1888 Bock | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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1888 Bock1888 Bock

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 12-12-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 297 | Ratings: 488
Photo of alkemy
1.76/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A fellow beer aficionado and friend gave me this (we are now into trading partial sixers for tasting sessions) and I really wish he wouldn't have. I had to give up a perfectly good IPA to try this. I don't like bocks, so here it is: Pours brown in color with about an inch high head. Smells like what I remember Mich Amber Bock and Shiner Bock to smell of, which is to say not fabulous. Thankfully, the taste wasn't as bad as the aforementioned beers. It was, in fact, weaker which I considered a blessing. I like some of Leiny's beers but certainly not this one.

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Photo of cokes
1.9/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Clear garnet brown with a big, bountiful, buttercreme head that shows excellent durability and lacing.

It really is a beautiful looking beer. It's a shame that everything else is so sub-par.

The nose rings hollow with husk and chalk, and phantoms of things sweeter.
It rides equally bland through the mouth. Water is the main player in the flavor department. With a good deal of concentration, a small toasty and husky maltiness can be perceived, as well as dab of grape-like fruitiness later on.
The body is flaccid, washed-out, pale, and dilute.
It's drinkable in the way that flavorless light beers are, as that's basically what it is....or at least what it seems like.
There really is a scarcity of taste here.
Avoid this.

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Photo of Metalmonk
2.19/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looks super--a thick, pillowy light-tan head, which audibly crackles and lessens to a thin skim a few minutes from the pour...and the color is ruby-red meets glossy-brown, with plenty of web-like lace stickage too boot.

Aroma is a letdown from the fantastic looks. A mild toffee comes in, as does a roasty/smokey maltiness, but there's a weird cooked veggie thing happening, which seems to be the hallmark of most Leinenkugel aromas. So...a little bit nice and a little bit of a bummer, equals - Average.

I had my first one of these last night and thought "this is a piss-poor bock." I'm drinking this one a little warmer today, and I'm thinking "this is a piss-poor bock." I hate to be rude and I'm not out to personally offend the brewmaster, but this is not good beer. What I get is a largely mineral and vegetable flavor, and some sourness, with any real bock-like elements relegated to the sidelines. You can still see them, sitting on the bench, but they're not playing the game. Weak sweetness, weak maltiness, hardly robust, and lacking the luxurious body of a good bock. Too much carbonation while also being thin and watery. Bottom line: wispy and hollow in taste and mouthfeel.

This one was a complete let-down, and this from a brewer I don't have sky-high expectations for. I won't return, but why do I keep getting suckered in by all their seasonals? Well, it looks utterly fantastic, anyway, so if you're into looking at beer -- go for it!

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Photo of Magpie14
2.23/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: thin brown color with red hues, nothing to brag about as far as head or lacing is concerned

S: nutty, malty, and watery grains. Prefabricated sweetness smell...

T: malts are present with a dab of toasted nuttiness. Sweetness gives way to vanilla and caramel notes and seems rather light for a bock. Maybe a whiff of hops in the finish otherwise terribly tender

M: light to mild body with reasonable carbonation. Lingering artificial sweetness is a turn off

D: ah...drinkable? Yes it is, but it's rather disappointing

This is a rather lame attempt at the style and just festers with unnatural sweetness and overall a thin complexity, rather boring

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Photo of TMB0424
2.28/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into mug

Poured a mahogany body with reddish-amber edges when held to the light. A tight, slightly off-white head very quickly reduced into a ring, leaving minimal lacing. Nothing special.

Aroma is nice I guess, but extremely one-sided and simple. It's basically just of sweet, roasted malts - and it's weak. A slight tinge of breadiness, but not much.

Taste is of roasted malts mixed with a hint of nuts and an extremely weird lemon/metal flavor. It's totally watered down, totally muted. No evidence of any alcohol.

Mouthfeel is decent at best, mostly due to its high carbonation. Medium bodied. It goes down fairly smooth (due to its totally watery body) but the flavors of a normal Bock just aren't there at all, and when they are there - it just doesn't click. The offsetting metallic/lemon taste ruins any good aspect of this brew as well. Would not revisit.

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Photo of strengthdoc
2.3/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I used to like Leinenkugel when I was in college at the University of Illinois, but I have been dissapointed in the offerings I have had since moving to CT. There is a mild roasted malt aroma and the beer is dark brown in color. The mouthfeel is very light and watery as well as the taste. There is a mildly sweet taste with a hint of lime.

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Photo of tzieser
2.32/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

a: wow. surprisingly good look to this...could be this be the first decent Leinenkugel brew? thick tow finger head that simmers into a thin lacing. great dark brown color.

s: barely any aroma. faint hints of grainy malts. nothing special.

t: oh no...thin, watery malt flavor. dammit leinenkugel! you've let me down again! strange grainy bitterness up front, a very faint taste of caramel and bready malts in the finish. not very pleasant of a flavor. at all.

m&d: over-carbonated mouthfeel. drinkability is terrible, because of the aforementioned reasons.

ugh! when the hell is this brewery going to put something out worth drinking? i can't believe these guys have been around for this long, putting out these kind of mediocre brews.

it's like they cant decide if they want to be sam adams or budweiser, so they try doing both....and fail miserably.

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Photo of secondtooth
2.34/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark amber with medium tan head. A little lace. Nothing too impressive.

Strong aroma -- nutty, caramel, roasty, and robust.

Flavors are sweet and malty. Too much so. Slight roasty overtones, but this one seems to be a malt bomb, both one-dimensional and overbearing. Nope.

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Photo of sweethome
2.36/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pour is deep chestnut brown color. Very white head is in stark contrast. The color is promising, but the head just looks out of place,

oh, the nose is so leinie - so uniquely leinie. A bit of cardboard, some backing of sugar-coated cereal.

Enters with a cloying sweetness and artifical flavor of maple - reminds me of their nut-brown artificial flavor.

Why say much more? This is better than drinking macro light, but anything more? I think not.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.43/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Tree bark brown that becomes crystal clear russet when backlit. There aren't too many bocks (that aren't doppelbocks) darker than this one. The golden sand colored lid looks decent enough and is doing an okay job of laying down lace.

The nose is a roughly equal mixture of bock and brown ale. That's what happens when the malt bill includes pale, Munich, caramel and chocolate. Knowing this brewery, the fact that the aroma is inoffensive is probably because it's also underpowered.

JLBC has never brewed good beer (that isn't named Big Eddy), but it honestly seems like they're going downhill of late. Then again, checking some of my reviews, they've pretty much been at the bottom of the hill from the start. It can't be *that* hard to create a decent bock, can it?

The biggest sin is that there's very little malt... and a malt-deficient bock ain't no bock at all. At least it doesn't taste like extracts were used, so that's something. Flavors include watery caramel, watery chocolate and a watery nuttiness. The taste score continues to free-fall. If I had to drink more than 12 ounces, it might have been one notch lower.

The mouthfeel (no surprise here) is nothing to write home about. It's essentially one step above a fizzy yellow lager, so let's call it a partially fizzy brown lager. This is macro crap, plain and simple.

For some reason, I actually thought 1888 Bock would be decent. It isn't even close. I've now officially given up hope that Leinenkugel beer will ever do anything but piss me off. Maybe they contracted out the Big Eddy beers.

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Photo of Vancer
2.44/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The pour is the best thing about this beer, after that, it's all downhill.

Clear mahogany brown, with a good inch of frothy tan head, but it struggles to leave any lace in the ol' Corsendonk tulip.

Almost no aroma, had to dig deep to find some grainy husks and malt. Which, by the way, goes for the quaff - just a glass of nothingness here. No sweetness, just a semi-harsh finish of gritty hop rinds.

Wow, not a good, or even decent, bock.

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Photo of Ricochet
2.47/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear, dark brown, little head and a faint lace and no carb bubbles. Smelled strong, burnt grain, almost a stout. Mouth had an watery, slightly sticky wash with a bit of bitter and odd, "old prune" aftertaste?

Okay, so what does it taste like? Sour grains, burnt a bit, with a bitter outer range. My main impression is prune. That's it. Unimpressive.

Well, I don't really like Leiny's stuff much. I've had a few that are good, most fall in the average category for me. Better than BMC but still, towards the bottom of the step off beers.

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Photo of mully
2.51/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thich creamy tan head light brown color you can see the carbonation streaming off the glass.

Slightly sweet not much in the aroma catagory

very light malt flavor no descerenable hop charecteristics. Hints of earthly nutty malts. It's kind of like a regular macro lager with a little more dark roast malt in there.

thin mouth feel, kind of wattery, no aftertaste

If you don't mind a bored pallet, you could probably drink plently but not really enjoy/notice it.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.53/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a ruby garnett tone with a large creamy light beige head which leaves scattered lacing down the sides of my glass as it dwindles rather slow. Aroma has a touch of freshly slice apple and barely a hint of raisins. Sweet caramelized malts flow just as well, with just a touch of acidity in the back ground. Flavors are pretty unimpressive and generic some stale beer flavor with a metallic water sweet grainy characteristic that just feels plain dumbed down. Mouthfeel is thin and watery light bodied carbonation isn't remarkable, but at least it's not overdone. Drinkability is pretty effortless there's just nothing about this brew that makes me want another. Unoffensive and bland doesn't make for a good bock.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
2.53/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Dark, ruby. Good bock color. Nice 1 finger head. Light shines through quite easily.

S: Can someone tell me the aroma that I encounter in every Leiny? Is it corn? This "bock" struggles to have a malt presence. Smells a bit too adjunct like all of the Leiny's I've come across. Smells like macro beer I suppose.

T: Just tastes fake. Think this was the straw that broke the camels back for the Leinenkugel family for me. Not even close to a good bock. Tastes like corn and corn syrup.

M: Thin, mildly carbonated. Not nice.

D: I suppose you could have one or two of these (although I struggle to have one). Just a mess of ingredients.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.54/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

As with most other Leinhenkugel beers, 1888 Bock takes some shortcuts that cheapens the style.

A standard Bock-brown with mohogany highlights, good clarity, and a lot of carbonation. Off white head shows fizziness at first but soon settles into a froathy blanket that covers the beer and laces well. Aside from the carbonation, the beer has a handsome appearance.

The character of the beer is a one-dimentional malt flavor and aroma. Wet grain flavors play a major role in the complexity where a malty melanoidin-rich flavor should take precedence. Grain astringency gives an awkward bite and hurts the smoothness of the beer. Light caramel and toast try to make the beer Bock worthy but is more of a tangent than a benefit.

Thin, harsh, and astringent- the mouthfeel is where the beer suffers the most. Michelob Amber Bock passes for a better Bock than this. Not a good showing at all.

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Photo of dhannes
2.57/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I purchased a non-chilled 6-pack of this from Hy-Vee earlier in the week, and then tried the first bottled chilled and served in a standard pint glass.

A=Lighter than my only other reference for a bock, the old Huber Bock. The 1888 was a reddish brown color (amber at the bottom of the glass and a murky brown near the top). The foam was a nice vanilla color, about 1/2" in height.

S=My first whiff reminded me of stale urine...the second whiff presented a stronger hop presence.

T=Not what I expected...the Huber bock was thick and creamy, whereas the 1888 was similar to a hop heavy red lager. A tangy taste that worked okay with the pepperoni pizza, but still had a bit of a an aftertaste.

M=More watered down than I expected. It was almost as if they couldn't decide if it should be a maibock or a bock, so they mixed the two together.

D=The sharp tang made this difficult to drink by itself.

I am hoping that I find other uses for the rest of the 6-pack, i.e. that I can find a food that it pairs well with.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.58/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

After trying the gag-inducing Berry Weiss and the entirely shameful Fireside Nut Brown Ale, I was more than a bit hesitant to go another round with Leinenkugel, but we're only talking about a lone twelve ounce single. How bad could it be? What's the worst that could happen?

Appearance: Clear, dark reddish-brown body with a small, fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Vaguely sweetish, slightly fruity nose with notes of roasted and toasted nuts.

Taste: Pale malts with a very thin taste of chocolate powder followed by a flavor of toasted nut shells. Hint of apple and raisiny fruitiness. Light bitterness. Sip of metallic-tasting water, like a mouthful of loose change. Finishes quite crisp with a lingering nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Not quite as soul-crushingly poor as some of their other products, but by no means is it a good bock. Not recommended.

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Photo of BWH3
2.6/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: A deep brown with slightest red tint. Clear. Head is very poor. Retention even worse.

S: Dried fruit (just ever so slight) and a musty malt flavor. The dark melanoidins are present in a toned down variety.

T: A sour splash hits my tongue first. (Not appropriate). The finish is grainy and somewhat rich. The aftertaste has a slight bread and grassy hops.

M: Thin and poor head retention.

D: A decade ago my college buddies and I bought cases of Leinie's for cheap at the UW. We were a step above the BMC crowd. So when I saw this variety that I never had I grabbed a bottle to sample. Unfortunately, taking a step back in time was a quantum leap backwards when it comes to enjoying beer.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.6/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A – It pours a rustic clear chestnut-brown, with a small amount of lacing.

S – It smells like black toast.

T – Its not so strong on taste. Vaguely cereal-grainy, and burnt roasty, but very random and unfocused, with a definite macro taste and feel.

M – The feel is flat, but not due to lack of CO2, just because it feels wimpy.

D – Nah. This is not very good. Most things labeled 'anything-bock', that are not made in Germany, generally suck.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
2.61/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pour: Clear, deep reddish brown color with two fingers of tan head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Light mocha sweetness with a hint of coffee. Not much going on here.

Taste: Unbalanced bitter coffee back end compared with the really light malt front. Unpleasant overall.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery with a ridiculous amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: I can drink it, but that's about all that I can say.

Final Notes: I was disappointed with this beer. Over carbonated and unbalanced flavor. Look elsewhere.

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Photo of KeefD
2.62/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color with a small, bubbly off white head that fell quickly leaving some decent lacing. Notmuch in the way of aroma or flavor. Smells like some watered down dark malts, not very sweet, slightly grainy. Taste is much the same. Watery, light sweetness, some caramel, very light herbal hop bite at the end. This beer is a real disappointment, considering it replaced their Big Butt, which was probably Leinie's best brew. Not impressed.

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Photo of bboven
2.62/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice clear dark amber body with a half-finger of head that never goes away. thin but covering veil of lacing as well. By far the best aspect of this beer.

Aroma is very sweet and bready.That's about it, though. Bocks should definitely be richer and more complex than this.

Harsh mettalic taste prevails, it's a bit weak on flavor, like a watered-down bock. The underlying slight alcohol isn't there at all. It's a shadow of what it should be.

Very thin mouthfeel, highly carbonated, very (too much so) drying.

This is a bock in name only; a 'bock' for the masses. However, it's pretty cheap and has some flavor, so at least they didn't charge a premium price for this.

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Photo of BeerDrinkerDave
2.64/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

What a weird name for a beer company. The beer pours a weak head (pinky width) which dissapates quickly into a thin lingering foam like a cheap Bud.
The smell isn't bad, not inviting either. The taste is ok but not impressive by far. The color is a deep brown, oak cask color.
I probably won't be purchasing this one again.

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Photo of remllof
2.64/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a decent thick off white head. Color is kind of a dark ruby copper look. There is not a whole lot to the smell, all I really get from it is a spicy malty aroma. The taste follows the smell with the malty spiciness with about no hint of hops. It Finishes with a very slight bitterness. Mouth feel is somewhat on the lighterside. Overall I would have to say this beer was okay. Nothing about this beer really stood out to me.

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1888 Bock from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
3.29 out of 5 based on 488 ratings.
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