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Hermannator Ice Bock | Vancouver Island Brewery

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38 Reviews
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Hermannator Ice BockHermannator Ice Bock

Brewed by:
Vancouver Island Brewery
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Eisbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-04-2003

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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 64
Photo of DaveBar
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
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.


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Photo of MaltyPythonsHopCircus
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of N_E_Beer
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Svingjo
3.84/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of hotmailmsn
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of kholdstare93
5/5  rDev +26.3%
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.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle. Pours a dark chestnut brown colour. Notes of roasty malt, dark fruits, brown sugar on the nose. Taste is sweet, boozy and unapologetically malty, with notes of marzipan, molasses, nuts and grapes/raisins. Rich, deep and warming.

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Photo of ZachT
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

650 ml collector's edition bomber

A: Dark chestnut, almost black - slight amount of white head
S: Rich and malty, very strong acohol, very slight burnt sugar
T: Malty, slight bitter chocolate and hints of caramel, strong warming alcohol finish
M: Very smooth, medium to heavy body, rich malt palate that lingers
O: Exceptionally smooth and delicious beer, perfect for a cold winter night. This is actually my first Eisbock style beer and I really enjoyed it, I will most definitely be trying others.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Props to my bro for bringing this with him on his visit to Ontario.

A - Pours a really dark ruby red, finger of head with no retention or lacing.

S - Rich caramel, toffee, dark fruits, toasted grains, and leafy greens on the finish.

T - Much like the nose, dark fruits, toffee, hints of espresso and cherry and some boozy sweetness and heat on the finish.

M - Lighter bodied ale, fills the mouth with bubbles and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - A solid brew, loads of flavour as deceivingly smooth. ABV is very well hidden and the flavour profile is quite complementary. Definitely worth picking up and super glad I was able to take it for a spin.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

** 25th Anniversary Collectors Edition - 650ml Bottle Conditioned with wax seal **

A: Pours a dark black-brown with about 2 fingers of sand coloured head which quickly dissipates into a thin rim with minimal lacing.

S: Initial scent of fresh coffee and cocoa powder together with sweet malts. Mild background of hops.

T: Upfront taste of strong coffee, cocoa and molasses with background notes of prunes and toasted bread. Finishes with a mild alcohol burn.

M: Very syrupy body that coats the mouth with low carbonation.

O: Everything is very concentrated and is unapologetically malt forward. I have never had the regular (341 ml) bottles but this special edition bomber is a great sipper that will be an excellent brew to cellar. Worth picking up a few if you can still find them.

 787 characters

Photo of LampertLand
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Vancouver Is. Brewery 'Hermannator' Ice Bock @ 9.5% , celebrating it's 25th year in 2012 , served from a 6pack of 341 ml bottle's purchased for $13.50 & growler for $15
A-pour is a dark ruby brown to a near black in the glass with small tight tan head , which quickly dissapates leaving no lace along the stange
S-plum , raisins & figs , sweet malts , hint of dark chocolate
T-sweet malty start , booze is well hidden , toasted chocolate finish , damn easy to drink
MF-medium/full bodied , light /medium carbonation , has slight warm feeling going down
Ov-worthy of it's multiple BC/Canadian Gold Medal's as an Eisbock , good beer , seek it while's it's available & cellar perhaps
prost LampertLand

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Photo of papat444
3.32/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to chickenm for this one.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle.

Appearance: Pours a light brown that is fairly dark in the glass with red tinges. Good sized head but fizzles rather quickly and no lacing. Kind of looks flat.

Smell: Strong nutty aroma, all malt mixed with powdery chocolate, toasted notes with coffee.

Taste: Nuts, faint figs, chunks of chocolate, some caramel and a tinge sweet but balanced. Flavors, while not full, are good. Ideally a 3.25 but nudging it a bit higher.

Mouthfeel: Starts out with a medium body at best and does fill the mouth but i'm left wanting.

Overall: An average offering. Some good components but doesn't quite add up.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into tulip 21/3/12

A dark brown with cola highlights, short lives tan head leaves little in the way of lace as expected for the style

S nutty dark toffee is quite strong and rich, a little molasses and booze with a dose of rum raisin

T mimics the smell pretty well but with a little more, a little more dried fruit and plenty of malty goodness, brown sugar is both crystal and burnt, this stuff tastes great and with a little hazelnut on the finish I like it even more

M silky with just enough carbonation and just some faint heat from the booze but pretty well in check

O a nice malty brew that keeps its booze concealed, if 4.25 were an option I would have dropped it once or twice so a slightly inflated score here

a solid example of an obscure style from a brewery I didn't know existed until recently. I'm pretty stoked that I'm still unaware of gems like this from my own backyard, cheers chickenm for increasing my awareness

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Photo of ericj551
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hermannator Ice Bock pours deep, inky red black, with a thin, brown head. The aroma is alcohol, chocolate and dark fruit, with hints of chocolate and caramel. Sweetness comes through first in the flavor, with a big rich maltiness backing it up. Tons more raisiny dark fruit, with some nice roastiness and a sweet, toffee finish. Dark fruit sticks around after the beer is gone. The alcohol is well hidden, this is a beer that could really sneak up on you.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to DaftCaskBC for this one.

a - popped the bottle and filled my E snifter. brew poured an amber brown that settled much darker in the glass. thin off white bubbly head. hung out a little bit. slippery lacing.

s - earthy malts with a touch of grape and nutmeg.

t - much like the smell, but more grapejuice. quite good. earthy malts are there, but the subtle grape juice leads the way.

m - medium to full bodied. alc is invisible.

o - overall, solid eisbock. nicely made and very drinkable. the fruitiness makes the malts very tolerable.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/4" light brown head over cola coloured thick liquid.

S: Dark chocolate malt and yeast.

T: Raisin, caramel, coffee and dark chocolate malt.

M: Medium viscosity and carbonation.

O: Very tasty and easy drinking eisbock. The best I have had of this style so far.

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Photo of spree92
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last one in the fridge. It has been waiting for almost two months to be enjoyed. Poured into my Dead Frog pint glass. Pours a dark brown with a reddish ting. Not much of a head and disappeared pretty fast. Once I started drinking it, the beer disappeared fat too. I tasted caramel from the malts and picked up a hint of citrus. Small amount of carbonation was enough to stand apart from stouts/porters.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty good, balanced beer. At 9.5%, very easy drinking. I would buy again but I think this was a seasonal.

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Photo of brewymcgee
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a ruby hue when held to a light. The tan foam after pouring quickly reduces to a tight ring around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Malty with some dark fruits and liquorice.

Taste: Rich fruity malt up front with a little tartness and a chocolaty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Despite the full flavours and high alcohol this beer feels light but still has a little creamy softness. Bubbles come through to liven it up as well.

Drinkability: Given its high alcohol, this is actually light enough to enjoy a second bottle in an evening.

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Photo of chickenm
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 2010 bottle. Pours dark ruby brown with a thin tan head that quicky fades away. Aroma is mild but sweet. The taste is very chocolately with sweet malts, molasses, and light fruitiness. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Good drinkability even though it's a little bit too sweet. The alcohol in this is very well hidden.

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Photo of CellarBrau
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 2010 edition of the Vancouver Ice Bock. 355ml bottle poured into a beer glass.

A- Very dark brown with a short lived, tan colored head. Carbonation is a little on the rough side with larger than ideal bubbles.

S- Not a very aromatic beer. Sweet molasses and brown sugar malt. I get a slight fruitiness as well, like plums or prunes.

T- Molasess and prune with an ever so slight tartness. Finish is clean and short.

M- Carbonation is on the lower side as is the body. Coats the tongue ever so slightly.

D- Dangerously drinkable stuff. The alcohol whollop is felt rather than tasted.

Not a deep and contemplative beer. Just good tasting and strong. If you need to warm up on a cold Vancouver night this one does the trick very well.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz as an extra from EskimoDave, cheers man! From last winter's release (2009) so nearing a year old.

Pours a dark mahogany, just a thin covering of head which recedes to a collar.

Interesting to see how this ages - light malty sweetness in the nose, hint of licorice. Opens up in the flavor, especially as it warms - cola, licorice, molasses, raisins, cocoa, sherry, loads of malty goodness. Really smoooths out, hides the ABV really well, not overly sweet. Ages real nice, says I.

Light/medium, spot-on carbonation, perhaps a little thin on the mouthfeel for the style. Not perhaps as bold or as layered as others in the category but with a little age this beer really shines as a smooth, drinkable eisbock. Thanks Dave!

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Photo of markaberrant
2.84/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - small head forms and quickly dissipates, very dark red/brown, opaque in my wide snifter

S - rich malt, big munich character, light cocoa, raisins, clean, smells really good, light spice

T - sweet and tart cherries upfront, that's about it, lingering cocoa in the finish is nice

M - carbonation is not excessive, but in the mouth it is overly airy/fluffy, and the tartness really prickles the mouth, smooth alcohol

D - clearly has an infection

This bottle was from Winter 08/09, it should have been able to hold up to 18 months of aging. The aroma is awesome, I'm guessing this beer would be killer without the tart infection. Though I'm not really sure this is a true Eisbock.

Thanks to canucklehead for the bottle!

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Photo of Grunewald
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 341ml bottle into a pint glass. It pours dark brown (almost black). The head has a great cascading effect when poured but vanishes immediately.

S - rich dark fruit/fruit cake, banana bread, alcohol and spice

T - very sweet desert cake flavor up front, chocolate syrup and a light astringent coffee/chocolate finish

M - low carbonation, heavy body, quite viscous and a neutral finish

D - very sweet and thick

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Seldom Seen. I think this bottle was aged as much as two years and that was a good thing. Poured black with little head to speak of. That meant understated carbonation. There was a tad of lace. Delicious rich malty, and that was in the aroma. Cocoa, and a touch of roast.More imperial porter, with above average mouthfeel, than the hoppy versions from a brewer in Niagara Falls of the same style.

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Photo of grub
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled feb 6/09.

pours deep brown and nearly opaque with a thin dense ring of bubbles around the glass. a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. rich caramel and toffee. light alcohol. dark chocolate. hint of coffee. toasted multi-grain bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. a bit of dark fruit too.

taste is nice. the chocolate and faint coffee notes come through stronger than the fruity and caramel. bit of alcohol. there's less going on than i expected.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium-light carbonation level.

drinkability is pretty good. decent balance. a little underwhelming.

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Hermannator Ice Bock from Vancouver Island Brewery
3.96 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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