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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 526 |  Reviews: 341
Photo of steveh
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second in the anniversary brews from the brewery I practically grew up with. Lucky to finally find this one in my area.

If anyone doesn't know, the Fred on the label of this one is Fred Eckhardt who wrote the Treatise on Lager Beers for home brewing -- long before the micro revolution. Fred's a great person to have a couple beers with, if you get the chance.

Poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip.

The more I sample this beer, the more I think I'll assess it as a Pale Doppelbock, not a mere Helles Bock. And Maibocks top the scale at 7.5, or so, ABV. At 8.3, this brew is more Doppelbock.

A -- Clear, deep amber -- pretty much orange, with a thick, light tan, slow settling head.

S -- Hmm -- piny and fruity with a spicy finish and vague alcohol. Mildest of bready malts fighting through the esters. Not the best nose for a lager, but there's nothing offensive.

T -- Bready malts that turn sweet and toffee-like on the tongue, spicy hops in balance or even tipping the scales. Hot, pepperiness from alcohol in the finish. Some mellow peach-like fruitiness in the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is smooth, nearly syrupy, and body is on the heavy side of medium. Finishes to the dry side.

D -- I'm torn between 4.5 and 5 here, but I think the ABV sets it back. Nonetheless, this is an interesting experiment in taking what is supposed to be a clean, flawless style right to the edge and not falling into the abyss of "extreme." I think the esters from the yeast are a little overpowering to the malt character that I like in a good Bock, yet there's a cleanliness to the overall flavor that doesn't fatigue the palate. A very nice beer in a great experiment from the pioneers of the revolution.

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Photo of gpogo
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear golden amber body with an off white head that dissipates to nothing.

A- Sweet malts, light fruits, honey and faint alcohol.

T- Thick sweet malt taste, light hints of honey. Light floral hops and some warming alcohol.

M- Velvety smooth body, let the beer warm a bit and it is delicious. Moderate carbonation.

D- I'd be weary of drinking too many of these in a sitting. It is a very enjoyable beer though.

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Photo of telecomz
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

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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 ggroller
4.76/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a very nice bottle. The labels are really cool and the Sierra Nevada stamped cork is a nice touch.

Lots of carbonation and a really soft, sticky head.

I put my nose right down into the head and only get a bit of floral tones.

This beer is super drinkable and it's 8.3%. Fruit, caramel, vanilla, and just a slight bit warming alchohol heat at the end.

If it wasn't so expensive, I'd buy a case and go through it rather quickly.

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Photo of misinformed
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 9/24. Poured in to a snifter.

A- Clear, light brown. Poured with a 3 finger head that settled down to a small cloud and stuck around until the end of the glass.

S- Very faint. Floral hops, faint caramel, hint of grass.

T- The flavor is pretty faint, but nicely balanced. Floral hops, toasted malts, caramel. Hop finish. Some alcohol at times.

M- Light bodied. Smooth, no carbonation.

D- Not bad, but I didn't feel like the flavor was strong enough to hold my interest.

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Photo of rwf08
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looks great. Nice dense head. Not huge, fairly thin but it is dense and stays till the end. Sadly no lacing.

S: Some caramel and biscuit. Light floral hops and alcohol on the finish.

T: Sweet with warming alcohol. I am having a hard time placing flavors. Floral hops are on the finish and more alcohol.

M: Fairly full body but not heavy. Clean and dry finish. Good carbonation.

D: This goes down easy but is lacking. Maybe this isn't the style for me. I wish it had more hops or more malt. The balance that it strikes is good but just doesn't peak my interest. I have more bottles in my area. I'll probably buy more.

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

Poured from a cork and caged 750ml bottle into my large Tempelier chalice/tulip glass. Pours a golden/copperish color with fantastic white frothy head with excellent retention. Leaves spotty laces of cream. The head size reaches about 3 to 4 fingers, even with a slow pour.

Aroma is good, not crazy or over the top. Lots of hops, malts, and some booze. Picking up some wheat too. I was hoping for a slight stronger aroma.

Flavor is not a let down. Full of body, malts, and hops. There's a sweet backbone that lingers afterwards. The booze presence is actually pretty well hidden by the hop forwardness. Medium body and medium to high carbonation. So far, my favorite of the first 3 from the 30th Anniversary series.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, crowned and corked, $10.99 from Beverage King in West Lebanon NH. Served cold in a chilled tulip.

Thick golden orange brew exhibits robust carbonation bubbling upward to support a large 4" of light tan foam that leaves spotty lace. It gives a sweet nose of citrus and tropicals with a milky smoothness. Taste is also sweet with honey, orange rind, a good bit of green pine and grass hop, warm spicy alcohol. The feel is thin and a little fizzy but pretty smooth. Finish is mostly dry with a little hoppy resin, lingering pine and alcohol.

Overall pretty good. I could easily misinterpret it as a double APA. Only a subtle yeasty earthy funk really distinguishes it as a lager to my palate (and this only in hindsight).

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant deep golden color with a two finger head of creamy white foam that has some nice staying power! Good active carbonation - the cork could have easily hit the ceiling when I opened this one. Aromas of crisp bready, toasted malts along with a honey glaze. Floral and herbal hop accents with a bit of spiciness. Semi-sweet, fresh and vibrant.

First sip brings smooth, crisp toasted maltiness with a honeyed bread twist. A slight sweetness along with floral, herbal hops adding a kiss of bitterness. Touch of spiciness. Smooth and easy drinking brew!

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp with good carbonation. A little slick on the palate but it works well. Overall, a solid amped up helles bock and I wouldn't have expected anything less. The 30th anniversary series has been great and I'm looking forward to the black barleywine next. Cheers to Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a deep honey glow golden huewith a bright lightoff white head forms thick and billows above the edge of my glass. Aroma has a beautiful hop nose, some floral citrus grassy notes combine in the fresh smelling hop additions. Toasted bread maltiness along with hints of honey and apple, and tropical fruitiness. Flavor has a dry leafy earthy herbal bitterness through the middle with big rounded malt edges, a ballsy version of the nice Glissade Bock SN produced this past spring. Nice to see a lager this big drink so well, mouthfeel isn't cloying to me at all, a wonderful mix of sweet malts and bitter drying hops even in a malt heavy style like this helles bock. Carbonation was sturdy carried the flavors and heavy malts with ease, fuller bodied brew especially considering this is a lager. Drinkability was killer especially for the style and alcohol, really well constructed and a true fine representative of the past and future of Sierra Nevada Brewing.

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Photo of speter
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep golden color with an absolutely huge fluffy head that takes some time to disappear. Normal lacing.

S: Very floral hops. The malt backbone is somewhat lost, but there is a hint of biscuit below the hops, which have a bit of juicy fruit going on.

T: This strikes me as a pumped-up version of some of my favorite American pilsners. The start is richly sweet, but the hops kick in in the center, rounding out the bock in a very nice, but American way. There is no way you could ever mistake this for a classic European bock. The finish is almost in perfect balance, and the aftertaste offers a touch of hops. The alcohol is very well integrated (dangerously so).

M: Rich and full bodied with brisk carbonation.

D: A wonderful helles Bock.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer has a crystal clear caramel hue to the body with a fizzy creamy beige head that boils a bit. There are a few strands of tiny bubbles that glide to the surface. The head fades after a bit.
S- The green earthy hops blend with a lightly kilned dry malt aroma. There is a dry biscuit aroma to the fresh malt finish. As the beer opens up there is a finish of fresh wort and a floral musty perfume to the hops.
T- The slight tartness to the herbal hops gives way to a soft sweetness in the finish. The Noble hop bitterness in the finish is just a bit stronger than the malt sweetness. There is a very faint sulfur hint to the hops in the finish.
M- There is a medium-full mouthfeel with a slightly chewy texture and no alcohol heat.
D- The great fresh grain flavor has a nice subtle depth with some good hop and yeast support. This drinks like a good session beer but it hits you like an Imp. Helles Bock when you try to stand up.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 25.4oz bottle into 250mL Jenlain flute glass.

Appearance: Pours a lively, deep golden color with a large white head that dissipates pretty quickly and leaves behind large spots of lace.

Smell: Very earthy, toasty, and a bit nutty with floral notes.

Taste: Begins buttery and sweet, finishing with a green-apple sweetness/tartness and herbal hops. Also has a bit of a sweet tea flavor. Very, very clean.

Mouthfeel: Pretty dry from start to finish, with balanced carbonation and a medium body.

Drinkability: A damn good beer, and a very interesting, hoppy American interpretation of the maibock style. Definitely worth it, and this is something I may have to get again before it's gone. If you haven't had it yet, get it ASAP- it probably won't be around too long.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter, paired with beef stir fry.

A: Golden brown with a large, thick, white head. Small amount of lacing. Head slowly dissipates.

S: Spicy and Hoppy, no hint of the 8% ABV.

T: Caramel with some sweet, light spices. Maybe some honey. I'm tasting the hops, but they aren't leading the pack. Good, bittersweet aftertaste.

MF: Medium to light bodied.

D: I love this beer. Disappointed it was a one time batch only. I could drink this brew all night long.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock | 750 ml. | 8.3% ABV | 2010

Brewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Style: Maibock / Helles Bock
Glass: Pilsener

"Charlie Papazian and Fred Eckhardt are tow of the country's most esteemed homebrewers and writers. Their influential books and steadfast promotion of brewing culture helped propel the craft brewing movement. Charlie and Fred agreed to work with us on this very special brew in honor of our 30th anniversary. This Imperial Helles Bock is a testament to the ever-evolving brewer's art. Bold yet balanced with distinct toasted malt character, moderate sweetness, and clean floral hops."

Premium-looking Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary bottle. The bottle has an unusual bulge at the neck, but I like the label art.

Golden/amber, lively bubbles, big, foaming white head, great, patchy lace.

Clean floral aroma, spicy hops, toastiness, caramel.

Caramel taste, savory twinge, light spices, flowery/grassy flavors. Mild hops. Bittersweet finish.

Smooth, lithe and lively, the tiny bubbles feel great on the tongue. A thin, albeit medium-bodied feel.

Eminently quaffable. Accessible. Nice flavor harmony. Neither simple nor complex.

Would I get it again?:
Yes, to share with others.

Bottled: 2010
Served: September 6, 2010

Price = $10.99 at Whole Foods (Bowery)

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Photo of wikk3d
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Pours a nice full amber color with a very thick head that takes a while to settle into about a half finger foam. Served in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Aroma - Sweet hoppy smell with a hint of lemon and citrus. Floral, maybe a bit of honey as well. Doesn't have a hint of alcohol for an 8% beer.

Taste - Full taste, a bit of hoppiness, not really bitter though, very noticeable sweet citrus and honey flavors.

Mouth - A lot of carbonation, leaves a hint of hops in the back of the tongue. Lasting taste is a little bitter but overall it's very flavorful.

Drinkability - This beer took me off guard, the smell gives you the impression it's going to be similar to most Sierra's and have a bitter taste that's extremely hoppy. It's not. It's full of flavor. The hops are just enough to give it a very unique taste. Great brew. First of the 30th's that I have tried so far.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into DFH shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brownish amber with a large fluffy tan head that slowly collapsed on itself into a thick oily film that left great streaks of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet caramel malt and honey with notes of grassy hops. Slight nut aroma.
T: Very full of caramel and honey. Grassy hops are present but take a back seat. Alcohol is just noticeable along with some nutty, doughy flavors. Finish is full of sweet honey and alcohol. Aftertaste is residually sweet with a light spicy bitterness.
M: Full of carbonation but at the same time this beer has a thick chewiness to it. Mouthfeel is actually rather sharp and tingly. Bitterness is right there in the finish along with some warm alcohol. Just below a full body but still quite viscous.
D: I wouldn't say this is a bad beer, maybe it's just not my style. I guess I would describe it as a little rough around the edges.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

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Photo of evilkalla
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a very tall ale glass.

A: Poured a clear, golden amber with a full inch of thick head. Very carbonated.

S: My nose is broken, I can't smell anything.

T: Smooth, strong bock flavor with a solid hop backbone. Sweet on the finish. Very good.

M: Smooth, with a lot of carbonation.

D: This is a pretty easy drinking beer with a very pleasant flavor.

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Photo of darkmartin
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours to a slightly hazy light amber with an off-white head. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Floral hops are most immediately identifiable, followed by some fruit, and a lasting nutty, sweet malt. Quite nice.

Taste: Those same fruit and nut malts dominate the initial taste, followed by fairly strong floral hops in the finish. Relatively high ABV is well hidden. Very well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very nice bock, the light, balanced flavors make it much more inviting than the ABV suggests.

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Photo of afordney
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very thick head, off white in color and some good lacing on the glass. Not cloudy but opaque with a deep orange amber color.

Very simple toasty nutty aroma with a little bit of alcohol in the smell as well. Not very many layers to this.

Same simple nuttiness. A bit of alcohol warms the toungue on the end of it

perfectly balanced and has a very light carbonation. The alcohol is not overpowering even though it has a higher gravity to it.

A good beer overall but not overwhelming to the palate. Cheers Sierra Nevada!

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

Caged and corked, poured into two pint glasses. Nice Marigold orange to bronze colored, crystal clear and with a low, tight just off-white head.

Love the spicy hop aroma of this beer, a lovely earthy spice aroma with hints of alcohol and caramel sweet malt. Non of the roastiness mentioned on the label, but who needs it? Smells great! Also a nice floral and earthy hop character in the flavor. Meanwhile a sweet honey-like maltiness and a nice dose of alcohol and ripe light fruits mix in for a great round flavor.

Finishes rather quickly but some hop bitterness does linger with the dry alcohol. Nice sipper, good smooth feel and full bodied for sure. Like this beer.

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

Had a pint at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. The clear amber lager had a short white head and a mix of herbal spice, lightly toasted malt, and red fruit - berries and apples. It's not too heavy for the alcohol, but is a touch medicinal, but I dont think it really takes away form the beer. Overall, this is a crisp, flavorful strong maibock that makes the most of the style. Very impressive.

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30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken's Bock from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.94 out of 5 based on 526 ratings.
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