maple syrup, soy sauce, lemon pledge.

Photo of royalenfield
1/5  rDev -66%

This is, without a doubt, the worst beer I've ever tasted, and one of the most disgusting things I've ever put in my mouth. It makes Olde English seem like Chateau d'Yquem in comparison.

Looks like motor oil, smells like rancid soy sauce, tastes like vinegar, and leaves an awful vomitaceous aftertaste that just wouldn't quit. Foul, nasty, putrid, vile, repulsive, nauseating... there aren't enough adjectives in the dictionary.

Of course since they put it in a pretty bottle and charge a mint for it, some pretentious douchebag probably thinks it's god's gift to the local package store. What were they thinking?!?

Photo of SteveBrew
4.25/5  rDev +44.6%

When looking at an historic beer from a given point-in-time, it's crucial to temper any concerns about the aged beer with the perspective of what the brewer was trying to achieve in 1994. Now that this beer is 20 years old, I decided to open this on the week before Oktoberfest on a crisp, cool autumn evening in the DC area. To be sure, we cannot take lightly the fact that this beer has aged for two decades, and for the past six years, it remained out of my control--though it was assured by friends or colleagues to have been either cellared or refrigerated for the duration.

Appearance: The 330 ml bottle displayed an indigo iridescence which pestered me every time I opened the fridge. The entire cork eased out with an audible "pff", to my surprise. A slow pour into a snifter felt slow and heavy. It reminded me of a very fancy balsamic vinegar--the kind which is aged for decades. Coincidentally, I noted other characteristics which reminded me of this as well. No visible head. A thin band of translucent, viscous syrup sat alone atop a vast, dense black void.

Aroma:
Several factors at play here--some due to the barrel aging; some due to the linear time in the bottle: strong vanilla, more like a dark rum in many ways than a bourbon-type aroma. hints of booze permeate the bouquet. Cherry, toffee, and possibly some wood-like aromas emerge.

Flavor:
Strong characteristics of both balsamic vinegar and chocolate syrup. A boozy backbone quickly rises and falls quickly. Some lingering sticky and astringent flavors. Reminds me of similarly aged strong bocks/ales such as Sammichlaus. The strong fruity flavors shot straight up my nose, while the malty backbone stayed on my tongue. Efficient, like the Germans (or in this case, American brewers) often are.

Mouthfeel:
Sticky but not harsh. The beer retained a full body all these years and if anything else, perhaps offset any harshness of alcohol with the high quality malt backbone it wants to show.

Overall:
I want to think that this beer bottle, despite its age, fared better than most negative reviews I am reading. Indeed, it lacks some complexities which no doubt have faded over two decades, but it's a cozy beer which makes me think about where we were as a beer nation in 1994. The Beer Hunter was a brand new program/book, most of the "third generation" brewers like Stone, Dogfish, Avery, and Allagash were either glimmers or not even started yet. It's envelope-pushing beers like this that likely set the stage for extreme beers and extreme brewing. Would we be here today without this? Probably. But Triple Bock got Europe's attention that we were about to deviate from their traditions, and never look back.

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%

Vintage 1997.

Appearance: pours like an oil sludge, thick black and sticky looking. some hints of brown around the very edges. absolutely no foam or head even while pouring. leaves a sticky brown film around the glass and sometimes shows some alcohol legs. completely black as night. after pouring out I noticed a black slurry left behind in the little blue botte. Looks strong, old and intense, just like it is. 4/5

Smell: as i started to remove the cork it broke in half revealing the bottle half of the cork soaked in a thick blackish goo. I immediately began to get huge whiffs of caramelized maple syrup. the smell is very sweet. lots of chocolates, ranging from milk to dark, some black malts but very little roastiness. Notes of oak and a vanilla sweetness. Surprisingly the booze is there but extremely mellow. the smell is almost amazing except a salty soy sauce like smell that creeps in. 3.25/5

Taste: opens with a strong caramelized maple syrup, sometimes the soy sauce creeps in and ruins the sip. again the chocolate flavor in this beer is extremely powerful and sweet. a wide variety of taste show up with every sip. anywhere from bourbon, oak and copious amounts of vanilla to dark fruits soaked in booze and black malts. Again the roasted malt character is extremely low, if it is there at all. Booze is evident from time to time but never out of control. again almost an amazing taste except that pesky little soy sauce flavor. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: a super heavy beer. thick and sticky as can be. strong booziness and some lingering sweetness. 4/5

Overall: A beer I have always wanted to try and happy I finally did. This is on the verge of being a great beer, but there is just a little something off and salty about it. a great predecessor to the big bold beers of today. I wish I could have been drinking beer when it was released just to know what this used to be 17 years ago.

Photo of Sludgeman
2/5  rDev -32%

I tasted this beer when it first came out in the '90s. Shared the small bottle with a friend. Not sure we finished it. It might have been a precursor to today's extreme but tasty beers, but it in no way is/was it a beer I would want to drink again. A syrupy mess with an excessive alcohol heat. Very solventy.

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Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
69 out of 100 based on 908 ratings.