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.

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Reviews: 341 | Ratings: 525
Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL corked and caged bottle. In celebration of Sierra Nevada's 31st year (okay, I'm a little late to the party).

A: The golden bock has an orange radiance, brilliant despite a mild haze. The base of the glass is more translucent than the mouth, where things are a little darker. A 3 finger head, all off-white foam, is struggling to lace.

S: The lagerbier is bready, light with fruit aromas. Citrus is plentiful but the beer doesn't come across as a hoppy one.

T: There's the hoppiness, Smooth Hoperator taken up a few notches. Alongside the brilliant hops, biscuity malts are sweet and strong, adding fruitiness. The beer tastes very strong, a full bock that I'd prefer to think of as closer to a doppel. The body, despite the strength, is very smooth and light-tasting. The hops do seem to have an older taste to them, maybe a step or two off the original. Still good though.

M: The mouthfeel is a bold pairing of hops and bock, plenty of both aspects makes the beer work.

O: I went out of order on the series and it was a good choice. A full golden bock to get things starter properly.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - uncaps with a vehement pop. Not a gusher but it sounded like it could have been. Pours a very effervescent tangerine color. Not sure of its clarity, the bead of bubbles is so intense it makes it hard to tell. Solid finger of flat white head, very batter-like. Excellent stick all around.

Aroma - sweet orangey citrus. Can't remember the last time I had a bock of any kind with this much hop character; nice.

Taste - big malty sweetness, though it leaves quickly in favor of the hops. Moderate bite with lots of fruity character. Orange mostly, some pithy grapefuit on the aftertaste. Slightly warming on the finish. Great stuff but could use a little more malt footprint.

Mouthfeel - good smoothness for the style. Awfully ramped up with carbonation. I suppose that will settle as it sits but it's disappearing fast.

Drinkability - more sessionable than any 8% brew oughtta be. We shared a box of oranges from our local wholesaler with folks we hung out with today (Easter Sunday), and this orange-forward beer was an ideal pick to celebrate the Resurrection and toast an end to Lent. Bring on the desserts once again.

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

Color is a little hazey blonde and bronze color with an awesom head, great retntion, and some good bubbling. Nice looking brew.

Sweet hay, oats, and Melba toast with a light sugary glaze. Some alcohol pervades as the beer warms, but only adds to the aromas benefit.

Sweet bread crust and toast stay with the palate from start to finish. Alcohol and yeast bring some Spring fruit flavors into the middle of the palate. The mouthfeel is syrupy and warm, thanks to the 8.8% abv.

Pretty good maibock.

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

I'm quite fond of this one. Had on tap a few times, and now in a rather aged (4 months) growler that's been deep-chilled since purchase, and pours wonderfully. Rich particulate gold with a fine white head that falls evenly. Choice, clean, sweet golden malt here. Really does smell like an Imperial Helles, and not just a boozy, sweet mess. Lots of nuance in both nose and flavor, pleasing, in check hop bitterness, sweet honeycomb stickyness tempered by a little booze and some dry crispness - this is really IT. I mean if you know Helles, this is what an Imperial version SHOULD taste like... mmm

Very clean, very approachable, sweet and bright, this one takes a very stripped down, high quality approach. I really like this Impy Helles and would buy it again should it make it into some sort of rotation in SN's lineup. Hard to describe, really... if the idea of an Imperal Maibock or Helles is not appealing to you, try this one. It just may convert you.

By the by... the growler was easily split between me and my buxom female roommate, and she's ambivalent about beer. Score! Well, sort of.

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Photo of nukem5
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a great deep rich golden color massive foamy cap which settled down to leave a nice lacing down the glass.

S: Malty and some hops nice floral punch.

T: fruity esters with a nice malt backbone, very well balanced.

M: Warm and smooth with good carbonation.

O: Very drinkable and great drink to share between friends.

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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 BeerAndBourbon
3.08/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Champagne bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours orange with some white/orange cream foam. Good lacing. Smooth mellow scent. Helles like but certainly appealing. Taste very smooth - light hop throughout. Creamy. Subtle swirling spices.

This review doesn't do the taste justice - just a real good flavor. Very drinkable.

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Photo of robbrandes
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

serving: the standard 750ml bottle.

pours a slighty-hazy tangerine-rust color. nice head, recedes fairly quickly to a thin film that remained til the bitter (pun intended) end.

while the smell was a nicely representative mix of fruitiness, floral hints and a little bisquit, the impact was somewhat underwhelming.

nice initial twang of citrus, the hop presence caught me a bit unawares, as it's got a surprisingly aggressive hoppiness for the style. moves across the palate with a good blend of caramel-breadiness and a bit of yeastiness. the back end is a bit bitter, further accentuated by the slightly harsh carbonation. not distractingly so, but by the end of the bottle i was a bit worn out.

i wouldn't seek it out again, but you could do far worse.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright cloudy golden-orange color with a finger of white frothy head. The head has okay retention, fading down to a think layer and a nice ring with very nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of sweet carmel roasted malts and some nice fruit esters. Also some light citrus/floral hops in the background.

T - Starts off with some light tart fruity esters and some lightly roasted carmel malt flavor. Little bit of hop in the background. Some bread flavor also. Through the middle the hops come through a bit more with some yeast flavor mixed in. The finish is a mix of light tart fruit flavors, some hop bitterness, light malt, and a touch booze which linger nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Stays very crisp without being watery and not being too thick either. Finish is a bit tart, but really nice.

D - Very drinkable. Lots of really nice flavors all mix together well. The tartness from the fruit flavors is nice and not over bearing. The finish is really nice.

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

750ml bottle into a stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Transparent, golden-orange in color.
A mediocre amount of bubbles rise forth to the surface of the beer after the pour in a relaxed fashion. No hurry.
Two-finger off-white head fades to a thin, soapy film in a couple of minutes, leaving minimal lacing here and there.

Aroma: Alcohol for a split second, followed immediately by tangerine, apricot, and maybe some other citrus fruits. After that, its a slightly toasty, biscuity, bready malt.

Taste: Alcohol for a split second again - gets shoved aside by a rich, biscuity/bready toasted malt, which is giving hints of caramel, toffee and...bananas (faint). Then the citrus flavors of the hops come in - orange and apricot. A low bitterness lingers slighty on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite effervescent and on the thinner side, with a crisp, fairly clean finish. Just a tad bitter.

Drinkability: Due to the lower bitterness - and the fairly clean and crisp mouthfeel and finish - its quite drinkable. Only the alcohol - which is integrated well, but not entirely masked - keeps this brew from being consumed more quickly and in a larger quantity. Great brew all around. Try it.

I can see this pairing exquisitely with the right foods as well.

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Photo of budgood1
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours out of the 750ml bottle a chill hazed neon orange and gold combination with a thick, dense, egg shell white head. great retention and staying power, with thick chunky lace. very bright and floral nose, almost perfume like! smells fantastic. the taste is more of the same...malty rich with bright floral notes with a soapy undertone that i find in so many maibocks and blonde doppelbocks. some fruitiness weaves in and out with a small amount of bitterness for show only. a bit of belly warming alcohol spice shows itself then finishes on the sweet side. damn nice tasting if not a bit on the sweet side. full bodied for sure with a extremely smooth and supple mouthfeel...about damn near perfect. great dinkability! for a higher ABV blonde/helles bock this one drinks dangerously great!

great beer! worth the premium price, and that's saying a lot!

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Photo of Duhast500
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz. bottle into a Allagash tulip glass.

The color is a slightly hazy orange with two or more fingers of foamy white head ans some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is hoppy at first with some fruity flavor that reminds me of some citrus and tomato flavor. There is some hop flavor that is set up to take the reigns and ready to pull you toward the next level.

The taste is a concoction of a citrus fruit basket with a little smack of a leather glove, knocking this about and letting some hoppy flavor mixing with some tangerine and grape flavor.There is a bready like flavor that seems to bind up a banana flavor with some great grassy flavor in the background.

The feel of this beer is bigger than a normal helles beer but has also a good kick to take it to the next level. This is well balanced and keeps a good amount of fruit flavor throughout.

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Photo of nickthetick
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a light clear gold into my Ommegang brewery glass with a thick frothy white head.

S: light sweet malt, toffee, light fruit notes.

T: biscuit, light sweet malt, toffee and tart light fruit. The fruit flavor is a bittersweet pineapple and its also a little spicy.

MF: astringent, effervescent, warm and sweet but spicy.

D: love this beer, and would love a rebrew; but would hate to not see it again for another 30 years or worse yet not again.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper/orange color with a big creamy white head. Not much for the aroma here. Some bready malts and light grassy hops. Flavor has more hops than I expected (Sierra Nevada duh, I should have known). Its very well balanced sweet up front and the hops towards the finish. It has a good malt character. Smooth on the palate and very drinkable. I 'm not familiar with the Heller bock style too well, I was expecting more of a Traditional Bock but after I realized what I was supposed to be tasting, I realized this is actually a pretty good beer. I guess I just expected something for such a high profile beer from them but it fits the style and is very drinkable

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Photo of corby112
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark orange/amber color with golden yellowish-orange hues and a one finger off-white head that slowly fades into a thin ring. Sporadic spots of lace left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with lots of toasted malt, biscuit, toffee and caramel. These malt notes are faint and there is a perfumy/floral presence with light fruit notes.

Medium bodied and surprisingly hop forward. Dry up front with earthy pine bitterness but there is more of a sweet citrus flavor that compliments the light malt profile and sweeter light fruit notes. Hints of apple and pear with faint toasted malt and biscuit. Decently balanced and pretty quaffable with a well masked ABV. My least favorite of the series but still pretty decent.

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

1 pint 9.4 oz corked and cages bottle:

The beer appeared a deep hazy amber that produced a nice white head that ultimately receded into a thin cap.

The beer gave off a very malty sweet aroma.

The beer had a nice toasted malt flavor with maybe a slight Belgian yeast flavor. Didn't really get much hop from it.

The beer had a medium body to it and really good carbonation. The beer was smooth and easy to drink.

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

30th Anniversary Imperial Maibock

Appearance: Bright gold in color with fine clarity. A small bone white wispy head forms and recedes to a ring around the edges of a 12 oz snifter pour.

Smell: Light floral hops, sweet malt, just a hint of booze.

Taste: Nice creamy malt flavor, a dash of herbal hops glance off the palate. Sweet malt almost bubblegum like, sweet honey baked bread, biscuits. Alcohol is tame but present as well. Nice clean maibock flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, alittle syrupy carbonation is adequate.

Drinkability: A pretty well crafted beer from the brewers at Sierra Nevada. Unoffensive and relatively easy drinking. Worth the try.

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Photo of Genuine
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a clean pint glass,

Which formed a beautiful 2-3 finger off white, creamy khaki head that sat upon this nice dark golden amber, cloudy body.

Smell - I first picked up some dark fruits, hops lingering in the background and the malts mixing in with the fruity esters. The nose almost reminds me of big foot in some way. sweet, even grassy.

Taste - Malts rise to the occasion first and foremost, which then lead to the notice of the fine carbonation bubbles. These bubbles went well with the flavor, insomuch that they did not impede any. Very creamy and oily mouth feel. Sweetness, rounded off by the slight touch of floral hops in the finish. The floralness of the hops really goes well with the biscuit likeness of the malts. The alcohol was slightly noticeable as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium, creamy and oily, the flavors immediately coat the mouth and demand you take everything in.

Drinkability - This is a fine brew, I found it to be sweet so this is not a fast drinking beer for me. In the middle of being a sipper, otherwise I could see it becoming a bit cloyingly sweet after a while. If you take your time with this brew and really appreciate it, this is definitely a damn well drinkable beer.

Hat's off to SN for another quality beer! Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of breweryaprntc13
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Meant to try this one first, but it ended up being the last of the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary beers I sampled. The stout was good, the black barleywine was even more impressive, and the Grand Cru was phenomenal. So, let's see here....

Poured a vivid orange-amber into a tulip with several fingers of fluffy eggshell head that slowly receded with minimal lacing. (All four of these 30th Anniversary beers looked just great!) Floral-dominated aroma with a nice toffee sweetness lurking underneath.

Moderate carbonation and a creamy, slightly oily mouthfeel. More floral presence up front followed by a somewhat nondescript toasty biscuit backbone, mild sugar cookie sweetness, and a hint of apple. Some nice pine and spice bitterness lingering on the finish.

At first I thought this brew was a letdown compared with the other 30th Anniversary brews. However, it's not only tasty and very drinkable, but it's a fine beer in its own right -- gentle, flavorful, and well-balanced. Sierra Nevada really pulled out the stops with all of these beers; this one is a little more restrained than the others but impressive in its own right.

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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 NWer
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful pour into a tulip forms an abundant golden head with nice lace as the head dissipates.
Cloudy golden/amber in appearance. Sweet with a hint of hoppy citrus at the finish. Very tasty.
Cloys slightly by the end. Would not make a good session beer for that reason in my opinion.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, caged and corked. A huge white head blooms over the rim of a tulip, and hang around awhile before dissipating without leaving much lace. It's a clear copper color with little bubble zipping to the surface.

The aroma is rather mild, malt and grain dominate, just a slight note of dark fruit.

Very malty, somewhat sweet and grainy, a bit of cherry sweetness, and you get just a hint of sulfur and citric hop characteristics. You get elements of both styles, not as much malt as a maibock, and It's a pretty successful marriage.

It demonstrates some life on the tongue, and the hops cut the sweetness before growing cloying on the tongue--and it finishes very nicely and balances out ultimately.

Still a bit much of the dark fruit to be highly drinkable for me, but a solid effort for sure.

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

Huge white head with a lightly hazed golden copper body. Some lace here and there. Aromas of sugar and caramel. Very sweet so that I'm not sure if I smell alcohol or not. Some bakery cookies, toasted malt...there's the alcohol, and a touch of light hop florals. uia Taste is like the German equivalent of a tripel. Big malt front with a with a toasted breadiness. Alcohol is well integrated but flexes a bit as the taste transitions from malt front to the body. Sweet with a metallic/mineral edge it nonetheless flows well into the hops. A touch of earth and mild grapefruit that subdues the aforementioned players. Finish reminds me of Sam Smith winter. There is a chewy toffee and earthy hops with a mineral edge. Some fusel alcohol and hint of mint. A touch of malt hangs for a moment. Feel is chewy as well with a wonderful carbonation that breaks up a pretty thick brew. Drinkability is quite good for the abv. Alcohol while not invisible is well integrated and does not hinder the drinking enjoyment. A delicious toasty malt big beer

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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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