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30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock
Very Good
527 Ratings
30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Maibock / Helles Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by IrieJackalope on 05-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 527 |  Reviews: 341
Photo of Beaver13
2.12/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml bottle. Pours a slightly hazy orange amber with a big creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is pretty subdued - some toasted malt and some vegetables and nitro(?). Kind of smells like a bad cream ale.

The flavor is toasted malts with some a good amount of bitterness that is slightly metallic and some noticeable alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a watery texture.

Overall, I did not care for this. It tastes like an imperial cream ale to me. It's watery, harshly bitter and alcoholic with very little redeeming about it. Not nearly as good as the Fritz and Ken.

 611 characters

2.62/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Draft pour served in a 13 oz parabolic shaped pokal for $5.

A: Served with one finger of very light brown foamy, loosely knit head with short retention. The body is a brassy, coppery color with remarkable clarity. Lacing is non-existent.

S: The nose is filled with toasted malts of caramel and bread mixed with wild flower scented hops. Paper, grainy with some spicy fruit phenols. Smallest touch of banana plus clove.

T: I respect the brewers decision to keep the ABV where it is and none higher. Any more would have brought unwelcomed alcoholic flavors to the palate. With that said, this is too assertive for a Helles, and it becomes even clearer as I keep sipping.

M: The mouthfeel is slick and has a tingling carbonation from the middle to the back of the tongue. The flavor lasts long, it is very sweet and is missing some much needed bitterness. The mouthfeel started out well, but when the beer warms and the alcohol has nothing else to hide behind, it borders on offensive.

D: I enjoy a nice Helles, but this one is not my cup of tea.

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Photo of Hellpop65
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Traquairlover
2.86/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle. Given that this is called an imperial helles bock, I was unsure exactly what glass to use or how to rate it to style. In the end, I decided to use a tall thin tulip and to simply rate it based on enjoyment, since I do not know how I could fairly rate an imperial to a helles bock standard.

A = A coppery, honey colored brew with a large foamy of white head that recedes very slowly and becomes more billowey as it does so. Leaves only a small amount of lacing and has large numbers of very tiny carbonation bubbles.

S = Very interesting mix of smells here. Though there is a spicy, earthy, bready base to it, I am picking up quite a bit of grapefruit rind which I frankly did not expect and am not sure I think really blends well with what else is going on.

T = Taste is slightly better than the smell, mostly because the hops flavors I was worried about didn't materialize, but the tastes do seem strangely muted compared to the smell, too. Where I really got some white pepper, rye bread, and other complexities, on the taste I mostly get a little rye bread with honey, but more bitterness than that description would suggest. It's not bad, but it's not really good either.

M = Fairly light bodied, a bit of bite from overly aggressive carbonation bubbles and a bit of alcohol.

D = Can't say I really feel like finishing this bottle or having any others. It is a bit strange in the nose, underwhelming in the taste and almost unpleasant in the feel.

 1,470 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
2.93/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a pilsener glass, the beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with about an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention is good, with a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice but a bit light, the brew smells like grassy hops, caramel and bready malt, and some apples. It tastes like grassy and floral hops, bready malt, and some caramel and spice. This is a very bitter brew, but unfortunately it's not a good bitter flavor. The bitterness starts off harsh but does ease up some as the beer warms, but there's something about the flavor overall that I just don't like. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and is well carbonated. Drinkability isn't good for me, but that's mainly because I don't care for the taste of this beer. Now that I think of it, I didn't care for Sierra Nevada's Glissade Bock either so apparently I just don't like SN's bock-style brews. I still think this is worth a try, hopefully you'll like it more than I did. I did finish the bottle, so I guess it wasn't too bad.

 1,042 characters

Photo of scoots511
2.94/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Note: My experience with Helles Bock is limited so I will not give a standard review at this time.

The cork popped off sounding more like a champaign bottle. The appearance is really beautiful amber-orange color.

I found it to have the hoppy-sweet character of the style but it did not combine well from my impression. This is a Sierra Nevada beer and the hops and yeast doesn't let you forget it. From start to finish my impression of this beer did not change.

 463 characters

Photo of PDXHops
2.99/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. See-thru golden amber body with the kind of sizeable and dense head typical of SN. Plenty of sticky lacing.

Nose is a little on the tame side- apple sweetness, pale malts, mild noble hop spiciness. Tastes a little more lively, with a 1-2 combo of spicy and bitter. Gets quite prickly midswallow with freshly cracked black pepper and a fairly signficant bitterness. Kind of a vague sweetness. A bit crisp in the beginning, but it gets progressively heavier and boozier as it warms up. Somewhat of a chore to finish the last bit of the bottle on account of the booziness.

Overall impression: A bit on the awkward side. Never could really get into this. Pales in comparison to Glissade.

 727 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of AlexChillton
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of TheRealDBCooper
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of bigbeers84
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of gwguest
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of nathanjohnson
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of smi
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of RichBeer
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of leftoverburrito
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of marct
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of dedrinker
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark honey color, with a dull white head.

Smells of sweet bread.

Flavors of dense sweet malts/ honey/ and alcohol which is also kinda sweet. It had a slight hoppy/ spicy character that danced about quickly and disappeared in favor of the cloying sweet alcohol.

Medium-full body with a slick sweet malt and alcohol finish.

It was a bummer. Helles bocks ought to be outlawed.

 377 characters

Photo of Mitchster
3.06/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Graciously donated by a friend. Corked and caged 750ml bottle. Brewed by/for Fred Eckhardt, Charlie Papazian, and Ken Grossman. 8.30% ABV. No ingredients on the mfgr website.

Pours out to a slightly chill hazed dark golden/light amber, forming a tall white head with very good retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is moderate, but releases a healthy whoosh with the cork. The aroma is of cascade hops (not my favorite..doesn't smell like Tett or Saaz), a healthy dose of pilsner, crystal, and munich malts, a clean lager ferment, apple juice, and honey. The mouthfeel is clean with a medium-dense body and a sweet finish. The taste is mostly about the malts, as a good bock should be....mild herbal bitterness with a clean sweetness, big malts, suggestion of sweet tea biscuits/sugar cookies, and a little spice from the hops.

Meh. This is a decent beer at best. It's not bad, but for a 30th anniversary, I expect more than average. I don't know how much it costs, but you can pick up an Ayinger bock for $4 and it's better.

 1,030 characters

Photo of champ103
3.08/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a brunt copper/orange/amber color. At first A large white head rises to over two fingers. Initially the foam has good retention, but after a minute recedes to a ring. Light sticky lace is left in patches.
S: Spicy hops up front. Lightly fruity and floral. A soapy character develops towards the end. Not much else.
T: Spicy, fruity and floral again. A bit sweeter than I was expecting from the nose. The soapy character takes over a little to much for me. Kind of like dish detergent. Some rubbing alcohol develops as this warms up and becomes a little harsh.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Slick and oily. I wish it was a little dryer and crisper. At first I thought the alcohol was well hidden, but as this warms up some harsh rubbing alcohol comes out.

This just did not do it for me. I am not sure how I feel about an Imperial Helles, and I don't know if this is what I would think the style should be? The harsh rubbing alcohol that develops, soapy hops, and spice are at odds with each other. Anyway, just not for me.

 1,038 characters

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.08/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

A. Pours orange with yellow with a white creamy head.

S. Quite sweet, with belgian yeast spiciness, citrus hops, and an odd alcohol smell.

T. Bitter citrus hops with a sweetness that comes out more and more as it warms.

M. Medium body with high carbonation that quickly leaves the beer as it warms.

D. Started pretty well, but went downhill fast as it warmed. I definitely wasn't a fan of it warm - too sweet and no carbonation.

 454 characters

Photo of breweryaprntc13
3.12/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark gold/ light amber in color with very thick foamy coffee and cream head

Strong Bock smell, grains and earthy hops, yeast, citrus and some sweetness with hints of slighty dark malts.

Maltier than expected, citrus hops profile throughout, slight ester, earth hops underneath, hints of lemon, slight biscuity flavor.

Smooth, slight;y bitter, medium but fitting carbonation.

Overall and decent Bock, does an adequate job of providing a balance of flavor and refreshments but does not call for real acclaim.

 510 characters

Photo of telecomz
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear caramel color. Minimal head and lacing.
S- Not much there there.
T- Nice herbal hopiness.
M- Light to medium body No heat for the ABV and lightness of the brew.
D- This is very drinkable. Makes the ABV that much sneakier.

Not my preferred Style, but this is a nice example of the Style.

 296 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Charlie, Fred and Ken's Bock has a clear yellow body and a small, creamy head. Retention is pretty good, a few spots of lacing stay behind.

The aroma has some pale sweet malt, caramel malt and spicy hops.

Earthy and spicy flavors come through from the hops, and a lightly toasted malt presence includes general pale sweetness and some caramel. The malt sweetness is the most powerful flavor in the beer, and tastes a little doughy. The finish has a bit of alcohol.

The body could use a little bit more fullness to me, especially because this beer gets a little boozy toward the finish.

I sipped this one for a long time, and about halfway through I wished I had ordered something else. This beer wasn't quite as good as I expected, and although it wasn't terrible either it also wasn't cheap.

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30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 527 ratings
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