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: 104 | Ratings: 175
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 hippityhops85
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002. Poured from a 750ml green (sigh) bottle into my Yards Real Ale Invitational glass. Bottle reads 7.5% abv rather than the 8.5% noted here.

Pours a beautiful chestnut/deep amber with a good 1 1/2 finger of great, tight tan head. Active carbonation in the glass present. FANTASTIC lacing. Looks great.

The nose immediately hits me with mild cinnamon notes dancing around a really strong maltiness. Reminiscent of chestnuts, decaying leaves and dark fruits.

The taste is so amazingly subtle with a plethora of flavors playing around each other on the palate. Dark fruits, deep malts, cinnamon among others. A true symphony in the mouth.

The mouth feel is spot on. Medium bodied with great carbonation that really brings out the more subtle notes of this malty beast.

This is such a good offering from Penn Brewery. They did absolutely stunning things with the Bock style. This, quite possibly, is the best American offering of the Bock style. Please, pour me more!

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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 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 johnnnniee
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 002
Received from Secret Santa this year and last, thanks for the opportunity KarrHeel03 and DavoleBomb.
Pours a deep brown with great garnet highlights and a smallish creamy off white head that recedes much to quickly. Smells of malt, yeah I know right a bock that's malty go figure. Sweet toffee and caramelized sugars mixed with some sweet plums, and hints of cocoa. Taste is sweet with dark fruits, melanoidin, cocoa, and toffee. The taste is wonderful in its malty sweetness without being cloying. No hop presence detected. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, light to medium level of carbonation, sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. I enjoyed the hell out of this while watching the Steelers get it handed to them in the Superbowl. Very nice bock.

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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 nukem5
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Fantastic brown with reddish edges like a glass of Coke or Pepsi,Nice tan cap which dissapears rapidly to a thin layer.

S: Sweet malts and bready infused with some dark fruits like cherrys.

T: Malts and bitterness of barley.

M: Medium bodied and full of chewiness.

D: Keeper this one is. I wait all year for this and never disapoints.This year snagged a few extras and gave them out as well appriciated gifts. (2010)

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Photo of nhindian
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Even after a fairly vigorous pour, I was only able to muster about 1.5-fingers worth of head out of the dark brown beer. Head has good retention, however. Fairly clear body with scattered and light lacing.

S - Smell is sweet, sweet malts. Getting notes of toffee, caramel, chocolate, and grapes. However, I'm also getting a bit of an acidic, metallic esther as well.

T - The taste is definitely more sugary sweet on the initial taste than I would've expected. The sweetness upfront transitions well to the darker fruits more prominent in the middle of the taste and has a noticeable figgy taste to it as well. Alcohol comes through in the finish and aftertast.

M - The mouthfeel is surprisingly light with not much carbonation. Creamy body with a long, tannic finish.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. Alcohol is definitely there, but not as hot as the ABV would suggest. Great flavors that combine well, and it wasn't hard to finish the whole bomber.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color with some reddish hues when held to the light. A small off white foam head that quickly dissipates and no real lacing.

S: Lots of caramel, molasses, nuts, dark fruit and bread. Semi-sweet and toasty scents.

T: Not overly sweet, but a lot of malty goodness. The caramel and molasses are most prevalent throughout the tasting, the dark fruit is noticeable on the back end.

M: Nice and creamy taste on the palate.

D: A nice sipping beer for a cold winters day. One or two in a sitting for me. One of my favorite bocks.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alex for providing this, served in a pint glass...A medium brown with a red hue. A light tan head, not much retention, ok lacing...Typical bock aroma of molasses, bread and fruits...The taste is more of the same, molasses, bread, nut...Alcohol is well hidden, a dry feel

Not my favorite style but this is the epitome of a bock, if you like that give it a shot.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002, part of my #1 beer per styles goal on here, the best bock beer.

Beer is brown and haze with a decent head of small bubbles, tan, that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is quintessential bock. Its mildly yeasty, very caramelly, mildly sweet, nice volume, smells good.

Beer is medium bodied, leads off with a nice sweetness and a strong malt character. The finish is really nice. Bocks are sexy beers, they aren't huge in flavors and alcohols but they are transparent. This beer has a slight roast at the back, a full palate experience and a great finish. I really like it, if you are looking for a good bock, this is probably it, I'd have it again and I'd be interested in the NON-brewer's reserve version of this. Hopefully I can get some when it's released this month.

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

Got this in a trade a while back from Hojaminbag I think. This was Batch 002. Served in a Lost Abbey Rastal Teku.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of light tan foam that settles to a ring of foam and some light film of bubbles on top, with some spotty lace being left behind. Transparent dark red-brown body.

S - Smells like bock! Bready, nuts, and fruits, molasses.

T - Tastes like bock! Lots of sweet bread, lightly toasted malt, a hint of treacle, and some nuttiness. Finishes with light hop bitterness.

M - Medium body with light grain character. Dry and slightly chewy finish. Didn't at all realize this was 8.5% - that was a bit of shocker.

D - I think our tasting group was somewhat underwhelmed by the straightforward nature of this beer. The main comment tossed around was that it was very "bocky". I don't drink bocks very often, but if I did this would be a very solid choice.

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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 KickInTheChalice
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pilsener glass. Batch #2.

Appearance: Pours a mahogany brown color with tint of ruby on the edge of the glass. A fluffy off-white head forms on pouring and exhibits decent retention. Nice lace sticks on the glass.

Smell: Soft molasses, oak, and a variety of spices are present on the nose.

Taste: The taste starts out a bit sweet, with some molasses covering nicely over a slight alcohol bite. Cinnamon and cloves sneak in, and the end is sort of drawn out with more sweetness. A bit of oak is also present.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, although the overall level of carbonation is not extremely high. A bit sticky after each sip, and some hop oil remains after most of the hops have disappeared from the taste.

Drinkability: Overall, I thought this was quite a drinkable brew, although I would be curious to see how the spices were when it was first brewed.

Thanks Davolebomb for throwing this in as an extra.

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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 ThaBobfather
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid milky brown with a slihgt reddish hue.
Smell is well malted- sweetly on the nose with some slight grain.
Taste starts with sweet bread flavor- followed by a milky malt quality.
Finish is great- slightly wet with a really good sweet grainy after-taste.
Drinks great- 8.5% is super smooth and malty.

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Photo of mwa423
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
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 schoolboy
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It was probably TWO years ago that I bought a bunch of this, and it wasn't "fresh" then. So this has been aging in my aging areas for a while. Probably much longer than optimal (which might have been not at all). I think this is the last of it. It says Batch #001 on it.

But it is a decent product, and it still tastes OK. It doesn't seem to go well with what I am eating, so I will concentrate on the beer. It's a rich, skunky bock. The skunkiness may be the over aging. But it still works.

Cool label. Cool 1 pint 9.4 oz bottle, fancy foil and regular bottle cap. I am so accustomed to either various German bocks, that this is somewhat close to or Genny bock, which is different, but has merit in it's own class, the best bestest, cheapest stuff. This is sort of like that too - from the same general part of the world (and not very far from here).

If I could score bottles like this again for $6.99 I would do it. Recommended for local Pittsburgh flavor. I have a feeling that by the end of the bottle it will taste really good.

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Photo of blackie
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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 JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sick tonight and reviewed from notes.

Batch #1 Big 750 shared with the Boise Peeps.

Slightly hazy deep brown amber.. good head and lacing.

nose is toasty malts... lite roasty.. nice dark maltiness... a bit nutty... very clean malts pretty much sums it up.

Flavor mirrors the nose with some background fruity esters that make me think dried cherries... body is on the plus side of medium, but the carbonation is probably a bit high given the few years in the bottle.

Good bock (verging on dopplebock zone) across the board.. glad I got a chance to try this one... Well-made German style lagers are my weakness and something I think are vastly overlooked in the Beer Geek world.


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Photo of BigPapiBrewingCo
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle batch 2 7.5 % to duvel goblet.
Poured nicely fluufy head in glass.
Dark brown clear
Smells of carmel and raisins
tatse: this is pretty good got some carmel Smooth, roasted malts figs rasins. i was totally not expecting this. the body was really thin but the etoh is very hidden. I drank the whole bottle in one sitting by myself.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001 - Thanks to BeerRay!
Medium dark brown with reddish highlights. Tan head that falls to a skim. Taste is rich sweet malt - really nice. Plum, raisin, molasses. The taste follows the smell - quite tasty. Little bit of licorice on the aftertaste. Maybe a touch of alcohol too. Medium body and nicely carbonated. Fine structure and pretty smooth. Overall a tasty bock that I luckily have one more of!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a bomber of this at my local "Beer Barn" in New Ken for 2.95. Batch 2 which I have no idea when it was bottled. Wasn't thinking too much of it but I was expecting it to suck since it was in a green bottle and that I only had the Oktoberfest by Penn and wasn't blown away by it.

A- Dark amber hues with an impressive amount of head (From what I read I hear this beer is a year old...?)
S - Smells like a bock should. Hues of caramel and faint chocolate malt.
T - Very slight tastes of malts of chocolate and fruit but not as bitter as expected so it was good.
M - Thin and drinkable.
D - Pretty good actually. I pegged it to suck like a rotten lager but it reminded me kind of a Dunkel. I would consider trying it again fresh if I ever got the chance.

NOTE: I don't know if this matters but batch 2 is 7.5 percent by volume compared to batch 1 which I guess was 8.5.

Regardless the ABV it was very enjoyable

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Photo of koopa
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2 Bottle received in a trade with JohnTravolta21 at least a year ago and stored in my cellar thanks!

Appearance: Pours an attractive transparent dark brown with honey garnet folds. A 1 finger off white crown shows some retention and lace.

Smell: Nice toasted malt, some wood barrel, a hint of raisin, figs, and prune.

Taste: Sweet malt, faded nutmeg, dark fruits, and a touch of roasty goodness. I think this one might have been a better beer fresh.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a touch syrupy, but good carbonation.

Drinkability: Going down easy but watch out for the abv which is well hidden.

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Photo of righthereisay
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
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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St. Nikolaus Bock Bier - Brewer's Reserve from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
4.18 out of 5 based on 175 ratings.
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