Cinder Bock | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

167 Reviews
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Cinder BockCinder Bock

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

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.45%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 01-09-2012

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 465
Photo of VALIS666
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet smokiness all the way through from the nose through the taste, like backyard barbeque brisket that’s been smoking under coats of sauce all day. Nice creamy head, deep red color. Not a taste I’d want all the time but a good beer in that style. Sweetens dramatically as it warms.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear red colored beer with a medium sized tan colored head.

Sweet and nutty bock with some smoke and medicine aromas. Reminds me a bit of smoked almonds. Good but not overpowering smoke aroma.

Starts out sweet and smoky. Slight sourness and a decent amount of bitterness. Sweetness is almost too much, but there is enough hop and smoke to keep it in check. Alcohol is well hidden but you can feel it in your chest..

Mouthfeel is very full.

Overall, good beer but it could be a little less sweet.

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Photo of IHyphySF
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this beer and haven't had much craft stuff that Sam Adams has put out so this will be a fun surprise. I poured into a pint glass

A - Dark brown, Maple syrup, Dark amber hue which pours out with a thick tan/light brown head which poured 3/4 of the way has a head of the rest of the glass.

S - Upon pouring has tons of smoke, soy sauce/dashi broth and a burnt smell of caramel.

T - Interesting and tastes completely different from what it smells like. Little smoke flavor up front which then the overwhelming flavors of fruit like a Belgium style would hit and the 9.4 abv really shows. The Japanese soup broth comes out on this because of the smoke and reminds me of shaved smoked bonito taste. The malt comes out and has a sweet aftertaste of honey which makes this really nice

M - Misleading from the initial pour which i would think it would be more carbonated but drinks really easily. It leaves a residue that sticks around in your mouth.

O - Was pretty surprised how easily this is to drink and the sweetness at the end. This has been one of the best bocks i have tried and if i saw this on tap i would venture to try it again. The smoke and initial taste on this is kinda strange but when the aftertaste hits it starts to become pleasant.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is #27 on the "Top Beers - Rauchbier" list on Not a great location but I thought it was a decent beer. Beer is ruby red with a thin tan head of small and medium bubbles, no lacing, moderate retention, looks fine.

Aroma is smokey and a little sweet with a nice body behind it.

Beer is medium in body, a little sweet, a little smoky, not over the top, a decent beer by my estimation. THe finish is nice as well, not dry. I'd consider having it again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle pours orange-red-amber with a large and very durable tan head.

Smokey aroma allows a fruity and malty base to come through. The flavor is more smokey, however, and ultimately, only the smokey flavor remain.

M: medium-full body with near perfect carbonation. Creamy smooth.

O: a bit too smokey for my taste, but certainly not over the top for a rauchbier.

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Photo of Ford
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Holy smokes.... plenty of smoke in this beer. I poured into a normal pint glass.

Lots of smoke flavor and caramel.

I like this, but it's not love. I probably won't purchase again as I'd be more attracted to a Dopplebock over this beer.

Glad I tried it, it's good, but not great.

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Photo of lstokes
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice ruby color but no head to speak of. My main impression is that this is a very sweet Bock! The smell is sugary instead of smoky--not ideal--and the base beer is also too much caramel and booze for me. Nice hickory-beech smoke, but I would turn the sweet-sticky characteristics down a LOT before I would drink this beer again. Glad to see the attempt at the style, though!

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.97/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a ruby-tinted mahogany color with good clarity but a disappointing single finger of fizzle-foam for a head that leaves behind no real lacing and only sticks around for about 60 seconds. Medium-light body and medium carbonation levels, chewy texture.

I get a good blast of hickory and beechwood smoke over solid and beefy caramel / toffee malts. The flavor is much more boozey than the nose, I think the smoke may be covering up the ABV vapors. I'm liking the doppelbock and chocolate malt profile in the mid-sip. Sadly, the ashen aspects of the smoke and the herbal hopping are combining in a strange way in the finish to make a sweet-and-sour stomach bile off-flavor that makes the aftertaste a chore instead of a pleasure.

In summary, a promising nose that leads to disappointment in the mouth. My best suggestion would be to dry it out some more by about 20% with additional noble hopping, so that the malts present less like a milk chocolate bar with a pile of cigarette ash on top. The breadiness that exists needs to be brought into the foreground and accentuated with the smoke. I'd give this one a pass unless you are morbidly curious what controlled cellaring smoke degradation would do for it.

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Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a bomber into a tulip, dark pour with a very large white head, light lacing. Ton of smoke on the nose. Lots of roasted, smokey flavors, thick and chewey. Full bodied, good carbonation, the 9% abv is well hidden. A very enjoyable rauch beer from SA.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

This was possibly my most anticipated of the single batch releases thus far, save for Verloren. Let's get our smoke on, shall we? This stuff pours a clear russet-amber topped by a finger of ashy cream foam. The nose comprises mild beech smoke, light caramel, and a twinge of cocoa. The taste is a surprising barrage of sweetness, with caramel, light cocoa, and buttercream melding with some mild-though-substantial booze to form a harsh assault on the tongue. Throughout, a vein of mild smoke pervades, a mixture of hickory and beech, but it never comes close to even matching the sweetness nor does it ever get to stand on its own. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a lightly syrupy feel, and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a decent rauchbier, but one that comes across too sweet and not-smoky-enough for its own good.

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Photo of Suds
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love a good smoked beer. This one is a dark amber color with an off-white head. Nice clarity. The aroma is fantastic....campfire...wood, smoke, charcoal, and some underlying roasty malts. Sweet at the foretaste, with more malt character. Great balance. This beer avoids the pitfalls of a lot of smoked beers...that is, it's not hollow, astringent, or acrid. It's a really enjoyable and well made smoked beer. Great body, and very easy to drink.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I decided to go the tulip glass route with this one. I'm a little shy after reading some of the reviews. I hope Cinder Bock isn't going to be a chore. Hard to say, as I love a good rauchbier.

I count three fingers of well-maintained peachy-beige head. The beer itself is a hazy scarlet-brown. After the foam subsided a bit, we get a nice patchwork ring of lace.

Smells rather lager-y. Hint of smoked malt and robust caramel grains. Actually, there's quite a bit of malt; seeping with sweetness and burnt toffee notes. For a rauchbier, this nose is tuned way down, however.

Holy jeebies. Very boozy in the mouth with decadent bready malt flavors of burnt caramel, maple, smoke, and dried fig. Has an Imperial Doppelbock profile to it, with a ripe smokiness and fruity esters. Can't get over how oppressive the alcohol comes off here. That, and the sweetness. Thank God I put enough arugula on my sandwich to balance out this little meal. Some chocolate comes through. Lots of dark bread, steak butter, brown sugar, and roasted fruits.

An autumn warmer for a cool night. Very warming, in fact. The alcohol is a stranglehold for a beer style such as this is brewed for. Cloyingly sweet with sappy stickiness. Hard to equate this with a brew that is rather medium in body. Lazy carbonation is an afterthought.

Sorry, Jim. This is not my idea of a rauchbier proper. A bruiser of a bock, sure. A lot of flame, but no meatiness that I'd enjoy. It didn't blend.

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Photo of JayQue
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good!!! If you like smoked beers, this one does not disappoint!! Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Hazy amber/reddish color, aroma of smoked beer and bready and caramel malts.

Taste is good. The smokiness has a meat or fish quality about it like so many of the better smoked beers. The smokiness is most apparent before the beer warms up. Still a good smoky beer but the bready malts and caramel malts become more prominent, closer to room temp.

Mouthfeel is fairly rich. not much alcohol presence for a beer so high in abv.

Overall, pretty rich and tasty. Would go great with cheese and snack foods.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.35/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Portion of a 22 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter. From notes.

A: Pours a dark burgundy color. The head is a one finger offwhite color with acceptable retention.

S: Wow this smells sweet - lots of caramel and brown sugar coalesce in the aroma, with only a hint of smoke. Still a nice smelling beer.

T: At first, this is a decent bock, with pleasant caramel and only a touch of smoke...only for it to finish in an awful manner; this honest-to-God tastes like a damn fart on the back end. After a few sips (or, as many sips as I could handle), it becomes less farty and more chocolaty, but it's still rather unpleasant.

M: Really heavy on the tongue, with unpleasantly lingering flavors. This could have been acceptable if it finished just a touch cleaner, anything to kill the aftertaste.

O: These SA small batch beers have been pretty damn hit or miss, haven't they? This was pretty bad, to the point where I couldn't finish it - hell, I needed something to clean my damn palate with just to get the taste of fart out of my mouth. On the plus side, it's a few tweaks away from being at it Sam Adams, I guess.

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Photo of Vierenner
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer started out well but lost its lustre as consumption contunued. I'm not exactly sure what it is ... perhaps the yeast? I'm not a fan of belgian beers and this seemed to have some of those belgian taste qualities. I certianly don't get any "rauch" flavors as the style catagory would suggest.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one is really hard to review because it's great in smll doses, but also becuse the "a" key on my keyboard is broken and I keep having to hit ctrl+v to insert a copied letter "a" into various words. I refuse to correct any I've missed.

Poured in several small doses into a Sam adams tasting glass and then a Medieval Manor glass.

a: Woody brown with 1 finger of light beige head. Slightly hazy. Leaves weblike lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Smoky, nturlly. Just a touch nutty as well but the smoke dominates the nose.

T: Very savory with sort of a smoked sausage flavor to it and a harsh tang. Smokiness gets overpowering as this one warms, and it takes on a little sweetness nd a bit of a medicinal taste. Too much at a time nd it just ends up tasting like that bottled liquid smoke stuff that never quite seems to work in any recipe you try.

M: On the heavy side of medium. Just viscous enough to let you know it's a hevyweight, but not so much that it becomes cloying.

O:I had it with marshmallow. Makes sense, right? Smoky cmpfire beer and a marshmallow? Don't you judge me.

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Photo of RickS95
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes out of the bomber almost thickish. Dark ruby leather brown. Opaque. The head is gorgeous...very thick, uniform bubbles, bright white, I think you could hold up a quarter with how stout it looks. Good retention, slight lace as it gradually dwindles to a thin ring.

Alcohol, caramel and smoke. The alcohol leads but is quickly met by the balancing act of caramel mats and smoke.

While not as refined as a German, I like the smokey quality on the tongue. Tastes like there's some dark ripe fruits in the background. But it's mostly a wet bark, smoky flavor that's imparted.

There's a looseness to it and the aftertaste is a bit strange. None of the flavors are what I'd call sharp and that lends itself to the loose feeling I get. Obviously smokey, slightly sweet, acidic. Tart aftertaste. Slight heat from the alcohol intensifies the smokey feeling.

Not a bad beer from what I'd consider an overrated brewer. Loose around the edges, but not a bad beer. High ABV that's reasonably well hidden. You can smell and taste the ABV, but it kind of sneaks up on you. Overall, between average and good.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger cream head that fades to a ring leaving some lace. Nice crystal clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Smoky nose and flavor is sweet peat and some smoke. Would go well with a barbeque. Higher ABV is hidden. $7.00 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice and hazy dark bronze color with a beautiful ivory colored creamy head on top. Opens up nicely with a tough of smoke on the nose and a nice sweet malty undertone. Notes of molasses, bread, and vanilla make for an inviting aroma.

Big and bocky on the palate with lots of sweet malty flavors and a bit of booziness as well. Almost has a gingerbread like quality to it with the molasses notes and the heat giving it a little kick. The smoke isn't quite as noticeable on the palate but it does add a nice touch to round it out.

Wonderfully creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, a really tasty beverage but not quite smoky enough for me to consider this a true Rauchbeer.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up today as I was surprised to find it in a local store of mine in small town SC. I'll gladly give it a go.

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a tall glass.
The beer is a nice reddish brown color with a gigantic light tan head that stays for a while and leaves a solid coating all over the glass.

Smell: Somewhat boozy with chocolate and dark bread drizzled with caramel. For some reason not much of that smoke is coming through. Kind of smell like a chocolate chip cookie, which is fantastic.

Taste: Thick taste with much of the mentioned smoke, which stays around in the system and reemerges when you exhale. Kind of awesome. Sweet undertones of chocolate and bread, but then quickly covered up by the smoky roasty meat. Roasted coffee beans over everything else. This could be a bit cloying over a long period but it's good for now.

Feel: Smooth then a bit sticky after it coats the mouth.

Overall. Probably a bit much, but a good overall beer. Nice one Sam.

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Photo of scratch69
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a mug.

Appearance- Amber-brown color with two fingers worth of tan head. Good retention with nice lacing.

Smell- Smoke, malt, and a bit of nuttiness.

Taste- Malt, caramel, and smoked bacon. Just a little warmth from the high ABV.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and smooth. Fair amount of carbonation.

Overall- Interesting beer. I could not see myself drinking alot of this but it was definitely worth trying.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Batch 1.

A: Average pour leads to moderate head which slowly dissipates leaving light lacing and a cap. Beer is a medium-brown.

S: Sweet malts, the beer is largely billed along those lines, and some smoke at the end. Not picking up the bacon others are, which is a shame because I like bacon.

T: Sweet predominates, grains, honey, caramel. Some smokiness on the finish and a little bit of heat from the high ABV.

M: Thick and syrupy, will be a bit of a chore to finish as a result, but all in all it's a good effort, almost a dessert beer.

Nice first go for Samuel Adams on this one.

6/9/13 update - aged a second bottle for nearly a year. Hasn't changed very much, perhaps a little less smokiness and heat. Balance is very good. Give it another .05 - .10 overall.

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Photo of fank2788
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a pint glass
Beautiful dark amber color in the glass with an off white head that settles to a thin layer of film with some lace. The aroma is a bit light but I do get a solid caramel malt base with a touch of sweetness on top of that, reminiscent of ripe fruit. The whole thing is tied together by a touch of light smokiness, not a campfire smoke but a nice sweet smokiness. The taste is sweet bready malt somewhat thick with a bit of the alcohol apparent. The smoke is right there too my first thought was of bacon or at least the smell and taste of smoked bacon, that thought fades but only slightly as the meaty character does persist. This is a pretty thick beer as the carbonation is low and it has a drying smoky finish with the evident alcohol. Overall this is definitely interesting. I'm not a huge fan of rauchbiers but the smoke in this one is balanced pretty well with by a good malt character and the high alcohol content seems to help too. If only the smoke character wasnt as meaty I think this beer would be more enjoyable.

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Photo of bourbonbock
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bomber bottle into a clean pub glass and received the following:

A. Rose colored golden body with 3 fingers of off white fluffy head receding slowly and leaving lace behind.

S. Smells slightly like an ice cream parlor from a foot away. Up close I smell sweet chocolate, charred oak, olives, and candy. A slight yeasty and smokiness leaves the glass last.

T. Very complex flavor profile. Creamy, chocolate, earthiness (hops?) and yet strangely like an irish car bomb. Slight saltiness and a hint of peat.

M. Creamy like a root beer float but finishes clean and leaves a film on the tongue daring you to take another sip.

I think this would go good with some ribs and cornbread. Definitely not something to quaff, more of a sipper to go along with a nice dark Churchill on the deck.

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Photo of Bung
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint+ bottle. Pretty deep hued red/mohoghanny pour. Kind of becalmed, just a wisp of white.

Aroma, applewood smoked bacon. More red fruit than some, but there is a nice caramel malt to it as well.

Taste, caramel covered Canadian bacon. Some lighter red fruit.
I can see how some would say this is a bit much, heavy smoke and near cloyingly sweet. I respect the attempt at big flavor though, and since I like the smoke to be extreamely present, I can get over the sweetness.
Kind of an earthy peaty roast malt in the finish along with the smoke.

Medium bodied, could use a tad more carbonation. It is a little sticky, there is more warming than I would want from a smoked beer, but this is significantly bigger than any smoked I've ever had. May not be able to drink a ton of this one.
A good starting spot, with some smaller improvements this could be really good.

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Cinder Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.68 out of 5 based on 465 ratings.
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