Anchor Bock Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

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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 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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 Premo88
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into pilsener

L: black purple with super thick tan head that holds on for 2-3 minutes ... i over-poured one, and the head just exploded. it laces well if you put a big enough head on it. looks like a porter or stout.

S: malt. lots and lots of malt. a slight hint of darker licorice, but lots of sweet, nutty, toasted malts that almost turn buttery at times.

T: very chocolately at first, loads of the sweet malt. it very much turns into an old ale-like taste, which is to say bordering on the darker fruit tastes of the quad but only bordering. still holds on to lots of sweetness.

F: don't over-pour it. if you do, it loses a LOT of its carbonation and becomes a tad watery.

O: nothing wrong with this brew, but it's certainly unlike any other bock i've tried. in fact, it has so much old ale/stout/porter going on that i feel like i'd just as soon drink an actual stout or porter. it might even be a decent gateway beer toward the stout and porter ... either way, i'm glad i tried it but probably won't purchase any more when i finish this six-pack.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Another Bock for this cool spring. Poured into a mug.

This beer pours far darker than I had expected. As it sits in the glass, I'd peg this as a stout. Deep black with no light penetrating. A thick beige head rest on top. This retains well; leaves tiny bits of lace on the glass. The nose is roasty with lots of charred wood, roasted coffee, wet grains. Interesting aroma.

Moderately heavy beer that drinks just a tad slick at times. Easy carbonation. This beer is heavy on the chocolate. Big dry chocolate powder makes up the bulk. Chalky-dry, charred toast, mild sugary sweetness fleets through, but then finishes a bit muddled. Not sure if they'e intent was a dry roasted Bock, but that's what I got. Not your typical for the style, and not one I'd revisit too often if this is the norm.

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Photo of mactrail
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big handsome foam in the Saxo tulip. Very dark, nearly a porter color, with light beige head. Quite sudsy in the mouth.

A little bit sweet, but also distinct charred malt and burnt sugar flavors. rather rich and almost winey sensation. Candy flavors are in the background with dark caramel coming forward. Finish is earthy, murky, and a little herbal. Quite bitter, dark resiny, gunky, dirty aftertaste.

There is something unpleasant about this, after the promising initial taste. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Barons Marketplace in San Diego.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled December 8, 2012.

A: Pours a very dark brown appearing black in the glass with a 1 finger dense khaki head. Head dissipates to nothing but is easily swirled back alive. Leaves a touch or two of lacing on the side.

S: Sweet dark fruits are the first aroma I get. A strong carmel or toffee as well. Alcohol is muted.

T: Very malty and sweet brew, has the bock taste in the background but its faint. Just seems too sweet.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Feels a bit thin and sticky. Not difficult to drink by any means.

Overall not a Bock that is going to blow you away nor would it really offend you. If you're into the style give it a shot.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer, probably the best Bock I have ever had. Had that spring time feel to it "a lighter bold beer"

Nice dark rich color, not thick or syrupy, very refreshing beer .... I could not resist taking one gulp after another.

Roasted caramel coffee with raisons and some spice...all well balanced with a slight hop character . Nice!

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Photo of merzeone
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a pub glass.
Dark brown with ruby red edges a huge tan head super tight bubbles
Dissipated slowly leaving nice laceing.
Aroma is a big chocolate malt nose followed with minor roast. Low to no hop present. A little oxidation but adds to complexity.
Taste is complex and thick. Chocolate malts the roasted malts help provide some dryness. Favors malt over hop for balance. Some dark fruits like plum prob from oxidation.
Seriously choc shake like...
Mouthfeel. Good carbonation minor astrincency from dark malts. Medium body.
Overall. Much more chocolate than expected which was a nice shock. Well balanced and still very drinkable with a medium body. Best drank in the fall.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz single bottle from "Trader Joes" Salem OR. $1.50 Dark brown beer almost mahogany with a large tightly bubbled tan head.That turns "rocky". Toasty,malty aromas..some dark fruitiness. a little nutty. Nice. Liquorice,treacle,bitter crab apple,cream and slightly sour in a good way. Like a dopplebock lite. Nice smooth creamy palate. Nice beer.

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Photo of mattbk
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Much darker than I expected, it is opaque. Light tan head. Nice lacing. Dinging it a bit because it is not supposed to be this dark, is it? Then again, anchor one of the originals...
S- Malt, dark fruit, a bit grapey, not a ton of aroma.
T- Some of the dark fruit, but a lot more roast. Fairly clean. Very grainy feeling. Not very strong, but nice balance. The roast is not overpowering. Enjoyable, not especally very interesting.
M- Medium, medium carbonation. A bit grainy. The mouthfeel is appropriate.
O- A good beer, mostly a regular bock but with some roast character. Well made.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle in a stemmed tupil glass.

A- Very dark chestnut brown color with a slim mocha-tan colored head that leaves a bit of creamy lacing. Lively carbonation.

S- Strong wet barley malt aroma, kinda sweetly burnt.

T-Roasted barley malt, sweet. Orange bittering hops.

M-Tingly carbonation, some body and feel, but quite syrupy. Long wheat bread finish. Syrup-like.

O- My review is all over the map - just like the beer. It's not Anchor's best effort, mostly a one and done beer.

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