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Lobotomy Bock - Indian Wells Brewing Company

Lobotomy BockLobotomy Bock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

155 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.01
pDev: 23.59%

Brewed by:
Indian Wells Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This is a classic German Dopple Bock. Like all of our beers it is made in strict accordance to the German Reinheitsgebot Purity Law of Brewing, which is water, malt, hops and yeast only! Lobotomy Bock is made from five types of specialty malted barley including Munich, black patent and other premium malts. And finished with two types of hops, Sterling and Perle added at the boil and again at the finish for the perfect flavor balance. Lobotomy Bock is brewed with pure artesian spring water from the historic Indian Wells Spring. Lobotomy Bock is lagered for several weeks then finished to exacting standards.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 96 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pour at Field Of Drafts held at The Hanger in Lancaster, CA.

Pours a clear brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with and almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is drinkable but nothing too exciting.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 04:43:29 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BasilBock


2.94/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a hard beer to review and that is why I choose this to be my first review. I had high hopes for the Lobotomy Bock. The first one I had was marginal, but it was also one of the first few beers I ever had that strayed from the American Pilsner route. I had one and didnt give it much thought afterwards. Now a few years later, I picked up a case at the local Calandros.

The first beer of the case, I served in a glass from the bottle. The pour was acceptable, with a thin head. The color was a dark brown with a strong hint of golden red. I didnt have much time to admire the aesthetics though, because after a few years I was eager to drink up. The first taste that hit my palette was something I would rarely use in a beer description, Worcestershire. The taste I later refined down to a unique blend of smokey malts and cola. The first glass I had, was mediocre. But I would never leave a 6 pack with only one missing from the slot.

Over the next week I had a few more, until half-way through the case, the taste began to make sense. When I was trying to enjoy it as a normal Bock the flavor was too complex until I understood the cola additions. The beer felt weaker than expected for such a strong taste, and I am beginning to doubt the listed ABV. I still have a few left in the case and I am nervous about whether the next drink will be better, or if the tastes will be incoherent.

Overall - The best way to describe this drink is like a Mona Vie. It is not a drink for everyone, and many might find it down right disgusting at first, but after a few you will find yourself craving one every now and then. My recommendation is to try some other drinks first, but if you elect to buy a case, make sure you have more than just one. This beer takes some sophistication (possibly more than I currently have.)

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 18:47:00 | More by BasilBock
Photo of stephens101


2.88/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

One finger of dark, tan head rests firmly atop this dark brow brew. A sliver of crimson wraps around the edges.

Smell is promising with rich milk chocolate, black licorice and a pan full of fresh baked banana bread.

Tastes of dark chocolate up front and little else until a focused retry reveals a bit of grape candy and subtle hops.

The body is light and crackery with a surprisingly small amount of alcohol heat noticed despite the ABV. If I would have guessed blind I would have said 5-6%*.

Not a lot going on with this one, and not much else to say.

* I did not read the previous review beforehand, but this is the most obvious quality of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 23:50:11 | More by stephens101
Photo of Direx


2.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A: A handsome color when poured; appears black but is a dark blood crimson under light.

S: Smells like a red lager, similar smell to Mojave Red. I really had to shove my face in the glass to get a good whiff. Some caramel and nutty notes.

T: Pleasant, light taste--similar to the Mojave Red. Not very flavorful and residual flavors leave the mouth quickly. Uncomplicated flavors, watered down. Unoffensive, mildly pleasant aftertaste.

M: Lobotomy Bock is a thin beer with a bland mouth-feel.

O: Unimpressive Bock that has tons of potential. Firstly, you'd never guess that Lobotomy is 10.8%. It tastes like a 4-5% brew--although I guess this is a plus for some. Mouth-feel and taste are forgetful. Lobotomy is too filtered and restrained for its own good. If I had to describe this brew in one word it would be "withdrawn". It has a lot less personality than I was expecting and I predict it will speak to very few individuals.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 06:44:02 | More by Direx
Photo of USMCretired


1.06/5  rDev -64.8%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

An all around horrible beer. It has a strange grittiness to it, light alchohol and some oxidation. Claims to adhere to reinheitsgebot but i taste some additions in here. Interesting to know what their interpretation of reinheitsgebot is.

Boozy, caramely warm aftertaste. Thin off white head that quickly fades to a snapping beer. Too many things going on, i like my doppelbocks simpler.

Wouldn't buy again

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 15:35:01 | More by USMCretired
Photo of DannyHartman

1.48/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

It's almost hard for me to believe this is a 10.5 ABV beer.... At first, the pour into the glass seems to nice.... That is, until you realize there isn't much head or body to it.... Though it's a dark beer, it doesn't have that deep of a taste to it.... Pretty bland characteristics.... I tried the Indian Wells "Insomnia IPA", and again, I wasn't too impressed with it's lack of hoppiness.... I'm still waiting to find a beer from this brewery that I fully enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 14:44:04 | More by DannyHartman
Photo of Texan816

3.95/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the lobotomy bock, not to harsh, smooth, taste great! I found this at Central Market HEB in San Antonio, Tx. I was looking for Lobo Bock which is a Texas double bock but they are still a small brewery so when I came across this I was continent and have been on the lobotomy kick since!

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2012 22:57:46 | More by Texan816
Photo of BW333


2/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Well-marketed: Seeing the label, knowing that I like doppelbocks, 10.8%!! This should be great

Potential: Looks pretty good when poured into the glass. Decent head. Good dark ruby color.

Taste: What is this? Some blend of cola, dunkel beer, and water? No hops flavor. Mild malty tastes. It was a disappointment. I begin to doubt your commitment to the doppelbock name. 10.8% are you sure? Anything that strong leaves a different mouth-feel.

Residual Effect: I have 5 more of these in the fridge. What to do with them?

The doppelbock I made with a Mr. Beer kit was better than this, but it was very clean/smooth tasting. Not at all bitter.


Serving type: bottle

06-07-2012 21:29:00 | More by BW333
Photo of RonaldTheriot


2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lobotomy Bock has a medium, beige head and a clear, brown (ruby red under light) appearance. Lacing is minimal. The aroma is quite faint, but a bit of sweet bread can be detected. Taste is a touch smokey, sweet, lightly chocolaty, a bit of coffee, and mostly just nothing, really. No hop bitterness is present. Mouthfeel is very thin and watery, and Lobotomy Bock finishes like tap water. It’s hard to believe such a drink could have a 10.8% alcohol level. I found this only ordinary. Avoid.


Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 15:25:58 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of Offa


2.8/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This is a very mediocre, uninteresting beer that does not even seem like a bock, much less a doppelbock. It seems more like a boring, pedestrian version of a dunkel. In fact, I find it impossible to believe that this is actually anything close to the 10.5% abv stated here, but I have no personal knowledge of the abv.

Almost black, it has a big tan head steadily shrinking to a foamy ring and a little foamy lace.

Aroma is strong caramelised toasty barley and winey prunes.

Taste is dryish singed leaves, roasted barley, vague caramelly prunes, a little mineral. It is watery and thin in feel and character. Although reasonably enjoyable, it is thin, one-dimensional, exceedingly boring, and, as noted, really only like a slightly stronger dunkel in character.

When I drank this, I thought it was supposed to be a regular (not doppel) bock, and quickly determined that it could not fit that category. Any claim that this is supposed to be a doppelbock is incredible. That said, this is enjoyable enough to drink and warrant somewhat decent ratings from me. If I were to score this strictly as a doppelbock, the score would be far lower, but that is not my way, and I only factor the style in as one element.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 19:05:30 | More by Offa
Photo of BretSikkink


2.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black color with few highlights and a tight mocha colored head. Frankly, it's pretty inspiring, and leaves a solid foam down the glass. Of course, I wonder about it being called a bock, with a color such as this. 

Nose is quite malty, roasted notes as well as toasted nuts and a hint of fruits. Flavor strongly favors malts, like roasted fruit. It's a very strange flavor, moderately unpleasant but interesting in a scientific sort of way. Dark. Offer and chocolate roasted notes up front with a cherry candy filling flavor creeping in the back. 

Body is weak for a stout but thick for a bock. No idea what style they were shooting for here, but they got a real mixup on their hands. 

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 23:47:04 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of scottfrie


1.93/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark raisin brown with a thick, dense, dark tan head that took its time to fade into a thick and fuzzy film that left almost no lace.
S: I get light notes of sweet caramel, roasted malts, toffee and maybe some brownish sugar. There’s something spritzy in there as well that doesn’t quite smell right.
T: If the nose smelled ok then the flavor tastes bad. The flavor is very plan and bland, and the dominating notes are seltzer water mixed with caramel syrup. The finish is a bit nutty. Soda-like overall.
M: The body is on the light side of medium with fizzy carbonation. The mouthfeel is tingly and thin.
O: This is pretty awful stuff. Drinkable yes, but I’d rather just drink a soda.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 02:27:14 | More by scottfrie
Photo of treque


3.23/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: looks more like a stout or a schwarbier, deep brown with a little ruby highlight when see trough light, there is no head at all, dissipates so quickly

S: the smell is not bad, corresponding with the style its not very common, chocolate, coffe, no caramel at all

T: deep flavour to chocolate, altough is a little crispy on tongue, the alcohol presence is not noticed at all, medium body, strange taste for a doppelbock

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 04:46:11 | More by treque
Photo of EricCioe


3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to my neighbor Andrew for picking this up for me while in CA.

This pours medium brown with dark highlights and a small head that doesn't leave any lace. On the nose there is rich caramel malt, some esters further back, and caramelized raisins or some such. In the mouth those same flavors come out. This is not a complex beer. It's pretty much heavy on the caramel malt and toasted bread with just a bit of phenol mixed in, no surprise given the weight. The body is quite thin for the style, and the finish didn't do anything strange.

Overall, I was happy to try this but glad I had just a few bottles. It's strange and not really up to doppelbock snuff for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 05:58:38 | More by EricCioe
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


2.15/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a mix of brown and light black, super thin, 1/16" head, dissipates into nothingness. Aroma of raisins, prunes and alcohol, oh so much alcohol.

More alcohol, some varnish, kinda thin malt wise, heavy alcohol wise. Bad dark fruit taste. Lots of sweetness coming from somewhere. A weird rubbery burnt aspect to the beer, nothing like a rauchbier or the aroma of burnt rubber you'll get in some gueuze. Kind of weird to have this much bitterness in a beer that isn't hoppy at all, much less in a style like a doppelbock.

Never been a fan of this brewery, this just isn't my kind of style of beer, but even stuff I like, these guys haven't been able to fit it in an appreciable way for my palate.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 22:39:24 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of RobJTejas


2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pilsner glass. Looks like a glass of Dr. Pepper, very dark with a finger thin line of head that quickly disipates.

Smells roasted, almost charred. A little nutty with a molasses finish.

I must agree with Nerudamann on this one. Roasty malts and molasses with a bitter initial hit.

Mouth feel is tricky. The bitter taste up front almost makes you think it is medium to medium heavy bodied but swill it around a second and you realize its actually almost light. Once again its almost cola-esque. Medium carbonation, very little alcohol taste.

Overall not a bad beer. Like many others on here I don't think I could drink this alone all night, (and with so many fine brews out there who would?) but I would definately drink the whole bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 01:35:00 | More by RobJTejas
Photo of ronniebruner


2.08/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The first thing I noticed about this beer is how extremely dark it is. This beer is darker than most stouts. When poured into a glass, I noticed an excess of head and lace. The beer's aroma is of charcoal and burnt malt. The taste of charcoal and malt are a bit overpowering and actually degrade from the overall taste of this beer. I wanted to like this beer, but I am a bit underwhelmed to be honest.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 03:05:12 | More by ronniebruner
Photo of Francepants06


2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks like a black lager with an off-white head.
Smells of roasted malts with hint of espresso.
Taste like flat watered down coffee.
mouthfeel is light to medium body.
Overall, just an average beer. The brewmaster needs to realize that making beer that taste like a bad homebrew doesn't belong on the market.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 22:38:16 | More by Francepants06
Photo of searsclone


3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Little head and lacing. Very dark color, reminds me of a glass of Coke or Pepsi.

Smells like chocolate brownies folowed by a bit of coffee.

Tastes kind of like burnt chocolate with smoke. Kinda of flat with no aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery. Leaves a clean feeling.

Overall, very average. I don't think I'll have another.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 00:48:06 | More by searsclone
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

3.43/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium sized light brown head dies into a kinda weak lacing above a clear very dark brown beer.

A very light sweet caramel malt aroma on this medium bodied beer.

Light grapes on a caramel malt taste leaving a light dry aftertaste.

Kinda a weird little taste to this beer but that not necessarily a bad thing, I kinda liked it for a one shot type drink, can't say I'd like to drink a six pack in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 02:40:16 | More by LXIXME
Photo of Nerudamann


3.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsener glass.

Look - jet black with about half a finger of light tan-colored foam that dissipates very quickly.

Smell - a little coffee-like, but more chocolaty in smell, sweet, with maybe a hint of molasses.

Taste and Mouthfeel - strong, somewhat bitter taste at the very beginning which melds into a sweeter, definitely more roasted/molasses-like taste. Mouthfeel is a little warming, probably due to the higher abv, and the texture is pretty well-balanced.

Overall - I don't really love the bitter/chocolaty/roasted part of this taste, but I do like that it blends itself pretty well.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2011 03:32:26 | More by Nerudamann
Photo of Ryan011235


1.83/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a small snifter on 4/23/11

Thanks, indeed, to nickd717. However, the rest is backwards; Indian Wells was cranking beers long before that critter crawled out of the open vat in a warehouse in the flats.

Split with MbpBugeye, of course. I like to make sure he shares in my misery.

Deep brown, almost plum-colored. One finger of riddled-with-pores foam drops steadily for a few minutes. Patch of bubbles for retention and a ring of lace.

I never quite got band-aid as a descriptor until now. Honestly, I glad I made it this far. Watery bread, grains and caramel. Hints of earthiness and disdain. Stale tomato aroma as it warms. Tastes even worse. Watery and thin to the point it affects the flavor. Bready with a little dough. Stray sugars. Earthy, tea-like hops don't make things any better. Carbonation isn't over the top but it's prickly. Unpleasant residuals.

No thanks, I'm over this.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 03:17:03 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of MbpBugeye


2.53/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Brought over by Ryan011235, probably provided by nickd717 who calls Indian Wells the California version of Indigo Imp. Its starting to look like Nick is the California version of Ryan.

Dark purple with a strangely gray head that leaves droopy lace for about a ring of two.

Its best summed up by simply saying "raisin box". There is some bran flakes and rotty figs.

Very sugary raisins and figs that reach extract/syrup potency. Some darker, wheaty/bran-like malts and grains.

Its quite smooth with a lesser-than-medium body. Its very sweet with little in the way of balance.

My first Indian Wells experience wasn't a true horror story like I've heard. This one is just overly sweet and strong on the raisin.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 22:34:39 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of obrike


2.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Interestingly bland beer...if that's possible.

Pours a bit like a cola, a bit darker. Head fades quickly and leaves a thin tan head.

I could not get much of a scent at all...maybe a slight hint of roasted malt.

Taste is quite thin, not what I expected at all after trying several other doppelbocks recently. A very small taste of dark fruits, but overall very bland.

Almost leaves a stinging taste dry fizz on my tongue, a bit weak.

For such a strong beer (Nearly 11%abv), it's alcohol is hidden quite well...very easy to drink, just not sure if I really want to have another.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 23:44:00 | More by obrike
Photo of felipe2toes


3.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with thin head that dissappears into nothingness, maybe some crust and lace clinging here and there, but nothing really.

Smells of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and raisins.

Flavorwise, this beer is fairly one-note, just malt. Maybe the slightest bit of hops on the finish.

Really light-bodied for what I was expecting, kind of flat.

If anything, the abv is well-hidden in this beer, making for an easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 05:10:17 | More by felipe2toes
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Lobotomy Bock from Indian Wells Brewing Company
71 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.