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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.

868 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 868
Reviews: 627
rAvg: 2.92
pDev: 38.7%
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
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Ratings: 868 | Reviews: 627 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sycodrummer
2.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sampled from the 1995 Vintage.

Poured the 8oz. navy blue bottle into a snifter, the beer was a dark brown/dark ruby color with no carbonation, no head, no lacing, and no signs of being a beer. From what I've read, this is to be expected.

The smell is laced with alcohol upfront as well as dark fruits like plum, fig, and prunes. Slight chocolate, vanilla, and maple in the nose as well. No decernable malt or hop present in the nose.

The taste is very alcoholic and very warming, even more so thatn its 17.5% would indicate. A syrup consistancy with maple, chocolate, and brandy flavors. Red wine, figs, plums, and soy are also in the taste.

Medium body with a syrup like coat of the palate.

This is not one I cared for. Certainly different (news to no one) but the flavors were just not appealing to me. I don't hate the beer, but I'm not about to rush out and by it again soon.

Sycodrummer, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle of '95...
Appears a molasses color black with a mild red tint. No head, lacing, or carbonation to be seen.
Smell is of cocoa powder, brandy, molasses, oak, raisins, vanilla, caramel, and maple.
Taste is hardcore of the same aromas. Much more of a cordial than a beer but a fine experiment.
Mouthfeel is sweet, somewhat cloying but finishes with a nice sweet raisiny note that doesn't make you pucker but lick your lips savoring the juicyness of it.
Drinkability is ok but it may lose a slight notch for not being on a drinking level with a beer. I'm not getting a whole lot of the "soy sauce" thing that people have written about. I can see where they would get it from though. It doesn't have that sour saltiness to it though which would make it unapealing to drink. Not a bad outing overall.

weeare138, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of radshoesbro
1.02/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1


a - no head very dark brown almost black.

s - smells like balsamic vinegar and soy souce. this is truly terrible smelling.

t - this is absolutely putrid!! tastes like licorice and vinegar mixed with bile and small amount of prune. maybe this is what beer tastes if the brewer was retarded. anyone that says they like this is a liar!!! EWWW.

m - god. i spit it out. i really cannot understand how anyone likes this.

d - never ever try this. ever.

i would rather have to drink bud for my entire life than ever taste this again. there's a reason they no longer make it.

radshoesbro, Oct 01, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the better beers that I have ever tried. Thanks to Ernie for sharing. Dark brown-rust in color. Little in the way of head retention or lacing--fine per style. Big-time legs on the side of the glass shows good alcohols and sugars. Big aromas of prunes, raisons, dates, nuts, chocolate and sherry. Flavors of those dark fruits show up front, along with port wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, and molassas to name a few. Big body and chewy texture coats the mouth and turns into a long lasting finish and aftertaste. It's a sipper--you won't want to drink it fast.

BEERchitect, Sep 10, 2005
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.

tjthresh, Aug 27, 2005
Photo of beersarang
1.95/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

1994 Vintage, aged on it's side (a friend did it)
Reviewed August 2005

Pours a dark brown black with hints of ruby in the wine glass. No head at all, leaves dark stains on glass wherever it touches. It looks like syrup.

Sour soy sauce aroma hits quickly and surrounds the room, upon closer inspection some fruits seem to be boiling in the pot of soy sauce.

A sip brings the mouth first pleasant raisins, but the an overwhelming delivery of salty bitter soy sauce that stays on the palate for minutes afterwards. Most unpleasant. The alcohol is surprisingly hidden, but I think that is due to the intesity of the soy character.

Syrup. Thick heavy syrup in a glass with slick alcohol that coats everything. Brandy-esque.

I can't imagine myself ever trying this again for any reason, other than to remember. Nothing special really, exept the amazin alcohol content. Why did it come out tasting so much like soy sauce though?

beersarang, Aug 21, 2005
Photo of Sephiroth
4.43/5  rDev +51.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vintage unknown. I do not own a snifter,so I am using my Stone IRS tulip. BAH! I cannot f#!kin believe I paid ten dollars for a glass.

This beer is flat. Still is the better word, since this is not a bad thing. It is black in color, and leaves legs on the glass like a fine Anejo Tequila, or a nice Scotch or Bourbon. The nose is of dates, prunes(not sure if those two are the same), and raisins. I left this small, enclosed room for about three minutes, and upon re-entry, could immediately smell this sucker.

The taste is huge. I notice some faint, grassy hops, but this thing is all malt. Port dominates the flavor profile, with the chocolate and dark cherries refusing to be ignored. The alcohol smacks you in the face at the same time the maple syrup lightly kisses your cheek. This warms my throat. I will stock this heavily in the winter time.

The mouthfeel is syrupy and coating. I would be dissapointed otherwise. I have no problem drinking all 8.5 ounces of this thing, although I woudn't mind splitting it. I wish I could just pick "Big Beers" as my favorite category. I must age about 24 of these.

Sephiroth, Aug 15, 2005
Photo of BillyB
3.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid $4.00 for an 8.45 oz bottle.

Appears black as night. Looks like motor oil. No head at all. Flat.

A wide array of smells are almost overwhelming. Maple syrup, burnt wood, charcoal, raisins, chocolate.

Taste alcohol. Again the taste is overwhelming. Whiskey, chocolate, raisins, maple syrup. Feels very oily, syrupy. Warming to the throat. Strong alcohol kick.

This is definitely a unique beer and a brewing achievement but not very drinkable. For $4 I'd suggest trying it just for the experience but I doubt many people will have a second.

BillyB, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of Higravity
3.7/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

95' edition. I can't believe they have three cases of this stuff, bad move by the shop owner, he will be lucky to see it go in ten years.

In all honesty splitting a bottle of this three ways was a very good idea. Big black used oil color no head no carbonation. The smell was enough to put people off, strong salty char, wrong yet some how right. It has a quality like spent wood ash and burnt sugar. The taste is definate wood ash and I have tasted the charcoal remains of wood, but there is more to this beer. Something is still alive in there, a dark fruit soaked in alcohol that burned its way out. A full coating mouthfull this beer is a long sipper and each sip brings something new. Enjoy it slowly or run in horror.

Higravity, Jul 31, 2005
Photo of SkeeterHawk
2.6/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appearance: Black. No foam, no lace...There you have it. It looks like a light weight motor oil in my glass. I don't know if this is what a "triple bock" should look like or not.

Aroma: Rich and syrupy aroma. There is deep roasty/toasty notes going on among some noticeable alcohol. As it warms, the aroma smells a lot like I would imagine that concentrated prune extract would smell like.

Taste: Oh my God! Rich and syrupy. I don't think that I notice any hops among the monstrous malt, and alcohol that dominates the profile. Residual sweetness hangs well into the finish, and leaves your spine with a sensation kin to fingernails on a chalkboard. Whew!

Opinion: You gotta give the guy style points for coming up with a "beer" like this. It's something you should try, but it's not something that I will seek out in the future...having experienced it once this lifetime.

SkeeterHawk, Jul 27, 2005
Photo of ILiveOffHops
1.38/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

As always I was excited to try a new Sam....having not read any reviews I had no idea what to expect. I had never had a triple bock, but I did imagine a beer. This, my friends, is no beer. It is a condiment gone bad, liquified in the sun.

Appearance-wise, it is thick black with no head and no carbonation.

The smell is not pleasant...sugary soy sauce.

The taste is vile. My advice is to take very small sips if you are going to try it. Tastes syrupy and sweet...overly so in both. I can't taste any hops, any alcohol....in fact I really can't taste anything other than soy sauce.

I don't like this at all. I am not even going to finish it. As I mentioned earlier I have no frame of reference for what a triple bock is like, nor I understand what Jim Koch was going for here. What I do know is I will not try this beer again.

ILiveOffHops, Jul 05, 2005
Photo of joedon
1.33/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A really overwhelming product. Not a beer by my understanding. Dark, opaque black color. Smell mostly of burnt sugar; no hops evident at all. I couldn't stand the taste. So sweet that I couldn't even taste any alcohol. The maple syrup, molasses and raisin flavors dominate. Very syrupy consistently and totally flat-no carbonation detected. Not drinkable at all. I couldn't even finish the small snifter I was served. I'm not sure what the brewer was trying to accomplish but it doesn't work for me.

joedon, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.2/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

the bottle with no date (97?)

"ale brewed with maple syrup"

fabled soy sauce appearance. good lacing, if an orange flourescent clear sludge stuck to my glass counts as lacing. look at the empty bottle in the light, youll know what i mean. no foam at all. flat as f*ck.

nose is not dissimilar to soy sauce, but most of that is association with a super sweet wood.. corrupted with the sourness of age. fermented maple syrup might sum that up nicely. a deep breath actually burnt my eyes.

sweetly accented and absolutely no sign of alcohol in the flavor.. an achievement in itself. burnt sugar hints prevail against a malty smoke flavor. rings loud of blackberry brandy. recommended no cooler than room temperature. raw vanilla bean in the aftertaste as well as the aforementioned syrup... pancakes and all. besides the offputting aroma, this beer isn't as scary and bad as most BAs make it out to be.

a SLOW sipper but enjoyable nonetheless

goodbyeohio, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of ken3c
3.68/5  rDev +26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Cool Bottle. No head. Serious legs.

Smells like sherry with Marzipan mixed in. Marzipan makes me sick but I kinda like the smell.

Sweeter than soy sauce. Soy Sauce+Sherry with a little chocolate? I like soy sauce. I like sherry. I like chocolate. I like Triple Bock. Maybe not as much as the previous three.

Smooth, warming, slightly astringent.

Not really very drinkable. Sippable maybe.

ken3c, Jun 21, 2005
Photo of Naerhu
1.7/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

WTF is going on here, definately not a beer and definately not worthy anyone burning your hard earned loot on, unless you are an insane sherry fan.

A - Has the consistence of old consentrated soy sauce. leaves nasty greasy looking legs(?) on the glass.
S - Smells like sherry and chocolate.
T - Tastes like sherry, chocolate and shokoshu (chinese liquor)
M - No carbonation, just bitter oilness.
D - Got a bottle and because it tasted so much like sherry, I thought it was kicked, so I got a different bottle from a different disributor and stiil tasted like sherry. AVOID.

Naerhu, Jun 11, 2005
Photo of nfo
2.55/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

2 oz pour, '97 bottling

Very dark brown, opaque, and bigtime legs - impressive, unlike anything I've had. The smell is okay - something sweet (prunes?), and something like slightly burnt wood. When I taste it, I'm looking for maple, vanilla, and oak, but I end up with prunes and soy sauce. Too sweet and slightly sour finish - I wonder if it's gone bad, but at 17.5% ABV, with the cork in great shape, I doubt it. I think maybe they were too heavy-handed with the maple syrup when they brewed it. Feel is nice and heavy, syrupy really, without any carbonation. 2 oz is about the right serving, as this one scores low on drinkability.

nfo, Jun 04, 2005
Photo of twelvsies
1.35/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Let me first say that I love beers that stray from the norm, and often appreciate the more "extreme" beers. I love Dogfish Head 120 and World Wide Stout, and I even appreciate the qualities of Sam Adams Millenium, but I draw the line at this beer. It was pretty gross. I just don't see what the brewers were going for here... A dark black mushy looking liquid. Kind of looks like a cup that someone is using to spit their chew in. Smell is I guess interesting, but very abrasively alcoholic and almost sour smelling, though there was an overload of sweetness too. That sourness comes out in the taste, and everyone I was with, better beer drinkers or not, agreed that there was a distinct soy sauce taste in this one. Mouthfeel is super gritty and thick, really disgusting. Couldn't drink more than a few sips. This is one of the nastiest beers I've had. A good idea turned horrible disaster.

twelvsies, May 09, 2005
Photo of daedalus
3.8/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: Corked cobalt blue 8.45 oz bottle with gold scripting on the front (1995 edition). Served at room temperature.

Appearance: Poured a very deep brown into a brandy snifter with the edges appearing as a burnt sienna color.

Smell: Complex with an initial nose of alcohol and maple syrup. Subtle hints of cherry/amaretto.

Taste: Sweet and cloying. Tastes of maple, espresso, soy and burnt chocolate in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thickish and syrup-like with no carbonation to speak of. Very well layered and feels luxurious on your tongue.

Drinkability: This one is definitely meant to be sipped. Though not difficult to consume (when viewed in context), it is best enjoyed a few ounces a time, as one would a good port.

daedalus, May 03, 2005
Photo of bark
4.55/5  rDev +55.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is black with a tint of brown. There is no head at all. The liquid is clear and quite viscous; it leaves a brown, sticky curtain on the glass. Wow!

The smell is one of the most strong and complex that I have ever encountered! There are notes of soy sauce, chocolate sauce, port wine, marzipan and cherries. A friend of mine at the testing tried to imitate the smell by blending cherry brandy, soy sauce, port wine and cocoa but that witches' brew got a much milder smell.

There are just traces of carbonation. The liquid is very sweet, making it sticky in the mouth.

The taste is very intense, intricate and exacting: There are those notes of soy, dark chocolate, dried fruits, strong wine, cherry liqueur and that kind of “grown up candy” with cherries in liqueur and marzipan covered in dark chocolate. An interesting fact is the total absence of alcohol in the taste. The aftertaste is long with notes of candied cherries and strong wine.

I found this beer an “extreme beer” indeed, it is very demanding but a very interesting experience to have drunk.

bark, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of kevinl6
2.8/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Its been about 3 hours now, and I am still tasting this thing! Split the 8oz (give or take) bottle with 2 friends, and still found it difficult to finish my portion. Oil, syrup, chocolate mixed in with a healthy dose of alcohol is the quick and dirty description of this beer. I think this one has its place, as I found myself enjoying it one minute, and unable to drink it the next, but I think the key to this one is very small portions. 2 oz of this stuff with a nice cigar, at the end of a session did the trick for me.

kevinl6, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of Rastacouere
1.8/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Still reddish brown, nice legs. Hugely oaky soy sauce aroma paired with bitter vegetables and something herbal making me think of a green bamboo stick. Big rubber notes, strong alcohol flavors, extremely woody bitterness. Oily, slick palate, cocoa powder and pure vanilla and licorice onslaugth ensures a highly cloying finish. Unpleasant.

Rastacouere, Mar 08, 2005
Photo of cardigan
1.25/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

As others have said: gorgeous packaging. Lovely bottle, attractive script... quite nice.

But also as others have said, this is one horrid concoction.

Imagine, if you will, half a cup of strong, black, chocolate-flavored coffee, chilled. Imagine that you top it up with soy sauce.

This, then, would be the triple bock.

And nearly as startling as the revolting taste and soy-sauce aroma is the fact that this brew has no head whatsoever. Not a bubble. I ranked it a 2 rather than a 1, however, because its color is quite nice.

I love Samuel Adams brews, generally, but good gravy, BAs... don't drink this.

cardigan, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of sabrills70
4.22/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being unique as this beer is, it is hard to review as there is nothing comparable. 1995 vintage. Pours a jet black with no carbonation or lacing. Nice legs though. From the moment I opened the bottle the first huge smell I got was of a sweet soy sauce. After bringing the brandy snifter to my nose I detected the maple, vanilla and plums. There is an alcohol presence, but I found it to be somewhat subtle as all of the other aromas help to cover it up. The first sip is hard to describe as there is so much happening here.Not much of a malt presence but a very sweet maple flavored soy sauce with out the satiness. Big roastiness with some vanilla and chocolate overtones. It sounds gross but its not, it is simply the best way to describe it. The after taste is of a sweet malt roastiness with some raisin and prune characteristics. Upon tasting more alcohol smell came out. It is syrupy and slick. Rich and multi layered. Do not attempt to drink the whole bottle in one sitting, that is not its intention. Drink it out of a snifter 2 to 3 ounces at a time - it is much more enjoyable that way. A truly unique and very good beer.

sabrills70, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.73/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1995 Reserve.

Dark, dark, DARK chocolate brown with no carbonation whatsoever. This looks like a swirling backwater and smells thick, with tones of licorice, maple syrup, and dark, alcohol-soaked caramelized fruits.

Very bizarre in the mouth, feeling more like melted molasses than a beer. The complete derth of bubbles contributes to the highly viscous, thick beer. Up front, sweet licorice, syrup, and rum slide slickly across the tongue, backed up by some smoke, charcoal, and hops, and a final burn of alcohol that grows in warmth, like sip of brandy.

Difficult to drink, but supremely complex. This seems like a once in a lifetime type deal, but I'm enjoying it this once.

RockyTopHeel, Jan 14, 2005
Photo of cncbofh
3.98/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle dated: 1995

As promised by the brewers - poured with no carbonation and darker than dark darkness on a dark night in a dark room. Held up to a bright flourescent light and verified - opqaue. Just black.

Not syrupy when poured but has definite substance.

Immediate smells of soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, prunes, vanilla, oak and spicy beef stew. I was very very afraid.

Tipped the snifter ever so carefully to my mouth and took a sip. A warm port feel with a very present alcohol covered my tongue. Soon a vanilla and dried prune flavor overwhelmed me. I held back a reflex to start chewing. Finish was sweet and warm.

I finished the full bottle so it wasn't until after a full recovery that I could write this review today. My notes slowly get sloppy and the unreadable. Beware. This is a heavy hitter. I appreciate Sam Adams going outside the borders of what we all consider beer and making this delectable treat.

cncbofh, Jan 05, 2005
Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
68 out of 100 based on 868 ratings.