Hellesbock | The Fort Collins Brewery

24 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: Maibock / Helles Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GarrisWH on 06-28-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by GarrisWH:
Photo of GarrisWH
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear, rich blonde/copper color with a frothy, white head. Decent retention and leaves some spotty lacing behind.

S - Grainy malts up front that give way to some ripe apple aromas. Subtle earthy/spicy hop aromas and a hint of alcohol on the nose.

T - Toasty, earthy, grainy malts are in the forefront, balanced out with some spicy hops that add a light bitterness. Some of the ripe, orchard fruit (apple) flavors come through. Touch of alcohol on the tongue. Pretty clean flavor overall.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and refreshing but with a little bit of heft to the body.

D - An interesting summer offering, although the higher abv and medium body detract a bit from the drinkability for this time of year.

 754 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
2.45/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear golden with a small frothy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin bubbly collar.

The aroma is sweet sugary malts with some toasted biscuit.

The flavor is lots of toasted biscuit with a touch of minty fruit and a bit of alcoholic bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, tastes like a slightly amped up Fat Tire. It's looking like I don't care for Hellesbocks.

 452 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bomber pours a crystal clear golden amber body with a three finger almond hued head. Good patchy lacing.

Aroma has fruity esters, raw grain, bready malt, a hint of floral hops, and some alcohol.

Medium body and carbonation with a peppery alcohol presence.

Taste has a spicy and earthy hop bitterness complimented by a subtle bready maltiness. Solvent alcohol sweeps in and dominates into the finish, rendering the experience rather one dimensional.

Don't care for this one. It reminds me of some of those poorer quality eastern European strong lagers.

 556 characters

Photo of wellsnb
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of beerthulhu
3.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The label claims a straw-blonde color, maybe they meant a strawberry-blonde which is more of what im seeing, more like a bright pumpkin orange with a neat clarity. Inside is filled with a medium effervesce, spaced generously apart, rising at a moderate pace. The head was a bit washy and soapy, lapsing rather quickly leaving only a thin sparse coverage for lace.

S: Caramel with almost a chocolate covered cherry scent. Sweet and fruity, starfruit, oranges and a bit of sugary alcohol.

T: The flavor was as sweet as the nose led on. Sweet caramel grains, again reminiscence of chocolate covered cherry candy. Sweet and fruity, starfruit of apple-citrus notes and some boozy sweet alcohol. Overall sweet and boozy, fruity with limited wow appeal.

M: medium in body, with some creaminess and a lazy carbonation. Alcohol laced apples line the tongue on the finish.

D: Average drinkability, maybe im just not a fan of the style, but a quaffable beer as the label states? Hardly. A bit more boozy then it led on to be and not something I wouldn't drink in multiples, not that the flavor was all that great anyway.

 1,119 characters

Photo of jsh420
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours clear golden amber with a 1+ finger head that faded to a film and left some spotted lacing

smells of bready malts some honey and banana

tastes of sweet bready malts that are lightly toasted which give it a slight nutty flavor the hops give it a musty ash flavor

mouthfeel is heavier then i would have liked - but low carbonation that gives it a smooth cream finish

drinkability is ok - its a nice change of pace for fall

 430 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.59/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 5 fl oz (650 ml) brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an Orval goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are low; I'm not particularly keen on bocks.

A: Pours a one finger head of bad thickness, not much cream, and decent retention. Colour is a semitransparent orange-gold.

Sm: Moderately heavy malts, light pleasant hops, clean barley, and maybe a biteen cream. A moderate strength aroma.

T: No real cream, unfortunately. It would greatly help the open, which jumps straight into the malted barley body. The hops are about the climax, but stop short at the strangely nut-evocative finish. There's also a vague apple undertone that bothers me, but it does lend a certain hint of crispness that is pleasant. The third act is by far the best part, because that's where the hoppiness lifts you out of the second act malt graveyard. The balance is mediocre in terms of both structure and flavour. The build is pretty decent for the style. The crystal malt is way overdone; jaysus.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some tingles from the crystal malt load. Doesn't really suit the flavours of the body. It's also undercarbonated, which significantly detracts from the flavour, crippling its ability to come to the surface. I find myself searching for the notes far deeper than I should have to. Too thin as well; it can't support the flavour profile adequately.

Dr: It hides its ABV well and is pretty drinkable considering, but the strange apple tone and the lack of sufficient carbonation hold this beer back from what may be a higher potential. Fans of the style oblige, but I won't be having this again. I bought it at the brewery and the price still felt like highway robbery.

 1,738 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasty rich golden ale.

Beautiful golden color with an amber edge. Nice carbonation and a sparkling mouthfeel with enough body. Fairly rich with distinct flavors. Hops come through as a resiny bitterness, but restrained. Hop flavors linger along with a bitter fruitiness, like the bitterish apples they use to make cider. Some sharp flavors to go with the sweet malt.

Very likable with some fairly strong alcohol flavors. Would be good to try on tap. We'll watch for it next year.

 481 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.16/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

We tried this one with friends Saturday afternoon up at the brewery in Fort Collins. Poured a clear orange color with a small white head. Aromas of sweet malt, light hops and a little honey. On the palate, this one was light to medium bodied, with flavors of caramel, honey and light hops.

 289 characters

Photo of SamN
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a bomber purchased at Saddle Up Liquors. Served in a nonic tumbler in my swelteringly hot apartment.

A- A slightly hazed honey golden color. Head swelled with pouring but quickly evaporates in a matter of minutes. Slightly active in looks. Gorgeous color, but also rather flat looking.

S- Honey and caramel malts a present in the nose, as is a slight fruitiness. Slight roasted wood character as well. Less hops than expected. Aroma requires swirling to get full spectrum of scents.

T- Toasted malts mostly, finishes slightly bitter and nutty. Diacetyls quite evident in this, giving it a slightly buttery wood nuance. Leaves an odd sensation in my throat, numbing it a tad. Unbalanced to the malt side, especially for a Helles Bock. Could use more hops to balance.

M- Medium light body. Solid body, draws smoothly from the glass, but too much carbonation bite in the end.

D- Dangerous malty and creamy for it's high alcohol content. Just a good solid beer. Nothing to outrageous, IMHO a bit too strong for a summer seasonal but still another good beer from FCB.

 1,072 characters

Photo of Domingo
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A revival of their old maibock/spring bock...nice.
Golden color heading towards amber. Not a ton of carbonation, but a little bit forms a thin white layer.
The nose and flavor profile are about as straightforward as they come. Pale malts and straight ahead lager cleanliness. Bready and honey kissed, it's sweet but tasty. Hops really only appear lightly in the finish. They're mild even for a Bavarian beer, but I've had several from there that are even less hoppy.
Pretty authentic, IMO. Not sure if this is exactly the same as the old Spring Bock, but it's still good.
A nice beer for a warm April evening.
Good stuff, and no off notes at all.
I'll revisit this again soon I think.

 686 characters

Photo of appetiteforparis
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Cleopattycakes
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Latarnik
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of maltlikker
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

Photo of Haybeerman
3.74/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep gold color. Poured a 2 finger bubbly white head that slowly dissipated to a thick skim. Laced in broken rings.

S: Wet grains. Hay, grass and green apples. A hint of alcohol.

T: Bread and earthy wet grain up front. Malty middle yields quickly to a sharp bitter in the finish. Green apple and alcohol linger a bit in the finish.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and coating.

D: A big malty beer with good character and balance.

 451 characters

Photo of Rayek
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pokal.

A: Deep gold with nice clarity and active carbonation. A big and dense eggshell cap slowly falls to a blanket of foam. Leaves bits of lace.

S: Pepper and warmth dominate, if that makes any sense. Grass, anise and straw are present, but slightly masked by vinous alcohol.

T: A pepper and anise bitterness hits right away. Malts come through next with some straw and a hint of toffee. Alcohol comes on late to add some warmth to the lingering pepper finish.

M: The medium-heavy body is slightly syrupy. A bit too much carbonation bites at the tongue.

D: This is a nice beer for a cool autumn evening. I'm glad I picked it up.

 649 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of KC9LDB
5/5  rDev +41.6%

Photo of thearsenal
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of joelBfrasier
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.11/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tangerine orange when viewed in the light of the rising sun, not 'straw-blonde' as claimed on the label. Almost three fingers of sticky marshmallow colored foam looks good from its creation to its (impending) demise, all the while laying down some pretty respectable lace in splotchy sheets.

The nose could use more power and personality. Unfortunately, maibocks will never be in the same league as IPAs, RISs, barleywines and wild ales when it comes to making a good impression on the sniff. This offering doesn't have as much toasted earthy nuttiness as the style average, and doesn't seem to be aggressively hopped either.

Fort Collins Hellesbock is decent beer that is in dire need of a flavor hook. It tastes like there's a higher percentage of pale malt than is typical, which effectively neuters the flavor profile even more. Hop bitterness is up there. Hop flavor is not.

Specifics are tough to relate. Let's go with slightly sugary, slightly toasted cereal grains, with a slightly grassy, slightly spicy hoppiness... and slightly more alcohol than should be present for the ABV. So, do I like it? Slightly.

Other than appearance, mouthfeel is this semi-big lager's strong suit. It's plenty hefty enough and is glassy smooth as well. There could be more bubbles, but that's close to nitpicking.

Hellesbock is a summer seasonal, which is an odd decision on Fort Collins's part since maibock means May. There's a reason why this style isn't called junibock or julibock. Anyway, there isn't much here to get excited about. One and definitely done.

 1,557 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 ounce goblet - $6.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Near clear, copper-toned body with a head that had thinned to a ring in the time it took to walk from tap to my corner of the bar.

Smell: Faintly sweetish, malty scent smelling of grainy toasted breads, light golden honey, light caramel, and light apple with a few fainter hints of drifting alcohol.

Taste: Lightly toasted bread Vienna malt character with a honey and caramel-glazed barley grain quality to it. Fruity hint of baked apples. Spicy, floral hops with ample bitterness meld well with the drying, peppery alcohol tones. Dry, modestly warming finish with a lingering graininess.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Served me well as an early evening booster! Overall, a good, commendable helles. Fort Collins is pretty handy with the bocks.

 849 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.09/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Hyvee in Council Bluffs, IA
No bottled on date
Poured into a standard US pint glass

FCB's hellesbock is a bit too heavy on malt usage to amplify the alcohol content, but missing additional hop character to balance out the sweetness and ethanol noticeability. While not bad, I didn't feel particularly impressed by this beer, relative to others in the style I've had.

Pours a tall, fluffy head of medium to large bubbles, off-white in size. Head reduces quickly to a barely-there ring around the glass, leaving virtually no lacing/spots on the sides of the glass. Body is a clean, transparent copper-orange color both in and out of the light. Carbonation is visible, appears fairly relaxed.

Aroma is a bit flowery from hop usage, a bit mineral from the water perhaps, a bit malty sweetness, and twinge of honey-like sweetness. Mild, definitely toned down a bit from other maibocks I've had on tap, but still pleasant enough.

Dominant flavors appear right at the beginning: malt sweetness, dark cherry fruit esters, mild honey and ethanol. A flowery hop component appears shortly after these initial flavors fade. While nothing is bad, the flavors are overall a bit too sweet for me, bordering on cloying; varied malt characteristics or more hopping would have benefited this. Mid-palate brings some spicy hop potential, ethanol heat, and continued malt sweetness. By mid-palate to the close, ethanol can be slightly detected. Not exactly true to style for a helles, and really, the bigger alcohol content doesn't improve this any.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with modest carbonation that only foams this up slightly on the palate. Result is that beer stagnates a bit in the mouth. By mid-palate through the close, beer can be felt in the nostrils and back of throat, not really desirable qualities.

 1,826 characters

Hellesbock from The Fort Collins Brewery
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 24 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.