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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
69
poor

883 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 883
Reviews: 632
rAvg: 2.92
pDev: 38.7%
Wants: 67
Gots: 104 | FT: 8
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:
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.

(Beer added by: Todd on 01-10-1998)
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Ratings: 883 | Reviews: 632 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by cdkrenz:
Photo of cdkrenz
4/5  rDev +37%

More User Reviews:
Photo of UGADawgGuy
1/5  rDev -65.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love many of life's indulgences: music, film, food, beer, BeerAdvocate.com, and so on.

With most of my strongest interests, I have a well-documented love for the best of the best...and the worst of the worst. For example, my favorite movies of all time include the widely-acclaimed likes of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Godfather" (parts I and II), and "Rocky." They also include the inimitable "Troll 2," "The Crawlers," and "Manos: The Hands of Fate" (try sitting through the non-MST3K version in its entirety).

As such, when I began to foster an abiding interest in beer, it stood to reason that I should seek out the most infamously bad beers available, in order to further my education and shorten my life. As of the time that occurred to me, Samuel Adams Triple Bock was the most notorious beer discussed on this site's forums. And so I sought it out.

I was sent a bottle of 1997 Triple Bock -- along with a "bonus" bottle of Blue Diamond Stout, straight from China -- by BA EinWeizenBitte. From California to Georgia. For free (i.e., he asked for nothing in return). Thus began my odyssey.

I held onto the already twelve-year-old bottle for a few months after receiving it, until I could share it with as many people as possible under exactly the right circumstances. Those circumstances turned out to be the night of my grandfather's funeral, at my homebrewing uncle's house. I can think of no more appropriate context in which to attempt drinking Triple Bock. My brother and I stepped outside to open and pour the beer.

Appearance: The bottle itself is small, blue, and unassuming. In fact, I'd go so far as to call that delicate vessel attractive. What lurks inside, however, is repugnant.

Upon removing the placebo seal around the cork, and then the cork itself, I was greeted with no evidence of carbonated life. I did my best to pour the beer evenly into two glasses, and it lived up to its reputation: it looked like fetid pond water, rife with suspended algae and the long-rotting carcasses of various aquatic fauna. Chunks of thick sediment clung to the insides of both the bottle and each glass. The end of the pour yielded an audible "plop," the result of a slimy wad of what appeared to be manatee feces entering the glass. My God.

Smell: Please, don't smell it.

Others have likened the stench of Triple Bock to soy sauce, but I suspect something far more sinister is afoot here. The souls of innocent toddlers, slaughtered by a demonic cult? The olfactory distillation of Genghis Khan's tyranny? I'm not sure. Whatever it is, it smells far worse than any soy sauce I've ever encountered.

Taste: In each person's lifetime, one encounters a handful of turning points. A first kiss. High-school graduation. A wedding day. The birth of a child. For me, the moment Triple Bock met my lips was one such turning point.

As soon as the thick, tarry stool sample caressed my tongue, I knew I had been fundamentally changed. The rumors were true. Triple Bock tastes at once sickly sweet (like vomit after you've eaten a stack of pancakes drizzled with maple syrup), bone-chillingly sour (like soy sauce brewed in 1910, or vinegar derived from an eagle's tears), and improbably alluring. A second sip unveiled notes of mulch pile, fresh giraffe manure, and 9-volt battery.

This beer is a revelation.

Mouthfeel: Imagine giving a pint of blood -- you know, as you would at the Red Cross. Then imagine letting that blood partially coagulate, at room temperature, for maybe eight hours. Next, imagine attempting to drink that blood. That's how this nightmare felt in my mouth...and in my soul. As an added bonus, I could do nothing to remove the sensation, flavor, and smell of Triple Bock from my tongue, teeth, palate, and throat for several hours after drinking it. Even hard liquor couldn't cut through it.

Drinkability: Whatever the OPPOSITE of drinkability is, Triple Bock has it. In fact, it's made of it. I'd rather drink my own regurgitated bile than attempt to choke down another sip of this cruel, twisted monstrosity.

True story: While outside, my brother and I poured a little bit of Triple Bock into the bowls of the three dogs who live at my uncle's house. All three dogs, very hungry due to not having eaten since breakfast, ran toward the bowls, then simultaneously retreated by slowly walking backward. They appeared to be concerned that whatever was in there might reward sudden movement by attacking them. Such concerns were probably well-founded.

Truth be told, I strongly recommend Triple Bock to everyone who calls himself a beer connoisseur, just as I recommend "Troll 2" to strangers I pass on the street. There truly is nothing else like it in this world. It deserves every bit of its insidious reputation, and it will take years off your life.

Highly recommended.

Photo of Overlord
1/5  rDev -65.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

What in the world is this? I tried two bottles, so it wasn't that one went bad.

It poured a thick black ... too viscous and clingy... and it left a weird brown film that reminded me of crude oil sludge all over the glass. Very unpleasant to the eye, but it was about to get worse.

As soon as it approached my nose I realized that something was horribly, horribly wrong. Soy, mixed with maple, combined with rotting fruit? The taste was even more miserable. Tasted like sour prune juice blended with soy sauce. This is one foul, nasty, undrinkable brew. Whatever they were going for here, they failed spectacularly.

Worst tasting thing I can ever recall consuming. I would rather plunge heated barbed wire into my tongue than allow this to ever touch my precious palate again. I curled on the floor of a shower and cried for a good 15 minutes until its ungodly taint left my flesh.

This beer has led me to make this solemn vow: I will pimp this product whenever possible so as to ensure that others experience the same misery I have.

Photo of DwnTwnBwn
1.02/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

After sitting on this beer for weeks thinking that it would be a great new years treat, I am horribly disappointed.

The bottle a cobalt blue was corked and wrapped, making for a nifty looking package. It is all downhill from there.

The aroma was pure soy sauce. The taste was a sweet soy sauce, and rancid.

I think I might try it as a sushi sauce. not the kind from an authentic restaurant but from the local grocery store deli. As apposed to a drain pour, I'm going to use it as a prank on friends to watch them squirm.

Jim Koch, you need to look at what happened to allow this product to bare your company logo, and fix it fast.

Photo of royalenfield
1/5  rDev -65.8%

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 ChadQuest
1/5  rDev -65.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Ok. i actually paid money to try this beer because i enjoy "HOT" beers, and figured it can't be as bad as some people say.

I was baby slapping wrong.

As soon as i poured it into 2 glasses to split with a friend, and we saw what appeared to be partially Coagulated Blood flowing into our vessels, we knew something serious was about to happen.

I am a FireFighter. I have smelled dead things.
and i would even give dead things an aroma rating of 1.5

I don't know what came over me to even consider sipping this after the visual and aromal onslaught. Afterwards i was begging to be water boarded, if it removes the taste great if it kills me great. Rotting Prunes,Plums,Figs,Musty Moldy Basement Water, Rotting Wood,Soy Sauce,Blood.

I managed maybe 2oz of my 4oz pour. then i poured it out, yet tasted it for days. Quite a few good beers majesty were diminished thanks to the lingering stench of death imparted upon my palatte thanks to Samual Adams and his fould beast Triple Bock. I will run and hide in its presence for all eternity.

Photo of oberon
2.38/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Known as fecal bock to my friends this beer is one I had high hopes for but was seriously disapointed in.Pours a pitch black with almost no head to speak of,aroma is a little nutty and raisiny with some sweet alcohol notes as well.Taste is harsh I have had a few beers higher in alcohol than this that were easier to drink its way to syrupy and medicinal just unpleasant.Well have the bottle tried it twice three years ago and now and I wont try it again.

Photo of Popsinc
3.8/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A super dark, purple pour with no head whatsoever. The nose jumps out at you and hits you with sweet syrupy notes and ripe grapes. The mouthfeel is undoubtley smooth, like a port or sherry. The taste was full of port-like qualities, in fact, if i didn't know better, i would think this was a port. Very sweet with hints of rich, dark berries and a thick, syrupy quality that was actually quite nice. The alcohol kick on the finish was noticeable and warming. This would be a perfect after dinner drink. (alot of sediment at the bottom of my glass which wasn't very appetizing.)

I really enjoy a good port so maybe my judgemtn is swayed by this Triple Bock.

Photo of braugon
5/5  rDev +71.2%

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 tectactoe
2.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

1997 vintage, huge thanks to Kevin for graciously opening this one - definitely something I thought I'd never get to try. And based on the reviews, not so sure I would ever want to, haha. Triple Bock pours black as night with dark brown edges; thick as hell - the bottle is left with a sludgy residue all over the sides and at the bottom. No head forms and there are maybe four carbonation bubbles visible after an aggressive, down-the-center pour. To be expected, for an ale this strong and this old - 16 years.

The aroma was poignant as could be... So goddamn strong it almost knocks you on your ass as you go in to take a whiff. Heavy, heavy, sugary molasses, rich brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, graham crackers... Lots of stuff to try and wrap your head around, here. I pick up a bunch of licorice, and it's weird because not only am I getting black licorice, but I'm smelling red licorice, too - something I've never gotten from a beer before. The alcohol isn't really contained well, this thing smells pretty hot right out of the gate. Despite being on the border of almost "too strong", the aroma really isn't that bad. Lots of sweetness and a hefty dose of alcoholic heat, but lots of clashing flavors; rich, powerful, prominent.

I take a sip and I immediately begin to feel my heart pump faster, my teeth shiver, and my lungs almost collapse. This is the sweetest fucking beer on the face of the earth. I know I've said that before (I'm sure) and there are tons and TONS of "sweet" beers out there... Dark Lord, Darkness, Chocolate Rain, etc.... It's not even close. This is sweeter than all of those beers combined. It would be like melting an extra pound of sugar into a half a pound of molasses. I really can't overstate the sweetness here; if you manage to get your hands on this beer, make sure you take an extra shot of insulin before ingesting. It may just save your life.

In all seriousness, though, the beer has lots and lots of flavors going on, despite the coma-inducing sweetness. Tons of dark fruits; dates and prunes being the heaviest with some raisins and figs in the back. Syrupy licorice, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, sugar, sugar, and more sugar. The alcohol is pretty hot, but the extremely sweet nature of the beer does a lot to cut down that heat. I've read through many reviews for this and people often describe it as "soy sauce", which absolutely makes no sense to me. Soy sauce is salty. This beer isn't salty. At all. It's sweet. Over-the-top sweet. Cavity-causing sweet. Nothing like soy sauce. As already mentioned, carbonation was nonexistent, mouth feel was thick, oily, chewy, and heavy all around. The aftertaste was a collaboration of molasses and dark fruit with an adhering boozy sweetness.

I'm super excited I got to try this and it made for a fun experience. Lots of heavy and robust aromas and flavors, but in reality - this beer was far too sweet for me to really enjoy it all the way through. I will say, however, that it maybe isn't quite as bad as most people make it out to be. It may depend on how old it is and what vintage you have, too. I also got no soy sauce or saltiness from it as many people have said. I need to go brush my teeth now.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
1.68/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Vintage unknown, but based on the info I have this is at least ten years old. This beer looks exactly like soy sauce.. Totally flat. No head, no carbonation. Powerful aroma wafts out of the glass. I get a smell like hershey's syrup, maybe with a little cane syrup, and maybe a little like canned malt extract or wort. Just a wisp of alcohol in the back.

Hmmm..flavor is intense. It is soooo intensely sweet. Alcohol burns it back and there is definately a big bitter presence but I can't really say if it is from hops or what. I don't really even taste flavors in this beer so much as a clash of those three sensations, sweet, bitter, burning. I mean I'm not going to lie. I grimace when I take a sip of this. I'm on my third sip and I feel like a little kid taking his medicine tiny sip by tiny sip because he doesn'y understand it just better to get it over with. I don't find it complex really, just intense. Its prettymuch like trying to eat straight molasses or cane syrup. I get a slightly herbal hop tone way down there someplace and I guess thats part of where all this bitterness comes from. I get a kind of nice, malty, coacoa aftertaste. Maybe this was more of an experience fresh, but at 10, it just seems like a stepping stone better things in beer history. If any BA's read this I hope they won't stone me but man, this is getting drainpoured. If you have a bottle of this I suggest you try to make some kind of rich, badass sauce out of it.

Photo of hopsleeroy
1.48/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Small bottle shared with a friend. Thanks to Northernbrewers for the opportunity

A-Black as night, but I spilled a few drops and they looked brown on the counter. Tons of floaties and then there was a dark ring aorund the bottles where they still stuck.
S-Soy sauce, some chocolate, little hops
T-Like soy sauce that got a little chocolate syrup in it, sat out in the sun too long, and was also mixed with rubbing alcohol. Nasty.
M-Hard to tell from the two sips that I managed
D-Both of us drainpoured

This was one of the most vile drinks I've ever come across. After taking 2 sips, I felt like I needed to tell an adult what Sam Adams Triple Bock had done to me.

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Dmann
4.8/5  rDev +64.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What and exceptional creation! I have heard so many opinions both ways on this one and I was allmost scared to try it...allmost :) This one poured a real dark brown color with no hint of carbonation or head. It reminded me of a nice port or sherry. The smell exploded as soon as it left the bottle. Wonderfully complex with a sweet malty aspect, a slight maple syrup scent and brown sugar as well. The taste was unlike any beer I've ever had for sure with a very sweet malty flavor mixed with a healthy dose of dark chocolate and molassis. The flavor reminded me alot of marcella wine, but much better with the added chocolate and smokey characteristics. Not something to drink all the time for sure, but pull this one out once in awhile and enjoy.

Photo of SuomiHobbit
2.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.8/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty blue bottle. The beer was a dark muddy color with absolutely no head. It looked like a glass of wine. It had a dark fruit aroma, and a strong aroma of alcohol. The taste was particularly off-putting. It resembled cough medicine, and was strongly alcoholic. I had a tough time getting this down, and couldn't find any takers to help me.

Photo of Todd
4.22/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 8.45oz blue bottle with gold lettering, comes with a very nice brief history of the style and a note from Jim Koch. Cork was decaying, even after applying standard wine keeping techniques. This forced us to drink the entire bottle in one sitting - damn. (Note 10/10/01: Sam Adams actually recommends that you store SATB upright. The cork is not meant to be soaked, like a wine cork. It's a much softer grade. Unfortunately I found this out after this review.) Three tastings so far # 1 = 01/10/1996 # 2 = 06/29/1996 # 3 = 01/15/1998

Appearance: A deep black syrup that seems to stick to the glass (with a gentle swirl or after a sip).

Smell: 1) Powerful alcoholic aromas, slightly pungent of burnt sugar and fruit., 2) Very sweet and rich similar to candied fruit., 3) Dried fruit (raisins) and molasses.

Taste: 1) Alcohol was very dominant. Thick and overwhelming in a syrupy caramelized sugar mouth feel and taste. No carbonation detected., 2) Like wine made from raisins. Very complex and interesting. More refined over the previous tasting. You can taste the oak and maple syrup, slightly. 3) Rich maple and molasses sweetness, brandy like in smoothness and consistency, with a slightly woody finish.

Notes: 1) Should have waited, but this is how one gauges the growth of a brew. We will try again in 6 months., 2) This brew is definitely beginning to show signs of aging well. Sip and enjoy., 3) This definitely mellows with age, and is meant to be sipped (perhaps after an evening meal or as a nightcap). In 1996 we opened one and the alcohol was too overwhelming, so it is nice to see that this brew has met Jim Koch's expectations of aging well. With its 17%+ alcohol content it holds the title "the strongest beer" (up until 1999), and makes for a very warming and savored brew. One of the finest and most intriguing domestically brewed barley wines.

Photo of grynder33
2.38/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thick sticky and dark, no carbonation or headsmells candish and heavy alcohol like a port or sherry, sweet almost prunish tastesyrupy heavy feelfingers get sticky just from touching it.If you like a brandy and cigar after your meal you might like this.

Photo of 40451
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of generallee
4.35/5  rDev +49%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a slender 8.45oz corked cobalt blue bottle into a small snifter glass. This bottle is a 1997 vintage and so it's about 12 years old. Lucky for me the bottle was well keep and the cork was in good condition.

Appearance: When it comes to looks this beer will probably not be wining any beauty pageants. It poured a very dark and murky brown almost black color with only a thin quickly fading head on top. When swirled in the snifter it appears to be quite thick and viscose as a thin brown film coats the glass.

Smell: The aroma greets you right away as the bottle is opened. It is full of all kinds of sweet, roasted and smoky/woody notes with some fruity esters and hints of rum.

Flavor/Palate: There is an extremely rich and powerful complexity that hangs on the tongue and palate with its full body and its slick heavy texture. Flavor notes of dark maple syrup, black liquorish, roasted grain, molasses, raisins (when baked in pastry), herbal hops, wood and smoke mingle and hang out on the tongue. The presence of alcohol is also very apparent. It adds firm warmth and throughout. Most of the sweeter flavors are more up front with herbal and woody notes coming in more towards the finish. These woody and smoky notes really hang on as there is very little carbonation to refresh the palate.

Notes: Let me first say, thanks to "Spike" and "Sweet Dee" for finding and sharing this wonderful beer. This is one very big, extreme beer at 17.5%abv. To date this is the strongest percentage of alcohol I have had in a beer and it is also the oldest at about 12 years. This is very interesting and enjoyable in small amounts and when sipped slowly with friends.

Photo of jisom123
3.68/5  rDev +26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

"I've been duped into drinking SOY SAUCE!" was my first thought, while sitting in the hotel Lobby after DLD 2011.

A: thick as whole milk, Black as night. Imaginary carbonation.

S: warm hearty grain and hints of french onion soup.

T: Soy sauce, with less sodium aftermath, with hints of alcohol and very little of anything that would remind you that you were drinking beer.

M: Hard to tell how smooth it was with a mouthful of soy sauce.

Overall: WAY different than any other bock or beer. Extra credit for trying something new and being unique.

Food paring: drip sparingly over bowl of pork fried rice.

Photo of tjthresh
1.5/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Right now I’m attempting to drink a 1995 vintage. I bought this bottle back in 1998 the night my mom left my dad, I am just now bringing my self to drink it. It shows not signs of miss handling. Even if. This bottle brings back unwanted memories of samples tasted at several GABFs. This beer has a really goos chocolate mocha, raisiny/prune aroma going on. After that this thing has no characteristic of beer. It is completley undrinkable. What are brewers thinking when they make stuff like this. Can I get a Bud Light please.

Photo of fdrich29
4.13/5  rDev +41.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Beautiful 8.45 fl. oz. midnight blue bottle with gold writing "Sam Adams Triple Bock" One of the nicest looking bottles I've ever seen.

No date on this bottle and rumor has it that means it's from 1997. I tried a '97 in '97 well before I appreciated world class beers and did not care for it. I have one bottle I have kept since then, although it has been through different temperatures and alternated between being stored upright and on it's side. Tonight I bought two more, one for saving and one for reviewing tonight.

I used my BeerAdvocate.com tasting glass for the review. Looks like liquid midnight in a glass with no head. Smells sugary sweet, fruit, figs, raisons, quite complex. Alcohol is also present. Tastes oaky and strongly of figs. Alcohol rushes throughout the palate. Chocolate shows up at the end of the sip and is most welcome.

I firmly believe this is something every BA needs to try at least once to maintain their standing with the site. It's that kind of beer.

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev +37%

Photo of badbeer
4.5/5  rDev +54.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with dark brown around the edges; no signs of a head or carbonation, but it does have nice legs to it. Smell is quite sweet. Strong aromas of chocolate, molasses, maple syrup, port, oak, and a little bit of alcohol. Excellent taste as well, almost like a port paired with some chocolate and maple syrup; almost like breakfast and dessert all rolled together. Very smooth mouthfeel, full bodied, no carbonation. I've had Triple Bock a few times and this is the only time I've gotten a bottle of this quality. I hope to be lucky enough to get a few more bottles like this one.

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Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
69 out of 100 based on 883 ratings.