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

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 176
Photo of gkatsoris
2.06/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Deep dark clear oaky in color. Prett thin head that disapated pretty quickly. Minimal lacing left on glass.

S: Caramel. Brown sugar. Wood. Very Malty. Shoe-fly-pie.

T: Wet hay and wet hay. Grass. Copper. Raw dough. Flour.

M: What I could get to stay in my mouth; very thin.

O: And down the drain it went.

Sorry Redliner8, thanks for sharing it tho.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.97/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Received in a large snifter. I'm guessing at least 12 Oz. 2011 vintage at the brewpub.

3.0 A: Clear dark brown color. One and a half fingers of frothy brown head. Retention is average with no lacing left.

3.5 S: Spice heavy with. Boatloads of cinnamon. Nutmeg and cardamom to a lesser extent. Not much from the beer itself. Caramel and a light booze.

3.0 T: Same as the nose. Spices stick out while the beer itself is weak sauce. Very little going on here. Disappointing.

2.5 M: Lighter medium body. Carbonation level is fine but the beer feels dead on the tongue. Lacking any semblance to creaminess.

2.5 D: I'm pissed that the new operations managed to ruin this beer as well. It used to be a favorite of mine.

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Photo of ccrida
3.35/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, Batch 001, received in last spring from Hojaminbag (thx!) and cellared since, served at 55F. Poured into my Delirium snifter, St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve is dark garnet with a small, tight bubbled light tan head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is pretty sweet, grape soda, not to intense, it opens some as it warms.

Taste is pretty rich, sweet at first but then a bit of a bitter roast segues to a very abrupt finish. Raisin, slightly tinny, some grassy hop bitterness. I wonder if this is getting a bit long in the tooth or was always this subtle, I've had the regular St. Nikolaus Bock and don't remember really being that impressed, but I expected more umphh here. This more like bock seltzer.

Mouthfeel is dry and sharp, spicy, medium body, moderate carbonation.

Drinkabilty is ok, not that exciting of a brew, but the ABV is well hidden, although the spiciness certainly isn't smooth. I know people like to score things high around here, but to me this is just an average dopplebock...

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into dimpled mug. Pours a brown mahogany body with a small beige head that leaves some spotty lacing. Aroma of malty toffee, herbal hops, and hints of cocoa and pears. Medium body and carbonation. Taste is rich maltiness, with an emphasis on toffee. Herbal hops impart a sturdy bitterness Vague fruity hints are less assertive than in the aroma. A pretty good American bock but I was hoping for better.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 1 shared by BeerRay. Pours a beautiful garnet hue with no head, just a thin, bubbly band around the edges. Nose expresses dark fruit reminiscent of fruitcake and a bready character. Taste reveals wet cardboard, subdued dark fruit, some toffee notes and a suggestion of noble hops. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an even, crisp carbonation and a semi-dry finish. Overall impression is that this is a decent brew; however, perhaps a little past its prime.

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Photo of RacerX5k
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look. Love the packaging and the original which I always grab when I see it for $2 a pop. But this one? bottom line probably don't need to have it again ...

Start with the look, it's pretty but average. Let's talk aroma, which at first I think has way too much alcohol. Then all of a sudden it morphs into almost the perfect aroma. Malts, chocolate, nuts, yea freshly roasted nuts, chestnuts roasting by the open fire. We know it, let's all sing it.

However, taste follows aroma, lots of hops too which I enjoy but in the end kinda of a mess, too much of this,too little of that. Makes me want an Sam Adams Double Bock, do they even make that beer anymore.

Overall, I tried it, keep the sleeve, pass. Merry Christmas everyone. Tonight is Black Wednesday, can't wait to taste this years BCBCS.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 001. Pours an ominous deep austere mahogany hue with fizzing bubbles rising to a quality laden head cap that oozes down the sides of the glass leaving a tacky lace.

Bright bock laden nose with buscuit and toasted grain waffle proper bouquet. Lightly floral nose with a hint of earthy suggestions.

First swigs: Pecan vanilla ice cream on grain waffles. Malt bill is the showcase, rightfully so. Focused middle of a slight root beer meets vanilla ice cream float. Herbal accents meet a spice cake hint. Nothing to crazy or abrupt other than a proper bock. Amazing how this retains a bock characteristic wthout becoming a doppelbock.

Feel is soft and medium bodied with a soft ginger all dry finish.

Last swigs: Bitterness held in check with a focused toasted toffee malt. My favorite reviews are ones that just go without thinking. This is one of 'em! Props to my brother who bought this for me. Sorta like a baltic porter that is not a stout.

Beer is good. Happy big bock beering.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this back marked Batch 001 in 2008. The selling it had been trying to get rid of these for a little while. At that time I really wasn't into buying bombers... I just wanted 12oz. bottles and one day I caved and bought this one. I saved it for a little while and then opened it with some friends. The beer poured out as a dark brown color. The head was a light tan color, the retention and lacing were minimal. The smell of the beer was malty, it had just a little bit of spice to it. The taste of the beer was pretty good, lots of malts in there to sweeten up the brew, some grains and a touch of booze heat in there as well. The mouthfeel of this beer was pretty good, I can't really say that there was anything wrong with it. Overall the beer was drinkable, I've never had the urge to find this brew again since I had it.

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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 PatronWizard
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to lilly livered liberal adamharbaugh. I held onto this for a few weeks but just had to drink it.

Pours a very deep brown. Can see some faint ruby hues in the light. Serious head of fluff with good pattern of lacing.

Smells of some bready malts. Not too sweet. Fairly good scented brew.

Taste is similar - bready biscuity, not too strong though. Just a solid flavor.

Exceptionally smooth. Seriously smooth. Every drink becomes a half-the-glass session. Carbonation is very low, goes quite well with the beer. Good thing it comes in a 750ml because I think I'll be making short work of this.

Overall: great

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Photo of ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle received via Growling at the Moon. Thanks for the brew, Dan!

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a teensy 1/4"beieg head over the clear reddish chestnut brew. Head is quickly down a skim, with film around the rimand leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is dark fruits and malt.

Taste is heartily malty sweet to start, dark fruits in the middle, maybe a touch of fusel closing with a light bitterness and alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, and drinkability is good. Nice rep of the style, and an enjoyable brew. Was worried about excessive spicing in a holiday brew, but this one's safe.

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Photo of Jayli
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a deep brown with ruby highlights that are even more pronounced when held to the light. Head is about 1- 1 1/2 finger of thick foamy off white head. Spotty lacing is left on the side. Nose is caramel and toffee malts, touch of chocolate mixed in here. There is also a hint of fruit in the nose - raisins is what I mostly pick up. Taste is of bitter chocolate, mixed nicely with caramel and toffee malts. Some earthiness follows the malts mixed with the fruity raisin presence detected in the nose. Mouthfeel is medium to full body, creamy feel that goes down nice and smooth. This is a nice beer to sit with on a cool evening.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a nice auburn brown, a finger of creamy light tan foam setting up. Thin sheets of lacing stick to the glass as the head recedes. Nice retention of a thin cover.

Aroma - a light roasted grain sniff, not much more than that.

Taste - solid toasted grain, a sweet, spiced flavor, like mild cinnamon. A light bitterness on the swallow, some mellow chocolate evolving along with the residual (and lengthy) roastiness at the finish. Some smooth warming alcohol emerges with warmth.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and easy-flowing, carbonation is there but tempered better than with the regular Penn bock

Drinkability - why not just make *this* the Nikolaus Bock? Darn tasty.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 20134-01-09 in Columbia, PA. Vintage = 2013

A - Very dark brown with a very short 1/8-finger tan head and moderate lacing.

S - Sweet cherry, fig, raisin, light cinnamon, clove and roasted malt. Pleasant but not as aromatic as the Andech's or Troegs Doppelbocks that I've had recently.

T - Molasses and raisins on toasted nut bread with some sour cherry jam, sprinkled with cinnamon and cloves; but there's a very nice roasted and citrus flesh and zest bitterness that slides in towards the end to keep things refreshing and not too sweet. Dries nicely and leaves me wanting another sip.

M - Ahh. Thick body and light carbonation. Substantial, thick, chewy. Really nice.

O - I particularly enjoyed the flavor and taste of this brew. It's up against of recent heavy hitters as noted above but it stands up well and is worth revisiting. Glad to have received this as a holiday gift.

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Photo of wchesak
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Total Wines in Chantilly, VA. Bath #2 poured into a La Fin Du Monde (Unibroue) tulip.

A - less than an inch of tan head, very dark brown opaque color with a hint of ruby, no lacing and head subsides quickly

S - surprising earthy hop smell with dark malts, bittersweet chocolate, pumpernickel bread on the back ground

T - malt is more present in this with more pronounced roasted dark and chocolate malts, bitter/dry aftertaste attributed to the hops and the bittersweet chocolate flavors, alcohol only slightly noticeable after a filling my glass up a second time

M - medium bodied, above average carbonation - maybe more than I wanted

D - good all around bock, however it didn't blow me away either...with snow coming down again, the warmth of the beer helped out

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Photo of thecheapies
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber. 2011 Vintage.

Poured into my snifter a ruby-edged chestnut color with hazy translucency. The head was restrained and never really wanted to form. Showing a ring now, after less than a minute.

Musty maltiness with lots of raisin, fig, dark toffee, treacle syrup, bread crumb, and age tang. Smells full and rich with only a small note of oxidation. Definitive German malts. Hints of candi sugar, plum, and nectarine.

Big malty doppelbock with a cornucopia of dark fruits, pomme, breadiness, and caramelly toffee. Held up pretty decently. Some medicinal notes, but they're weak. Raisin, plum, brown bread, toffee, oxidized apple, rye-like spice, milk chocolate, light Band-Aid, and some solvents. Opening salvo of dried fruit. Middle is very bready and the finish follows with a stamp of bitterness and some leftover fusel alcohol. Dextrins very much present. Chewy and still impressively carbonated. Big enough, but I'd still call it smooth and easy. Alcohol has a few bit parts. Body is a tad thin, which is not the preference. Flavors are interesting and wooly.

I recently had a Randall-ed version with rye whiskey-soaked oak chips (2012 vintage) that I thought was excellent. I know this beer rather well. Private Reserve always treats me right and it was fun pulling this from the cellar and seeing what was up. Flavors mellow slightly and the body falters a bit, but the complexity is quite a feat. Recommended for all you German beer lovers out there.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 001, picked up at a Total Wine in Tampa, FL. Poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby brown, transparent when held to the light, capped by a good finger of lightly tanned head. The retention is solid if not outstanding, but the lacing is surprisingly nice, glittery and runny but with a sufficient amount of stick,

Aroma: Huge molasses, toasted coconut, faint brown sugar, bread crusts, raisins, sweet cherries, and a slew of spices - very fruit cake-esque, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. A very inviting and sweet smell, probably this beer's best aspect.

Taste: Hmm, not bad, but just a little meek, probably having faded somewhat over the past two years. Sweet brown sugar, strong roasted malts, slightly sweet, faintly toasted, soft and subtle. Lots of fruits as well, with the same cherry/fig/raisin combo that was pleasant in the nose still present but father away, muted.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth and soft, just rolling around in your mouth. Perfectly bock like, with all those faint, soft, fine, powder sugar-esque sugar notes, marshmallow fluffy-like. Swell.

Drinkability: A great brew that I imagine would have been much greater about a year ago. It's funny, 'cause I've been trying to crack this one at tastings for about that amount of time now, but for some reason, it just never worked out. Alas, as it's a great beer. Hopefully, Penn makes this one again this year and I'm able to pick it up. A traditional bock that - at 8% - is really actually quite drinkable, and definitely qualifies for the modifier "Reserve." Kudos.

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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 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 Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours light brown to amber in color with a bit of a white head and some decent lacing. Pretty good retention. Nose brings some light malt and some caramel, bread, nuts, and light hops. The taste is caramel and some lightly-toasted bread. Good feel and nice drinkability. Definitely one of the better beers I've had from them.

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

I found this unopened in a dumpster next to an old tire. Or maybe MasterSki brought it, I don't remember.

A - Darker beer, red on the edges, with a mostly mahogany body. Tannish head that left behind some spots on the sides.

S - Reminds me of the fruitcake of beers. Some nuts, fruit, sweet malts, toffee. According to the other people it smells very "bocky". Okay.

T - Malts with caramel, christmas bread, nuts, fruitcake, dark fruits (but not too dark). Alex says there is a hint of treacle, but pretty sure he is making that word up, bo I don't buy it. This is pretty solid.

M - Medium bodied and slightly syrupy.

O - It's on the nose for a bock, or so the Germans would have you believe, and a solid enough beer.

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


Pours a deep brown, reddish brown glow when held up to light. Minimal lacing for a head.

Smells of mild spice, brown sugar and figs.

Figs, molasses, brown sugar and a hint of licorice in the taste.

Medium to full body with a mild tingle of carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A pretty tasty beer, a bit cloying but good and manageable. Would have it again around the holidays, but a bit rich to drink a lot of.

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

A- three-finger, fluffy, tan head on top of a glass that looks close to the color of finished cherry wood

S- Sweet and bready...lots of malt backbone here...I seem to get a bit of toasted almonds as well

T- Roasted nuts and caramel...only missing a hint of chocolate to be a liquid snickers...some coffee bitterness hits near the end

M- medium bodied...a bit chewy

D- Nice...better than the original St. Nikolaus Bock

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

A- Cola brown color topped with a thin off white head. Head falls quickly to a ring and leaves a little lace on the glass.

S- Sweet caramel, sugar and candied fruit dominate the nose; there is a far off hint of wood char in the background though.

T- Raisin caries through the flavor profile from beginning to end, caramel and malt make an appearance in the middle and the finish is a complex trade off between sweet candied fruit and a light bite of hops. Finish is very dry and clean, makes you want another sip.

M- Light in body and decent carbonation.

D- Easy drinking and the 7.5% ABV doesn't show up anywhere. I would not have guessed that it was this high.

Good beer, a little sweet but worth a try.

Notes: Bottle is from batch #002 and it lists 7.5% as the ABV.

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

Crimson sunset chestnut. Big head and nice lace. It diew quickly though, minimal lacing and retention. Aromas are all big fat German malt. Yeasty fresh baked dark berad, a bit of chocolate and americano. A nice blend. Taste is big malt and bread with plenty of malt and yeast complexity. Hops are lacking. Mouthfeel is big and warming. Finish is dry and hot. Drinkability is good.

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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
4.18 out of 5 based on 176 ratings.
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