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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

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 169
Photo of RobPete
4.99/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Celebrator used to be my favorite Dopplebock. Too bad this brew isn't available year round. I was fortunate enough to snag two bombers last month. I cracked one of them a week or two back and it was so good that I now don't want to open up the other. The best way for me to describe how good this is would be to say that Penn took a cue from Ayinger and created an even more complex Dopple....a perfect one. If you should be fortunate enough to see one of these, don't hesitate to snatch it up!

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Photo of ncrbrew
4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Penn Brewery's regular St. Nik bock leaves milk and cookies for santa. The brewers reserve leaves santa a bottle of Jack and a Louisville Slugger. Get some get loaded. Short of the high abv i'd drink this stuff nonstop. Another great small batch brew from the guys at penn.

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Photo of Paymygasbill77
4.89/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured from a 220z bomber labeled "St. Nikolaus Brewer's Reserve". This beer pours a nice dark brown with a slight ruby color around the edges. The head is a thick, off-white cream that fills the top of my yards glass.

S - Amazing. Dark malt, coffee, a little toasty with a hint of cacao.

T - The same as the smell. Amazing! The front hits with the warm, sweet, malty, toasty flavor, moves into a small bit of alcoholic hotness and ends with this amazing roasty, chocolate-coffee flavor.

M - A little thicker than the average beer. It coats your mouth in it's glory, tapers off and leaves you wanting more.

O - A world-class beer. I can't believe this was only $5.50 a bomber. If you can get this beer, get it. I am going to buy a case of it so I can cellar it for a year or more... FANTASTIC!

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Photo of BeerSox
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml capped green bottle into Scandinavian mug. 7.5% ABV. Batch 002.

Deep mahogany hue. When held up to the light I can see that the beer is clear, with ruby highlights. A thick and dense two finger even head slowly settles to a thick cap. The settling head leaves behind about a finger of solid lacing. Rings of solid lacing.

Very light, but also very complex. Those usually don't occur together but this one somehow pulled it off. Heavily toasted grains give off a little bit of brown sugar and caramel.

My first impression from the flavor is it's extremely smooth and creamy tones. Some roastiness builds in the middle and shifts to a slight bitterness. A bit of caramel comes in here and there.

Smooth, yet complex. Oh so drinkable. A good amount of roasted malts and caramel. A very enjoyable bock. Recommended.

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Photo of irishevans
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage poured into my O.G. Duke Pilsener glass @ 00:10 on 5/17/2012

A- Dark Mahogany color with a slight orange/light brown hue coming through the sides when held to the light. the head is a light tan/cream color, that formed to just under two fingers width, then settled to a thin film. and that later turns into just a ring around the glass with a trace of the film left in the middle. leaves behind a bit of lacing, not overly thick, but that could be due to the sheer age of the glass.

N- Toasted grain, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, and a bit of date/raisin smell in there too.

T- the Dark fruit comes out right away, along with a bit of boozy heat. the caramel then shows up to the party, followed quickly by the cinnamon coming out. it finishes sweet, and the chocolate taste that is rather subtle in the beginning add itself to the mix more potently. I should add that this is a graduated effect, once one flavor comes out it's there throughout.

M- medium viscosity, but thicker for the style. still nicely carbonated, but not over done. there is a dryness, presumably from some earthy/herbal hops, that don't really seem to affect the taste, but add a nice crispness to the feel. not an overall dry beer though. All in all a great mouthfeel for the style.

O- I'm in love. I think I cracked this it the right time. maybe could have gone longer but I'm quite satisfied with having imbibed it when I did. All this in mind, you had better beat me to the Penn Brewpub this winter, because I intend to get as much of this coming years vintage as my wallet will allow for.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
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 russpowell
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
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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Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks for getting this one to me. I have been dying to try this for what seemed like forever. This 750ml bottle that was wrapped in gold foil and capped on the top arrived to me in the red velvet drawstring bag, which I have to admit is a very nice touch. Served at cellar temp and poured into a pilsner glass, this one was consumed on 10/21/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich and very hazy dark brown color emerging from the abyss. Nice head of tan that reached a height of around two inches before settling back down top earth and leaving behind some very nice side glass lacing. Very thick, and full looking bock.

The aroma was super rich and sweet, really just a joy from the moment I opened the bottle. Nice and rich and airy, caramel, toffee, hints of earthy hops just dancing in and throughout the flavor. Some light spices, cinnamon, nutmeg perhaps, also intruding in upon the flavor, and giving it that little bit of a holiday like hint. The real story though here was just the smoothness and ease of drinkability here. Simply outstanding. Rich and luscious with a decadent, almost dessert like feel to it that was just a breath of fresh are. Rich caramel and toffee like notes just rippling in throughout the finish leaving the tongue coated in rich flavors and really just a fine example of a delicious bock.

In the end, wow, this was damn good. Who would have thought I would have been drinking a Andescher and this is in the same three day period is just absurd. There are far too few of these good bock biers out there anymore and it is a shame. This was one solid beer I would love to see in regular rotation.

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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
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 righthereisay
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased a case of 750 ml bottles (12 of 'em) Batch# 002.

Had them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, contributed to some Christmas parties, and finally the final Steelers game of the seaon...

Nice dark color. Some tan head. The smell isn't as good as its taste.

Love the complex taste. Lots of raisin, carmel, fruit flavors. Lots of spices. A little bit of bitterness. Sure wish it was a tad creamier, it may have been perfection.

You could throw down a lot of these. I don't think anybody would hate this beer. Grandma's, cousins, friends all enjoyed it. Only concern is the alcohol content.

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Photo of biegaman
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 001. 750 ml gold foiled, green glass bottle. Served in a red velvet stocking.

A delicious looking beer that bears strong resemblance in colour to a creme caramel dessert. All subconscious associations to the custard aside, this looks as though it will be one scrumptious bock! It adorns a modest crown of white and, with a strong source of light behind it, becomes illuminated and will take on a most lush tone of mahogany.

The aroma pulsates with a rich, succulent, nourishing, full-bodied maltiness. It smells sweet and sticky but also crisp and toasty. It's also far more complex than most lagers are known to be and boast notes of creamy caramel, molasses syrup and butter pecan. My nose is also definitely picking up on hints of dates, plums, and chocolate covered raisins.

These savory flavours continue to seep through in the taste. The flavours seem to borrow on those of rich desserts: creme caramel, butter pecan pie and fig pudding in particular. Bowls of dried fruits (prunes, raisins, figs) have marked their spot. Even a touch of spice - a tea sort of spice - has also soaked in. Add in rum raisin and spiced eggnog, blend them all together, douse them with molasses and then caramelize with brown sugar - voila!

This beer is nothing short of delicious and seems to have lost none of its edge during the year it spent on my cellar shelf. There's even a vinous, grassy hop presence that seems to conclude each sip, although the bitterness is definitely washed over by all the sweetness. That said, the beer is balanced and maintains an astonishing level of quaffability considering its strength. This certainly one of the best bocks I've tried outside of Germany.

Saint Nikolaus (whom our beloved Santa Claus is modeled after) was said to be known also as 'Nicholas the Wonderworker'. If you ask me it's a wonder how this brewmaster could fit so much flavour and hide so much alcohol to create a bock this quaffable. It is far from overly sweet, far from overly strong and, only perhaps, far too drinkable.

Bocks were traditionally brewed for special occasions, including religious festivals like Christmas. I personally would consider the Winter Holidays to be a perfect time of year to enjoy this style and Penn Brewing has treated me with this late Christmas gift. There is no doubt St. Nikolaus (note the German spelling) would be especially proud of this rendition of the traditionally German style - I bet he'd like to have one too after a long night's work!

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Re-review on a 1yr aged bottle. (2014 release)

Really has developed beautifully. Fresh was underdeveloped. Really nice dark ripe fruits and bready/ biscuity notes are coming through nicely and a little chocolate is starting to develop. Wish I had a second bottle to see what 2yrs would do.

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Photo of stewart124
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001
Picked this up at the brewery last holiday season.

Pours a very dark amber with a decent tan head that is just a bit sticky.

The smell is not as strong as I would have imagined. Some dark malts are present in the nose with a touch of sweetness. Slight bready note.

The taste is so clean and very very tasty. Bready character with a touch of roasted malts. Lots of caramel.
Mouthfeel is creamy and has a nice sweetness. Finishes dry on the palate. This gets creamier as it warms a bit. Just a solid lager. I could put down a few of these before the alcohol caught up to me. It's well hidden and the only trace is a nice warm feeling in my stomach.

Hops are only slightly present and I can taste just the faintest bitterness.

Aother solid beer from Penn and I'd like to get my hands on another one.

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Photo of blackie
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pilsner glass, dark nutshell brown in color, capped with a tight little head kept alive by a constant stream of bubbles from the glass bottom

s: fruity, dark lager malts - caramel and raisin, nuts, a bit woody with some ultra-smooth roast, a glimpse of smoke, rich

m: smooth light-moderate carbonation, medium bodied

t: great bock flavor - lots of rich, toasty german lager malts, a mix of dark fruits and smooth roast, full flavored but with a clean, focused lager character and a crisp bitterness with a touch of smoke in the finish

d: easy, really like this one and didn't expect it to age so well

750 from Whole Foods, Reston - Batch 002

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Photo of ncvbc
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear and deep brown with reddish hues. A nice creamy off white head caps it off and slowly settles. Smell is big, sweet, and malty. Toffee, caramel, light chocolate. Sweet fruity scents, some maple sugar essence, a hint of spice. Same deal with the taste on this one. The spice is around more in the taste, not in a big way but more as a perfect support to the malts that are tamed thanks to it. Add some toasted, bready flavors, a hint of nuts, and a very subtle earthy hop presence and you have it. Mouthfeel is about medium and creamy but very easy going down and you'd think it's lighter than it really is. Low to moderate carbonation and a good ease of drinkability even for an 8.5% Bock. Overall a very excellent beer. Glad I finally decided to open it and wish I had another now that it's gone.

Thanks to EGledhill for this one...great trader!

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Photo of Jimbo87
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$5.99 bottle (1 pint 9.4 oz) from Total Wine. Batch 001.

Poored almost opaque, hazy brown into pilsner glass with a 1 finger very pale brown head. Left little lacing.

Smells like caramel and toffee.

Taste had caramel, toffee, maybe coffee. Roasted malt. Very porter-like. It's definitely balanced, because it's not overly sweet, but you don't really notice the hop taste per se. Alcohol not evident, though it is higher than average for a bock. Delicious beer.

Mouthfeel was good. Medium mouthfeel. Not as thick as a stout, but thicker than a bock like Sam Adams Winter Lager. Medium-low carbonation.

Very drinkable because the taste was delicious and it goes down smooth. I split the bottle with my parents, but I could've finished it myself no problem.

This was my second bock. I did not like Sam Adams Winter Lager. I didn't want to finish it. So I was afraid I wouldn't like this one. But to my surprise, I loved it. Highly recommended. I will definitely buy again if I see it for $5.99.

Most of this beer in the store was priced at $11.99, but on one shelf it was priced $5.99 and I got the last one. I don't know why it was cheaper. Maybe it was old. But it makes sense that it would age well for a bock because the alcohol is higher than average for the style.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
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 mwa423
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown with a slight red hue. Clarity is good. Little head, what is there dies quickly and no lacing to speak of.

S - Dried fruit, malty sweetness a bit of wood and a hint of roasted malt.

T - Very complex flavor. First, dried fruit, caramel, and raisins hit the tongue. Malty sweetness fill the mouth and then goes down with a slight bitter note. The beer improves as it warms. The brewers reserve is much better than the original.

M/D - Mouthfeel is about perfect, creamy, but not cloying. This is very drinkable beer, and it's been a pleasure to try.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Satin sacked 750ml bottle. Wonderful presentation. $9.99 Bathch 001

A: Nice dark brown reddish color. Some egg shell white head. Bonus points for the satin sack.

S: Waffles. Some malt. Slight dark fruit at the end. Not that much going on but it is all pleasant.

T: Wow. Was not expecting this beer to be this good. Creamy is part of the taste of this. Sweet malt, molasses, nuts, spice, dark fruits, some bitterness. This beer is all over the place. Great considering the relatively low ABV.

M: Creamy and smooth. Drinks like a lager punches like a bock.

D: Super easy drinking. Goes down smooth. No hint of the ABV even though it is low. Really great effort from Penn brewing. Hope they make batch 002 next year.

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Photo of woemad
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle received from @ozzylizard as part of the NBS BIF #1. There’s no precise freshness date but the label says 2014. The label for this bottle says it’s abv is 7.5%, btw.

Poured into an oversized Boston Lager glass, this was a very dark amber colored beer that took on a rubyish hue when held up to light. There was a big, creamy looking tan head that slowly receded, leaving lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

Big, roasty and malty nose to this. I get toffee, dark fruit, whiskey, and a little bit of coffee. A nice mix of sweet and bitter aroma, with a little emphasis on sweet.

The taste is like the aroma (which is generally like all things you eat or drink when you get right down to it). Up front there’s dark fruit and toffee in about equal measure, with a coffeeish bitterness and some whiskey flavor more in the background.

Somewhere between medium and full bodied, with a creamy, coating mouthfeel.

A richly flavorful and well balanced example of an American doppelbock. This is a style of beer that I’d like to see more of in this country. Penn pretty much nailed it. Thanks again, Ozzylizard!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew in a trade with adamharbaugh, Thanks Adam!

Batch 001, 750ml bottle served in a glass beer mug.

Dark brown color with a foamy beige head that stayed as a ringed island.
Sweet aroma of roasted malts and dark fruits.
The taste is malty sweet and delicious.
Medium bodied with a mild, smooth feel.
It was very easy to drink this tasty treat.

Batch 002 enjoyed on 12/26/09 and nothing from the original review has changed.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL green bottle, gold foil top, no velvet bag on mine which is probably why it only cost me $5.50 at Abe's in Bethlehem. Batch 001. I guess this one is a little over a year old.

Pours a clear, deep red into a dimple mug. Nice cream colored head, modest, appropriate size, pretty good retention but not much in the way of lacing. Looks good nonetheless.

Smell is good but a bit on the weak side. Some dark malts with the accompanying sweetness that one would expect, some breadiness mixed in as well.

Taste is very good. Dark, sweet without being cloying, enough bitterness to back it up. Also tastes of dark fruit and chocolate. No booze is immediately evident.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium-bodied, nicely carbonated. No complaints.

Drinkability is excellent. Until I saw the listing on this database I assumed it was around 5 or 6% alcohol because that is what it drinks like. Very good and has held up very well. I would like to try this one again, fresh would be nice. If i see this one around for a reasonable price I will pick up a bottle to pop open for next christmas.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #001. Bottle, nifty red fabric case. Sexy.

The beer is beautiful. Rich mahogoney with big off-white head with great retention.

Strong hops off the bat followed by rich malt. Slight fruity and spiciness following up.

Great thickness, not too thick or thin, slides nicely through the mouth.

Great drinkability.

If you like the normal release of this beer (Regular st. niklaus bock), You will LOVE this beer. Even if you don't, this beer is still definitely worth your time.

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Photo of EGledhill
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into snifter.ruby almost black body with off white head. smells of sweet caramel, hops, and spices.

pretty drinkable, with hints of nut and spice. a little more potent on the finish

i was a big fan of the regular st. nick bock and this one surpasses the latter. only downside is it's a little pricey but definitely worth treating yourself if you liked the original

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Photo of russwbeck
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Great bottle presentation, complete with a gift-style bag and gold wrapping around the top of the bottle. The beer pours a deep amber to brown color with a few fingers of off-white head. Retention and lacing are both OK.

S: Sugary, caramel malts and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg really take the beer over. Smells pretty sweet overall.

T: Thankfully the spices in the aroma aren't all that present in the taste. This is extremely smooth. Caramel malts, hints of roast, sugar, and a slight amount of spice.

MF: Low on the carbonation, this beer is extremely drinkable for how sweet it is. Medium body.

O: This beer probably has a better value than 90% on the market. At $4 a bottle you would be a fool to not buy it. Wonderful balance, very nice presentation, should age well. Cannot go wrong here.

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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 169 ratings.
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