Back Forty Bock - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Back Forty BockBack Forty Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

530 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 530
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 26
Gots: 39 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Soneast on 10-16-2010

The “Back Forty” is property commonly found on the outskirts of the Wisconsin family farm. Here uncultivated acres wait prime for adventure- forts, tree houses, rope swings and first kisses! A place to run away, to camp, to climb, to build, to play. Not actually home but not too far away. That’s the Back Forty. The beer you hold is similar both dark and adventurous still smooth and familiar. Here’s a beer you can enjoy without pretense or explanation. Every mind requires some acres of possibility, space for dreams, the great escape, everyone needs a Back Forty.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 530 | Reviews: 145
Reviews by ne0m00re:
Photo of ne0m00re
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Live review of a 12 oz bottle (labelled 2770 18:08) thanks to arvjunk.
A: Murky brown, it poured with a good dark cream head that died to a good collar and film with good lacing.
S: Brown sugar, slightly woody and green hops, some caramel... a relatively clean, yet earthy smell.
T: Creamy brown sugar, oatmeal-esque grain, a slight walnut, and overall what you'd expect from the smell. Woody hops linger with a slightly gin alcohol character. Pretty good.
M: Heads from creamy to slightly frothy to crisp on the finish.
D: Overall, this is a pretty good example of the style. Even though this isn't my favorite style, I'd probably order it if I saw it on draft.

More User Reviews:
Photo of weatherdog
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Stange glass. Bottle dated 2770 so it's very fresh.

It pours a transparent brown, just a shade lighter than cola. A off white, bordering on khaki 1 finger head tops the beer with medium retention and minimal lacing.

The aroma is all malt. It isn't too sweet and over powering like too much crystal malt is in there. Some bready toasty aromas as well as just a dap of roasted coffee. The nose seems pretty subdued but i enjoyed that to the overly sweet aroma of many bocks.

My first impression is that the flavor is pretty light and watery. A bit of toasted bread, lightly sweet with toffee, but ultimately ends pretty dry and crisp. The flavor profile is there it seems so dumbed and watered down that it's barely recognizable as a bock.

The body is to thin for my liking. I hate to say this but it reminds me of the beers some BMC companies used to put out in the winter which are basically their light lagers with some crystal malt or Sinamar added. The drinkabilty is very good mostly due to the light body and light flavor.

I had high hopes that they would have replaced Uff-da with a similar tasting bock although I almost lost hope after tasting Cabin Fever. I understand why New Glarus is making these least common denominator beers but it pains me to know this was at the expense of Uff-da. A real 'Wisconsin Bock' needs some body and bold flavor.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

The head graces the glass with a random patchy pattern of lace; muddled brown color shows some chill haze. Fresh-cut hay, ripe apple orchard and fresh-baked dark bread fills the nose. Lagered smoothness unleashes a re- freshing crispness in the medium body. Sweet, toasted, bready maltiness is the tune this brew is singing, a broad reach from caramel to toasted pie crust to biscuits. Modest hopping stretches far enough to balance and leaves some oily herbal flavor in the drying, malty end. "Wow" comes to mind; extremely drinkable with a tightly packed, toasted character that unfolds with each sip. A good hunt for any true lager lover out there.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a single up at Riley's in Madison. Pours into my glass a nice deep brown with striking ruby highlights throughout and a quarter inch of foam atop the brew. Aromas of rich malts that are somewhat toasted with a light spicy undertone. Reminiscent of baked bread a bit...really nice!

First sip brings smooth maltiness upfront with some toasty accents again and bready undertones. Flows down with a slightly spicy kick. Just enough sweetness to wrap everything together.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with quite a punchy carbonation. Almost a bit too bubbly for me but it still goes down nicely. Overall, just a solid bock from New Glarus and I'm not surprised as they've brewed plenty of great bock's in the past!

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a light brown color with a white head. The aroma is toffee, grass and some molasses. It smells about like a bock should. The flavor is toffee, grass and chocolate. The beer is also very dry, not sweet like a lot of bocks are. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Decent, but I expect more from New Glarus.

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Thank you shan8454 for this one in trade.

Apperance: Darker brown color with a thin off white that lingered. Heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells of mostly malts.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste is mostly malty with some bitter hops as well, almost breadlike too.

Overall: One of the better Bocks I have had. I would have this one again.

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish amber orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Solid three finger off white head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A bready and toasty malt driven aroma. Toasted malts and wheat grains with hints of baked biscuit, cereal grains, toasted bread, caramel, toffee, hay, and nuts. Subtle fruity hints of apple and lemon. Also a little sugar. Hop presence is very light with a slight earthy scent. Decent bock aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints, a bready malt taste with subtle fruit notes. Toasted malts with a taste of bready biscuit, toasted bread, cereal grains, hay, caramel, toffee, and some nuts. Subtle fruit undertones of apple and citrus lemon. A little brown sugar adds a sweet kick. Light earthy taste of hops towards the finish. A pretty decent taste that you expect from the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A pretty solid bock. Has the toasted malty flavor expected for the style.

Photo of ByTor2112
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this single up at Flanagan's in Appleton, WI.
Pours a darker brown, translucent, with a thin white film of foam that slowly dissipates.
Aroma-very nice! Lighter roasted malt notes plus a hint of some crisp hops, smells like a lager with bonus malty aromas.
Mouthfeel-Medium carbonation coats the palate. A healthy malty body, but does not let any sweetness overtake it. The hops are even-keeled and provide a good balance. Similar to the aroma, this has a lager mouthfeel with an extra malt bump. A Bock at 5.5%..genius! This is satisfying and could be a bit of a winter warmer despite the lower ABV which makes no difference to me. Finishes clean. New Glarus has yet to brew anything I didn't truly love. Sessionable for a Bock. Yummy even.

Photo of weonfire
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Rich carmel color. Clear. Real light brown head. 2 full inches of head. lasting head. 5+ minutes to dissipates.

S - German barley. Slight carmel. maybe slight chocolate.

T - Frothy malt. That german barley. Crisp. Got that Lowenbrau feel. But less than the Bock 40 cousin 'Cabin Fever'. Carmel with a touch of chocolate.

M- Malt is think. Viscosity is high. velvet on the way down. enjoyable.

O - was hopping for better scent. not a lot there. but the velvety carmel taste is real flavorful. Nice Maibock.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Seidel.

A- Brown body with light blonde hues and abundant carbonation. Huge foamy head with a thick, marshmallow-like appearance. Lace streaks all about the glass. There is some transparency to the beer, despite the dark body.

S- Lightly hopped and earthy in aroma, lots of bread, faint caramel, faint smoke.

T- Nice flavor here. Sweet caramel, vanilla, doughy flavor. I get a hint of earthy hop flavor at the finish. There's a pleasant baker's chocolate flavor that lingers after each sip.

M- On the lighter side, with little carbonation apparent, and a slightly watery feel. There's some creaminess to counter this.

O- Not quite in the outstanding territory, but it's a good beer with some enjoyable qualities. It'd be easy to kill a sixer of these.

Photo of joeseppy
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%

Looks like I'm pouring cola. Basically brown with clarity. Modest head that will recede to the rim.

Aroma of lightly toasted bread and mild yeast. Malt and mixed nuts. Hints of coffee.

Malty lager. Extremely mild hop if any. Toasted nuts.

Lighter bodied with sustained carbonation throughout. Drinks smooth and fast if you don't catch yourself. Just enough sweetness to make this delicious.

It seems overall Bocks receive no due. By general standards of a Bock, this brew is finely crafted. I don't partake in many Bocks but on this 56*F day in Chicago this fits well. But might I add that this is quenchable enough to session on a summer night.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at New Glarus. Review from notes.

A: Pours a brown color with a small tan head on top, decent retention and minimal lacing.

S: Rather nutty with some roasted and bready malt. Pretty simple and nice.

T: Similar to the aroma, very nutty, more roasted malts, a little bit of cream, and touch of dark fruits.

M: Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: A solid bock, could easily knock a few of these down.

Photo of cokes
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cherry cola dark brown, glinting garnet when held up to a light. A creamy rise of sandy suds stays and laces extremely well.
The nose is toasty, with a almond-esque bitter nuttiness. Vaporous dark fruits mingle with an increasing doughiness giving it a suggestion of raisin bread. Though on the whole, the nose seems a bit closed.
Doughy breadiness is the staple throughout the mouth. Caramel sweetness has a run, poking towards black cherry and plum, then drawing back. Well-lagered sense of briskness, as it goes ultra-clean through the middle. It brings a low-level earthy hop note on the close.
It's moderate+ carbonation gives it a whipped creaminess that helps hide it's overall lack of body. It's drinkable in gulps, but lacks a good deal of depth and intrigue.
Bring back Uff-da.

Photo of augustgarage
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my 12oz nonik. Served lightly chilled.

Clear dark amber body with a soft finger of beige up top. Active yet with good retention and gravy-like lacing.

Nutty and toasty malt aroma with a touch of brown butter and dandelion greens as well.

Clean dark lager flavors offer some tartness without becoming metallic. Gentle melanoidins and faint lemon zest and elderberry emerge as well into the mild malty finish. Faint hops and alcohol contribute very low bitterness and heat but are present none the less. Perhaps a touch of grain in the aftertaste.

Light-bodied, soft, and not quite creamy mouthfeel.

A nice simple domestic rendition of the style...

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Matt (mtunnell) for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Harpoon Weizen glass.

A: Standard pour yields a 3 finger fluffy, creamy, light off-white head with great retention. Beer is a clear mahogany with a light brown tint. Lacing is thick and layered with great stick. An awesome looking brew.

S: Nose is pleasantly sweet. Caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and some malty nuttiness round out the flavor combination. Spot on for the style.

T: Opens nutty. Some caramel and toffee flavors along with walnuts and pecans. Big malt presence the whole way through. Refreshing and simple. End is sweet brown sugar and sweet toffee with a clean finish and a nutty caramel aftertaste. Exactly to style.

M: Light bodied and moderately carbonated. Warm and a bit fizzy in the mouth. Goes down crisp and easy with some bubbles on the side. Finish is clean with a slightly lingering aftertaste. A tad thin but decent overall and appropriate for the style.

O: A solid representation of the style the whole way through, Back 40 Bock is highly sessionable and really easy to drink. Body is a bit thin but its still crisp and refreshing. Another above average beer from New Glarus.

Photo of dirtylou
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single

appearance: served in an offshore shaker pint, dark amber body, murky, thin layer of off-white cream head

smell: very subtle - caramel and some bready notes, but not much of anything else

taste: NG is better than this - pretty bland flavor profile - bready, some light sweetness in the form of dark fruit, nutty, grain, caramel. light grassy hops

mouthfeel: rather light, dry finish

drinkability: fine

Photo of WoodBrew
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was given a bottle of the Back 40 from my boss in a trade of beers. The beer poured a brownish clear amber with thin slightly off white head that left a nice lace on my glass. The smell included rich sweet malt. The taste was a nice malt start with good sweet tones that turned slightly bitter towards then end from the hops. The mouthfeel is a nice medium body beer with good carbonation. Overall this is another great creation by New Glarus.

Photo of tempest
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The label does call this a "Wisconsin Bock," but the beer tastes a lot more like a dunkel lager than a bock. There's a smooth bread dark bread crust and light caramel malt character with a mild bready aroma to match. It's a very easy drinking beer, but lacks the earthiness and occasional fruit of a bock. Yeah, it's a nice dunkel, just don't pick this up looking for a traditional bock.

Photo of plfahey
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass

Appearance-A nice brownish amber color with garnet highlights. A bit hazy, which is surprising, as this style is normally cold conditioned. Decent sized beige head fades to a thin layer of foam, but never dissipates. Some nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma-Pleasant malt aroma consists primarily of sweet caramel and light toast from the vienna malts, but there are also hints of fresh baked bread and light melanoidin aromas. Light floral hops are barely perceptible in the background. No esters, No diacetyl.

Taste-Malty sweet up front, with hints of caramel and very light toast, which becomes slightly more apparent in the finish. As with the aroma, the hops are really only present enough to balance out the malt. The flavor is relatively thin, and malt complexity is certainly lacking.

Mouthfeel-Medium Body. Medium to medium low carbonation. Relatively smooth with a very slight alcohol warmth.

Well certainly not a bad bock, the flavor leaves you wanting more. That said, this is a very easy drinking beer, and I would have no problem knocking back a few of them. Enjoyable, but this one definitely won't blow your socks off.

Photo of nickd717
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle as and unsolicited gift thanks to BeerFMAndy. Big thanks for this tick.

Pours a deep reddish-maroon color with a large lacey off-white head that lasts forever.

The aroma is pretty nice with caramel and roasted malts, slight earthy hops and nuts.

Good flavor, only mildly sweet, with big caramel and nutty malts, slightly bready and toasty. Not too much hop presence, just a little earthiness.

Medium-bodied with a nice crisp mouthfeel yet a slight smoothness nonetheless.

Pretty nice beer overall. Not outstanding in any way, but good.

Photo of morimech
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color with a reddish tint, one finger of head that slowly settled to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Mild aroma with hints of caramel, figs, and raisins. Maybe a little charcoal as well. The first sip I thought I tasted some smoke but that did not come back as I worked through the glass. The flavor is mostly caramel with some faint hints of dark fruit. The flavor is just not very interesting or complex. The body feels bigger that it is and is nicely carbonated. New Glarus gets the mouthfeel right in just about every beer. Do not understand the need to introduce this bock when they already have one of the best, Uff-da, in the portfolio. Just bring that one back. This is just average, well made, but average.

Photo of bwood06
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%

A - Creamy, 2 finger head, khaki in color. Beer is very deep amber in color and clear. Seems to be light carbonation. Very slim layer of creamy head remains after head dissipation. 4/5

S - The main notes that I am getting are caramel, raisins, dates, and a bit of yeast and toasted bread. There seems to be a hint of hops that are grassy and earthy, but very malt forward here. 4/5

T - Toasted bread and caramel are the two flavors I get right off the bat. This transitions into a bit of yeast. There is some bitterness but it's a balanced bitterness. Grassy note as well as an herbal note from the hops at the end. There is a graininess throughout the flavor profile. 3.75/5

M - Light carbonation. Medium bodied. Somewhat chewy. Finishes a hair dry. 3.75/5

O - Not as sweet as the nose suggested to me, but overall a very good beer from New Glarus. Taste is very straightforward. This would be a beer that I could drink on a mid-range temperature day with ease. 3.75/5

Photo of KTCamm
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a solo bottle at Woodmans in Wisconsin. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours light/medium brown, some light gets through. Good fluffy white foam. Retains well. Smell is all malt. Maybe a slight cola taste. Otherwise, taste is thin - notes of cola, malt, chocolate. Very low carbonation, like a flat soda would be. Almost a sour finish.

I don't love the bock style but this beer sure does do it well.

Photo of emerge077
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with good clarity and visible carbonation. Dense sticky foam on the surface, with lasting coverage and delicate lace patterns.

Husky grain aroma, brown sugar, sweet nuttiness.

Smooth caramelized malts, nutty and dry flavors, earthy witha clean aftertaste. A little watery, but thankfully not sticky sweet like some bocks. This one is lighter with traditional flavors, less sweet than Uff-Da used to be. Overall it's not bad, but not my personal favorite.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a New Glarus pilsner glass.
No date or info.

A - Back 40 pours a murky pond-water brown color that still allows the visibility of carbonation trickling up to a solid two-finger, bone-colored head. The turbulent pour looked great but the head left with lower retention as awesome sheets of Swiss-cheese lace coat the glass, though.

S - Starting off with a great malty aroma, slight hints of rye bread lift up the biscuity toasted amber and Vienna malts. Subtle earthy hops keep the brew from being too sweet while adding crispness and complexity to the smell.

T - Back 40's maltiness resembles toasted wheat English muffin drizzled with stringy melted caramel and honey but lighter in flavor and body than, say, their Uff-da, which is a bit richer overall.

M - Crisp and fairly clean, Back 40's medium-light body has a smooth entry that seems to finish with light carbonation giving it a thinner feel that lingers with a light touch of sweetness.

O - While New Glarus' Back 40 is a drinkable bock to be sure, it just seems to be lacking something; its somewhat transparent flavor and thin feel don't stand up to their Uff-da bock, a crown jewel for the style which begs the question, "why" for Back 40.

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Back Forty Bock from New Glarus Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.