Anchor Bock Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

575 Reviews
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Anchor Bock BeerAnchor Bock Beer

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GClarkage on 05-26-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 575 | Ratings: 991
Photo of Minkybut
1.86/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler expecting a killer product that I usually get from Anchor. The beer was almost black and poured a nice tan head that was indeed beautiful. The beer also had killer lacing. One sip and my wife and I instantly poured it out. It was terrible. So bad I cannot tell you what it tasted like cause I refused to take another hit. No way will I ever buy this again.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
1.87/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Flattens out. Very thick as well. Good brown color though.

Smell: Burnt. Basically smells like burnt wood and grain. It's actually very gross.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Average mouthfeel overall. Pretty thick. Taste is also burnt and sour.

Drinkability: This is a mess.

Overall: By far Anchor's worst.

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Photo of plfahey
1.93/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Mahogany brown with a deep ruby red hue. Tall, pale brown head has good retention and shows some nice lacing.

Aroma-Fake caramel and some buttery notes dominate the aroma. Super diacetyl bomb with heavy butterscotch. Difficult to discern other notes-perhaps lightly bready?

Flavor-Butterscotch/cream soda with a strange, acrid bitterness to it. Notes of vanilla and English toffee with caramel as well. No bready, toasty, melanoidin like notes. Almost brown sugar molasses at times. Finish is almost tart, and somewhat unpleasant.

Mouthfeel-Medium body, with moderate carbonation. Not bad, though there is a bit of tart astringency in the finish.

It looked pretty good out of the bottle, but one whiff was enough to tell me that it wasn’t. Heavy diacetyl, fake caramel/toffee, and a weird tart bitterness on the palate was more than enough to turn me away from this one. I’ll try another on the chance that it was a bad bottle, but if not, this is a truly unfortunate beverage.

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Photo of AboutBeverages
1.95/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Nut brown in color. Herbal aromas with toasted grains, similar to a barleywine's fermented sweetness. The taste is very sour, which builds in layers with each sip. Outside of the sour, there is not much flavor except for a slight hint of malt. It is presented as a Spring Seasonal and it just doesn't work, no matter what time of year.

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Photo of dbalsock
2.08/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark amber color with a tannish/offwhite head. The head was abundant, exploding into the glass and settled to about 1/2 finger thickness, never getting smaller.

Smell: A mix of malty goodness, some light hoppage, and poorly made gravy... gravy? Yes gravy. It took over the taste at times, but at others it wasn't very apparent. I thought it might be the glass, so i switched glasses. I thought it might be where I was drinking it, so I moved outside. The gravy followed.

Taste: The gravy from the smell came back to the taste too. This time however, there was a nice intense hop taste. More intense than I expected for a bock, but still german tasting.

Mouthfeel: The beer had a great alcoholic zing to it, and the body was perfect for a bock: not to heavy, not to light, somewhere in the middle and smooth. However, it was interrupted by overcarbonation that never ceased. The bubbles were a nuisance to a nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Despite the poor taste and the awkward mouthfeel, it was actually pretty easy to down. I wouldn't want it again, but there are other bocks that just don't sit as well flowing down the palate.

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Photo of HBBJ
2.23/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Deep reddish brown and opaque. Rocky brown head, with just a bit of lacing.

Smell: A syrupy molasses smell predominates. Slight notes of roasted malt, alcohol sweetness, yeast, and fruitiness.

Taste: Chocolatey and syrupy sweet, with just enough hop bitterness to keep it from being cloying. Fairly acidic. Chocolatey aftertaste fades to hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and thick.

Overall: Not at all what I was expecting. The description by Anchor says in part, "Over time, the term "bock" has come to mean a beer darker and heartier than the brewery's "regular" brew." Someone needs to tell the good folks at Anchor that the darker color comes from using higher amounts of the base malt, not from dumping in buckets of chocolate malt. This was like a lagered porter, except that even porter shouldn't smell like molasses.

I need to go find a real bock.

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Photo of mscudder
2.31/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Dark brown with a thin light brown head and solid lacing.

S - I am getting sweet butterscotch with this one. A subtle aroma but overall just average.

T - Sweet nutty taste with a malty bitter note towards the end. Some alcohol at the end but overall I find this beer to be poorly executed.

M - Medium body, pretty dry throughout and left me dissatisfied.

O - I really enjoyed the Anchor Steam, Porter as well as the Christmas Ale but this one is just not up to par with the rest of their brews. This left me with a odd, unfavorable flavor on my pallet and I will not purchase it again.

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Photo of HiGravShawn
2.35/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark dark dark. Darkest bock I've had.

Smell: Raisins and caramel and molasses. Smells like burnt caramel almost.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy. A little too heavy for this beer.

Drinkability: Too roasted. Too heavy. Too harsh.

Overall: It's like a barley wine and a porter had a baby. Honestly I might've rated it better if it said it was a porter or something, but another style... I have never had a bock like this. Worst Anchor beer I have had and normally I'm a fan.

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Photo of biglite351
2.52/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - dark with red showing around the edges. Tall white lacing head.

S - a nice deep sweet scent. Inviting.

T - flavor is unimpressive. After the scent I was very disappointed. There is a little flavor but not enough of anything worth even talking about.

M - mild tingle on top of tongue, but no coating.

D - not worth it.

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Photo of horshack7
2.53/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Very dark with one finger of a light beige head.

Aroma: Molasses, caramel malts, roasted chocolate malts, banana, plum.

Taste: A crisp mouthfeel in the front with some bready bite. Molasses, dark fruits, notes of black licorice. Malty sweetness, raisins.

Notes: Rather an interesting bock it's decently drinkable. Cheers.

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Photo of Floydster
2.58/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle from Cooke's Family Market in El Segundo

Poured a deep brown color with a rich foamy head

Smell was sweet but full of roasted oat and barley, strong odor

Taste was not the best bock I have had in any means, too sweet and wrong kind of bitterness

Could not drink many of these at all

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Photo of mpyle
2.63/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

App - pours a big tan head, creamy and with good retention. Beer is dark and bright with a big ruby color in the light.

Smell - rich malty nose, but also a sherry-like "old ale" kind of smell. Smells bigger than a 5.5% ABV beer!

Taste - Big and malty up front, but turns somewhat sour toward the finish. Lacks the crisp finish of a well made version. Too much residual sweetness, and not clean in the finish. Also some slightly roasty flavors, not the good pure melanoidan flavor from the decoction or boil.

Body is moderate, but there is some definite alcohol warming in the finish. Mouthfeel supports the old ale aroma - some indications of oxidation.

Likely that I'm suffering from an old bottle here, but can only review what is in front of me. Not a good bock, and not a good beer. I likely won't finish the single bottle of it that I purchased - and I rarely dump.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.74/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. The bottle code "2JR" on the back should translate out to a bottling date of: January 18th, 2012.

Appearance: Pours out a dark reddish-brown body with a tall, albeit collapsing, beige head, though it never quite dissipates fully.

Smell: Near-blackened toast, small handful of roasted malt hinting at less-than-desirably coffee, a sliver of soiled fruit skin, and damp, dead leaves snatched out of a gutter.

Taste: Heavily toasted bread crusts, a sip of watered down, stale coffee, and a lone drop of molasses. Not much sweetness present. Very slight estery fruitiness, almost an incredibly faint tartness present as well. Leafy, lightly earthy hops with enough bitterness to balance, which isn't much. Earthy, toasted nut finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Just lacking and a bit strange all around, one of my least favorite Anchor products.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.76/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very dark ruby body almost black. Dark tan crema.

Aroma is very light of sweet bock maltyness, smokeyier than most German bock's I have had.

Taste is same as aroma, with a touch of chocolate. Decent finish/

Mouth feel is really thin at first, with overly aggressive carbonation.

I love this brewery and wanted to love this beer, but just couldnt get into it.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given its reputation. I generally find bocks underwhelming.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger head of decent cream, nice thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is an extremely dark caramel-ruby. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Dark malts. Notable caramelization. Hints of vanilla. A mild strength aroma.

T: Dark malts, with some stale cream. Hints of vanilla but none really manifest in a strong sense. Bland hops throw off the balance a bit. No yeast comes through. The malts are certainly dominant, and somewhat layered. It's balanced alright. Not very complex and certainly not subtle. A bit boring. I'm underwhelmed.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours generally. A bit too thick. The carbonation is adequate but not perfect.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Decent for the style. I wouldn't get it again. Boring and a bit bland. I wouldn't recommend it to friends.


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Photo of themiller421
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured dark brown.

The smell was lacking and there really wasn't anything to the aroma.

The taste was very bland and not anything to it. There was no real taste of malt and nothing to it.

Overall this beer is just average. It didn't wow me and it didn't disappoint me, it's just average with nothing really to it.

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Photo of mjsarch
2.86/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I purchased a six of this, partially out of shock. I must be out of touch, as I was unaware of Anchor's plans to release a bock beer. Since I picked it up in mid-January, they also have not adhered to the traditional mid-March release for bocks, thus adding to my surprise.

A - Pours with a nice head, but settles fairly soon to a very thin head. Color is clear, dark copper, with very little carbonation,
S - Nothing out of the ordinary to mention. Clean, no defects,
T - Very little malty flavor, and slight bitterness. Reminds me most of a traditional American - style bock, which basically consisted of the standard lager with caramel malt added to the mash,
M - Mid-range, I'd guess a 1.050 original gravity,
D - Not bad, but nothing I'd go out of my way to purchase again. This beer brings to mind a story attributed to Charles Kuralt about the stength of coffee as one travels west in the U.S. Seems the pioneers reused their coffee grounds as they headed westward. Therefore, the strength of the coffee even today seems to dissipate as one travels west through the country. My point being that it appears the bock style here has tranformed accordingly en route westward to San Francisco, taking on some of the west coast philosophies in lieu of the typical German bock profile.

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Photo of jimmah120
2.86/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle with no date

Pours a deep dark amber with a small mocha head. Smell is barley malt and hops. Weak smell. Taste is smokey malts, medicinal hops, slightly reminiscent of a red ale. Mouth feel is creamier than most anchor beers.

Love Anchor, but not a fan of this one.

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Photo of mlazzaro
2.86/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. First I've ever seen.

Beautiful burgundy color, khaki colored head. Great clarity, not surprising considering the beer appears filtered. Smells like caramel and coffee. Pleasant but very mild aroma. Subtle yeast sent as well. I do detect a touch of diacetyl.

Taste like coffee and molasses. Viscous mouthfeel. I'm really getting an abrasive butterscotch flavor and its hard to get past. Kind of sad I bought the whole sixer.

not my fave from Anchor B. Co. but to each their own.

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Photo of Jason
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle freshness code on the back label.

Decent head, a bit fizzy with only a ring of lace left on top. A pretty dark brew, a lot dark than expected though the shades of dark chestnut color let some light through. Hop resin, light burnt sugar, dark syrup, orangey hops at that ... at first smell I did a double take on the bottle that thought I had cracked open one of the Christmas ales. Big smoothness in a medium body ... little slick as well. Sweetness comes off like a hint of dark corn syrup with a mix of cocoa powder and lightly roasted coffee. Hops jump on with a thick bitterness and flavor combo that muddles the palate. Finishes with a watery orange hop tone and lingering burnt matter.

Not sure where this is brew is going, while there is a lot of flavor here nothing really fits together IMO. As far as being a Bock, perhaps on a distant circle of the style ... sort of like the outer ring on a dart board where no points are given but at least it stuck somewhere and did not fall to the floor.

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Photo of steveh
2.89/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I've tried this one in the past and thought I'd reviewed it alread, but obviously not. Good timing as I was in the mood for something a little more robust.

A -- Clear, deep dark brown with ruby highlights. Sudsy tan head that settles slowly.

S -- Mildly roasty and vaguely licorice nose. Some clay-like earthiness coming through -- not exactly Bock-like, in any of its forms. Also some mild diacetyl with warming.

T -- Roasted malt hit right up front. Some light dark fruits and even light toffee with some licorice fighting to balance against the roastiness. There is spicy bitterness in the finish and an earthiness in the aftertaste. The dark fruit character becomes more prominent in the finish with warming -- near to tart. Again, not at all Bock-like.

M -- Mouthfeel is syrupy with a full body.

D -- There is nothing at all wrong with the drinkability of this beer, if you are expecting a Robust Porter! Just a little surprised that this is so far off base. I'd give it near to perfect points for a Brown or Robust Porter.

Further investigation on this beer at the Anchor web site says that this is brewed with 2-row barley and wheat malt -- no more. Based on the flavor characteristics, I think they're either leaving out that the 2-row is highly kilned, or the black patent malt was skipped from the info.

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Photo of lou50rp
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is very dark brown, too dark for a bock.
Not strong smell of anything.
Taste is not bad, malty and a touch of molasses, but hops might be a little heavy.
Mouth feel is good, medium type.
Overall not a bad beer, but a bit confused for a bock. Narragansett's is much better.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
2.94/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark brown. Decent bubbly head. Some retention. Not thick enough. Opaque. Light lacing.

Smell: Heavy molasses smell. Dark malts. Raisin brandy. Marshmallow. Not very good smell.

Taste: toasted malts. Decent taste. Overall quite bland. Nor exciting. There is not a lot of character in thus beer. Molasses. Sugar. The body is heavy.

Mouthfeel: thick. Syrupy. Goes down heavy.

Drinkability: I'm not too excited by this beer. It's not exciting enough in terms of taste to swallow this heavy brew.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.94/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Slight chill haze on an otherwise clear deep dark brown colored beer. Head is light tan and creamy with small clumpy bubbles. Drops to a thin spotty cap and collar. Slight streaks and spots of lacing.

Smell: Freshly baked brown bread. Some raisins and dark cherry thrown in for good measure. Rich caramel malt sweetness. Some grass and toasted grain. Sweet, but more like raisins than malts. Some caramel-like sweetness leads to an almost molasses . Nutty with some black licorice in the back.

Taste: Burnt raisins and deeply caramelized malt sugar. Some brown bread sweetness plays over the top of a light nuttiness (something like hazelnuts). Dark cherry with hints of roasted and toasted malts. Vague almost chocolate. Warming smooths it out a bit, but not much. Some grass and hay. Mild earthiness with a dusting of citrus over the top. Building sweetness never really lets up and gets distracting.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth medium body with a moderate pushing toward high carbonation. Relatively clean finish.

Overall: Sometimes a legacy of success just isn't enough.

A bit too sweet overall with a persistent burnt fruit flavor that becomes distractingly off-putting. Not a terrible beer, but it has some issues that prevent it from being better than average.

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Photo of champ103
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: This pours a brownish/black color with some ruby highlights around the edges. A huge tan head forms and recedes very slowly to a ring leaving a decent amount of lace behind.
S: Kind of muddled. Not much stands out. I can tell there is malt, but other than that pretty nondescript. Maybe a bit of chocolate as I breath in deep.
T: Very similar to the nose. All the flavors are muddled and nondescript. Again, I can tell there is some roasted and semi sweet malt, but not much else.
M/D: Medium body and very thin and watery in the mouth. I am disappointed here. This can be a decent session for those that don't like very light beers and those that don't like very dark beers.

Very middle of the road for me. It is not a bad beer, it just seems very bland to me. I will pass this up next time.

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Anchor Bock Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 991 ratings.
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