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
528 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: 528 |  Reviews: 342
Photo of gordavidson
3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- An absolutely clear orange/copper liquid with a creamy bone white head that has some good retention.

S- Some citrus rind, caramel, alcohol, honey, and spice. Fairly faint. Smells like a boozy lager.

T- Caramel malt, citrus rind, spice, and alcohol. A bit hot.

M- There is a lingering bitterness and alcohol presence, but the carbonation level is spot on.

D- A unique take on the style that has some rather apparent alcohol. Not as entertaining as the Fritz and Ken's ale, but that set a pretty high standard.

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Photo of carlborch
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful Champagne-style hiss upon removal of cage and cork. Pours deep golden-copper with a 3-inch creamy off-white head that settles in at two inches. The nose provides evident, but light and bright floral hops and toasted malt. Medium body and long lingering. Moderate to high carbonation. Excellent mouth-feel. The relatively high ABV is noticeable in the sense of warmth and sweetness. It is moreish! I would seek it out again. Excellent with food but very tasty on its own. If I were a monk, i'd put some aside for lent.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is an almost clear golden/amber color with a huge frothy head that stays around for quite some time. A beautiful head on this one. I smell alcohol and some spices. I also get some malts. Maybe a bit of pepper and zest as well. This taste is very nice... At first I get tons of sweet malts followed by some lovely bread. As it warms up a bit, the beer gets a little more chewy and syrupy. I think the mouthfeel could be a lot better. The drinkability is pretty high, but would have been a lot better if the beer wasn't so syrupy.

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Photo of chaz410
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle bought at Brawleys in Charlotte.
Pours a clean amber body with a nice two finger lenth head that's very white and very thick.
Smells of toasted malt, typical lager rounded earthy sweetness, some nice earthy hops and some pine notes.
Taste of sweet caramel, toasted biscuits, nutty sweetness with a clean earthy pine note ringing out through the swallow but warms with alcohol towards the end. Finish is typical rounded balance you find in a nice bock. Very sweet upfront but mellows out as it goes down.
This is avery clean and easy drinking beer for the abv and style.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
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 NCSUdo
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle

A: Clear, bubbly golden under a quickly falling white head. No lace, no retention.

S: Big floral, peppery hop, not IPA in your face but big. Sweet malt backbone is there, not quite getting a lot of toasted malt like it says on the bottle, but the aroma is fairly balanced.

T: Hops and booze dominate, slightly unbalanced. Again, not getting a lot of toasted character. Hops are good, but booze could be hidden a little better.

M/D: Medium to full bodied, carbonation is surprisingly low (compared to the bubbles I saw during the pour). Drinkability is fine. A little unbalanced in the tasted, can't help but to think that a little taste was sacrificed to get this one to 8.3%, but otherwise a decent, balanced beer.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden/amber-hued body with beautiful copper glow, thinnish, near white head. quickly disaptin head with no lacing.

Smell: toasty amber malts, slight citrus from hops.

Taste: very impressed. alcohol well hidden, great hop presence. could have used more, but good. Very balanced imperial lager.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body.

Drinkability: fabulous big lager. This is what I wanted from Glissade. Nice job!

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Photo of californiakulak
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at BC's Pizza in Clovis California.

A. Darker than I would have thought. Very clear amber with a seriously thick head.

S. A thick alcohol and malty aroma dominates. Sweet and toasted scents with some noble hop spiciness.

T. very good beer. Thick, syrupy, and hot alcohol. It tastes bigger than its 8% alcohol.

M. Thick, mouth coating with some warming from the alcohol.

D. This beer is very drinkable. I finished two pints before my pizza even arrived.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
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 goldbot
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear, orange-y copper with thick, creamy eggshell head. Good head retention and plenty of lacing on the glass.

Plenty of caramel in the aroma, some bread notes as well. Very light and clean aromas. A hint of fruity, herbal hop notes.

The flavor is loaded with bready malt and plenty of sweet caramel. Hints of toffee sweetness and a bright citrusy hop profile.

Nice and sweet, somewhat low bitterness. Full body with thick, creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

A tasty beer; very well balanced with a clean, smooth profile.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear yellow-orange with creamy 1/4" off-white head

Aromas of orange blossom honey, floral rubbing alcohol, coriander, fragrant grassy malt.

Rye bread bitter, touch of the fumey, black pepper. Sweet banana pie for a moment, but not cloying at all. Mouthfeel of bitter malt with a subtle hint of lemon rind citrus. Big flavor, big booze yet pretty drinkable.

Will be interesting to taste again in 3-6 months.

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Photo of SShelly
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear yellow with large poofy white head, moderate retention and lacing.

Aroma is a mix of esters and hops, more hoppy than I was expecting, fruit around the edges.

Flavor follows the aroma pretty close, lots of hop bitterness and flavor played off large esters and phenols, backend sweetness comes out more and more as it warms.

Interesting and drinkable, probably not an ager like the first 30th beer but I will definetly enjoy drinking my couple of bottles of this.

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Photo of Pahn
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a three inch, fluffy offwhite head that dissipates steadily leaving a few bubbly rings of lacing that don't stick around. Pours a semi-translucent orange/amber.

Smell: From the bottle: all cinnamon. In the glass: clove and cinnamon, along with some floral and fruity tones. There's some mild, toasted, bready malt, but the nose is dominated for the most part by spice. A bit too potpourri for me, reminiscent of the weird "do I drink this, or scent an upper middle class living room with this?" dynamic of the Stone collaboration, Bashah. The grassy/floral hops and malt lurking in the background are really nice though. As the beer warms, it develops a really beautiful herbal character that bumped the score up from 3.5 to 4.0. The smell is a little spruce-y and minty. Interesting development.

Taste: First sip: spicy and floral with a big, airy malt finish, mildly sweet aftertaste, and lingering alcohol warmth. Getting deeper in, I'm finding the beer to be a bit too sweet and one-dimensional, and the alcohol burn seems inappropriately strong. 'Refreshing' is not a word I'd cart out for this Spring lager, which is a little disappointing. Lots of orange-y sweetness.

I have mixed feelings about the flavor of this beer. As it warms, the alcohol heat continues to be a major player, and the potpourri from the nose comes in and throws its weight around in the taste as well. Some great toasted malt flavors pop up and work against the sweetness and warmth.

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It tastes a bit like melting a few varieties of candy cane and adding a lot of alcohol and some toast. It's sweeter, spicier, and less refreshing than I want or expect it to be, but it's definitely interesting. The flavor is growing on me, though to be honest I can't think of many unabashedly good things to say about it.

Mouthfeel: On the fuller side of medium bodied. Juicy, without much carbonation. Kind of honeylike, really. I like it, but it could use a bit more carbonation.

Drinkability: Not great. In the end, this beer is way too hot, and surprisingly inappropriate as a bit of Spring/Summer refreshment. I don't regret buying this bottle, but I have no plans of buying another one, or petitioning Sierra Nevada to re-brew this Anniversary offering (unlike Fritz and Ken's, which I found to be a really masterful stout that I'd happily return to often).

I guess it's a good thing that this is an anniversary, "special" beer. It drinks like one, but less in the "these guys know how to celebrate!" way, and more in the "well, that was an interesting one," way.

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Photo of BierFan
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a glass.

Appearance: Thick off white head with real nice retention. Nice copper color. Looks like a German marzen with a crazy awesome head. Low carbonation. Good lacing.

Smell: Grassy, herbal, and slightly lemony hops. Malty caramel body makes itself present in the aroma.

Taste: Malty and dry with some caramel and decent hopping. Some alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Bruery tulip.

Pours a lightly hazy dark copper bordering on brown, with a solid 3-finger khaki head that ever so slowly settles down to about one finger. Excellent retention, and decent lacing. probably 4.3, but I'll swing it up a bit.

Nose is sweet, bready, light toast, with a bit of spicy alcohol making things interesting. Light notes of clean, fresh red berries. There's a just a bit of spicy Saaz in there as well, balancing the whole experience effortlessly.

Taste is again bready, sweet, lightly toasted, lots of bready caramel, lush. Light notes of Saaz come through to balance as you swirl the beer in your mouth, and linger delicately on the long finish alongside a bit of spicy alcohol and some bready remnants. Fairly straightforward, and not precisely to style at all, but what style exactly would fit this better? Failing to think of any, I shrug and go on rating as normal - a very tasty beer that hit a lot of right notes for me. Barely short of 4.5. Will check in again when I drink the next bottle.

Mouthfeel is light yet soft, lush, and creamy. Possibly my favorite aspect of the beer. Beautiful, almost impossible dichotomy. Faint alcohol burn on the swallow is the only thing that keeps it from perfection.

Drinkability is quite good. Delicious, near-perfect mouthfeel, well-balanced and with a nice lightness to it. The alcohol and resulting mild burn hinder it a bit, but still quite good.

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Photo of mondegreen
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a SN XXX Snifter.

Pours a deep golden color with a giant fluffy head that recedes to a thin froth that sits dutifully atop the beer. The nose is bready and spicy, with plenty of earthy notes- almost haylike. Taste is spicy up front. Very very interesting. Malt sweetness holds up the backend very well. Mouth is slick and moderately heavy, feels great. This beer is very drinkable. The spicy notes beg to be explored. Overall, a well crafted, easy drinking brew.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was happy to see all of these great brewers take on one of my favorite styles, Maibock. This one pours out a clear orange color, with three fingers of white heading that fades quickly. Red rye in the nose, wheat, some strawberry, overall very bready. More of the same from the taste, though there is an element of cinnamon and toast that adds a nice complexity. Mouthfeel is full bodied, dominated most of all by the malt and the alcohol. Although the booze is somewhat noticeable in the taste, it is not readily apparent in other respects. I suspect this will be a good beer to age as well. Overall a pretty good Bock that could get a whole lot better with some age to it. Looking forward to the other collaborative beers in this series.

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Photo of oberon
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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 DeutschesBier
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

After the fantastic 30th Anniversary Stout that was released a couple of months ago, I had high hopes for this one. It certainly did not disappoint.

The appearance is near-flawless. This is exactly what a big Helles should look like.

As for the smell and taste, I see a lot of people knocking these categories. This isn't a DIPA that you are going to smell right when you crack it open. I think both the smell and taste represent the style very well. As the beer warms, the alcohol comes through a little more, which hurts the drinkability.

Overall, this is another great beer from Sierra Nevada. I anxiously await the next two in the 30th anniversary series.

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Photo of argock
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 750mL brown bottle into a clear Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date other than anniversary labeling. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $11.29.

A: Crisp pale brown-tan with ample 3-finger wheat-colored tightly bubbled head with good retention and spots of lacing.

S: Aroma is dominated by clean malt and grassy, herbal hops but alcohol creeps in and starts to assert more presence with warming.

T: The flavors echo the aromas pretty closely with pale and light caramel malts providing a nice round sweet profile cut with herbal, lightly minty hops. The alcohol component again sneaks up and provides a lot of fruity ester which is a little too forward for my taste.

M: Clean feel in medium body with moderate carbonation and a crisp finish.

D: A good beer but doesn't fulfill the potential or the price tag.

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Photo of blackie
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: unibroue tulip, initially slight head quickly slinks back to leave nothing on the surface, the beer itself a pale copper color

s: lightly toasted, aromatic euro pale malts - light caramel, sweet fruits - white grape, booze present, faint marzipan, grassy noble hops

m: carbonation lively at first but smoothing out over the course of each pour, body on the full side of medium, almost slick but quickly drying

t: begins with toasted euro pale malts providing flavors of crusty bread and some sugary fruits - perhaps grape, then abruptly moves to a hoppy finish with a big dose of grass flavors, not particularly complex, seems more a solid standard maibock with an extra booze kick

d: easily drinkable, doesn't pack the flavor expected under the "imperial" billing, but it's a solid maibock regardless

750 from Norm's, Vienna, VA - paired with sauteed kale and dutch oven chicken and rice

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Photo of larryi86
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into snifter

A- A yellow/golden color with a hint of orange and a two finger white head.

S- Mainly sweet malt, with earthy notes and spices.

T- Well balanced with a nice malt base, with a great honey taste and a hint of alcohol.

M- Smooth and not too light, very refreshing.

D- Easy to drink a whole bottle in one sitting. The alcohol could be hidden a little better, and is a little disappointing compared to the 30th Anniversary Stout, but is still a great beer.

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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.

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Photo of Brad007
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mild golden color with a one-finger head into my glass. Nice presentation, though perhaps I was hoping it would be darker. Still good though.

Aroma is full of sweet, slightly smoky malt upfront with perhaps a hint of raisin/plum.

Taste is full of caramel, raisin/plum and otherwise sweet and chewy malt. It's a bit hot but nothing too overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is full of raisin, plum and sweet malt that linger. Decent.

Certainly another excellent collaboration between Charlie Papazian, Fred Eckhardt and Ken Grossman. Worth a shot if you liked Fritz and Ken's collaboration.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle served at 50 degrees in my SA Perfect Pint. Poured a translucent, orange-copper-gold with a three inch foamy, cream-colored head that sizzled and popped as it slowly condensed into a mostly consistent 1/8th inch skim; some spots of lacing, but no real retention. Nose is very interesting and complex - a subtle citrus quality, herbal hops aromatics, light toasted malts and some fruity sweetness hidden in the back. Taste consistent with nose; however, the sweetness that was barely detectable at the back is very much forward in the flavor profile. A little earthy/grassiness and some lingering booze comes out towards the back and at the finish - this is a really delicious Maibock that has a nice balance between the sweet and the bitter. Mouthfeel is medium-light and slightly viscous, with a lively, even carbonation. Many of the Maibock's I've had tend to get cloyingly sweet after a while. That being said, I found this beer quite drinkable for the style. I have to say that I'm really looking forward to the 3rd and 4th offerings from SN.

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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 528 ratings