Schell's Bock | August Schell Brewing Company

very good
90 Reviews
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Schell's BockSchell's Bock

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Each year the promise of spring was confirmed as the first keg of Schell's Bock rolled onto waiting delivery wagons. And since 1860, Schell's Bock has continued in the true German tradition. Completely reformulated for 2009, Schell's Bock has replaced Caramel Bock as our late winter seasonal. Brewed with a harmonious blend of 10 different types of malt and noble hops, Schell's Bock is fermented slowly, and then lagered for an extended period of time to ensure a smooth finish. Perfect for passing even the coldest winter day.

This dark amber colored beer sports a robust malt character.

Added by garymuchow on 02-07-2009

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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 207
Photo of Beginner2
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

There is a lot to like about Schells... particularly how it stays in its German tradition instead of deceiving itself that there is room for one more brewery that panders to the American market and piles in the hops.

I've had 7 beers from Schells and will continue to pull them off the shelf... when I see them.

This review is based on my third bottle of this Bock. I have increased the Overall of my original rating based on this broader appreciation of tradition. My only advice is to let Bock warm up a little as its modest richness grows.

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Photo of Squire123
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Very nice in it's way. When I first tried this I wasn't expecting a German Bock so was open to be surprised and I was, pleasantly so. An AAL bock beer that has a rich color, caramel/toffee tones to the malt, some balancing hops, little underlying bitterness, straight forward and affordable. Worth having more than once.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours a muddy red with a small head. It is a rather intense look to the beer. The aroma offers up caramel, banana, sweet bread, and some currant. The flavor leads with the soft caramel sweetness from the nose, as well as some nutty notes, like pecans in bread, and well as toffee and malted milk. The mouthfeel is silky and full, with very little carbonation. Overall this was a very nice beer, not a standout, but completely solid and enjoyable.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

clear amber with a dense head the color of butter, leaves buttery lace.
heaping malt fills the nose, notes of caramel follow through into the flavor where it melds with a leafy, grassy hop finish. the fine carbonation and malts combine to give a bigger sense of fullness to what is actually about a medium body.
overall, a well balanced beer that make for a great representative of the style.

4.5, 4, 4, 4, 4

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at ~40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a perfectly clear garnet-copper, and forms roughly half a finger of dense, tightly-packed beige head with a vaguely orange tint. The head has excellent retention, and leaves appropriately intense lacing.

Smell: Caramel malt in waves, wreathed through with bread and pecan. A tinge of floral odor mingles in, unobtrusively, alongside a faint whiff of ripe dates.

Taste: If there is such a thing as "date nut bread", this beer pegs its flavor, with plenty of slightly dark bread, walnut, pecan, date, and raisin presence. There's a touch of a floral overlay, which lends a soft bitterness towards the middle and finish - though if my sensitivity to hops registers only a soft bitterness, it's definitely a light touch. As the beer warms, more of a caramel presence joins the breadiness of the malt, and an occasional vein of toffee winds its way through the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and lively, with something of an almost creamy feel.

Overall: I want this beer made in my town. Where do I need to move to make that a reality?

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Photo of MNAle
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 050816 into a Pilsener glass. Golden dark amber, dark but clear, plenty of carbonation, a tall tan thick creamy head that recedes slowly. Thick, clingy, creamy lacing follows the beer down the glass. Sweet aroma, dark fruits, bread / grain, floral, perhaps a bit of caramel. Moderate to substantial feel with a good presence on the tongue. Complex flavors; dark fruit, sweet, nutty, bread, honey. Finish is slightly (just barely) bitter with a mild finish. Very, very good. This is a top notch beer, true to the style.

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Photo of matcris
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Crystal clear, almost red to copper in color. Lots of small bubbles rising. A finger+ of khaki creamy head that lingers. Killer, thick lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Sweet, bready, and caramel/toffee. A little earthiness, a tiny bit of sulfur. Maybe some dark dried fruits...raisins, figs, and a bit nutty.
TASTE: Just like aroma. No sulfur hit in the taste. Bready and sweet but balanced just enough.
FEEL: Plenty of carbonation. Medium thin body, a little slickness to the beer, drier in the finish.
OVERALL: A simple tasting but satisfying beer. Definitely on the sweeter side, but not cloying.

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Photo of jwc215
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle - freshness date of 05 14 16:

Pours copper to dark amber with a fluffy off-white head that lasts. Thin lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramelized grain, nuts, a hint of floral spicing.

The taste is of sweet grain, honey, nuts. A touch of floral/spicy hops in the finish balance it while keeping it sweet-leaning. Rich malt flavor. Slight alcohol warmth. Clean finish.

It hits medium-bodied. It has a smooth, malty texture.

An excellent malt-forward, classic example of a sweet, traditional bock.

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Photo of ta_hagen
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

By far one of the best Bock's on the craft market today. It projects a ruby brown autumn color appearance that glorious it's body. Smells of raisins, sort of like Vienna, firebrick comes to mind. The taste is wonderful, semi-chewy toffee, caramel, hazelnut, dry to lingering bitterness graham cracker finish. If you have ever sucked on a graham cracker and chewed it in your mouth, that is sort of the taste you get at the end of the palate with this bock. Overall, my favorite bock. I like Shiner's bock, but this one has so much more favor.

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Photo of Strike00
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Dark amber almost brown in color.
S: smells sweet with dark malts.
T: The taste is dark malts with sweet dark fruit. Pretty Dry finish
F: Sticky and medium bodied.

O: a pretty decent beer. A good beer to drink once in a while.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A thin head over a rich, dark amber pour. Lightly carbonated. Good nose, malts and fruit notes and maybe some toffee or sweetness. Taste is a very smooth lager, no bite or off flavors. You do get a subtle hoppiness on the finish on the tongue and in a good way. Let this warm a bit to cellar temps and it get better and more layers of flavor. A solid contender and so far our favorite from the Bock Sampler. If you can still find one (this was done on Feb 3rd), get it now. Bottle says best-by May 14th, but you'll want to have this one when there's still snow on the rooftop.

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Photo of Evilyak
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought it as part of the bock pack.

Brown and sticky. Smells a bit of fruit and sugar sweetness with some hearty bread notes. Taste is sweet with some dryness at the end.

Mouth was mild and crisp. Nothing lingering.

Very easy to consume.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pilsener glass.
The appearance was a ruddy brown color with a one finger white foamy head that quickly dissipated. Light lacing stuck around the glass nicely.
The smell had some cherries, roasted chestnuts, light bread, a little big of raisins and a sly amount of sugar.
The taste was mainly sweet through the previously mentioned flavors with the roasted chestnut part playing with the flavor underneath.
The mouthfeel was closer to light than medium bodied but one could say that it might just be closer to light. Fairly sessionable as the weight of the breadiness comes across but leaves a light grainy feel on my tongue, nothing overbearing, feels good for the most part.
Overall, it's a really nice beer and as a bock, it definitely works. Gonna have to test in some bock bread. I've almost always used Shiner in the past, I'll be sure to write back once I find the results of how this fairs in beer bread.

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Photo of Bluegrass49
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into an ale glass. A nice amber color with modest clarity. A head of about 3/4-1" with a slight amount of lacing. Very smooth bock taste with very little bitterness. I like this one as an "everyday after work" beer

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant deep amber 2” tan to of white head, excellent lace. S: Dark malt, kettle sugars, bread crust.
T: Darker malts, bread but no roast, faint caramelly banana at the beginning but dries out on the finish. Subtle hop presence.
F: Medium carbonation and just above medium body.
O: A very good bock.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.04/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bock pours a dark amber color with a big lacing head. There is a grainy aroma filled with adjuncts. The taste is sweet, malty, with a hint of sourness. Decent body, a little watery flavor. Overall its a very okay beer, very plain, and a bit too sweet.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


Appearance : caramel colored, candy-like. Head is frothy and full, leaving lacing on the glass.

Aroma : butterscotch, caramel warm pretzel - reminds me of the warm pretzel shops with sweet pretzels; roasted caramel malts, sugar plum, faint hop. This smell is terrific!

Flavor : tasty beer, malt forward with hops coming in towards the finish. Caramel barley malt, plum, burnt orange peel, banana. Easy drinking.

Mouthfeel : creamy, medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Ends nippy and slightly dry.

Overall : sign me up for more, this Bock rocks!

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Photo of Taybeh
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a single into an imperial pint

A: deep dark glowering garnet with a 2 finger puffy beige head that sticks around for a a couple minutes
S: sweet caramel, lots of toasted grain, yeast, dark fruit
T: like the nose, but even more pronounced and developed. Layers of malt, fairly sweet and very toasty, but not at all cloying. A tinge of herbal spicy hoppiness in the back half that provides an edge to the malty savoriness. A little iron in the water?
M: medium body and carbonation, creamy but lively, slightly warming.

Overall: Excellent. I think this is Schell's best offering (except for the sadly departed Emerald Rye). There aren't a lot of quality American bocks that I have access to, but this will do nicely. I look forward to it every year as much as I look forward to just about any other beer.

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Photo of Chaz
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliantly-clear, golden-brown in color, and topped with a pale tan head, which recedes at an average pace, leaving behind some sparse Brussels lace.

Nose is one of a lighter, malty complexion, and a very neutral profile all-around. No yeast or hops, just a lightly-sweet, somewhat dry malt character to it. Clean and unassuming, but with a subtle richness.

Sweet and lightly tangy on the first sip, this one also coats the tongue and palate rather well with an almost viscous sweet, malty character. Finish is dry, but with a lingering roasted malt character. Biscuit malt character, too? Yep... it's in there. There is a hint of a very deep sweetness, but it never gets to the point where it's cloying. There's a very light cheese or dairy-like character to it which is hard to describe.

Easy drinking and seemingly lighter in body, it's also pretty full in the mouthfeel at the same time. Well-balanced, and neither cloying nor too light.

Not too strong, but sort-of an all day sipper.

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Photo of mncoinman
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Aroma came across as mildly stale. Initial taste had a really nice bock flavoring
(the right balance of malts and very low hop bitterness). Some "irony" taste evident that
eventually dissipated. Nice copper color and a good foam head. Very smooth and easy
drinking bock. This was definitely much better than I was expecting.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampling right now on 7/7/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a tulip glass.

Pours a deep amber in color with a good finger of a off-white head that settles back down to just along the sides of the glass. Some spotty lacing is seen. The aroma is of sweet malts and caramel for the most part. The taste has even more going on with the sweet & caramel malts coming together nicely with a hint of spice. Goes down very easy with no bitter or harsh aftertaste at all. Perfect carbonation. A great brew!

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Photo of TheSSG
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a HUGE, dense and soapy, tan-hued head that has impressive persistence and laces readily. Sweet malt aroma with a slightly spicy hoppiness. Crystal clear burnt umber. Sweet malt, toasted malt, warming booze, and a faint hoppiness in the background. Moves into a low-medium hoppiness, gets a little spicy, even. Then the finish is toasted malt and faint biscuit.

This is pretty nice, it's very toasted-malt-forward, and I like that. Slight hop spice, and not too sweet. And, of course, it has that velvety smooth German lager mouthfeel.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Medium sized foamy light tan head settles to a nice lacing above a clear caramelized reddish brown colored beer.

Light caramel grain malts aroma that brings with it some sweetness.

A light sweetness on a roasted caramel malts taste.

Just a bit of dryness associated with a light caramel aftertaste on this lighter bodied Bock.

A decent tasting Bock, maybe just a tad on the wettish lighter feel, but definitely worth drinking.

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Photo of jimmah120
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle labeled best by may 17

im not a malty beer guy at all, but this is a great example of one that isn't overly sweet or cloying. roasted toasty bread, nutella, pumpernickle, oak. savory yet extremely drinkable.

another solid schells beer

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, deep amber colour. Smells like light caramel malts and dates. Tastes like like it smells, light-bodied, caramel malts throughout, higher carbonation, and dates/sticky tree fruits at the finish.

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Schell's Bock from August Schell Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 207 ratings.
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