St. Nikolaus Bock Bier
Pennsylvania Brewing Company

St. Nikolaus Bock BierSt. Nikolaus Bock Bier
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German Bock
Ranked #2
Ranked #8,663
3.97 | pDev: 11.34%
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
St. Nikolaus Bock BierSt. Nikolaus Bock Bier
Notes: Munich and various roasted malts give it a very malty, rich flavor with a hint of burnt flavor. 100% imported Hallertau hops, moderate bitterness and aroma.
Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 433 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MikeWard
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness dating could be found, but I feel confident in it being this year's release.

Pours like cola, dk brown body, but a rich deep amber when held up to the light. Small off white head dissipates to a thick ring and solid covering.

Deep malty aroma with some molasses notes.

Good malty beveridge, strong tasting. Light sweetness, but there is a roasty slightly bitter end.

Mouth above medium, finish that roasty bitterness.

Overall, not a style I buy too often, but this is a decent drink, slightly spoiled by the finish. Perhaps a few more weeks in the bottle would take the edge off.

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MikeWard from Pennsylvania, Dec 07, 2019
Photo of CodyBasden
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark black beer with slight tan head, roasted barley smell, good roast taste that fades with little bitterness actually very pleasant on the palate, good light body and carbonation

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Photo of BishopJ
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: dark, chocolatey to deep brick read. Thin head with slight lacing.
Smell: hoppy and rich, like your favorite pub.
Taste: fresh, rich hoppy. Nice and smooth.
Feel: slight tang. Rich and smooth.
Overall: Penn brewery’s bock is quite fine. Easy to drink and very distinctive, rich flavor.

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BishopJ from Pennsylvania, Jan 12, 2019
Photo of jzeilinger
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark amber to orange brown in color with nice clarity and sticky lacing.

S - Toasted caramel malt with some spice/cinnamon and a small hit of acidity in the nose.

T - Toasted caramel along with some spice and light cinnamon.

M - Medium body with small carbonation pricklies.

O - An easy holiday sipper.

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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania, Dec 18, 2018
Photo of ovaltine
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nearly clear caramel brown color with a soapy tan head. Gorgeous beer. Roasted malts and a subtle noble hop component on the nose.

The roasted malts dominate the taste up from, but the noble hops add a grassy flavor that is outstanding. Just an excellent example of the style, IMHO.

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ovaltine from Indiana, May 26, 2018
Photo of RacerX5k
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Such a great bock I look for every spring. Had one last night, heading out now to get 2 more singles. Pretty color, head doesn't stick around at all, looks flat but is most definitely not. Aroma and tastes off the charts, freshly baked bread, cherries, raisins, some chocolate thrown in there, Christmas spices. Really does taste like the fruitcake we ate as kids.

Had this so many times, funny, I didn't like the bigger version Brewers Reserve.

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RacerX5k from Pennsylvania, Apr 13, 2018
Photo of Harrison8
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark burgundy-brown with a finger of off-white foam. Head retention is good. Aroma is caramel, toasted, and nutted malts. Flavor profile is much richer, but the notable notes are caramel, toasted, and nutted malts. There is a bready quality to it. A hint of holiday spice in the back gives the beer a little flair, but is otherwise straight forward and tasty. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with a velvety, soothing texture. Overall, a solid bock that sips clean and smooth.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

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Harrison8 from Missouri, Mar 20, 2018
Photo of janubio
3.51/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reddish copper colour, big head with medium retention, small lace. Aroma is spicy, juniper, cloves, licorice, ginger, with chocolate and vanilla notes. Light body, creamy texture, good carbonation. Medicinal finish. Taste of spices, ginger, cloves. juniper, chocolate, vanilla. A bit watery and more xmas like that a dopplebock.

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janubio from Spain, Mar 14, 2018
Photo of TH28
3.17/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle. 10/9/17 bottle date. Appearance: Brown with dark ruby red undertones, clear, with a low lying off white foam head. Aroma: Strong bread crust and toast, with a touch of caramel. All malt Taste: Rich bread crust maltiness, toast, nutty, and a touch of roast. Maltiness a bit syrupy, as if boiled from malt extract. Bitterness is moderate. Mouthfeel: Thin bodied with a low carbonation Finish: Dry, with a bit of astringent toast and bitterness, along with some bread crust Overall: Far from a traditional German take on a Bock. A surprising amount of roasted maltiness, with no hint of dark fruit. Body is very thin, which accentuates the astringency and bitterness. Seems like it’s brewed from extract.

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TH28 from Florida, Jan 13, 2018
Photo of ajm5108
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown / cola color, moderate tan head that settles quickly. Not a tremendous nose on this one - just some light nut, light caramel malt, hint of phenol - nothing bad, just very faint. Taste is along the same lines - not bursting with flavor but nothing "off"... Dark wheat malt, a dash of dark fruit phenol, a touch of bitter German hops at the end. Solid if unexceptional.

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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania, Dec 10, 2017
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle marked 2946 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried seidel
Aroma – toasted malt
Head – large (Maximum 4.5 cm, aggressive pour), fizzy/frothy, tan, rapidly diminishing to a three mm ring and thin partial layer
Lacing - none
Body – dark brown, transparent,
Flavor – starts slightly sweet and malty, ends sweet.
Palate medium, creamy, lively carbonation

This beer benefits from being served in a glass as opposed to drinking from the bottle.

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4

Edit: The empty 12-pack box was marked 04/20/17

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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania, Dec 20, 2016
Photo of Brian_L-2056
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown ale color with mild carbonation and a light creamy head that dissipates quickly. Smells very mild. Initial taste is mild as too but well balanced. The aftertaste has hints of coffee and toffee. Overall a not overwhelmingly flavorful but a good flavor brown ale that's very drinkable.

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Brian_L-2056 from West Virginia, Dec 06, 2016
Photo of microbrewlover
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This brew pours a dark color with a two finger head, most of which rapidly dissipates but some sticks around until the end. The color changes to reddish brown when held up to the light, kind or reminds of a plumb.

The smell is full of sweet earthy malts, a little licorice, some brown sugar and molasses; spicy and nutty.

The taste follows the nose with sweet malts dominating. Then some licorice, brown sugar/molasses, then a slightly nutty taste followed up by lightly spiced hops. The feel is fairly thick and rich but just a little creamy on the back end. The spicy hops balance out the sweetness and there is just a slightly boozy aftertaste.

Overall this is another good beer from Penn Brewing.

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microbrewlover from Pennsylvania, Feb 05, 2016
Photo of trygelski1
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip glass:

Look: Pours a beautiful dark brown color. Very nice inch of head with minimal lacing present.

Smell: Toffee, chocolate, caramel.

Taste: Easy drinking bock with hints of caramel, chocolate, toffee, and a nice malty backbone.

Feel: Medium bodied

Overall: This is a excellent take on a bock bier. This is one of the better brews that Penn Brewery has to offer. I now need to get my hands on some of the Brewer's Reserve edition to compare. I would also revisit this next holiday season.

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trygelski1 from Pennsylvania, Dec 27, 2015
Photo of lastmango
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a root beer brown with a one finger creamy head. Moderate lacing. Nose is of faint malt. Malty flavor with a hint of cocoa and very mild hoppiness in the back end. Moderately thin feel with moderate carbonation. Drinkable if a bit unremarkable.

Updated 12-27-17: Look is the same. Aroma is maltier than when previously reviewed. Taste is much more pronounced. I would call this very drinkable and enjoyable.

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lastmango from Pennsylvania, Dec 05, 2015
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown color. This has three fingers worth of mocha-colored head, and its retention is quite good as well. Streaks of spiderweb-esque lacing is left on the glass. (3.5)

Smell: Wow, this is smokier than I expected. Then again, seeing as I love Schlenkerla's rauchbiers, this is a huge positive. It's also backed by notes of brown sugar, gentle roast, noble hops, caramel, and even some diacetyl. Even with that latter note, the maltiness of this bock is really nice. (3.25)

Taste: I'm really getting a lot of caramel and brown sugar on the flavor profile. Touches of diacetyl actually help to break up the monotony, instead of introducing an unpleasantness to this offering. Hints of baker's cocoa powder and smoke appear after a few sips, while the gentle hopping on the back end keeps it easy to drink. A very well-made bock without any frills - then again, any frills would likely ruin this. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Its texture is somewhat full, and yet that lager crispness keeps it easy drinking. I really enjoy how it manages to be creamy yet dry-finishing at the same time. Carbonation is medium. (3.5)

Overall: A regular bock is pretty low on the totem pole of favored beer styles nowadays, but to use that as an excuse to dismiss this offering is folly. It's not that big in flavor, but it's surprisingly complex by lager standards. I'd love to see a doppelbock version of this...oh wait, Penn Brewing *DOES* make a doppelbock version of this. ISO. (3.5)

3.54/5: Viva la lager!

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Photo of seedyone
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Appearence had all the right character. Solid, creamy head, a rich deep brown color & the lacing was moderate. The taste wasa nice shade of toasted malty goodness. The hops are used for balance not for reputation. All in a nice choice if you're so lucky.

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seedyone from New York, Jan 01, 2015
Photo of beerdedking
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Creamy, roasty, with sweet toffee and hints of milk chocolate accompanying. Full mouthfeel and spot on carbo guarantee this will not stay in your glass for long. I bought this after a weekend of hop burnout, and what a great purchase it turned out to be....

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beerdedking from Pennsylvania, Dec 08, 2014
Photo of Uniobrew31
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Dark Lager, Mildly transparent. Fizzy head that dissipates quickly leaving some light lacing down the glass. Big toasted malty sweetness up front with with some spicy notes and minimal bitterness on the back end. Really festive

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Uniobrew31 from Pennsylvania, Nov 26, 2014
Photo of BMMillsy
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from trade, and my first from Penn. pours dark brownish red, somewhat opaque, with some red shin fun through and an off white to khaki and creamy head. Aroma screams lager with sweet brown sugar, lager yeast, a little dirty, some dark fruit. Flavor is chocolate covered prunes with some brown sugar sweetness. A bit on the watery side in flavor but easy drinking with light plus mouthfeel and medium low carbonation. Acceptable brew and worth trying.

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BMMillsy from Florida, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of RVigz
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer was cloudy dark amber in appearance.

S: A very spicy and slightly malty smell.

T: The taste was slightly bitter with lots of spice and a nice roasted barley taste. I could taste slight nutmeg and cinnamon malts.

M: The initial mouthfeel was bitter but smooth.

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RVigz from Pennsylvania, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(poured into a flared pilsner glass)

A: deep reddish-brown liquid... nice amount of coffee-creme-colored head, about an inch.... minimal mucus-y lacing

S: molasses, cocoa, mild licorice, wet tree bark/leaves

T: immediate, bold, slightly bittersweet baker's cocoa - delicious!... tasty traces of burnt caramel in the finish with a hint of leafy hop flavor and assertive bitterness... the aftertaste lasts awhile and has an almost menthol flavor and sensation well up quite late, somewhat medicinal/tonic alcohol, too.... the only thing I could ask for would be the malt flavor/sweetness to be a bit more intense and lasting - the taste is otherwise superb

M: i'd say medium-bodied, sporting a faint viscosity in the follow-through... fairly dry finish

O: I would buy a sixer of this without question - probably drink the whole thing in one night.... pretty damn good German-style brew, lusciously-moreish, fulfilling .... glad I finally came across a bottle - and it was in Philly, you'd think I would've crossed paths with one before, huh?

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Bouleboubier from New Jersey, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall pint glass, color is dark brown, tan edges, head is tan dense, presents over 1 inch thick then dissipates to a top and some lacing on the glass.

Smell is cleaner malts, touch of caramel, light roast, toffee and hints of chocolate; earthy hop presence is subtle.

Taste is clean, malt flavor is toffee, touch roast, light caramel and some chocolate. Lagering has cleaned the flavors well, hop bitterness is present, subtle grassy flavors.

Mouthfeel is very nice, smooth yet crisp: flavors present and linger mostly on the tongue and bounce on the sides of the mouth; carbonation is not overdone providing for smoother finish especially with these malt flavors.

Overall, a very good bock style beer, great mouthfeel and clean flavors create a very drinkable beer.

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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Dark brown with reddish highlights. Has 1/2 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly.

Cocoa, brown sugar, brown breads and raisin.

Brown breads, brown sugar and cocoa. Dark fruits consisting of raisin & date along with touches of red grape and red licorice.

Medium bodied, smooth and subtly crisp with carbonation.

A nice malty Bock that stays traditional to the style. Easy drinking and smooth.

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justintcoons from Pennsylvania, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of Beer_Store_Guy
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reminds me of Russian black bread. Great example of bock style from an American perspective. I like everything from Penn and this is no different. The consistency is the most enjoyable aspect of the winter beers. Wish that there were more of these in the variety case.

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Beer_Store_Guy from Pennsylvania, Dec 18, 2013
St. Nikolaus Bock Bier from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 433 ratings