St. Nikolaus Bock Bier | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

very good
211 Reviews
St. Nikolaus Bock BierSt. Nikolaus Bock Bier

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by SheepNutz on 12-03-2002

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Reviews: 211 | Ratings: 410
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
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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Photo of Brian_L-2056
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
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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Photo of microbrewlover
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
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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Photo of trygelski1
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
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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Photo of lastmango
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.54/5  rDev -10.4%
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 -0.5%
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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Photo of beerdedking
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
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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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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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Photo of BMMillsy
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
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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Photo of RVigz
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
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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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
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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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
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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Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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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Photo of Beer_Store_Guy
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
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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Photo of thecheapies
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost solud dark brown with a finger and a half of foamy beige-colored head. Retains well, laces okay. Looks like a bock.

German grains with a hefty roast pushing coffee, spice, kernel nuttiness, and faintly sour mash noted into the fray. Earthy hops are mellowes by the cereal elements, but twang with a strange, but small, citrusy flair. Echoes clove and caramel vanilla notes through robust malt notes. A classic holiday ale and the smell is always good, every year.

Bitter earthiness with a touch of vanilla, dark sugars, clove-y spice, yeasty nut, and wet German maltiness. Yeast dries out the flavor with added powder, but the feel leans toward 'creamy', still. Medium-to-light roast coffee factors in and delivers more of that good bock nuttiness. Hints of cherried fruit and trail mix. Perhaps, a kiss of chocolate. Body stands up fine with a whoosh and a swish. Carbonation develops late in the mouth, almost inversely, with bubbles getting larger in the finish. Lingers with sparkling tongue spice, wetness on the palate, and a faded alcohol presence. Excellent mouthfeel.

A personal favorite for holiday ales. I drink over a dozen a year, I feel. Always available in my area, and standardly good. Especially, at my local dive bar.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.52/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a nice head and lingering lacing. Slight nose of dark malt sweetness. Light medium body and well carbonated. The balanced flavor of dark / roast malt is pleasant and only hints at sweetness. Smooth crisp finish aided by the carbonation. The roast malt is most evident on the finish and leaves a nice residual flavor.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown color with a smallish tan head and little lacing

S-roasted malt, hint of coffee, light chocolate,

T-roasted malt, light chocolate, slight char, light coffee, hint of molasses, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a solid bock with good flavor and easy drinkability

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Photo of dungledauf
2.4/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had on tap at the brewery in a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark, chestnut brown in color. Clear with a no head, no lacing, and no carbonation.

Smell - Not malty at all. Expected to smell a malt bomb here, but I could not detect the smell of the multiple malts used in this style. It is possible the beer may have been served to cold

Taste - Thin-bodied lager with low bitterness. As with the smell, I expected a malt bomb, but I could not taste the sticky, complex, malt flavor associated with this style.

Mouthfeel - Thin-bodied and crisp

Notes: Penn Brewery has made this beer better in the past, and I have positively reviewed it. Maybe I had a bad batch.

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Photo of chinchill
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle.
Clear, dark, red-brown ale with a good off-white head that fades slowly.
S: The aroma is mainly of roasted malts, with only faint hints of yeast and hops. Attractive but light.
T: The taste is well-balanced but a bit under-flavored.
M: Medium body seems a bit too thin, good, if slightly high, near-medium carbonation.

O: Certainly a good beer, but tame for style (versus European versions): a bock leaning towards an amber

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Photo of Tucquan
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2013-01-02 in Columbia, PA

A - Semi-clear ruby brown with a 1-finger tan head that fades fast and leaves light lacing.

S - A hint of cinammon roll, some roasted grain, sweet, not very strong.

T - Toasted wheat bread, dried cherry, citrus, fig, earthy spice, hop bitterness. Dries nicely and leaves a sweet/sour and dark fruit flavor along with some roasted bitterness. I like the flavors.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Mildly smooth.

O - An enjoyable bock beer. Satisfying taste and mouthfeel. Easy to drink. Not too sweet or cloying.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours a deep brown, off white lacing.

Smells of caramel, figs, cinnamon and cloves.

Bready slightly toasty malts with some cinnamon spice flavor. Hint of bitterness like nuts in the aftertaste.

Medium body with mild carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

An interesting bock, decent flavor, and some "Christmas" spice to it compared to other bocks. I've had the stronger version of this beer as well and I prefer that, but this is pretty good too and I'd seek it out again.

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Photo of argock
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Chestnut brown with nice clarity and a generous 1-2 finger off-white head with decent retention and very intricate lace around the rim.

S: Sweet caramel and toffee with some black cherry overtones. Also some bready aromas and crisp herbal noble hops.

T: A very tasty bock with bready but slightly sweet caramel maltiness, light cracker, and then light sour cherry in the finish. The hopping is not over-bitter at all and really nicely balances the malt components. The bitterness does grow through the beer and is more striking in the aftertaste. The roasted malt described on the label is most prominent in the first few sips but dissipates.

M: Medium body and carbonation with enough activity to keep it lively on the palate.

O: A really nice bock which is a great alternative to spiced winter warmers which I hate. Penn knocks another German lager style for at least a triple if not a homer.

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Photo of John_M
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Pittsburgh International airport the other day. A pleasant surprise to see a beer like this at an airport.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with fairly decent head retention and light lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light chocolate and a hint of burnt toast. The beer is a bit better on the palate, as I get light vanilla, chocolate, some underlying roasty malt and a hint of burnt toast. The beer is bit light and watery on the palate otherwise, and the finish is bit short as well. Acohol is completely unnoticeable in this beer, and so drinkability is pretty good.

Having just had the Ayinger Celebrator a few days ago, it's pretty hard not to be a bit critical of this beer. While it has decent flavors, the beer is otherwise light, simple and fairly one dimensional. Not sure this is one I need to try again any time soon.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a deep brown color with a small tan head. The head fades very fast to leave only a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was chocolaty with hints of caramel and honey sweetness. Mixed with these sweeter aromas was a nice backbone of a roasted malt and brown bread aroma with a very light almost earthy smell rounding it all out.

Taste – The taste begins of toasted malt mixed with a bit of chocolate. Upfront there is also some sweetness of a caramel taste. The chocolate grows a bit stronger more toward the middle with a honey flavor coming in as well. While it was on the slightly more sweet side upfront more toward the end it dries out a bit as some holiday spice and nut flavors come to the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the average side in terms of creaminess with a carbonation level that was on the slightly lower to average side. It keep it rather easy drinking, but really was not too light to where it took away from the darker flavors.

Overall – A pretty nice holiday brew. Not overly spiced and when combined with its roast and good level of carbonation and thickness made for a good easily holiday drinker.

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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 410 ratings.
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