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Back Forty Bock - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Back Forty BockBack Forty Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

528 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 528
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 26
Gots: 38 | 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: 528 | Reviews: 145
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to BeerFMAndy for getting a nice box of New Glarus out to me. Served in a New Glarus tasting glass.

Pours a medium caramel color with a short white head and some nice lacing on the way down. The nose brings some very faint hops and a bit of bready plus a touch of caramel. Flavor is pretty similar. Body is medium with good carbonation and a semi-dry finish; just a touch of sweetness comes through. Not bad for an American Bock.

Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

Appearance: Three full fingers of ecru foam cap the clear mahogany colored liquid; exquisite lacing patterns all over the glass

Smell: Fresh-baked bread, glazed doughnuts and grain

Taste: Brown sugar and toasted bread with just a hint of stone fruit, in the middle; the back end features a grainy character though the sweetness from the malts dominate

Overall: A bit too one dimensional in the sweetness department and nowhere near as good as its big brother Uff-da, sad to say; still, decent enough and well-brewed, like all of the New Glarus beers

Thanks, WI-Beer-Man, for the opportunity

Photo of BEERchitect
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A brewery that would beat by no other's drum- the classic Bock that reaches from its fermenters leans to German northern German heritage as those dark and malty tastes beckon.

Looking the part, the dark lager is mostly brown but is also reddish, amber and golden when held at the perfect light. Despite the malty prism below, what plays out on top is a frothy stained ivory color that floats the beer with a sheet of foam and spotty retention. Nice looking, the beer is a shade off of those authentic versions.

Its grainy-sweet aromas catch a glimpse of cola nut, mild molasses, light brown sugar and a slightly more prominent toasted bread character. Fermented spices of cinnamon link with light vinous sherry-like fruit for a grapey and plummy aroma. While floral apple blossom and honeysuckle rise, its hop influence is floral and lightly rosy.

To taste, the grainy-sweet flavor tilts malty with a bready, toasty and crusted taste. Its woven sweetness links up with those floral tones to produce a fruity middle with orange, apple, grape and plum. Shy of raisin, the ale sinks into a toasted bitterness with spicy hops and savory echoes of smoky chocolate, peppery fennel and tobacco.

Medium in body, the beer's reluctant transition to dryness allows a fuller impression to be held. But as the beer trails, it does so with a trail of sticky sweetness, growing pepper bite, light warmth, and a nutty memory.

Even as I like the malty-rich character of Back 40, I find its one-dimensional sweetness unable to balance with any melanoidin character within the beer. Unable to finish drier, and unable to deliver more complex malt taste both limit the beer's more favorable finishes.

Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice looking dark brown color with a cream colored head on top. The smell of this beer was really quite nice, the aromas of dark malts and bready yeast with some dark fruits in there too. A unique nose on this beer for sure. The taste of the beer wasn't as impressive as I had hoped for. The flavors seemed a little on the muted side, nothing really popped, there were some lager yeast-like flavors in there and mostly a dull dark malt base. The mouthfeel was pretty good, it was medium bodied with decent amount of bubbles to it. Overall I felt that this beer just needed some additional malts or something to boost the sweetness of the beer just a bit. Other than that I thought it was pretty good.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep russet brown, very clear with lots of carbonation, really quite nice and a classic look for a bock. Thin off white head formed on the top, but quickly faded to just a thin film that stayed throughout the session, but offered no side glass contribution.

The aroma was your classic malty bock. Nice sweet caramel and nutty aromas mixed in with a good earthy tone. The flavor followed through very closely with a nice bitter malty flavor and a good amount of sweetness in it as well. Carbonation that is more then decent never let it go flat and kept you entertained throughout the session. Easily a sessionable beer, as I could have thrown down more then one.

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 mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of jlindros
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had at SMBDC growler/bottle tasting thanks to BlessedBeBeer.

A: Bubble light head, murky light brown peach color.

N: Toasty darker malts, nutty brown sugar and molasses, dark wheats, semi sweet.

T: Sweet malts, brown sugar, dark wheats, nutty, light earthy bitter hops, light rustic darker malts. Little sweet and syrupy, toasty and nutty, lingering bittering hops.

M: Med bodied, decent carb, little syrupy.

O: Decent, nice malts, nothing too special, little syrupy, decent hops, nutty, tasty, nice dark wheats.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is #34 on the "Top Beers - Bock" list on beeradvocate.com. Bottle shared by Thorpe at Easter, served in a snifter.

Beer is on the light side for a bock but that doesn't bother me, plenty of blonde bocks out there, mild haze, lazy white head of small bubbles, some lacing.

Aroma is sweet and a little prune-y.

Beer is fine, I like it, medium to light in body, sweet but not overly sweet, a decent finish on the whole thing, enjoyable but not overly sweet or dry on the finihs. I'd have it again.

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 11/02/12 notes. Had this on tap at some cool German restaurant in New Glarus, WI, about 0.5 of a mile down the road from the brewery. 8 oz. pour.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent dark brown-amber color with less than one inch of off white head and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of nuts, roasted malts, toasted malts, and some bready malts. Nothing too crazy but a pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of nuts, roasted malts, sweet fruit, cream, toasted malts, bunt malts, and light dark fruits. A step up from the nose for me; the sweet fruits are nice in the taste.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. Body is a bit too thin and watery for me, though easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent bock, though not my favorite from NG. Some nice sweet dark fruit in the taste, though it was missing in the nose, and a bit too thin of a body for me. Would try it again.

Photo of kojevergas
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired via trade from the very gracious very generous Duff27; thanks again, buddy! "Back 40 Bock". "Wisconsin Bock" per the ring-label on the bottle neck. No ABV is visible. Label art is generic but stylish and appealing. Expectations are high given the brewery, but bocks rarely impress me. Reviewed live.

Allowed to warm for about 6 minutes following its removal from the fridge; I don't like to serve bocks too cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with lentils.

A: Pours a two finger smooth beige colour head of nice cream and thickness, and good (~5 minute) retention for the average ABV. Fluffy and appealing, but I wouldn't call it frothy. Light lacing as the head slowly recedes. Body colour is a dark translucent semitransparent caramel-amber. Vibrant, if understated. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's typical of the style; there's nothing unique or special about it but the head is notable and it's generally appealing. There are certainly no flaws. I'm excited to try it. After all, bocks rarely look great.

Sm: Heavy caramel and malts, but also some dark stonefruit. Cream. Toffee. Refined dark cherry. Sugarplum. It's a dry aroma; this could set off a sneeze if you're prime for one. Candi sugars/unrefined sugars. One of the better bock aromas I've encountered. Average in strength yet subtle. I'm starting to get real excited to try this one. Bready, with pie crust notes. Any hopping is minimal in strength and merely generic floral in character.

T: Ah, yeah. The marriage of the subtly executed dark fruits with the caramel, bready, and pie crust notes is delightful. Nicely creamy. Malt backbone is strong and full-bodied without being overbearing. I definitely get sugarplum. Maybe cherry. It really does evoke pie. Maybe a bit of bright raisin. Biscuity yeast. Biscuit malt. Well balanced and quite pleasant to drink. Minimal hopping, if any. Very well executed, though I could use a bit more complexity. Good depth of flavour. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth, creamy, and wet. Thickness is good. Full-bodied, as the style must be. Complements the flavour profile well. Carbonation is perfect. Filling. A bit chewy. Not at all acidic. Presence on the palate is perfect for the style, allowing the flavours to hit fully and expressively.

Dr: The best bock I can remember having, but I still find it a bit wanting in the complexity arena. I'm very impressed with this offering and would recommend it to friends. I'd get this again, definitely. This is one you could buy a sixer of and be satisfied with. Another solid brew from New Glarus. Hides its average ABV well. Extremely drinkable.

Low B

Photo of jwc215
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours reddish brown with a foamy lasting head.

The smell is of caramel/toffee, light toast (dark bread). A hint of cocoa comes through as it progresses. An earthy hop touch in the crisp finish balances the sweetness.

It is very smooth and crisp. Excellent carbonation level.

A very well-made bock. A smooth, well-balanced, tasty lager!

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 imperialking
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of yourefragile
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a glass (!)

A: Pours a relatively clear dark reddish amber with a large frothy tan head, webs of lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, bread, light dark fruit.

T: Muddled flavor of dark fruit, plum and grape with caramel and toffee malt, light biscuit.

M: Slightly watery throughout and a dry, bready finish. Medium body with light carbonation.

O: A sufficient bock.

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.

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Back Forty Bock from New Glarus Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 528 ratings.