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 garymuchow
2.21/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle courtesy of SS '05. Thanks guys.

Aroma is softer than I expected and holds some interesting complexity. Seems like almost a vanilla quality.
Really nice red color when help up to the light, otherwise more brown. Head is kinda' small but it has a nice creaminess to it and some determination. Laces nicely too.
Flavor is not quite right. If it's a spiced beer than the spices dominate. I'm picking up too little of any bold maltiness. Is this bottle old? Flawed? Skunked? I don't know, but it's not right.
Feel is fine. As it should be for style.
Not really drinkable as presented in this bottle.
Dissappointing. I hope I have the opportunity to try another sample, as a solid bock can be real pleasure.

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

A good example of "It may look good, but if it don't taste good..." but based on the other reviews I may have gotten a bad batch.

A - Clear dark brown body with a large quickly fading light brown head. The head had no lacing.

S - Burnt toast, mold. The aroma was similar to that of stagnant water.

T - Slightly sweet with a short aftertaste. One of the few beers that I have not been able to finish because of the taste (and in college I used to drink Meister Brau)

M - Light bodied. Slight fishy flavor but atleast there was a nuttiness from the malts.

D - No, not at all.

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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 Ryan011235
2.55/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an A-B flute on 2/27/12

Dark brown in the glass with rust and copper highlights. The two finger head crackles away in no time leaving little in the way of retention, save for a fizzy collar. Only a few specks of lacing.

The aroma is earthy, showing notes of toasted grain and chocolate. It has the semblance of cereal with some manner of chocolate or cocoa added at the industrial level.

The taste is similar to the aroma, though it has a slightly more notable roasted presence. That said, there's a generic taste to it; the grain and modest cocoa offset seem dull and one dimensional.

The feel is rather smooth, accented by a rolling carbonation that gets a tad more pointed toward the finish. Speaking of, the finish is earthy and a bit dirty.

This isn't totally bad; I'll finish the bottle, but it's easily on the lesser side of average. It's merely forgettable.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
2.77/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Just translucent, dark brown with nice ruby highlights & a thin, bubbly collar, just barely a wisp of head.

Nice smell -- lightly roasty chocolate, some dark licorice, & just a little coffee. Yum! Very clear malt smell, good stuff.

Huh. Taste is a bit of a letdown: a little watery, even mineral or aluminum, with some vaguely roasted notes hanging around. Even at a pretty reasonable ABV, the alcohol comes through too strongly. Man, that sucks! I was hoping for a nice, full malt taste, it's like the bottom just dropped out of this one. Aftertaste is like weak coffee, but that you got stuck with the grounds at the same time, slightly charred.
A little caramel sneaks in, but that's it, that's the high point.

Mouthfeel is thin & watery, & leaves behind a kind of astringent feeling.

Wow, what a curveball. I've had this in the past & loved it, & the aroma was right where I remembered it, but the taste was really lacking - in just plain wrong, too! Don't know if I got a bad bottle, but this in no way lives up to my memory of it.

EDIT: As I was rinsing out the bottle, I noticed a crescent of white residue on the bottom. I don't know if this had something to do with it not being up to snuff, but if it did, I'd hold the brewer accountable for that.

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Photo of battlekow
2.78/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I'm not a big bock fan, and this one really didn't do a lot to change my mind. The nose is dominated by diacetyl, huge butteriness. A little fruitiness in the flavor, but there doesn't seem to be a lot there. Hints of alcohol. I think the beer is overcarbonated and the mouthfeel suffers as a result.

Thanks for the effort anyway, BeerBeing.

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Photo of brendanbeer
2.92/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

barcade in brooklyn. on tap.

a. dark brown, little head. at first is appealing, but the head soon dissolves into nothing, and it looks less than satisfactory.

s. not much, spicy bock notes... a little.

t. also not much. mellow spicy bock with slight malt and yeasty vibe. not much hop balance. unimpressed.

m. average beer mouthfeel, a little smoother and mellower.

d. easy to drink. im not sure what my "average" 3 is... but its closer to "not impressed" territory. its not something i would pay for and be excited about. but, regardless, cheers!

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Photo of Ricochet
3.06/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smells like a brown, malt, malt and more malt without hops and a little alcohol. No head, and no lace. Well, a little left, but not much and a beautiful dark brown, clear, great looking beverage.

Mouth was lager. watery, not much of aftertaste with a quick wash. Taste , well, this was a brown ale more than a bock. Slightly toasted malt gave way to a slightly hoppy drink with a bitter edge, but nothing to wow me. Caramel was present. Maybe a rounded alcohol remainder. Okay drinker, but nothing I'll seek out.

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Photo of tugdriver7
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I eagerly bought a whole case of St. Nick yesterday, so I may be modifying this report as it grows on me a bit. I bought the last case in the store. The box looked a little worse for the wear, so I hope it's a new (2006) batch and not something that had been sitting around for a year or more. I found out later that it was at least a year old; so this review is a bit off the mark, so-to-speak.

The beer poured into the glass very dark amber, with a gorgeous head that left a nice lace as it disappeared. In the smell I caught hints of roasted malt (as I expected) and a slightly fruity (hops?) odor that seemed a bit stronger than I had expected. The mouthfeel was thinner than I thought. The taste, however, was confusing. I hope that the complexity of the brew is the reason (and not a year's worth of sitting in a warehouse). It tasted not bitter, not tart, but something akin to sour. I didn't expect that. Perhaps that's what it should be (from the other reviews I've read that cite "raisin" or "berry" or "fruit" in the taste). Even so, no matter how good the product, I couldn't give this batch (or this bottle) a high rating. I'll amend when I find it fresh.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.2/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured beer from bottle to tumbler at 45 degrees which was too cold. Beer had a nice dark roasted color with a fine bubbly tan head. Roasted hop taste, light nutty slightly. Beer was lighter tasting than it looked. I though the beer was kinda flat tasting also but might just have been this bottle. Even though I did not give this beer a high rating, I believe I will try it again just to see.

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Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: ½ inch head, moderate carbonation, dark brown in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt

Taste: toasted malt, chocolate, and slight holiday spicing

Mouthfeel: slightly sweet, moderate carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: An ok holiday offering. I could certainly drink a six but for the price, I think I may pass. None of the flavors are overpowering and I think this beer could use a bit more ummph.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown with a slightly ruby tint. thin tan head

S-syrupy holiday spices. somewhat fruity. faint smell.

T-comes in with a solid taste of pumperknickel bread, caramel, and winter spices. the after-taste is strong, matching with some creaminess and bitterness. good flavors and strong flavors.

M-creamy low carbonation with a slightly dry finish

O-doesn't quite stand up to the test of time. its actually a great bock, but it seems to taste more and more syrupy as i drink this. i'll admit that i've ordered this several times though. its definitely not a bad beer when options are limited.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

fairly dark brown with a decent tan head that left some lacing behind.
Malt dominated in the nose as expected.
taste was pretty good, not as 'big" in the malt as I expected though. Hints of burnt sugar, fruts but seemed to be a bit thin on the mouthfeel

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Photo of philbe311
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A finger and a half of off-white head composed of various sized bubbles... Respectable retention give way to an intriguing lace... Bronzish copper color... A limited amount of very slow paced carbonation... Coats glass well...

S - Not quite what I expected, but still pleasant... More mild than expected and if blind-folded, I could have mistaken this for a Czech Pilsner... Grains... Bread... Toasty malt... Mild hops... Corn...

T - Malt... Bread... A brisk spiciness... Faint caramel... Faint toffee... Apple... A very unique blend of flavor leads to an intriguing complexity...

M - Dry, start to finish... Creamy and smooth... Crisp... Sophisticated...

D - Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this brew... Probably need another to reach a solid conclusion... There's a lot I like, but overall I'm not sure I'm overly impressed...

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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 brewdlyhooked13
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a dark cherry/brown pour. A modest head, a complete layer of bubbles but no more. Attempts to lace but the stuff just slides down.

Aroma - bready malts, a bit toasty, fruity, and a touch boozy.

Taste - toasted grain with the requisite malty sweetness. Peppy carbonation , a bit salty at times, speeds through mid-palate quickly. A light dark fruit sweetness on the swallow, a brief twang of hops provide a little something besides malt. Finishes with some mild abv warmth and bittersweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel - a little much on the carbonation, letting some of that out helps. Kind of thin, could use another notch of body.

Drinkability - nothing super, but an easy sixer to polish off.

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Photo of kiltedtxn
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Joeybeerbelly for this beer.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass & served at 47°.

A: Chestnut brown with a creamy tan head that holds up well & lacing appears as I drink.

S: A light maltiness with no hop presence.

T: A little clove spiciness and a medium malt body. Dark fruits come through as it warms up even more.

M: A light mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D: A good spice Christmas Beer.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark woody brown that shows excellent clarity were it allows light. Tan frothy head about 1 finger thick persists for the whole duration of the beer, leaving a few, sheet like sections of lace.

Aroma is thick and malty with a light spicy character. A bit tart.

Taste is big malts but well balanced. Spicy tartness in the finish which gives way to a longer lingering light sweetness.

Medium full body, soft and thick with carbonation. Very nice.

Decent brew and easy drinking, but not one I'll look for again.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It may have been the night, but I wasn't as super impressed by this winter beer as everyone else seems to be. Appearance is a nice dark brown, ruby glowing sort of beer. I couldn't really get much happening in the nose area - may have been environmental. Taste was satisfying. Its a smooth and spicy beer with some tastes of over ripened fruit, and a strong saltiness to it. Once I started my second one, I liked it a bit better. To this beer's credit, it at least was properly spiced, which I can not say for this year's Samuel Adams winter brew.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean copper/ amber color, with a light tan head. In the aroma, a roasty malt, caramel and a small chocolate note. In the taste, quite malty and some cocoa hints. A smooth, malty mouthfeel and a malty sweet cocoa aftertaste. Easy to drink, yet malty for some. A nice cocoa sweetness.

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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 Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Alkey

Pours a clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little tan fizzy head, leaves some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is slightly roasted malts, and caramel. The taste is malty, slightly bitter, with a dry finish. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad bock at that.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Great traditional depiction of St. Nick on the bottle. It gets you into the festive mood. The beer itself is a dark ruby red. The faded khaki colored cap settles to a thick collar that leaves minimal lacing behind. Smells of lightly roasted chocolate malt. The hops are subdued in the nose, but balance out the relative sweetness.

Tastes initially of sweet chocolate, but quickly finishes with a surprisingly assertive hop bitterness. The hallertau are quite noticeable and outweigh some of the more interesting and complex flavors imparted by the malts. The mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation provides a rich impact, but I would have hoped for something a bit more chewy for this style and beer. A little to strong on the hops in my eyes for the style, but its an enjoyable beer that would likely be improved when paired with some traditional German pork.

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Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - One-finger head with mostly tight, small poured to a deep cherry-wood color...head dissipated pretty quickly but a thin ring was left around the edges of the beer

S - Some upfront alcohol...maybe a little bit of black licorice...sweetness once the beer warmed

T - Alcohol presence builds as the beer warms...fairly sweet, with hints of caramel...smokey malts...mild bitterness hits the back of the tongue

M - A little thinner than anticipated, but still crisp...tight carbonation

D - pretty easy going down...not necessarily my favorite style, but still pretty good

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