Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Cinder Bock - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Cinder BockCinder Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

165 Reviews
THE BROS
79
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 165
Hads: 459
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 29.08%
Wants: 24
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style | ABV
Rauchbier | 9.45% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-09-2012

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (121) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cinder Bock Alström Bros
Reviews: 165 | Hads: 459
Photo of goblue3509
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark reddish copper color with a hlaf finger head which recedes to edging and leaves little to no lace. The aroma is of caramel malts and a hint of smokiness. The aroma of the smokiness gets stronger as the beer warms. The taste starts off with a caramel malt taste. The middle has the taste of toffe, brown sugar, and dark fruits. The very end of the beer is smoke, again the smokiness gets stronger as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is sticky and lowly carbonated. Overall it was an okay beer, it seemed to be more of a bock than a rauchbier. The smokiness is more subdued than what I expected.

 603 characters

Photo of Wamesit
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 22oz bottle poured into Stella tulip. Pours a rich chestnut. Thick off-white head that quickly gives way to clumpy lacing.

S - Smoked and caramel malts followed by a bitter hop aroma and a hint of alcohol in the back.

T - Starts off smokey and rich. The caramel malts add a mild sweet thickness to the body. The alcohol and noble hops make appearances in the last of the finish and during retro-olfaction.

M - Thick, lush. Almost sticky.

O - Highly enjoyable. A great hybrid. (rauchbier/double bock)

 507 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 ml. bottle poured into a large wine glass, the Cinder Bock seems appropriately named for a Rauchbier and one of a seemingly ever expanding and limitless cast of Sam Adam's 'special release' type beers.

Pours a light brown in color, clear and bright orange caramel in the light. Sports a half inch of whitish foam which offers decent retention and lacing.

Aroma is bock like for sure with deep and ruddy caramel notes, well integrated with some earthy hops and rich toffee as well as some wafting alcohol notes. Smoke is a bit dubious on the aroma however.

More caramel and toffee on the taste with a slight hint of smokiness but not much, in fact not much at all. Offers a nice grainy flavor with a complex malt profile. Caramel, dark fruit and toffee with muddled brown sugar. Pretty good but not a Rauch by any means.

Offers a nice full body and balanced with a good level of carbonation. Spritzy and spicy at the same time but not a Rauchbier.

Overall a nice Doppelbock, complex and spicy with a good hop backbone, dryer and more drinkable than many a German take but not a Rauch. I'm sorry am I repeating myself?

Note: Dopplebock/Rauch Light

 1,156 characters

Photo of ElCommodoro
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, clear mahogany. A beautiful sight in a beer. Little head, but that bothers me little. A high alcohol beer needn't much head. What little head it had stuck around quite a while, so that was a pleasant surprise.
The smell was very sweet. Mostly of overripe bananas and garbage. Not in a bad way. But that's sort of what it smelled like.
The taste was surprisingly more of the same. I wasn't aware it was going to be a smoky beer. All I knew is it would be a bock. I mean, it had a goat on it and rauchbier isn't something I've heard of before. The beer is VERY sweet, VERY malty, and definitely smoky. But not at all overly so. It smells a bit like it might be peat-smoked even though there's no indication that it is, but that would explain that garbage smell. So would highly fermented malt heaviness, though, I suppose. This beer has a lot of doppelbock qualities. It doesn't taste like what the description of rauchbier describes. The smokiness is not too upfront and well balanced with sweet maltiness. The name and flavour would indicate to me that this is part doppelbock, part rauchbier. I'd say it's more on the doppelbock side, but that's just me. Damn if the combination isn't delicious as hell. Love the big malty sweetness of it, even if it is a bit sticky, almost cloying. Love the alcohol burn. And love that unique flavour added by the rauch (smoke). I would HIGHLY recommend this to other lovers of big, sweet beers.

 1,445 characters

Photo of Jason
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Tawny hue, hazed, superb head and lacing

SMELL: Smoke, birch, ash, spice, rose water, caramel, raisins, more smoke

TASTEL: Smooth, very smoky, slightly cloying, caramel, ash, charred wood, pears, spicy alcohol, bready, mild tartness, herbal, floral, semi-juicy, more smoke, ashy smoky finish

Too much smoke IMO so I can easily say it was not balanced at least for me. Thankfully this is a big beer so it can take a few lumps, good to sip but there is no way I could see finishing this bottle off during a long session. Asking you to try it would be a dare if you are not into smoked beers, even if you are it might be a challenge.

 682 characters

Photo of 1JTannerMan
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a warm carmel color. Not opaque. The aroma is a strong bacon odor, very smoky. Good lacing and a nice settled head. Taste is a sweet smoke flavor with a hint of cinnamon. The texture is a little syrupy but not overbearing. Would pair nicely with a banana creme brulee or anything with bacon. I liked the beer but it is a little too smoky for my tastes.

 366 characters

Photo of sauvy10
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz poured into pilsner glass. Appearance is a dark copper with a decent head thatdinished to about 1/4 inch. Good lacing. The smoke stands out first in the aroma but is definitely not overwhelming. It's followed by toffee and maybe some kind of spice. Tastes very pleasant and surprisingly smooth considering the abv. The smoke is very subtle which is nice and the beer is well balanced. I usually don't like smoky beers this much because they're always too smoky but this beer was very well done.

 500 characters

Photo of DIM
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a ruby tinted chestnut brown. It poured with a large but short lived foamy head.

s: Rich, nutty toffee and caramel, some toasty grains, and unobtrusive smoke.

t: Gentle smoke throughout, getting stronger at the finish. Toasted, nutty grains with hints of raisin and cocoa up front with some mild warmth and bitterness at the end.

m: Velvety and very smooth.

o: I appreciated the subdued smoke which didn't overwhelm a top-notch d-bock. Excellent offering at a reasonable price.

 493 characters

Photo of mothman
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beige head. Leaves splattered lace. Color is a clear burnt mahogany.

Aroma: a lot of bacon and smokey flavors. Reminds me of red apples. Caramel and burnt sugar. Lots of malts. Sweet.

Taste: same as the nose. Bacon and smoked malts. Toffee and caramel. Very bockish.

Mouthfeel: smokey and sweet. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends smokey.

Overall, a tasty bock. Easy to drInk. I like the smokiness.!no alcohol present. Nice.

 458 characters

Photo of EkimGram
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From my beer journal dated 2/18/12

Batch No. 1

Appearance: 22oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Colour is a rich brown with a nice garnet hue. Finger-thick, pillowy head fades slowly leaving some lacing. Slight visible carbonation.

Smell: Moderately smoked malts followed by a bitter hop aroma.

Taste: Starts off with a nice, sweet smokiness followed by a nice balance of malts and a slight bitter finish. Not very deep or as complex as I had hoped but not bad at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, silky and oily with a surprising amount of carbonation. Finishes a little sticky.

Overall: A solid brew. There isn't really much to say. The masking of the high alcohol is impressive. Another solid Sam Adams beer.

 712 characters

Photo of jeremy13586
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled poured in to a Sam Adams pint glass. I haven't had too many rauchbiers (maybe 3 ever), so my rating system might be kind of off for the style.

A slight hazy, brown/dark amber color. slow bubbles crawled up the side of the glass. The head was a light brown color that settled out in to a thin bubbly film. Left some decent lacing.

Black licorice and a little bit of smoke. Not much to it after that.

There is an overall nice smokey, roasted flavor. Pretty sweet backbone. Has a minor metallic taste of it, but the finish is pretty clean.

The mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Has a silky carbonation. Once again, very clean finish. Probably the highlight of this beer.

Again, I haven't had too many rauchbiers so I don't know what to look for, but I found this brew pretty enjoyable. This was a nice "gateway" beer for the style, so I think that I'll need to add more on to my "beers to drink" list.

 908 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.1/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I don't know that Sam Adams can pull off a rauchbier properly. Batch number 1. 9.4% ABV.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and okay retention considering the high ABV. Colour is a dark nontransparent amber. Not at all opaque. Appears overcarbonated.

Sm: Hops, light smoke, toffee, and caramel. A weak aroma that isn't particularly appealing. No real presence. My suspicions have changed from overcarbonation to undercarbonation.

T: Artifical cherry on the open (somewhat syrupy). Clean malts comprise the boring dull foundation. Where's the smoke? There's hardly any caramelization present, let alone the baconey roasted smokey goodness rauchbiers are supposed to contain. This is sheer garbage considering the style. No yeast or alcohol come through. Hints of toffee are the best aspect of the beer. Simple boring and bland. Not at all complex or subtle. What were they thinking?

Mf: Undercarbonated. Smooth, wet, and thin (the exact opposite of what a rauchbier should be). Doesn't suit the flavours well at all. Very poorly done.

Dr: Hard to drink on account of how garbage it is. Not only does it not satisfy the style, it just sucks outright. I'd never have this again, and I'd caution my friends from getting it. A severe disappointment from Sam Adams.

D

 1,635 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle, Batch no. 1. Sampled on April 23, 2012. It was served at about 47-48 degrees Fahrenheit. It pours an attractive medium to dark amber with ruby red highlights flickering in the light along with a long lasting, foamy beige head. There are caramel and other malts on the nose along with an inviting smokiness, light yeast, and a touch of alcohol. The body is medium to bold. The taste is just as smoky as the aroma with a full bitterness, well-integrated alcohol, and and a near dry ending. A likable beer.

 531 characters

Photo of beeragent
4.41/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 22oz weizen glass.

A-pours a deep amber, forming a 1/4 inch off-white head. Light spots of lace on the glass.

S - strong, wonderful aroma of smoked malts, along with a hint of caramel in the background.

T - smooth and creamy smoked malts coat the palate. The smoke is strong enough to cover most of the flavors.

M - smooth, creamy, heavy body mouthfeel.

O - first off I love rauchbiers so this one was right up my alley. The flavor was awesome, the body was spot on, and the aroma was very inviting. Almost equal to the German rauchbiers. Highly recommended!

 579 characters

Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I REALLY love this style.

Served in a CCB snifter.

A: Poured a brown/amber, with some ruby highlights when I held it up to the light. The head was small (1/8 finger), but still effective.

S: Sort of like Boston Lager infused with beef jerky. This had a really meatiness that would go well with most entrees.

T: Malt, mild sugar, and a good seasoned beef quality that worked somewhat to my mind. I got a bit of bitterness, but it was the good kind.

M: What constituted as lacing just fell back into the glass very quickly, and the sweetness was tempered and was more in the vain of beef jerky.

O: I've had better Rauchbiers in my life, but this was still quite good. The Sam Adams taste profile worked well in this setting.

 728 characters

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear caramel copper color. A big fluffy khaki head leaves tons of lacing, and a nice ring down the whole glass.

Smells of char, stone, with a nice caramel malt underneath, though it was hard to find through the smoke. This gets a little easier as it warms.

Taste is lightly smoked, not overpowering. I can still get caramel malt, a nice hint of booze and richness, and another lightly smoked aftertaste.

Texture is smooth, with a medium body that coats the tongue. Almost syrupy, and right where a bock should be.

I love smoke beers, so this was right up my alley, not too strong on the smoke in the flavor, which makes it even better. Nicely done, another beer, that were it under a different label, it would be getting a better score.

DOA

 754 characters

Photo of oberon
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In order for me to give a perfect score in any category of a beer I have to be wowed and in awe of it and I gotta say I was both in the pour of this beer.Poured a rich deep bronze with a perfectly formed cremay one finger light tan head that has held thru the duration,just perfect color and definition and creaminess in the head.The aromas don't bring so much promise with some hardwood smoke and mild sweetness.That creamy head translates in the feel with a creamy coating feel,very nice.A nice mix of sweet caramel and anise flavors and more subtle upfront smoke,the smoke plays a larger role in the finish.Hey I love this hybrid,the smoke is somewhat assertive as is the doppelbock toasty sweetness and warming notes,I loved it!

 732 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 9.4% abv. Clear, amber color with a nice tan fluffy head. Nice retention.

Nice smoke up front. A bit meaty, but not overwhelming. Toffee and caramel notes follow, all blending well.

Rich, malty character. Toffee and caramel notes abound. A bit of sweetness, but nothing overwhelming or out of style. Smoke is more subtle in the mouth.

Medium body, with lower carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well. While not overly smoky, the base dopplebock here is really good. Well made.

 491 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 1

Cinder Bock pours a copper color. It’s very clear. A little light gives it a nice crimson hue. A soft tan head tops it. It’s rather modest, standing less than a finger tall. It was quick to dissipate and left only a very light coat of lace behind. Not bad.

The nose is above average. It’s a little week in terms of aromatics. It does feature some caramel malt notes early on. Smells a little sweet. There’s a smoky scent to it. I like that. It seems to work well with the malts. Secondary scents include yeast, light cocoa, and perhaps some very light, subtle dark fruit. Alcohol is there, but doesn’t seem too strong. It’s really not bad. A little more strength would probably go a long way.

The flavor is likewise above average. The malt base is a mix of caramel and chocolate varieties. It’s a bit sweet. The chocolate tastes mostly like cocoa though. A smoky flavor resonates throughout. It meshes pretty well with the malt base, but could be a little better. Seems a tad convoluted as it is. It is a little deeper and more complex than I anticipated. It features secondary flavors of yeast, raisin, plum, and a bit of alcohol. It’s not hot or overbearing though. Finishes smoky and malty.

Cinder Bock has a medium body. Carbonation is light and restrained. It actually feels pretty smooth. I’m impressed. It goes down alright. Could be a little better with a tweak or two though.

Boston Beer Company did a credible job with Cinder Bock. My hopes were honestly not all that high. It’s a pretty decent collision of a Rauchbier and a Doppelbock. The smoke and malt flavors seem to fight for space. If the smoke flavor were a little lighter, the problem would be solved. Not a bad beer though. If you’re into smoky beer, check it out.

 1,771 characters

Photo of alexkeil
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle (1 pint 6 fl.oz.) from Consumer Beverage in Lockport, NY. No freshness date but the back label says batch #1.

This is a really nice looking beer: pours a clear, really beautiful mahogany color with an off white just about tan head, that sticks along the glass and that persists nicely thoughout the beer's life.

The smell is predominately sweet malts: toffee and caramel with hints of light smoke way in the back.

The taste is big malt flavor up front: toffee, caramel, ripe banana. There is a quick drying from the higher alcohol level that is noticeable in the swallow. The smoke is right there on the back of the tongue and helps fight that malt sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium to slightly full body with a little prickle from the carbonation and alcohol. A pretty different experience with this malty velvety texture followed by a quick drying smokey finish.

I like that Samuel Adams is experimenting with smoked malts and I hope they do more. I like their rauchbier and hope maybe they'll do a smoked porter. This beer is very well made, adventurous, and thoughtful beer. I would prefer more smoke malts and maybe less alcohol, but an enjoyable taste nonetheless.

 1,199 characters

Photo of Tilley4
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The SA one-offs have been hit and miss with me. One of them will blow me away and the next one I try leaves me wondering what the hell is going on.

Very sweet, almost dopplebock-like aromas masked by hints of smoke. The smoke is very subtle here. Definitely more sweet caramel malts than I was expecting. Not a bad thing, but just different than I thought it would be.

Big doses of sweet caramel maltiness... Almost like chewing on a Brach's Caramel or something. I like those caramels... This? I'm not so sure... It just seems a little too sweet for the style. I want a Rauch to be smoky and meaty with just hints of sweetness and a nice dry smoky finish... This reminds me of their Double Bock.

Just ok for me... I didn't dislike it, so don't get me wrong here. I just.... felt like it could have been a lot better? Not enough smoke for my tastes...

 854 characters

Photo of Tone
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 5/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of smoke, sweet malt, hint of pale malt, hint of caramel malt, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Rauchbier. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of smoke, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hint of pale malt, hint of hop, hint of caramel malt, and slight alcohol. Overall, good smoke blend: good aroma, body, and feel.

 461 characters

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this "small batch creation" in a glass stein.

Appearance- I am really taken by the deep amber body. From the bottome of the glass, reddish-copper streaks beam. The head is no slouch either: a three-finger width monster the color of meringue. It is every bit as puffy as meringue as well, with decent retention and a smattering of webby lace.

Smell- A malty sense of caramel is here, even a little bready I suppose. The smokiness gives the faintest impression of smoked meat, not really charred wood or campfire. Hops are buried in the depths, earthy noble hops are coming through especially.

Taste- Very sweet and malty right away, even before the Rauch character of the beer has a chance to make an impression. The smokiness is most akin to a sweet and smoked pork, a little bacon, some pork ribs.

Again, it is not the huge, campfire and charred wood of some more prominent Rauchs, but it gets the point across. The finish leaves a little bit of hop bitterness in the back of the throat, mostly the noble hops working through.

The caramel quality and the smoked meat give the finish a maple and brown sugar-like flavor. It is one of the more decadent Rauch like palates you are likely to find.

Mouth feel- The malt overload leaves this beer feeling silky smooth. No real complaints here, I just wish it was a little drier and lasted longer in the finish.

Overall- A very sweet and almost dessert-like Rauch. I agree that this one has very little that reminds me of a bock, I suppose the uber-maltiness could make a case for it, but after the smokiness has had its way, those qualities have morphed into something completely different. I really enjoyed this beer, and would have it again.

 1,707 characters

Photo of beergod1
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber pour with a very thick tan head that recedes to a thick lasting cap. Aroma of sweet smoke and caramel malt. Lots of thick, broken lacing. Tastes pretty much like the aroma - smoke and sweet caramel. Smooth a drinkable, smoke is not over bearing, which I like. Another Very good offering from the small batch series.

 321 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean reddish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, small fruitiness and a note of smoke. In the taste, mostly fruity, and a small smoke that gets larger as it warms up. A smooth and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry fruitiness in the aftertaste. More fruit presence than smoke, it is just ok though.

 335 characters

Cinder Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.