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Hermannator Ice Bock - Vancouver Island Brewery

Not Rated.
Hermannator Ice BockHermannator Ice Bock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

49 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.53%
Wants: 12
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Vancouver Island Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Eisbock |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-04-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cosmicevan
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to DaftCaskBC for this one.

a - popped the bottle and filled my E snifter. brew poured an amber brown that settled much darker in the glass. thin off white bubbly head. hung out a little bit. slippery lacing.

s - earthy malts with a touch of grape and nutmeg.

t - much like the smell, but more grapejuice. quite good. earthy malts are there, but the subtle grape juice leads the way.

m - medium to full bodied. alc is invisible.

o - overall, solid eisbock. nicely made and very drinkable. the fruitiness makes the malts very tolerable.

cosmicevan, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/4" light brown head over cola coloured thick liquid.

S: Dark chocolate malt and yeast.

T: Raisin, caramel, coffee and dark chocolate malt.

M: Medium viscosity and carbonation.

O: Very tasty and easy drinking eisbock. The best I have had of this style so far.

DaftCaskBC, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of spree92
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

spree92, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of brewymcgee
3.63/5  rDev -9%
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.

brewymcgee, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of chickenm
3.88/5  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.

chickenm, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of CellarBrau
3.75/5  rDev -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.

CellarBrau, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of ritzkiss
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
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!

ritzkiss, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of markaberrant
2.73/5  rDev -31.6%
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!

markaberrant, May 29, 2010
Photo of Grunewald
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
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

Grunewald, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Sammy, May 24, 2009
Photo of grub
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

grub, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -4%
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!

Viggo, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of Derek
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
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!

Derek, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of BreWolf
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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.

BreWolf, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of Hornet2003
4.15/5  rDev +4%
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...)

Hornet2003, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Phyl21ca, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of enki
3.93/5  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++++.

enki, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of pootz
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

pootz, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of biegaman
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

biegaman, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of shivtim
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think our obtaining this beer may or may not have involved some slightly illegal/immoral antics. Oh well.
Pours a beautiful deep and ever-so-slightly translucent brown/black/red, with a slight head. Nose is slightly sweet malts. Taste is syrupy and sweet, with some chocolate and tasty roasted malts on the finish. Mouthfeel is full and good. Drinkability very high on this one. Nice brew! Best of the recent beer club.

shivtim, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of aforbes10
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a treat. This was brought to our beer tasting club by one of our resident Canadians. She'd been talking about it for ages so we finally got a chance to see if it lived up to its name (preview: it did). Poured super dark crimson and clear with a tan colored head. looks great. Smells plummy and ethyl alcohol-like and fairly inviting. Taste is sweet caramel with some chocolate flavor. alcohol really quite understated. smoe roastiness and dark fruity flavors like dates and prunes. A thick cough-syrup and water texture thats very easy to drink and enjoy. Probably the best Eisbock i've had.

aforbes10, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of kmpitz2
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

kmpitz2, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of canucklehead
3.95/5  rDev -1%
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.

canucklehead, Nov 23, 2004
Photo of 49degrees
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back again for another year, this all new 2002 Ice Bock is brewed to commemorate their 15th Anniversary, and as such, was limited to a run of merely 10,000 bottles. Its more than worth the search as it hits the Ice Bock concept straight on the head.

This sweet and full bodied beer is highlighted by exceptional blend of malts and carbination resulting in a true warming beer that has an interesting punch. Pours very clean and perky with a decent sized head full of large bubbles which give way to a strong collar and minimal lacing on the glass.

Aroma wise the sweet malty smells come through as does a certain amount of bitterness, but the sweetness is what really sets this one apart.

A great drinking beer, that would definitely fall into a warming ale more so than Young's Winter Warmer, (but that's another story).

This one is sold exclusively in 650ml bottles with a foil based labels which have a tendency to peel back while still on store shelves. It's a great little beer that won't last long. Get it while you can.

49degrees, Jan 04, 2003
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Hermannator Ice Bock from Vancouver Island Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.