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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.

899 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 899
Reviews: 644
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 38.1%
Wants: 70
Gots: 109 | 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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Ratings: 899 | Reviews: 644 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of williamherbert
1.74/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I'm sorry. I know I'm going to probalby going to come off like some sort of beer wimp, but I just did not like this beer. I know there are people who probably have a palate for this but I am just not one of them.

It does look impressive, like black tar. No head (it's gotta be at least 10 years old by now) and completely pitch black. A black hole.

The smell is pure brandy, liquor with serious, major alcohol. There is probably maple and lots of roasted barley, but all of it is dwarfed by the alcohol. Call it Sex Panther, pure gasoline.

The taste, again, is like taking a shot of brandy or bourbon or hard liquor. The reason I drink beer is because I don't like the taste of liquor, so I'm not sure why brewers would try to make beers that taste like liquor. This simply doesn't taste good to me. It's got some burnt fruit and raisin flavors, but more kerosene. I am seriously plugging my nose to drink this stuff. As many have noted, tastes like soy sauce. It's honestly like drinking blood.

It's thick all right, thick like chocolate milk. If this thing were at least thinner, I might be able to choke down more than just a sip at a time. I would never have this again, and though I could probably develop a palate for it over time, I don't want to have to do the work.

Again, I know that it's popular to enjoy these "extreme" beers, but this one just does not taste good to me. Not drinkable, not worth it. I have had Dogfish Head 120 IPA and although I didn't love it, I sort of admired the artistry of it. This one does not strike me as having anything redeeming. Any thoughts I had of buying Utopia (just to say I've had it) just went right out the window.

As much of a "snob" as I tend to be regarding beer, I would rather drink Coors Light all day long than be subjected to this again. Sorry Sam Adams, I enjoy most of your beers, but this one doesn't do the job.

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks Crushinator. Incredible booziness and cognac-sherry aroma. Very dark brown, thick brown. No carbonation present. Worchester sauce, maple syrup, cognac, fig in the taste. Sweet and sour, with lots of malt and sweetness. Impossible to more than sip.

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.86/5  rDev -2.7%
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 Atlas1
3.68/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The dainty little cobalt blue bottle from 1997 has surfaced in San Antonio at the local Central Market grocery store. There are cases of the stuff still available as of this date. Needless to say, I had to grab a few.

Pours pitch black. Watery ink with no head. Thin, but it leaves a dark film on the sides of the glass, not unlike the Dark Lord does, as it's swished in the glass. The nose catches your attention well before you make it to the rim of the glass. Strong (and I mean STRONG) coffee, molasses, some chocolate, cigarette smoke, cork, and dark spirits (think Port). Crazy flavors abound for sure. Some dark, dark fruit. Heavy maple syrup. Really boozy. The mouthfeel is dense and thick.

At first, I couldn't wrap my head around this beer. I really wasn't inspired by it very much. But several sips into it, I'm singing its praises. This is really a strange and complex beast, but I'm convinced it has a place in the pantheon of brews. Not sure where, exactly, but somewhere. I rate the drinkability of this one a bit low, though, as it's not exactly what I would call an accessible beer. It definitely won't appeal to many. Still, this bottle is 11 years old this year, and I think it's held up quite well over the years. I will definitely go back and grab a couple more of these and reserve them for special occasions.

Photo of BelgianAleSlut
3.83/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1995 Vintage. Local beer dude said a Midwest distributor found 17 cases in a warehouse. Had to try.

Not sure what I was in for so I looked at some reviews before opening bottle. I couldn't imagine how someone couldn't drink the whole bottle until I tried it myself.

Pours flat into small liqueur glass. Smells of malted soy with consistency of port wine.

Tastes very similar to port. Has heavy taste of raisins, creamy molasses and a tinge of balsamic vinegar. The balsamic taste may be the one that detracts from the nicer components of the flavor. Cannot have more than one ounce of this stuff, recapped for later. Not bad for small sipping.

Photo of thickerfreakness
3.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, where to start on this one. I hunted for a couple days around Houston and finally found a few bottles of the 1997 vintage still on the shelf. I have recently been sipping on Utopias from 2003 thanks to GregMcQ and I wanted to trace its ancestry a little bit by trying the Triple Bock for the first time. I had heard many horror stories about the soy flavor and "chunkies" in the beer but having Utopias beforehand has definitely led me to appreciate this beer quite a bit.

The bottle has some sticky brown residue around the plastic cover that shows obvious signs of leaking and most likely oxidation. It actually makes a pop sound when I pull out the cork though. It pours a pitch black viscous liquid similar to motor oil with no head whatsoever. I swirled it around in my wine glass a little bit to try and see if this one had any legs like its big brother Utopias but alas it just fell right back down.

Well I can definitely pick out the Utopias like smell from this one but only when taking a deep smell from a few inches away. When I do this I get some great maple and alcohol smells that remind me of my favorite part of Utopias. However when I bring it in for a closer whiff, I am hit with loads of soy, oxidation and actually some pleasant dark fruit.

The Triple Bock tastes very similar to the smell with a huge hit of soy, oxidation and overripe dark fruits but it also has that nice warming character from the alcohol and a bit of that maple syrupy taste. This is very, very sweet and soy like but honestly the alcohol is kind of pleasant to me. Its like sipping on a port or the like.

The mouthfeel is very thick and viscous with an extremely drying palate and a warmth in the belly form all the alcohol.

Overall, I am very glad I got the chance to try this. Anytime I can see a beer progress overtime, in this case from TB to Utopias, I jump on it and this one did not leave me wanting. This isn't one I can imagine drinking a whole bottle of again but I have a couple more on hand to share with friends. I could definitely enjoy this in very small sample size, say 2 ounces like I generally do with the Utopias.

Photo of infinitetease
3.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I opened a '94 a few days ago to share with beer-geek friends - a lot of friends. I had warned them that this might be "the worst beer they ever tasted", as bottles I had opened over the last several years were always described as tasting like "molasses and salt."

I've had several of the '94 and '95 vintages since their release, and until now, they were almost undrinkable. 6 - 8 serious beer drinkers could barely choke down a shared bottle.

This one was a revelation! Not a great beer - except for it's being unique, but finally drinkable and almost pleasant - after only 14 years!

Most of us had only a small splash, and several didn't like it at all, but one or two of the first time tasters though it was great, and all of those who had tasted it in the past thought this was by far the best it had ever been.

Triple Bock is a strange brew: uncarbonated, unctuous, and black, with a huge nose of burned raisins. It's port-like in it's weight, but the flavors are bolder and more dissonant.

This is a giant of a beer, and it demands respect. It's definitely a sipper, and I would suggest sharing a bottle, or savoring one over a few days, as the way to go.

In all, Triple Bock is a more drinking experience than a pleasure. It's worth trying, if only for the novelty.

I have 4 left, and I'll probably open one every year or two until they're gone. Hopefully, they'll continue to improve.

Photo of meatmallet
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours as black as old motor oil with no head or even a hint of carbonation. Leaves a film as you swirl it around in a glass.

Smells like maple syrup chocolate and alcohol.

Taste is super sweet in the beginning with the maple syrup being no surprise and has a chocolate finish. Also heavy alcohol detected.

I dont think I can drink another sip. Just too strong for me.

Photo of Franchise
4.12/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this offering up from a local package store bottle date from 1994. It pours a pitch black with no head. First visual is a syrupy coating of the glass. The aroma is maple syrup, brown sugar, soy sauce, dark chocolate, caramel, quite boozey phenomenal nose.

The taste is sweet dark sugary chocolate, syrupy on the palate, bitter, dry, alcohol, what a crazy taste on the palate. Def a quaffable beer to drink on a cool evening. The first time I tasted this beer around 2002 I didn't not like this but now this beer is great and I'm glad I have few bottles left to savor.

Photo of everetends
2.92/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I have been sitting on this one for quite a while. Vintage: 1995. Poured into a snifter.

A: Black. Black as night. Thick used motor oil is the best description I can give this pour. No head whatsoever and of course no lacing. Leaves a thick, oily, dark yellow coating on the glass as you move it around. Daunting yet good looking.

S: When you pop the cork, this bastard hits you. First whiff gives you very heavily roasted (almost burnt) malt. Then there is the scent of brandy filled chocolates, dark fruits, coffee and lots of alcohol. The amazing power of the nose is astounding. You can leave the room it is in and smell it in another room. Pretty impressive.

T: This guy is a bit of let down here. I have to say (even though I don't want to) that there is a predominant soy sauce flavor. The malt tastes burnt (excessively). There is the taste of over ripened dark fruit. It is hard to get down at times because the alcohol is so over powering any of the flavors.

M: Thick and chunky. Coats the mouth relentlessly. Takes no prisoners. Alcohol burn on tongue and throat. Really lets you know what you have gotten into.

D: I will chalk this one up to experience. This is more of a sipper and you need multiple people to get through an 8oz bottle. This beer was wonderful in some categories and down right scary in others. It was an experience though and I am glad I gave it a shot.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this is my first tasting of the '97 vintage. i have a few more in my cellar for sampling at a later date

a: deeb black/brown and thick; looks like a brandy glass full of crude oil

s: strong soy sauce and sea water flood my nostrils as soon as the bottle is opened; two scent layers of alcohol one that is a darker brandy like scent and another that becomes more and more prominent as the glass heats up that is like rubbing alcohol; hints of burnt coffee and some sharp vinegary scents as well

t: surprisingly similar to the scent but that may be just because the scent is incredibly overpowering as you bring your mouth to the glas; dark chocolate and burnt coffee; some soy sauce saltiness and some prunes and raisins all with a strong alcohol back; if i didn't read on the label that this was a beer i never would have guessed

m: really thick and syrupy again like crude oil

d: definitely worth a try; there are a lot of complex flavors in here but it is definitely a little overwhelming on all of your senses and can only be drunk in the smallest of sips and a whole bottle would be too much for almost anyone

Photo of Bitterbill
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This just showed up again in Casper after many years.

Pours a thick black with no head and no lacing.

The smell has notes of dark fruit, maple syrup, caramel malt, and a strong presnce of alcohol. Overall, very sweet.

The taste reminds me of a Port. Sweet caramel and dark fruit followed by some wood notes and maple syrup. Also a bit of chocolate. Very sweet to my palate. I liked it when it first came out and what do you know...I still like it. It's definitely not something I'd want to drink every day and the alcohol is there in abundance but it's a good sipper and it's tasty. I give it a moderate thumbs up.

Photo of sessycuban
1.3/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A - The beer pours a muddy brown. Very gunky. No head. Almost looks like mash.

S - The smell is acrid. Very burnt, lots of alcohol, maybe a bit of dark fruits, possibly raisons.

T - To be completely fair, this is awful. The beer tastes of salt, soy sauce, and burnt coffee. This does not have any elements of a bock.

M - A cross between syrup and burnt oil. The beer was almost chunky.

D - Don't waste your time. There's no point in drinking high gravity beers if they don't taste like beer. Truly the most disappointing beer I've ever sampled from the Boston Brewing Co.

Photo of Cunningham26
3.9/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Read a bit about it before trying, so I suppose I knew what I was getting into here. The small bottle is the first sign you're going down a black diamond, and the flat, iodine-colored liquid that slowly flows out of the bottle is the next.

S- Pretty fantastic. The aforementioned soy sauce is definitely predominant, but it gives way to a sweet dried fruit and very light maple aroma that brought about mental images of dark wood panelling and roaring fireplaces

T- As I said I knew what I was getting into, and so was ready for the taste to be something of a shock. Definitely not a beer drinkers brew but I would recommend this to any fan of Port or someone used to oak cask aged beers. Would go great with some very dark chocolate. The sweetness comes through, making a sort of teriyaki taste in the mouth, which is followed by the dried fruit and finally a bitterness

M- extremely smooth. As easy to drink as a Port or Brandy. The alcohol dries the mouth out just as a second wave of sweetness (this time more of a vanilla/oak taste) comes through.

D- As it is with most extreme beers, I can only see myself trying this this one time. I poured about 3 ounces into my glass, and I'm not sure where the rest of it is going to go.

It's a great experiment taking beer ingredients to the limit, but if this was a blind taste test I would probably mistake this for a syrupy Port. It has a great taste if you can get acclimated to it, but with just a few runnings and limited availability, along with the taste, I don't see anyone getting hooked on this stuff. It was pleasant, but nothing I want to see on a tap. ever.

Photo of Kicksmile67
1.76/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A- Dark and thick

S- Complex. Fruity yet almost savory. Notes of many different flavors, but all on the spoiled side. All is overwhelmed by a strong pungent burnt fruit smell.

T- VERY strong taste of soy and putrid fruit. Stinging alcohol and saltiness.

M- Thick and stinging.

D- Not very at all. A few sips was enough before I cleaned the bottled out to save as a trophy from the battle.

O- Worth a try, just to say you have. Not going to buy or try again however.

Photo of beerthulhu
2.39/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Poured a dark, vinous nature, inky in color with dark purple highlights when held up to the light. No head, with a flat visible carbonation.

S: putrid fruit, plums, prunes mixed in with a maple syrup sweetness.

T: The initial flavor when sampled cold was very medicinal, tasting like children's cough medicine, prunes, raisins with light toffee and maple syrup sweetness finishing things out. When sampled warm as recommended strong flavors of soy sauce, teriyaki and putrid fruit (prunes, raisins) stand out. There was anise, wet tobacco, and a vinegar like bite with dark roasted grains before finishing with light dried maple syrup failing to compliment or cover the before mentioned flavor.

M: viscous, oily slicky with warm soy sauce taunting the tongue.

D: Drinkability was not very. Warm, cold, small sips, it all tasted simply horrible with putrid fruit and soy sauce which was a struggle to put down. Harsh, bitter with an alcoholic sting. Simply unpleasant.

Photo of zeff80
1.93/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

8.45oz bottle - I believe 1997 vintage

A - Poured out a thick black color with absolutely no head. It had a port-like appearance.

S - It smelled of cherry, chocolate and currants. Also, very present alcohol. It really smelled candy-like.

T - It had a very sweet, syrupy flavor. The chocolate flavor was muted by the fruit and alcohol. Plus, soy sauce.

M - It is soft and smooth. A very heavy beer.

D - I couldn't finish it. It reminded me of a brandy or strong desert wine. Even 8.45oz was too much. Plus, the soy sauce flavor had me craving rice.

Photo of jayrod20
1.86/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured a syrupy, transparent, coffee-black with absolutely no head. As I drank the beer, it left a transparent yellow film on the glass. Smell was pungent and unpleasant and consisted of a mix of soy sauce, rubbing alcohol and a touch of port wine. Taste was vile. The alcohol was completely overwhelming. Soy sauce was quite evident with intense woody and smoky flavors. The only redeeming value of this beer was the mild, coffee, chocolate aftertaste. Mouthfeel was heavy and syrupy. When I eventually poured out what remained of my beer, I discovered there were sticky black globs of sediment in the bottom of the glass.

Photo of Bamabrew22
2.73/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A friend of mine bought one of this off the internet and gladly shared it with me. This was the little 8.45oz bottle, 1997 vintage. Was glad to finally try something like this, but have to admit, it wasn't my favorite.

Poured a deep, dark black, like motor oil, into our snifters. Absolutely no head, and the brew stuck to the side of the glass like a thick, syrupy wine. Aroma was of dried fruit, alcohol, and almost a peppery, zesty smell. Taste was a bit overwhelming for me. I detected notes of currant, oak, pepper and a slight sweet tinge, maybe from the maple syrup. This is not one to guzzle, but to sip. Would've been okay with a nice steak, or even as a marinade. My friend absolutely hated it. While I didn't love it, I'm reluctant to bash it, as it may just be my underdeveloped taste buds not recognizing something of this magnitude. Still, it's worth a try if you get the chance. More like a cognac or after-dinner liqueur, than a beer.

Photo of scubahood
1.81/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Presentation: 8.75 oz midnight blue bottle.

Appearance: No head. Dark brown color looks like molasses. With a swirl the beer sticks to the side of the glass like a red wine's "legs".

Smell: Very intense. Sweet, noticeable alcohol. Smells like syrup and currants. Pungent and not something I would want to smell more than once or twice in my life.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Heavy and syrupy. Alcohol dominates the taste from start to finish. Chocolate and coffee notes. Elicits the gag reflex. Could barely get through the tasting.

Drinkability & Notes: I am not a super beer snob but I appreciate pretty much every style across the board. This is one of just a handful of beers that I couldn't even finish. Glad I sampled to see what is out there in more extreme brewing methods but really not drinkable at all.

Photo of yourefragile
2.87/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up a bottle of this for four dollars despite being rather apprehensive about trying it. Split with a friend, poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

A: Very thick, viscous dark brown liquid with no head whatsoever. Coats the inside of the glass. Impressive to look at it, though not quite appealing.
S: Incredibly strong and potent. I can smell this from across the room. Blend of molasses, chocolate, soy sauce, and alcohol. Made me slightly gag at first, regardless, very impressive, strong and complex.
T: More tolerable than expected from the appearance/smell and what I had previously read. Very sweet, almost soy sauce like, however molasses and chocolate flavors also come through with some dark fruit notes. Very sweet, sticky lingering aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very thick and viscous (obviously) with little carbonation. Alcohol is surprisingly tolerable. This is obviously a sipper and I wouldn't call this a drain pour, but I was unable to finish my half of the bottle. Also, the sediment that washed out of the bottle after drinking was very unappealing, glad I didn't see that before drinking.

Photo of iconoklaztor
4.19/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up after reading so many reviews about the taste of this beer. I had to try it for myself.

Pours a syrupy, black, sludge that produced no head what so ever.

The smell of this beer is amazing. I'm sitting about 2 feet away from this beer and the smell is so strong and sweet I cant help but give it a 5.

This beer is a little hard to gulp down BUT I wouldnt spect anybody would want to gulp this.

Overall, despite harsh reviews, I find this beer to be quite enjoyable. I am going to pick one of these up and hold on to it till I'm on my death bed. Then pass it on to my grand kids for more aging. Cheers!

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

Bought 05 April 08 at Big Red Liquor in Bloomington, IN (and shared with two friends).

Poured a thick, dark, opaque color, although with no head and no lacing. Wonderfully deep scent, smells like a chocolate waffle. Awesome taste, a deep draught, chocolate flavors, maple flavors, and hints of caramel, with just a small bit of alcohol hint at the end. Goes down extremely well for such a high octane beer.

Photo of dnichols
4.22/5  rDev +43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured the 1997 wrapped and corked version from the cobalt blue bottle into a Utopias glass.

A: It poured an inky chocolate black colored body with no head or lacing (expected due to high ABV).

S: As soon as the cork popped I could smell the strong alcohol aroma. However, the alcohol was followed closely by the smell of dark candied fruit (fig, cherry) and maple syrup.

T: It had intense flavors beginning with the sweet syrupy flavors of dark fermented fruit, alcohol, and vanilla. It tasted similar to an Eisbock with its leading sweet flavors. There was a lingering sweet, syrupy aftertaste.

M: It was full bodied, thick and overwhelmingly sweet.

D: This was a sipper. The small volume bottle was a great idea because much more than a single bottle would be over the top.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
1.03/5  rDev -65%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I have been a fan of Sam Adams beers for some time, but eventually the rule of numbers will prevail. With over 20 fine products on the market they've finally produced a lemon.

The single-serving cobalt bottle without the traditional pic of Sam Adams on the label intrigued me. The store I bought it at had distributors giving out wine samples. Both distributors and the clerk gave an odd look when they saw the bottle in my hands. I grew concerned.

When I opened the bottle I was overcome by the smell of chocolate and who-knows-what other odors. It was overbearing and carried for about 6 feet.

The taste was similar to the odor. Overbearing. I could not enjoy this concoction because it was just plain NASTY. When I poured the remaining contents in to the sink, which was most of the bottle, there was a sludge sticking to the bottom and side of the bottle that did not wash out easily. Is this safe for consumption?

Here's my summation of Triple Boch:

Sam Adams + Guinness + Jagermeister + chocolate syrup + slight dehydration = Sam Adams Triple Boch.

A - V - O - I - D !!!

Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
69 out of 100 based on 899 ratings.