Vancouver Island Brewing

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Vancouver Island Brewing
British Columbia, Canada
Ranked #6
Ranked #14,359
3.94 | pDev: 13.71%
Feb 14, 2022
Jan 04, 2003
Very Good
Notes: Brewed in limited batches each year, Hermannator Ice Bock was first introduced by Hermann, one of our original Brewmasters, during the holiday as a unique gift to his closest friends and customers. Crafted at 9.5% abv, using a signature blend of chocolate and caramel malts, this German Eisbock is slowly cold aged in our cellar for over 3 months.
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Photo of TooManyGlasses
Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Pours a very dark brown with finger of bubbly tan head.
Nose is malty - raisin, date, plum and chocolate with earthy hops in back.
Sweet and malty on the palate - plummy fruitiness, notes of chocolate and toffee but hint of licorice and a mild earthy coffee like bitterness at the back.
Medium to full mouthfeel with underwhelming carbonation that detracts somewhat - malty sweetness carries an otherwise decent strong lager.
Feb 14, 2022
Rated: 4.49 by Electros from Canada (ON)

Apr 05, 2021
Photo of leaddog
Reviewed by leaddog from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
The Original Seasonal Hermannator Ice Bock

Poured from a 473ml can.

Appearance - Pours a deep copper brown with two fingers of bubbly tan head.

Smell - sweet malts, plum, prune, raisin, and grape, chocolate, hint of coffee, and earthy yeast.

Taste - sweet malts then quickly goes into the plum, prune, raisin, and grape. The brew is finished off by the chocolate, hint of coffee, and earthy yeast.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with low carbonation. Finishes sweet and sticky with the malts, dark fruits, chocolate, and hint of coffee lingering.

Overall - An interesting and approachable brew that displays the rich notes from the malts along with the fruits and other notes of chocolate and coffee. Worth a try if your curious.
Feb 17, 2020
Photo of altstadt
Reviewed by altstadt from Canada (BC)

2.94/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Very dark red-brown. Almost opaque. Poured no head. No lacing. Minimal bubbles rising.

Very slightly sweet smell with over-roasted malt. Heading towards a very light soy sauce smell. Swirling the glass kicked up a sweet perfume smell with a bit of mint, and a light barnyard. Strange complex mix that would be more attractive if it weren't for the barnyard dragging it down.

Sweet with a dark roasted malt flavor. Light bitters that taste like they are a side effect of the dark roast. Mild chocolate. Thankfully neither the soy sauce or the barnyard show up in the flavor. The roast is on the edge of being burned, which makes it less appealing. The aftertaste is mostly sweet and the dark roast flavor with a very slight hint of mint.

This is very close to flat. It hardly foams up at all. Medium body is all coming from the relatively thick liquid. Not creamy or oily.

I'm not sure what the fuss is about. This balances out as a fairly average beer. Nothing stands out as being particularly interesting or offensive. Reading through some of the reviews it would seem like there are some serious issues with consistency. For example, the can I opened up was nearly flat, but others reviews note high levels of carbonation. I may give this another try next season.
Nov 27, 2019
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Reviewed by WanderingRonin from Canada (AB)

3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Appearance is a very dark brown color with some faint red highlights to it that pours with a half finger of thinnish tan/ light brown colored head that has a poor retention to it but leaves a slight skim on the surface of the glass and some light watery lacing.

Very sweet smelling, almost syrupy even with a brown sugar and molasses aroma with some hints of dates and plums thrown in.

Sweet and sticky dark malt forward with toffee, cola and molasses flavors forward that make way to dark sticky dried fruit flavors like tamarind and prunes. Sticky bittersweet lingering finish with some sickly over ripe fruit hints a light warming hint of an alcohol.

Pretty heavy bodied with an average, maybe slightly above average amount of carbonation to it.
Oct 25, 2019
Rated: 4.15 by IPAnicked from Canada (BC)

Mar 20, 2019
Rated: 4 by starclimber from Canada (BC)

Feb 26, 2019
Photo of gandres
Reviewed by gandres from Philippines

3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Tuesday, February 05, 2019 7:08 PM
341 mL bottle poured to wine glass
Sight: black, minimal foam, dark red if held against the light
Smell: very good, aroma of malt
Taste: very good, bold complex flavor, slightly bitter, sweet,
Mouth feel: very good carbonation, some tartness, very good follow through, very good finish, bitter aftertaste
Overall: very good beer, ok to repeat, not look for
Feb 06, 2019
Rated: 5 by R_Kole from Canada (AB)

Jun 10, 2018
Rated: 1 by monk2021 from Texas

Mar 20, 2018
Rated: 3.5 by Howlader from Canada (AB)

Mar 17, 2018
Rated: 4 by Corson from Canada (AB)

Mar 16, 2018
Photo of hreb
Reviewed by hreb from Washington

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
30th anniversary of Vancouver Island Brewing's Hermannator Ice Bock. Beer pours very dark brown to black, with nearly no head formation. Aroma is malty sweet and slightly phenolic. Flavor is similarly malty, with toffee sweetness, with a bold bock flavor, cut with sharp carbonation, which lightens up what could have otherwise been a very heavy brew. There's a complex malt profile going on here I'm struggling to explain. Licorice comes through most clearly.

An interesting and dangerously drinkable beer.
Feb 20, 2018
Photo of biboergosum
Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
341ml bottle - nice to finally see this famous (in Canada, anyways) offering make its way to Alberta, and the 30th anniversary brewing at that.

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with one rather skinny finger of weakly foamy, bubbly, and fizzy tan head, which leaves absolutely nothing in the way of lace anywhere near the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, a lesser generic toffee sweetness, a hint of wafting smoke, some muddled dark orchard fruitiness, and very subtle earthy, musty, and floral noble hop bitters. The taste is grainy and bready caramel malt, stewed apples and pears, besotted raisins, a touch of wet char, medium-dark chocolate wafers, iced coffee, and more plain earthy, leafy, and herbal green hoppiness.

The carbonation is fairly low-key in its innocuous frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and generally smooth, with nothing really causing any sort of trouble at this point in the game. It finishes off-dry, the malt and robust attendant fruity esters running the lingering show.

Overall - this is a pleasantly rendered version of the style, much darker than the norm, full of malt and fruit goodness, and with an expertly integrated 19-proof wowee sauce quotient. Pretty good stuff!
Jan 11, 2018
Photo of HipCzech
Reviewed by HipCzech from California

4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Serving: 341 ml bottle (“packaged on 25 Oct 17”) poured into a 20 mL stemmed tulip glass. 2017 vintage (“30th Anniversary”).

Appearance: Deep, dark chestnut brown with a fizzy head of tan bubbles.

Smell: Fully malty aroma; toasted grains, some dark, dried fruit, and a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Deep, malty body with toasted grains, cocoa and burnt caramel. Dark fruit emerge as it warms along with a bit of boozy heat - brandy soaked raisins. Faint smoke enters in the close along with bitter tea and earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium, creamy smooth body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: While many other brewers now offer bigger, bolder malt bombs, Hermannator remains a classic. An eye opener 20+ years ago, it showed what a winter seasonal could be, and still evokes happy memories. Food friendly: paired well with both rum balls and Stilton.
Nov 25, 2017
Rated: 3.9 by Eric_Standard from Canada (BC)

Oct 26, 2017
Rated: 4 by BCborn from Canada (BC)

Aug 09, 2017
Rated: 3.35 by bylerteck from Canada (ON)

Jun 21, 2017
Rated: 3.74 by Coronaeus from Canada (ON)

Mar 14, 2017
Rated: 3.85 by bumchilly25 from Canada (BC)

Jan 22, 2017
Rated: 4.03 by Niceroad77 from Canada (BC)

Nov 24, 2016
Photo of DaveBar
Reviewed by DaveBar from Canada (ON)

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Got on trade! 341ml bottle served at 5deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high light brown head that lasts for around 3-4mins before film out. Very dark brown colour and unfiltered

S- Nice malt and sweetness. Quite a bit of heat though.

T- Alcohol. Quite a bit of it. Has sweetness to it.

M- Creamy going down but dries right out afterward

O- Nice brew. Would not buy it if I saw it but it was nice to try that's for sure.

Food Pairing

This pretty good thick brew went well with...... Duro Wat. It's chicken stew from Ethiopia that has a nice spice blend. Hard boiled eggs go in as well.

May 13, 2016
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Reviewed by MaltyPythonsHopCircus from Canada (BC)

4.41/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Over the top chocolate and coffee with plum and raisin following behind. Finishes with a hint of tobacco. Great mouth feel and quite warming. Love it.
May 02, 2016
Rated: 4.2 by BCJoly from Canada (BC)

Feb 18, 2016
Rated: 3.92 by Jeremy7 from Canada (BC)

Jan 04, 2016
Photo of N_E_Beer
Reviewed by N_E_Beer from Canada (BC)

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours weird, lots of carbonation and hard to discern a colour. Aroma, whatever. Taste is quite good for a high volume beer, not too boozy. Not overly encumbered with flavour, but tasty nevertheless. Deserving of a very good rating.
Dec 31, 2015
Photo of Svingjo
Reviewed by Svingjo from Canada (BC)

3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Pours a rich black colour that has a reddish hue when held up to the light and covered by a moussey tan head. The nose brings forward roasted malts and coffee, caramel, dark dried fruit and toast. The flavour profile reveals a lot of the same notes along with a spicy alcohol burn. There is a very active carbonation that gives the mouthfeel a sharpness that distracts a bit. This would be a better beer if the carbonation was a bit more subdued.
Dec 29, 2015
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Reviewed by hotmailmsn from Canada (BC)

3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
9.5% abv, N/A ibu, 341ml bottle (2015).
A - dark brown (similar to porter but not yet stout) with a finger head, but faded out fast.
S - lager sweet,dried fruit, raisin, currant, toffee, cocoa, toast. massive attack as it warmed up a bit, spice, sweetness, floral and many other...clove, nutty.
T - welly carbonated. flavored r fantastic and intense! coffee, caramel, cherry, lingering bourbon (brandy?) barrel like taste. creamy smooth thick body.
O - first time try this style of beer, it's great! I like the palate more, especially the lasting, aromas r good as well. thick heavy smooth body, coffee bitterness,liquorice, molasses stick on the tongue, reminds me of barrel aged RIS. delicious brew, and also great value. r going to cellar two of them.
Nov 15, 2015
Photo of kholdstare93
Reviewed by kholdstare93 from Canada (BC)

5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Excellent. This may be my favorite beer. It looks great(darkness with a slight red tinge), it smells great(scent of liquorice, cocoa, and slight caramel) and it has a wonderful, complex taste.(mostly the same as the scent, only with some cherry and plum added). This is the best beer that the underrated VIB has to offer. Too bad it is only available in Winter.
Aug 22, 2015
Rated: 3.77 by TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

Jun 30, 2015
Rated: 3.43 by BcCraft710 from Canada (BC)

Jan 19, 2015
Rated: 3.83 by Kalil from Canada (BC)

Jan 19, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by Rakishii from Canada (BC)

Nov 18, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by kjyost from Canada (MB)

Nov 17, 2014
Rated: 4 by Ericbeech_87 from Canada (BC)

Nov 16, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by scameron from Canada (BC)

Nov 14, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Larz_73 from Canada (BC)

Jul 06, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by rogerdandy from Canada (AB)

Apr 16, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Hoptoria from Canada (BC)

Mar 11, 2014
Rated: 4 by phys1028 from Canada (BC)

Mar 05, 2014
Hermannator from Vancouver Island Brewing
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 85 ratings