Samuel Adams Triple Bock - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
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Ratings: 858 | Reviews: 624 | Display Reviews Only:
3.43/5 rDev +17.5%
Review is of a 1997 bottle, first time drinking this beer since it's release in 94, when I enjoyed it a lot. Nearly 17 years later let's see what I think.
The first sign of trouble is the total explosion of the cork when I try to open this. Fortunately a corkscrew finishes the job cleanly and no boys of cork sully the beer itself. I pour somewhat aggressively but cannot muster a head whatsoever; the beer is totally still and without lacing. Can't say I'm surprised. The beer also lacks any chunky matter which I consider a major coup at this point.
The aroma is very intense, syrupy maple, raisins, burnt something or other, a definite umami quality referenced by another reviewer. A dark forest floor mushroom truffle soy aspect is lurking at the edges. The flavor is almost overshadowed by the massively syrupy mouthfeel, a heavy, coating viscous body that clings to the tongue. Immense sweetness that finishes with a lightly burning fusel alcohol note. The umami thing is there but less persistent than expected or suggested by the aroma; there is a very vague sense of soy sauce but I don't find it to be all that prominent. The take away for me is over the top sugary sweetness, maple, burnt sugar, raisins and prunes, fusel alcohol, with subtler notes of soaked leaves and forest floor; dirt and funguses and stuff like that. Weird.
As stated before this is a heavy weight syrup fest. Sticks to the mouth for a long time, coating the lips and tongue. What a weird ass beer but a revolutionary one that should be acknowledged for its influence on the big barrel aged beers of the present. That being said if you have one these I would suggest sharing it with two or thee other people; finishing the bottle alone is a bit of a chore.
Jeez it's hard to fill in the numerical ratings for this one. It's
Pitch black and has no head or lacing but also doesn't have any detritus. Aroma and taste are both complex and heavy and not without appealing aspects. Mouthfeel is one of the most memorably hefty in the nearly 2000 beers I've tried.
The more I think about it, the BA who said this reminded of cheap Madeira is pretty much right on target if you want to cut to the chase.
03-01-2014 04:23:48 | More by tobelerone
1.35/5 rDev -53.8%
Yes, it's true! If someone would have told me that I would have had the chance to try the legendary "worst craft offering ever" (SA Triple Bock) and the infamously "worst macro offering ever" (Bud Chelada) in the same night, I would have died of glee. Turns out that, in fact, that DID indeed happen about a month ago. Someone brought a '97 vintage of the dreaded Triple Bock, and I celebrated later at a friend's by opening the Chelada beer. But, this is about Triple Bock, which allegedly makes your skin decay and makes puppies choke on their own drool. Poured out of a 12oz corked bottle into a tulip glass. I had the misfortune to do the honors, for everyone, pouring and all.
And it's no surprise, because holy hell is this a syrupy, thickened mess of a beer. Pours a black color that is extremely terrifying, as if you're staring into the the deep, dark swirling void of pure macabre and alienation. A mahogany, oily looking head coats the top, and leaves behind a sticky, highly disgusting look on the side of the glass that is a charming combination of molasses and coagulated blood. My hands were sticky for the remainder of the night with the few drops that slipped out of the glass into my hand. The entire cobalt bottle was stained black with each pour. I went around the table pouring this, looking at each spectator in the eye and observing the trembling passage of fear and despair as they would look into the treacle in the glass with knocked knees and progressively whitening skin. Indeed, the stark contrast of the dark concoction with the paling skins in the room seemed to portray the gray line of us crossing into the unknown in partaking with this beer, with no turning back as we approached our individual glasses to each of our noses.
Some have likened the aroma of Triple Bock to many horrifically exotic items that you should never consume, but to me, it simply smells like cheap Madeira - and that's pretty much it. Heavily caramelized, with lots of oxidation, with big umami notes of mushrooms, soy sauce, salt, as well as rotten plums. This is the catch with Triple Bock - it convinces you that it is a source of pure evil in its appearance, but then as you approach your face closer to the liquid, it materializes into a friendly jester of a spirit, telling you that it is okay to imbibe it, everything will be alright, and that the two of you are going to make fast friends. It's one thing to tap into the forces of evil, but to actually make *friends* with it?? For a moment we were a bit reassured, and the gray line tightened up ever closer. Together, we all took a sip.
This is perhaps the only instance in consuming a beer where I can, with full certainty, claim that the devil made me drink this. I don't even *believe* in the devil, but I do believe in the cold, disheveling apex that is the horribleness of SA Triple Bock. One sip, and terrible things begin to happen. Beer turns into soy sauce - soy sauce turns into oil - oil turns into blood - and the blood that descends burns, and latches itself to the sides of the tongue and the inner areas of the esophagus, without fully letting go. Dumping the rest of the beer in a bucket, we realized that it was too late - the demented liquid had already created a symbiotic, Succubus-like connection within our body, and indeed, had latched itself into the deep recesses of our very souls, forever changing us, and forever showing us the truth of what happens as soon as the gray line closes up upon us. Never would we drink beer the same way again, and never would we find something seemingly designed for imbibing that would perhaps be a better condiment for rice, bok choy, eggplant, and other Eastern varieties. Truly sinister and unforgiving.
It truly takes a horrible beer to appreciate even the most mediocre offerings on the market ever more. Indeed, the worst part about our tainted souls from exposure to Triple Bock is that we are now willing to present this to everyone that we can, with any chance we get. It doesn't only change your life by inflicting major pain on your psyche - its true evil is that it compels you to order something, *anything*, as your next beverage, perhaps as an effort to cleanse your palate of its malign profile, or perhaps as a way to forget you ever had the experience with as much cheap booze as you can get your hands on. Highly recommended in every sense of the word.
02-13-2014 00:03:03 | More by magictacosinus
2.18/5 rDev -25.3%
1997 vintage bottle opened at a bottle share. Sadly, I don't recall whom I should credit for this.
Bottle s cobalt blue, but stained an opaque black from the beer. The cork is stained black at the base, but intact.
A: pours an oily, thick, smooth black. Soy sauce or oil is not out of the question.
S: huge, strong, salty aroma. Aroma is soy sauce, molasses, and maple syrup. Even after the beer is long gone, the aroma of maple syrup persists. This is interesting, unique, and really something strong and special.
T/M: well, the mouthfeel is easier to address... Thick, coating, and so strong that I couldn't take a large enough sip to get much more than that. There is no carbonation. Taste is as strong as the aroma -- huge, salty, syrupy, oxidized (but honestly less than I expected) and strong. The salty and syrupy sweetness with a hint of oxidation override any other favors. The finish is an alcohol burn alongside a strong salty and almost acidic burn.
O: I would never drink this beer again, but then again I am glad to have tried it. It really was just such a ridiculous experience in the middle of a bottle share to try this. Is it iconically bad? Perhaps. But not in the way that most "bad" beers are awful... It really is unique. If you're looking to try this, consider it a novelty and try it with many others.
01-14-2014 10:35:15 | More by jdhowe
3.55/5 rDev +21.6%
very strange brew here, something of lore really, glad i got to have it, but not something i would recommend outside of a curious exploration. pours deep dark brown, dead flat, with massive chunks of cork floating around in it. i know others have commented soy sauce here, and i maybe get a little salty weird fermentation, but i also get a lot of layers of grainy goodness, wood, rich soil, and vanilla, although these are all sort of mixed together in a strange, thick, still liquid thats hotly alcoholic and hard to drink very much of. maple syrup is there too, but its mostly just sugar now. its something maybe better to cook with than drink in isolation, but i think it is a benchmark. this is one of the beers that began extreme brewing in the early 1990s, and its place in history in that context makes it special. the fact that its not drinking particularly well right now is almost an afterthought, although i found it to be silky smooth (save the cork chunks) and rather mellow for what it is. no need to drink it again anytime soon for me, but i will fondly remember the experience. dogfish head, brewdog, and others who do these ridiculous strong beers owe a tip of the cap to this one.
01-13-2014 19:04:51 | More by StonedTrippin
Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
68 out of 100 based on 858 ratings.