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

Pours an impressive looking bock beer. A clear deep walnut brown beer with a nice light brown stick head.

Smell is fruity and very heavy on malt. Strong and appealing chocolate aroma here along with a bit of figs and cherries.

Taste is very malty and full of chocolate and tastes very much like malted milk minus most of the sweetness. Fairly fruity flavor is present it is just hidden under all that chocolate; it is the usual fruitiness you find in English ales.

Mouthfeel is milkshake thick.

If you don't like Chocolate under no circumstances try this beer you will hate it. This is classed as a bock but it is much like a thicker and heartier version of Anchors Christmas beer. To me this is really a Milk Stout and a damn good one too. I won't quibble about the adherence to style, which this doesn't really do. This is simply a damn tasty beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogony colour with mocha head, lots of lace. Molasses and chocolate malt aroma. Creamy and tongue tingle. Molasses and roast coffee aftertaste with coffee oil slickness. Bittersweet. Medium-full mouthfeel. It all works together, and would have again.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, dark brown with reddish undertones and a 1" tan head that dissappates to a very substantial lacing.
Aroma is faint but slightly sweet...carmel? No noticable hops or fruit.
Mouthfeel is initially rich and full but then thin when you swallow. Nice light carbonation.
Taste is warm burnt malt and a very slight taste of bubblegum<?> Not unpleasant...more like the aftertaste of a german wheat.
Only a slight alcohol afterburn with a bitter (pleasant) lingering taste.
Easy drinker...I put this second after Anchor Steam as the best from this brewer.
Would buy again and could session this beer.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brown, Rich looking body, Filtered. Easily managed 1.5 inch head.

I couldn't find much of a balancer in this other than some earthy tones, mostly a toasty, doughy, dark candied fruit smell and taste. Mouthfeel is absolutely stellar. Creamy, Mollasses syrupy feel that washes completely away on the finish. Perfect.

Another fine performance by Anchor. Could have had this again and again but I was at a beer bar and wanted to share the wealth. Went well with a steak sandwich.

Sweetness in the nose, roasty-toasty, toffee-ish, very pleasant.

Malty attack on the tongue, and wonderfully mellow. A bit grainy and gritty, but still fruity and flush with flavor. Rich, dark, tasty. Chocolate malts? Very solid.

Warm and comforting in the mouth, easily drinkable, tenaciously tasty...I like it, I like it...Good roast for a bock. I'd like to have this again, and again...very smooth, and luscious on the palate, an expertly brewed bock.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 12 oz bottle purchased for $7.99/six pack at Bev Mo San Mateo. Pours with a creamy and fluffy brown head. The head shows excellent retention with about 1 cm of foam remaining for a long time. The beer is dark brown with very little light coming through.

Smell: Malty with some sweet toasted notes. Some faint earthy and grassy notes in the background. The sweetness smells mildly of grape molasses.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Sweet and grainy with a toasty malt backbone. Some fruity undertones like grapes and raisins. Very sweet but not cloying at all. The texture is slightly gritty in a good way. This grittiness contributes to make the beer feel medium bodied and bold. The roasty flavor is interesting in that it is paired with a very flavorful breadiness. It is full and rich and almost oily with toffee and caramel to boot. Very tasty.

Drinkability: This is definately my favorite offering from Anchor. Full of flavor with a nice texture. It's sweet and mostly to style. Very tasty though it is a bit low in ABV for a bock. No matter, this is a tasty beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Anchor Bock pours from the 22oz bottle a deep chestnut brown with a nice half inch of foamy khaki head atop the brew. When held up to the light the deep blood red streaks shine through. Aromas of deep roasted dark & chocolate malts with a strong dark fruit aroma. Black cherries mix with raisins, molasses and a touch of caramel. A tad bit burnt with hops chilling in the background. Nice!

First sip brings a nice, slightly sweet roasted malt upfront Notes of chocolate, dark fruits and burnt toast emerge. There's some raisins and molasses in the middle. Toasted toffee finish with only a touch of hops and a dry grain husk aftertaste. Malty madness all the way that's really quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a slight creaminess and good carbonation. Fills the mouth nicely and satisfies the beer craving without incident. This is a bock I'd look for more often if it was available. Hopefully Anchor will put this out again with wider distribution. Another feather in the cap of one of the original microbrewers! Thanks to irishsnake for the opportunity!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: One of those classic looking Anchor bottles that grew up, filled out and put some weight on. The standard Anchor “Bowling Pin” profile - but bigger at a Bomber Bay laden 22 ounces. Only seen this bottle used for the ‘Small Beer” before. The oval label has a simple look and the words ‘Anchor Bock Beer’ runs in a banner above a picture of a Horned Goats Head chewing some hop vines. Reverse label has the code 5YH. The neck label contains a little more information and describes the heritage of the beers manufacture and name. Simple brass colored crown cap, which surprised me, other Anchor brews had decorated ones. No discernable strength or freshness date anywhere.

Appearance: Chestnut brown with a polished mahogany depth when backlit. Nice thick creamy head rises with a viscous smooth thickness that looks confident. Has a dark brown tan cap, darker than most. The desk lamp reveals a constant set of rising streamers, but the bubbles are widely spaced apart and rise slowly. Head retention is very good, but the lacing, which I expected to be sticky, soon slides back down into the dark beery pool. Solid looking brew, awesome in my straight sided Tumbler.

Nose: Wow, a real surprise, real strength and character. Malt sweetness right off the bat but like a cooking meal it gets complicated as it bakes. A rising thick caramelized sugar bubbles away and thickens like melting white sucrose in a shining copper pan. Dark fruits and toffees with a brazed sugared plum finish. Very nice aromas… a baking meal.

Taste: The nose hints at the taste, and there is no disappointment here. The malts are heavier though, like a home-made Bonfire Toffee the taste is thicker and deeper and sticks hard to the top of the tongue. Bumbling dark fruits explode with the lazy carbonation. Roasted and toasted there is some upturn in the finish, maybe some hops, I get them only a few seconds after the swallow on the cheeks.

Mouthfeel: Quite rich and smooth in the feel. Malty yet refreshing and far from sticky. A tad chewy, chocolate flavored toffee in the middle, but it finishes thinner than it starts. Medium overall but pleasing and it never feels wanting.

Drinkability: Often Bocks turn me off in the long run; the burnt sugary sweetness takes over and becomes cloying. So I am secretly impressed by this one. I damaged the liquid levels in the Anch-Bomb-er with no effort, but the one bottle is enough for me.

Overall: I had heard and read of this only 6 or so months ago, but it seems that it does not travel far from its home turf up in the wilds of the West Coast Bay Area, either that or it is a limited offering. I actually snagged this flasche at Bottle Barn, Santa Rosa for just $2.59 - pretty good value and a nice brew, despite warnings from one of my highly respected fellow BA’s, I quite enjoyed this!

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Photo of baiser
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coke colour, with a creamy tan head. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and body is light. Very nice bock. Sweet, caramel, coffee, roasted flavours. A good amount of firm hoppy bitterness. Very drinkable. Overall a great beer to quaff. Just the right amount of alcohol. Wonderful bock imo.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly clear, caramel-y color, thick, lush, pinkish, cocoa-toned foam.

Sweetness in the nose, roasty-toasty, toffee-ish, very pleasant.

Malty attack on the tongue, and wonderfully mellow. A bit grainy and gritty, but still fruity and flush with flavor. Rich, dark, tasty. Chocolate malts? Very solid.

Warm and comforting in the mouth, easily drinkable, tenaciously tasty...I like it, I like it...Good roast for a bock. I'd like to have this again, and again...very smooth, and luscious on the palate, an expertly brewed bock.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Compliments of BIF 16.

Appearance: Pours a dark, cloudy brown with ruby edging. A thick sudsy tan head develops.

Smell: Raisins, molasses, a touch of alcohol, and carmel notes on the nose.

Taste: Suprisingly dry...carmel with a strong bready base. Wheat and carmel with a roasty dry taste on the palate. The smell made me think this would be sweeter. Kind of leaves you wishing for more out of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly creamy.

Drinkability: May have been better fresh. No off flavors or alcohol noted. Nice but there are better examples out there. Probably wouldn't consider re-visiting.

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Photo of beersarang
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with some chestnut in the light. Tan head holds well and leaves generous lacing down the glass.

Roasty malty aroma, some chocolate?

Good firm domestic malts present with a high percentage of roasted malts and caramel malts. Caramel hits first then the roasted phenols bring chocolate and coffee to the forefront. Love it. Hop bitterness is actually right on target for balancing out the large amount of malts, and the hop character, citrusy and west coast, though seemingly innapropriate, fits very well with the beer. A truly unique take at the bock style.

Medium bodied with perfect smooth carbonation.

I was quite fond of this one, and it is so rare too! I found it at BevMo in Berkeley when I visisted, and am happy to have picked it up.

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Photo of Mark
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like Wetcoaster I was surprise to see this offered at my local Whole Foods Market, didnt know Anchor made a Bock. My only previous experience with the style was the in my opinion, vastly overrated Celebrator, still I decided to try it. Deep copper color was topped by a tan head that displayed excellent retention. Lacing was in nice sheets, lots of it. Aroma was sweet malt and a bit of burnt or roasted notes. Smooth taste profile, malty, subtle hopping and a slight roasted tone. Medium thick mouthfeel, and a very drinkable dark beer. Not bad and I think I'll have it again.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Anchor BOCK?! What the Funk and Wagnalls? This came out of the blue for me; I've never seen it before, and I live in San Fran. Nice to see the good folks at Anchor hopping (malting?) out of their rut. Let's see what we gots here...

Appearance: Well, it certainly looks the part. Deep, deep nearly opaque oxblood with a fizzy-but-firm tan head -- looks a bit like a dubbel. Foamy, sticky lace. FIne, active carb. Nicesh.

Smell: Yum. Fruity with a hint of sulphur-tinged molasses. Definite raisin, with perhaps a bit of plum sweetness. Unlike the big, fat malt base of many bocks, though, this is pretty tight and bright. Again, a lot like a dubbel.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Definite bright fruitiness off the bat with a burnt sugar sweet smokiness from the malt. However, there's a big hop profile in here, and there's a distinct drying bitterness I'd expect more from a porter than a bock; it does taste a bit like their porter, in fact. The finish is quite dry, again thanks to the big hops. Nice, but bock? The mouthfeel, too, seems more in sync with a porter, assertively carbonated, somewhat thin, and a bit astringent.

Drinkability: It's light and has a nice flavor, certainly. However, it strikes me as a somewhat muddled effort; part dubbel, part porter -- it ain't like any bock I've had. That said, it's quite enjoyable, and it's currently quite rare, so the novelty alone makes it a fun beer to have around.

Good first effort, but it needs some tweaking before Celebrator needs to worry.

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Photo of mentor
3.44/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle provided by wezil, ala BIF20. Thanks for the opportunity! Freshness date is 5YM and consumed in July 2005. Pours a half finger walnut brown head over a very dark brown liquid. The edges are cloudy dark ruby red when head to a bright light. Smells richly of sweet caramel and toffee. Some chocolate and a gentle hint of alcohol. Tastes chocolatey with a rough grassy hop edge. I do get some citrusy hop character, but can't identify the type specifically. Hop bitter is quite strong and the aftertaste is rough grassy. Not what I was expecting from a bock...I anticipated a caramally sweet beer. Caramel is only found with searching and actually comes across as toffee. As the beer has warmed I get some roast flavor during the draw and before the swallow that I think contributes to what I was perceiving as hop bitter. To style, I'd place this as a sweet stout. Medium mouthfeel (and slightly creamy) and moderately carbonated.

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

Poured a bit too aggressively into a standard beer mug -- the head is Godzilla-like, ruddy tan in color with excellent retention. The body is rich brownish crimson with maroon highlights when held to the light. Smell: Molasses, orange zest, green apple peel, sourdough -- full and complexly layered. Taste: Citrus zest bitterness upfront, followed by a sprinkle cocoa quickly eclipsed by a stronger hop presence (crusty, delicious); a nice grain profile unfolds, thick; some grape and apple sweetness dances in the background. Aftertaste is a well paced stretch of bitterness over top the still lingering puddles of bright sweetness. Mouthfeel: Perfectly round, a little chewy, middling carbonation. Pretty damn good.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to orbitalr0x for this hard to find brew.

It pours an incredibly dark ruby brown; so dark it appears black when not held to the light. A 3 finger lighttan head sits atop, falling to a finger over top. The nose is pretty nice. I get a blast of piney and spicey hop over a chunky malt backbone of roasted nutty notes. The flavor is a let down. I get an initial bitter when I first sip. It moves to a light roasted to slightly burnt character, but overall, the flavor is light. The feel is light as well. I would like to see a bit more body here. Its not a hard to drink brew, but the lack of flavor just misses for me. Just okay on this one.

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Photo of clvand0
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark color with a tall head that has decent retention and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma first hits me with some pine hops then is followed by some dark malts. Lots of hops in the aroma. The flavor has a moderate dark malt flavor along with a strong pine hop character. The body is very thin for the style and the drinkability is good.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This arrived looking very dark for a regular bock. The head was just a tiny ring, and there was a line or two of lace.

The smell is nice, bringing dark malts and a rich chocolate smell. The taste is good and solid with plenty of flavor. The mouthfeel is a bit too thin, while the drinkability is good.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruity aromatic notes of raisins and figs waft from my glass as I pour this beer. Pours a deep, dark, amber color that shows ruby notes when held up to the light. As well as the fruitiness I get notes of chocolate, a hint of lightly spicy hops, toasted malt. This is really quite interesting in the nose, it is richly malty. The taste is ever so lightly sweet, it is richly malty compared to the sweetness, which is quite nice. The beer has notes of chocolate, toasted malt, and dark caramel. This beer finishes quite dry, with a lightly astringent note of toasted malt that tends to linger a bit. This note makes you thirsty and ready for another sip. This beer has a fairly light body to it, at least for a bock, it does have a decent amount of mouthcoating maltiness to it though. There is a bit of spiciness to this beer that I would attribute to hops, other than this the beer is pretty low on the hopping scale; there is just enough to make sure the malt is not cloying. This is really quite nice, and is almost a quaffing bock, by which I mean a 22oz bottle is just about the right amount.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to irishsnake for the trade samples!!! Pours a deep,mahogany color. Good head-some lacing. Nice aroma. Some malt aroma-definate hop presence in there. Slightly spicy. Flavor lacks the mellow sweetness I would expect in a bock. Definate hop bitterness-finish is somewhat dry. Mouthfeel is ok though a bit thin for a bock. Overall an enjoyable brew. Theres a few things that hold this beer back from really saying "bock". A respectable attempt from Anchor however. I have another bottle to sample and may edit or re-review.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quaffed on tap at Toronado, courtesy of axisjones.

Poured a deep mahogany hue, clear and rich. Wispy thin head topping things, with a touch o' lace. Seemed darker than a regular Bock, but maybe being in Haight I was imagining things.... Very mild nose, with just a hint of malt sweetness wafting up to my nostrils. A decent medium body, and smoothness was pleasant and easy over the palate. Starts out funky, a touch sour/fruity on the hop side. Has underlying malts, though not pronounced. Let it warm some, and more malt came through, but it never got really bocky. A touch dry as well. Not bad, but less tasty than expected.

Zum Wohl!!

overall: 3.65
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of donnebaby
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fat brown cream tight head and mostly opaque black body. Thinnish, liquid body feel -- but sour to the gills with a tight sour punch. Spots of out-of-synch alcohol, light munich malt robustness, sweet and sour. Lots of toffee and mild milk chocolate. Cola. Tight.

Reminded me of a dark Anchor steam -- but with a little more kick in flavor and bittering. Perhaps it is not coincidence that it's released just as Episode 3 has been -- perhaps it's an "Anakin Bock" -- Steam gone over to the dark side.

Altogether drinkable and somewhat interesting. Seems mostly in line with the Anchor line of beers as far as the feel and makeup go. I'm under the impression that a bock is usually higher in alcohol than this 4.5% (or so) brew. Is this an unspiced OSA? I wonder if this'll stick around. I'm guessing nay.

Had on-tap at Toronado.

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Photo of IceAce
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz. Bottle

Pours deep brown with a tinge of red along the edges of a Libbey straight-side pint glass. The two finger collar of light tan foam is dense, rocky, and leaves an 85% coverage of lacing as it receeds.

The nose is warm and inviting with an earthy sweetness of roasted malt and anise causing uncontrollable salivation from this reviewer.

Taste is clean upon entry with complimentary carbonation gently caressing the tongue. Transition to midtaste is smooth...very smooth, with the roastiness of the barley playing nicely with the smoothness imparted by the wheat malt.

The finish is escorted by a fresh, crisp hop nibble followed by a long, slow roasty / licorice fade leaving the palate dry and the lips sweet.

Mouthfeel begins thinner than expected, but matures into an appreciative lightness that lends to drinkability. It will be a true shame if this 700 case offering fails to earn a place in the rotation following OSA.

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Photo of horseblanket
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Interestingly, I was also at the Toronado in San Francisco
yesterday (5/25/2005) for lunch, and I also tried the
Anchor Bock on tap.

My feelings on it are more mixed: I thought it was a
tasty, drinkable beer, but it did not seem very bock like
to me.

It tasted to me like the Anchor Holiday beer, but without
the spices.

That is, not enough munich malt (or none, probably using
other dark and darker malts) and to much Ale character,
like they must have used their ale yeast to make it,
not their lager yeast.

In some ways, I like it more than their OSA, because
it doesn't have the spices.


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Photo of GClarkage
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

05/25/05- Had on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- From the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Extreme dark brown in color, lust about approaching to black. Nice 1/2 inch dirty head on top. Better than average lacing throughout the beer.

Smell- Not much of a smeller here. If anything maybe some smoky overtones. I imagine if I had let it sit for a while some of the true scents would have emerged.

Taste- Wow, this is the first bock I have had in awhile that actually tastes like a bock. Very dark and very roasted. Maybe even a dark smoky roasted chestnut flavor. Something nutty and burnt for sure.

Mouthfeel- Moderate to low carbonation. A tad thick which creates a bit of a heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Well, I'm just touching the surface of bocks and enjoying them more each time. This is one of the better ones I have had (which is very few) and one that matches the style better than most. Give it a try.

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