Back Forty Bock | New Glarus Brewing Company

144 Reviews
Back Forty BockBack Forty Bock

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The “Back Forty” is property commonly found on the outskirts of the Wisconsin family farm. Here uncultivated acres wait prime for adventure- forts, tree houses, rope swings and first kisses! A place to run away, to camp, to climb, to build, to play. Not actually home but not too far away. That’s the Back Forty. The beer you hold is similar both dark and adventurous still smooth and familiar. Here’s a beer you can enjoy without pretense or explanation. Every mind requires some acres of possibility, space for dreams, the great escape, everyone needs a Back Forty.

Added by Soneast on 10-16-2010

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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 537
Photo of mariposafan
4.66/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

At cellar temperature pours a pretty dark orange-brown with a creamy head that fills my Duvel tulip to the very top. The head becomes rocky over the space of a couple of minutes but persists for the entire drink.

Sweet malt/caramel smell with some raisiny fruitiness. Very nice.

The taste mirrors the smell - slightly sweet and malty with some dried fruit flavors. Some balancing bitterness but it never gets in the way. Not overly complex flavor but what's there seems to be just right given what I was thinking a bock should taste like. Very little aftertaste, leaving a clean palate that's waiting for the next sip.

Light to medium mouthfeel, the carbonation provides creaminess and body.

Wonderfully drinkable. I never tasted the alcohol (something to keep in mind!) and the flavor almost begs me to have another.

Overall this seems to fit what I understand a bock to be to a T. It's certainly not a dopplebock but the family traits are there, if only at a less intense level. The one extreme virtue that this seems to have is its drinkability - pretty much par for the course for New Glarus.

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Photo of JakeBarnett
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a sampler pack a friend brought across the border! Gorgeous dark caramel color, smooth drinker that goes down without a fight and leaves several distinct levels of lacing behind. Don't be deceived by the color on this one, it is certainly session-able! An absolute must for any lager-lover who is lucky enough to have access to it.

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Photo of ByTor2112
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this single up at Flanagan's in Appleton, WI.
Pours a darker brown, translucent, with a thin white film of foam that slowly dissipates.
Aroma-very nice! Lighter roasted malt notes plus a hint of some crisp hops, smells like a lager with bonus malty aromas.
Mouthfeel-Medium carbonation coats the palate. A healthy malty body, but does not let any sweetness overtake it. The hops are even-keeled and provide a good balance. Similar to the aroma, this has a lager mouthfeel with an extra malt bump. A Bock at 5.5%..genius! This is satisfying and could be a bit of a winter warmer despite the lower ABV which makes no difference to me. Finishes clean. New Glarus has yet to brew anything I didn't truly love. Sessionable for a Bock. Yummy even.

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Photo of Badbobx
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I forgot I had this beer. I was in Wisconsin in May and brought back several beers. This stayed in the closet a while. It was worth the wait.
A 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass produced a beautiful dark semi-translucent pour. The foam was modest with a bit of lacing.
The aroma is a dark lager, very distinctive and pleasant.
The taste is a sweet malt with a bit of chocolate. There seems to be a sight mineral flavor that complements the sweetness.
The mouthfeel is appropriate for the style not too thick.
Overall, I enjoyed this brew and can only hope to sample more from this brewer.

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Photo of drpimento
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Solid, traditional bock beer. Served with a great, foamy, frothy, sudsy, light tan head that lasts and lots of lace. Color is a clear, dark garnet. Aroma is malt, caramel, toffee and just a hint of molasses. Flavor's the same and has the sweetness perfectly balanced. Body is just what it should be, ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of short to medium length. This is quitessential bock beer. Session.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip, with a huge thank you to my New Glarus supplier, Jeff (Alewatcher). Thank god beer doesn't leave track marks.

Warning: any comments that follow can and should be considered the thoughts of a complete New Glarus fanboy. I would be an utter homer if I didn't live 600 miles away.

Pours deep, deep brown, some plum tones around the edges, soft and opaque. Big, fluffy two-finger light khaki head settles down after a bit of a rest and leaves sheets of lacing as it does. Nice looking beer.

Nose is soft; lightly bready, inviting dark fruit with a bit of a floral quality. Hints at bread crust, even echoes of chocolate in there. Doesn't jump out at you, but what's there is top notch

Taste is ridiculously clean, soft, fluffy, inviting. This is one of those few beers where the taste and the mouthfeel are so tightly knit that you can't really review them separately. Dark fruits and dark bready malt float on top of dry, fluffy, airy carbonation; superbly drinkable; hints of bread crust, a dash of cocoa powder, and a faintly earthy figgy note. The hops only show up in person for a flash on the fading finish, leafy and floral, preferring to spend the rest of the time providing that fantastic, dry, ultra clean, light sensation that counterbalances the malt body. Really unique. The flavor profile really is subdued, and I'd rate it lower if it wasn't so well done and didn't feel so, well, right. Top to bottom, a beautiful beer. I would by this by the case if I lived close enough.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep russet brown, very clear with lots of carbonation, really quite nice and a classic look for a bock. Thin off white head formed on the top, but quickly faded to just a thin film that stayed throughout the session, but offered no side glass contribution.

The aroma was your classic malty bock. Nice sweet caramel and nutty aromas mixed in with a good earthy tone. The flavor followed through very closely with a nice bitter malty flavor and a good amount of sweetness in it as well. Carbonation that is more then decent never let it go flat and kept you entertained throughout the session. Easily a sessionable beer, as I could have thrown down more then one.

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Photo of brewballer
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice nutty brown with white lace on the side of the glass. Smells a bit toasty and nutty. First taste is of malty bready goodness that just keeps you drinking more and more. Finishes a bit nutty as well. did i say nutty?? lol This is a great brew. Definitely something I could drink for a few hours with the boys. Highly recommended

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Photo of czfreeman
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber brown color.Head is outstanding, creamy white, lots of lacing and holds its beautiful shape for quite a while.
Smells of woody cider notes, hay,apples, soured fruit, touch of lemon, pepper, bread, and sweet malt.Quite a step up from the normal bock, a style that is not anywhere near the top of my list, normally is just too sweet and not well balanced..Once again New Glarus has exceeded expectations.
Flavor is bready, spicy, slightly sweet and..just great.Apples, malt, bread, hay, and peppery yeast with a light hop bitterness all come into play.Biscuit, fruits, and spice all harmonize in a near perfect balance of this style.
Highly enjoyable..I normally avoid Bock at all costs, this beer is truly an exception. German brewers take note of this one.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip; second in a back-to-back-to-back tasting of New Glarus Bocks (the others being Cabin Fever and Uff-Da).

A: A fairly rough pour fills the tulip entirely, half with dark, nearly black red-brown liquid and half with thick, creamy, rocky tan head. Very dark, very rich, very beautiful.

S: Highly nutty, spicy, malty aroma, backed up with some chocolate and minerality. Very crisp lager yeast presence, with a nice balance of rich malts and piquant hops. This is a classic aroma for the style.

T: Starts out a little subdued, with dry nutty malt and chalky yeast dominating. The back end, though, expands dynamically with chocolate, coffee, and spicy hops. Long, clean, coffee-tinged finish. Quite refreshing for being such a rich lager.

M: A bit overcarbonated, as it just explodes into roiling effervescence as soon as it hits my tongue. All this after a rough pour...

O: Aside from the extraneous carbonation, this was a truly spectacular bock, delivering a tremendous balance of richness and drinkability. I would love to drink a liter or two of this on a crisp fall day. By far the winner of the three-beer contest.


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Photo of bennetj17
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours leaving a thick pillowy tan head. The foam holds nicely as it's supported by vigorous carbonation streaming below. Deep brown, with a nice clarity that glows amberish in the light. The aroma seems a bit basic with a light doughy maltiness that is semi-sweet.

I really like the flavor of this lager. The malty sweetness is bright but not overpowering. It's a doughy/biscuity taste with a slight vegetal character. The finish has a hint of bitterness to provide balance and it seems to taper off cleanly making it easy to quaff. There is a light chewiness in the body, but just enough to provide character. Overall it is not heavy though, and the carbonation creates a velevet smoothness that is pleasant on the palate.

Overall a tasty, drinkable beer, and surely underrated. Don't take it for granted...

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Photo of joeseppy
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%

Looks like I'm pouring cola. Basically brown with clarity. Modest head that will recede to the rim.

Aroma of lightly toasted bread and mild yeast. Malt and mixed nuts. Hints of coffee.

Malty lager. Extremely mild hop if any. Toasted nuts.

Lighter bodied with sustained carbonation throughout. Drinks smooth and fast if you don't catch yourself. Just enough sweetness to make this delicious.

It seems overall Bocks receive no due. By general standards of a Bock, this brew is finely crafted. I don't partake in many Bocks but on this 56*F day in Chicago this fits well. But might I add that this is quenchable enough to session on a summer night.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Warning: Don't drink this too cold. I explain why under the taste paragraph.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a "Wisconsin-themed" pint glass.
Pours a dense opaque dark copper color with a beautiful rocky off white head that lingers long into the enjoyment. Strong lacing clings to the glass throughout.

The smell is malt driven with notes of toasted nuts, raisins, brown sugar, and toffee. The smell isn't overwhelming, but subtle and spot on for a standard bock.

The taste has flavors of toasted nuts, covered in brown sugar, toffee in the front. The finish has a complimentary subdued bitterness that compliments the slightly sweet finish. I have to warn you that if you drink this too cold as I did at first, you may notice a dominant slightly astringent bitterness in the finish and into the aftertaste. I noticed this at first and was going to downgrade the beer until I let it warm to give another look. The warming helped tremendously with the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good medium-low carbonation level.

If consumed at the proper temperature, this beer has great drinkability with an appropriately clean, slightly sweet and satisfying finish.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a 6-pack of this from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for about $7.

This new seasonal from New Glarus is a must try for New Glarus fans. It pours a dark brown color and has that familar bock smell to it. This beer starts out with a semi strong bock taste but finishes very nicely with little after taste. Pretty smooth and nice flavor, definetly a good taste for the price.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark copper to brown color with a fine head that clung to glass. The aroma is malty, bready, laced with caramel and fruit. Smooth and malty across the palate. Lots of good malty action in the flavor. Bready, grainy, with a dash of sweetness, this is a well flavored beer. A nicely made, clean bock.

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Photo of sommersb
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 01-07-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Seidel
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown color, like a dark cola. Big rocky head is 4+ fingers high and features excellent retention and very good lacing.

Smell: Malty, with caramel notes. Also some yeast smell, but overall not a lot of aroma.

Taste: A strong and rich malt character with a clean lager feel. Sweet, but not cloying, with a touch of hops but no bitterness. Very impressive taste.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated and crisp, with a medium body. The finish is malty and slightly sweet.

Overall: Very refreshing and easy drinking. My mug was empty quickly and I would love to have had more!

Thanks to Crass3000 for this one!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

The head graces the glass with a random patchy pattern of lace; muddled brown color shows some chill haze. Fresh-cut hay, ripe apple orchard and fresh-baked dark bread fills the nose. Lagered smoothness unleashes a re- freshing crispness in the medium body. Sweet, toasted, bready maltiness is the tune this brew is singing, a broad reach from caramel to toasted pie crust to biscuits. Modest hopping stretches far enough to balance and leaves some oily herbal flavor in the drying, malty end. "Wow" comes to mind; extremely drinkable with a tightly packed, toasted character that unfolds with each sip. A good hunt for any true lager lover out there.

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Photo of Lolli1315
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A dark brown that can be seen through when held up to light. A thin tan head forms and becomes slightly patchy with a slightly thicker ring around the glass. Lacing clings to the top of the glass but becomes more sparse later on.

S- Toasted malt is the backbone of the beer with some sweetness of the malt expectantly coming through. Caramel arises with biscuit and bred accompanying.

T- A clean toasted malt flavor once again is the focal point with discernible caramel rising towards the middle. A biscuit and bread flavor also emerges in the middle. The toasted malt follows throughout the beer into its finish.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry on the finish.

O- Easy drinking beer and really brings out the toasted flavored malts without going overboard. Would certainly pick this beer up again.

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Photo of DubbelTrubbel
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into New Glarus Signature Glass

A- Dark brown, off-white foamy head

S- Fresh bread and yeast- friutiness also evident. Appetizing

T- Rich, smooth, clean, slight oiliness. Finish has dark malt taste. Just really good.

M- Full and smooth, moderate carbonation

O- Very drinkable, balanced, and a little complexity. Similar to what it says on their six pack carriers, NG has a way of being "true to style", as well.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.16/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Piggly Wiggly in Prairie du Chen, WI.

Time stamp:

Pours a big fluffy head with a homogenous protein matrix. I poured in 15 minutes ago and the head is still 1/4 inch and the lacing is very strong. The color is a dark brown with a clear transparency with no cloudiness.

Smell is slightly sour lager flavors mixed with sweet appetizing malty base with a nutty backbone.

Taste is sweet and malty with some sour lager flavors that are hidden by the sweet, smokey, and a little burnt malts in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, just like the head indicates with a little body to keep the flavors on your tongue and makes you want to take another sip. It's a little acidic on the tongue, but the aftertaste with suttle sweetness covers that up.

Overall it's very flavorful without being overpowering. It is scrumptious.

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Photo of jwc215
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours reddish brown with a foamy lasting head.

The smell is of caramel/toffee, light toast (dark bread). A hint of cocoa comes through as it progresses. An earthy hop touch in the crisp finish balances the sweetness.

It is very smooth and crisp. Excellent carbonation level.

A very well-made bock. A smooth, well-balanced, tasty lager!

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my pint glass.

A: Cinnamon brown with golden edges. Solid two fingers of sandy hued head. Thick lace lasting retention and a solid cap.

S: Sweet caramel malt. Toasted white bread. Touch of cocoa dust and dark fruit.

T: Fairly similar to the nose. Sweet caramel and breadiness. Hints of cocoa, cinnamon and dark fruit. Rich.

M: Medium creamy body. Light carbonation.

D: Overall another easy drinking beer from NG. Hits the style and substance for my my money.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours with a dark brown color. Half a finger of head on the pour which settled a touch but was present while drinking. Low active carbonation but fitting for the style.

Smell: Toffee and amber malt jumps out right away. Medium bodied fruits are quite bright on the body with a definite sweetness running throughout. There is a touch of hay and prairie grass on the back end.

Taste: Molasses and toffee make a grand entrance. Semi-sweet grains with medium to dark fruits open up on the body. The back end is a revival of the molasses and toffee on the front with slowly waning grains and fruit. Slight nuttiness sticks to the palate.

Mouthfeel: Awesomely drinkable. Carbonation is on the lighter side which is a big player in the easy drinkability.

Overall: Just more awesomely executed beer from New Glarus. I feel like a broken record saying this but they do all their styles so well. This one is a touch single dimensional on the sweetness side but that's getting nitpicky. No doubt worth a try.

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Photo of Zach136
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%

Appearance: Deep brown with great clarity. Thin, off white head with great lacing. (4.15)

Aroma: Malt forward, toffee and toast mostly. No hop, yeast discernible. (4.25)

Flavor: Moderate malt character, toasty and nutty. Well attenuated and not much caramelization (4.00)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate-high carbonation. No alcohol, dissipating finish. (4.00)

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Photo of sweemzander
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for this one!

(A)- Pours a very nice dark burnt sienna color with minimal reddish highlights. Produced a great fluffy eggshell colored head with great retention and tons of foamy lacing left behind.

(S)- A nice rustic nutty aroma like walnuts or almonds. Lightly creamy, with a smooth roastedness. Very subtle hints of vanilla.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A nice creamy profile combo of vanilla and nuts with a mild roasted aspect. Some raisin character in there as well that I like.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Smooth as can be with a mild creamy profile. Mild roasted components. A rustic, but clean feel to it.

(D)- A fantastic Bock. Great flavor, balance, and feel without being too bold. A "clean" tasting and easy drinking bock. I still miss Uff-da, but this is quite good; easier drinking for the style.

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Back Forty Bock from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 537 ratings.
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