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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 paulthebeerguru
2.84/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

1997 Vintage given to me by Todd after a rough tasting session. Thanks for the opportunity.

A: pours an impenetrable thick blackish brown. No head whatsoever.

S: I can smell the glass from over two feet away. Tons of maple syrup, some wonderful oak barrel notes as well. Light hints of soy sauce. strong alcohol still hits hard. Wow, what a nose.

T: big time flavors of burnt oak, maple syrup, light soy(faint) and a good amount of chocolate from the malts. decent amount of sourness, like really old....maple syrup. ding ding ding.

M: ridiculously thick, its like a syrup. big burn in the swallowing. getting through this is rough. full bodied, but rather unappealing honestly.

D: wish I had like 10 people to share this bottle with. Would have loved to have tried it fresh. Sorry Todd, but this was brutal. 12 years might have been too long.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.64/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 8/3/2007 (Bottle-1997 I think):

Pours a black reddish color, absolutely no head, thick like motor oil as it covers the sides. Very strong alcoholy aroma. Woody, syrupy, soy-sauce, dark fruit. Alcohol aroma. Thick viscous sweet taste, liquid smoky, dark fruit, cough syrup. Lots of flavors here. Strong flavor, sickly sweet. Interesting. Clean aftertaste.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.11/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

1997 release, poured from an 8.45oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep very dark brown color, with no head or lace, which is expected with beer of this age.

S: The aroma is of raisins, alcohol and caramelized malts.

T: The taste is very sweet up front with flavors of raisins, dark chocolate and caramel. There's very strong alcohol bite as you would expect from anything with 17.50% ABV. Any hops that would have been there died out a long time ago and this beer is all maltiness, fruit and alcohol. Each sip is like I'm taking a shot that tastes like fruity motor oil. The after-taste is very sweet.

M: Very viscous, almost oily and a little crisp, medium-to-heavy body, very little carbonation, finish is very sticky.

D: Not very tasty, this is the type of beer that can't be judged by your typical criteria when you're assessing its drinkability, so even as the type of slow-sipping beer that it was made to be, I really didn't find it that enjoyable at all.

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Photo of jgap
3.39/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

My wife bought this and a judgement day for me for our 6 mo anniv (i wanted to try it but didn't want to spend money on a 'bad' beer). I believe it's a 97. Pours into a stone levitation glass with no carbonation at all (I didn't know what glass to use). Looks like a port wine and smells a lot like it too but with prunes, more noticeable alcohol, and a slight hops. Taste is perplexing. It took several for me to really take it all in. It's very fruity up front. Lots of old prunes that turn to a very sticky chocolate sweetness. Very sticky- I see it on the glass. There is a fading sense of alcohol hidden incredibly well throughout this beer. Even in the aftertaste it is masked by a bitter dark chocolate taste. This is a sipper for sure. I wouldn't be excited to have it again but this is a very impressive beer to me. The flavors blend extremely well and are well balanced throughout, quite impressive for 17.5%.

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Photo of katan
2.86/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The 7oz bottle that we know so well -what I didn't know was that it was blue? Wth? Guess that is a testament to this beers thickness.

A - Like I said, this beer is very dark. Black and thick looking. Even had a few chunks of something that I'm sure will be a joy to consume.

S - Very edgy smell - chocolate and malty. Almost what I would have smelled making chocolate cookies. The roasted notes are so familiar with what I know from a good RIS or double stout.

T - Wow that baby is sweeet. Sugar sugar sugar. I can see why this may be a drain pour for some. But after trying dark lord 08, I think I'll survive. It turns ugly real fast mid-stream, where the bitterness plus maple syrup takes over. Not sure I like it. Has some be some vanilla flavors as well. Finishes with an extremely edgy cloying sweetness - like I could have put this straight on my pancakes.

M - Thick - big time. Very syrupy. This baby is made of sugar. No carbonation to be noted. Leaves a heck of a cloying sweet film on the palette.

D - Not drinkable. Simple conclusion. I would have one of these and run for the hills. Not to say I don't mind it, but the taste is so in your face that you would reach for something else with pleasure asap.

No matter the conclusion - this beer is unique. Love it or hate it, but I find this beer to worth the time to try.

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Photo of ckeegan04
2.42/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A - Thick, dark brown. Verging on black. Pours very thick and leaves a syrup like coat on the glass when swirled. Very still with no head and only a few carbonation bubbles.

S - Incredibly strong aroma from the instant you pull the cork out. People arent joking about the soy sauce aroma. Some burnt sugar and alot of booze as well. Smells alot like the marinade I make for stir-fry, just soy sauce and brown sugar. Actually a rather interesting smell and not near as unpleasant as I was expecting.

T - Wow, what the heck is this? Very boozy with some dried fruits and still teh strong burnt sugar taste. Hints of maple syrup as well. I tried to give this one a fair crack, but the taste is just not good. It is very unique though so I will give it a small bump for that.

M/D - Very oily, coats the mouth. Even if you liked the taste I am not sure the drinkability would be that good.

Maybe it is past its prime, hell, it is 10 years old. Or maybe it has always been horrible. Whatever it is, it sure isnt worth the price now.

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Photo of DannyS
3.74/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a brandy snifter, poured from a bottle.

A - Opaque black, like motor oil or my grandmother's coffee. Lots of sludge at the bottom; made me scared as to just what the hell I had gotten myself into. Well, that and the 17% alcohol content.

S - Very nutty, very tannic. No hops or yeast. More like a port wine or liqueur than a beer.

T - Alcohol, Dark maple, 'teriyaki' as another reviewer put it. It's a sweet, almost raisin-esque flavor. Very complex; tempting me to seek out a bottle of Utopias some time.

M - Like syrup, this one pours. Heavy on the tounge, but goes down smooth, like bourbon. If there is carbonation, it's almost unnoticeable.

D - I first absentmindedly poured half this thing into a pint glass and kicked myself for it. For the love of god, don't be dumb like me and pour the whole thing for yourself. Pour a little bit like you would for good scotch or brandy. Drink this like a regular beer, and it will knock you on your ass. For the record, when I realized my stupidity, I re-poured a tasting sample into a snifter. DERP.

Overall: Quite the experience. Will have to buy a couple more bottles to show to my friends; A good one to split with a couple friends and sit by the fireplace, drinking it from snifters and acting snobby.

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Photo of PatronWizard
2.56/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Scored this rite of passage on ebay. Wasn't even really trying, just kind of won it anyway, as if I was destined to try it. Shared with BA friends Mauerhan, OlieIPA, and Aimstatus. 1997 version.

At the pour it looks old and dirty. Has legs like a fine wine.

Smells old and dirty with lots o'booze.

Taste is exceedingly complex. Maple. Alcohol. Teriyaki? Or soy sauce. Induces fear.

This bottle is old as fuck. Crazy experience. Tons of sludge in the bottle. Strong as hell. I think at one time the flavor would have been great. There is no doubt that this is past its prime, and with so many bottles still in circulation. I'm no expert, but I think maybe 5 years cellaring would be about it. 10+ years and this is basically shit. Too bad.

Overall: over the hill

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Photo of shakeheap
3.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a very complex beer. Not for amateurs or rookies. One has to go into this one expecting something that is different from any beer experience they've had before.

That said... open the bottle and there really is a distinct Kikkoman aroma that initally wafts by. Pour it slowly into the snifter and see the thickness. Swirl it and see it stick to the sides of the glass.

Stick the nose in there and get a good whiff. The initial soy sauce scent is not as prominent... there are other notes. The aforementioned chocolate and cherries. The maple. Actually one need not stick the nose in. Just sit near it and the smell will find your nose. It is not unpleasant.

This is the thickest beer I've ever seen. Contrary to some reviews it is not motor oil thick but there's some viscosity there. Man it is dark and, as mentioned in other reviews, has no head. Completely devoid of carbonation. But carbonation would be really strange in this beer.

The taste is what matters right? As I said... very complex. Sweet with the slightest alcohol bite. The aftertaste leaves more alcohol and a bit of cherry. Malty almost to a fault.

It's not wonderful at first but subsequent sips leave one feeling happy they got a chance to step up to this challenge.

I can't recommend it because it is not what I'd call a pleasant experience. I'm glad I got a shot but I can see where other beer lovers would absolutely hate this beer. I wouldn't fault them for it. Nor would I fault those who completely love it (as difficult as that seems).

Wow. You only go around once in life.

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Photo of SpecialK088
3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a snifter

This is the blackest most oily looking beer you have ever seen no head no nothing just an oily film around the glass. A near red hue to it as well beer does look good.

As meantioned several times before this smells like soy sauce off the cork for sure but don't stick your nose in the glass and the smell is chocolate and cherries for sure. Also a sweet more malty smell as well

This is where this one is totally lost on me the mouth is extremly oily and it tastes more than anything like a bourbon or coniac than a beer of any kind, overwhelmed by alcohol with notes of malt.

I would not ever drink this beer again i might finish this glass but that would be it.

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Photo of naterock
3.9/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Cobalt Blue Bottle, Beer sticks to the bottle. DArkest black you have ever seen in a beer. no head or carbonation. A thick oily film is left on the glass when swilled.

Smell is overwhelming At first I smelled soy sauce, Then poured it into a snifter and immediately smell chocolate and cherries, with some maple in the background. A rich Oak Barrel body gives it a deep smell

Taste, Wow where to begin. Chocolate Malt is so prominent with a thick syrupy body. Cherries and a bit of alcohol in the finish but does not burn. I can taste some of the bourbon barrel aging it has undergone. So flavorful and rich.

Mouth is incredibly oily and thick, just about the heaviest bodied beer I've ever even heard of. This is a slow drinker definitely but I will try to enjoy as much as possible before I can't bring the glass to my mouth anymore. Good stuff, but damn is it Extreme.

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Photo of meday
3.91/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was an exciting experience for me to taste. I did not know what to expect. I don't know what vintage this was.

Poured into two port glasses. I avoided poured all the crazy stuff that had settle on the bottle's bottom.

Black body with no head or feel of carbonation. It had enough legs to single-handedly take on the rockettes

The flavor was very complex, like that of a good port. Anise, hickory, with a prune finish. It also had the burned sugar taste of creme brule.

Due to the lack of carbonation, the complexity of the flavor had to give volume to the mouth, which it still had. And considering the also 18% ABV, it was wonderful and full.

My wife and I had no problem drinking that small bottle, but I wouldn't want to tackle it alone.

Sam Adam Tripel Bock was something that is truly a wonderful experience. And for a beer under $5 for the small bottle, it was definitely worth it

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Photo of popery
2.15/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I don't particularly like this beer, but I'm not going to slam it. It is not nearly as bad as some strong older beers that I've had. You can taste the different components, and they have some good qualities. Whether the resulting combination has diminished from age, I have no idea, not having tried the beer earlier than now, but I just don't really like it at this time. It's very strong, utterly flat and viscous as hell. These qualities make it hard for me to enjoy because they seem to accentuate the past vintage faults, or at least what I imagine those faults to be. This beer does seem to be an interesting point in the history of craft beer.

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3.38/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an 8.45oz. bottle into brandy snifter.

A: The bottle is an attractive cobalt blue with gold labeling. Pours a deep, dark, opaque mahogany with a viscosity like none other I've seen. There is no head, and the beer clings to the glass when swirled, leaving legs reminiscent of a cognac.

S: VERY smoky and earthy up front. Burnt sugar and molasses hide behind the dominant earthiness.

T: After reading some reviews of this brew prior to my first taste, I was expecting the worst. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and complexity. The earthiness and smoke aromas definitely come through on the palate. Chocolate, brown sugar and dried plums were also apparent. This is like no other beer I've ever had.

M: The consistancy is thick and syrupy, but not in an unpleasant way.

D: Definitely not a thirst quencher, but I'd enjoy another glass in front of a warm fire.

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Photo of Mauerhan
2.55/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

thank you to patronwizard for letting me partake on this rite of passage with him.

ok first off after hearing so many terrible things about this beer i was a little worried. well looks like they were true. yikes

pour is viscus and angry. with 0 carbonation, not that i expected it after being 11 years old. this thing is fucking thick. to the point that im pretty sure it stained my glass.

smells like i am about to eat a sweet onion chicken terryaki from subway...wait no i enjoy that sandwich.

taste is ok. very sweet. maple, sugar, booze, not as bad as i was thinking. by far the best thing about this beer.

mouth and drinkablity go hand in hand with me. they are both angry. and fill me with fear. please help me.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.36/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: A below average looking beer with no head and no apparent carbonation, but the heavy lacing brings it up a notch.

S: Intense boozy aroma with dark fruits and figs.

T: Grapes/figs, soy sauce, green apples, and maple qualities along with a heavy alcohol presence. Not sure what to think...its a little too sweet, but it definitely hits you in the mouth...either awesome or bad...depending on the way you look at it.

M: Syrup...plain and simple. No carbonation.

D: This beer is so crazy that its too hard to drink.

Overall: Probably the most confusing beer that has ever touched my palate. Worth a try, but be aware of the robust flavors this beers has. Cheers!

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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 breyton490
1.6/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A: Nice deep black

S: Sweet, syrupy

T: Soy Sauce - horrible. Very sweet, no bitterness. Dark candy fruits, but the overwhelming similarity to soy sauce made this one impossible to finish.

D: Couldn't finish this one. It was tough dumping the beer considering its cost.

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Photo of rossthefireman
1.34/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

After reading the reviews Im glad Im not the only one who thinks this beer is undrinkable. This is only one of two beers in my life I have poured down a drain.
For some reason a batch of the 1997 is appearing at BevMo's all over the west coast, and I am noticing similar reviews. Has BevMo been storing this and are the corks going bad? This might be why the beer is undrinkable. Or is it just a bad beer that didnt age well?
Either way, I didnt like it. I felt like I was drinking fermented maple syrup with some soy sauce mixed in. The smell was like burnt brown sugar. Overall an unpleasant experience.
For the record, I drink fine ports, congnacs, brandies, bourbons etc. and this beer didnt compare to that either as some have claimed.

* I talked to the guy at the local Bevmo, he stated that he had no idea where this beer was stored or came from but that all of the sudden they showed up in their warehouse and they put them on the shelves. After several complaints they pulled them. Beware of these showing up at stores, they are probably past their prime!

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: 8.75oz beautiful cobalt blue bottle with fancy gold lettering, corked.

Appearance: Pitch black beer with brown edges...utterly opaque...there's NO head or carbonation whatsoever...it's almost viscous in the way it pours, and leaves nice brown mocha legs when swirled

Smell: There's a light touch of soy at first, but with swirling over about 5 minutes, STRONG notes of Baker's chocolate and raw brownie batter emerge, with touches of molasses and alcohol in the background.

Taste: Hard to describe...it's got notes reminiscent of an ultra-sweet brandy, with bits of fruit and light soy and smoke flavors...sadly lacking are the intense cocoa flavors the aromas suggest, though there is a bit of cocoa powder and earthy mushroom on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and viscious

Drinkability: As my dad (who I shared this with) said, "low and slow"

Conclusion: It was definitely worth it to try this as a piece of beer history, but it's obvious that this is a very acquired/odd taste.

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Photo of redneckchugger
1.55/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

it looks nice sitting in my brandy snifter i will have to admit, black as night, brown lacing, but its all downhill after that. soy saucey taste and smell, thick beyond belief, i'll finish it, but not with ease. I have to give this beer its props for starting the extreme movement in cracft beer, but this stuff is godawful.

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Photo of paytoplay
2.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Maybe if i let the sediment settle this would of been better? It was seriously half the bottle. i was concerned with my heath about drinking possibly decaying carbon based muck. 07 bottle purchased from bevmo about 2 weeks ago. could of maybe been good if the rotting garbage aroma wasn't in the background.

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Photo of Eris48
2.12/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

Opened up one of the original 1994's tonight after 14 years in the cellar. Quite an unexpected experience.

Appearance - Black as the ace of spades. No head whatsoever.

Smell - Molasses and brine. I did not notice the strong alcohol others have noticed.

Taste - The dominant flavor is soy sauce, with a sweet note thrown in. Salty, fermented, complex. Doesn't resemble any bock style I've ever had ... perhaps closer to an imperial stout, but not really.

Mouthfeel - Viscous, silky, mouth-coating. Like a fine scotch.

Drinkability - An interesting experience, but basically undrinkable. Perhaps this would be better as a condiment?

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Photo of kenkochiss
1.03/5  rDev -65.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I poured a Sam Adams Triple bock down the drain last night. Bought it from a store in Lexington, MA. I was told it was a 2007. Got it to my in-laws and popped it...and a big time...yuck!!! Smelled as bad as a spoiled beer of that acholhol content with a maple syrup base can. The inside of the bottle was coated with a film that took 3-4 washings to remove. That's a BAD beer.

I guess I never thought to read the reviews, since I wasn't going to write one on this bottle of shit. It never made it into my mouth. Thanks to <Overlord> for heading me toward the histerical reviews.

I actually had a bottle in 1995 (1994 vintage). At that time i was a regular session beer drinker and didn't like it, but it was at least drinkable. After reading all of the reviews, I'm guess it doesn't age as SA intended. I think they needed a corking lessen in the 90's. I still have a 1994 in my cellar, but i didn't store it with the bottle up, since I was told way back then to store it like a bottle of wine. I'll prob. never open it. Wanna buy it?

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

I actually found a bottle of this on the shelf at BevMo this week (1/2/09). I'm guessing its a 1997 vintage as it is unmarked. Either that or Sam Adams has fired this one up again. I really hope so as I doubt BevMo cellared this for the last 12 years.

Pours a dark, opaque, brown, like motor oil after 3,000 miles. No head. Oily lacing. Salty, soy sauce aroma with heavy ethyl and port notes. Tastes more like a cognac or a port as well. Cherry and chocolate dominate, but the high alcohol (which is totally unmasked) makes this taste like cough syrup. the lack of carbonation only heightens this belief. Suddenly, the taste goes sour with a soy sauce bite. This was onyl flippes backed with a sickening sweet burn of an aftertaste. Cloying is not a strong enough word, maybe saccharine? Finally, you can taste the wood it was barrelled in, but, as the rest of the beer, its unpleasant. Yuck

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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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