1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

875 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 875
Reviews: 631
rAvg: 2.92
pDev: 39.04%
Wants: 67
Gots: 103 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Triple Bock Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 875 | Reviews: 631 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

UGADawgGuy, Aug 25, 2009
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.

Overlord, Sep 03, 2007
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.

ChadQuest, May 08, 2010
Photo of tommyguz
2.25/5  rDev -22.9%

tommyguz, Nov 20, 2014
Photo of Shandycan
1/5  rDev -65.8%

Soy sauce.

Shandycan, Nov 17, 2014
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.

braugon, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of kscaldef
2/5  rDev -31.5%

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

kscaldef, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of ILuvBeer
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Cork had decayed. Alcohol dominate. Used the remainder to marinate meat.

ILuvBeer, Oct 30, 2014
Photo of mookihouse
4/5  rDev +37%

mookihouse, Oct 28, 2014
Photo of BrettHead
1/5  rDev -65.8%

BrettHead, Oct 25, 2014
Photo of Jtrigonis
4.75/5  rDev +62.7%

Jtrigonis, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of Bp123
4.78/5  rDev +63.7%

Bp123, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of Soneast
1/5  rDev -65.8%

Soneast, Oct 19, 2014
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?!?

royalenfield, Sep 30, 2014
Photo of Smileitsfreetobehappy
2.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Smileitsfreetobehappy, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of BeerBucks
3/5  rDev +2.7%

BeerBucks, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of SteveBrew
4.25/5  rDev +45.5%

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.

SteveBrew, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of SportsandJorts
3.4/5  rDev +16.4%

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.

SportsandJorts, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of JAD1956
4.48/5  rDev +53.4%

JAD1956, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of Unchi
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Unchi, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of Sludgeman
2/5  rDev -31.5%

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.

Sludgeman, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of mwbbq
1/5  rDev -65.8%

mwbbq, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of tom10101
1/5  rDev -65.8%

tom10101, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of McNazz
3.2/5  rDev +9.6%

McNazz, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of JocelynRae
1.04/5  rDev -64.4%

JocelynRae, Aug 19, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
69 out of 100 based on 875 ratings.