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

648 Reviews
Samuel Adams Triple BockSamuel Adams Triple Bock

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

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.

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Reviews: 648 | Ratings: 948
Photo of Chsyhkr
3.62/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nectar of the gods or crankcase oil, that is what my brew club buddies think of this.

Deep mahogany to chestnut colored, still (not carbonated), and smelling of maple syrup, prunes, toffee, and a hint of chocolate.

The taste is alcohol, stewed fruits, sweet with just enough bitterness, and a slight chocolate character.

I don't know what the grain bill is on the thing, but the chocolate character could be left out and it would improve the drinkability immensely. More like a Samiclaus...

The still character throws most people, but that is one reason I like is so much. It is a brandy or grappa!

The corked bottle is nice, you can pour a little, cork it and put it up for a while. Two people would be hard pressed to drink one bottle at a sitting, much less one person!

Enjoy this novelty "Triple Bock", think of it more like a Brandy and enjoy!

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Photo of oberon
2.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Known as fecal bock to my friends this beer is one I had high hopes for but was seriously disapointed in.Pours a pitch black with almost no head to speak of,aroma is a little nutty and raisiny with some sweet alcohol notes as well.Taste is harsh I have had a few beers higher in alcohol than this that were easier to drink its way to syrupy and medicinal just unpleasant.Well have the bottle tried it twice three years ago and now and I wont try it again.

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Photo of Jarod
4.37/5  rDev +48.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle year 1996
Given to me by my buddy Jamie in a small snifter glass.
Served room temperature

This beer came to me a pitch black thick molasses/black color that no light could possible pass through except on the edges, where there was a hint of cocoa brown coming through. No head was present. The aromas that came up from the glass were big and bold, lots of molasses, black coffee, plums, some sweet coffee, lots of dark chocolate, and a big warming alcohol. The flavors were just as big as the aromas, lots of dark fruits first hit your tongue (plums and prunes), then alcohol, then coffee, milk chocolate, some dark sweet malt, and more alcohol as it finished. Reminded me of a well old aged bottle of liquor. The body was thick, heavy and rich. Needless to say this is a sipping beer, and it takes some time to finish a small snifter. Very intense, and worth every sip of pleasure. I hope he saves some more so that we can drink in a few more years. A good treat, but would not want but only on special occasions.

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Photo of ADR
2.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Out of a bottle ('95 according to the server), Extreme Beer Fest 2004...

Pours out like a dark blood clot, no head, with coating properties. Now, the analysis. All these Triples are coming up on that 10 year age when they should start to resemble Sherry. So, is this like a good Sherry, or a Port, or a fine Bourbon, or a maple-enhanced Kahlua? I'd say as far from any of those as from beer. An aroma of frying rubber that's either off-putting and similar to airplane wing de-icer or immediately recognizable as "that's Triple Bock" at best. The flavor, almost equally as heavy -- is best compared to a burning box of raisins, preferably with a plastic "stay fresh" lining. The "soy sauce" comparison is good in that it describes palette and nose filling qualities, but a good soy bean ferments with a nutty acidity that would have been welcome here. A good experiment and a ground-breaking beer...but dang near undrinkable to me. I think that subsequent higher alcohol brews have shown that Triple Bock is not the only destiny for extreme brewer's products.

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Photo of dansteino
3.44/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1995 Vintage

Cork broke. Lucky to have an extra bottle of port lying around so I used that cork to keep it.

Pours a dark, syrupy slightly reddish brown.

Smells like the plum sauce you put on moo goo gai pan. Not too appealing.

Tastes of raisins and prunes with a little hint of chocolate.

Sips like an after dinner drink with very little resemblance to a beer until the finish which has some drier elements (although not much).

Reminds me a little of Prize Old Ale -- only a lot thicker and stinkier.

I like it, but it is very hard to get past that rediculous nose.

Pairs well with blue cheese. An interesting conversation piece.

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Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a thick black color with no head. It has a deep dark aroma. There is a syrupy smell here. There are hints of chocolate and black barley. The taste is actually not that bad. It is a hard drink, but there is real flavor here. The beer boasts a large amount of dark malts. It has a very malty flavour that is quite rich tasting. The mouthfeel is good. It is full bodied and lacking any carbonation, but for an extremely high abv. it is still drinkable.

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Photo of DESTRO
1.49/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

i went out on a whim an bought this just because id never had a beer that was 17.5% and meant to be sipped out of a snifter in 2oz portions. this is the 96 vintage, 8.5 oz bottle i believe, $3.99. it glugs out pure black, thick and syrupy, flat and with no head. immediatly its like your head is in a giant pair of old sneakers someone wore for a year straight without socks. powerful stank, soy sauce and sweet molasses make for one hell of an odd smell. taste is big on alcohol, huge sweetness mixed with soysauce and maple syrup. in the mouth it is heavy, thick and oily. does not go down well, maybe it would with a 2 foot cuban cigar and a scotch chaser to mask the foul taste. one of the foulest things ive ever put in my mouth. i guess i should "appreciate" the complexities and work that went in it, but in the end, it's gross.

on a note, id like to toss some wasabi in it and dunk my sushi in the solution. im thinking maybe this beer does have a use after all.

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Photo of mschofield
2.57/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Absolutely flat and syrupy pour, pure black.
Strong alcohol aroma that hits my nose even from the countertop as I poured. A whiskey and chocolate-liquor aroma. Smelt almost burnt.
The taste is very strong, almost like drinking molasses mixed with whiskey and maple syrup. And then lots of dark fruits.
The feel is full and very syrupy. It's an impressive brew from a techical standpoint, but that doesn't make it very drinkable even at about 2 ounces per drink. I had it once years ago at the brewery tour (when they were first bringing it out), my undeveloped palate didn't like it then, now I appreciate it more than enjoy it.

While drinking 2 things occured to me. This would be great for desert over chocolate ice cream, so I tried just that and it worked really well. Second this would make a good stand in as a coffee mixer, so I tried it mixed with coffee, I used too much but 1 shot of this with 8 ounces of coffee would be good.

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Photo of shippos
3.75/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

95 reserve, poured in a triple glass.

dark syrupy with slight hints of ruby around the edge of the glass. has a syrupy-soy sauce thickness that clings to the glass. strong aroma of wood, vanilla, chocalate, whiskey and brandy. smooth syrupy mouthfeel, coats your mouth completely and the alcohol if very present and hits you in the aftertaste with definete spicy hottness. had this after desert on thanksgiving, excellent for just couple of ounces to sip on...very interesting and complex.

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Photo of Nytemare
3.71/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I have a couple of bottles of this sittin' around now so I thought I'd crack open the one that's half full again. Been doin' the sample every 6 months or so to see how it's changing. Quite interesting. Pours a deep deep red. Pretty opaque. No carbonation, no head. Sticks all over the glass though. Smells like bitter black cherries and dark chocolate predominately, though there's a woodiness underneath it. Very sweet flavor at first but it gives way to the cherry tartness and bitterness of the chocolate. Alcohol definately swimming in there. Roasted nuts coming through as well. Quite an interesting brew. Very dry finish. Low drinkability due to the nature of the beer. Very heavy. One that I enjoy on occasion, but not something I'll ever drink every day.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

1997 bottle, purchased September 2003, consumed almost immediately thereafter...
Appearance: dark as sin, pitch black, with not a bit of foam above, not a touch of froth, just random brown bubbles about the sides.
Aroma: the alcohol wafts into the atmosphere and is quite powerful before the glass comes anywhere near my nose, and from this distance I note: maple syrup, couch syrup, port wine, licorice.
So, bring it closer!...ooooh! Wicked! An intense mommajamma! It can't be a beer! Sherry + Jagermeisters+ Meyer's, shaken well, with prune juice, lit on fire! ...then dipped in turpentine! Smells like the sweeter extracts of the sulphur pits of Hell!
So, now to taste: no, this is really pushing it! Goes beyond anything recognized as beer, anywhere...no, it's closer to port, and should be consumed as such. Thick on the tongue at first, then mild, still with a sweet, treacly coating that trickles down the throat. Definitely not a bock, not even a doppel, nothing like one, and I want to call it a barleywine, but it's not that, either...
Slowly, the booze kicks in...Raisiny, datish, leaving a lace on the glass like you'd find in a wortchestershire bottle...I'd like to see them do a commercial for this one! "Always a good idea!" YEAH, RIGHT!
...Boom! Boom! Oh, oh, it's starting to HAp-pen...

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Photo of NickLovesBeer
2.35/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

All I can truly say is dear god. I purchased Sam Adams Triple Bock because I had tried all of the other styles of Sam Adams and figured that this would be no less impressive. Triple Bock pours a murky brown resembling maple syrup with no carbonation. The taste was very similar to soy sauce except not quite as salty. The smell was extremely intense fruits (I could smell it from 5 feet away), mostly raisins. All and all I could not drink more than 1 oz in a sitting and was very unimpressed.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

1994 bottle - It poured no head, no lacing, opaque body, with a red-black hue. The nose was sweet, also alcohol and wine with a sweet, wine taste to it. The palate was tingly, smooth, sticky and it had a burning sensation as it was swallowed. It was medium bodied. This was so-so, but not a beer that I want to drink again even if the opportunity presents itself. It's just not my style of beer nor did it taste anything close to a beer.

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Photo of grynder33
2.47/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thick sticky and dark, no carbonation or headsmells candish and heavy alcohol like a port or sherry, sweet almost prunish tastesyrupy heavy feelfingers get sticky just from touching it.If you like a brandy and cigar after your meal you might like this.

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Photo of doboy
4.36/5  rDev +48.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark as night! A syrupy appearance in the glass, and the alcohol grabs your nose! This 1994 Reserve had no carbonation, and felt like velvet as it slid down the throat. This is one you either love or hate. For a dark beer drinker, it was just short of heaven! One bottle is left, and it is going to sit. What a great, cobalt bottle too!

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Photo of dmarch
1.96/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours deep burguny in color with no head whatsoever and no carbonation. Aroma is dried dark fruit like raisins or plums hidden under the alcohol which dominates. The alcohol dominates the taste as well. Tastes almost like marsala wine. Maybe I'll try it again after letting it age a few more years, but I think this is the best it's going to get.

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Photo of TheDM
1.24/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I will re-rate this again only after I find an aged bottle some time in the future. This has to be bad when relatively new and must get better as it ages to get some of the decent reviews I have seen. I have sampled this brew twice now with no change in feeling.

I have had many a beer in my life, but this stuff is the worst crap that I have ever tasted! If you know me, you know I don't say this lightly, but "Give me a Bud" please over this! Nuf said! It tasted horrible! How dare they sell this crap. The only thing it is good for is to sit it on a shelf, let it age, and admire the pretty bottle!

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Photo of rastaman
2.62/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this in Sweden, in a little University town in the south called Lund. Kind of strange beer, smelt like marmite or vegemite and soy sauce, but it had more of a sweetness on the palate that marmite has, not sure what to say really, but probably not my kind of beer, i'll agree with aracauna with his comment on the complexity being compelling. Sharp, and very rich.

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Photo of aracauna
2.23/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I'll start off by saying that this is horrible, horrible stuff. That being said, it does have some compelling complexity that makes me wish I liked it. Pours basically black (turns a flat brown around the edges in direct light). Definitely has a high viscosity -- it pours in an oily way and when you tilt the glass it leaves a brown film behind. Completely still so there's no head. The aroma is whiskey and chocolate chip cookies, heavy on the semi-sweet or black chocolate chips. I'm not getting a whole lot of the infamous soy sauce aroma. The flavor is sickeningly sweet with a little oak wood and butterscotch added to the stuff in the aroma. I haven't finished the glass yet (it's taking me forever) and it's quite possible this will end up being one of my few dumpers.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.8/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A super dark, purple pour with no head whatsoever. The nose jumps out at you and hits you with sweet syrupy notes and ripe grapes. The mouthfeel is undoubtley smooth, like a port or sherry. The taste was full of port-like qualities, in fact, if i didn't know better, i would think this was a port. Very sweet with hints of rich, dark berries and a thick, syrupy quality that was actually quite nice. The alcohol kick on the finish was noticeable and warming. This would be a perfect after dinner drink. (alot of sediment at the bottom of my glass which wasn't very appetizing.)

I really enjoy a good port so maybe my judgemtn is swayed by this Triple Bock.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.79/5  rDev +62.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes: 1994 Vintage/Corked blue cobalt glass bottle. An exceptional beer in a league of it's own. This beer poured a very thick and opaque looking blood-red, brown-ish black colour with absolutely no carbonation what-so-ever. The aromas were of young cognac, fine brandy, tobacco, wood, molasses, maple, sugar, yeast, dark-roasted malts, and alcohol. The taste is of alcohol, maple, molasses, sugar, yeast, and more. The mouthfeel is super thick, creamy, and boozy. The drinkability? This is definately a 'sipping' beer but it is great for a special ocassion or in place of hard liquor. 1 bottle can easily last you 3 or 4 days or be split amongst a larger group of friends. One tip: DO NOT serve this beer too cold! Store it @ cellar temp and drink it @ cellar temp. This is where TB is at its best, imho.

I also have notes on the 1995 and 1997 vintages. I will add them to this review, when I find them!

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Photo of kunzbrew
4.12/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I want to first thank my buddy Steve for trading me a lawn mower and snow blower for the case of 1997 Triple Bock.

The strong brew pours a rich dark black color with no head. As I swirl the glass a dark oil film is left along the side of the glass. The smell of maple syrup and strong alcohol pound the nose. Cherry notes are also noticed.

This is a sipping brew, it is hard to take big swigs with out being drunk within a matter of minutes. Cherry flavors fills the palatte along with a maple and dark brown sugar are also present.

The full bodied brew is very nice for a cold winter New England night. Take it slow do not drink this bad boy to fast or you will end up ass over tea kettles.


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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.64/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 1995. Pours a very deep brown, bordering black, but the brown is highlighted, no head or carbonation. The cork pops off nicely and has some residue stuck to it, as does the side of the bottle. Resembles cough syrup or a motor oil in texture. Initial aroma of alcohol, which is detected far from the glass and bottle, also some notes of maple syrup and oak. The tastes, through sips only, are quite complex, primarily oak, dark fruit and syrup, not to mention the blast of alcohol resembling a nice port, some raisins and fig are noted throughout. Marked low on my drinkability scale based on the high potency. A special occasion beverage, difficult to rate.
The 8.45 ounces were split into two drinks, sipped much like you would sip a nice wine or port, which is what this bad boy resembles. Should have a warning label, as I picked up a few of these for $1.99 next to the higher priced forty ounce macros! You could truly share a bottle amongst three or four and still enjoy it! Also handy when you have a slight head cold, but I ain't no doctor.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.99/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I slowly spiral towards a distant central light. It is very cold & dark. I pass PLUTO.

> A new, unknown, bottled beer awaits discovery.

The Blue surface of the gas giant NEPTUNE is visible.

> A beautiful cobalt blue 8.45 fl.oz artistic bottle that has gold script & a port like plastic coated popper cork. A High Class appearance.

I pass URANUS, noting its very boring appearance.

> The viscous beer pours with a bituminous characteristic. A deep brown opaque color. When swirled in the glass, a residue of the beer clings to the walls like tar & brown oil-like rivulets drip down.

I am still drawn inwards, passing SATURN with its hazardous rings.

> 17.5% ABV, I know this could all end soon, once I start this mighty beer if I am not careful.

I pick up speed as I pass the biggest Gas Giant of them all JUPITER.

> Huge Aromas. Molasses, syrup, thick cloying licorice toffee, Pontefract cakes, oak aged Port, malt extract & Venos cough syrup. A rich nose.

The first Terrestrial Planet is visible, MARS.

> Just like Mars, Triple Bock is completely devoid of any visible CO2 on its surface. Utterly flat.

EARTH. Homely & welcoming. It is getting warmer.

> Tastes are complex, sip after sip reveals another hidden dimension that was not detectable before. An immense flavor profile. Strong alcohols, dark fruits, brandy soaked fruit cake are all there. Sweet, but not sickly. Velvety smooth & silky at times. It is very warming.

I skirt by the atmosphere of VENUS, the runaway greenhouse effect leads to real warming that cannot escape the Planet.

> Mouthfeel is of high strength syrupy liquor. It coats the mouth & often feels like the after effects of eating lots of licorice toffees. At the same time the beer heats the mouth & a warming effect dominates the throat. Lasts for many seconds & tastes linger even after you cool down.

It’s getting hotter. I am at MERCURY.

> I have almost completed the Bottle; the warming effect on my throat is now permanent. The aftertaste is continuously present. The alcohol is taking affect & I feel doomed.

I finally arrive. I am at the epicenter of what has been dragging me. The mighty SUN. I am now suitably warmed – happy – relaxed, as the Solar winds draw me in, I am just about to vaporize…..

……..Suddenly I awake. There is an empty Glass next to me, as well as an empty bottle of Sam Adams Triple Bock. Where have I been? Did this beer really take me to the edge of the Solar System & back??

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.43/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1997 Vintage
A very dark brown, almost black pour that leaves a brown trail right down the side of the glass. It is very very thick, and pours like syrup or molasses. There is no head on this one as you may expect.

Whoa, the aroma of one tiny little 8.45 oz bottle filled an entire apartment. It was very strong, but not to the point of being offensive. I could open one with company, and the aromas coming out of the glass would not get naked and cause a riot causing everyone to leave. They would just be loud and let everyone know that they were there, getting to people at times, but for the most part, just hanging out as that one person that everyone knows is there.

When this beer first hits your tongue, you can feel the alcohol, but the taste of alcohol is not that strong. A huge bitter kick leaves your eyes gaping, and your taste buds, well, who knows exactly. They have never had anything like this before. It sweetens with flavors of maple syrup and molasses. A little bit of spice is thrown in the mix just before you get the alcohol flavor. Then, the aftertaste comes in very nice and roasty. It lingers for quite some time. One sip could keep your buds interested for a good 15 minutes or so.

The body of this beer is more than full, and it is more than thick. It has no carbonation, so it is quite smooth, but a lot of the intensity of the flavors keeps it from being dull on the tongue. It is much more like sipping a fine liquor than a beer. Warming alcohol makes this one pleasureable brew that your mouth loves to drink.

It takes a long long time to drink this beer, but it does not bore you, and if you are tired, it will kick you in the face and start a marching band in your head until you are lively and awake again.

The only things I would say are: Drink it at room temperature as recommended by a few other BAs. and... Give yourself some time for this one. I found that if I sipped to close together that the remaining aftertastes altered the next gulp.

1995 Vintage sampled 3-15-03
The 95 is much more refined from the 2 additional years of aging. The aroma was filled with dark chocolate and does not burn your nose as the 97 did. Chocolate balances the maple syrup in this vintage and makes it a much better brew than the 97. No burning alcohol here. A nice orasty aftertaste is also a pleasant surprise. I can only hope that my case of 97s will mature like the 95 did.
Appearance 4
Smell 4
Taste 4.5
Mouthfeel 3.5
Drinkability 3.5

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Samuel Adams Triple Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
69 out of 100 based on 648 ratings.
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