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Hermannator Ice Bock | Vancouver Island Brewery

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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 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 Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of mgermani: Poured a deep cloudy brown color bock with a small bubbly head with almost no carbonation. Aroma of dry fruits (figs and plums) with some toffee malt. Taste is a mix between some sweet toffee and caramel malt with great notes of dry fruits such as figs and raisins. Body is full with some light carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I really appreciated that one except maybe for being a bit too sweet and rich.

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Photo of biegaman
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml industry brown bottle twist off. ABV listed as 9.5%, brewed October 30, 2006. Enjoyed with good friends amidst the terrible snow storm of March 2007. A rare Canadian example of the style.
Pours a dark colour with a tapioca head that fades literally within seconds. Dark, deep brown with shades of amber. The aroma comes out really flat, containing little else than (a rather nice) malt bill that takes entirely too much searching for. Hard to get even that off the smell. Both mouthfeel and flavour do good to make up for the absence of aroma. A chewy malt base with chocolate notes. Some fruity pep and hints of hops. Raisons and malt ring out lightly in the aftertaste. No alcohol noticeable, very good. Difficult to say much about it, it's rather soft and unimpressive but still actually rather nice and easy to enjoy.
Thanks HogTownHarry for this very limited release "ice" bock.

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

A: Black with ruby highlights, tan head, very little retention, slight leg/lace.

S: Alcohol, dark fruit/fruit bread and a light spicing.

T: Dark caramel/cola, dark bread, dark fruit, light spicing, warming alcohol.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body has a dry, alcohol finish.

D: It's a nice sipper.

I've been trying to track this down for years, but they tend to be sold out by Christmas. So a big thanks to Seldomseen for this trade!

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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 Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, received from canucklehead in CanBIF4.

Pours a very dark reddish brown, almost black, slightly hazy, thin light tan head forms, drops to a thin ring around the glass, no real lacing, not much head sticks around, looks okay. Smell is nice but a little weak, caramel, iron, light chocolate and roast, raisin, light fruitiness, vanilla, nutty, sherry, some alcohol but well hidden, not too bad. Taste is similar, sweet and fruity, grapes, caramel, apple juice, raisins, chocolate milk, alcohol, sherry, vanilla, pretty neat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth but very smooth for the ABV. Been waiting to try this one for a while, glad I finally could. Nice beer!

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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 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 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 canucklehead
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love the new 6 pack with smaller bottles as it makes easier to drink one without the alcohol ( 9.5 abv) taking effect. This is an improvement on last years beer as that sweetness has been decreased and the smoothness has been increased. Lots of nice cakey flavours and a malty finish that makes the alcohol hide its face. Very drinkable and very refined.

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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 kmpitz2
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours as deep an amber color as I've ever seen. Its like an incredibly infused tea color. A 2 finger head falls to absolutely no head over top. The nose is rich toasted melanoidan munich malt with a thick caramel sweetness hanging over top of it. I think these two aromas are strong enough to keep any fruity fig notes from coming through. Flavor is strong, but not as bold as I was expecting. The initial sip brings a thick caramel that sits over a deep toastyness. This moves towards a very deep caramelized prune and fig. The finish is lightly bitter, fading quickly. Feel is thick with a light carbonation...very filling. Overall, this is a nice brew. The bottle says its 9.5%. I'd expect a touch more alcohol in an eisbock, but I'm feeling it a little in my cheeks. This is one to find if you happen to be in B.C on Vancouver Island. Nice.

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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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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 pootz
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours a deep chestnut brown beer in the glass with a 1 finger cap that vanishes instantly.

Nose is primarily demerara sugar/molasses..some fig and raisin notes..wisps of fusel alcohol.

Decent mouth feel.big malts, bulky body, smoky sugars, .toasty-molasses character.

Front side is dominated by molasses/fig/toasted bread tastes, some light smoke and nutty undertones...mid palate it is still a fairly 3 dimensional lager where some light herbal Hersbrucker hops show up ( finally) with all the main tastes remaining relatively distinct...finish is long and wet with big bread and dried fruit in the after taste.

One of Canada’s better eisbocks but needs work...do something with the heading on this brew and you’ll be there VBC.

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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 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 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 shivtim
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think our obtaining this beer may or may not have involved some slightly illegal/immoral antics. Oh well.
Pours a beautiful deep and ever-so-slightly translucent brown/black/red, with a slight head. Nose is slightly sweet malts. Taste is syrupy and sweet, with some chocolate and tasty roasted malts on the finish. Mouthfeel is full and good. Drinkability very high on this one. Nice brew! Best of the recent beer club.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a treat. This was brought to our beer tasting club by one of our resident Canadians. She'd been talking about it for ages so we finally got a chance to see if it lived up to its name (preview: it did). Poured super dark crimson and clear with a tan colored head. looks great. Smells plummy and ethyl alcohol-like and fairly inviting. Taste is sweet caramel with some chocolate flavor. alcohol really quite understated. smoe roastiness and dark fruity flavors like dates and prunes. A thick cough-syrup and water texture thats very easy to drink and enjoy. Probably the best Eisbock i've had.

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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 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 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.

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