St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's ReserveSt. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve
183 Ratings
St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's ReserveSt. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jcdiflorio on 11-22-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 |  Reviews: 106
Reviews by jordanmiller:
Photo of jordanmiller
5/5  rDev +19.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of drtth
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer, the 2016 brewing, comes in a bomber size bottle inside a red velvet bag with a draw string tie and the brewery logon printed on it. Hopefully the beer inside the bottle will justify the “Reserve” and the special presentation.

The first pour into a Duvel glass is a dark mahogany color with some reddish highlights and 1” light tan head that slowly recedes to a thin layer on the surface of the liquid and leaves some patches and rings of leggy lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping leaves some arches and smaller patches of leggy lacing. Even midway through the pour there is lacing on the sides and an irregular island of foam on the surface.

The aromas are nutty, bready and have some dark fruit in the background. There's also a bit of caramel with a hint of alcohol and some earthy spiciness from the hops

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with some nutty, dark bread character and some dark fruit. There's also some maple syrup/dark chocolate sweetness and some caramel, all balanced by an earthy, dark roast and slightly spicy bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied and smooth with the moderate gentle carbonation. The medium length finish begins as the well balanced mix of flavors and sweetness begin fade and allow some dry earthy, dark roast and spicy bitterness that closes out the show as it too slowly disappears on the back of the palate.

Very drinkable beer with a nice combination of flavors and aromas. It's nice to have a beer brewed for the holidays without the addition of spices. I'll certainly be willing to have another. For me the only fault I find with the beer is that the earthiness is a bit too prominent in the ending. Currently I have a second bottle tucked away in the basement to wait for next winter. If my luck holds I'll find a bottle of the 2017 brewing and be able to do a side by side.

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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The best Dopple Bock I have had yet!

Look- Pours pitch black with a two finger head that retains nicely before reducing down.
Smell- Coffee notes, dark roasted malts
taste- sweet caramelized malts, cocoa notes, low hop bitterness
feel- Substantial heavy lager, full carbonation throughout. Way better carbonation that the original
overall- I rated this high because it is better imo than any other Christmas beer I had this year. It slightly beats out Ayinger and is heads and tails above Spaten the other usual suspects

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Photo of heddar33
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of BeerIsland
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Picked up this 2013 version bomber at the estimable Krugel's Georgetown Deli in Wilkes-Barre. Pours beautifully into the goblet. Fluffy head packed it in early but ring and lacing look nice. Extremely deep brown; almost black. Slight spice or something to the nose; otherwise aroma somewhat muted. Not the chewiest DB I've had but decent heft. Alcohol is pretty muted; very drinkable. Very good flavor. Nice beer overall.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml batch 001, many thanks to BEERchitect for the bottle! Pours a cloudy chestnut body with a small beige head that leaves delicate patchy lacing on the glass. Aroma is malty toffee, some cocoa, herbal hops, raisins, and some ripe pears. Medium body and carbonation make for a smooth feel. Taste is highlighted by malty toffee with cocoa undertones. Herbal and earthy hop bitterness is up to the task for balance. Dark fruity notes(figs) and some fresh pears in the background serve up some welcome complexity. Very nicely done.

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002. Pours with a thin head. Nice lacing. Dark amber in color. Smells very bready and malty. Taste is malt with some sweetness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and this is also very drinkable. I was not planning on reviewing this until I took a sip & thought that this was a very good bock. Recommended.


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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 bottle,foil wrapper with crimped cap,in a velvet bag,sevred into a Delirium tulip glass.

Clear,deep alburn color,2'' tan head very dense and creamy with excellent retention. Very tiny bubbles tightly knitted on the sides of the glass,leaving some sticky webby lacing on the glass.Comes to life like the first pour with every swirl.

Complex aromas,moderate, very fruity with dark fruitiness of figs/dates.Roasty,chard wood with spicy noble hops,with the slightest hint of alcohol.

Dark fruity tastes come through first, followed by an easy complex maltiness roasty,some coffee,dusty chocolate with light burnt notes.Very well balanced with a nice pleasing spicy woody hoppiness. No alcohol tastes of a beer that's 8.5%.

Extra smooth and creamy,has a very light mouthfeel,just melts away in your mouth. Unbelivable drinkability,just kinds of slides down. Just can't belive there is alcohol in the beer. You do feel it though. Must try beer,get it while you can. I'll be looking for a case.

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Photo of tuowl74a
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage:

Appears a murky mahogany brown hue with a large beige head forms fine even thick bands of lacing as it dwindles down my glass. Aroma contains deep complex malt layers filled with dark fruits like plum raisin with mild oak characteristics. Brown sugar with caramelized over ripened fruit soaked in alcohol, with tame herbal earthy hop notes smells great with a touch of holiday spice bread in the finish. Flavor is creamy with soft spice pungent ripened fruit tart raisin with mild alcohol brandy on the palate. A complex mix of oak, dark chocolate, and spiced fruit cake with minimal medicinal herbal hoppiness going on. Damn good well mixed flavors and not just because I'm all about Penn Brewing, this is what St Nick Bock used to taste like every year. Mouthfeel is full of moderate soft carbonation body is medium not too heavy and rides effortlessly smooth along the palate. Drinkability is incredible you finish off a 750ml bottle and you yearn for more so do like my good buddy jcdiflorio did last year and just shell out enough for a whole case. I loved it well balanced awesome flavors and incredibly smooth drinking.

2014 Vintage:

This beer has totally changed pitch black with ruby highlights way more chocolate notes than it has ever had...I just picked up a fresh bottle from Giant Eagle Market District.

Looks really dark when held toward the light there's a deep blood orange crimson hue going on with khaki tan head forming thick and super carbonated, this head slowly dwindles and forms some intricate lacing.

Aroma is dominant with dark chocolate or cocoa notes, it always had more of a raisin/ripened fruit note on the nose. Maybe a bit of light earthy hops other than that it's very easy to describe compared to the complex work that the Brewer's Reserve St Nik Bock used to be.

Flavor is creamy smooth with dark chocolate and hint of fruitiness, more milk chocolate actually there's a good bit of creamy smooth dark malts meshed together without much hop bite at all...this beer has easily been reformulated since my last review and I tried it last year as well scoring it at a 3.5 out of 5 which was much lower than my original written review of 4.4/5.

Mouthfeel has more cloying sweetness there's dark chocolate, milk sugars, and all other heavy residual sugars left on the palate that were never in this beer...bigger than the standard St. Nik bock but weigh different than this has been since it's inception...I'm guessing they formulated this closer to a stout or imperial porter than they did a doppelbock. Then there is Penn Doppel Sticke nearly perfect double altbier!!! Go figure!

Overall, Tom Pastorious' ghost will haunt this brewery as much as I want their Penn Dark, Penn Gold, and St Nik Bocks to return to their glory days...I'm a realist, and the amount of bad kharma exchanged during Tom Pastorious fallout with a company he started in the late 1980s has scarred this company exponentially! Hit or miss like all of Penn's beer...that's right I can't even spell it bier, you know why because this used to be the best German style brewer in the US. Nowadays chocolate meltdown and nut roll ales are overshadowing their German roots which formed this brewery, for that and that alone the current shareholders and administration will pay for what they did! Physically assault Tom, when he was trying to revive his creation after a horrible deal where brewing operations where moved to the Lion Brewery in Wilkes Barre, PA...Tom is the reason we all drink Penn in the Burgh...and he is the reason we still drink Penn brewed in the Burgh!!! Get back to your roots or die, Hofbrauhaus doesn't need you to survive but Pittsburgh core beer drinkers do need you!!!

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Photo of mrosenfeld32
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jamiemottram
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of NotMilko
4.68/5  rDev +12%

Photo of dacrza1
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black body with milky soft brown, swiftly settling head--intimidating in its snifter! Malt is considerable, but not obtrusive... smooth early, with a bit of effervescence and a warm finish--not feeling like 8.0%... a bit of peat; rich, full-bodied malt, a little smoke and a pleasant finish... I've had bocks with a third of the alcohol that strained the tastebuds more--smooth! As winnings from a fantasy football wager, this beer (courtesy of Ryan, again!) 2007 batch #001 is a winner also, the second pour producing a smoother, creamier drink--a fitting February/March pleasure.

 585 characters

Photo of Stigs
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lovely drinking bock, and happy for me I found it at StateLine Liquors. Pours dark, not overly foamy. Malty yet not too sweet.A tad of sourness, good moderate roastiness and mdoerate chocolate. Balance, above average mouthfeel. Great after dinner digestive. Spot on.

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Photo of tdm168
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, thanks bort

appearance: the dreaded green-glass bottle...poured into an unmarked chalice, very rich cola-mahogany body with ruby highlights, creamy light tan head

smell: woody, nutty, cherry and apple,

taste: a very refined bock - creamy, full of spice, sweet apple, roasted malt, bready, cherry. a festive arrangement with great depth

mouthfeel: really nice - creamy and complex

drinkability: good

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Photo of cjgator3
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #001

750ml bottle that comes in a red velvet bag that resembles santa's sack. Pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is very malty with a nice array of holiday spices. The taste much like the aroma features a nice big malt backbone dark fruits and spices dancing around on the tongue. The drinkability is very high for this beer, especially considering the high ABV. Overall, this is a really nice beer that is highly recommended!

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Photo of Inglum515
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hoptualBrew
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage, 22oz bomber

Cola brown with ruby edges. Clear in appearance with no cloudiness present. Actively rising carbon dioxide. A medium light khaki head dies down to a thin film, lacing is rather lackluster.

Sweet toffee candy, mixed nuts, mineral water, bakers chocolate hit the nose in aroma. Really nailed it here. Beautiful meld of characters.

Classic dopplebock flavors, well done. Great balance of sweet german malts with a touch of chocolate and roast character.

Medium body, would probably be more full in mouthfeel if not for the amount of carbonation.

Overall, solid beer and one I wish I had waited to crack open in the colder months but just couldn't stare at it in the fridge any longer. This would be the perfect beer on a cold October/November night by the campfire.

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Photo of Justdoit1234
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nickd717
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle sent as an awesome extra in a trade with Davolebomb. Thanks, Dave! Shared with family at Christmas dinner. The incorrigible neophytes that they are, they were saying things like, "Is that a beer? It looks like a wine bottle! I've never seen something like that!" Pfft! Ignoramuses.

Pours a dark, clear reddish-brown color with a nice lasting tan head.

Aroma is malty and sweet with toffee, roast, and dark fruits.

Flavor is very good, malty and roasty, fairly complex, with toffee, caramel, spices, and black cherry.

Smooth on the mouthfeel with medium body.

Drinkability is very good for the style. Overall this is a really nice beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this from melbatoast93, Cheers Hart! Or should I say prositz?

Batch 001 pours an effervescent chestnut/ mahogany with 2 fingers of rocky sandy head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Faint herbal hops, a bit of chocolate & not much else, until it warms & then booze & dark fruit take your nose for a ride!

T: Herbal hops, caramel, cakeyness, & a touch of dark fruits up front. A whisper of black patent malt & dark chocolate, a touch of dryness, nice breadyness, apple pie spices, figs & plums as this warms. Finishes fruitty, dry, chocolatey & just a touch of herbal & tobacco hops

MF: Medium bodied, chewy & rich, soft carbonation

Drank very easy, this one took a little while to open up; my suggestion: serve closer to ale serving temps than lager. A very good bock as good as most or better than ones I've had in the fatherland or any where else!

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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 183 ratings