Niagara Eisbock 2004
Niagara Brewing Company

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Beer Geek Stats:
Bock - Eisbock
Needs more ratings
3.99 | pDev: 4.01%
Niagara Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada
Retired (no longer brewed)
View: Beers
Reviews by bobsy:
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bobsy from Canada

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Its shocking at how few eisbocks there are in the world - Niagara used to make this one, but haven't done so for several years. This 2004 vintage comes courtesy of Derek, and we paired it with a Dragon Stout and Crispy Crunch ice cream that I made earlier in the day. Malty!

Pours a light mahogany with an off-white head that left some lace spots as it dropped to a wispy film. Sweet malty nose with dark fruit, bread, brown sugar and mild alcohol. Decent flavour and holding up well - notes of toffee and bread provide a nice backbone, with layers of dark fruit, pepper and minerals on top of that. There is some alcohol there, but its fairly muted. Perhaps some oxidation, but certainly mellow and not really on a downward trajectory yet. Body is medium, and perhaps errs to light every once in a while, which doesn't help the flavours as much as it could. More beef here would be good.

I never got to try one of these fresh, so it's a pleasure to have a vintage version. I'd probably amp the body up a little to take this to the top level, but as it stands it's a beer Ontario can be proud of... just to bad its not made anymore!

Aug 16, 2010
More User Reviews:
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pootz from Canada

3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was from the 2003 brewing Had a distinctive reddish brown color with a good creamy tan head

Aromas are bundt cake malt tones with some earthy smells and a spicey tang from the nobel hops.

Full bodied, slick mouth feel, rich malty character.

Flavour.. sweet malts up front... spicey... complex.. finish is long wet and bready with a metallic bittering.

The overall impression: smooth, vinous, very warming.

Nov 07, 2004
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slitherySOB from Canada

3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought two bottles of this. One for long term aging, the other to give in to the urge of drinking it. So, after a few months, I opened one of the bottles. Hey, I can always buy more. Anyways...
Niagara Eisbock pours a rusty, dark red colour. Sometimes, when the light hits it right, it looks like a ruby. Small, one finger head that doesn't disipate. Very sweet smell. Malts, candy sugar, sweet fruits like apples and pears, some citrus and a bit of grass. Just a tad overpowering on the sweet smell. I think a bit more grass scent, and the smell would be pretty damn close to perfect. Taste is alot lighter than I expected. By the strong sweetness, I was expecting a strong taste. But it's light. Starts out lightly sweet, with some fruits and bread, finishes with a light herbal and grass taste. Aftertaste is a bit citrus sweet. Lemon and orange with a bit of sugar? Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Very much a liquid bread feeling. Yeah, I'll drink this again. But I'm hoping the aging process brings out the flavour, because it already seems mellow as it is.

Mar 02, 2005
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Sammy from Canada

4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a different brew than last year. It was very much like an American I.P.A. with great hop, hop bubbles. Balanced bitterness with very good malts and perhaps the ice process itself which will reduce chemical tastes in water, so I theorize takes the bitterness edge from high bitterness. Previous vintages were clearly on the malty side. A top pick from what is available in Ontario.

It was more average on tap, had at Volo Cafe, but still good. Wonder what it would do on cask.

Nov 07, 2004
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a few bottles of the 2004 to lay down and I thought now would be a good time to try one. This stuff is so tastey, It ages really well too.

Pours dark copper with an eternal off white head. Theres an excellent patchwork of bubbly lace trailing down the glass. The aroma is of perfumey malts with a light fruit character and some tangy citrus notes. The taste is hoppier than the 2003 vintage. Its still immensely malty with a great tropical fruit and nut character. The hops appear in the middle and build to quite a strong piney, grapefruity bitter finish. The mouthfeel is thick and very creamy.

This is an Ontario classic, one of the few truly great beers out of this province. Its also an excellent candidate for aging, gaining mellowness and more complex fruit notes after 6-8 months.

Jan 23, 2005
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baiser from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 Vintage. Pours a deep brown, with a tan head, good lacing. Enticing aroma of apples, grapes, toffee and caramel. Taste was a good mix of molasses, sweet fruit and caramel sweetness, with a dry finish. Alcohol was well hidden, and this was very easy to drink. Would be interesting to compare it with a fresh version, seeing how this has been aged for 2 years.

Dec 22, 2006
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DrJay from Texas

3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear amber/chestnut red colour topped by a thin off-white lace of head. Low carbonation was apparent (ie. no fizziness).

Smell: An appealing balance of rich maltiness with light fruity esters and grassy hops.

Taste: Starts malty and lightly sweet. A light fruitiness appears part way through. Bitterness is minimal, but does provide balance. The hops also contribute a light spiciness. The finish is similar to the start, malty and sweet without tasting like syrup.

Mouthfeel: Full body and slightly chewy. Low carbonation. Light alcohol warming was present at the finish.

Drinkability: Higher alcohol works against it, but the balance and finish are quite pleasant. I could/would definitely have another pint at the same sitting.

Dec 09, 2004
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Derek from Canada

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm generally not a fan of Niagara Falls Brewing. Their brews tend to have an over-sparged, astringent taste. This is definitely their best product.

I had an Eisbock (2004) when they first hit the shelf, and then bought 5 more! I've just had another with Thanksgiving dinner (it went well with the turkey).

I think I'll save the others for verticle tastings with future years (assuming the tradition is continued with the Moosehead ownership). It is filtered, and no-longer corked, so I don't expect the taste to change much, but it will be interesting for comparison.

A: Redish amber, crystal clear. Abundance of tan head, little retention, no lacing.

S: Sherry, sweet malt.

T: Perfectly balanced sweetness, a little North American hop taste (pine), but mostly a well rounded malt flavour (toasty caramel, with a hint of bread & nuts). It has a sherry-like alcoholic warmth. Great for fall/winter.

M: Moderate carbonation. The body is quite light for this strength, despite the removal of ice.

D: Very drinkable, especially considering its strength.

Oct 09, 2005
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biegaman from Canada

3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"*2004 Edition*
Poured an attractive shade of mahogony. Aroma was not as strong as Id like at all, nice however. Flavour comes out a little flat as well, but again its ok. First impression I get is that this beer needs a little work, almost there but not quite. Enjoyable but stopped short of anything impressive. A smooth texture but I find it lacks depth and presence. I look forward to trying the 2005...
*Second sampling, again 2004 edition, aged over 1 year*
Enjoyed again but was far from impressed. The aging didn't seem to do much good. Alcohol absent, much like any distinctive or bold aroma and flavour I hoped for. A strong malt based flavour, very simplistic and quite light against other bocks. Marks and opinions not adjusted.

Oct 16, 2006
Niagara Eisbock 2004 from Niagara Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 9 ratings