Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Anchor Bock Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
84
good
576 Reviews
THE BROS
67
poor
Read the review
Anchor Bock BeerAnchor Bock Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
anchorbrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
576
Ratings:
991
Avg:
3.73
pDev:
18.23%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
37
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 576 | Ratings: 991
Photo of Sam-VW
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Black, red tinted with medium head which stays throughout. Bubbles not visible. Leaves sticky lacing.

S - Sweet malts, caramel, icing sugar, liquorice

T - Big malt kick followed by bitter caramel, burnt sugar and finishes with a bitter liquorice and pine kick

M - very smooth, not much carbonation but I think it is intentional. Heavy but very enjoyable

 363 characters

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.

 391 characters

Photo of T100Mark
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - A dark reddish-brown color. Great clarity. A big, lumpy, tan head made of fine bubbles. Moderate stickage. A fine looking beer.

Smell - Sweet. Bready. A faint whiff of hops and spice.

Taste - Sweet. Bready. A mild nutty flavor. The hops are subdued but they do add a touch of spiciness.

Mouth - A bit tangy. A little oily. Fine carbonation. Nice.

Overall - A nice interpretation of a German Bock. Don't get me wrong, this is no Ayinger Celebrator, but the beer very drinkable. When comparing this lager to complex German Dopplebocks, however, it comes off as a bit lacking. P.S. I don't understand why The Brothers rated it so poorly.

 705 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a dark red-mahogany amber with a big two finger finger khaki head with good retention and pillowy lacing. Nice aroma of sweet caramel malt, dark fruit, a little earthy oxidation. Flavor starts with caramel, slightly toaste malt, dark fresh and dried friut, tapering off to a drier brown bread and toasty malt finish with a light hop bitterness. Light to medium bodied. Aroma and flavor are classic bock, but the flavor drops off to a lighter, starker malt and hop finish that are not as well supported by by the richer caramel malt flavor of the start. This is a discontinued variety and this bottle may have some modest age to it, which may have affected the flavor. Still a nice, but unremarkable bock; pleasant but not in competition with the traditional ones. Still glad I got to try it before it goes archival.

 853 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with unreadable bottling code printed on the back label (BOU)? Another new beer to me from Anchor Brewing Co., acquired as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. Expectations aren't great based on the style, and this beer's current poor ratings.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark chocolatey woodsy brown colored body with about three fingers of frothy khaki head. Leaves lots of good scattered lacing behind. Looks very nice.

S - The smell isn't anything special but it's suitable for the style. Some nuttiness / barley malt roast, and some dark fruit presence like raisins, figs, dates.

T - Taste follows the nose - lightly woodsy, chocolate malt, caramel malt, dark fruits - figs, dates, raisins, mild cola, mild creaminess, and some indistinct spicing. Fairly unexciting, but drinkable.

M - Feel is smooth, crisp, and creamy. Medium-light bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a decent bock offering from Anchor. Clearly, it wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm not entirely sure that it deserves such a low rating. Bocks aren't a style I am too familiar with, but this one is approachable and sessionable.

Anchor Bock Beer ---3.5/5

 1,186 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours between a very dark amber to a rich brown. It's not quite opaque but doesn't let much light through, and you can't see much carbonation. At the bottom of the glass it looks more clear. Forms a half-finger of tan head that fades rapidly.

S: Sweet toasted malts, some fruity lager yeast esters. Not a huge aroma but not bad.

T: Toasted malt sweetness, Vienna brown malts with maybe a bit of cardboard oxidation, with a hint of toasted malt and hop bitterness, and lager yeastiness. Clean flavors but unexciting. Malt sweetness in the hang.

M: Medium body to a bit on the thin side. Carbonation modest with minimal alcohol presence.

O: A decently made bock, but not exciting in any way. This shouldn't be old, so I think it might be the brown malts giving the hint of cardboard. A solid option, but not one that I'll particularly miss now that it's been retired.

 950 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger brownish white head that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber brown color with some vision of by bubbles when held up to a light. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, toasted, nutty, lager yeast, grassy hops.

Taste: Toasted, nutty, caramel, lager yeast, some bitterness, and some grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied, a little chewy, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Slightly above average and simple bock. Tasty, but nothing really jumped out at me.

 591 characters

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.

 325 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.98/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Fantasy baseball draft night with a beverage to ponder while awaiting for my turn.

Dark mahogany with oxblood highlights. Hearty beige head that sticks around until RP Aroldis Chapman in round 7. Cute lil' goat on the cute little stubby bottle. Cute.

Smells like dark, malty caramel and homemade grenadine. Really had to reach for the aroma.

Not a whole lotta flava up front. Hearty licorice and earthy mint umph in back. Slick

My team is better than this beer.

 465 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark ruby red with a brown tint colored. An quarter inch thick layer of khaki colored foam caps off the top. Brussels lacing. The smell of a bit of amber malt is faint. The mouth is creamy and very smooth,but a bit thin for my taste. I get some amber malt on the front of the palate and then some pine like hop bitterness and the sweetness of the malt on the fade.

 364 characters

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is apparently the last year this classic brew will be produced. A pity. Possibly my last round, poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. A dark reddish or coppery brown brew with an outstanding milkshake-thick tan head. Aroma is sublime and includes a gorgeous noble hop spice, assertive for the style, against a caramel and boozy raisin backdrop. Yes, I detect some booze on the nose, which is interesting. Not a super thick brew but semi-chewy with an oily mouthfeel, quite crisp and smooth. Tastes of caramel and brown bread with a hint of molasses, but the malts almost take a back seat to the spicy, earthy, herbal hops, with hints of licorice, green leaf, grape, and a noble floral perfume. Maybe more hopping than is typical for a bock but it works. Finishes rather dry, with a sour malt/toffee aftertaste and a mild alcohol burn. I have a soft spot for this brew, one of the first true craft beers I tried years ago. Playing a funeral dirge as I type this. Over The Hills and Far Away by Zeppelin. RIP.

 1,017 characters

Photo of dcp27
3.06/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - brown w garnet edges. tan head w a lasting lacing

S - caramel, cocoa, light coffee, burnt sugar, toast w a lil munich-like richness. faint earthy hops, some dark fruit

T - molasses, caramel, burnt toast, cocoa, faint melanoidins. far too dominated by the darker malts for style, which pushes the bitterness too high as well.

M - a little thin

O - an average beer, but not even close to what a bock should be

 416 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a narrow pint glass, color is dark brown, head is tan and presents about 1 inch thick, then lingers nicely with at least a 1/4 inch head.

Smell is mild caramel then roast and chocolate malts, some earthier hop tones.

Taste is caramel, maybe some munich malt(?), toast, bread, light raisin, roast, hops are pleasantly bitter, light earthy flavor. Flavor is a bit cloying a bit more than other bocks of similar strength

Mouthfeel is a bit biting from the carbonation, a bit cloying from the sweetness, it does linger some but its not too distracting.

Overall, a solid take on the style, a bit sweet but the right flavors are there.

 645 characters

Photo of GMB
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A standard pour of Anchor Steam's Anchor Bock Beer yields a gorgeous toasted-almond brew and an inch-tall, ecru head of foam that falls too quickly to earn this brew a perfect score. It's a shame that the head isn't more attractive, because the dark-ruby highlights that appear against a backlight are stunning. Carbonation is moderate.

I didn't have to hold the glass up to my nose to appreciate its bouquet. As soon as the beer hit the glass, my nose was filled with the delights of toasted caramel and molasses. Closer olfactory investigation turns up hints of toasted biscuit, warm raisins and turkish apricots, and caramel.

The taste. Oh my, the taste. Toasted flavors dominate: Toasted caramel; molasses. Hoppy bitterness suggests some nearly roasted notes: raisins browned (almost burnt) in browned butter. The bitterness also yields a beer isn't nearly as sweet as I had expected. From now on, when I imagine a perfectly balanced bock, this will be the beer that comes to mind.

The mouthfeel is almost magical. It's much thinner than I had expected, and I'm amazed by the contrast between the lightly medium mouthfeel and the rich, full flavors on my palate. The only thing that lets down the beer is the carbonation, which is slightly astringent at first. Let this brew settle and warm for a few minutes.

Anchor Bock Beer has established itself in my mind as the archetypal bock beer. Run, don't walk, to your nearest retailer and pick up a few bottles.

Snack on some roasted, salted pistachios as you sip this one.

 1,530 characters

Photo of artoolemomo
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which has very little retention. The head is a light and dirty beige while the body is a chestnut brown with maroon hues which appears as a mix of burgundy and crimson when held up to the light. Some brown. Some lacing has appeared. Lacing is minimal after time.

Nose- Starts off with a fairly sharp note of cloves when smelled from the bottle. However, this fades to show banana followed by caramel and some brown bread, rich malts, even a slight bit of apple. Nice and warm with a touch of honey. Swirling reveals a candy or generic type of banana smell. There were some roasted notes to the initial aroma as well.

Taste- Starts off with weak roasted notes which are followed by a middle of slight caramel and banana which are flanked by slight bitter and woody notes. Slight touch of coffee but overall, the flavor profile is rather thin. Slight cola and some brown bread which tends toward rye. Slight raisins but everything lacks presence. There's definitely some complexity but it still manages to be boring. Also, the mouthfeel doesn't work well with such spaced flavor notes. Some cloves in the background. Some chalkiness on the finish- or really at the back of my throat. No real flaws but pretty much just above average. This is unfortunate as I would really like to experience a quality bock. Hints of chocolate. Some oakiness.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied. Some smoothness but while there isn't much carbonation, there is a carbonic touch and slight grittiness on the finish that make it a little harsh.

Drinkability- I feel that this should be a little more easygoing but it annoys me a little bit (in an overall sense). I like it more when I don't think about it too much. Standard Anchor price.

Overall- Pretty much just an above average beer. I do think if the mouthfeel were a bit thicker and some of the bitterness and phenolic characteristics were smoother that this would be a much better beer. Still, worth a try.

 2,003 characters

Photo of JimKal
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a SA perfect pint glass
A: a nice 1 to 2 finger head. Dark brown body with a tan head. Leaves behind nice lacing. Decent carbonation.

S: Roasted dark grain aroma.

T: The dominant taste is the roasted grain with some cocoa/chocolate notes.

M: The mouthfeel is quite mild.

O: For me this is a nice Bock. I'm not a fan of Porters and Stouts but this stops short of the, for me, overly roasted flavors of those styles. But it gives me a nice brew to enjoy in cold weather.

 484 characters

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.

 278 characters

Photo of Givemebeer
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep deep dark brown almost black but some light does penetrate. Wonderful lacing. Two inch head that dissipates to a tan/ cream colored thin head resting on the beer. A bock doesn't get much better looking.

S: Not liking the smell much at all. Faint caramel and chocolate and a hint of grain. Weak smell overall.

T: Perhaps a little sloppy dancing around to different tastes but definitely complex. Through different points on the tongue I'm getting chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel, faint hops, slight bitterness, and then some more darker chocolate. Strange, but I like it even if it doesn't finish too cleanly.

M: Medium - full bodied. Almost a bit chewy. Nice for this cold January day.

O: This beer is quite an enigma. I liked it overall. I recommend trying it and really focusing on the different smells and flavors - it's a trip.

 846 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another one I had purchased many months ago and set aside for cooler weather.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass.

a: Very dark clear ruby, a two inch tall tan head receded very slowly to even surface foam and moderate lacing.

s: Mild caramel malt.

t: Mild caramel malt, some hop bite for balance. Slight ripe dark fruit aftertaste.

m: Medium with a lot of carbonation tingle.

o: A highly drinkable bock, not quite as tasty as some, but very easy-going. A fine lunch or dinner beer, went nicely with our Polish kielbasa and potato salad. Also, a good session brew. Based on other reviews I have seen here, mine may have aged very well.

 660 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer was poured into a pint glass. It was a very dark brown color with a small tan head.

It had a dark fruit aroma, with some molasses.

More molasses and toffee in the taste. Prunes and raisins.

Very malt forward, to the point of being unpleasant.

I think I'll see if I can talk my wife into drinking the last two of the six pack.

 340 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The color is quite black with a light undertone. The head was thick throughout the surface but settled to a thin foam above this ale.

The scent is sweet candied fruits with a variance of prune date and raisin. The aromas are thick and sugary, pronounced and sweet.

The flavor is prune, simple as a flavor but then the finish is brash and alcohol laden. Based on the aroma I'd guess there would be more to this but the deep prune flavor is suddenly washed away by the alcohol.

The feel is smooth at first, a little thick but as with the taste it disappears in a brashness.

 574 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A- Pours a dark, hazy chocolate brown in color. Small, tan head that hangs around only a little bit and laces very little. Dark and hazy, this beer is opaque.

S- Dark fruits, dark malts, and a slight metallic hint are the defining characteristics of this beer's smell. No hops to be had in the scent. Mixture of the aforementioned scent profiles gives a false impression of booze on the nose.

T- Just like the scent. Starts with a slight metallic pang on the tongue, this is mixed in with the dark fruit flavors. Dark malt flavors are subdued and secondary to the other flavors. All of the flavor components are light in comparison to other, European examples of the style.

M- Light and thin in body, while being low in carbonation makes this much more drinkable than most, if not all, bocks.

Overall, a somewhat oxidized, odd interpretation of the style. I think a very fresh pour would be much better, but as I have it, this is a below average bock that needs to thicken up and get a little heavier in flavor.

 1,015 characters

Photo of flyingpig
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

355ml Bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow:
Opaque black with a large, foamy head that is light brown and looks quite creamy.

Roasted malts and some sweet caramel on the nose with a hint of alcohol but this is minor. There is a darker, fruity aroma with more sweetness following this with raisins and some plum too.

Dark malts with roasted malts and a hint of caramel sweetness with a little grain and alcohol. There is some darker fruits and a hint of chocolate and coffee too. More malty than the smell would suggest with some darker fruits and a rather bitter finish.

Light medium bodied with sweet, fruity undertones and bittersweet finish. The beer isn't as well balanced as I would have liked with the roasted malt taste coming across to strong .

Not a particularly great beer and definitely the worst of the Anchor beers I have tried thus far sadly. There is a strong helping of roasted malts that could have been toned down somewhat but the fruity undertones were pleasant enough, but not enough to save the beer as a whole.

 1,036 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black caramel with a thick dark caramel head of foam. Good lacing.

Smell: Malt. Dark caramel and bready malts.

Taste: Malt. More of the dark caramel and bready malts, with hints of raisin and coffee. Just a whisper of hops to give it the semblance of balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, syrupy and creamy.

The Verdict: Not bad. There are plenty of better bocks out there, but this one may satisfy you until one of those comes along.

 448 characters

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.

 872 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe