Solid Gold Bock (Apple Brandy Barrel) | Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing

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22 Ratings

Brewed by:
Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ppoitras on 12-24-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by russwbeck:
Photo of russwbeck
3.31/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear yellow pour with a nice white head. The head sticks around forever and completely coats the sides of the glass. 4.5

The aroma is of apple, cinnamon, booze, and cider. I'm a little shocked that I smell so much booze because the abv is so low. There's an underlying tartness there, that adds to the cider like aroma. 3.5

The taste is much less cider like, but much more confusing. It's all about the apple brandy. The tartness tries to come out, but it's just dominated by brandy. I'm shocked that this is only 5% as it drinks like a 10% beer. Some sour characteristics play out at the very end. 3.5

Light, carbonated well, but the booziness really throws me. I think the brandy just takes too much control and the base beer is lost, which is saying something for me because I really like my beer boozy. 3

I was sort of disappointed by this. Just didn't do it for me. 2.5

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jwjon1
2.09/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

If you dig ethyl acetate/acetone notes in you beer, you might dig this. It's not my thing, and as far as sours go, it's a major flaw in my book. If this were a bock initially, it has morphed into something entirely different in the barrel. Intentionally soured? I don't know, but the solvent notes suggest contamination.

Which is too bad: if you can get past the off flavors, there are some nice components in the background. There's like a vanilla/apple pie note, I'm guessing from the oak and brandy. And there is a nice, long finish beyond the enamel stripping/harsh EtOAc. You just gotta be able to get past the rough edges.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to robieobie1 for this one. It pours from the growler with the color of dingy, dirty copper; it's mostly hazy but some light shines through towards the outer edges of the brew. The creamy cap shows more retention than the last few Pizza Boy beers we had, although there still wasn't much, if any, lacing left behind. A gentle swirl is quick to rejuvenate some foam, although it dissipates again just as quick.

My lord... as I first brought my nose to the glass, I was almost speechless. This stuff smells excellent, and it's probably one of the best beers I've had the pleasure of smelling thus far. Huge, warm apple aromas, mildly tart with perfect additions of smooth cinnamon, deep brandy, tons of bready and graham cracker-like malts, and a bit of caramel to bring up the rear. Smells like a boozy, brandy-infused, warm apple pie with a graham cracker crust and heaps of cinnamon on top. Excellence in aroma form - amazing.

The first sip isn't quite as orgasmic as the first sniff, although there is still a wonderful profile to be admired here, and something that is truly very unique. Despite being born as a bock and spending time in a brandy barrel, the initial flavor of this beer is actually quite tart, and even borderline sour and puckering. Tart green apples smack the taste buds up front, quickly followed up by an assertive, yet nearly perfect meshing of warm cinnamon notes and heavy malt breadiness.

Brandy and barrels are certainly apparent - lots of warm booziness and a bit of oak on the back-end. Not hot, but you can definitely detect the brandy, and I'm struggling to believe this beer is only 5.3% ABV. The profile continues with some more sweet apples and spices as the malts get heavier towards the end and finish with a graham cracker and caramel combo that fades perfectly with the dying hints of ripe, sweet apples that once unleashed so much tartness. Leaves my mouth feeling just like I ate a warm apple strudel. The mouth feel is sticky and wet, a bit thicker than expected, with plenty of carbonation for the style.

Wow, what to say about this one? I can't believe the ratings are/were so low (3.47 at the time of writing)... I thought this stuff was excellent. So magnificently delectable and complex, not to mention unique and tasty in its own way. Lots of barrel and booze, sure, and it really seems heavier than 5.3% ABV, but I had no problem finishing my glass of this and would get it again in a heartbeat if it were more readily available for me. Definitely not something to slam, but this one was a ton of fun to sit, sip, and especially smell.

 2,596 characters

Photo of prdstmnky
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of StormKing47
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of SourinQns
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of ppoitras
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Screw-top growler received via Growling at the Moon. Thanks for the brew, Dan!

First stein pours with a 1/4" beige head over the completely cloudy apple cider-hued brew. Head is down to an uneven layer of bubbles in a reasonable time, with way sticky lacing. Aroma is apples and alcohol.

Taste starts with a peek of sweet, then tart apples which cruise through to the close on alcohol fumes. Hard to tell if tartness is apple or barrel-related. Mouthfeel is smooth, with drinkability being a bit quashed by the tart. Might grow on me as the glass warms and the growler grows emptier.

 591 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of brez8791
2/5  rDev -43.8%

Photo of orangesol
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden. This is listed as a sour ale at the shop, altho it started life as a bock.

A - Pours slightly murky golden yellow with a small half finger tall white head, dissipating down to nothing at all, leaving little to no lace down the glass.

S - Smells of sour apples, intense cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, vanilla and a touch of warm booze. It smells like hot apple cider or a fresh baked apple pie.

T - Stars off with some sour apple tartness quickly giving way to hints of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, oak and plenty of warming brandy booze. The flavors are pretty well balanced until the booze comes crashing down. Finish is a little sweet with some booze, not lingering on the palate for very long after consumption. I really struggle to believe that this beer is only 5.3% abv.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. It went a little dead toward the end of the glass, combined with the strong flavors and intense booze, makes this one hard to finish.

O - This is an interesting beer. The flavors are all there for it to be great, they are just a little out of sync. If the barrel flavors could be toned down a bit, either with more fruit or more tartness, I think this could be pretty good. Give it a try if you can, especially if you like apple pie

 1,300 characters

Photo of stakem
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of runner_pe
4.75/5  rDev +33.4%

Photo of GeoffreyM
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Invictus
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of yourefragile
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Dweedlebug
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.31/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a clear golden yellow with a half inch of a creamy white head that laces. The nose is tart and reminiscent of brandy and warm apple cinnamon fritters. The taste brings a potent hit of flavor with brandy oak, tart apples, yeast funk, and a dry alcoholic finish. It presents a potent punch to my palate with a sweet, spicy apple upfront followed by a tart, dry, slightly funky and acetone finish. This is one of the most unique beers I've had and one which should be tried by future pizza boy patrons!

 514 characters

Photo of jbaker67
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of BMart
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of aminobutyricacid
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Solid Gold Bock (Apple Brandy Barrel) from Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 22 ratings