Samuel Adams Triple Bock
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
From:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
 
Massachusetts, United States
Style:
American Strong Ale
ABV:
17.5%
Score:
69
Avg:
2.97 | pDev: 37.71%
Reviews:
657
Ratings:
313
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Jan 17, 2022
Added:
Jan 10, 1998
Wants:
  87
Gots:
  141
SCORE
69
Poor
Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock
Notes: Though the little cobalt bottles still decorate the shelves today, this beer only had 3 vintage releases; 1994, 1995, and 1997. Brewed with two row malted barley, water, Noble hops and yeast, along with maple syrup, it was then aged several months in oak whiskey barrels before being bottled. At the time it was considered the world's strongest beer, and a precursor of today's Extreme Beers.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by UGADawgGuy:
Photo of UGADawgGuy
Reviewed by UGADawgGuy from Georgia

1/5  rDev -66.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
I love many of life's indulgences: music, film, food, beer, BeerAdvocate.com, and so on.

With most of my strongest interests, I have a well-documented love for the best of the best...and the worst of the worst. For example, my favorite movies of all time include the widely-acclaimed likes of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Godfather" (parts I and II), and "Rocky." They also include the inimitable "Troll 2," "The Crawlers," and "Manos: The Hands of Fate" (try sitting through the non-MST3K version in its entirety).

As such, when I began to foster an abiding interest in beer, it stood to reason that I should seek out the most infamously bad beers available, in order to further my education and shorten my life. At the time that occurred to me, Samuel Adams Triple Bock was the most notorious beer discussed on this site's forums. And so I sought it out.

I was sent a bottle of 1997 Triple Bock -- along with a "bonus" bottle of Blue Diamond Stout, straight from China -- by BA EinWeizenBitte. From California to Georgia. For free (i.e., he asked for nothing in return). Thus began my odyssey.

I held onto the already twelve-year-old bottle for a few months after receiving it, until I could share it with as many people as possible under exactly the right circumstances. Those circumstances turned out to be the night of my grandfather's funeral, at my homebrewing uncle's house. I can think of no more appropriate context in which to attempt drinking Triple Bock. My brother and I stepped outside to open and pour the beer.

Appearance: The bottle itself is small, blue, and unassuming. In fact, I'd go so far as to call that delicate vessel attractive. What lurks inside, however, is repugnant.

Upon removing the placebo seal around the cork, and then the cork itself, I was greeted with no evidence of carbonated life. I did my best to pour the beer evenly into two glasses, and it lived up to its reputation: it looked like fetid pond water, rife with suspended algae and the long-rotting carcasses of various aquatic fauna. Chunks of thick sediment clung to the insides of both the bottle and each glass. The end of the pour yielded an audible "plop," the result of a slimy wad of what appeared to be manatee feces entering the glass. My God.

Smell: Please, don't smell it.

Others have likened the stench of Triple Bock to soy sauce, but I suspect something far more sinister is afoot here. The souls of innocent toddlers, slaughtered by a demonic cult? The olfactory distillation of Genghis Khan's tyranny? I'm not sure. Whatever it is, it smells far worse than any soy sauce I've ever encountered.

Taste: In each person's lifetime, one encounters a handful of turning points. A first kiss. High-school graduation. A wedding day. The birth of a child. For me, the moment Triple Bock met my lips was one such turning point.

As soon as the thick, tarry stool sample caressed my tongue, I knew I had been fundamentally changed. The rumors were true. Triple Bock tastes at once sickly sweet (like vomit after you've eaten a stack of pancakes drizzled with maple syrup), bone-chillingly sour (like soy sauce brewed in 1910, or vinegar derived from an eagle's tears), and improbably alluring. A second sip unveiled notes of mulch pile, fresh giraffe manure, and 9-volt battery.

This beer is a revelation.

Mouthfeel: Imagine giving a pint of blood -- you know, as you would at the Red Cross. Then imagine letting that blood partially coagulate, at room temperature, for maybe eight hours. Next, imagine attempting to drink that blood. That's how this nightmare felt in my mouth...and in my soul. As an added bonus, I could do nothing to remove the sensation, flavor, and smell of Triple Bock from my tongue, teeth, palate, and throat for several hours after drinking it. Even hard liquor couldn't cut through it.

Drinkability: Whatever the OPPOSITE of drinkability is, Triple Bock has it. In fact, it's made of it. I'd rather drink my own regurgitated bile than attempt to choke down another sip of this cruel, twisted monstrosity.

True story: While outside, my brother and I poured a little bit of Triple Bock into the bowls of the three dogs who live at my uncle's house. All three dogs, very hungry due to not having eaten since breakfast, ran toward the bowls, then simultaneously retreated by slowly walking backward. They appeared to be concerned that whatever was in there might reward sudden movement by attacking them. Such concerns were probably well-founded.

Truth be told, I strongly recommend Triple Bock to everyone who calls himself a beer connoisseur, just as I recommend "Troll 2" to strangers I pass on the street. There truly is nothing else like it in this world. It deserves every bit of its insidious reputation, and it will take years off your life.

Highly recommended.
Aug 25, 2009
More User Ratings:
Photo of edthehead
Rated by edthehead from New York

3.63/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
1994 vintage, still great.
Jan 17, 2022
 
Rated: 2.34 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Nov 26, 2021
 
Rated: 2.48 by alexsergio from New York

Oct 30, 2021
 
Rated: 1.82 by SadMachine from New Jersey

Oct 17, 2021
Photo of digboy
Reviewed by digboy from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A friend had a bottle of 1994 vintage had been previously opened and recorked some time back, so that's out there.

That it poured a deep reddish-blown, almost black color. The aroma is richly sweet, like a concentrated tincture of dried cherries. The flavor is similar with lots of port wine character - dried cherry and prunes, leather and a bit of tobacco and molasses in the finish. Feel is dense and syrup-like, smooth and not bitter at all - again, like a tawny port. The alcohol was very present but not burning. I am sure this has lost some of its original character after all these years and having been opened before, but reading others here it appears to have held up very well. It was an honor to try such a legend.

I am giving it all fours as I have no idea if this is what the beer is supposed to be like. I enjoyed it enough to warrant a 4.
Oct 19, 2020
Photo of melitameister
Reviewed by melitameister from New York

3.57/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Purchased this 1995 Brew Reserve new for $3.19. Then it sat quietly and somewhat lost in a 50-degree Cellar for 25 years.

A bright ruby edge tops the opaque purplish black brew. Smell is a nice alcoholic prune juice that develops into much more. Taste is like and as sweet as prune juice with a tutti frutti blend of candy sugar, dried fruits, cherries, banana, a bit of grapefruit and some nice big bitterness growing to give balance. Feel is rich and creamy.

Enjoyed this more than expected when sipped quite slowly. Certainly a huge overly sweet brew that I find an exotic trip.
Apr 26, 2020
Photo of Evercandy
Reviewed by Evercandy from Nevada

5/5  rDev +68.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I am probably the largest single consumer of Sam Adams Triple Bock. My all 5 rating is a little bias. I loved every single bottle that I drank. Reason I claim to be the largest single consumer. Is my friend owned a restaurant/bar in Ventura, California. The restaurant was told that they bought more cases then anybody in the tri-county (Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara county) area. My friend bought (I paid my friend for all the cases) every case and bottle was only for me. The wholesale price was $76.90 from Lagomarsino Distributor. I should have bought the last case that Lagomarsino had.
Mar 02, 2020
 
Rated: 3.25 by fossage78 from Massachusetts

Feb 23, 2020
 
Rated: 3.77 by DVMin98 from North Carolina

Nov 17, 2019
 
Rated: 4 by smartassboiler from Illinois

May 30, 2019
Photo of ArrogantB
Reviewed by ArrogantB from Colorado

3.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
1994 vintage. Got a pour at a share and for 25 years old I was surprised that this beer did not taste bad. Very strong, very sweet, really no soy for me. I thought it was like a super strong stout. On the other hand I couldn't drink my whole sample.
Apr 08, 2019
 
Rated: 3 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts

Dec 03, 2018
Photo of JayWolf
Reviewed by JayWolf from Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +65%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
I loved this beer. FYI Monastic Triple are my favorite beers. So this ones thick heady body, rich flavors, aroma and alcohol percentage felt like home to me. Damn shame they don't make this one anymore.
Aug 16, 2018
 
Rated: 3.97 by SargeC from California

Aug 06, 2018
Photo of cook_a_wolf
Rated by cook_a_wolf from New York

3.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Ran across a bottle in 94,can't say it was great beer,but as a liquor it was nice. Tried the 95 and it was not worth the cork
Mar 25, 2018
Photo of WickedBeer
Reviewed by WickedBeer from Alabama

3.87/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
This bad boy is seeing the light of day for the first time in 23 years. 1994 Brew Reserve, 8.45 fl oz. very interested in this year’s as I’ve heard nothing but horror stories about the ‘97 bottles...

Opening this bottle was the real experience here. The cork was soaked all the way through and ridiculously fragile. Had to angle the bottle and pull it out piece by piece with tweezers, as the plastic piece broke right off from the cork when I initially tried popping it open. Finally got it all out with nothing falling into the beer itself.

It pours pitch black and thick, like motor oil. No head, no lace, no carb.

The aromas are full of stinging booze, molasses, and dark fruit, with noticeable hints of soy and chocolate ringing through as well. It’s not an unpleasant smell by any means, but it’s strength is a bit overwhelming.

Tons of dark fruit, chocolate, and molasses,. Actually a very sweet beer, can’t imagine how it was fresh. Even has characteristics of a dessert wine or cordial. You get some small tastes of coffee and oak present as well. So much going on, definitely a slow sipper.

Thick, syrupy, and very sticky, a little too much so. Definitely no carb, with a nice light boozy burn that makes sure it’s felt all the way down the hatch.

Never did I think I’d get to review this beer. At $40 for the bottle, I thought I got it for a pretty decent price (even for a 8.45oz bottle)... a true classic from Sam Adams, one of the original “extreme” beers that was released to the public. Amazing to see how not only beer has transformed, but how this particular bottle has survived over 20 years. An awesome experience.
Jan 08, 2018
 
Rated: 1.82 by Frank_Castle from Pennsylvania

Nov 30, 2017
Photo of cbutova
Reviewed by cbutova from Massachusetts

1.89/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2
1997 vintage, thanks Matty P.

A- Murky swamp demogorgon beast pour from the odd blue bottle to a taster glass. The cork broke off into the powdery, murky black body. No head, no bubbles and no lace.

S- Utterly strange aroma. A ton of soy sauce notes, marker solvents and big old dark stale chocolate. Alcohols and chemical feel makes me cough upon exhaling. Old raisins and generic dark dried fruits. Actually awful.

T- Takes the general feel from the aroma with the bitter soy sauce dark chocolate bar feel being huge leading right into bitter dried raisins. Massive long chain caramelized sugars reminding me of the hyperABV Bruery beers. Figs and dead dusty aged raisins.

MF- No carbonation to the syrupy thick body. Just a slick and oily texture with a warm boozy finish. Strange super dark cocoa gripping bitterness.

Been waiting to try this one for a very long time. The reputation lives up to the hype and boy is it strange. Bitter chemicaly cocoa and crypt keeper raisins. Words can hardly describe this odd experience.
Nov 27, 2017
 
Rated: 2.81 by hozersr from Pennsylvania

Oct 12, 2017
 
Rated: 2.75 by harpus from Alabama

Mar 18, 2017
Photo of logicalparadox
Reviewed by logicalparadox from New York

4.97/5  rDev +67.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
It's rare of me to even consider throwing a 5 rating out there, but this one impressed. I should mention it was a 1994 vintage that a buddy of mine had been gently aging for all this time, so it may not be representative.

Poured a deep syrupy darkness... like soy sauce in the glass. Nose was full of molasses, dark fruits, and a mild oxidation like port. It's a real sipper, to say the least. Treat it like fortified wine, not beer. The flavors follow the nose, and center around molasses, coffee, and a hint of cocoa at the edge. Long finish, not too sweet, reminding me of savory gingerbread.
Jan 04, 2017
Photo of jmasher85
Reviewed by jmasher85 from Maryland

3.71/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75
Now that it's officially 2017 and this beer is (in a manner of speaking) 20 years old, it's about to open this notorious, infamous experimental beer. I mean, it ain't getting any younger, and I'm sure it's long since peaked. Reading reviews, I've not been so scared to try a beer since Rogue's Beard Beer, but as long as it doesn't make me sick, I'll call it worthwhile.

Appearance is...well, this will probably be the lowest score I've ever given for this category. First off, the cork was dried out and it was a miracle I removed all the chunks of it without any falling into the bottle. Even as the top of the cork broke off, I could see the beer had permeated its pores and could already smell soy sauce and tar. It pours oily, pitch dark, murky brown, and completely opaque...until *thunk*, *shlurplunk*, globs and chunks of slimy black residue start making their way out. Again, only a minimal amount made it into the bottle, while I caught the rest with my hand and dumped it into the sink. If you open a bottle yourself, I guarantee you will lose nothing and save yourself some grief if you pour it through a cheesecloth first, if not a sieve or strainer.

Now here, rating gets tricky. I'll separate it into the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes, the 45 minutes in between I spent on it being a sort of transition period as the beer opened up more and more. Yeah, it was a shockingly different beer when I first poured it compared to the final sips. Right off the bat, I'm getting a ton of soy sauce, burnt malts, fermented, rotten molasses, and licorice. Frankly, it was too challenging to drink at all, let alone study. I mean, it was gross and weeeiiird. Oh, and that sludge from the bottom. Yeah, I tasted it. No, it wasn't good, at all. It was like dipping pond scum in salty prune juice.

But over time, those initial flavors mellowed out, became less harsh, and soon fruitier notes began to emerge. By the end, you could told me I was drinking a thick, strong port wine. Tons of red grape, fig, prune, and much tastier molasses flavors come through. Not getting much of the maple syrup this was brewed with, I'm sure but the overall flavor takes its influence from it. I have to say, I'm sorry this bottle took so long to start tasting good. If I get it again, I'll make sure to filter and decant for about 10 minutes before drinking.

Feel is thick, totally uncarbonated, and fairly gritty once you get towards the bottom, again, like a rich, unfiltered port. Overall, I think that while this beer turned out really tasty in the end, it sure took some effort to get there. And in all honesty, I could pay twice as much for a bottle of port 3 times bigger, and it wouldn't be far off, as opposed to Utopias, the descendant of Triple Bock, which is along the same lines but far bolder and more unique. So for the right price, I may go for another bottle or two. I've heard earlier vintages haven't held up well at all, so if you're going to try this, it might be fast approaching the now-or-never point.

One final note: I know it's a small bottle and I'm a heavy drinker, but this did not make me feel like I'd drank a bottle of 17% abv. I wonder...
Jan 02, 2017
 
Rated: 3.54 by CharlesK from Pennsylvania

Sep 21, 2016
 
Rated: 2.53 by Kuges from Texas

Sep 09, 2016
 
Rated: 3.75 by mportnoy from Pennsylvania

Jun 16, 2016
Photo of Spiritman
Rated by Spiritman from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +68.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Just opened a bottle of 1995.... Wow just that good...
May 11, 2016
 
Rated: 3.09 by Lucoli from New York

Apr 27, 2016
 
Rated: 2.84 by bluehende from Delaware

Apr 17, 2016
 
Rated: 1.97 by DavidST from Texas

Apr 11, 2016
 
Rated: 3.76 by SveNss0N from Massachusetts

Apr 04, 2016
 
Rated: 4.5 by TravisMason from Indiana

Apr 03, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

1.27/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25
Well that is an unfortunate looking ''beer". Pours out ugly brown, looks like brandy, that listless of a head. So much alcohol. Like alcohol aroma is one million parts per million. There's nothing else there.

Taste had some barrel, like tasted/seemed like the actual barrel had disintegrated and made its way into the bottle. So much sediment and particulate.

This and Bud Light Lime are like the worst beers that weren't unintentionally infected I've prolly had. Pizza beer kicks this beers ass.
Apr 03, 2016
Photo of ericH9591
Reviewed by ericH9591 from New Jersey

1.54/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
I have a few of these bottles in my basement and I seem to forget that they didn't really age well.

For one, the cork dried out, and so it isn't really sealed well any longer, and I think that was the problem. I have old bottles of SN Big Foot, and Thomas Hardy's Ale and they are FANTASTIC, however this beer never ever lived up to expectations. Even when I consumed 'Young' version in the late 90's I was left unfulfilled.

Now here it is 2016, and I opened a bottle last night.

Yuck! Awful! It couldn't be poured down the drain fast enough.

There was no indication that there was any carbonation left, so I think that is a clear indicator that the bottle turned.

It has been a long time so I am not sure what it should have smelled like, but it did not smell bad.

The taste said it all.
Mar 03, 2016
 
Rated: 5 by A_Rad from Wisconsin

Feb 20, 2016
Photo of mrson83
Rated by mrson83 from New Hampshire

1.88/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5
Just opened a '95 bottle. Definitely a soy sauce taste. Not enjoyable at all. Don't know if I'll ever open my '97 bottle.
Feb 17, 2016
 
Rated: 2.5 by waddellc2 from Pennsylvania

Feb 11, 2016
Photo of Bugcatcher
Reviewed by Bugcatcher from Tennessee

4.2/5  rDev +41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5
After all the reviews I read about this beer I expected the worst but the bottle I had was a 1997 and was absolutely wonderful. Got it from a friend who had it for years great oak after taste with coffee and chocolate notes. Starts out sweet and finishes nicely with a fruity dark cherry coffee. Very satisfied
Feb 10, 2016
Photo of Raime
Reviewed by Raime from Korea (North)

1.02/5  rDev -65.7%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
" Happy early birth day gift "is what the note said as I came home from work to find this sitting there alone in a corner"

' hits cigarette' let me tell you guys a story of suffering and pain. Commence old timey Noir scene.

Poured this into a pint glass in which the cork fell unto the bottle. Into my glass falls a blackened sludge without a trace of any head...only goopy thick garbage creating waves. Like walking into a wal-Mart bathroom only to realize a guy came in and dropped off his digested taco bell on the floor and it made a plomp as it landed.

It smells of the souls of those who were sacrificed to the dark Lord in the promised land of Hell.

The taste is like being in the middle of a human centipied in which the first person is fed only stale soy sauce and has a bout of explosive diarrhea all over your taste buds. I spat this out as though I was going through and excorsizm.

It feel the way you feel after potentially losing your fortune on the stock market.

Overall, I would rather have my gonads smashed by a ballpeen hammer or a slug destroying the vesicles of my unborn spermatoza children than ever take another sip of this.

I can only imagine finishing the bottle and going to the bathroom the next day.

And that my friends..is the story of the worst liquid I have ever consumed. A 1997 vintage of this demented liquidation that of which should be sacrificed to the void.
Feb 01, 2016
 
Rated: 4.06 by Prost76 from New Hampshire

Jan 23, 2016
Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 69 out of 100 with 970 ratings