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 TheSSG
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a soft, off-white head that has surprising persistence. Sweet malt with a touch of floral hops in the background, which is almost astringent. Ruby-burnt umber color. Starts sweet and a bit tart, a flash of warming booze as a slight toasy malt flavor emerges. The finish comes on strong and biscuity. As it lingers, the toasted malt sneaks back in here and there.

This has a nice complexity. There is a flash of hop and toasted malt underneath the wall of malt delicious.
Bubbly and thin on the tongue, but smooth. Quite lovely.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of my sister-in-law when she came back from Wisconsin. Thanks!

A: Bubble-speckled brown with a slight translucence. Aggressive pour yields a dying head - all the carbonation remains in the body.

N: Malty bread. Some prune flavors in a Belgian vein. Brown sugar. Some banana and clove. This is really clean and tidy.

T: Very, very light. Biscuit and clove. There’s some earth and a balancing bitterness from the hops. Some prune sweetness shows up after it warms. Quite the let down after the delicate flavor the nose.

M: Crisp and clean. This has a great sit back and relax vibe.

O: I am more than willing to highly rate lagers (and am, in fact, happy to do so), but this one falls a bit short of the mark. Looking for more than what I got, and I do understand that it doesn’t need to be a malt bomb. Still decent in a pinch, if you need it.

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Photo of tempest
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The label does call this a "Wisconsin Bock," but the beer tastes a lot more like a dunkel lager than a bock. There's a smooth bread dark bread crust and light caramel malt character with a mild bready aroma to match. It's a very easy drinking beer, but lacks the earthiness and occasional fruit of a bock. Yeah, it's a nice dunkel, just don't pick this up looking for a traditional bock.

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Photo of Naters333
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my New Glarus pilsner glass from a 12oz bottle

A-Pours a deep copper color that is murky. Almost a brownish red color. Really like the color of this beer. Nice slightly off white one inch head. As I drink this beer leaves a nice lacing. Good carbonation.

S-Fruit, breads, yeast.

T- I really get fruit on the front end. A little raspberry perhaps. Nice bread taste on the back end. Malts. Smooth, refreshing.

M-Love this part of the beer. Very nice medium body. Easy drinking.

O- I have not had many bocks, so I can't really compare to what the best is of the style. As for the beer itself, I really enjoyed it. Nothing exceptional, but overall just a solid beer in all categories.

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Photo of WankelEngine
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a copper mahogany color. Lightly hazy but still halfway transparent. A creamy light tan head fades quickly to a thin and spotty oily cap.

S: The aroma is a great combination of some sweet, bready malt and a fruit fermentation profile. Toasty malt and caramel meld with lightly tart apple and a hint of lemon. Minor hop content here.

T: Similar to the aroma but with enhanced hop aroma. Noble style hops give a mildly bitter, earthy flavor which complements the toasty malt flavors. The yeast and fermentation flavors are less sharp and tart than in the aroma, but still prominent. The finish is quick and refreshing.

M: Smooth and creamy. Pleasantly light bodied with low but effervescent carbonation.

O: A great, easy drinking bock. The fermentation profile adds a great fruity dimension to the beer.

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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 barczar
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber brown with a frothy one inch cream head that slowly dissipates, leaving foamy lacing.

Nutty, toasted caramel malt and a hint of butter form the aroma. Lightly roasted breadcrust emerges.

Flavor favors a lightly roasted malt character, with walnuts, a hint of fruitiness, and a lightly bitter finish rounding things out. Hops are minimal, and floral in nature.

Body is on the full side, with moderate carbonation.

Very drinkable beer, but lacks the caramelization of most bocks.

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Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish amber orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Solid three finger off white head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A bready and toasty malt driven aroma. Toasted malts and wheat grains with hints of baked biscuit, cereal grains, toasted bread, caramel, toffee, hay, and nuts. Subtle fruity hints of apple and lemon. Also a little sugar. Hop presence is very light with a slight earthy scent. Decent bock aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints, a bready malt taste with subtle fruit notes. Toasted malts with a taste of bready biscuit, toasted bread, cereal grains, hay, caramel, toffee, and some nuts. Subtle fruit undertones of apple and citrus lemon. A little brown sugar adds a sweet kick. Light earthy taste of hops towards the finish. A pretty decent taste that you expect from the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A pretty solid bock. Has the toasted malty flavor expected for the style.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a solo bottle at Woodmans in Wisconsin. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours light/medium brown, some light gets through. Good fluffy white foam. Retains well. Smell is all malt. Maybe a slight cola taste. Otherwise, taste is thin - notes of cola, malt, chocolate. Very low carbonation, like a flat soda would be. Almost a sour finish.

I don't love the bock style but this beer sure does do it 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 BeerNinja007
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend of a friend who's a Wisonsin native turned me on to New Glarus a couple years ago, so I try to get my hands on this stuff whenever/ however I can. This 6-pack of Back 40 was hand delivered by my little brother who is currently working out that way. 12oz bottle, cold, poured into a standard pint glass. Code 2562 15:22, whatever that means.

New Glarus has snubbed convention by not having any goat iconagraphy on the label. It's some kind of sunset/ sunrise over a rolling wooded hill. No goats for whatever that's worth.

A: Mostly clear brown brew, like a really dark reddish amber color. A moderate pour yields a thin 1/4" of light tan head that fades pretty quickly to a single layer of small bubbles on the surface of the brew. Slight/ minimal lacing on the glass.

S: Mild grainy sweetness from complex sugars, complete with the vegetal kind of undertones I often get from a bock. Smells clean, no hop aroma. Definitely bock-ish, true to style, but on the lighter side. Not much bready fullness or complexity.

T: Very clean and subtle. Small notes of brown sugar and molasses, semi-grainy/ starchy, a hint of smoky roasted malt. Finishes with some lingering sweetness, baking soda, and a little green/ grass/ herb/ vegetal aftertaste.

M: Moderately thin and kinda watery with a bit too much carbonation.

O: It becomes a bit less bock-like the further it goes. Appearance is right, smell is nearly right, taste is a little thin, then the mouthfeel is really too thin. Lacks the kind of malty bready fullness I'd expect to get from a good bock. That being said, it's not necessary bad. Just lacking a bit. Pleasant enough to drink, just falls a little flat when compared to others of the style. Seems that they skimped on the malt. This is like Bock Lite.

I had one at room temperature the other night and it was much better that way. Try it unchilled.

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Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you BeerFMAndy for sending me another New Glarus goody!

Served in an Elysian sent by Harrymel in anther recent trade.

A: Poured a dark brown with a ruby disposition when I held it up to the light. That friggin head died down very, very fast, but some sud mounds stuck around.

S: Definitely a bock. It totally had that malty, grape-juice-esque quality that made it a dead giveaway. Also, the breadiness was especially strong here.

T: Good.... tastes like a really nice Bock: Crisp finish with bread crust... sorta like unseasoned, pure croutons. Nothing cloying or wrong here.

M: Clean, and with more carbonation that I usually get from a bock, which is a good thing to my mind. Little to no lacing.

O: This one deserves better reviews than it is getting to my mind.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at New Glarus. Review from notes.

A: Pours a brown color with a small tan head on top, decent retention and minimal lacing.

S: Rather nutty with some roasted and bready malt. Pretty simple and nice.

T: Similar to the aroma, very nutty, more roasted malts, a little bit of cream, and touch of dark fruits.

M: Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: A solid bock, could easily knock a few of these down.

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Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle: This one pours a clear, dark caramel brown color. There was a bit of a light tan head on it that lingers awhile and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is good. Mainly a caramel malt, but also hints of some fruits, nuts and a hint of roast. The taste is good. Just a hint of sweetness in the caramel malt body. Hints of spices, fruits, and a hint of dryness in the finish. A very nice beer.

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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 mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 11/02/12 notes. Had this on tap at some cool German restaurant in New Glarus, WI, about 0.5 of a mile down the road from the brewery. 8 oz. pour.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent dark brown-amber color with less than one inch of off white head and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of nuts, roasted malts, toasted malts, and some bready malts. Nothing too crazy but a pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of nuts, roasted malts, sweet fruit, cream, toasted malts, bunt malts, and light dark fruits. A step up from the nose for me; the sweet fruits are nice in the taste.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. Body is a bit too thin and watery for me, though easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent bock, though not my favorite from NG. Some nice sweet dark fruit in the taste, though it was missing in the nose, and a bit too thin of a body for me. Would try it again.

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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 cagocubs
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Pint Glass.

A: Light brown that darkens as it masses to a darker mahogony with a nice 1.5 finger tan head that lingers and laces.

S: Malt, caramel/molasses sweetness, buttery bread.

T: Well balanced beer. Has the interesting sweet character mixed with malt toastiness. The aftertaste is somewhat buttery and bready.

M: I believe this is the perfect body for a bock. It is pretty much medium, but not too crisp and not too heavy. Good aftertaste and coating. By far the best part of this beer.

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Photo of aasher
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was courtesy of a coworker.

This beer pours a light bodied deep mahogany with a one finger off white head. The nose is typical of a bock, slightly sweet malt with a slight nuttiness. The flavors are initially slightly sweet but finish dry and malty. It's on par for the style. It drinks light and somewhat dry. It's ok.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice looking dark brown color with a cream colored head on top. The smell of this beer was really quite nice, the aromas of dark malts and bready yeast with some dark fruits in there too. A unique nose on this beer for sure. The taste of the beer wasn't as impressive as I had hoped for. The flavors seemed a little on the muted side, nothing really popped, there were some lager yeast-like flavors in there and mostly a dull dark malt base. The mouthfeel was pretty good, it was medium bodied with decent amount of bubbles to it. Overall I felt that this beer just needed some additional malts or something to boost the sweetness of the beer just a bit. Other than that I thought it was pretty good.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is #34 on the "Top Beers - Bock" list on Bottle shared by Thorpe at Easter, served in a snifter.

Beer is on the light side for a bock but that doesn't bother me, plenty of blonde bocks out there, mild haze, lazy white head of small bubbles, some lacing.

Aroma is sweet and a little prune-y.

Beer is fine, I like it, medium to light in body, sweet but not overly sweet, a decent finish on the whole thing, enjoyable but not overly sweet or dry on the finihs. I'd have it again.

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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 Huhzubendah
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer appears a clear, light caramel shade of brown with over an inch of dense, off white. Excellent head retention and ample lacing. The aroma offers brown bread, malt, a faint hint of alcohol. Light in body. Simple and easy to drink. Not complex, per se but enjoyable and sessionable. A good pairing with brats and sauerkraut. I would have this again.

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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 GeezLynn
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark cola brown with a good-sized dirty white head. Good retention.
S: Fairly clean smell to it, a bit of sweet brown malt and almost vegetal lager yeast smell.
T: Starts with clean low-intensity malt, followed by a brief hint of caramel sweetness. Finishes fairly clean with a bit of alcohol spicyness to it. Overall, flavor is pretty mild.
M: Body is light-to-medium with fine carbonation that’s dialed down somewhat. Pretty smooth for a light bock.

This is a quality bock. Next to Uff-da it’s a bit simple, but good for what it is supposed to be. To use the well-worn BA addage: Solid.

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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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