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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 537
Photo of yourefragile
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a glass (!)

A: Pours a relatively clear dark reddish amber with a large frothy tan head, webs of lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, bread, light dark fruit.

T: Muddled flavor of dark fruit, plum and grape with caramel and toffee malt, light biscuit.

M: Slightly watery throughout and a dry, bready finish. Medium body with light carbonation.

O: A sufficient bock.

 387 characters

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.

 381 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found a fresher bottle, replacing my old review.

Appears a transparent dark brown with reddish highlights, sporting a foamy collar that lasts for about a minute, no lacing. Smells of semi-toasted malts, brown sugar, nougat, bread, and toffee, in descending order of strength. The flavor follows the nose's presentation almost in perfect lockstep... Hops present only as a floral garnish on the nose and as earthy tones in the mid sip. Medium-light body, clean finish, carbonated appropriately.

 496 characters

Photo of JerseyKirk
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: brown to darker blackish. White head that hangs and laces.

S: bock yeast, hard water, darker malts buts not roasted more caramel.

T: nice malty body with a good bite that draws smooth.

M: sweet but not overly.

O: I really love bocks. They are so easy to drink with smooth, caramel notes. This is also a great beer and style to bring women into craft beer. Just have to convince them to try it.

 404 characters

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.

 426 characters

Photo of cradke
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep brown with some almost ruby notes when held to light. Transparent. A nice finger thick head

Smell: Mild to moderate aroma. Clean brown sugar smell. Some nice toffee as well. Very little hop aroma. Spot on for flavor but maybe a bit weak of a nose.

Taste: A semi sweet note comes up at first. Very clean and simple to drink. The taste is very drinkable but not very potent. I wish I could dial up a bit more flavor. A very nice malt backbone with no hop profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but maybe a little light for style. Smooth and clean with no alcohol taste. The carbonation is right on.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I could see myself having this in my fridge pretty frequently for its drinkability. However, I wish they could dial up the flavor a bit. It's not light by any sense, but it kind of leaves you wanting a bit more.

Serving type: Bottle poured into Celebrator tulip/chalice

 928 characters

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.

 315 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown in color, but still fairly translucent. Forms a small off-white head that sits starkly against the darker beer below. Leaves some patchy lacing on the way down.

S: The aroma is fairly muted, but what is there is dominated by the smell of brown bread, molasses, and malty fruits.

T: The taste is incredibly smooth and malty. Lightly sweet, a little toast, some dark brown sugar, a bit of caramel. Finishes with a mild nutty sweetness. Even a slight hint of chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with softer carbonation. Very smooth, almost voluptuous.

O: A very nice beer. Very well balanced and smooth beyond belief, making this one a dangerously easy drinker.

 672 characters

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!

 763 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was given a bottle of the Back 40 from my boss in a trade of beers. The beer poured a brownish clear amber with thin slightly off white head that left a nice lace on my glass. The smell included rich sweet malt. The taste was a nice malt start with good sweet tones that turned slightly bitter towards then end from the hops. The mouthfeel is a nice medium body beer with good carbonation. Overall this is another great creation by New Glarus.

 445 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint. Thanks again, Chris.

A: Pours a nutty dark brown with a greasy, billowing, dark tan head that took its time to fade into a dense, thick long lasting film that left a ton of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Sweet malts and bready grains. Clean and crisp smelling. I get a touch of sweet fruits as well.
T: Follows the nose. One-dimensional malt sweetness dominates alongside sweet flavors of apples and berries. The finish is bready and the aftertaste has flavors of spicy, earthy hops.
M: Very fluffy carbonation, medium body with a very smooth and chewy mouthfeel. This goes down very easy.
O: A great drinking beer that went down exceptionally smooth. Not my favorite style but I would gladly drink this again.

 749 characters

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

I've never been a big fan of NG's Uff-da bock. While it's a good, drinkable beer, it always came off as a Porter to my palate -- far too much roasted malt in the grain bill.

However, when I heard about Back 40 I definitely wanted to give it a try just because I know NG makes quality beer, so here goes.

A -- Clear, deep chestnut brown with a dense and foamy, light tan head.

S -- Mild toasted and roasted malts, some sweetness and spicy hops coming through.

T -- Light, bready malts up front, some light roasted character back, mildly spicy hops in balance.

M -- Sort of spritzy with a crisp mouthfeel and medium light body.

O -- This is truly a traditional Bock -- more so than Uff-da, but it also seems just a little lackluster overall. I'm trying to harken back to my early days of hunting down Rhinelander Bock each spring to see if this reminds me of that sort of beer, but it's just not as exciting. Overall, this is a good drinker and goes down easy, but it just seems a bit lacking. I might have to revisit on another day.

 1,037 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my 12oz nonik. Served lightly chilled.

Clear dark amber body with a soft finger of beige up top. Active yet with good retention and gravy-like lacing.

Nutty and toasty malt aroma with a touch of brown butter and dandelion greens as well.

Clean dark lager flavors offer some tartness without becoming metallic. Gentle melanoidins and faint lemon zest and elderberry emerge as well into the mild malty finish. Faint hops and alcohol contribute very low bitterness and heat but are present none the less. Perhaps a touch of grain in the aftertaste.

Light-bodied, soft, and not quite creamy mouthfeel.

A nice simple domestic rendition of the style...

 683 characters

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of 12 oz bottle into tulip style pint glass.

A) Dark brown with red hue. The red really comes out, held up to light. A finger of head that was basically gone 3-4 minutes after the pour. No lacing.

S) Heavy malt aroma, roasted malt and grains, slight sweetness, earthy, woody, quite fresh.

T) Malt sweetness that hints a bit at caramel. It has a touch of booze and a tart apple cider finish.

M) Medium body, well carbonated. Fairly silky on the palate, with a somewhat dry finish.

O) This was a nice late fall selection. Decent transition brew to your winter warmers. A little lighter fair than NG's Uff Da, but just as enjoyable.

 645 characters

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

A: Hazy brown pour with a nicely sized white head. The lacing is really nice.

S: Molasses, malts, caramel, spices, and perhaps a hint of fruit.

T: The malts and caramel come up big on the taste, only a hint of the molasses. Pretty basic taste, nothing to wow you, but good. A bit bitter on the backend.

MF: Light to medium body, carbonated well. Dry finish.

O: Very drinkable. Great for a tailgate, which was the original purpose of this guy.

 446 characters

Photo of crewfan16
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. have yet to find a bad brew from new glarus, so here goes with this one.

a- pours a dark deep ruby brown color. doesnt keep all the light out, but not real transparent either. slightly off white head rises about a finger worth and falls pretty quickly

s- lots of sweet molasses and roasted malt. a little spiciness there and some slight fruit sweetness

t- molasses and brown sugar sweetness. lots of roasted malts there. some slight cocoa on the finish. nice flavor, but it seems a bit watered down. for some reason I expected more heavy flavors

m- i feel like its a bit thin for the style. makes it highly drinkable, but lacks the impact I would expect. decent carbonation makes it highly sessionable.

overall, not my favorite bock from new glarus. I think this one really pales in comparison to the uff-da. a nice easy drinking bock, but nothing in the way of complexity or depth

 927 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a single up at Riley's in Madison. Pours into my glass a nice deep brown with striking ruby highlights throughout and a quarter inch of foam atop the brew. Aromas of rich malts that are somewhat toasted with a light spicy undertone. Reminiscent of baked bread a bit...really nice!

First sip brings smooth maltiness upfront with some toasty accents again and bready undertones. Flows down with a slightly spicy kick. Just enough sweetness to wrap everything together.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with quite a punchy carbonation. Almost a bit too bubbly for me but it still goes down nicely. Overall, just a solid bock from New Glarus and I'm not surprised as they've brewed plenty of great bock's in the past!

 717 characters

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.

 595 characters

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.


 1,161 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pilsner glass. The color is caramel to medium brown. Three fingers of lightly tanned head dissipated slowly, leaving trails along the glass and a foamy and spotted lacing.

Smell: Notes of toasted malts, sweet caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, cocoa, and apple.

Taste: The initial sensation is sweetness from the sweet caramel, brown sugar, and apple; but it is immediately balanced by toasted malts, cocoa, molasses, and nutmeg (or maybe walnut; I don’t know much nuts too well (and do not take that the wrong way)).

Drinkability: I definitely need to get a six-pack of this the next time it is in season. Very good stuff. If it is this good on an 85º summer night, I bet it is excellent when there is a nice chill in the air.

 772 characters

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.

 663 characters

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased @ Mrs. Sippy's and poured on-premise into a pint glass.

Pours a hazed chestnut brown with a thick khaki-colored head with decent retention and patched lacing.

Aromas of green apple, grass and dark bread. A hint of brown sugar. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel introduces a sharp cider crispness. Subtle sweet maltiness follows with suggestions of brown sugar and biscuit. Mild hopping balances out the taste profile. Bright effervescence throughout the session. Dry finish with a puckering tartness. Overall, Back Forty is a highly sessionable Bock with a robust malt character that's worth exploring.

 624 characters

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

Acquired from Sinatra716 via Show Someone What You're Made Of BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Consumed 6/7
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a cloudy, chestnut brown with a one finger of khaki creamy head. Nice retention leaving sticky lacing.

S: Nose is very sweet - lots and lots of toffee notes, brown sugar, and a bit of molasses.

T: Taste starts off somewhat nutty - didn't pick this up in the nose. Then the sweetness completely takes over. Heaps of toffee and molasses come through. A bit of breadiness comes in mingled with caramel. A bit of faded hop comes in during the finish.

M: Lighter side of medium body, moderate carbonation, somewhat thin but nice and crisp.

O: Goes down alright, somewhat tasty, not filling, mild kick, ok representation of style. This was cool to try but not one that I would seek out.

 845 characters

Photo of Trilogy31
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a muddied chestnut brown with a frothy two fingers of foam leaving nice lace retention. The nose contains rich bready malts, a strong grassy herbal hop scent with almost a slight sour roasted chocolate note. The taste has dry chocolate malt upfront with the slightest sour hint. Finishes with dark cacao at the end along with hay. Refreshing if not a bit thin - a hearty sessionable beer, not bad at all.

 410 characters

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

 340 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.