Samuel Adams Triple Bock | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock
956 Ratings
Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 17.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Todd on 01-10-1998

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 956 |  Reviews: 652
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks Crushinator. Incredible booziness and cognac-sherry aroma. Very dark brown, thick brown. No carbonation present. Worchester sauce, maple syrup, cognac, fig in the taste. Sweet and sour, with lots of malt and sweetness. Impossible to more than sip.

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Photo of acurtis
2.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
1.79/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

A: Pours very thick with no head and a viscous black/dark brown color with tons of lacing

S: Smells like burnt prunes mixed with liquor, almost a burning sensation

T: Very syrupy, very port like but not enjoyable, honestly it tastes like a big stout left out overnight

M: Full and thick almost like wine

O: Awful, considering its from the mid 90's I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Two sips and a drain pour.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
1/5  rDev -66.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

1997 vintage.

At approximately 14 years old since it was brewed, this is the oldest beer I have ever consumed. Split with my buddy to share in this experience.

Pours an opaque dark brown/black with no head whatsoever. There is visible sediment floating around in the beer after it's poured. Swirling the beer around the glass leaves murky soy sauce legs that drip back down into the beer. Smell is of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, dark fruits, and dark chocolate. Strong alcohol aromas are coming off this one too. Oh. My. God. The taste of this beer makes me want to punch Jim Koch in the face. Horribly sour, salty, sweet soy sauce and teriyaki flavors are most apparent. Very hidden dark fruits and chocolate are masked by this unholy taste. It says this beer was brewed with maple syrup but that is nowhere to be found. Absolutely zero carbonation with a super thick and chewy/sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is the single worst beer I have ever had hands down. I am not so sure if it's like this because it's 14 years or so old or if this is how it tasted fresh. Either way this was an experience I won't soon forget.

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Photo of GRG1313
1.75/5  rDev -40.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

very strange brew here, something of lore really, glad i got to have it, but not something i would recommend outside of a curious exploration. pours deep dark brown, dead flat, with massive chunks of cork floating around in it. i know others have commented soy sauce here, and i maybe get a little salty weird fermentation, but i also get a lot of layers of grainy goodness, wood, rich soil, and vanilla, although these are all sort of mixed together in a strange, thick, still liquid thats hotly alcoholic and hard to drink very much of. maple syrup is there too, but its mostly just sugar now. its something maybe better to cook with than drink in isolation, but i think it is a benchmark. this is one of the beers that began extreme brewing in the early 1990s, and its place in history in that context makes it special. the fact that its not drinking particularly well right now is almost an afterthought, although i found it to be silky smooth (save the cork chunks) and rather mellow for what it is. no need to drink it again anytime soon for me, but i will fondly remember the experience. dogfish head, brewdog, and others who do these ridiculous strong beers owe a tip of the cap to this one.

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Photo of spycow
3.84/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kjkinsey
2/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of djrn2
1.5/5  rDev -49.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4.18/5  rDev +41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I'm basing this review off of two separate bottles of Triple Bock. The first time I had it was at my college graduation party in 2007. Not sure what the vintage year was on this bottle but it was unanimous that it was pretty terrible tasting.

The brew poured out as a clumpy dark brown color with no head at all. It was thick looking leaving a tinge of brown on the glass with every sip. The smell of the beer was extremely difficult to get past. The taste was very strange kind of like a ton of different things coming together and threw in some blood metallic flavors for good measure. Very strong and hard to drink. Rather upsetting.

About a year later I was at the Bethlehem Speakeasy and was brought a bottle of the 1995 vintage and was poured a glass by my waiter Zeke. I had told him about my past experience with this beer and he assured me that my thoughts would change this time around. I can't believe it but he was right.

The beer bad changed completely, the beer wasn't clumpy anymore, it poured out as a lighter shade of brown with red highlights. The smell was much more mellow with a touch of sweetness and a little earthy too. The taste was incredibly different now, the metallic flavor was gone and it was now a earthy salty flavor kind of like there was some soy sauce in there. The mouthfeel was slick and easy to drink. It blew my mind when comparing the 2 different vintages. I can't thank Zeke enough for letting try the 1995 because otherwise this beer was probably going to be rated as an F.

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Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of t0rin0
2/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
1/5  rDev -66.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +43.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the better beers that I have ever tried. Thanks to Ernie for sharing. Dark brown-rust in color. Little in the way of head retention or lacing--fine per style. Big-time legs on the side of the glass shows good alcohols and sugars. Big aromas of prunes, raisons, dates, nuts, chocolate and sherry. Flavors of those dark fruits show up front, along with port wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, and molassas to name a few. Big body and chewy texture coats the mouth and turns into a long lasting finish and aftertaste. It's a sipper--you won't want to drink it fast.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

8.45 fl oz blue glass bottle with plastic cap over a cork served into an EKU 28 snifter in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. 1994 vintage. Expectations are as low as can be.

Cork split in half upon opening.

A: Pours a soy sauce black with interesting vibrance. No head whatsoever.

Sm: Soy sauce and vinegar. I want to stick rice in this.

T: Caramelized soy sauce. No alcohol comes through in the taste. Yeah, that's about it. The aftertaste lingers for a long time. Some vinegar.

Mf: Motor oil. Viscous as shit. Smooth and wet otherwise. Complements the soy sauce feel.

Dr: Hides its ABV very well. I don't really like it, but I can see where it was good 10 years ago. It's far from awful.


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Photo of emerge077
3.62/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

1997 vintage *generously* shared by Botham.

After hearing the horror stories, and catching a bad whiff from an oxidized bottle at a tasting, I vowed never to buy or drink one of these. However, my self-imposed ban was recently lifted when Botham most generously shared his last beer in the fridge... a Triple Bock.

The cork was intact, stained a brownish black, it emerged without a pop, thwup, or peep.

Into a snifter, it's a deep chestnut brown. Murky and opaque thankfully, to obscure the chunky yeast that was stirred and blended in each pour. No head or bubbles at all, yet there were legs on the side of the glass, leaving a sticky film. Peering into the "empty" bottle, the sides were black with sludge, a slick oily mess that nightmares are made of.

Aroma at first was cloying, but after a bit it became more pleasant. Chocolate, currants, and prunes. Later the glass smelled of port wood and sweet pipe tobacco. Way better than the last time I smelled this, when it left an indelible impression of evil.

Flavors were rich and sweet, it brought to mind Thomas Hardy's, but with more roast flavors than toffee. Maple was dominant also, along with chocolate, bitter walnut, and the dark fruits present in the aroma. It had a sticky, coating feel that became a bit much after a few sips. That slick coating lingered too long on the palate, prompting a rinse with water. Splitting the bottle 3-4 ways is a wise idea, as it's more liqueur than ale.

 1,460 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.74/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1997 Bottling

Appearance: Pours a dirty motor oil color that is a bit brownish at the edge; no head nor lacing, at this stage of the game

Smell: Where others detect soy sauce, I detect brandied prune, with maple syrup and dark chocolate elements as well; some alcohol is also noticeable

Taste: Prunes, dark chocolate and alcohol, in that order, appear on the front end, but by mid-palate, the flavor moves in a maple syrup and port direction that is a bit raw, unfortunately; after the swallow, the maple syrup dominates, along with a liqueur like element that is heavy in the alcohol

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy, with no carbonation

Drinkability: Having tasted Utopias, I view this as an antecedent brew; that it has lasted this long and is still drinkable is an accomplishment; still, there are some distractions from the ideal that appears in the aroma; glad I had a chance to sample this

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Photo of oline73
1.24/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This was the final bottle cracked open at the tasting hosted by finewinemike. Thanks to Arenbeer for bringing this, even if it was just as a joke. I feel like this is a bit of a craft beer rite of passage.

Appearance: This beer pours black with no head at all.

Smell: Extremely sweet. Reminds me of a mixture of Hershey's syrup with soy sauce and tomatoes.

Taste: Extreme sweetness shows up here too. Lots of molasses, soy sauce and some smoke. This is like a bbq sauce gone extremely wrong.

Mouthfeel: It's never good when you have to tell someone they have beer stuck in their teeth. Thick and syrupy with no carbonation and a dry finish. Quite chunky.

Overall: It took us a while to realize the bottle is blue and it just looked brown due to the sediment caked on the glass. I'm glad I got to try this just to tell the story, but it was terrible.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.54/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (1997 vintage drank in 2007): Poured a deep black color beer with no head or lacing or even carbonation for that matter. Aroma of dark brown sugar with sweet malt is quite extreme. Alcohol was no discernable which is quite a feat at 17%. Taste is extremely sweet and definitely too sweet for my own taste buds. I understand the soy sauce commentary I read in previous ratings but more gear toward sweet then salty in his case. I can see this as something to sip but this is definitely not something I would drank very often.

 531 characters

Photo of zeff80
1.93/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

8.45oz bottle - I believe 1997 vintage

A - Poured out a thick black color with absolutely no head. It had a port-like appearance.

S - It smelled of cherry, chocolate and currants. Also, very present alcohol. It really smelled candy-like.

T - It had a very sweet, syrupy flavor. The chocolate flavor was muted by the fruit and alcohol. Plus, soy sauce.

M - It is soft and smooth. A very heavy beer.

D - I couldn't finish it. It reminded me of a brandy or strong desert wine. Even 8.45oz was too much. Plus, the soy sauce flavor had me craving rice.

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Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of mothman
2.19/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

So I saw this sitting on the shelves, originally priced at $31, marked down to $5 so I thought I'd give it a shot (even though I have heard the rumors haha).

Pours a dark carmel brown, almost black. This beer is very thick, almost syrup like. There was hardly any head.

Smell is a dark dark chocolate. It also smells like teriyaki sauce. The alcohol was also present.

Taste is like none other. I believe that this beer may be too old. The taste is just like the smell: teriyaki sauce. There is also dark roasted malts present.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but the taste is so bad that you can't have it in your mouth for very long. The 17.5% abv really is distinguishable here.

Overall, this is not something I will be trying again. The bottle is really the only cool thing about this beer. I found myself struggling to finish the bottle.

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Photo of DrBier
2.92/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.74/5  rDev +60.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! This beer is freakin' amazing. My last bottle from my '95 case.... ... :( This one is loaded with maple syrup and scortched sugar, but with less of the burnt and acidic edge that usually comes with that. There's a little bit of it in the finish, but it's really sweetish and bright upfront. There's also more graininess and caramel to the nose, although the dark black/red fruit and alcohol are there as well. And there's more coconut in the aroma too. And nuttiness and wood. I'm just blown away that each bottle can be so different. It's really amazing. Is it the amount of yeast? Is it the amount of oxygen that was transfered during bottling? I''m thinking that's it in this case. It got less oxygenation and thherefore it's less sherry-like. Or even the cork - this one came out full whereas the others broke-up. I don't know; I just know it's stunning!

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Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 2.96 out of 5 with 956 ratings
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