Samuel Adams Triple Bock
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Strong Ale
2.99 | pDev: 37.46%
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
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.
Reviews: 655 | Ratings: 962
Photo of braugon
5/5  rDev +67.2%


Poured out the blackest liquid I can imagine coming from a bottle. The neck was completely stained with a ring in the neck that had slightly dissipated over the years. Smelled like prunes and raisins and other dark dried fruits. Taste was similar with port wine like qualities. 17% abv not detectable. If you've had Utopias you can imagine how the same brewery made this beer. Mouth was big, full and viscous. Huge amount of malt left on the palate. The sediment left at the bottom of the bottle was thick, pure black mud. I was scared of this one, but I'm glad to say a 68 / 100 rating for this beer is bonkers. If you happen to have a 1994, open it.

If anyone wants to "troll" me with more Sam Triple Bock please feel free to PM me.

 758 characters

Photo of royalenfield
1/5  rDev -66.6%

This is, without a doubt, the worst beer I've ever tasted, and one of the most disgusting things I've ever put in my mouth. It makes Olde English seem like Chateau d'Yquem in comparison.

Looks like motor oil, smells like rancid soy sauce, tastes like vinegar, and leaves an awful vomitaceous aftertaste that just wouldn't quit. Foul, nasty, putrid, vile, repulsive, nauseating... there aren't enough adjectives in the dictionary.

Of course since they put it in a pretty bottle and charge a mint for it, some pretentious douchebag probably thinks it's god's gift to the local package store. What were they thinking?!?

 618 characters

Photo of SteveBrew
4.25/5  rDev +42.1%

When looking at an historic beer from a given point-in-time, it's crucial to temper any concerns about the aged beer with the perspective of what the brewer was trying to achieve in 1994. Now that this beer is 20 years old, I decided to open this on the week before Oktoberfest on a crisp, cool autumn evening in the DC area. To be sure, we cannot take lightly the fact that this beer has aged for two decades, and for the past six years, it remained out of my control--though it was assured by friends or colleagues to have been either cellared or refrigerated for the duration.

Appearance: The 330 ml bottle displayed an indigo iridescence which pestered me every time I opened the fridge. The entire cork eased out with an audible "pff", to my surprise. A slow pour into a snifter felt slow and heavy. It reminded me of a very fancy balsamic vinegar--the kind which is aged for decades. Coincidentally, I noted other characteristics which reminded me of this as well. No visible head. A thin band of translucent, viscous syrup sat alone atop a vast, dense black void.

Several factors at play here--some due to the barrel aging; some due to the linear time in the bottle: strong vanilla, more like a dark rum in many ways than a bourbon-type aroma. hints of booze permeate the bouquet. Cherry, toffee, and possibly some wood-like aromas emerge.

Strong characteristics of both balsamic vinegar and chocolate syrup. A boozy backbone quickly rises and falls quickly. Some lingering sticky and astringent flavors. Reminds me of similarly aged strong bocks/ales such as Sammichlaus. The strong fruity flavors shot straight up my nose, while the malty backbone stayed on my tongue. Efficient, like the Germans (or in this case, American brewers) often are.

Sticky but not harsh. The beer retained a full body all these years and if anything else, perhaps offset any harshness of alcohol with the high quality malt backbone it wants to show.

I want to think that this beer bottle, despite its age, fared better than most negative reviews I am reading. Indeed, it lacks some complexities which no doubt have faded over two decades, but it's a cozy beer which makes me think about where we were as a beer nation in 1994. The Beer Hunter was a brand new program/book, most of the "third generation" brewers like Stone, Dogfish, Avery, and Allagash were either glimmers or not even started yet. It's envelope-pushing beers like this that likely set the stage for extreme beers and extreme brewing. Would we be here today without this? Probably. But Triple Bock got Europe's attention that we were about to deviate from their traditions, and never look back.

 2,689 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.4/5  rDev +13.7%

Vintage 1997.

Appearance: pours like an oil sludge, thick black and sticky looking. some hints of brown around the very edges. absolutely no foam or head even while pouring. leaves a sticky brown film around the glass and sometimes shows some alcohol legs. completely black as night. after pouring out I noticed a black slurry left behind in the little blue botte. Looks strong, old and intense, just like it is. 4/5

Smell: as i started to remove the cork it broke in half revealing the bottle half of the cork soaked in a thick blackish goo. I immediately began to get huge whiffs of caramelized maple syrup. the smell is very sweet. lots of chocolates, ranging from milk to dark, some black malts but very little roastiness. Notes of oak and a vanilla sweetness. Surprisingly the booze is there but extremely mellow. the smell is almost amazing except a salty soy sauce like smell that creeps in. 3.25/5

Taste: opens with a strong caramelized maple syrup, sometimes the soy sauce creeps in and ruins the sip. again the chocolate flavor in this beer is extremely powerful and sweet. a wide variety of taste show up with every sip. anywhere from bourbon, oak and copious amounts of vanilla to dark fruits soaked in booze and black malts. Again the roasted malt character is extremely low, if it is there at all. Booze is evident from time to time but never out of control. again almost an amazing taste except that pesky little soy sauce flavor. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: a super heavy beer. thick and sticky as can be. strong booziness and some lingering sweetness. 4/5

Overall: A beer I have always wanted to try and happy I finally did. This is on the verge of being a great beer, but there is just a little something off and salty about it. a great predecessor to the big bold beers of today. I wish I could have been drinking beer when it was released just to know what this used to be 17 years ago.

 1,902 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
2/5  rDev -33.1%

I tasted this beer when it first came out in the '90s. Shared the small bottle with a friend. Not sure we finished it. It might have been a precursor to today's extreme but tasty beers, but it in no way is/was it a beer I would want to drink again. A syrupy mess with an excessive alcohol heat. Very solventy.

 309 characters

Photo of Casey3236
4.08/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I feel compelled to write a review of this beer.
1994 vintage, gift from a wonderful family I met thru work
A- this bottle was very well cared for ; the cork came out whole, in one piece and easily. Pours a light-sucking black hole into the glass. No head.
S- booze, sugar, whiskey, dark fruit. Reminiscent of a balsamic glaze. Sweet, sweet, sweet!
T- delicious, but just too sweet. This is something to be drizzled on a bowl of ice cream or dripped on parmesan cheese cubes, not drank from a glass. It reminds me very much of a well-aged balsamic glaze, which I also could not drink a glass of.
M- it paints the tongue like a brush. Thick, coating.
O- super glad I got to try this legendary beer. While i enjoyed the flavor, it's just too much to take in anything but small doses; you might like hot fudge sundaes, but you wouldn't want to drink a glass of hot fudge. Enough said.

 886 characters

Photo of Trombone69
1.25/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

I had a bottle of this when it was "fresh" around 1995, and we all thought it was awful. So I dutifully stored the second bottle in my wine cellar until recently. I still had the little paper strung around the neck and everything.

Still bad. Like god awful. Prune juice left in the sun for hours, then soy sauce added. It reminds me of the concoctions that 8 year old boys mix up at the lunch table.

It's only redeeming value? It does contain alcohol.
What the hell were they thinking when they put this together?

The blue bottle looks awesome once the sludge has been power washed out of it.

 608 characters

Photo of rudzud
1.82/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Shared this with BPK59 at his birthday party. A fun tick. This was 1995 vintage. Of course Ben broke the cork off and in to the bottle...hah!

A - Poured in to a small snifter a motor oil thick dark dark brown nearly black hue with some really incredible legs.

S - Aromas of sweeter malts, salty brine, soy sauce.

T - Taste is even worse than the nose. Loads of sticky sweet malts, salty sweet soy sauce. Ugh

M - Mouthfeel is heavy and syrupy

O - Overall this was a soy bomb. I guess this beer truly is russian roulette, as some bottles are incredible and others are just plain drain pour. Still, glad I got to try it!

 622 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.99/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle of the 1997 bottling. Thanks for opening this one up, Regen. Poured into a Cigar City snifter today, 4/23/2014.

A- Dark brown body, almost black. Minimal 1/4 finger tan head with no retention whatsoever, no lacing at all.

S- Complex nose that consists of port, maple, bourbon, oxidized sherry, and a ton of sugary brown malt. This is a very sweet beer, but its one that reminds me a lot of Utopias, but without the solvent alcohol booze.

F- Oxidized sherry, port, maple syrup, bourbon, sweet brown sugar, some caramel, toffee, molasses, slightly cloying sugar, oak. Complex, reminds me of a mix of Utopias and Black Tuesday to borrow the description of another BA that we drank this with.

M- Medium body, on the thinner side but certainly not lacking flavour. It has a lot of punch to the palate. I didn't think it was 18%, but then again I shouldn't be too surprised given the reputation of Sam Adams' high gravity beers.

O- Not bad at all, an unique drinking experience indeed. Not something I'd seek out again, but this is a beer you'll like if you enjoy sweetness and a bit of cloying flavours in a beer.

 1,128 characters

Photo of Arrogant-Bastard
4.58/5  rDev +53.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful taste sweet at first finishing up with molasses finish that lingerers leaving you with a taste for more. Before you know it its all gone leaving you wanting more of this hard to find beer desirable with every sip. Cant believe the taste of a beer that has been aged for 17 years I believe got better with age leaving a distinct taste in your mouth that only a particular connoisseur can appreciate

 407 characters

Photo of RichD
4.87/5  rDev +62.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

1994 Vintage poured into a Hill Farmstead taster glass. The cork fell apart in the bottle. Poured with a strainer and there are tiny bits of cork lining my glass.

A: Pours a deep black and nothing else. No head present and not even a ring of suds around the top. Looks like soy sauce in my glass. I actually really like soy sauce, though.

S: Smells of strong booze and maple. The maple syrup smell really dominates the nose of this. Some dark fruits, oak and vanilla round out the scent of this beer.

T: Upon first taste the booze seems like it's going to destroy my pallet. However upon further tasting it turns into a real treat. The maple syrup is the star of this show. Dark fruits, oak and vanilla goodness come through to give this brew some serious depth. I have never tasted anything like this. There is also no booze whatsoever on the taste which is amazing considering the 18% ABV on this.

M: This brew is amazingly thick. Thicker than any barrel-aged stout that I've ever tasted. The alcohol is non-existent. A chewy feeling is left in my mouth which actually makes me want to take another sip. Just awesome.

Overall: This was perhaps the most intimidating beer that I've ever had. When the cork fell apart upon first opening, I thought that it would be the beginning of the end. Then when there were tiny cork pieces in the glass I thought this would be something that I would immediately drain pour among first sip. I didn't even refrigerate this, I just grabbed it right out of the cellar and poured it. The smell also yielded a little caution, but once I tasted it all those worries went right out the window. The taste is one of the most complex beer I've ever had. The maple syrup paired with the dark fruits and oak make this such a well rounded beer. I am actually honored to be able to have tried this, but more honored and surprised that I actually got a good bottle. Hopefully the 1995 bottle is just as good.

 1,937 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is of a 1997 bottle, first time drinking this beer since it's release in 94, when I enjoyed it a lot. Nearly 17 years later let's see what I think.

The first sign of trouble is the total explosion of the cork when I try to open this. Fortunately a corkscrew finishes the job cleanly and no boys of cork sully the beer itself. I pour somewhat aggressively but cannot muster a head whatsoever; the beer is totally still and without lacing. Can't say I'm surprised. The beer also lacks any chunky matter which I consider a major coup at this point.

The aroma is very intense, syrupy maple, raisins, burnt something or other, a definite umami quality referenced by another reviewer. A dark forest floor mushroom truffle soy aspect is lurking at the edges. The flavor is almost overshadowed by the massively syrupy mouthfeel, a heavy, coating viscous body that clings to the tongue. Immense sweetness that finishes with a lightly burning fusel alcohol note. The umami thing is there but less persistent than expected or suggested by the aroma; there is a very vague sense of soy sauce but I don't find it to be all that prominent. The take away for me is over the top sugary sweetness, maple, burnt sugar, raisins and prunes, fusel alcohol, with subtler notes of soaked leaves and forest floor; dirt and funguses and stuff like that. Weird.

As stated before this is a heavy weight syrup fest. Sticks to the mouth for a long time, coating the lips and tongue. What a weird ass beer but a revolutionary one that should be acknowledged for its influence on the big barrel aged beers of the present. That being said if you have one these I would suggest sharing it with two or thee other people; finishing the bottle alone is a bit of a chore.

Jeez it's hard to fill in the numerical ratings for this one. It's
Pitch black and has no head or lacing but also doesn't have any detritus. Aroma and taste are both complex and heavy and not without appealing aspects. Mouthfeel is one of the most memorably hefty in the nearly 2000 beers I've tried.

The more I think about it, the BA who said this reminded of cheap Madeira is pretty much right on target if you want to cut to the chase.

 2,186 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
1.41/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Yes, it's true! If someone would have told me that I would have had the chance to try the legendary "worst craft offering ever" (SA Triple Bock) and the infamously "worst macro offering ever" (Bud Chelada) in the same night, I would have died of glee. Turns out that, in fact, that DID indeed happen about a month ago. Someone brought a '97 vintage of the dreaded Triple Bock, and I celebrated later at a friend's by opening the Chelada beer. But, this is about Triple Bock, which allegedly makes your skin decay and makes puppies choke on their own drool. Poured out of a 12oz corked bottle into a tulip glass. I had the misfortune to do the honors, for everyone, pouring and all.

And it's no surprise, because holy hell is this a syrupy, thickened mess of a beer. Pours a black color that is extremely terrifying, as if you're staring into the the deep, dark swirling void of pure macabre and alienation. A mahogany, oily looking head coats the top, and leaves behind a sticky, highly disgusting look on the side of the glass that is a charming combination of molasses and coagulated blood. My hands were sticky for the remainder of the night with the few drops that slipped out of the glass into my hand. The entire cobalt bottle was stained black with each pour. I went around the table pouring this, looking at each spectator in the eye and observing the trembling passage of fear and despair as they would look into the treacle in the glass with knocked knees and progressively whitening skin. Indeed, the stark contrast of the dark concoction with the paling skins in the room seemed to portray the gray line of us crossing into the unknown in partaking with this beer, with no turning back as we approached our individual glasses to each of our noses.

Some have likened the aroma of Triple Bock to many horrifically exotic items that you should never consume, but to me, it simply smells like cheap Madeira - and that's pretty much it. Heavily caramelized, with lots of oxidation, with big umami notes of mushrooms, soy sauce, salt, as well as rotten plums. This is the catch with Triple Bock - it convinces you that it is a source of pure evil in its appearance, but then as you approach your face closer to the liquid, it materializes into a friendly jester of a spirit, telling you that it is okay to imbibe it, everything will be alright, and that the two of you are going to make fast friends. It's one thing to tap into the forces of evil, but to actually make *friends* with it?? For a moment we were a bit reassured, and the gray line tightened up ever closer. Together, we all took a sip.

This is perhaps the only instance in consuming a beer where I can, with full certainty, claim that the devil made me drink this. I don't even *believe* in the devil, but I do believe in the cold, disheveling apex that is the horribleness of SA Triple Bock. One sip, and terrible things begin to happen. Beer turns into soy sauce - soy sauce turns into oil - oil turns into blood - and the blood that descends burns, and latches itself to the sides of the tongue and the inner areas of the esophagus, without fully letting go. Dumping the rest of the beer in a bucket, we realized that it was too late - the demented liquid had already created a symbiotic, Succubus-like connection within our body, and indeed, had latched itself into the deep recesses of our very souls, forever changing us, and forever showing us the truth of what happens as soon as the gray line closes up upon us. Never would we drink beer the same way again, and never would we find something seemingly designed for imbibing that would perhaps be a better condiment for rice, bok choy, eggplant, and other Eastern varieties. Truly sinister and unforgiving.

It truly takes a horrible beer to appreciate even the most mediocre offerings on the market ever more. Indeed, the worst part about our tainted souls from exposure to Triple Bock is that we are now willing to present this to everyone that we can, with any chance we get. It doesn't only change your life by inflicting major pain on your psyche - its true evil is that it compels you to order something, *anything*, as your next beverage, perhaps as an effort to cleanse your palate of its malign profile, or perhaps as a way to forget you ever had the experience with as much cheap booze as you can get your hands on. Highly recommended in every sense of the word.

 4,403 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
1.28/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Shared a (2003-04?) bottle with 2 friends, circa. 2007. 'Soy sauce' is often used to describe this beer, and it's right on point. Sort of a molasses-y malt concoction with soy sauce and a syrupy moo shoo sauce. We didn't even get halfway through the bottle. The exact flavor may linger fuzzy, but its effect will ne'er be forgotten.

 332 characters

Photo of jdhowe
2.24/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

1997 vintage bottle opened at a bottle share. Sadly, I don't recall whom I should credit for this.

Bottle s cobalt blue, but stained an opaque black from the beer. The cork is stained black at the base, but intact.

A: pours an oily, thick, smooth black. Soy sauce or oil is not out of the question.

S: huge, strong, salty aroma. Aroma is soy sauce, molasses, and maple syrup. Even after the beer is long gone, the aroma of maple syrup persists. This is interesting, unique, and really something strong and special.

T/M: well, the mouthfeel is easier to address... Thick, coating, and so strong that I couldn't take a large enough sip to get much more than that. There is no carbonation. Taste is as strong as the aroma -- huge, salty, syrupy, oxidized (but honestly less than I expected) and strong. The salty and syrupy sweetness with a hint of oxidation override any other favors. The finish is an alcohol burn alongside a strong salty and almost acidic burn.

O: I would never drink this beer again, but then again I am glad to have tried it. It really was just such a ridiculous experience in the middle of a bottle share to try this. Is it iconically bad? Perhaps. But not in the way that most "bad" beers are awful... It really is unique. If you're looking to try this, consider it a novelty and try it with many others.

 1,330 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

 1,199 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.61/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours black, with some amber highlights around the top of the glass. No head to speak of. The body sticks to the side of the glass. The bottom inch of the bottle looks like old chunky chewing tobacco.

S- Oak, baker's chocolate, maple, rye bread, some sort of vegetable aroma as well.

T- Very sweet, with lots of the flavors described coming through. Lots of boozy whiskey, chocolate and maple, lots of bready flavors too. Sweet and dry and boozy.

M- Very thin and syrupy, not much of an alcohol bite. No carbonation to speak of.

O- It's not the horrible beer that others have indicated, but it's a little rough at this point. The chunky pieces at the bottom kind of made this on tough to try, but there are some complexities to it that I'm glad I got to try.

 765 characters

Photo of NuclearRich
4.84/5  rDev +61.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured at a bottle share. Thank you Jim d.
Poured through a colander because the cork is falling through

A. Dense black opacity with no head. Black hole.

S. Port. Deep sherry fruity density

T. Wow. So complex. Dense sweet dark prune-y . Chocolate and port.

M. Thick. Just thick

O. I have to say that all the negativity has got to eIther be completely unfounded or due to poor conditioning. This beer is all that is flavor.

 429 characters

Photo of CASK1
3.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A poorly cared-for bottle (1994 vintage) poured to tasting glasses.

This bottle was lost and found a couple of times. Not treated well in the meantime. Cork was dry and basically disintegrated on opening. Very low expectations, but this beer surprised.

A - Dark brown, thick and viscous. Coats the glass like no beer I've seen before. Awesome legs. No head to speak of.

S - Rich and complex. Lots of dark fruit, especially prunes. Chocolate builds as the beer warms. Sweet alcohol throughout.

T - Very complex. Lots of prunes and figs, followed by sherry. Hints of caramel malt and toffee. Chocolate comes on late, and is followed by peanut butter. Somewhat odd, but it works for this beer. Very low hops, but the beer is not cloying,

M - Thick and viscous, coats the mouth. Alcohol warmth builds in the finish but is not hot. No carbonation.

O - I certainly wouldn't want to drink a lot of this, but that's not the point anyway. I wish I had stored this more carefully. It was good, but probably would have been better with better storage and maybe not sitting on it so long!

 1,082 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.7/5  rDev +57.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1994 Brew Reserve.

The small 8.45 blue bottle had been with Marcus and Bryony for years: not since 1994, but not far off: the bottle was opened with great trepidation on 10th September 2013, especially when the cork snapped in two before it came out, cork screw required.

I loved it: a rich, mellow tasting Chocolate Port with malts, can't think of a better description, sorry.

There were four of us to try it, luckily the ladies were not so keen, so Marcus and I had the Lions share.

This was the best beer I had during our 14 day 'Grand European Tour' and a lovely gesture by our hosts for the evening to open something that had sat for so long in their flat overlooking the Mosel.

 688 characters

Photo of oldp0rt
3.98/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1994 bottle poured into tulip.

Expected this to be a drain pour with all the reviews around here.

I was very surprised and impressed with this one. On the nose, it reminded me of Utopias a little bit with it's plum/port smell. No sourness, not oxidized at all. Simply delicious.

I'm guessing that cellaring on this one really affects the outcome since this one was tasty.

 374 characters

Photo of LeeMarvin
4.25/5  rDev +42.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I recalled drinking Triple Bock back in the 90's when it was originally made, and I recall it being very unique and tough to find. It was definitely a big deal when it came out because nobody had done anything like this before. Sam Adams was way ahead of the curve with this beer.

So when I saw it being sold around 2009, I thought they were making it again. I paid the price and then realized this batch was from the mid-90's. Then I checked out reviews on the web and saw lots of hate coming down on this pioneer beer. At this point, I figured they were getting rid of it for a good reason, and forgot about it in my cellar.

Until last night. I broke the bottle out, chilled it up a bit and brought it to a tasting with a couple of people who understand this beer's history and age. Even before opening it, we could see intense scaling on the bottle and a sediment line at the top. We popped open the cork and were immediately blown away by the smell of rich tobacco coming out of the blue bottle. The smell on the cork promised a unique tasting experience.

Pouring it into three cups, the beer appeared jet black, syrupy and full of sediment. One pour produced some small, black chunks of material.

The aroma of tobacco persisted, but in the tasting cups, the beer now emitted other essences, like cherry or sherry wine.

For me, the taste was dominated by the essence of tobacco, but as it passed over the tongue, the ripe cherries, sherry and eventually dark raisin came out. Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy, but the sediment wasn't noticeable. The booze was totally masked by the flavors. As we worked through the bottle, we got more sediment chunks, what possibly could be sugar scale (that looked like cigar wrapper) and fine particles. The lower in the bottle we got, the richer and more intense the taste of the beer got. All of us agreed that this was a distant ancestor of Utopias. By the end of the bottle, the intensity of the beer was almost too much.

I'm not sure I would buy another bottle of this if I saw it, but I'm very glad that I got to try this ancient, extreme beer ancestor. Triple Bock is a historical beer, and it will go down as one of the craziest beers I've ever tried.

 2,205 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
1/5  rDev -66.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A major want for years. Huge thanks to Frank for hooking me up with this one.

A: Gross looking, to say the least. Dense and thick with huge chunks staying behind in the bottle. I swirled the liquid in the glass just to see what I was dealing with. Bad idea. It left the glass stained with thick brown streaks.

S: Sickeningly sweet. Smells like if you were to blend soy sauce and a raisin puree together and then leave the concoction in a hot car for a day and a half. Molasses and booze in there as well.

T: Slightly sour plum with a blast of sweetness so strong, it was nauseating. Prickly booze, fermented raisin and raisin cake. As it's in your mouth it sends these weird little zingers out that taste like pure MSG. A sour, lingering liquid raisin finish. I'd say it lives up to the hype. Easily the worst beer I've ever come across.

 842 characters

Photo of youradhere
3.49/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

97 Sam Adams Triple Bock-

The beast, the legend, the nectar of black holes. Completely still, smells of raisins and red man tobacco, soy, slight brandy alcohol. Tastes similar to the nose, real juicy, the still melding of bright flavors coats the mouth like motor oil from a big-block in the desert that is two years over due for a change. Taste is almost salty to a point. It is almost like a prune cordial with espresso Grenache. Decadent.

 442 characters

Photo of Megahertz
3.32/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1998 Vintage coutesy of Sam Adams representative. Served in a sample cup.

A - Deep brown to black with a red hint at the crown. No carbonation. Very viscous.

S - Hint of soy sauce quickly passes to a chocolate, maple and alcohol.

T - Strong tart cherry flavor, deep cocoa. Wine-like tannins. Highly oxidized but seems to have held up quite well relative to expectations. Very woody with lots of residual sweetness (indicating lack of infection - itself impressive.) Off-putting salty impression noted.

M - Oily slick, among the heaviest beers I've ever had. Very warming.

OI - Clearly not an improvement over the original iteration, it is still impressive how long this has survived without being a complete soy sauce bomb or a bottle of vinegar. Glad to have tried it again.

Note that I rated this relative to expectations, rather than outright.

 854 characters

Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 71 out of 100 with 962 ratings