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Trafalgar Maple Bock | All or Nothing Brewhouse

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Trafalgar Maple BockTrafalgar Maple Bock
45 Ratings
Trafalgar Maple BockTrafalgar Maple Bock

Brewed by:
All or Nothing Brewhouse
Ontario, Canada

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Maple Bock is a uniquely Canadian twist on the German tradition of Bock brewing. Pure Ontario maple syrup is added after fermentation and then the beer is lagered for a full two months to achieve full strength and flavour. A rich, dark beer with a distinct tang of maple.

Added by pootz on 04-17-2007

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of DamoTO700
3.5/5  rDev +50.9%

Photo of JasonThaler
2.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
4.15/5  rDev +78.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For our second foray into the beers of Trafalgar Ales & Meads we sampled their Maple Bock ("MB"), purchased in a 650 ml bottle from the LCBO. The bottle had a best before date of June 2012 punched into the label, and was 6.5% alcohol by volume.

MB poured a very dark, opaque brown, with an aggressive pour producing 1" of short-lived tan coloured head. The head faded to a foamy collar within 2-3 minutes and left considerable lacing down the glass. Its aroma was dominated by coffee and chocolate but the maple syrup was certainly detectable. Who doesn't love the aroma of coffee, chocolate and maple syrup? When I swirl the beer around the glass I can also smell the hops. We're off to a good start...good looks and aroma. The first taste to hit the palate is the maple syrup, followed by the chocolate and coffee, ending with a mild hop bitterness. A bitter/coffee aftertaste lingers but isn't so strong or long lasting as to be offensive. Trafalgar has the carbonation just right on this one...the fairly low level of carbonation that you would typically experience with a stout. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy and I would describe MB as medium to full bodied. Trafalgar has a winner here! So many beers with "maple syrup" on the label fail to deliver any detectable presence of maple syrup, but that's not the case here. At $4.75 per 650 ml bottle MB represents decent value for money, and I would certainly buy this beer again. Good work Trafalgar.

 1,454 characters

Photo of TheBeeraholic
1.25/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of irishkyle21
2.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of deonreds
2.5/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
3.5/5  rDev +50.9%

Photo of yancot
2.5/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of nullbort
2.5/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Cramshawbar
2.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of bigox420
3/5  rDev +29.3%

Photo of pschul4
1.75/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of TheHammer
2.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This one I saw at the LCBO because I recognized it from the bottom 100 list, and knew I had to have it to see how bad it could be. That and I didn't have a Trafalgar bottlecap for my collection.

Appearance: A very dark murky brown colour that does not seem to boast very much carbonation in the body. The half finger of head immediately dissipated. Not looking good so far but still doesn't look harmful to drink.

Smell: Well, it smells like maple syrup and malt. Given the name, the Maple syrup smell is expected, and given it's supposed to be a bock the high malt is also expected so good. There is a bit of an odd yeast funk to it, but for the most part is comes as advertised.

Taste: Surprisingly the malt starts out this beer, as rich molasses malt carries a milder maple taste in the background. The two begin to switch places as the maple becomes more pronounced and the malt eases up. It's doing very well as a dark chocolate and hop touch comes, but is ruined by a vicious metallic bite that accompanies it.

Mouthfeel: The lack of head is not impressive and the carbonation falls flat almost immediately. The transitioning works, but sadly the aftertaste is the metallic bite that builds on itself and not the malt or maple taste I'd want. It also gets a little bit clingy, but I guess that's to be expected from a maple beer.

Drinkability: Drinking it is fine, it's the aftermath that is just awful. It's not overly sweet (as I would expect) but that's only because the metallic taste murders the only good parts of the beer. It is the very definition of overkill. Anyways, it's medium bodied and sits down well enough but I don't think I'd want to have more then one.

Final Thoughts: Well Trafalgar disappoints again, but not to the level that I would expect from a bottom 100 beer. Make no mistake, a maple bock beer is a great idea. It's just poorly implemented, either due to some bad or cheap ingredients or the wrong mix of them. It pains me because I know that there is someone out there that can tweak this beer and get it done right. I can't recommend it, but I'd want to see another brewery take this idea and try to run with it. Maybe I'll give it another shot a couple years from now.

 2,212 characters

Photo of yankeefan287
2.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Foddz
1.82/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: An aggressive, sloshing pour only yields the barest of soapy foams on top of this beer. Said foam wastes little time in vanishing. It doesn't seem well carbonated. Colour is deep caramel/cola. Looks more like a soft drink than a beer.

S: Caramlized notes. Sweetness. Maybe a hint of maple. Smells a bit overly sweet more than anything. Perhaps some woody/smokey overtones. It makes me think of an old log cabin in the woods. It manages to remain largely unappealing and bland in spite of some nice components.

T: Similar to the nose. Vaugely maple/caramel sweetness fades linearly into an even more vague bitterness I can only assume comes from whatever hops they put in this. If I swirl it in my mouth for long enough I can start to detect some candied fruit and perhaps cherries, but something seems off about those tastes as well. Possibly the edging in of ethyl alcohol flavours.

M: Pretty much completely flat. Mouthfeel is predominately watery with some stickiness from the sugar content and some harshness from the alcohol.

O: There's some promising aspects that do encourage me to try other Maple Bock style beers. However, bland tending towards harsh flavours and lackluster aesthetics leave one wondering what could have been.

 1,244 characters

Photo of traumaqueen
2/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of jsnoek
2.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of SebD
1.86/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown/amber color to it. It has a thin beige head that dies down fast and leaves very minimal lacing.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of maple syrup with maybe a hint of chocolate?

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a dominant maple syrup taste to it, light roasted malts, smokiness and metallic flavor.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with an overpowering maple syrup flavor and a thin and somewhat watery overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with bland and unbalanced flavors and aromas.


 582 characters

Photo of Groulxsome
2.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I had heard this was quite a bad beer, but I don't like to be told, so I had to get one (rather, a friend left one in my fridge).

A: Um, disappointing if this was a home-brew, devastating as a commercial beer. The head went away very quickly, was very, very light and bubbly for its brief existence, and left a dark brown-copper beer. The color of cola.

S: A nice maple smell, but that's it! I can't get much malt or anything at all. I'll give it a 3 for smelling like maple, which is a good smell, really.

T: Similar story here. It tastes like maple. As it warms there are some faint malt notes - something vaguely toasty. A little bitter, but it has a thinness like and extract home-brew. Not saying there is extract (I'm no expert), it just it missing some body.

M: Surprisingly light. I was expecting the maple to make it somewhat syrupy and heavy, but it was really thin. Very light carbonation.

O: I don't like being mean to a beer. I really want to go back and bump a number there and there to make this, overall, not so bad. The sad fact is that I feel sorry for all the nice maple syrup that went into making this beer. It could have been on nice pancakes or waffles, or in a nicer beer. If a friend had made this as a home-brew I'd end up drinking a few, it's just kinda sweet and plane. It's not offensive, but it's not something I'd have people flocking to his house to try. But, as for something to spend $5 on, it just isn't really worth it.

 1,461 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
2.52/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber picked up at the LCBO; best before July 2012. Having heard such terrible things about this beer in the past, and being steadfast in my masochistic tendencies, I pretty much had to try this stuff. Served slightly warmer than fridge temperature.

The pour reveals a dark, muddy brown brew, effectively opaque between the darkness of the hue and the haziness of the liquid itself. Some reddish highlights when held to the light. Like most of the other things I've tried from this brewer, this stuff is just incapable of retaining a head for any length of time - even using my patented Angrypour, the tan-coloured, creamy foam went from one finger thick to a negligibly thin, uneven soapy film within a minute of pouring. The aroma is actually kind of nice, although unmistakably one-dimensional - that 'Trafalgar yeast' smell is fairly prevalent, along with an underlying malty sweetness and maple syrup notes.

Weird taste, not as bad as the reviews led me to believe though. The profile leans heavily on the malty side of things, with lightly roasted bready malts forming the backbone. Sweet-tasting with no relent; syrupy notes of molasses and maple remain prevalent throughout the sip. Some faint dark fruit/chocolate notes are just blown away by the generic syrupy sweetness. Roasted malts and some earthy, drying bitterness compose the aftertaste, which doesn't really linger. Unacceptably thin-bodied and watery for a bock, with a weird sour vibe that feels like it should not be there (but at the very least, stops this from being cloyingly sweet). No heat from the alcohol is apparent. Light carbonation, with a very smooth/flat mouthfeel.

Not good, but its badness has been exaggerated a little. It's also possible that Trafalgar has just improved the recipe/brewing method this season. Regardless, it's just not the level of quality a beer geek should expect from a 4-to-5 dollar bomber of beer. Disappointing when taken as a bock too, reminding me more of a brown ale than anything - and a thin one at that.

Final Grade: 2.52, which is in C-minus territory. This is my 8th trek into the world of Trafalgar beers, and although I seemed to be making a plea for leniency up there, it's still probably one of the lamest things I've had from this brewery. If I could use one word to describe this beer, it would probably be 'disorganized'. There are a few different flavours going on, and while none of them are terribly off-putting, they are balanced poorly and the result is something that just tastes like roasted malts and watery syrup. Not really a chore to drink, but I would not buy this again or recommend it to anyone else.

 2,647 characters

Photo of andrenaline
2.08/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I consider myself an eternal optimist, either that or someone who likes to punish oneself over and over...

A - Pours a dark cola colour with a finger of head after a rough pour, little retention and no real lacing.

S - Bready caramel and maple syrop, raw oats and cheerios.

T - Typical Trafalgar metallic and odd leafy notes, the syrop comes through and isn't as overpowering as the nose implies. The bready caramel lingers alongside a strong leafy bitterness. Rather one dimensional with the flavours being unadventurous and rather tame for the style.

M - Disturbingly thin, reminiscent of flat coke with a sour dryness that lingers.

O - Well, admittedly I was a bit surprised by this one. Based on the rating I was expecting to drain pour this bottle, but it certainly wasn't that bad. A good example of the style? Absolutely not. Would I drink it again? Unfortunately, yes, because I made the mistake of buying two bottles.

 931 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
3/5  rDev +29.3%

Photo of WeissBoy
3/5  rDev +29.3%

Photo of beerhunter13
3/5  rDev +29.3%

Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev +72.4%

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Trafalgar Maple Bock from All or Nothing Brewhouse
Beer rating: 2.32 out of 5 with 45 ratings
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