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Hermannator Ice Bock - Vancouver Island Brewery

Not Rated.
Hermannator Ice BockHermannator Ice Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

33 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 33
Hads: 57
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 13
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Vancouver Island Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Eisbock |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-04-2003

Brewed in limited batches each year, Hermannator Ice Bock was first introduced by Hermann, one of our original Brewmasters, during the holiday as a unique gift to his closest friends and customers. Crafted at 9.5% abv, using a signature blend of chocolate and caramel malts, this German Eisbock is slowly cold aged in our cellar for over 3 months.
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Reviews: 33 | Hads: 57
Photo of markaberrant
2.84/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - small head forms and quickly dissipates, very dark red/brown, opaque in my wide snifter

S - rich malt, big munich character, light cocoa, raisins, clean, smells really good, light spice

T - sweet and tart cherries upfront, that's about it, lingering cocoa in the finish is nice

M - carbonation is not excessive, but in the mouth it is overly airy/fluffy, and the tartness really prickles the mouth, smooth alcohol

D - clearly has an infection

This bottle was from Winter 08/09, it should have been able to hold up to 18 months of aging. The aroma is awesome, I'm guessing this beer would be killer without the tart infection. Though I'm not really sure this is a true Eisbock.

Thanks to canucklehead for the bottle! (725 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.32/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to chickenm for this one.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle.

Appearance: Pours a light brown that is fairly dark in the glass with red tinges. Good sized head but fizzles rather quickly and no lacing. Kind of looks flat.

Smell: Strong nutty aroma, all malt mixed with powdery chocolate, toasted notes with coffee.

Taste: Nuts, faint figs, chunks of chocolate, some caramel and a tinge sweet but balanced. Flavors, while not full, are good. Ideally a 3.25 but nudging it a bit higher.

Mouthfeel: Starts out with a medium body at best and does fill the mouth but i'm left wanting.

Overall: An average offering. Some good components but doesn't quite add up. (662 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml industry brown bottle twist off. ABV listed as 9.5%, brewed October 30, 2006. Enjoyed with good friends amidst the terrible snow storm of March 2007. A rare Canadian example of the style.
Pours a dark colour with a tapioca head that fades literally within seconds. Dark, deep brown with shades of amber. The aroma comes out really flat, containing little else than (a rather nice) malt bill that takes entirely too much searching for. Hard to get even that off the smell. Both mouthfeel and flavour do good to make up for the absence of aroma. A chewy malt base with chocolate notes. Some fruity pep and hints of hops. Raisons and malt ring out lightly in the aftertaste. No alcohol noticeable, very good. Difficult to say much about it, it's rather soft and unimpressive but still actually rather nice and easy to enjoy.
Thanks HogTownHarry for this very limited release "ice" bock. (893 characters)

Photo of pootz
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle:

Pours a deep chestnut brown beer in the glass with a 1 finger cap that vanishes instantly.

Nose is primarily demerara sugar/molasses..some fig and raisin notes..wisps of fusel alcohol.

Decent mouth feel.big malts, bulky body, smoky sugars, .toasty-molasses character.

Front side is dominated by molasses/fig/toasted bread tastes, some light smoke and nutty undertones...mid palate it is still a fairly 3 dimensional lager where some light herbal Hersbrucker hops show up ( finally) with all the main tastes remaining relatively distinct...finish is long and wet with big bread and dried fruit in the after taste.

One of Canada’s better eisbocks but needs work...do something with the heading on this brew and you’ll be there VBC. (744 characters)

Photo of brewymcgee
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a ruby hue when held to a light. The tan foam after pouring quickly reduces to a tight ring around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Malty with some dark fruits and liquorice.

Taste: Rich fruity malt up front with a little tartness and a chocolaty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Despite the full flavours and high alcohol this beer feels light but still has a little creamy softness. Bubbles come through to liven it up as well.

Drinkability: Given its high alcohol, this is actually light enough to enjoy a second bottle in an evening. (556 characters)

Photo of grub
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled feb 6/09.

pours deep brown and nearly opaque with a thin dense ring of bubbles around the glass. a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. rich caramel and toffee. light alcohol. dark chocolate. hint of coffee. toasted multi-grain bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. a bit of dark fruit too.

taste is nice. the chocolate and faint coffee notes come through stronger than the fruity and caramel. bit of alcohol. there's less going on than i expected.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium-light carbonation level.

drinkability is pretty good. decent balance. a little underwhelming. (651 characters)

Photo of Derek
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with ruby highlights, tan head, very little retention, slight leg/lace.

S: Alcohol, dark fruit/fruit bread and a light spicing.

T: Dark caramel/cola, dark bread, dark fruit, light spicing, warming alcohol.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body has a dry, alcohol finish.

D: It's a nice sipper.

I've been trying to track this down for years, but they tend to be sold out by Christmas. So a big thanks to Seldomseen for this trade! (438 characters)

Photo of CellarBrau
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 2010 edition of the Vancouver Ice Bock. 355ml bottle poured into a beer glass.

A- Very dark brown with a short lived, tan colored head. Carbonation is a little on the rough side with larger than ideal bubbles.

S- Not a very aromatic beer. Sweet molasses and brown sugar malt. I get a slight fruitiness as well, like plums or prunes.

T- Molasess and prune with an ever so slight tartness. Finish is clean and short.

M- Carbonation is on the lower side as is the body. Coats the tongue ever so slightly.

D- Dangerously drinkable stuff. The alcohol whollop is felt rather than tasted.

Not a deep and contemplative beer. Just good tasting and strong. If you need to warm up on a cold Vancouver night this one does the trick very well. (743 characters)

Photo of spree92
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last one in the fridge. It has been waiting for almost two months to be enjoyed. Poured into my Dead Frog pint glass. Pours a dark brown with a reddish ting. Not much of a head and disappeared pretty fast. Once I started drinking it, the beer disappeared fat too. I tasted caramel from the malts and picked up a hint of citrus. Small amount of carbonation was enough to stand apart from stouts/porters.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty good, balanced beer. At 9.5%, very easy drinking. I would buy again but I think this was a seasonal. (541 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, received from canucklehead in CanBIF4.

Pours a very dark reddish brown, almost black, slightly hazy, thin light tan head forms, drops to a thin ring around the glass, no real lacing, not much head sticks around, looks okay. Smell is nice but a little weak, caramel, iron, light chocolate and roast, raisin, light fruitiness, vanilla, nutty, sherry, some alcohol but well hidden, not too bad. Taste is similar, sweet and fruity, grapes, caramel, apple juice, raisins, chocolate milk, alcohol, sherry, vanilla, pretty neat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth but very smooth for the ABV. Been waiting to try this one for a while, glad I finally could. Nice beer! (711 characters)

Photo of chickenm
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 2010 bottle. Pours dark ruby brown with a thin tan head that quicky fades away. Aroma is mild but sweet. The taste is very chocolately with sweet malts, molasses, and light fruitiness. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Good drinkability even though it's a little bit too sweet. The alcohol in this is very well hidden. (331 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of mgermani: Poured a deep cloudy brown color bock with a small bubbly head with almost no carbonation. Aroma of dry fruits (figs and plums) with some toffee malt. Taste is a mix between some sweet toffee and caramel malt with great notes of dry fruits such as figs and raisins. Body is full with some light carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I really appreciated that one except maybe for being a bit too sweet and rich. (439 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Seldom Seen. I think this bottle was aged as much as two years and that was a good thing. Poured black with little head to speak of. That meant understated carbonation. There was a tad of lace. Delicious rich malty, and that was in the aroma. Cocoa, and a touch of roast.More imperial porter, with above average mouthfeel, than the hoppy versions from a brewer in Niagara Falls of the same style. (403 characters)

Photo of enki
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #10 -> It only took 4 years...

Pours out dark, almost Guinness dark. The head disappeared in the time it took to carry across to the table.

The smell is subtle and mild, but reminds me a bit of malt and raisin toast (strange, I know).

Thick mouthfeel, but not overbearingly alcoholic despite it's 9.5% rating. This beer tastes a lot more like a 7%, which I think is a good thing.

The taste reminds me of malt and fruit: raisins, figs, and maybe some brown sugar flavor. Just a little bit sweet, but reasonably well balanced.

Not a session beer! I could have a couple, but would not want to drink more than that.

Overall; a good winter beer, and a good strong dark beer. Would buy again (if available) AAA++++. (726 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love the new 6 pack with smaller bottles as it makes easier to drink one without the alcohol ( 9.5 abv) taking effect. This is an improvement on last years beer as that sweetness has been decreased and the smoothness has been increased. Lots of nice cakey flavours and a malty finish that makes the alcohol hide its face. Very drinkable and very refined. (356 characters)

Photo of BreWolf
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Excellent winter time/X-mas beer. In the style of german bock.

The beer is dark, with a light brown head. Looks like a nice glass of root beer. The smell is malty. The taste is complex, the sweetness hits you immediately but there are other flavors at work here. Slight essence of burnt malts. It fades into a slightly bitter after taste. It does a good job of hiding it's high alcohol content.

At 9.5% this beer is not to be taken lightly. The effects are quite noticeable after one beer. (492 characters)

Photo of ZachT
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

650 ml collector's edition bomber

A: Dark chestnut, almost black - slight amount of white head
S: Rich and malty, very strong acohol, very slight burnt sugar
T: Malty, slight bitter chocolate and hints of caramel, strong warming alcohol finish
M: Very smooth, medium to heavy body, rich malt palate that lingers
O: Exceptionally smooth and delicious beer, perfect for a cold winter night. This is actually my first Eisbock style beer and I really enjoyed it, I will most definitely be trying others. (501 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours as deep an amber color as I've ever seen. Its like an incredibly infused tea color. A 2 finger head falls to absolutely no head over top. The nose is rich toasted melanoidan munich malt with a thick caramel sweetness hanging over top of it. I think these two aromas are strong enough to keep any fruity fig notes from coming through. Flavor is strong, but not as bold as I was expecting. The initial sip brings a thick caramel that sits over a deep toastyness. This moves towards a very deep caramelized prune and fig. The finish is lightly bitter, fading quickly. Feel is thick with a light carbonation...very filling. Overall, this is a nice brew. The bottle says its 9.5%. I'd expect a touch more alcohol in an eisbock, but I'm feeling it a little in my cheeks. This is one to find if you happen to be in B.C on Vancouver Island. Nice. (844 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Props to my bro for bringing this with him on his visit to Ontario.

A - Pours a really dark ruby red, finger of head with no retention or lacing.

S - Rich caramel, toffee, dark fruits, toasted grains, and leafy greens on the finish.

T - Much like the nose, dark fruits, toffee, hints of espresso and cherry and some boozy sweetness and heat on the finish.

M - Lighter bodied ale, fills the mouth with bubbles and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - A solid brew, loads of flavour as deceivingly smooth. ABV is very well hidden and the flavour profile is quite complementary. Definitely worth picking up and super glad I was able to take it for a spin. (651 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into tulip 21/3/12

A dark brown with cola highlights, short lives tan head leaves little in the way of lace as expected for the style

S nutty dark toffee is quite strong and rich, a little molasses and booze with a dose of rum raisin

T mimics the smell pretty well but with a little more, a little more dried fruit and plenty of malty goodness, brown sugar is both crystal and burnt, this stuff tastes great and with a little hazelnut on the finish I like it even more

M silky with just enough carbonation and just some faint heat from the booze but pretty well in check

O a nice malty brew that keeps its booze concealed, if 4.25 were an option I would have dropped it once or twice so a slightly inflated score here

a solid example of an obscure style from a brewery I didn't know existed until recently. I'm pretty stoked that I'm still unaware of gems like this from my own backyard, cheers chickenm for increasing my awareness (961 characters)

Photo of Grunewald
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 341ml bottle into a pint glass. It pours dark brown (almost black). The head has a great cascading effect when poured but vanishes immediately.

S - rich dark fruit/fruit cake, banana bread, alcohol and spice

T - very sweet desert cake flavor up front, chocolate syrup and a light astringent coffee/chocolate finish

M - low carbonation, heavy body, quite viscous and a neutral finish

D - very sweet and thick (429 characters)

Photo of CookstLiquor
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle. Pours a dark chestnut brown colour. Notes of roasty malt, dark fruits, brown sugar on the nose. Taste is sweet, boozy and unapologetically malty, with notes of marzipan, molasses, nuts and grapes/raisins. Rich, deep and warming. (256 characters)

Photo of LampertLand
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vancouver Is - "Hermannator" Ice Bock @ 9.5% , celebrating it's 25th year in 2012 , served from a 6pack of 341 ml bottle's purchased for $13.50 & growler in 2014 for $15

A-pour is a dark ruby brown to a near black in the glass with small tight tan head , which quickly dissapates leaving no lace along the snifter

S-plum , raisins & figs , sweet malts , hint of dark chocolate

T-sweet malty start , booze is well hidden , toasted chocolate finish , damn easy to drink

MF-medium/full bodied , light /medium carbonation , has slight warm feeling going down

Ov-worthy of it's multiple BC/Canadian Gold Medal's as an Eisbock , good beer , seek it while's it's available

prost LampertLand (692 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz as an extra from EskimoDave, cheers man! From last winter's release (2009) so nearing a year old.

Pours a dark mahogany, just a thin covering of head which recedes to a collar.

Interesting to see how this ages - light malty sweetness in the nose, hint of licorice. Opens up in the flavor, especially as it warms - cola, licorice, molasses, raisins, cocoa, sherry, loads of malty goodness. Really smoooths out, hides the ABV really well, not overly sweet. Ages real nice, says I.

Light/medium, spot-on carbonation, perhaps a little thin on the mouthfeel for the style. Not perhaps as bold or as layered as others in the category but with a little age this beer really shines as a smooth, drinkable eisbock. Thanks Dave! (726 characters)

Photo of Hornet2003
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark dark brown. Looks like root beer on the pour. very thin head at first....disappears quite quickly.

Smell: It almost smells icy. That makes no sense but it smells like a beer snowball...That fresh, cold, pure smell. A little sugary smelling.

Taste: Very rich flavours. Like a very strong bock. Good bitterness and sweetness from the alcohol...There is a bit of smokiness and some dark tobacco flavours.

Mouthfeel: Good overall. Not too carbonated. The low carbonation lends itself well to the high alcohol, sweet character of this beer.

Drinkability: The alcohol is well hidden but it sneaks up quite quickly. 9.5% is really high, but given the style, I'd rate the drinkability as decent.

Overall: Unfortunately, in my College days, I drank this stuff to get smashed at Christmas parties. I enjoy it more now for its complexity and rich character. Great stuff. Definitely not a daily drinker but a great Christmas treat(odd I say this in june...) (967 characters)

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Hermannator Ice Bock from Vancouver Island Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.