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

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Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock
958 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: 958 |  Reviews: 654
Photo of TechMyst
4/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Container Volume: 250ml

Container type: bottle

Fresh: of course

Head: minimal

Lace: no

Aroma: sweet fruit

Mouthfeel: med

Comments: Very sweet. tried this at the recomendation of my cousin.

Mowing/Working on car- n
With Friends- n
Sipping- y
Get my buzz on- =n

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Photo of k75
1.68/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

'94 vintage.

Not very different since I last tried one in 2000.

You find yourself wanting to be impressed, but the reality is that this is vile.

tastes like it could be blood from an Orc. Frodo must have smelled this stuff on the battlefield.

As I drain pour it, large stringy chunks follow the bile down the sink...

No enjoyment at all, my friends.


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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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Photo of malcontent
1.87/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Packaging can do wonders for any product & SA's Triple Bock is no exception. The translucent blue, corked bottle is as seductive a vessel in which I've seen a beer contained. Equally dramatic is the deep, dark liquid that oozes from the mouth of the bottle into whatever glass (hopefully a cordial) you've chosen. Unfortunately, this is where the pleasure ends & the terror begins.

The Triple Bock is alarmingly sweet smelling & this warning sign is proven justified as the first sip (& all sips subsequently) provides a taste best described as a type of walnut syrup. From both a drinkablility & flavor standpoint, this "beer" simply fails on a grand scale.

Strangely, this brew is hard to hate outright, because it is fearlessly original & obviously a labor of love. Yet, it is so exclusionary to all but the very few that it cannot be given high marks for the beer community at large. While I usually feel most of the Boston Brewing Co.'s beers don't try hard enough, this one just tried too hard. R.I.P. Triple Bock.

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Photo of cbl2
4.22/5  rDev +42.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

7/1/2005 $7.99 8.45 oz 17.50% No best by date.


Poured from a small, attractive blue bottle with gold lettering, this is a perfectly black, still, viscous syrup that leaves behind yellow-black legs on the sides of the glass.


Maple syrup, sherry, vanilla, oak, tar and ripe plums are just some of the aromas that greet the nose. Very complex and inviting.


Chocolate, sherry, maple syrup, hints of charcoal dance across the tongue in a syrupy sweetness that clings to every crevasse of the mouth. As the beer warms, the flavor of cherry cordials presents itself, wrapped in dark dove chocolate. For an 8 year old beer, this has held up considerably well. Alcohol is well masked by numerous complex flavors that keep you guessing (and drinking). Once the strongest beer in the world, this is a definite winner.

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Photo of poluti
2.33/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Looks darker than chocolate syrup with no head. I noticed thick legs running down the side of my glass. It looked interesting and I was very excited to start imbibing.
It smells of chocolate, cognac, and raisins. The alcohol was evident which is what is to be expected from the appearance. It did not smell like beer, but it did smell interesting.
It tastes of rich cherry and chocolate. It was way too sour for my taste as the cherry turned to a sour raisin residue in my mouth which was tough to get off my tastbuds with copious amounts of water. I will not soon forget that taste, even though I will try.
The mouthfeel was dullingly thick and I remember trying to scrape the residue out my mouth with my fingernails.
A thimble full of it might be great for dessert. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it. I did not enjoy this one at all and I don't think I will be purchasing anything like this in the future.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
1.75/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

It has been a while since I have had this beer, but I've had it three times and remember it with some clarity. The first time I had it I bought it new and opened it right away. That sample had no carbonation at all and a very sharp unpleasant flavor of soy sauce and maybe fermented black beans with a metallic finish. The mouthfeel was syrupy and do to its sharpness and high alcohol it really lacked any drinkability. I was only able to finish the bottle by splitting it with my roommate. Very dissapointing. I had heard that aging would solve some of these issues, so I aged one bottle for 3 years and another for five. I'm sorry to say there was no real improvement. The acidity had softened a little in each bottle, but the overwhelming flavor of fermented legumes/soy was still present. Perhaps the metallic taste on the finish had dissappeared and it was a little creamier and less syrupy, especially on the 5 year old bottle. Overall, though, still pretty unpleasant. That ended my experimentation with this departed, unlamented brew.

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Photo of EPICAC
1.85/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with brown tinges at the edges. No head whatsoever. Clings to the glass when swirled.

Smell: The alcohol is very evident, a sweet syrupy smell and raisins are the only other aromas I pick out.

Taste: The flavor profile is dominated by raisins and syrup, with warming alcohol in the finish. It's like drinking raisin syrup.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy. No evident carbonation.

Drinkability: Very difficult to drink.

Overall: One dimensional, and cloyingly sweet.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.67/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

got this off ebay, probably overpaid, but whatever, i wanted to try this

no date on the bottle, i read that means this is the 1997 vintage, is this true?

A - dark, thick and syrupy, a dark purple like prune juice, no head or visible carbonation, definitely impenetrable to light

S - sweet soy sauce aroma from the bottle with a chocolate aroma like generic chocolate sauce (Bosco!), dark raisin fruity aroma all on top of a strong alcohol kick

T - sweeter than the aroma led me to believe, like a red wine, a nice chocolate/raspberry aftertaste, with the same strong alcohol taste, the maple is faint, very faint, if at all, an ok flavor, a bit to soy sauce-y

M - as expected, very thick and viscous, however the ABV and other flavors lead to a very sharp taste which may turn many off, including me, a bit too sharp for me

D - low, the ABV, sharpness dont balance out with the sweetness potential of this beer, if the ABV dropped to about 11% or 12% it would be significantly better

was worth the ebay purchase, once

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Photo of jrb1001
2.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The beer comes in a blue tintes bottle with a cork. The texture is very thick and pours like a liquidy sludge, or like an oil. It is very dark and thick with a thin film on top. The taste is extremely sweet, which one can taste the maple very well. It is a good sipping beer, but I don't think I would buy it again. I was definitly worth trying, it is quite unique.

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Photo of cheers2beers
1.94/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: This beer pours thick black motor oil with absolutely no head whatsoever. Extreme tan and tar-like legs. Seems like this beer will end up staining my clear snifter.

Smell: The aromas are God alwful! But good in the sence that it smells like a cooking sauce such as mesquite barbque sauce and worcestershire steak sauce. Chocolate, over abundant vanilla, and maple syrup. Also cleansing alcohol fumes are noted.

Taste: Oh my God, total wreck! The flavors are red wine vinegar, a blend of every cooking sauce and spice all rolled into one. With alcohol fumes that are to the roof. On a plus note the aftermath settles to a mercifull dark and bitter chocolate finish with hints of maple vanilla and mint that linger.

Mouthfeel: Can you say fat? This monster is thick and chewy and oh so full. I forget that im drinking a "beer".

Drinkability: Low drinkability to say the least. As it warmed I must admit that I had a tough time finishing it. If anything I procured quite a nice buzz. Its ok to experience this once but never again.


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Photo of shbobdb
1.91/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Like many BA's, homebrewing is a hobby of mine, so if you are interested in re-creating this beer, here is a simple recipe I divined whilst drinking it, no brewing required!

2 Parts Fleishmann's Vodka
1 Part Soy Sauce (Kikkoman's will work fine)
1 Part Blackstrap Molassas
1 Part seltzer water. Perhaps tonic water, for bitterness. Not 100% sure on this one.

Jet black, no head to speak of, a boozy nose dominated by, well, basically what I described. Sam Adam's normally kicks up a killer brew, but this was not it. It was the 1995 vintage, so perhaps it was past its prime??

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Photo of bigreduw64
1.79/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into a snifter, have heard good things and have been looking forward to this one.

First smell I get soy sauce, a very strong aroma, but all I get is soy sauce.

When I tasted this one, honestly, it made me gag. I had heard that it would taste like a sherry so I was hoping that it would be really sweet. It was sweet, but I got a taste of soy sauce that was just to overpowering. I could not drink this one at all. This may not be a bad beer, but in my opinion I did not like it at all. I definitely would never buy this one again.

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Photo of Mitchel
1.31/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I am not sure when this was bottled as there is no date on the bottle.

It pours an extremely murky (can not see anything through it) brownish black. There is no head what so ever. There is also no carbonation to be seen. It smells like soy sauce and molasses. There is perhaps a little bit of an A-1 steak sauce smell to it.

Hmmm…it tastes like all of the above. The mouthfeel is pretty thick, but again, with no carbonation. It tastes mostly like soy sauce. Very thick and very overwhelming. It sticks to the palate and won’t let go. I also found myself wiping my lips after I was done with it. It almost tastes like a spoiled glass of port (kinda’ vinegary).

Honestly, this is possibly the worst beer that I have ever had. Something went wrong with this. I drank the whole bottle thinking that eventually I would get it (and also knowing that I spent $13 on it). I was thinking that perhaps I was missing the big picture. But alas, nothing. I found that it was still appalling from first sip to last. Don’t try this beer, unless someone else is buying and even then, just try a sip of theirs. I am sad to report that this is worse than Sam Adams' 'CranberryLambic'. Be afraid, very afraid!

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Photo of DogFood11
2.08/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours very dark, no head, no lacing, no carbonation to speak of. Really weak appearance, boring. Leaves me with the feeling of "am I really going to dive into this bitch"...of course I am.

Some licorice notes, dark fruits, chocolate, alot going on in the nose for sure. Tastes of some Fig, prunes, raisins, massive sweetnes is over the top. Thick and syrupy to the tenth degree, sticks to your teeth and never gives up in the aftertaste. Kinda like cough syrup in alot of ways. Alcohol is harsh, sizzling, and unforgiving.

wow, while I enjoy creativity and breaking of molds, this offering needs some work. I would expect some of these qualities listed above in a beer of this strength, but it just doesn't hit anything that makes it interesting. Rather hard to put down. I would never pour out a beer that wasn't spoiled, I'm still batting 100%, this is not spoiled, just bad.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a black color, no head, no carbonation, no lacing.

S - Scents of dried fruits, soy sauce, and slight acohol.

T - The taste is not that bad for a brew 9 years old, my first one of that age. Taste is very sweet and kinda bitter, a touch of caramel. Also a warm feeling in the throat going down.

M - Medium body.

D - Drinkable. Would be hard to drink two of these, but come on people this shit is 9 years old. I take it for what it's worth. I found no clumps as others. It's a conversational piece in my book, I'm glad I had a chance to try one. What I really would have liked, is to have one of these one or two years after it was produce at least.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
1.12/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Got this as a trade from Hero27 (awsome trader, thanks) Pours pitch black, no carbonation whatsoever. Smells like some old wine and fruit that's been sitting in the fruit bowl for a few weeks in the sun. Taste, oh gawd, like old rotted fruit, soy sauce and vegetable oil. Oily mouthfeel. Overall drinkaility? Forget it. I've been warned that this stuff is not for the faint at heart but I wanted to try it out cause of it's legendary status, and honestly I'm glad I did. But I still can't drink it. The rest is going to be a maranade.

Edit: Great marinade!! Review is still the same though

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

(Served in a snifter)
age 1997

A- This beer pours an inky, motor oil black body with a lump of something plopping out at the end. The bottle has a thick sludge around the inside where the beer was. There is no sign of head at all and no carbonation at all. This beer has very long legs when swirled with some small particles sticking to the glass.

S- The smell of dark sweet malt has a very strong port wine aroma that almost burns the nose. There are also some earthy red wine smells with a faint coffee roast note to it.

T- This is a thick dark heavy liquid with notes of black roasted malt with a slight coffee flavor and some maple syrup flavor with the alcohol finish. The finish has notes of bourbon with some chalky flavor in the finish. There is a faint soy sauce note that hangs on the throat after the sip. With the harsh alcohol there is a tobacco juice flavor that is a bit rough. As it warms the alcohol finish takes on a slight flavor of white vinegar.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slipperiness and a good bit of harsh alcohol warmth in the finish.

D- This beer is great and horrible in the same sip. It has great qualities that are mixed with wickedly harsh flavors to make a very confused beer. I’m not sure if this is from to much age or too little age or just neglect. I remember trying this about 10 years ago when it first came out and I couldn’t finish the glass. Now it has lots more BIG flavors but it is still too harsh to drink. This is the only beer I couldn’t finish…yet. Maybe in 10 years.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.2/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Version '97

I've had this one quietly cellaring for a few years and thought I'd bring it out for no particular reason... still have some '95's locked up...

Pours a deep, deep black into a brandy snifter... zero head... wasn't expecting any. Opaque. Huge legs... brown legs... better legs than some of the best red wines I've tried. Quite nice.

Aroma is very woody Some say soy sauce... I don't get that. A nice sweetness... somewhat harsh, but enjoyable. Chocolatey and smokey. Huge nose. Sour at times... Molasses and balsamic.

Mouthfeel is silky with an alcohol burn... but slight.

Big, big raisin and fig flavors/// even fresh grapes.
Very sweet and nice.

Ever reduce a balsamic vinegar a touch too far?!? This is what it tastes like... not entirely offensive, but not exactly what you wanted. Still pretty good.

This is a once a year kind of beer...

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Photo of mcallister
3.34/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well I have to say I'm a wine lover at heart and drink a lot of wine, good wine. This is very reminiscent of a fortified wine.

It pours a very opaque brown with no carbonation and no head. Smells of toffee, choclate, caramel, creme brulee, and slight oak.

It's actually very smooth and easy to drink in my opinion. Kind of like an old madiera. Very choclatey, with pure vanilla extract and toffee. Doesn't show it's alcohol in my opinion. I'd much prefer a fortified wine but this is a fun little bottle to try.

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Photo of murrayswine
3.73/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was shared with me by Battlekow who recieved it from HiGravity in UTBIF.
This is the hardest rating I have ever done.
It poured out of a nanoscopic bottle that retailers for the price of a tank of gas. Alright maybe a little lower, but pricey none the less.
The pour is like thick armanian brandy. HOLY GOD THE NOSE! This is, like others stated, soy sauce, chocolate, and maple syrup, bitter maple syrup at that. The smell is friggin huge. I dont know what this was like 11 years ago, but jesup cripes.
The taste is strong. Too strong at first. well no, just too strong actually. Grapes, prunes, plums, teriyaki, hell, and maple are the prominent smells. Age made this beer really mean.
Try it for the experience, but not the drinkability at 17.5%. Well my day is shot, time for a nap

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Photo of MrSeth
2.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I think everyone would agree that this ale is one tough nut to crack, but I feel like I need to critique it nonetheless.

Appearance: Strange consistency, like motor oil and soy sauce. Looks like it has staining power.

Smells: Reaks like Kikkoman Soy sauce, I mean across the table wafts! Underneath that there is dead-ripe plums and black cherries.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sweet malt coating the mouth, warms with alcohol as it finishes just a bit sticky. A wide range of flavors come to mind. Concord grapes, candied tamarind, baked apples.. they just keep rolling.. dates and figs come to mind as well. There is no way to avoid being apprehensive about this brew, it looks like very different from most heavy bocks/ales. It's got a warming feel as it crosses the tongue. But given a chance it is worth trying (at least once).

Drinkability: Very low. I love savoring tawney ports, old ales and barley wines in a snifter but this is still an ale that is far too rich for me to enjoy.

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Photo of nlmartin
2.32/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

This review is a culmanation of two seperate tastings. The first was well chilled and the second was room temperature. The beer was served in small amounts in a wide mouth wine goblet. This beer is the 1997 version.

Appearance: The beer poured a dark brown with ruby opaqueness. There was no head present on the beer. There was no carbonation in the beer. The beer left no lacing; however, there is a slight oily sheen noted on the glass.

Smell: The beer had a fruity rum soaked raison, dates and figs smell. The alcohol was very much present as an odd combination of rum and merlot. There was a bit of soy sauce in the smell. This is definately a very complex smelling beer.

Taste: Frankly all I was hit with was sugary sweetness and booze with lots and lots of Soy Sauce. The sweetness was to much warm and was still to much cold. Dam down the drain the beer went.

Mouthfeel: The beer was thick and oily. I was buried in sweet boozey soy sauce.

Drinkability: This beer was just simply undrinkable warm or cold. I still have another bottle in the closet and will try in a few years.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 8.4 ounce bottle brewed in Ceres, CA...interesting. I picked this one up BevMo in Chino Hills today for $4 something a bottle. The beer pours very thick. It looks like used motor oil. Dark chocolate syrup brown. No head and no carbonation are observed. When looking at it like wine, it has nice legs. Swirling brings no head. Lots of sediment in chunks the size of sesame seeds.

Smell: Very fragrant. Even without putting my nose near the glass I can smell rich chocolate and some vinous notes. As I pull the sniffer closer I smell some soy sauce and lots of chocolate syrup in the nose. It smells terribly sweet and has a mild toasted ending to the scent. As the smell lingers it has a dried, over-ripe fruit scent of plums, dates, and figs. I like the aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Very sweet and syrupy. Grape molasses, chocolate, whole grain bread, port, cherry, plum, dates, and a bunch of other flavor overwhelm and coat my mouth. Wow. This is an intense beer. Amid the strong sweetness and chocolate there is a distinct fruitiness that even contributes to the texture..or perhaps the texture adds to the flavor. I have mixed feelings about this beer. It is cloying, but once the sweetness backs off, the flavors are complex and interesting for the last two-thirds. Lots of grape, toasted sugar, and chocolate. To their credit, I don't taste any alcohol in the beer. That is a great accomplishment at 17% ABV.

Drinkability: This is such an intense and syrupy beer, there's no way that the drinkability could be high. You can't drink more than one of these and the flavors are just too intense at points. I would imagine that reducing this beer with some spices would make a great sauce for a filet mignon. I say this because this beer is a lot like a port wine. I love port, and I liked this beer, but the gritty grape flavor just isn't great with the chocolate flavors. Just my opinion though.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I reviewed this beer a few years ago. I didn't like it at all. I came to the conclusion that I had either gotten a bad bottle, my palette was not developed enough, or it just plain sucked.

Two years later I realize my palette just was not ready. I know this because this review is from the same bottle, which is a "97." Served in a brandy snifter.

Appearance is dark brown and leaves an oily film on the glass when swirled.

I still detect a hint of soy sauce in the smell, but beyond that there is a dried cherry aroma. It's reminiscent of brandied cherries.

The taste is quite complex. Very port like. Upfront taste of cherries aged in brandy. Dried fruit, mostly raisons. I'm suprised how much this resembles a port. The finish is rich earthy coffee and cocoa. A slight hint of warming alcohol when you exhale.

Mouthfeel is again reminiscent of a port. Nothing like a beer, which is as it should be.

Drinkability I put at 3 only due to the richness of flavor and high abv. I can not see consuming more than 2 small servings of this.

An excellent after diner drink. I can see drinking this instead of a port or cognac. I'm glad I saved this one and tried it again.

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Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 2.96 out of 5 with 958 ratings