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 Arbitrator
1.55/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous extra from boatshoes. Thanks, Fletcher! I love New Glarus....

A: Pours a murky maroon body with ruby-orange edges when held up to the light. Its light beige foam retains well and leaves generous sudsing down hte sides of the tulip, maintaining a light film on the beer when all is said and done. Great appearance.

S: This is surprisingly lacking in aroma. I let it warm up, but at best I get vague hints of Staghorn-like toast, apple cider, and plums. Very poor presence.

T: The taste is much the same way. What's going on here? I pick up some bread, plums, and leafy hops, but they're all incredibly weak. Just a very watery experience.

M: Kind of a watery, foamy body. Weak flavor.

D: I'm hoping this is a bad bottle somehow. The beer had basically no taste. Wut??

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Photo of mncoinman
2.05/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Initial opening not much "bock" aroma. Pours a nice medium brown with a perfect foamy head.
Slightly astringent on first taste. Seems low on Munich malts...missing that "bock" taste. Feel is
a mild carbonation but really lacking in a rich bock taste. Failed to meet my expectations.

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Photo of BasementBer
2.12/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Hazy nut brown to amber in color. Minimal lacing from the light brown head. Best feature imo.

S: Sweet brown sugar if anything.

T: Not much here to describe. Water comes to mind, possibly the waters of New Glarus, WI? Bock in the nose but it just stops right there. Not only do i not believe its over 5% because of the thinness of it, but that its the back 40 ive heard about.

M: Slight fizzyness from solid head retention and a dryness in he mouth.

D: Not impressed. Wheres the body? Has little to no bulk at all. Could pass as a standard brown ale really.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.6/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a New Glarus glass on 8/7/12

Medium dark brown with rust and crimson highlights. A two finger beige-colored head dissipates slowly leaving a pock marked layer of foam and scattered strands of lace.

Bread has a strong showing in the nose with a toasty grain bent backing it up. From there, milder floral and ripe apple notes round it out. Dusty yeast on the peripheries.

The taste is a bit of a let down compared to the aroma. Bread notes are minimized and there is a generic hop twinge that comes across as metallic. Light fruit tones blended in around the edges. Hints of earth and nuts.

The feel is a disappointment. The body is light with a juicy penchant and falls prey to an overactive carbonation.

My overall impression of Back 40 improves over time; swirling out some of the carbonation makes the beer easier to drink and as the beer warms, some of the roughish aspects are lessened.

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Photo of ArchaeoFiero_TheDelorean
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A watered down, citrusy "bock" (so they say) with the classic New Glarus ultra-sweet blandness. The hops are almost nonexistent and the flavor leans towards that of a flat soda.

It pours beautifully, with a full head, but that's where it ends for me. A bock should be full and strong, and this is weak and mild, and very sweet. A lot of what New Glarus does, to me, is just Spotted Cow with a twist. And I am not a fan of Spotted Cow.

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Photo of facundoCNB
2.82/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - thick creamy head constant throughout, nice lacing, deep copper

S - floral hops, malts

T - semisweet malts, not much there as far as taste goes, taste of barley

M - very refreshing and crisp on the mouth, downed half of a glass instantly.. which could be a bad thing!

O - a nice thirst quencher, but not much in other departments unfortunately.. this looked a lot better than it was which surprises me from new glarus.

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Photo of samie85
2.86/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a clear dark brownish red color with a finger of off-white head.

S-Light hints of dark fruit and a spicy, herbal hop nose.

T-This one has hints of light malty dark fruit with a mild bitterness on the finish.

M-Very thin-bodied and a little watery with mild carbonation.

D-This one is a little disappointing for me; I'm left wanting more body and a bigger malt profile.

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Photo of krazyboi
2.89/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Brown in color, with a two finger light tan head which dissipates rather quickly.
S: Slightly malty and sweet.
T: Malty with barely any other noticible flavors. Not very complex.
M: Medium bodied with light carbonation.
D: This is very drinkable, but not anything I would go searching for. There's just nothing special about this beer. It's a bit tasteless. I love New Glarus beers, but this one just doesn't cut it. I do know a lot of other people like it though, so go try it out for yourself!

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Photo of Bighuge
2.94/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly hazed mahogany body. Thin off white head leaves sporadic patches of lace. Weak maltiness on the nose with allusions to adjuncts. Body is about medium. Moderate amounts of carbonation. Very easy going beer without a lot of malt depth or richness. It's just kind of there. Maybe a good crossover bock for the macro crowd, but this pales in comparison to the Uff Da Bock, which is exceptional IMHO.

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Photo of ZAP
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kind of a light weight bock/dark lager offering. Dark copper colored...disappointed in the clarity...a bit hazy...somewhat nutty in flavor with some bready notes...but overall not a lot of strong malt flavors expected. Drinks fine but something I'd more expect to experience wearing a Leinie label....actually I think I prefer their 1888 Bock to of the mill and another NG beer that seems dumbed down for the masses (like their Honey Bock).

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Photo of HopsingKangabrew
3.04/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A very dark brown pour, with a very small to non existent soda like head. Not too much on the nose, nothing distinguishable (may be my slight cold, though). It's smooth, medium bodied. It's sweet, with a lot of toasted breadiness and a caramel/slight toffee like finish. It's drinkable, but the trade off here is a bock that isn't indicative of the type of beer it is. Slightly watered down is somewhat accurate. Mouthfeel reminds me of slightly soda.

All around, not a bad beer. I picked it up in a variety pack. I'm not sure I would go out of my way to find this one, though.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to BeerFMAndy for getting a nice box of New Glarus out to me. Served in a New Glarus tasting glass.

Pours a medium caramel color with a short white head and some nice lacing on the way down. The nose brings some very faint hops and a bit of bready plus a touch of caramel. Flavor is pretty similar. Body is medium with good carbonation and a semi-dry finish; just a touch of sweetness comes through. Not bad for an American Bock.

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Photo of leakyfaucet12
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter while watching the Bears obliterate the seahawks.

a- dark brown with an abnormally white head that leaves quite a bit of lacing on the glass.

s- The smell on this is quite a bit odd, I asked my wife to smell it to let me know what she thought and I got a couple of things from her. This is what we thought: bandaids, stale beer on the floor, fruits and some breads.

t- there was an initial sourness that I thought of there old english UP. But then it smoothed out with a fruit flavor. I feel that this is a bit light in flavor though

m- light in the aftertaste and barely any carbonation.

d- This beer I could see on a draft list and not feel that it is anything special. The beer is competely and utterly average in my opinion. Not bad, but not good. And this is coming from a guy that considers New Glarus one of my favorite breweriess.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into pint glass

Pours up brownish red with a nice tan head on top with good retention.

Aroma is mild with very light caramel and a touch of earthy hops.

Flavor is also mild, almost watery to me, with a touch of caramel and sort of a weird taste I can't really describe.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied more light, but sort of harsh due to the odd flavor.

Pretty weak overall, I'd expect better from NG.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: nice mahogany, brown color, thin lacing on top
S: reminded me a bit of the old Huber Bock, slightly sweet, some corn
T: decent enough, reminded me of a polished german bock that doesn't have a ton of roasted malt backbone, a bit watery
M: somewhat watery but tasty and not over the top in malt, just well-balanced beer
D: easy drinking

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.14/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours a dark brown color with copper edges and is mostly clear with a tight off white head. Nose is toasted grain, sweet malt, and brown sugar. Taste has less grain and a hint musky, a bit sweet, brown sugar, stronger carb, flavors get a hint muted.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Muddy brownish color with red tinges, light light tan head of not even a finger. No lace, rather bubbly.

Average aroma: slight malt sweetness and a hint of nuttiness.

Fairly similar taste with the maltiness, nuttiness, and maybe a hint of sweet citrus faintly in the back.

Feel is light in body, creamy, slick and clean.

Drink ability is decent: Overall an above average Bock, but doesn't wow on any fronts.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.19/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a muddy bronze color with a modest, coarse, off-white head. Aroma is fairly one-dimensional, smelling of caramel. Taste is comparable to the aroma, with a malty sweetness matched by just enough hops to lend balance. The amalgam precipitates a slight, cherry-like tartness near the back end that's the closest thing to complexity this brew has to offer. The mouthfeel is light, perky, and drinkable--probably the best thing this beer has going for it. This ultimately comes off as a safe and nondescript bock, which is less than desirable for a style I already find to be pretty underwhelming.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Stange glass. Bottle dated 2770 so it's very fresh.

It pours a transparent brown, just a shade lighter than cola. A off white, bordering on khaki 1 finger head tops the beer with medium retention and minimal lacing.

The aroma is all malt. It isn't too sweet and over powering like too much crystal malt is in there. Some bready toasty aromas as well as just a dap of roasted coffee. The nose seems pretty subdued but i enjoyed that to the overly sweet aroma of many bocks.

My first impression is that the flavor is pretty light and watery. A bit of toasted bread, lightly sweet with toffee, but ultimately ends pretty dry and crisp. The flavor profile is there it seems so dumbed and watered down that it's barely recognizable as a bock.

The body is to thin for my liking. I hate to say this but it reminds me of the beers some BMC companies used to put out in the winter which are basically their light lagers with some crystal malt or Sinamar added. The drinkabilty is very good mostly due to the light body and light flavor.

I had high hopes that they would have replaced Uff-da with a similar tasting bock although I almost lost hope after tasting Cabin Fever. I understand why New Glarus is making these least common denominator beers but it pains me to know this was at the expense of Uff-da. A real 'Wisconsin Bock' needs some body and bold flavor.

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Photo of Buebie
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

My buddy picked me up a mixer 6 of NG beer the other day, what a good friend.

Poured from the bottle semi rigorously, producing about an inch of white frothy head. Settling to a thick whipped collar and a nice cap.
Color is a pale burnt brown, hazy but semi transparent.
Lace leaves thin slick coverage, long legs.
Aroma is malty with breads and burnt sugars. semi sweet with a leafy laid back hop presence as well as a small touch of dark fruit.
Taste is also fairly malty, mild cereal grains and some of that dark fruit with very mild leafy hops. It seems a little watered down though in flavor and feel is overly assertive in carbonation.
Thin feeling really and extra crisp with prickly carbonation.
A good sessioner, but not something I'd seek out.

I didn't care for it, but my roommates gf said its good for girls and she really likes it.

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Photo of BeerSoup
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into pint glass.

A - Clear brown body with a 2 finger tan head and little lacing.

S - Grainy, nutty, hint of cinnamon.

T - Same as the smell, grainy, nutty, small cinnamon notes.

M - Smooth medium body, light carbonation.

D - Very easy to drink, gulper for sure.

Final impression - Lacks aroma and flavor. This is the stuff that makes alcoholics.

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Photo of errantnight
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful looking beer, thick creamy, fluffy, craggy head with nice lacing and retention sitting atop a deep mahogany / burnt sienna. Aroma is a bit flat, some nuttiness and a little roast. The body, while substantial, seems pumped up with caramel and roasted malts. It's deceptively cloying, despite an initial nice balance. It doesn't really showcase the mid-palate malt. Leaving this almost like a bock by way of a brown ale. It is round, smooth, and full without being heavy.

It's gorgeous, easy to drink, but it's not what I'm looking for from a bock, at all.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a shiny, kind of medium brown-reddish body. Head isn't really there. Soapy and loose. Not much lacing

Sweet caramel and stale toffee in the aroma. A bit of leather comes and goes. Semi sharp.

Flavors seem raw and young. the caramel doesn't seem chewy, but hard. A quick burst of flavor then dwindles. Toffee is in the back ground, surrounding some dark, red soft fruit. Still seems a bit young.

a bit flat in the feel. Low abv makes it drinkable but I think takes away some of the feel.

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Photo of rka758
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint.

A: Pours a deep brown. One-finger white head with nice lacing.
S: Almost "bready." A little sweet malt.
T: Malt. A little vanilla.
M: Nice. Lite.
D: It's an easy drinker. While this is a fine beer, I don't know if I will be searching for it.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a rosy amber hue with high clarity and a slim, sudsy beige head that soon dissipates to wispy fog and a drab ring. Nice color.

Smell -- Plum and cherry, raisin, bready grain, and perhaps a hint of earthy hops.

Taste -- Plum, dark cherry, raisin, bread doughiness, earthy hops. Quite dry, finishes especially clean.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light body, moderate carbonation. Feels great, damn near perfect. New Glarus is just one of those breweries that get the feel just right.

Drinkability -- For the uninitiated, Wisconsin is the standard bearer of bock biers in the US, and New Glarus is the standard bearer of craft beer in Wisconsin. Somehow it just doesn't come together. A crisp, refreshing beer for certain, but there's not much flavor. Not my favorite New Glarus offering.

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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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