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ZiegenBock Amber | Anheuser-Busch

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BA SCORE
67
poor
136 Reviews
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ZiegenBock AmberZiegenBock Amber
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch
Missouri, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in Houston, ZiegenBock is a beer of the South. Only available in Texas, this American-style amber lager, offers notes of roasted grains in the aroma and a sweet, smooth taste with a hop finish. The select imported hops and specialty malts create a taste worthy of a 2006 Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal.

Added by kbub6f on 04-24-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
136
Ratings:
441
Avg:
2.82
pDev:
39.01%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
80
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 441
Photo of biegaman
2.81/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

ZiegenBock (meaning "billy goat", a nod to the style's de facto mascot) has a clear, slick and polished toffee-amber complexion that gives it a visual classiness normally associated with things like cognac or brandy - how deceiving looks can be. Only available in Texas, it's painfully obvious that ZiegenBock is Anheuser-Busch's pathetic attempt at competing with the famous Shiner Bock.

Like that brand, this one takes gross liberties with the style, not the least of which is lowering the alcohol to 4.9% (as opposed to the 6-8% considered standard). Unsurprisingly, it also smells and tastes as though adjuncts were used; not only is this far too sweet on the palate but it has a flavour that strongly resembles the kind of low-grade "table" syrup found in greasy-spoon diners.

While that may work on pancakes, it really doesn't cut it as far as clean, complex German lagers go. Mind you, I'm OK if a beer doesn't conform exactly to style guidelines - I ask only that it's well made and tastes good. This one meets none of my criteria. The only category it exceeds in is marketing budget - it's the only Bock I know to have its own dedicated website.

Although what's with the slogan "kinda legendary"? Legendary for what? And only "kinda"? Isn't that a contradiction? Perhaps as a Canadian I'm missing something about a beer made "for Texans by Texans" (nevermind that none of the sales profits go to Texans). Either way, "kinda legendary" doesn't sell me on anything except the foolishness of A-B marketing.

I usually find big commercial breweries do a poor job emulating smaller ones, but in this case Anheuser-Busch landed pretty close to the mark. Both ZiegenBock and Shiner Bock are equally inaccurate representations of the Bock style and make pretty unremarkable, uninteresting beers in their own respective rights.

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Photo of TheSSG
2.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a frothy, off white head that loudly fizzles down to a wisp of a head. A metallic aroma (which is a first). A slightly floral hoppy, somewhat toasted malt flavor limps in at the front and dissipates quickly. There's a stronger showing as the malt tries to appear, but it's still pretty anemic. The finish is easily the best part; a touch of floral hops over hints of toasted malt.

For something made to compete with Shiner bock, it's a failure. It's thin in the mouth, and there just isn't enough flavor; I end up drinking this one about twice as fast as usual, because it just doesn't satisfy in the flavor department. It's not the worst thing I've ever had, but I definitely regret not just picking up another Shiner bock in lieu of this.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
3.65/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shiner Bock clone. Amber color. White head. Subtle nose of malt and yeast. Sweet flavor and very subtle, almost watery. Mild malt, mild hops. Definitely drinkable in a day at the beach kind of way . . . when you just want something cold and wet that won't weigh you down. Fine but nothing special.

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Photo of KatyBeerGuy
3.29/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Two finger head, dissipated quickly. Indiscript taste. Contains alcohol, and you won't die from it. Does its job after many other beers and you want to keep the buzz going but save your good beers for another day.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.08/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Brown with a red tint, thin khaki colored head that dissipates quickly leaving no head

S: Sweet bread malts, light hint of hops

T: Sweet bread, a bit of a toasted malt flavor with a small amount of hop bitterness on the end

M: Light, very drinkable

O: A dark lager that is easy to drink and has a sweet flavor. If I lived in Texas I would probably drink this pretty often.

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Photo of tone77
3.12/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Although it says this beer is only available in Texas, I purchased a bottle as part of a mixed six pack in Bastrop,LA.Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some corn. Taste is light malts, a bit of bread, bland and boring. Feels light in the mouth and overall, nothing offensive, but lacking in flavor and quality.

 371 characters

Photo of jeranbrews
2.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Dark almost body, darker than maple syrup but not as dark as cola. Bone white head with some lacing. Minor continued carbonation. 3.25

S - Faint caramel and strong adjunt smells. Like corn flavored soda with a dash of honey and caramel apples. Meh. 2.75

T - Stale boring. Bland. Not much more flavorful that Bud or Miller. 2

M - A bit too fizzy and not enough body. The adjunct fermentables just make it too loose and watery and stingy not thick and malty and full. 2.

O - This was a free beer, but I would never buy it nor recommend it for another person I cared for. 2.

 589 characters

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

This is obviously not a special beer in any way. It's alright and not a bad beer to drink at a tailgate or with some football style food. Pretty easy to drink, but very little flavor.

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Photo of Vashtar
2.25/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

This beer os overboard on the "amber." It's like they put in amber flavored high fructose corn syrup after they brewed it.

The aftertaste somewhat cardboard (familiar and bad).

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Photo of DocSpoon
3.89/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It appeared to be a dark Amber beer but the flavor was very fruity and enjoyable. It is a great summer beer that doesn't leave a bitter aftertaste and does give that refreshing Amber spice.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.34/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

apparently this is a rather common thing in texas, and being an AB product, gets hated on the the level of something like an michelob amber bock, but its not that, its so much better. the bock part is a little suss, ill grant that, i mean, there is no real appreciable lager profile on this, it finishes sweet and you cant taste yeast at all, but as an amber ale type, i think its pretty good. rich red color, nice head but it doesnt last. the nose and taste are of one multidimensional malt and even a taste of hops as it winds down. not overly complex, but as close to craft as it is to macro, which you cant say about many AB products i dont think.a balanced brew and a fine accompaniment to airport nachos. its also not bad on a hangover, but it probably responsible for far more than it cures. glad to have tried this one with a native texan to get some context. its better than others, thats all i can say.

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Photo of FLima
2.44/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Light brown copper color with a thick beige head with good retention.
Predominant aroma of caramels and bread.
Flavor doesn't improve this. It basically tastes artificial caramel notes, grains and maybe a very distant herbal hop. Some cardboard and corn. Aftertaste is a bit astringent.
Watery body with medium carbonation.
It felt too bland for me. It might not even be an option over Adjunct Lagers. Later checked that Inbev is producing it, making friends in Texas...
Ap.3,75 Ar.2,75 Sab.2,25 Sens.2 Cj.2,25

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Photo of Boca-X
2.4/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle in to a snifter. White thin head, disappeared extremely fast after a very aggressive pour? Little to no lacing. Dark amber almost to the point of brown.

Slight bready hops mix with a sweet caramel aroma on the nose...something metallic.

Medium to heavy carbonation up front followed by dirty steel, taste as if it was out of a can. Very thin and watery. The finish is slightly sweet and more dirty metal. Smelled much better before I took a sip...the smell is now lost on me. As I sit here and write this review a carrot flavor appears and lingers on my tongue?

Honestly this isn't very good. Taste like any regular BMC with just the most minimal of carmal sweetness. Very metallic and thin...my tastes have obviously changed since I started this journey.

One last thing as I pour what's left in my glass down the drain...when I'm out of town I like to pick up a new beer or two that I haven't seen locally. That would be the reason for this purchase. When I returned to my home in Missouri I looked up ZiegenBock on the web. It apparently has had a very colorful life, one point I thought interesting was that it is only sold in Texas... I bought my sixer on a fishing trip in Arkansas? and must say that regardless of where it's sold...I won't be buying again.

 1,287 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.19/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Ah, Anheuser-Busch's attempt to compete with Shiner Bock. Cute. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with twist-off pressure cap and nice label art acquired a few minutes ago at my local cornerstore and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given the brewery. Reviewed as an amber; it never commits to whether or not it's a bock or an amber on the label, but further research reveals it's an amber.

A Texas exclusive.

Actually, it's important to note the epithet is actually quite clever: "Ziegenbock" means "Billy Goat" in Deutsch. Anheuser-Busch gets to call the beer a name that would make the average Texan think it's like Shiner when really it's an amber. Very clever indeed. Hat tip to the marketing cats over at Anheuser-Busch.

Served cold, straight from the cornerstore's fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a one finger wide head of light khaki colour. Average creaminess and thickness. No lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is below average - ~1-2 minutes.

Body colour is a textbook copper; clear, dark, and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. Vibrance is below average, but I wouldn't call it dull per se.

It looks a lot better than I anticipated, but is poor for an amber. It definitely looks like an amber lager-meets-bock.

Sm: Um. Clean barley. Grains, maybe? The aroma is so muted and light I don't get hardly anything from it. Very reticent and closed off. Wow, that's bland. Even Budweiser has adjunct and barley. This is unbelievably unevocative.

No hop character, yeast character, alcohol, or really any malt character is detectable.

Muted is better than off-putting.

T: Caramalt, grains, barley, maybe some adjunct. Plenty of malty sweetness. Boy, is this bland. There's just so little going on. Poorly built for an amber (lager). Okay balance; I mean there's generic cohesion of the few notes it has.

Zero hop presence, zero yeast presence, and nearly zero flavour. No complexity or subtlety here. As generic and uninspired a beer as one could brew in this style.

Low depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. A very neutral beer, but an inoffensive one.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated. Poor presence on the palate. Thick; lightly syrupy. Entirely too overbearing for the lack of flavour. Poor execution for the style, but I guess it kind of suits the flavour profile in that it matches its blandness.

Not oily, gushed, hot, or astringent.

Dr: Downable swill. Bland and boring. I won't be trifling with this again, but you could do worse than bland. I mean, it's not Chelada. In fairness, you could pound a pitcher of this on a night out with the lads without any issues, but the sweetness does get to you. Let's be glad this doesn't make it out of Texas. I can't see this luring Shiner devotees away, but maybe the clever marketing is working. I do love that aspect of the beer, but unfortunately everything else is subpar. Not recommended. I'd probably take an adjunct lager over this at the local bar; at least they have more flavour.

D

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Photo of swellcat
3.46/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a sub-one-finger head into a mug. Pleasing strong-black-tea colour, (though I worry about additives).

Nose: Yeast, bread.

Taste: Darkness, coffee, sweetness . . . (corn syrup?)

Food-pairing: Savory ranchero beans with oregano/sausage/jalapeño corn bread.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light-to-medium body. Carbonation level is adequate and not overly assertive. A bit watery near bottom of the glass.

Overall: Approachable and food-friendly if a bit one- or two-note and lacking in complexity.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.05/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Brown with notes of amber, head was about two fingers and dissipated quickly into a lightly tan sheen, leaving some lace.

Aroma is caramel malts, somewhat sweet, and a little grainy.

Taste is primarily caramel malt and lightly grainy malts, with a touch of (perhaps) brown sugar, with some quantity of balancing hops that I would deem "not enough."

Feel is pretty watery with a slightly cardboard-ish caramel malt lingering aftertaste. Carbonation is pretty low and allows the thin body to have a slightly slick quality, probably from the over-abundance of caramel malt.

It's a typical inbev pseudo-craft beer, in that it looks like craft beer when it's on the shelf, and is priced like craft beer, and you might think you're getting craft beer when you buy it, but that's about it. This beer does not stand out in any way, but manages to shine in the "meh" department. It's nothing like the finely crafted artisan ales that real craft breweries make. This beer lacks flavor, aroma, and body, but it excels in blandness.

I don't know where this "hop finish" mentioned in the commercial description comes from, but I can't taste it. And where the "roasted malts" are, I'm not sure of that either, unless they just added barely enough roasted malts to get the color change they wanted. Caramel malt, now that I can taste in abundance; it's the main flavor.

I know this beer has been around for a while, but don't know if it's changed over the years. However, it needs to change if it wants to reach the "good" category in my book. Perhaps they wanted to impress bud light drinkers, and if so, more power to ya. But a craft beer this is not. It's a mass produced watery alcoholic beverage with just enough beer-like ingredients where it can still be classified as beer.

BTW, I'm not just hating on inbev for the sake of it. If they were to make a good beer, I would rate it well. This just isn't a good beer tho.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
2.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a clear dark amber color with a thick foamy head that quickly dissipates to mild. Lacing is good. Somewhat darker fruit aroma. Mildly sweet. Maybe some raisins. Somewhat watered down taste. Mildly sweet. Again, has some darker fruits. Raisins definitely. A bitter spice at the end. Mildly hoppy but doesn't last long. Not much to the aftertaste. Light bodied and somewhat fizzy with moderate to heavy carbonation.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.09/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A friend of mine brought me back a little mix-pack from Texas. He doesn't know a lot about craft beers, but the sentiment was nice. Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a muddled, clear, light brown coloring with a thin ring of off-white film around the surface. Aromas are subtle, with a blending of roast and sugary caramel sweetness. Flavors are watery at best, with a touch of sweet on the mid-tongue and really nothing else. I mean, there's a dose of carbonation to sharpen up the nothingness. Wow, this is like carbonated water. There's really no aftertaste because there is no taste taste. Maybe a touch of caramel, but that is really reaching. Carbonated and watery in mouth. The finish is light and clean, because there really isn't anything to linger behind. Jesus, this was a stretch to get much of anything out of this one.

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Photo of FosterJM
2.41/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1686Th Review on BA
Draft to Goblet

@Embassay Suites, Plano, TX
This beer was free thank god!

App- This was more like a strong ale in color. Huge ruby notes and a good dense center with a small fast receding 3/4" head. No cling either.

Smell- Its coming down hill fast. A bit grainy, a bit sweet, a bit malty. Not sure what to make of this. I smelled and didnt want to taste.

Taste- WTH? I am confused. If you are going to make a red ale, dont make it taste like Bud Light mixed with more malts and some red food coloring. Just not a very good beer.

Mouth- A thicker light body and a lighter medium carbonation. More like a BL in terms of the residual flavors. Corn, malts and some sweetness.

Drink- Meh. At least it was free. Never again though.

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Photo of matjack85
2.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I read that this Anhauser-Bush product was only available in Texas, so on my last trip to Dallas I made a special effort to look for it. I found it at Sonny Bryan's BBQ in downtown Dallas. $2.75 for a 12oz brown bottle. A freshness date is located on the front label.

The beer poured a clear chestnut brown color with a 2-finger light tan head that lasted a few minutes with decent lacing.

Not much smell to this - just some roasted grain and a touch of caramel.

The flavor isn't strong either. All I really get is some sweet caramel and not much else, unless you count carbonation as an ingredient. Man is this stuff carbonated!

Light to mediuin bodied with off the chart carbonation.

Very drinkable but not memorable. Luckily I found several other good Texas beers when I was there.

 789 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
2.5/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Popping the top on this brew I get a sweet adjunct smell. Pours to a light root beer color with a beige head that fades quickly. Taste is rather bland, a sweet and sour balance that is overpowered by a soda like carbonation. Taste is consistent throughout and then the finish is clean with no aftertaste. Mouthfeel is overly carbonated and when the fizz goes it is rather watery. Almost more lika a soda than a beer. No thanks.

 427 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
2.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a combination of dark yellow mixed with an color. The aroma is strange. It has cooked sour vegetables with a mixture of grainy malt and generic sweetness. The flavor has a large starchy adjunct component. I am not sure what the adjunct is here, but it is definitely present in a big way. There is a dash of bitterness at then end.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.58/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap at Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

A: Pours a clear very dark amber in color with light amounts of garnet red and brown highlights when held up to the light and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that quickly reduces to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The overall smell is quite sweet for this beer and malty with some hints of caramel, toffee, and molasses.

T: Very similar to the smell with moderate sweet malty flavors including hints of caramel, toffee, and molasses. Very light amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Overall there was nothing really special about this beer and it is not one I would recommend - if you want a pseudo-bock beer and are in TX, I would recommend Shiner over this.

 889 characters

Photo of ThePaleRider
2.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap in the Houston Airport. Thought I was getting something fun that I had never heard of. What a disappointment this was.

A - Dark copper, close to the color of a strong tea with a one finger head that doesn't last long. No lacing to tell of.

S - Smells like sour malts. Yuck. Period.

T - Light nutty taste that finishes dry. Leaves a sour after taste that isn't really appreciated.

M - Light bodied, mildy carbonated.

O - Would never seek this beer again. Rather drink Shiner Bock or PBR.

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Photo of depechemode1983
2.5/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a clear deep copper color. Head is thin and fizzy and fade quickly but leaves a bit of lacing. Seems to be heavily carbonated.

S - Not much in the nose. Corn, some grains, and faint caramel and molasses.

T - Even lighter than the nose. Mostly corn and grass mixed with a metal tinge and some distant caramel sweetness. Kinda like how it smells but not quite.

M - Medium bodied with rough carbonation. Not very smooth.

O - This is a poor example of a bock. Taste like your typical American adjunct lager with some light artificial bock flavorings.

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ZiegenBock Amber from Anheuser-Busch
67 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.
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