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

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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 341 | Ratings: 525
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A significant and pleasant bitternness,tasty toastiness in secondary, an Imperial helles bock. Masterful and enjoyable. Pours golden coloured body with a great white head. Hops and malt in aroma. Caramel, an above average mouthfeel. Tremendously drinkable. Alcohol is well concealed.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Sierra Nevada worth some comments.
Imperial Hellas Bock style 30th Anniversay.

Pours a beautiful clear dark orange/amber with a white head that quickly fades but nice color and good looking.

Floral cooked pear, light stone fruit nose. Nice perfume character although not real assertive; somewhat elegant in nature.

Medium bodied; creamy and rich mouthfeel. Bright enough and with sufficient body and charm that you want more.

Flavors are more elegant in character with a rich "sweet toast" quality and a nice bitter light black coffee than the anniversary stout. Nice lightly sweet malt character underlying the initial bitter coffee/pine hop character. A hint of bitter orange/bitter carmel underlying it all.

Finish follows the flavors with the bitter coffee, hint of bitter orange character that's pleasant and a bit "burnt toasty."

Really well balanced and drinkable. Not one to age too long I would guess.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light honey orange color with a 2 inch off-white head that fades to a thin cap. Random smears and streaks of foam stick to the glass on the drink down. Smells of sweet malt, bread, and light fruit aromas. Taste is of grape-like fruit flavors, honey, and sweet malt. The carbonation is a bit flat making for a slightly thick and sticky in the mouth. Overall, this is a good beer and the first of the 30th anniversary beers from Sierra Nevada I have had. I am looking forward to trying the other 3.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a nice mellow bock after a bit of aging. pours a rich golden color, bordering on copper in hue. smallish white head. smells german malty, a touch sweet, and a little strong. flavor is smooth as can be, plenty of nice mellow malts without being filling in any way. a toffee like candy flavor in the finish, very autumnal harvest feeling for me. mouthfeel is great, very well blananced, just enough carbonation, and a memorable drinkability. overall a solid beer that has definitely benefited from some time in the cellar. all of the 30th anniversary beers have been excellent

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Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a slightly hazy golden color. The head was pretty strong looking and left behind a nice scattered lacing. The smell of the beer had some aromas of grain and some sweet malt aromas. The taste of the beer had some bread flavors to it and a bit of citrusy fruits. The mouthfeel wasn't overly thick, somewhere around a medium body I'd say. Overall this brew was really good, Not my favorite of the series but pretty close.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A quality, yet somewhat forgetable, beer that takes an imperial twist on a classic German Maibock.

Starting with a bright light copper color with strong straw highlights. The beer has a nice glow about it. A creamy white head forms very well with a mix of tightly knit and loosely knit bubbles. The head evenually falls to a stubborn sheet before holding firm for the remainder of the session. Leaves a lot of lace behind.

Subtle aromas of straight up pilsner malt is decorated with a touch of floral and spice notes. A mild honey-suckle note rides throgh the floral hop character.

Malty flavors also prevail. Confectionate sweetness is met with light breads, sweet breads, and cookie dough. Floral and flowery flavors provide the perfect compliment to the delicate malts. Spicy with mild earthy/grassy tast, bitterness, and alcohol; just enough for added complexity and balance. A quite understated flavor profile but remains true to style despite its strength.

Medium bodied throughout although it starts out sweeter and rich. The beer fades nicely into a thirst quenching and refreshing beer late and with a mild herbal/minty aftertaste.

A very nice beer but with no real identifyable attributes other than a bigger Spaten Maibock. Fans of Oktoberfests should check this one out.

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Photo of oline73
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours an amber/dark golden color with a finger and a half of white fluffy head. The head leaves a little bit of lacing.

Smell: Sweet with notes of alcohol and fruit. It kind of smells like grapes and honey.

Taste: Sweet alcohol is the first thing I notice. There are hints of grape and malt as well. The finish is a bit bitter along with some booze.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium body with a delicate and mild carbonation. The finish is mildly dry.

Drinkability: I think this beer is alright, it is a bit too sweet for me. The flavors go together well, but I don't know that I'd look for it again.

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Photo of zeff80
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a slightly hazy, orange color with a three-finger, off-white head of pillowy foam. It had lengthy retention and left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled earthy, grassy and of sweet caramel.

T - This one has a good dose of sweet caramel and toffee flavors with a fruity/earthy/grassy hop bite. Some sweet alcohol is present.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty nice ale. I just expect more for an Anniversary ale with such a high price tag.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At The Brickskeller. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderately-clouded golden color with a white head and a bit of lacing. Nose brings some light malts and a good fruit base. Taste brings some grain and dough as well as light fruits. Good body with nice carbonation. A good concept, but not as good as the other two 30th Anniversay beers.

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Photo of mothman
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Baker for this extra!

Poured into a snifter.

Pours 1 finger of off-white head. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: Sweet biscuit notes with floral hops. Caramel sweetness. I really can't tell its imperial.

Taste: Bigger taste than the nose would suggest. Caramel and bready malts wit some floral/earthy hops. In all reality, this is a fairly simple bock.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, bitter, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with some grassy hops.

Overall, why did they put a beer like this in a 750 with a cork and cage??? This is all marketing. Somewhat drinkable, but this needs to be in a 12 oz bottle 6 pack format. One thing I did like about this beer is how well it hides the abv.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/25/2010. Pours very hazy orange amber color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, apple, pear, bread, toast, brown sugar, grass, herbal, floral, light clove, and earthy peppery spiciness; some moderate cardboard as well that reduce as it warms. Pretty nice aromas with good complexity and balance; despite the oxidation. Taste of caramel, apple, pear, bread, toast, brown sugar, floral, grass, light clove, and earthy peppery spiciness; slight cardboard as well, but not too bad. Lingering notes of caramel, apple, pear, bread, toast, brown sugar, grass, floral, clove, and earthy peppery spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance with good complexity; with a nice malt/spiciness balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good imperial helles offering. Nice balance and complexity of malt and spicy flavors; and very smooth to drink for the gravity. The oxidation certainly knocked it down a bit; but it was still a very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The cork comes out with a loud pop and the beer pours with a thick, two finger head of white foam. The body is a perfectly clear, amber-brown color with lazy streams of bubbles rising to the surface. The head settles slowly and leaves light lace.

S - A biscuit malt aroma with some spicy, herbal hops. Some richer honey malt notes and a touch of toffee in the background.

T - Creamy malt notes up front with some biscuit flavor and light graham cracker notes. Darker toffee notes come out in the middle with a hint of rich, alcoholic plum. Finishes with smooth, dense malt sweetness and herbal hops that carry a moderate, balancing bitterness. Lingering malt notes of honey and bread with mouth coating dark fruit notes of alcohol in the aftertaste.

M - Thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Despite its relatively light color, this is a big, sweet and intensely malty lager. The richness of the malt character evolves subtly throughout the finish and tastes much darker than expected. There is an almost Eisbock like level of sweetness and fruity character present in the malt though the hops are grassy and assertive enough to keep it in check and differentiate the beer from its darker, stronger cousins. This is a very nice lager with a smoothness and richness that I am not used to seeing in light colored bocks. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of oberon
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 1/2 liter stein a rich clear copper/bronze with a large fluffy white head atop that turned nto a creamy mass as it settled slowly.Aromas were pretty clean with floral and spicy hop dominating,light toastiness and caramel are there but they are pretty faint.Lighter feel for the style and pretty clean on the palate,light caramel malt and a bit of sweet dough with a hefty drying,spicy finish.Not true to form, its to hopped up wich I dont mind,but it just seems to lack a little heft in my opinion.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Toronado in San Francisco and found it a little different than the bottle I have before me now. The carbonation was a little higher on tap, and it seemed just slightly less floral and bitter, equaling 'more malty'. Of course your taste buds are constantly changing a little bit this way or that way each week, and maybe it was warmer on tap than out of my fridge, but I am sure that it was more carbonated (that could again, just be due to the pressure/temperature ratio in the cellar at Toronado).

That said, you can't really fault this beer in any way except to argue whether or not it's an "Imperial" helles bock. As a standard helles bock, I find it fits right in as far as body, malt and hops go. It is a bit strong, and that shows, but I don't feel that's really enough to tag it "Imperial". On the other hand, I don't really care. "Imperial" Maibock / helles bock isn't a recognized style yet (is it?), so let's just look at the beer itself...

It pours a hazy golden orange body beneath a frothy head of bone-white that settles slowly to a thin lid. The lacing is average. Some might argue that the clarity is a negative, but it's bottle-conditioned; and I think the "Imperial" tag allows you to do whatever you want at this point.

The aroma is decidedly floral with a puff of sweetness beneath it from the malt; and a mild waft of alcohol. This smells to me like Maibock. That combination of malt and floral hops is what you want, and they've nailed it.

In the mouth it's medium with a dextrinous edge, bordering on becoming medium-full. Perhaps it IS medium full and the thinning effect of the alcohol is just throwing me off. (I'll simply note that I've tasted many Maibocks that are fuller in body). As to the carbonation, there's just enough bite to bristle the tongue to cut through the malt while still maintaining a certain amount of creaminess. In this respect, I find it to be exceptionally well done. The flavor is refined, as we'll see, but the body and mouthfeel are also superbly done - all of which combines in the end to lead to a great level of drinkability. Onward...

The flavor displays a gently toasted malt that's threaded through with floral hop flavors, and a splash of alcohol that cuts through it. There's some mild apple to it, and perhaps some pear-like fruitiness as well. Just past mid-palate a stiff bitterness, in alliance with the alcohol, cuts through it and brings it to a dry finish. Some gentle spiciness swirls around, and a bit of grassiness rises as the malt fades. It's quite pleasant. Given that this is an "Imperial" helles bock, it's really quite 'delicate' (certainly far from heavy-handed) and well balanced - of course that's always been the Sierra Nevada way, to put balance and finesse forward, rather than grandiosity.

All in all, I find it a remarkably pleasant bock. It could be something else, yes, and it might not be an "Imperial" helles, but it is what it is and what it is is good. Nicely done! Well worth trying.

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A bright light copper/amber body with an attractive creamy white head

S - Sweet and malty (pils?), with hints of bread, brown sugar, and spicy hops.

T - Malt flavors dominant, and the high ABV is nicely hidden. Tempered sweetness. True to style but enhanced flavor profile that has more boldness (although this isn't a bold beer) and complexity than usual.

M - Medium;light body and smooth, but with moderate-to-lively carbonation.

O - A hearty Helles bock. Normally, not one of my favorite styles but this beer was very pleasing and work work well as a session beer. Recommended for Maibock fans.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/24/2010 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruit, honey, lager yeast, light malts and little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of fruit, caramel and honey up front. The malt character is hearty and there's a mild alcohol sting. The hops presence is also mild but provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is solid beer that is worth drinking for a while, but there are others in the style I would pick first.

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Photo of mactrail
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, tangy golden ale.

Voluminous finely carbonated head that lingers nicely in the glass. Handsome golden color. Malt fills the mouth but enough acid to balance the richness. An underlying raisiny tang. Clean and smooth and highly drinkable.

The ideal Maibock-- not so sweet, a nice touch of aromatic hops, and richly flavored.

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Photo of billab914
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Flying Bison tulip glass. Poured a crystal clear light amber color with a nice full white head to it. Head retention was pretty good with some moderate lacing.

The aroma has a herbal, earthy, noble hop flavor to it in the nose. A good amount of toasty, bready malt comes through as well. A little sweetness comes through but is pretty balanced overall. Very nice aroma to it overall.

The taste shows a bit more of the bready, toasty, malt flavors then the nose did. The earthy hops are there and provide a nice balancing bitterness to it. A little earthy spice comes through as well. It finishes a little on the sweet side with some more toasty malt flavors coming through.

The mouthfeel is slightly below medium bodied and carbonation is a little above average. Drinkability is good, it has some very nice flavors and is nicely balanced. Very enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was great find, thought I was getting a bottle of the stout to cellar. Several weeks later I found it was in fact the helles (really need to take my reading glassed in the beer store!

Decanted into a .5L German mug (Harle Gold)

Another one that opens with a furious whoosh! Pours a very effervescent apricot/amber & 4+ fingers of fast falling tan head. Some head retention & lacing

S: Green apples & breadyness

T: Much breadyness, pears, grassy/hay-like hop snap, along with a touch of leafy hops & just a touch of booze warmth up front. Herbal leafy hops mingle with a touch of golden delicious apples once warm, plus a touch toasty malt, caramel, slight booze bite & just a touch of dryness. Finishes dry, fruitty, with grassy & leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with assertive carbonation. Chewyness picks up once warm, nice warming sensation with this one. Great balance

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV, not a home run as helles bocks go, but a solid offering that I was thrilled to try!

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

Huge, dense head that recedes very slowly, leaving a thick dome head. The liquid is orange-amber. Very cloudy. Some chunky lace on the glass--spotty.

Fresh sweet lighter malt aromas. There's a nice floral hop aroma.

Soft, lightly sweet initial taste. It's rich without being "thick". There's a presence of alcohol without being oily. The carbonation is low. The finish is bitter but short lived; this provides great balance.

Overall, this is a very drinkable maibock with an excellent hop profile. Might be my new favorite bock.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Long day today. Nice long session at Barleys followed by a big tasting back at the house,. What more
could anyone ask for? Consumed on 07/05/2010.

I was actually very excited to try this one and unfortunately was let down a bit because of this. The
pour was decent if not a bit light for what I would normally assume for the style. Nice head of light
tan came up and over the top, settling down nicely and leaving a good coating of lace.

Aroma is roasted nuts, chocolate, hints of coffee and deep caramel but comes across a bit thin for me.
This is very apparent in the feel which did not have that really big, full body you would have
expected. I tempered this though and went through. Nice and medium carbonation and an easy profile led
to it being very session able, but just not the big bock I was hoping it was going to be.

Overall while not bad by any stretch it just kind of left me guessing.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at SDBC

A: The pour is a really nice copper color with a finger's worth of dense white foam.

S: The nose is sweet and bready, but with a very nice fruit (sweet apple) and earthy hop contribution. Good nose all around.

T: Plenty of bread and toasted malt up front with a bit of vanilla, caramel, and maybe some miscellaneous fruits as well. The hops are subtle, but provide a bit of a bitterness and some light earth and spice notes.

M: The body is medium with a creamy carbonation and mouthfeel.

D: I think I might like this iteration of SN30 a little bit better than the stout, and maibocks aren't really even my favorite style. A really nice and flavorful beer.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle int my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a nice amber color with 2 fingers of off white head that lasts for several minutes. Light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus fruits and hops, bready malts, toasted malts, and hint of floral to it.

t - Tastes of spice, citrus hops, booze, and some smooth caramel malts. An odd combination.

m - Medium body and light carbonation. Smooth.

d - Wasn't a big fan of this one. A decent smell but I thought the taste was an off combination that I wasn't a big fan of. Wouldn't look to buy again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a becher at ChurchKey.

After a nice surprise with the previous anniversary brew (the stout, baby), I was a little excited to get this on draught at CK while Ken was in the building. It pours a clear pale light amber straw (deal with that succession of adjectives, you pansies!) topped by a finger of quick-dying white foam. The smell is an interesting combination of caramel, maple, and light hops; it's like a lighter bock being brewed in a flowery lea. These notes return in the taste, joined by further greenery (I'd expect there'd be a decent amount of grass in that meadow, after all) and a touch of honey. The body is a light medium, with a bitingly active carbon and a crisp finish. All-in-all, not the best thing out there, but tasty enough and a good brew to have during these really humid DC summer days.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Transcribed from notes dtd Sa, 13 Nov 2010. I was at TJ's, BTW!

It came with a thin white head with low retention. Color was a deep gold with NE-quality clarity. Midas would have been proud. Nose had a pleasant sweetness to it, but I also picked up some alcohol heat. Mouthfeel was slightly hot with a welcome effervescence to burn/wash out the day's previous indulgences. Sometimes H2O just does not do the trick. Taste was honey-like, but with a slight tang, probably of hops and with some heat. Finish was also slightly hot, simmering down to a glowing coal in the back of my throat. Frankly, this needed to age a while longer, IMHO.

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30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.94 out of 5 based on 525 ratings.
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