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Alaskan Birch Bock (Pilot Series) - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Birch Bock (Pilot Series)Alaskan Birch Bock (Pilot Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

49 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 49
Hads: 112
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 7
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jmdrpi on 08-30-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 49 | Hads: 112
Photo of vette2006c5r
2/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

Birch Bock pours a hazy brownish color wit ha very small head. Their are some sweet birch syrup like aromas, very sugary, and a bit vinegary. The taste has some notes of the birch syrup, and a dull cheap malty taste, strange sweetness to it. Nicely carbonated and full flavor. Overall a very strange beer. Taste like a cheap beer with some log cabin syrup added. (362 characters)

Photo of hreb
2.24/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle pours red-brown, crystal clear, with a tiny amount of white head. Holy crap, intensely estery aroma. Flavor is similarly chemical. I don't detect any birch-beer like flavor, though there is some sweetness, either from that birch additives or from the normal heavy malt load of a bock beer. I didn't expect much, but this disappoints. Would not try again.

Pros are it looks decent in the glass, there's a pretty scene with a moose on the label, and it hides its ABV very well. Cons are that it hides its ABV with bad flavor. And everything else. (557 characters)

Photo of vkv822
2.66/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pale amber with a bubbly bone-white head.

The nose and taste are fairly one-dimensional, with sweet malts.

Medium body, low carbonation.

Not offensive in any way, but very one dimensional, and not very interesting. (250 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
2.85/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

served on-tap at the Overlook Bar & Grill at Denali Park.

the beer appears a chestnut brown color with amber highlights. Clear, with very little head, just a few bubbles. Aroma is sweet, definitely has the smell of birch in there.

Taste is odd. Nice and malty with minimal hopping, just like a bock, but the addition of the birch flavor just doesn't jive. Body is a bit sticky and thick.

Overall, it's a nice experiment, with a nod to a local ingredient. But one pint is enough for me. (497 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.91/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

651 ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've taken quite a fancy to Alaskan brewery. Bottle acquired at Wades Wines in Westlake Village, California. Cost was $8.99 plus tax.

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 half finger head - quite thin, of slight cream, and bad retention. Head colour is a slight khaki. Colour is a semitransparent copper. Appears to be badly carbonated, but I can't tell in which direction; the head sucks but it's abound with bubbles. Non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Birch wood and birch syrup are dominant; very pleasant and unique. I'm rather impressed in spite of its simplicity. Maybe unrefined brown sugar. All around rather inviting. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Some might find it somewhat medicinal, but I don't.

T: Birch is indeed present, and provides an interesting character. It has a sort of birch syrup (as in maple syrup but with birch, not in an artificial sense) note that I find pleasant. It's certainly an experimental flavour profile, but I find it enjoyable for what it is. A unique, experimentally bold beer that turns out on the better side of pilot brews. Unfortunately, its simplicity holds it back, but I'm sure Alaskan could find some way to use the birch note in future better beers. Decently balanced for what it is. Not complex or subtle, but you have to respect that they're trying something new. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Far too thin, especially for the style. Wet and smooth. Way too undercarbonated, but not quite flat. Very poorly executed considering the flavour profile. Almost ruins the beer.

Dr: Drinkable and pleasant for what it is. Hides its ABV quite well. The flavour is agreeable but the mouthfeel is awful. Strangely, it's actually one of the better doppelbocks I can remember having. Sort of high priced even considering the import distance. I wouldn't get it again, but I look forward to seeing how Alaskan uses the birch note.

(2,228 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours ruby amber with a small fizzy off-white head that quickly goes to a thin film.

The aroma is sweet caramel and toffee, maple and honey.

The flavor is sweet sugary caramel and toffee with a slightly bitter drying finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, the syrup adds interesting notes to the doppelbock. It's a bit on the sweet side for me. (391 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big dopplebock, birch maple syrup. What could possibly go wrong? This beer sounds so good it's almost a sure-fire letdown. And I'm an optimist. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife.

Pour is disconcerting; this could pass as an amber in a dark house of ill-repute. No head, no bubbles. Nose is all-sweet-all-the-time; no untangling the birch from the maple to the malt. Recommended by 4 out of 5 dentists with low revenue numbers.

Birch Bock immediately send my blood sugar into the 250 range. Sextuplet dose of sweetness assails every imaginable portion of the body, rendering me instantly more alert & attractive. The 'birch syrup' is a nice touch, but the sugar is so overwhelming, it blasts out everything else. This could be an alcoholic soda for all I know.

This is a one-note beer. I do enjoy the mild syrup going on here, but it needs something besides 106 grams of sugar to make it palatable. Mediocre, & not approved by the ADA. (939 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
3.06/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle split into a pair of large snifter

Pours a pretty ruby color with very little head and lots of carbonation. Smell is alcohol and syrup.

Taste is unexplainably bland. Alcohol is plenty present, syrup is there, there is a little bit of a woody flavor, something about it reminds me of sweet tea.

Mouthfeel is sticky. Overall, too sweet and bland to be any more than average for me. (394 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.12/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Solid copper body, clear. Head is off-white and settles into a half-finger height. Lots of large carbonation bubbles initially, then it (and the head) settle down to finer bubbles and a finer, thicker bodied head.

Medium-rich malt smell. Some caramel sweetness.

Taste starts of with a light malt sweetness but is soon overtaken with bitterness, a rather strong alcohol taste, and a vague medicinal taste at the end.

Weak mouthfeel for a large beer. Strong hint of astringency in the finish.

A rather weak (in malt characteristics) and weird tasting doppelbock. I wanted to get fired up about this beer, but the bold off-flavors almost make this a below-average beer. Not bad per se, but I wouldn't rush out to try another. (726 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 6.1.12.

A - Pours a cloudy, red-amber with a small light tan head. Fizzy with good retention.

S - Sweet mapler, bready, carmel.

T - Sweet fruit, carmel, wood, raisins.

D - Ok carbonation with a medium body.

O - Sweet and woody. Boring. (257 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a semi-cloudy amber/brown color with an inch of tan head that had good retention and very light lacing.

The aroma was mostly sweet malts, with some different type spice notes that I couldn't really put my finger on. On the tongue, the malts were again the most notable feature. The beer was on the sweet side (coming from someone who likes sweet beers) and also had a noticeable alcohol taste. The did have a pleasant, earthy finish.

The body was fairly typical for the style, perhaps a bit too sticky sweet. Drinkability was good, I enjoyed my pint, but I'm not sure I'd have a second in a row, and I think a 22 would be too much at once for me. Overall, a solidly decent, but not really notable, beer. Worth trying if you see it. (771 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Best by Date: 8/11/12. Poured into Philly Beer Scene chalice.

A: Hazy amber orange color. Quarter finger of off white head that faded quickly into an off white ring around the edges. Carbonation appears to be there though as I see some tiny bubbles. Some alcohol feet are present and some lacing sheets.

S: Lots of sweet malt goodness. Maybe like a dark cherry underneath it all. But lots of candied sugar sweetness. Some caramel maybe.

T: No hop presents on the tip of the tongue, aside from a slight prickle. Carbonation is there

M: Medium bodied. Almost DIPA like, but UNFRESH DIPA mouthfeel. (612 characters)

Photo of Docer
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: (3.5)

- Pours a lightly cloudy mahogany brown. The brew has a nice reddish hue as well. Very minimal head.. leaves but a light dusting of off-white thin foam in the center, and a small ring around the edge. Pretty standard for the style.

Smell: (3.5)

- A sweet floral and citrus grain bed aroma. Light maple, thick sugars, and an earthy approach with some esters. Tannins and a fruity touch for sure. Creamy oats and grains. Interesting.

Taste: (3.5)

- A rather sweet brew with a fruity ester and tannin touch, light maple, and brown sugar. Grassy and earthy bitterness is light, but present. Little bready, but mainly just sweet. It's ok, but I can't say that I am blown away by this brew.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)

- It's a chewy one, and slightly drying. The sweetness lends a little stickiness and a cloying attribute. It's well carbonated with a common yeast.

Overall: (3.0)

- I love Alaskan Brewing, but have to say that this brew has 'average' written all over it. There certainly isn't anything wrong with the beer, but it doesn't stand out at all on all marks. I rate beers a 3.5 when they contain the quality I expect from a larger craft beer producer. A 3.0 can be found in a homebrew, but there would usually be something offsetting to get that. This beer doesn't have anything offsetting. It's just a little boring. Perhaps a big fan of the style would like to sit on a bottle awhile and let it oxidize. Not me. (1,440 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lovely dark amber in the tall glass. Standard foam and lacing. Quite winey and strong tasting. Sweet and reminiscent of maple syrup, which is apparently the birch flavor instead.

Slightly odd, though fairly likable. There must be a fair amount of hops in the mix. Ends with a bittersweet taste. A little of the cardboard nose. Fruity with persimmons and carrot cake. There is some familiar yet elusive flavor going on, and I finally remember Manischewitz blackberry wine, which would be considerably cheaper than this stuff if anyone if keeping score.

22 oz bottle from Bottlecraft in San Diego. (598 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant red colour, slight fizz. Head is an off-white ring around the edge, decent lacing. Looks OK, but listless.

Smells like bubblegum. Massive sweetness incongruous with the look - lots of banana, cake batter and apple juice as well. Fruity, light and sweet; needs more grounding for me.

Taste is a bit more toffeed, but otherwise it's all the same notes of the nose, so points for some congruity at least. Banana, bubblegum, some spice notes - nutmeg and maybe some clove - and a nice vanilla note at the back, which sort of assimilates all the others into a bigger whole at the back. Slight metallic edge, but I still think it's a bit sickly sweet at the start. Decent, but really into this.

Fairly smooth with a proteinous body. Bit of spice at the back; quite nice.

Interesting beer, and a well-constructed palate. Not to my taste at all, sadly, but I can see others really enjoying this. (908 characters)

Photo of phishsihq
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Birch Bock, a dopplebock brewed with Alaskan birch syrup. The brew pours a beautiful mahogany color, and it is caped with a thin, off-white head that provides spotty lace. Aromas of dark fruit and sweet malt hint at the flavors to come, and a little bit of sweetness pokes through as well. Malt forward, Birch Bock showcases the addition of birch syrup in the sweet finish, with a touch of alcohol lingering too. Medium-light in body, this dopplebock features a lower-level of carbonation. If you have access to ANY Alaskan Brewing Company's beers, do yourself a favor and buy them! (582 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$7.35 for the 22oz bottle best by 081112.

A nice clear amber colour, great 2 finger head of stubborn foam, does very well with the lacing.

It smells very malty..maple syrup like but it's birch syrup. Worthy for the style and very inviting.

Really sweet up front from the birch syrup, slightly earthy, more sweetness, caramel malt kind of way, zero bitterness. Tasty but just a tad too sweet for my personal preferences. There's also a big bite from the alcohol that slows things down.

A nice mouthfeel here but again, the alcohol is too up front and given how sweet the overall taste is, it's a chore to drink.

A good effort from the brewery but I'd call it a slight miss according to my palate. (702 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a light brown color with a short wispy head that falls apart quickly.

Smell: sweet malt and brown sugar is most noticeable by the nose.

Taste: very sweet malt profile, as brown sugar and ripe dark fruits are up front. Bitterness is mild and alcohol is mildly noticeable too.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp up front, smoother argue finish. The sweetness lingers on the tongue for a while.

Overall: I expected a little more from this beer, as it just was not as satisfying as I expected. One bomber bottle was more than enough for a session. (577 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Saddle leather brown, good off white head, some cling.

S - Malt upfront, syrup smell somewhat detectable.

T - Nice enough. Standard doppel with a bit of a maple like syrup note.

M - Lower carb than I would have liked, balance a little cloying.

D - Fun to try. (267 characters)

Photo of woemad
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber purchased a while back at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $8.99. "081112" was stamped on the label, but it's not clear if that's when it was bottled or when it's best by. Considering the style and abv, I'm not too worried.

Poured a reddish amber color with a decent sized off-white head. Said head didn't stay large for long, but never entirely faded away.

Big, boozy scent grabbed the attention at first. There was also some brown sugar-like notes. There's a bit of a nutty scent in the background, as well.

Similar to the nose in that there's a boozy, brown sugary and nutty taste, but there's also a raisiny, dark fruit flavor lurking in the background, providing a little depth, but not enough for this to taste like a leading contender in the doppelbock category.

Body is somewhere between medium and full, with a slightly sticky mouthfeel.

This is a decent attempt at a doppelbock, but it falls short when it comes to the style's general complexity. If this had a little more depth, there'd be more fours in this review. (1,040 characters)

Photo of martino_cappachino
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a mug from a 22 oz. bottle

Little to no head with a sweet malty aroma. Taste is heavy, verging on harsh, but with a sweet syrup-y body.
I've never tasted or smelled birch that I know of, but there is a definite sweet maple syrup sort of taste. There is a bit of spicy hop recin at the end, but the 8.0-8.5% abv is easily concealed.
Not a bad beer to try once. But not brew I would drink every other day... maybe more like once a month. (448 characters)

Photo of mltobin
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Roman`s in WI.

Appearance is dark copper with one finger head that is off-white in color. Its` nose has brown sugar, nuts and malts. For the taste of this doppelbock, I note raisins, caramel, some more of the nuts. Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly sticky finish. All in all, a pretty good beer, but nothing worth seeking out imo. (350 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured a thin head on a cloudy light brown colored body.
The aroma is dry wood and dark malt. Interesting.
The taste is wonderful. It's fairly sweet overall, but less "annoying sweet" than most doppelbocks. There's definitely a syrup flavor with a background of dry malt sweetness.
The texture is slightly sticky with moderate carbonation.
Well worth trying. (358 characters)

Photo of jdkitchi
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired this for $6.99 at Discount. Poured reddish brown color into a snifter from the 22 oz bomber bottle. There was a small head that kept some lacing.

Smells of sweet dark malts and a little woody. The taste is very sweet mostly malts up front, some earthy character, slight hop balance and alcohol, some lingering sweet syrup in the finish. There is a medium mouth feel and low carbonation.

This is a pretty good Dopple. It 's a little different, a little cloying but pretty enjoyable too. I would have this again if I ran across it. (540 characters)

Photo of yamar68
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My palate is freshly raped by a glass of Hop Stoopid (sorry).

Poured from 22oz bomber to pint glass:

Nice looking bock. Looking rather still.

The nose certainly boasts some caramely birch syrup - such a unique ingredient and surprisingly distinguishable from other tree syrups. Nice. A bit of leather and toffee here as well.

A lot of the same notes tend to surface on the tongue with the addition of a pretty distinct mineral type finish. Smells better than it tastes.

The after taste detracts from the feel but the consistency is good.

I always love trying beers that utilize birch syrup. (596 characters)

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Alaskan Birch Bock (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.