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: 409
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 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 deltatauhobbit
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour an amber/light brown color with a good sized head, fades at a slow rate and leaves a thin cap on top, only small bits of lacing on the glass.

Smell is heavily caramel malt, dash of molasses and sweetness, there is faded hop presence that adds a touch of bitterness to the nose.

Taste is quite smooth with a subtle slickness, caramel malt is the primary, not overly sweet but just the right amount with a subdued hop bitterness in the aftertaste to balance things.

Overall a very solid Bock, it doesn't reinvent the wheel but it rolls just fine, definitely hits the spot during the Holidays.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown gold color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of fruit, roasted malts, spices, lager yeast and some hops.

T: The taste is malty up front with flavors of dark fruit, caramel and spices. There is some good breadiness coming from the lager yeast along with a touch of smokiness. There's a decent hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful with a good complexity to it, goes down easily, not very filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a good beer to drink for while if you're in the mood for the style.

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Photo of stewart124
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With a rough pour this one has a small but nice creamy head. Doesn't seem to last long though and fizzles away to a fine lace on top of a dark ruby red.

Smell is sweet and malty with hints of a grassy/earthy note. There is a very small amount of prunes and raisins coming through.

Very malty up front with an aftertaste of those dark roasted malts. Maybe some caramunich in this one which gives that taste of sweet and brings about an aftertaste that leads into raisins. Malts really characterize this beer and give that warming feeling. Noble hops are present but just ease into the taste and give a slight spicy note. Alcohol is present but not overpowering and leaves my stomach with a nice warm feeling.

A nice bock for the winter and it always brings about a smile for the holidays. Thanks for 20 years of brewing Penn!

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Photo of gottajiboo2
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a dark cherry color with a medium brownish tan head fading to a thin bubbly carpet. smells of damp malty sweetness and cherries. The taste was a herbal cherry thickness, layers of maltiness and warmth and a chewy mouth feel. very good beer, just one or two though.


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Photo of Weissenheimer
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My pint arrives with a smallish, nondescript head. The appearance reminds me of amber, but the color is a much darker brown with a slight coppery tinge. The smell is faint, but nicely spicy.

I'm somewhat taken aback by the first sip because it's spicier than the bottled version. The flavor carries a well-balance blend of molasses, caramel, hops, and spices. None of those elements truly wins out over any of the others and this makes it quite drinkable. It's more challenging than the Harpoon Winter Warmer but, as I make my way through the pint, I find myself welcoming the challenge more and more. I described the bottled version of this beer as "a wimpy version of Rogue Santa's Private Reserve," but this seems like its own animal. The spices and hops are more unified here than in the Santa's, and once I get used to the hops it feels smoother. Overall I'd characterize the taste as brown; molasses, caramel, and a tiny bit of nuttiness pair up with the distinct hoppy character in a way that grows on me and leaves me wanting to try this again.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured in to a snifter from the tap. A thin off-white head that hangs on for a long time with great lacing. Light ruby/amber color.

S: aromas of fall fruits, apples, figs, with a hint of pear and spices.

T: tastes of complex malts, very satisfying. Almost no traces of hops at first, but a slight amount comes out in the finish.

M: leaves the mouth feeling warm and moist. Attacks the back of the palate.

D: very drinkable, mostly for the season obviously. Not outstanding, but it is a solid winter bock, that doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kryptic for this extra.

Pours a clear dark brown with slight ruby tone and a little white head. Smell is mostly dark fruits and breadiness with slight copper smell. Nice smooth taste with a bit of apple and darker fruits. Malts are there, and good lagery smooth finish. A bit thin in the mouthfeel. Nice and smooth and a fantastic session beer. Defenitely wish i could get this on tap somewhere to pound after work.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark brown color with a off white color head that gives way to decent lacing. The smell is of caramel malt, chocolate malt, and some dark fruits. The taste is of caramel and chocolate malt with a hint of some spice, it is a good taste, but it isn't as full and bodied as some other bocks. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. Overall it is a very drinkable beer, the alcohol content is well hidden and the smell and appearance are very inviting.

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

Nice to see this on draught, as I'd never seen it before in any form. Chestnut colored body with no head, though this could have been due to a not-so-great- pour. Ah well. Slightly spicy aroma, bread, and alcohol in the nose as well. Flavor begins on the sweet side, but not a thick sweetness...more like a brown sugar kind of sweet. Big malt profile in the middle, a toasty, lightly bitter maltiness. Finishes slightly dry with a good smack of alcohol. An interesting winter seasonal. Nice to see a brewery doing something that not everyone else does for their winter seasonal.

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

Deep chestnut color. Off white, somewhat tan head. Malty, somewhat spicy aroma. Great, malty flavor. Slight hop bitterness. Has a soft, mellow spice flavor to it. Good, full body. Very, very drinkable brew. Wish I could have gotten this in years past.

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

Pours a deep red to black color. Smell is fairly average. Price is good at $6.99 a sixer. Tastes like it has chestnuty brown to it with nice chocolate malts and a little hoppy backbone. More toward the sweet side and excellent winter brew that should be available year round. I recommend this one.

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

Received from Imstillthegman as part of Secret Santa '07.

Bocks are not a style that I crave a lot. I like them, but I need to be in a certain mood for them. That being said...I was in the mood for this one and this didn't disappoint.

Not much I can add to this that hasn't been said about any bock bier. A good representation of the style. Brown body with a decent head and good retention. Aroma of caramel malt and some roastiness in the taste. I didn't detect any spices that would "qualify" this as a Christmas beer/Winter Warmer. This was not too sweet and the ABV was hidden. I could have had another one during this sitting. A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark tea, extremely light coffee color. It is extremely clear and a nice amount of tan head soon descends into a trace along the side of the glass and surface. Aroma is pure malt: a good amount of caramel, toasted bread, pecans. No roasted malts are detected and no bitterness; along with no hops. A medium rich mouthfeel fills my mouth with even more complex malt flavors. A nice creaminess as well from the medium carbonation. I get a little bit of raisin and dark fruit flavor, coming from the malts, not esters, along with a slight floral spice from the hops and just enough bitterness to keep it balanced. Finish is extremely clean with a little sweetness but nothing cloying. Overall, my first of this style, and though I'm still a diehard hop head, a nice brew.

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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 TheycallmeTim
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an American pint glass.

A--Penn St. Nick pours up a delicious reddish caramel color with a one finger creme colored cap that fades to skim pretty fast. Lots of little bubbles pock the rim of the skim throughout the tasting. Nice and lively for a lager.

S--That grain liqueur of melanoidins you expect from the style reign mightily here, providing plenty of syrupy nostril-coating sweetness. Undercurrent notes of bing cherries linger behind the sweet bready aromas. Sulfur and hops are nonexistent, as they should be.

T--More of that concentrated malt punch--I know calling a lager fresh is a little contradictory, but I can tell a difference in the brightness of the palate on this beer as opposed to the German imports. It's a welcome one, as it keeps the malt sweetness from being overbearing or stale. Bread notes range from biscuit to honeyed whole grain to dark pumpernickel. Minimal fruit, and again no sulfur, although some weird sour/bitter tug comes in on the finish, which is my only complaint. It's almost hidden by an interesting smoky flavor that creeps in as you near the beginning of the end, so to speak, and the finish starts (the "burnt" flavor the label mentions? dunno). Overall a satisfying and steady dose of the full profile of what malt can do, as even the bitterness I think is more from the grain than from hops.

M&D--Mouthfeel opens up with some lively carbonation, enough to make this creamy rather than watery, as the Mahr's Christmas Bock I tried was. Drinkability is average as this is a little strong for the style, but nowhere near unforgivable.

This holds its own not just as an exceptional domestic version of a style I hardly ever see from US breweries, but against the top German representatives in its class as well. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, very deep ruby/mahogany color, when held up to the light, the red comes through a lot more. About one finger of head formed and reduced down to a ring of foam. Little bits of lacing remain.

S: Some caramel malt and grains, there is a sweetness as well and a little bit of dark fruit. Opens up a bit as it warms.

T: Nice malt flavors. The dark fruit is more prominent than the aroma, the caramel flavor is quite strong as well. Has a doughy/bready flavor on the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth mouthfeel. Slightly sticky finish.

O: Very nice Bock, really easy to drink. Nice representation of the style.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was served to me at Bridgewaters Pub with a big, thick, foamy, deep-tan head. The Nose was verymalty with an almost chocolate-like sweetness. The color was a deep garnet or ruby red, so dark as to appear black until held up to the light. The mouthfeel initially struck me as too thin for a bock, and so I recommend letting it warm up some. Even then, it still came across as thin, but the flavors really came alive. The big tatse is caramel, but I also noted a fruity taste, like cherry, on the finish. Overall, it was okay, but I'd prefer something bigger and chewier for the holiday season.

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Photo of Biscuit033
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark auburn with a 2+ finger head that leaves some lacing.

S: Bready malts, earthiness, and some sweet caramel hints.

T: Caramel, bread, and earthy/minty hops.

M: Full and creamy with a clean finish.

D: Nice winter beer. The alcohol creeps up on you but the beer is something that I would order more of at a bar.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a somewhat dark brown/majogany with small 0.5 finger head.

S - Nice and malty, sweet caramel malts, light fruits, a hint of chocolate, very sweet smell.

T - Good amount of roast and hazelnut flavor, fades into sweet fruit, before finishing with a touch of more roasted malt and a tinge of hop bitterness.

M - It's thin but robust. Very smooth.

Overall - A solid bock beer here. Good blend of roasted malt and sugary fruitness.

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Photo of cichief
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at the Inn on the Allegheny, Foxburg, PA.

A- Pours a deep reddish-brown, with a thin tan head, which dissipated quickly.

S- Hints of spice, but little else (perhaps this was poured too cold).

T- A good malt flavor, some subtle spiciness, very well balanced, not too sweet.

M- Well carbonated, but thinnish in the body.

D- The alcohol wasn't noticeable, this beer is quiite drinkable.

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Photo of Luchman
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to akorsak for this

Poured into a pilsner glass

A: Dark, but not murky, ruby red color with a one finger off white head that calms down pretty quick, but never seems to fully dissipate. Clumps of lace can be found down the glass.

S: Malts, dark fruits, and some spice. Subtle hops and alcohol can be found too.

T: Sweet malts and toffee! Spice and the dark fruits can be found towards the end, all mixed up with a nutty, earthy tone. Finishes pretty crisp.

M:Medium body that goes down smooth and refreshing.

D: I like it. Nothing really mind blowing to me, but I could drink a couple of these and enjoy every bit of it.

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Photo of Phatz
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany plum color with a beige head that fades to a halo.

Smell: Malty with a smell of ripe fruits, brown sugar a hint of hops and alcohol.

Taste: Very over ripe dark fruits, plums cherries and raisins, sprinkled with spices and drizzled with caramel; a heavy malt feel and a zippy hop alcohol blend in the finish with a bit of cocoa in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth rich medium body feel that is a bit barley chewy but not cloying.

Drinkability: It is rich and malty and thick and heavy in the stomach, but tasty. It is a beer for sipping and it is one that caps the night. Certainly *not* a session beer but a tasty sipping bock.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single copped from New Beer...
this was a rather light-flavored bock beer, which typically is a contradiction in terms... Smooth, roasted malts... Easily drinkable with hints of caramel and milk chocolate...
Good stuff...
Not too often I sample beers from this Pittsburgh brewing company...
Worth a try...

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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 409 ratings.
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