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

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Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock
954 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: 954 |  Reviews: 651
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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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.45/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I am not sure which release this was. Cork was decayed when I opened it had to be very careful not to drop the rest into the bottle. Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Pours a deep deep chestnut almost black because of the sediments in the bottom of the bottle equivalent to soy sauce. Also almost no carbonation that settles in a blink. This to me smells like maple syrup with hints of chocolate with a very very malty smell. Taste is now just ridiculous with alcohol almost like I took a sip of whiskey, tasted maple syrup and very dark aged chocolate. Has an aftertaste of whiskey as it burns in the chest. Most unique lacing I've seen yet with all the sediment chunkies settles around the glass. Not to sound like a chump but this was the first time I had to chase a beer with water. A very unique brew if you can find it try it.

P.S. thanks to my new friend fnsweet for letting me try this one.

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Photo of GWaters
4.27/5  rDev +44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 8.45 fl. oz. cobalt blue bottle with gold lettering

I had this beer this past New Years.

The bottle is corked rather than capped. I have heard stories about decayed corks, but I have not had this experience yet - luckily. Sam Adams recommends that you store these bottles upright. The cork is not meant to be soaked, like a wine cork. It's a much softer grade.

Four tastings so far # 1 = 02/23/1998, # 2 = 4/22/2003 # 3 = 08/17/2008, #4 01/01/2009, #5 03/07/2009

My latest tasting was by far the best. Either this beer ages really well, or it was just coincidence that each tasting has been better than the prior.

SATB is not for the faint of heart or for those folks that prefer Bud Light to Guinness. The Triple Bock is an experience and not just a drink. Make sure to take the time and prepare the setting to enjoy.

Appearance: A deep black syrup. Sticks to the sides of the bottle. Of the 4 times I have tried this beer, 3 of those times the beer actually needed to be shaken to reactivate the entire contents.

Pour: Thick viscous liquid. This is not a carbonated beverage. Pours like motor oil.

Smell: Very strong smell of molasses and malt. Strong hint of baking cocoa. The smell will open your eyes. Strong alcohol scent. Either you love it or hate it.

Taste: Complex! This is not a simple beverage. At first it feels and tastes like a prune wine gone wrong, but then it suddenly explodes with flavors of molasses and brandy. As you let it age in your mouth other flavors jump out, such as maple syrup, oak. It attacks different parts of your sense and mouth as you continue to taste and experience. It doesn't just slip away and hide.

Notes: I have tasted this beer beverage 4 times. Each time I learned something new about this "beer".

1) This beer MUST age before you drink it. My first bottle was pretty fresh, and turned out to be bitter and unpleasant. The last bottle was excellent!

2) Examine the bottle for sediment or clinging. The second bottle I had lost a lot of the flavor because there was sediment on the side of the bottle. The beverage had actually separated in the bottle.

3) You most likely will not want to drink it all at one time. This is a very heavy and powerful beverage. Pour small quantities. Beware the cork may have deteriorated over time. You may need to reseal with a different cork.

Update - 03/07/2009

I just opened another bottle, and had a couple of glasses? Can I hear a wow!!??!!

This drink just continues to get better!! I poured about 2" into a Unibroue chalice.

The flavor and consistency have gotten even better. This brew still continues to surprise me. Another couple of months added to the age, and I can take even a bit more maturity. The flavor notes have grown even a bit more eccentuated.

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Photo of JWD
1.46/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pick up 2 bottle at bevmo in roseville, i just had to try it!!!

A- it looked ok, black with no head and no carbonation, could be ok?? Well the pour was a bit chunky and sludgy, marble sized chunks glugged out, the bottle was completly coated on the inside with buildup.

S- WOW this is sweet maple syrup and soy, i am getting nervous at this point.

t- 3 sips and a drain pour this is the sweetest tasting thing i have ever had, not good!!

m- Thick, chunky and just gross...

D- Drain pour, i will share with some old school guys that actually enjoyed this stuff at on point in the late 90s.

Do not buy this out of pure i have to as you will be disapointed..

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

After sitting on this beer for weeks thinking that it would be a great new years treat, I am horribly disappointed.

The bottle a cobalt blue was corked and wrapped, making for a nifty looking package. It is all downhill from there.

The aroma was pure soy sauce. The taste was a sweet soy sauce, and rancid.

I think I might try it as a sushi sauce. not the kind from an authentic restaurant but from the local grocery store deli. As apposed to a drain pour, I'm going to use it as a prank on friends to watch them squirm.

Jim Koch, you need to look at what happened to allow this product to bare your company logo, and fix it fast.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
1.57/5  rDev -47%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

So I received this interesting bottle as a want extra from beertruth.

I've been pushing off this horror show of a beer for a while now and finally got the nerve to "crack" it open, 1997 vintage. As I was pulling out the cork, it broke in half, leaving most of it stuck in the bottle. Tried to get the rest of it out with a cork screw, only it disintegrated the center of the cork and left it still stuck to the bottle (the cork obviously rotted or something, not sure what). Eventually pried it out with another tool, although half of it fell inside the beer, I picked out the pieces when I poured it in my glass. Onto the review...

Pours a dark brown/black color, no carbonation or lacing of any kind.

Smell is, what I expected from hearing everyone else, a mix of sweet soy sauce and maple syrup.

Taste is a weird concoction of thick soy sauce and maple syrup, very sweet aftertaste that kind of coats the mouth in a sickening fashion, later onto it moves into a salty taste, not pleasant at all.

Well, I'm glad I got to try it and I feel braver for it, but as most people have pointed out, be very cautious and open-minded. I might see how others could enjoy this beer, I just don't happen to be one of them.

Thanks to beertruth for giving me the chance to try this.

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

Tell the Sam Adams owner to start buying this stuff back. Bought a bottle at a mix a six shop in PA. Poured dark black, like tar. Smelled terrible, soy sauce like. Rancid taste, undrinkable. Definitely a drain pour. It porbably tasted pretty good when it was first made, but if you see this, don't buy it unless you DEFINITELY know its a fresh one!!!

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Photo of CrellMoset
2.58/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle courtesy of proteus93 - thanks! Split w/ dkachur, w/ my portion poured into a 4 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours ... black. Absolutely dead motor oil black. An intentionally crazy vigorous pour yields nothing. I split this one two-way - I got the first half, not the half that came with a crapton of sludge. Still and thick as night. I am frightened.

Aroma: Definite soy sauce, and incredibly pungent concentrated chocolate syrup, vinegar notes are pretty strong too. Rice vinegar, perhaps. Smoke - like a well done steak - as well. Surprisingly, not a lot of alcohol - hidden under all that chocolate soy sauce? Salty, soy-sauce soaked, chocolate-covered, smoked raisins.

Taste: Jesus. It's pretty much the same as the nose, but with tons of alcohol prickle in the finish, and different in so far as tasting something like this is always less pleasant than smelling something like this. Strong raisin and thick, sweet, concentrated chocolate syrup, cognac, salt and soy sauce. Faint hints of milky something or another, sweet and salty particularly around the edges. This one's tough.

Mouthfeel: This might have had carbonation in it at one point. But, it doesn't now. At all. This one's dead as night, though probably not as thick as it could be given that it's thinned out a little by the nearing-20%-abv. Like paint thinner. But, thicker. Paint thicker?

Drinkability: Well god damn. It's not as bad as some people make it out to be - that is to say, it's not undrinkable. However, it's also not good, at all.

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Photo of Melchizedek
3.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Not sure about the bottling - I assume it's the '97. 8.45-oz blue bottle, very little info, but classy-looking.

Pop the cork and it pours a thick, murky dark brown syrup with no carbonation or head noticeable. Not the most appealing look.

Strong aroma, thick with chocolate and maple, a bit of coffee too. Plenty of burnt notes, some nuttiness, all suffused with a somewhat caustic alcohol.

In the mouth, viscous and slick, with the maple syrup coming to the fore. The roasted and burnt notes are what linger, with a weird sort of balance between the two in the middle. It's almost salty, actually, with an odd sour/bitter bite, almost fruit-like, on the back of the tongue. Alcohol is definitely present but not too overwhelming.

It's a sipping beer, to be sure, but hard to imagine wanting more than one in an evening. A nice curiosity, and certainly made with craft and care, but not exactly my cup of tea. Or beer.

I have to say, though, that steaks marinated in this might be the most delicious marinated meat possible.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.62/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes as I drank this over two months ago now, at the Sunset Grill & Tap when I was in Boston visiting my twin sister. When I saw this on their beer menu, which claims this is from the 1998 vintage, I knew I had to try it! I Split an 8.45 oz bottle with my sister's boyfriend. Poured into a pint glass. This beer is a very, very dark brown if not black color. It almost looks like motor oil or something similar. Very thick consistency. No head, lacing, or observable carbonation at all, but I think it is supposed to be this way. Has a deep, roasted sweet chocolate malt aroma as well as alcohol. Has a sweet, roasted chocolate malt and sort of spicy taste, with a bit of a soy sauce flavor, and some maple syrup as well. It also sort of tastes like maybe it has been barrel aged. I think this is best enjoyed as a dessert beer, but it was unfortunately the first beer we ordered. It did not go well with the fully loaded nachos we ordered as an appetizer. Oh well, after all we had no idea what to expect when we ordered this. My sister's boyfriend said this reminded him or port wine. Has a thick, syrupy, full bodied mouthfeel. No carbonation at all. This is a beer best enjoyed sipped slowly, very slowly. It took me over 2 hours to finish the half of the bottle I split with my sister's boyfriend. Keep in mind that I was eating dinner and drinking other beers during that 2 hour time period. Well finally getting to drink this is certainly a beer milestone for me personally. I am still not really sure how much I enjoyed or hated this beer, not being able to compare this to any other beer I have ever had. I certainly have to give the Boston Beer Company some credit for brewing something that very few others would even consider attempting to brew and fewer others still would actually brew. Anyone know if any other brewery anyplace else in the world has ever brewed anything that could be compared to this? It is hard for me to decide how to rate this beer, since I don't really know what I was expecting and don't have anything to compare this unique beer to.


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Photo of omahawk
3.09/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass, should have used a strainer to catch the giant black chunks of something that came out when I poured it. No head, no lacing. It is pitch black with zero carbonation. Somewhat alcoholy taste, but not too bad for 17.5%. If you can imagine the flavors of coffee, chocolate, soy sauce and maple syrup all mixing at the same time and being intriguing and not entirely repulsive, that's pretty much what I'm tasting right now. It stays on your tongue and won't leave after you taste it.

I would probably rate this somewhat lower, but it's quite an "experience" and interesting to taste.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
2.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Well, I finally got to try this long anticipated concoction. It poured a dark brown with no head whatsoever. The aroma was interesting - my first thought was Worcestershire sauce. The taste was like combining soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and adding 1 part white lightening. It was interesting, but I could honestly say that I couldn't finish the glass. I think it would make a great marinade for red meat or perhaps be a secret ingredient in a Sunday morning Bloody Mary.

I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
1.3/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This was a 1994 Vintage.

A- Well the cork fell apart into the beer. I had to fish out a bunch of cork. Plus the yeast cake some how got disturbed and made this look kind of silty. But it was a dark syrupy brown with no head. As far as an American strong ale goes this is not great looking.

S- Wow, can we say dates, fruits, and Alcohol! Very strong smelling and makes the nose hairs twinge.

T- Good God, my insides are probably melting. I bet in its birth this was great, but wow this is bad. I've only poured one beer out in my life, and this is now #2. But before the beer met its septic system end, I had to take a few more large gulps. I bet you could clean a carburetor in this stuff.

M- Not good

D- If I was into drinking rubbing alcohol with puree dates in prune juice.

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Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 2.96 out of 5 with 954 ratings
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