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Railway City Sham-Bock | Railway City Brewing Company

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Railway City Sham-BockRailway City Sham-Bock
Very Good
34 Ratings
Railway City Sham-BockRailway City Sham-Bock

Brewed by:
Railway City Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
A German beer for an Irish holiday!

Notes of dark fruits raisins and figs, molasses and dark maple syrup. Plum and toffee are foremost with a hint of chocolate. True to the Doppelbock style, Shambock is a little sweet, higher alcohol (6.8% ABV) with a minimal hop profile. Like a good lager, Shambock is very drinkable, impeccably clean and crisp in finish. Pours a creamy mocha head, which is dense in texture with a little lacing.

22.9 IBU

Added by cratez on 03-17-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of Mousel
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ikidunot
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WeissBoy
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Jaisell
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Long813
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mikemands
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Pmicdee
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Wajohnst
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of brittmoore_13
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Molson2000
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of DaveBar
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for approx. $6.00 served at 6deg C in a draught glass

A- Very good. Dark. Opens well but head dissipates to nothing in less than 1min

S- Very good. Smokiness and malt

T- Very good. Caramel and roasted malt. Banana

M- Ok. A bit creamy

O- Pretty good. Barley hints make this a winner.

Food Pairing

This nice little bock paired well with... Beef Stew


 384 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $6

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a good size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some really good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, anise, dates

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, dates, and raisins. There is also some anise, maple syrup, and a light amount of chocolate and smoke.

Overall - An interesting beer that is well worth trying once. Not and everyday beer, but a nice change of pace brew.

 600 characters

Photo of TerryW
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Cola coloured beer under a moderate head that quickly gives way to just a thin, thin ring. No lace or other stuff, so pretty plain Jane looking.

Obvious sweetness in the nose from the maple syrup, has that characteristic maple earthy funk thing that happens when maple meets beer (i.e. overcooked syrup). Tends to show some fruitiness as well. Sweet and malty to taste, flavour of amber or cooking grade maple. Slightly thin bodied initially, but manages somehow to finish with a fuller than expected mouthfeel.

I'm not a big fan of maple-based beers, but this still comes across as one of the better examples out there. Not for drinking a ton of though, I think.

 665 characters

Photo of hunterjames
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of ThinkAgain
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

Photo of ArrogantPrick
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

650 ml bottle purchased from LBCO for $6.95 CDN. Served well-chilled into glassware.

Appearance - Very dark brown in color with significant reddish hues. Hazy and dark enough to not be able to see through. 1 finger of ivory head dissipates quickly leaving a soapy residue and some trace lacing around the glass.

Smell - Festive smelling, some dark fruits and maybe some figs and plums mixed with alcohol. Also a certain molasses sweetness, that is at once welcoming and also quite potent. Also, as it warms there's a certain overripe tropical fruit aroma with a couple of funky aromas.

Taste - Quite like the nose, where the molasses is the start although there's quite a bitterness up front that lingers, melding in with some strong malts. Alcohol is present as well, and the fruits are less noticeable than in the nose. The sensation of overripe tropical fruit (mango / papaya) is one that I don't really care for, but it works reasonably well here. As the beer warms some more some biter caramel flavor begins to shine through as well.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and syrupy yet with moderately high carbonation. The body is a bit thinner than expected, although in this case that's a good thing to prevent the syrupiness from taking over.

Overall - Well crafted beer that is flavorful, smells good and strikes most of the right notes. It's a beer that was good, but it's not something I think I would repeat as the flavor profile just isn't my favorite. Still, definitely one of Railway City's best and worth trying at least once.

 1,530 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color bock with a nice off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of biscuit malt with some caramel malt is enjoyable enough. Taste is dominated by some caramel malt with light touch of biscuit malt and limited complexity from the esters which I was expecting more of. Body is about average with good carbonation. Good drinkability enough but falls short in terms of complexity.

 427 characters

Photo of peensteen
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep brown colour, touch of ruby near the top, 1.5 fingers of tan/off white head, tons of lace. Smell is full of raisin and plum, anise, fairly rich malt, a bit of soy and a little alcohol as well. Taste is initially plum, dark fruits and malt followed instantly by bitternes, raisin and dark breadss, some sweet points mid palate with more earthy bitterness toward the finish. Lightly carbonated, medium-full creamy body, nice feel. Probably the best beer I have had from these guys and an above average dopplebock altogether.

 527 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sham-Bock is most definitely not green, far from it. It is a deep black olive toned beer. Even a strong afternoon sun can hardly eke out any colour. And clarity? Forget about it! (Even though it is technically clear, there's no sediment or haze to distort it, only its naturally dark complexion.) Initially quite chunky, its head sheds weight over time.

The truly wonderful thing about Doppelbocks is that they combine so many diverse elements: sweet malts and dark fruits, roast, yeasty and alcohol esters, spices, herbalness. It is, for my money, among the richest and deepest beer style. This offering, mind you, is nowhere near the top of its class. It has some of those characteristics, but it's not exactly exemplary.

Indeed, were this the only doppelbock you've tried you wouldn't understand my statement about this being a rich, intricate style. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of flavour here - loads of plum and prune, licorice, roasted nuts, coffee grinds, dark toffee - but it doesn't come close to the depth of the German classics (i.e, Korbinian, Salvator, Celebrator).

Now, let's be fair, those aren't exactly fair comparisons - you wouldn't liken just any band to the Beatles or any film to Life is Beautiful. Let's not be ridiculous. The fact is that Railway City has done a considerably good job at this strong, hearty style; they've been sure to use lots of malt and, given the smoothness and lack of alcohol presence, lagered it for the appropriate time.

Bocks are spring-time beers, nobody is arguing that. But to release one as a St. Paddy's Day offering doesn't make much sense to me. Nothing about this rich, dark, strong style is suited to convivial, copious consumption (not that I'm advocating that kind of drinking). At the same time, however, this version is not quite rich or complex enough for slow, contemplative slipping either.

 1,872 characters

Photo of HATS4BATS
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Bf_89
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Seantmiller
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of thehyperduck
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before May 17 2014. In previous years, this was a brewery-only seasonal whose availability window I would always manage to 'just miss'. Naturally, I am pumped to see it has been made available in retail stores - particularly given the dearth of doppelbocks at the moment. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a dark, cola brown colour with some crimson red tinges under the light. Nearly two fingers of puffy, light beige, sponge toffee-like head erupts at the surface, receding at a much more leisurely pace over the next five minutes or so. A thin film and some minor lace is left behind. I am really digging the aroma on this one - lots of dark fruit; mostly plum and black cherry, with dark roasted malts and notes of baker's chocolate, maple sap and a strong molasses presence.

This is a really tasty bock that is very malt-forward as one might hope; dark roasted malts and molasses comprise the bulk of the backbone. A hint of cocoa is also detectable, but fruity raisin and plum notes soon demand your tongue's attention. It finishes with notes of caramelized sugar, maple syrup sweetness and a touch of herbal, somewhat earthy hops. The alcohol isn't much of a factor, though it's detectable (I don't consider this a problem in doppels). My only gripe with this beer is the mouthfeel - on the lighter side of medium-bodied; this is pretty watery, with rather limp, flat carbonation. A tolerable flaw, given the fact that this beer is otherwise quite delicious.

Final Grade: 4.05, just eking out an A-. I have heard for a few years that Sham-Bock is probably Railway City's best offering, and having finally sampled it I may have to agree. The Black Coal Stout is a little more up my alley, but this is still a very well-made doppelbock, a style that historically does not always leave me terribly impressed. If you're a bock fan, this stuff is absolutely worth the effort of snagging a bottle or two, especially with the release of Amsterdam's Spring Bock still being a month or so off. A great effort from a solid local brewery that I am happy to keep supporting. I recommend picking this one up while it's still good and fresh - crack it before St. Paddy's, for sure.

 2,217 characters

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Railway City Sham-Bock from Railway City Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 34 ratings
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