1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

106 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 14.64%
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jmdrpi on 08-30-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of herman77
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

herman77, May 06, 2012
Photo of twelveinches
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

twelveinches, May 06, 2012
Photo of JohnLynch
4/5  rDev +10.5%

JohnLynch, May 05, 2012
Photo of Hopstout
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Hopstout, May 05, 2012
Photo of hardy008
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy ruby color with a small head which vanishes quickly, leaving no lacing. The aroma has sweet caramel malt, toasted malt, and birch syrup. Smells like this should be quite sweet.

The taste is also sweet, but not as much as the aroma. The taste has caramel malt, birch syrup, and toasted malt. Not very complex, but pretty good.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The alcohol is well disguised. Definitely worth trying.

hardy008, May 05, 2012
Photo of Beaver13
3/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Beaver13, May 04, 2012
Photo of sparx1100
4/5  rDev +10.5%

sparx1100, May 04, 2012
Photo of vkv822
2.65/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

vkv822, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of Ryan1423
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Ryan1423, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of JMBSH
2.5/5  rDev -30.9%

JMBSH, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of Adamostella
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Adamostella, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of jjanega08
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No freshness dating.

A= Pours a deep translucent amber color with a small coca cola head that quickly falls into coca cola like bubbles with just a few sticking around.

S= The smell is full of caramelly malt. A lot of sweetness. I had the 25th Anny last night that was also brewed with the birch syrup and it had a woody character. I'm not getting the woody character in this one. The sweetness sort of reminds me of those candy cherries on top of ice cream. Not quite that pungent in aroma but similar.

T= The flavor starts slightly metallic with a nice caramelly sweetness backing it up. Actually one of the more enjoyable bocks I've had but the flavor seems to be quiet a bit. There is the strange cherry sweetness in it still that reminds me of the candy marichino cherries. The birch syrup again holds no woodiness like it did in the 25th anniversary. The alcohol is quite and can't be noticed. I find most bocks to be overly sweet for myself but this one isn't quite there. There is a bit of a bite to it from something I don't wanna say it's a hop bitterness because it isn't but there is something that cuts through the pure sweetness. Maybe it's the carbonation.

M= A nice amount of carbonation that I suspect cleans the palate a bit keeping it from being overly sweet.

O= This isn't a great beer but it isn't bad. I'm not a big bock guy that's for sure but this is tolerable and even somewhat enjoyable. The birch syrup I don't understand and I'm having trouble finding it. Worth trying and I may buy another.

jjanega08, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of brewcrew76
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy brown, ruby red with a small tan head.

S - Sweet bready malts with some birch syrup. A touch of spice.

T - Sweet with caramel and bready flavors. Birch syrup reminds me of maple syrup but not as strong a flavor.

M - Light body with light carbonation. Sweet finish.

D - More a bock than a doppelbock in my opinion. The birch syrup adds nice flavor with being too sweet. Solid.

brewcrew76, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of jsprain1
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A slightly hazy brown colored with a very thin off white colored head. Retention is mediocre.
S- Smell is sweet with some spicy and very deep caramel flavors. Fairly mild for what is supposedly a doppelbock.
T- It's about the same here. Very sweet with deep caramel flavors, a bit of what I can only figure out is the birch flavor.
M- Light body, medium carbonation, long lasting finish.
O- It's a fun bock, not sure it satisfactorily is a doppelbock, but still worth a try.

jsprain1, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of srandycarter
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

srandycarter, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of FarmerTed
2/5  rDev -44.8%

FarmerTed, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a goblet. Bought for $8.00 at Coaltrain liquor in Colorado Springs on 4/9/12.

Pours a clear crimson body under a minimal off-white head. Very striking appearance. I am always amazed how red some beers can be.

Nose is rather faint. I detect a little alcohol, something rather like lager yeast in a homebrew, and a bit of dough.

On first taste this is so much like a failed batch of lager I tried to make (didn't ferment out very well) that I can't get into it. However this beer is of higher quality and upon closer inspection it shows that it is in fact nuanced. A big sweet lager base provides the foundation for the birch flavors, which are slightly woody and very sweet, almost syrupy in a natural sap kind of way. There is a little rich-spice note that reminds me of root beer. This beer doesn't taste anything like rootbeer, but there is some quality in it that does bring root beer to mind.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side with lots of residual sugars to thicken up the body. Carbonation is lively but not oppressive.

Conclusion: This is an interesting beer, and to a normal BA I think it would be excellent. If it didn't share so much of its flavor profile with a past failed batch of homebrew I would like it more.

allforbetterbeer, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of Birdlegs
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Birdlegs, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of daveytheformer
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

daveytheformer, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of MattyG85
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark, and slightly cloudy brownish copper with a little ruby red. Moderate bubbles and about one finger of off white head that recedes into a few thin patches. Lacing is light.

Smell: A sweet smell of caramel malts and toffee with the birch syrup and a hint of spices. Some hints of citrus and earthy hops in the background. Also a light hint of dark fruits. Smells more like an English Barleywine than a Doppelbock, but it smells good and interesting.

Taste: A nicely sweet mix of bready caramel malts, birch syrup, and toffee. Hints of figs and other dark fruits. A little bit of spice. Nice presence of earthy and citrus hops giving a little more of a bitter bite than you would typically expect from a bock. The syrup blends in nicely. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Chewy and somewhat syrupy as expected. No noticeable alcohol heat.

Overall: A pretty interesting and tasty beer. Sweet but well balanced by the hops.

MattyG85, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of JohnnyP3
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

JohnnyP3, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of Docer
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Docer, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

DarthGuitarHero, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of Rizalini
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Rizalini, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of marct
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%

marct, Mar 24, 2012
Alaskan Birch Bock (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.