Bolt 117 Lager | Nashoba Valley Brewery

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Bolt 117 LagerBolt 117 Lager
37 Ratings
Bolt 117 LagerBolt 117 Lager

Brewed by:
Nashoba Valley Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 12-09-2002

View: Beers
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by Longstaff:
Photo of Longstaff
1.74/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Had to re-review this beer due to the huge difference I have found since the original review. That six pack I bought last year must have been a fluke. I have purchased this beer twice since the original review out of the refrigerated cooler at the winery/brewery and both times it was just nasty. Sour, cidery, and undrinkable. If they can't/won't due any QC at their own store, what makes them think that the bottles they now distribute are going to be in any better shape? What really sucks is that this is a fine beer on tap - I had a sample at their tasting bar and it was just like what I reviewed below.

6/20/04 I don't know if they tweeked the recipe since Bierman9's review but I thought this was one of the most unique and tasty lagers I've had that was made in the US. The color was quite a bit darker than I expected, almost an amber color. The best part of this beer was the noble hop nose character that was full and in your face. Nice moderate mouthfeel and slightly fruity and nutty flavors gave way to a substantial hop bitterness and the end. A truly great lager that was way fresher than any German lager you can buy here in the states.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.18/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Bolt 117 pours a bright transluscent orange with a thin bubbly head that quickly fades to a ring around the top of the brew. The color is nice and really jumps out at you. Intermingling aromas of sweet pale malts and mellow caramel tones. I get a slightly herbal, grassy hop twang as well, but the main component is sweet malt.

First sip brings a nice sweet, fresh pale maltiness that has notes of caramel and a hint of light fruit (apples, pears). A quite mellow herbal hoppiness rides in the background. Overall, a nice malty lager that's easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slightly chewy aspect to it. Quite easy to drink...I wouldn't mind having a few of these. Thanks to MuddyFeet and BIF20 for this one.

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Photo of JasonA
3.35/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light cloudy amber. Little to no carbonation, no head, no lacing.

Citrus, tangerine, something else fruity I cant place, maybe sweet.

Sweet aroma, sweet on the palate, though not a sugar sweet.

I like the lager feel. Quite light though, not much body. Im not the biggest lager fan for this reason. Though this is probably my first non-cereal beer, it definately has my attention.

Little bitter, no hops. No real depth. Im not sure I would have many of these.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bolt 117--bought directly from the Nashoba Valley Winery on a recent trip--has a subtle, fruity nose, with hints of rose hips, apples, lychee nuts, and white grape. A light touch of fresh-baked bread rounds out the aromas.

On the tongue, the beer provides an immediate malt profile, beginning with brown sugars, then moving to fruit esters (apple, apricot, berry), and finishing with a lovely toasted grain hit. Late in the mouthful most of the sugars die off and reveal a solid grain base, reminiscent of Grape Nuts cereal. Hops maintain a light, balancing presence throughout, noticeable mainly through a tingling on the tongue, and an edge of citrus and grapefruit. The aftertaste begins with grain, but lingers on the soft palate as grapefruit rind hops. Mouthfeel is light, but cream-smooth, and carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, this is good beer, and the sort of refreshing, quaffable fare that would make for high demand, were this brew produced in large quantities: the flavors are excellent and finely tuned, and at 5.2% ABV and 25 IBUs, very accessible to the average tastebud. Unfortunately, you're going to have to live within a very short distance of Boston, MA to find this one in any store.

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Photo of mjstacker
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.84/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed on May 21, 2006. Julios Beer Festival. Distant light malt aroma. Pour of clearyellowish with a touch of white head. Flavor is a clear, extremely bland sweet malt, with a few off sugars. Nothing really here to describe. Thin and a hint oily. Blah. Finish with a smidge of hop dust.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

Clear hay color with a one finger off white head that quickly settles to a thin bubbly cap.

The aroma is all grain with maybe a touch of hops. There is a sweetness that goes along with the style, very sugary.

Sweet grains once again with only a touch of hops to balance the sweetness. A slight acidic and acerbic flavor that I also tasted in the Heron Ale, not sure if it's a yeast characteristic or what. Fizzy and light bodied. The finish is the weird acerbic flavor that lingers for a while.

I guess this beer does what it's supposed to do, be refreshing. While it does that, it still has a slightly off-putting flavor that I can't get past. This style doesn't dazzle me, nor is it supposed to. But I have had better within the style.

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Photo of adowney523
2.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle purchased from the brewery in Bolton, MA. Color is golden with abundant carbonation producing a frothy white head that fades slowly.

Smell gives mostly sweet malt.

Taste is sweet but with dry, grainy malt in the finish. Some light fruit flavors make their way through along with a cider-like tartness. Hops make their way forth only in a slightly bitter finish.

A drinkable lager but some off-flavors seem to have nowhere to hide.

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Photo of meathookjones
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a clear light amber with a small bubbly head. Light lemon scent with a bit of grain in the back. Smells kind of like weak artificially sweetened iced tea. The flavor is very similar with a big resemblance to iced tea but not in a good way. A bit tart with lemon and cereal like flavor is about all that comes out of this. Average mouthfeel for the style. Eh not bad just not something I cared for or would drink again.

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Photo of jwc215
3.27/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing back from the brewery for me!

Pours chill-hazed amber with a thin head that immediately bacomes a wide, slowly vanishing, patch.

The smell is of some grain, a touch of floral/herbal notes and some light toast in the back.

The taste is of some sweet grain with hints of pear and sour apple. Some herbal notes are there to give it some balance. It's slightly dusty/chalky in the finish. Interesting - but not as clean as it should be.

Light-bodied, but not too watery. Carbonated, for sure. Could be crisper.

Not as clean/crisp as I was hoping, but drinks decently enough despite its minor flaws/drawbacks. Still-in-all, a decent hot day thirst-quencher with a bit of character.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.65/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a deep yellow, clear brew with a half finger head that dissipated rather quickly. No lace on the glass to speak of.

The aroma was of caramel malts, and a little sweet fruitiness. Not much else. Didn't get any whiff of hops at all.

The taste was a little tart and sour, with definite honey and tea overtones on a medium malt backbone. There was a slight bitterness that crept in after the swallow.

Mouthfeel was watery. Drinkability... well, I won't have this one again unless it's free. Nothing that stood out.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.03/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single at Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" eggshell head over the clear light amber brew. Head lasts pretty well, and lacing is great. Aroma is lightly of a balance of pale maltiness and fruity hoppiness. Taste starts with pale malt, gets a bit sour in the middle with some light fruitiness at the end, which may or may not be hops-influenced. Mouthfeel is quashed by the sour which I feel is out of place, and the drinkability suffers the same fate. Have to revisit at a later date/batch, and see if I missed something.

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Photo of jlindros
2.69/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle I bought from the brewery store 2 days ago, pours with no head at all, no carbonation. The beer is a hazy golden banana yellow color.

Nose is kinda funky. It has some typical lager aromas, a slight crisp and sweet toasty malts, some wheat, a little banana, and light hints of grassy hops. But it also has this really unpleasant wet gym sock like aroma, and I don't mean the kind from Brett, I mean just something else, a really dank musty weird smell, that mingled with some diacetyl butted popcorn aromas. Oh GOD that's bad!

Dare I taste it... well not quite as bad, but not that great either. Some toasty malts, in fact very toasty, too toasty. Some light pale grassy hops. A slight crisp lager flavor too. After that it brings on more of a rustic farmhouse flavor, bringing on some light wet gym sock funk that is just bad. A slight diacetyl flavor too, little buttery and I think even a little oxidized. EH.

Mouth is pretty light with no carbonation.

Drinkability isn't too bad, that funky sock flavor doesn't last too long, a little dry with a sticky finish too.

Well... sigh, 2 down, 3 more to go. SO far I loved the bourbon barrel aged porter, and really didn't enjoy this this or the heron ale.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.51/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a one-finger white head that goes quickly and leaves no lace. Nice clear amber color. Light carbonation and light bodied. Slight malty nose. Starts with an apple cider flavor, some sweetness, very drinkable, different from most lagers, good summer beer. $1.45 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of smcolw
2.94/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is good looking light-colored (straw) lager. The head is thin but lasting. Very little lace.

Better than a macro-brew, but still seems to be too light for it's own good. Like many fluffy beers this has a touch of oxidation and strong aroma of raw grain.

The strongest flavor I pick up is sour apple. The body is quite thin with high carbonation. Otherwise fairly standard fair.

This is the closest entry to an American lager I've ever had from a micro-brewery.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pours golden yellow with a little white head that laces the sides of my mug in seconds. the head was unexciting but the lacing is nice and the color of the beer is pretty good.

smell: reminds me of a country field, flowers, hay, barley and maybe a little honey (probably just a sweet smell i'm confusing as honey).

taste: a little floral, a little barnyardy, a little barley. it tastes a little overhopped to me, i would have liked a sweeter malt essence.

mouthfeel: a tad more bitter than i would have liked, and maybe a bit too carbonated, but it does wake up my moth and is aided by a great consistency; kinda light bodied.

drinkability: although the consistency lends itself to high drinkability, the bitterness and the carbonation take away from that. i would still go through a few if this was all i had around. not bad.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.93/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle picked up at the brewery/winery, poured into a Perfect Pint Glass. Golden/yellow in color, comes out hazy. There is a crazy big white head that is very bubbly, produces unbelievably good lacing. Very good looking beer for the style.

Smell is good, sweet grains/malted barley. Citrus hops are involved in the smell too, herbal/floral aromas and a little bit of must. Good overall.

Taste is also good. A little more bready/yeasty in the taste than the smell. Still grainy and citrus hops are present. Almost has the slightest hint of a Belgian style flavor to it, certainly not strong, but entertains it a little.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, light bodied, but not too watery. Well carbonation bite. Has a bitter finish but could be a little cleaner, has a slight earthy feel to it. Drinkability is still good though, I'd like it more in the summer, but not too bad in the fall.

I'm not a fan at all of this style and personally I don't know if I'd drink this again, but for the stile it deserves to be recognized as a good American Pale Lager in my opinion.

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Photo of dcp27
2.51/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Photo of bjohnson
3.03/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a see through golden straw color with a fizzy, real fizzy, one finger white head. Lots of bubbles escaping to the surface.
S: Aromas of sweet malt, some caramel and some slight floral notes.
T/M: Sweet right out of the gate with a ciderish twang to it. Almost makes me want to pucker my lips, but its not that bad. Smooth and light with a dry bitter aftertaste. Really fizzy and carbonated.
D: A decent lager from Nashoba. I probably won't have it again, but worth a shot if you're at the brewery or can get it locally.

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Photo of Dicers
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of capo56
3.52/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. Bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow with minimal white head.

S: Light herbal hop aroma alongside biscuity/grainy malt. After a few sips also detect fruity citrus aroma

T: Very refreshing. Detect noble hop flavor also some fruit. Noy sure the fruit flavor is part of the munich style but I wouldn't expect it in a lager. This did not take away from the experience however.

M: Medium body, well carboanted.

D:Flavorful and easy to drink,would be even better in the summer as it would be quite refreshing.

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Photo of mschofield
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium to dark amber, topped with a one finger creamy white head, temporary lacing fades away. The heads were better in the 12 ouncers compared to the bombers, but the lacing had consistent problems.
Toast aroma, floral, honey and fruit.
Caramel, floral and tea notes in the taste, a bit of fruitiness.
Medium bodied and quite smooth, struck me as a lower quality Sam Adams.

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Photo of mterrence5
2.97/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a mixed 6 pack a the brewery.

Not too carbonated. Decent hops kick with a fruity/earthy taste too it. Good balance of sweet/bitter tastes. Light in the mouth and not too strong of an after taste. It's really reminded me more of a weak IPA (they didnt have any when I went so i can't compare it to their's). Kinda weird. Wish I had a second bottle. Would give it another go to sort of the flavor profile but didnt leaving craving more.

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Photo of UnionMade
2.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours an attractive tarnished brass hue, topped with a weak, nearly white head that disappears to a thin ring almost immediately. The brew is very clear, glowing a bright, reddish brass when backlit. The head dies completely after a couple sips, a swirl of the glass generating nothing. No head retention at all.
The aroma is very unusual. A big whiff of fruitiness is immediately apparent. Very english feeling, something like a really estery ESB, but completely unlike any lager I've encountered. Diacetyl is pretty heavy, with a sugary, butterscotchy feel. The fruitiness is really huge, and really nice, with a tutti-frutti blend of mango, kiwi, apple and a bit of that fake banana, like in candy. Some fusel alcohol lurks beneath, adding to the fruitiness. I'm not getting much in the way of malt aside from a sugary sweetness. The hops are nonexistent, possibly some floral notes that are buried under the esters. Really nice aroma, but not appropriate for a lager of any kind. Enticing? Yes. Clean? Hardly.
The flavor starts with a slightly grainy, husky toasted malt. The fruity sweetness blasts through immediately, overtaking any hops until the very end. Giant apple, mango, kiwi and pear esters, with a noticable, albeit milder than the aroma would suggest, butterscotchy diacetyl kick. The grainy, sugary malt continues into the finish, with a distinct refined sugar taste. A trace of floral hopping attempts at some bitterness, with the fruity flavor boosted a bit by a soft wash of alcohol. A lingering refined sugar aftertaste. Sluggish, syrupy, under-attenuated mouthfeel, although it does seem to dry out a tad in the finish. Moderate carbonation, with a fairly coarse feel.
Did Shipyard contract brew this? This has to be the most ale-like lager I've ever tried. I like it for a ringwood english ale, but it's almost comical to call this a lager. I really liked the huge estery fruitiness, but the sweetness certainly gets overbearing. If i want a lager, I could get any number of better examples much closer to home. The same with an english ale. I'll pass on this next time unless I hear different.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.63/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Nice pretty color that belies the rest of the beer. Poured a nice rich, burnt yellow. No head or lace. Flat in both mouthfeel and appearance. The nose is apples and malts. The flavor reminds me more of malt liquor than a lager. The malts come through very strong and sweet. Pretty much too sweet. Apple juice sweet. Hops are missing completely and this beer is totally out of whack. Served cold the mouthfeel was crisp, but it was far too flat. Tough to wrap my tongue and palate around.

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Bolt 117 Lager from Nashoba Valley Brewery
Beer rating: 3.13 out of 5 with 37 ratings