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

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Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock

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642 Reviews

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Reviews: 642
Hads: 918
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 31.97%
Wants: 72
Gots: 113 | 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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Reviews: 642 | Hads: 918
Photo of Quaffer
3.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As everyone knows, this comes in a pretty, cobalt blue, 8.45 oz.(why that amount?), corked bottle. Many years ago, I had a bottle of either the '94 or '95. I will try to put those past recollections of this beer aside and rate it according to the beer infront of me tonight. Sampled at room temperature (68 °F).

Appearance: I swear that I have seen this stuff come out of the oil pan of my car. This beer pours very viscous and is pure black as it sits collected in the snifter. No light makes it through the main body of the liquid, but a little does eek its way through around the circumference of the glass on the surface of the brew. There, the light shows the beer to be a murky, reddish-brown hue. Swirling the snifter causes a coating effect on the side of the glass just like that of a high-alcohol wine. Light passing through this thin sheen of beer gives it an almost blood-like appearance, except duller, browner, and rustier looking. There was, of course, no carbonation.

Smell: I could smell this beer literally halfway across the room. Of course, the maple tried to jump out at me and flood my olfactory receptors (I don't care much for maple), but I tried to get past that and hunt out the other aromas that were present. There was a lot of depth and a lot of variance on the nose. Along with the aforementioned and accursed maple aroma (which, in reality, wasn't really THAT strong) was oak, red wine, vanilla, light alcohol, plums, cherries, and maple (oh, did I already say that). Occasionally, the smell became very vinous and alcohol laden, but most of the time, it was pleasant. Not very beer-like in nature, but still enjoyable to sniff.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and not nearly as heavy as the appearance suggested. Lightly coating, but not overly so, and very smooth. Of course, the smoothness was expected with no carbonation.

Taste: The flavor wasn't overly complex, but it did have a lot of depth. Upfront was a combination of brown sugar, strong cherries and plums (very vinous in nature), and musty oak. These continued on for a long time, until some alcohol kicked in on the finish to join them. Well into the aftertaste, the sweetness developed into something that was reminiscent of maple syrup, but it was late enough into the game that I didn't find it distracting. (Oh, yeah. Did I mention that I don't like maple?) So, to recap, the flavor was mainly just red-wine like flavors, a lot of brown sugar, and some maple syrup. There were a few notes of vanilla and the aforementioned oak, but that was it.

Well, I must say that I did like this "beer" much better this tasting than the last time that I had it. I wasn't overwhelmed by the maple (Oh, yeah. Did I mention that I despise maple?) like I remember being before. The aroma was very pleasant and complex. The flavor, while not being as complex as the smell, had a nice depth to it. I will probably go ahead and pick up a few more bottles of this to lay down for a long, long time to see how they develop over the years.

This is definitely a sipping beer, meant to be imbibed in small amounts. The 8.45 oz. bottle will easily last me two or three nights. (3,161 characters)

Photo of JimsArcade
2.2/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

(1995 Reserve) As recommend on the accompanying card, I only pour a few ounces of the Triple Bock at room temperature. It pours like soy sauce, and looks exactly the same. There is absolutely no carbonation to speak of. Swirling the liquid in a large burgundy glass, a thin yellow coating remains on the glass.

Even sitting two feet away from the glass, the aroma is very strong. It is very sweet with hints of very old wine and balsamic vinegar without the bite. The waves of the aroma come and go so infrequently that they seem to have a life of their own. Bringing it to the nose, it is almost overpowering. It is sickly-sweet, with hints of molasses and vanilla. Bringing it back through the nose into the back of the mouth, it already feels like I am drinking it: the smell is that strong and lingering. I think the best way to describe it is "pungent." I am actually concerned about what I am about to drink

The first taste is surprising: quite different from its aroma. It's still sweet, but definitely a bit sour. It's like drinking raisin juice, if such a thing existed. The mouthfeel is very odd, since I've never had a beer that wasn't carbonated: it has the consistency of thin maple syrup. It also tastes thinner than it smells. The aftertaste brings back hints of its aroma, which is not entirely pleasant. As I continue to drink, it now seems to get a little salty, bringing me back to my initial impression of its similarity in appearance to soy sauce. There is absolutely no hint of alcohol, which is surprising considering how much is contained in there. Also, if hops were used to brew this, they sure are hidden well. Since it was initially served at room temperature, it finishes exactly as it started.

I remember the hype when the Samuel Adams Triple Bock was introduced around 10 years ago. Having finally tried it, it is a mixed bag. It has an interesting taste, definitely the most malty-sweet brew I have ever had, but the other characteristics make this hard to recommend wholeheartedly. (2,017 characters)

Photo of ChimayMayDay
3.65/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black bottle. Black liquid. Pure syrup. I needed pancakes. I needed waffles. There was no head, of course. Jim Koch says it's like port or cognac. I haven't had either, so I can't compare.

The smell is maple, but there is also chocolate and the aforementioned soy sauce, not enough to make me think of tuna rolls, however.

I took a big gulp first. Alcohol and more alcohol and then the syrup and the soy. Slight burning in the throat. I needed to sip and sip lightly afterward. The alcohol didn't overpower me after that, but I knew quickly that I would not be finishing all of it by myself.

I noticed mostly chocolate the rest of the way through. I wasn't used to this brew at all, and the oily mouthfeel was getting to me. This was an interesting change of pace from the wheat beers I had the weekend before. Like wine, it would be good to serve with food before dinner or to sip without food after dinner. It's not for pouring into a pint and gulping down at 9pm on a Tuesday. (991 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.31/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

1995 vintage edition

This beer poured a really dark brownish-red color with basically no head, but what does one expect with such a high alcohol brew. It's texture seemed almost like sap to me. Upon the smell I note soy sauce and I can't get it out of my head. Loads of soy sauce. As it warmed the smell changed to syrupy waffles and finally to straight molasses. The taste blew my mind. Really thick and aggressive brew. Burnt charcoal flavor in it. A chalkiness takes form. Sweet syrup taste comes to mind. Some raisins are there mixed with chocolate. Alcohol is explosive and unrelenting. I love it! It took all my might to finish off the 8.45oz of this bottle because of the sheer thickness and alcohol in here but I will definitely be seeking this one out again. Tons of flavors (I can't even remember them all) and lots of complexity make this a beer worth remembering. (878 characters)

Photo of Chsyhkr
3.62/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nectar of the gods or crankcase oil, that is what my brew club buddies think of this.

Deep mahogany to chestnut colored, still (not carbonated), and smelling of maple syrup, prunes, toffee, and a hint of chocolate.

The taste is alcohol, stewed fruits, sweet with just enough bitterness, and a slight chocolate character.

I don't know what the grain bill is on the thing, but the chocolate character could be left out and it would improve the drinkability immensely. More like a Samiclaus...

The still character throws most people, but that is one reason I like is so much. It is a brandy or grappa!

The corked bottle is nice, you can pour a little, cork it and put it up for a while. Two people would be hard pressed to drink one bottle at a sitting, much less one person!

Enjoy this novelty "Triple Bock", think of it more like a Brandy and enjoy! (866 characters)

Photo of oberon
2.45/5  rDev -16.7%
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. (455 characters)

Photo of Jarod
4.37/5  rDev +48.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle year 1996
Given to me by my buddy Jamie in a small snifter glass.
Served room temperature

This beer came to me a pitch black thick molasses/black color that no light could possible pass through except on the edges, where there was a hint of cocoa brown coming through. No head was present. The aromas that came up from the glass were big and bold, lots of molasses, black coffee, plums, some sweet coffee, lots of dark chocolate, and a big warming alcohol. The flavors were just as big as the aromas, lots of dark fruits first hit your tongue (plums and prunes), then alcohol, then coffee, milk chocolate, some dark sweet malt, and more alcohol as it finished. Reminded me of a well old aged bottle of liquor. The body was thick, heavy and rich. Needless to say this is a sipping beer, and it takes some time to finish a small snifter. Very intense, and worth every sip of pleasure. I hope he saves some more so that we can drink in a few more years. A good treat, but would not want but only on special occasions. (1,026 characters)

Photo of ADR
2.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Out of a bottle ('95 according to the server), Extreme Beer Fest 2004...

Pours out like a dark blood clot, no head, with coating properties. Now, the analysis. All these Triples are coming up on that 10 year age when they should start to resemble Sherry. So, is this like a good Sherry, or a Port, or a fine Bourbon, or a maple-enhanced Kahlua? I'd say as far from any of those as from beer. An aroma of frying rubber that's either off-putting and similar to airplane wing de-icer or immediately recognizable as "that's Triple Bock" at best. The flavor, almost equally as heavy -- is best compared to a burning box of raisins, preferably with a plastic "stay fresh" lining. The "soy sauce" comparison is good in that it describes palette and nose filling qualities, but a good soy bean ferments with a nutty acidity that would have been welcome here. A good experiment and a ground-breaking beer...but dang near undrinkable to me. I think that subsequent higher alcohol brews have shown that Triple Bock is not the only destiny for extreme brewer's products. (1,061 characters)

Photo of dansteino
3.44/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1995 Vintage

Cork broke. Lucky to have an extra bottle of port lying around so I used that cork to keep it.

Pours a dark, syrupy slightly reddish brown.

Smells like the plum sauce you put on moo goo gai pan. Not too appealing.

Tastes of raisins and prunes with a little hint of chocolate.

Sips like an after dinner drink with very little resemblance to a beer until the finish which has some drier elements (although not much).

Reminds me a little of Prize Old Ale -- only a lot thicker and stinkier.

I like it, but it is very hard to get past that rediculous nose.

Pairs well with blue cheese. An interesting conversation piece. (653 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a thick black color with no head. It has a deep dark aroma. There is a syrupy smell here. There are hints of chocolate and black barley. The taste is actually not that bad. It is a hard drink, but there is real flavor here. The beer boasts a large amount of dark malts. It has a very malty flavour that is quite rich tasting. The mouthfeel is good. It is full bodied and lacking any carbonation, but for an extremely high abv. it is still drinkable. (464 characters)

Photo of DESTRO
1.49/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

i went out on a whim an bought this just because id never had a beer that was 17.5% and meant to be sipped out of a snifter in 2oz portions. this is the 96 vintage, 8.5 oz bottle i believe, $3.99. it glugs out pure black, thick and syrupy, flat and with no head. immediatly its like your head is in a giant pair of old sneakers someone wore for a year straight without socks. powerful stank, soy sauce and sweet molasses make for one hell of an odd smell. taste is big on alcohol, huge sweetness mixed with soysauce and maple syrup. in the mouth it is heavy, thick and oily. does not go down well, maybe it would with a 2 foot cuban cigar and a scotch chaser to mask the foul taste. one of the foulest things ive ever put in my mouth. i guess i should "appreciate" the complexities and work that went in it, but in the end, it's gross.

on a note, id like to toss some wasabi in it and dunk my sushi in the solution. im thinking maybe this beer does have a use after all. (973 characters)

Photo of mschofield
2.57/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Absolutely flat and syrupy pour, pure black.
Strong alcohol aroma that hits my nose even from the countertop as I poured. A whiskey and chocolate-liquor aroma. Smelt almost burnt.
The taste is very strong, almost like drinking molasses mixed with whiskey and maple syrup. And then lots of dark fruits.
The feel is full and very syrupy. It's an impressive brew from a techical standpoint, but that doesn't make it very drinkable even at about 2 ounces per drink. I had it once years ago at the brewery tour (when they were first bringing it out), my undeveloped palate didn't like it then, now I appreciate it more than enjoy it.

While drinking 2 things occured to me. This would be great for desert over chocolate ice cream, so I tried just that and it worked really well. Second this would make a good stand in as a coffee mixer, so I tried it mixed with coffee, I used too much but 1 shot of this with 8 ounces of coffee would be good. (943 characters)

Photo of shippos
3.75/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

95 reserve, poured in a triple glass.

dark syrupy with slight hints of ruby around the edge of the glass. has a syrupy-soy sauce thickness that clings to the glass. strong aroma of wood, vanilla, chocalate, whiskey and brandy. smooth syrupy mouthfeel, coats your mouth completely and the alcohol if very present and hits you in the aftertaste with definete spicy hottness. had this after desert on thanksgiving, excellent for just couple of ounces to sip on...very interesting and complex. (492 characters)

Photo of Nytemare
3.71/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I have a couple of bottles of this sittin' around now so I thought I'd crack open the one that's half full again. Been doin' the sample every 6 months or so to see how it's changing. Quite interesting. Pours a deep deep red. Pretty opaque. No carbonation, no head. Sticks all over the glass though. Smells like bitter black cherries and dark chocolate predominately, though there's a woodiness underneath it. Very sweet flavor at first but it gives way to the cherry tartness and bitterness of the chocolate. Alcohol definately swimming in there. Roasted nuts coming through as well. Quite an interesting brew. Very dry finish. Low drinkability due to the nature of the beer. Very heavy. One that I enjoy on occasion, but not something I'll ever drink every day. (762 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

1997 bottle, purchased September 2003, consumed almost immediately thereafter...
Appearance: dark as sin, pitch black, with not a bit of foam above, not a touch of froth, just random brown bubbles about the sides.
Aroma: the alcohol wafts into the atmosphere and is quite powerful before the glass comes anywhere near my nose, and from this distance I note: maple syrup, couch syrup, port wine, licorice.
So, bring it closer!...ooooh! Wicked! An intense mommajamma! It can't be a beer! Sherry + Jagermeisters+ Meyer's, shaken well, with prune juice, lit on fire! ...then dipped in turpentine! Smells like the sweeter extracts of the sulphur pits of Hell!
So, now to taste: no, this is really pushing it! Goes beyond anything recognized as beer,, it's closer to port, and should be consumed as such. Thick on the tongue at first, then mild, still with a sweet, treacly coating that trickles down the throat. Definitely not a bock, not even a doppel, nothing like one, and I want to call it a barleywine, but it's not that, either...
Slowly, the booze kicks in...Raisiny, datish, leaving a lace on the glass like you'd find in a wortchestershire bottle...I'd like to see them do a commercial for this one! "Always a good idea!" YEAH, RIGHT!
...Boom! Boom! Oh, oh, it's starting to HAp-pen... (1,309 characters)

Photo of NickLovesBeer
2.35/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

All I can truly say is dear god. I purchased Sam Adams Triple Bock because I had tried all of the other styles of Sam Adams and figured that this would be no less impressive. Triple Bock pours a murky brown resembling maple syrup with no carbonation. The taste was very similar to soy sauce except not quite as salty. The smell was extremely intense fruits (I could smell it from 5 feet away), mostly raisins. All and all I could not drink more than 1 oz in a sitting and was very unimpressed. (493 characters)

Photo of hotstuff
3.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

1994 bottle - It poured no head, no lacing, opaque body, with a red-black hue. The nose was sweet, also alcohol and wine with a sweet, wine taste to it. The palate was tingly, smooth, sticky and it had a burning sensation as it was swallowed. It was medium bodied. This was so-so, but not a beer that I want to drink again even if the opportunity presents itself. It's just not my style of beer nor did it taste anything close to a beer. (437 characters)

Photo of grynder33
2.47/5  rDev -16%
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. (252 characters)

Photo of doboy
4.36/5  rDev +48.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark as night! A syrupy appearance in the glass, and the alcohol grabs your nose! This 1994 Reserve had no carbonation, and felt like velvet as it slid down the throat. This is one you either love or hate. For a dark beer drinker, it was just short of heaven! One bottle is left, and it is going to sit. What a great, cobalt bottle too! (336 characters)

Photo of dmarch
1.96/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours deep burguny in color with no head whatsoever and no carbonation. Aroma is dried dark fruit like raisins or plums hidden under the alcohol which dominates. The alcohol dominates the taste as well. Tastes almost like marsala wine. Maybe I'll try it again after letting it age a few more years, but I think this is the best it's going to get. (346 characters)

Photo of TheDM
1.24/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I will re-rate this again only after I find an aged bottle some time in the future. This has to be bad when relatively new and must get better as it ages to get some of the decent reviews I have seen. I have sampled this brew twice now with no change in feeling.

I have had many a beer in my life, but this stuff is the worst crap that I have ever tasted! If you know me, you know I don't say this lightly, but "Give me a Bud" please over this! Nuf said! It tasted horrible! How dare they sell this crap. The only thing it is good for is to sit it on a shelf, let it age, and admire the pretty bottle! (604 characters)

Photo of rastaman
2.62/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this in Sweden, in a little University town in the south called Lund. Kind of strange beer, smelt like marmite or vegemite and soy sauce, but it had more of a sweetness on the palate that marmite has, not sure what to say really, but probably not my kind of beer, i'll agree with aracauna with his comment on the complexity being compelling. Sharp, and very rich. (367 characters)

Photo of aracauna
2.23/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I'll start off by saying that this is horrible, horrible stuff. That being said, it does have some compelling complexity that makes me wish I liked it. Pours basically black (turns a flat brown around the edges in direct light). Definitely has a high viscosity -- it pours in an oily way and when you tilt the glass it leaves a brown film behind. Completely still so there's no head. The aroma is whiskey and chocolate chip cookies, heavy on the semi-sweet or black chocolate chips. I'm not getting a whole lot of the infamous soy sauce aroma. The flavor is sickeningly sweet with a little oak wood and butterscotch added to the stuff in the aroma. I haven't finished the glass yet (it's taking me forever) and it's quite possible this will end up being one of my few dumpers. (776 characters)

Photo of Popsinc
3.8/5  rDev +29.3%
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. (659 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.79/5  rDev +62.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes: 1994 Vintage/Corked blue cobalt glass bottle. An exceptional beer in a league of it's own. This beer poured a very thick and opaque looking blood-red, brown-ish black colour with absolutely no carbonation what-so-ever. The aromas were of young cognac, fine brandy, tobacco, wood, molasses, maple, sugar, yeast, dark-roasted malts, and alcohol. The taste is of alcohol, maple, molasses, sugar, yeast, and more. The mouthfeel is super thick, creamy, and boozy. The drinkability? This is definately a 'sipping' beer but it is great for a special ocassion or in place of hard liquor. 1 bottle can easily last you 3 or 4 days or be split amongst a larger group of friends. One tip: DO NOT serve this beer too cold! Store it @ cellar temp and drink it @ cellar temp. This is where TB is at its best, imho.

I also have notes on the 1995 and 1997 vintages. I will add them to this review, when I find them!
-F (912 characters)

Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
69 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.