Amsterdam Spring Bock | Amsterdam Brewing Company

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Amsterdam Spring BockAmsterdam Spring Bock

Brewed by:
Amsterdam Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Derek on 03-11-2009

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 116
Photo of GodOfBeer
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a thick, light brownish-white head.

Smells nutty and malty at first with some sweet dark fruits, the hops are struggling to be noticed.

Nice and malty upfront, some real nuttiness to this brew which is to be expected, some caramel and chocolate undertones and a nice citrusy hop finish. Well balanced and refreshing.

By far the best Amsterdam beer I've had, and possibly the best Doppelbock I've had.

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Photo of Roke87
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, chilled, and poured into a duvel tulip.

Appearance- Poured a hazy brown colour with about 3 fingers of off white head, good head retention, and maximum lacing throughout this one.

Smell- Is very muted, not much shining through on this bock, dark fruit smell and a little bit of roasted malts still come through. Also get a hint of caramel on the nose.

Taste- Not too much as far as taste goes either, some chocolate actually comes through in the taste at first, lots of roasted malts from finish to end, and raisin/fig fruity flavours come through as well and finishes with a sweet taste in the end, especially when it starts to warm up. No hop flavour as far as I am concerned.

Mouthfeel- Light to Medium bodied, not much carbonation but an easy drinking brew none the less, really hides the 7% ABV very well.

Overall- A quality bock worthy of good praise, although not the best I’ve ever tasted it still stands strong, Too bad it’s a seasonal because I would drink this all year long despite not having a complex smell or taste.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle

Appearance - Slightly hazy reddish brown colour with a large size frothy light brown coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some very good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it started to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, chocolate (I didn't pick up on the hops they mention on the bottle)

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it still feels fairly creamy on the tongue. The beer has a very pleasant well balanced taste made up of malts, dark fruits (raisins?), and some chocolate. It finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste.

Overall - I was pretty impressed with this brew. It was much better than I was expecting. The alcohol was well hidden and it was very drinkable. I guess it's designed for the spring weather but it seems like more of a winter beer.

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Photo of paxkey
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

strange artwork on bottle. looks like a rams head, its green and shows up large on the front and smaller on the back. the image on the back has the animal head sitting atop a human torso wearing a t-shirt that reads 'respect the bock'.

description on bottle mentions' vast quantities of hops...chocolate and treacle flavours.

also recommends cellaring on bottle.

amsterdam moto on bottle - purity passion revelry.

poured into a samuel smith pint glass. gorgeous mahogony color with 2 finger tan head.

very high malt profile on the nose. caramel, dark fruits - raisins figs. some lighter notes off the hops. some yeast character. mostly dark sweet malt aroma. sugary. overall quite pleasing.

finishes with right amount of sweetness. a little bit watery throughout but nothing too complain about as the flavor is great with a touch of alcohol coming through. not an amazing beer but quite nice.

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Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amsterdam Spring Bock looks nice, but it obviously doesn't have a clue about fashion. For a *spring* beer it's wearing all the wrong colours! Far from pastel, this dark, earthy reddish-brown coloured beer shows a deep scarlet hue and even a few strands of dark violet. And forget about rejuvenation: this is still barren and lifeless.

To oversimplify a little, a classic doppelbock requires one thing and one thing only: strong, rich maltiness. This bouquet suggests the beer has some maltiness, but that the pistol is only half cocked. This chocolaty smell and the dark fruits (plum, grape), light caramel and light toast notes it contains is on target for the style but...doesn't quite do it.

The taste too is agreeable, and probably even surprisingly so for those who didn't think they liked dark beer, but is far, far from profound. The taste of chocolate is a little too prominent, and borders on being roasty. It reminds me of some of the weaker stouts I've had the (dis)pleasure of trying. The finish is dry and perceptibly ashy.

Doppelbocks are notoriously rich and they get that way via a painstaking decoction program and an extensive, melanoidin-enhancing boil. Don't ask me to explain it, it's very complicated. I'm sure Amsterdam would tell you the same thing - it's clear that it gave their brewer troubles. This has nowhere near the sweet malty richness the style dictates.

It'd be easy to blame the obstruction of toasty melanoidins, the suffocation of dark fruits, the suppression of sweet maltiness on over-hopping. But that ain't the case. There's scarcely a trace of earthy, noble hop and, by extension, a very negligible bitterness. Likewise, the water could have used harder minerals. At least the alcohol was left out too.

The best doppelbocks reach heights of intense, powerful flavour that are seldom evinced in non-traditional German brands. Amsterdam Spring Bock - while a fine, cleanly brewed lager by any standards - is not the exception I was hoping it'd be. So far each batch has considerably varied year to year. Here's hoping next year's batch is a bit better.

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Photo of ludachris
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fitting beer to kick off the first day of spring. I'm glad to see this local offering as part of the LCBO's spring lineup.

A clear and deep chestnut brown body gives off dark amber red highlights when held up to the light. About two fingers worth of creamy tan head is left after the pour with a thick ring still left hanging minutes later.

Staple dopplebock notes make up the nose of this beer with everything screaming sticky. Raisons, figs, caramel, and rich bready malts. That guy giving up all foods and liquids except for water and dopplebock for lent almost makes sense. Almost.

A rich nutty backdrop spreads itself across the palate that allows only hints of sweet raisons and figs to peak through. Caramel at the back of the palate helps to balance the pleasantly bitter and dry bite the nuttiness imparts before bready malts jump in making for a tasty finish. As the beer warms, a raison-like sweetness is made more apparent throughout.

Medium bodied with an enjoyable richness and smoothness. The dryness in the finish invites you to take sip after sip. The nearly 8% ABV is wonderfully hidden.

Overall, a good offering from Amsterdam but taste wise, I'll take the Salvator over this. It has everything I look for in a dopplebock but nothing jumps out at me. Without the suggestion of aging this on the bottle, I would have never thought to place one or two of these in my cellar. And I might just do that out of curiosity.

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Photo of MattyV
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chocolate colour with ruby/mahogany highlights. Creamy beige head laces nicely.
Nose is predominantly toffee notes with minor roasted/dark fruit aromas.
Taste is a mix of caramel/toffee with cocoa, raisins, and nuts. Bitterness not as high as I expected given the bottle, but was adequate and imparted a pleasing light roasted flavour. Starts to become a bit boozy as it warms.
Body was medium with nice creamy carbonation. Decent, but could've used a bit more of a hefty body. Still, very enjoyable and will gladly pick up a few more since this trial run definitely surpassed my expectations.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO spring release.

Poured into a conical pint glass. A deep, chestnut amber brew, with the pour leaving a thick off-white inch of head. Decent retention, survived as a thin ring. Some lacing.

Nose is about what I look for in a bock - rich malt, raisins, pumpernickel bread, dark fruit, caramel and toffee. Off to a good start!

Tastes as good as it smells, a stand-up bock all around. Boozy, rich, big pumpernickel flavor, caramel and all the usual suspects. Finishes dry and slightly bitter.

Thicker mouthfeel, slightly creamy, mild carbonation.

A real surprise - this was a great tasting bock, perfect for the beginning of the warm spring weather. Drinks well, although one is certainly enough. Easily my favorite Amsterdam brew I've had thus far. Would that they could brew their other fare this well.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear, dark brown with a thick tan foam.

S - Caramel, dark fruit and a hint of grassy hop, hint of coffee. Molasses and dark sugars.

T - A little sweet and a little boozy. A bit of dryness in the middle is nice, crisp bitterness. Again, molasses and dark sugars come through. Cleans up quickly.

M - Medium body isn't too heavy and carbonation is present but light-ish.

D - Good drinkability - not too sweet or "big". Well balanced.

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Photo of Ralphus
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, opaque amber color. The little head recedes to nothing. Fairly poor overall.

The smell is initially fairly muted but opens up in the middle of the glass with molasses & cherries. Decent.

The taste is a stronger point for this beer. While not exceptional, it is good and well balanced. Medium rich malts and molasses and a balancing bitterness have good interplay on the tongue. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is a step above average. Carbonation is tight small bubbles which work well. Drinkability is fair. I could have more, or less, and not be to upset either way.

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Photo of mrnobody
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear reddish brown with one finger of beige head which disappears leaving a small amount of lacing.

S: Smells of molasses, cherry, roasted malt. Not strong but pleasant.

T: The flavour is a surprise: very rich. Malty for sure but also some nice dark fruit flavours and a slightly bitter finish.

M: Mouthfeel is fairly full, carbonation level is suitable.

D: I'm not a big bock fan but this is one of the better ones I've had.

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Photo of liamt07
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a balloon tulip. No best before date (but quite fresh I'll assume), consumed March 5.

Poured a dark mahogany, really translucent with a few fingers of khaki head. Solid lacing and a creamy, fairly dense head. Nose holds a bit of caramel, nuts, light smoke, dark fruit notes and light chocolate. Taste has some 'soft' (?) chocolate and some nuts as well, dark fruits maybe as well, but as a whole everything is quite muted and malty. Some alcohol rounds out the mouthfeel, and I don't mind it. Good creamy feel, and almost silky at points. Good drinkability, and I'll purchase this one a again. Good stuff Amsterdam.

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Photo of bryehn
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice dark ruby-nut brown colour with a moderate, but thick and spongy tan head that leaves a thick layer of lace.

I find the aroma to be rather subdued, even after warming. What's there is deep and malty, with a dark fruit tone and a hint of chocolate syrup.

This tastes like dark fruit and chocolate, syrupy sweetness and a strong, but not overpowering bitterness. I find it very well-balanced, but nothing really stands out until a subtle spiciness shows itself after warming.

Very hearty mouthfeel, but also fairly creamy. Does a great job of masking the ABV without feeling or tasting weak. Like most decent bocks, it's dangerously drinkable. The fruity taste tends to linger in the finish, along with a pronounced woody flavour.

Pretty good overall, I'll buy it 'till it runs out this year. Probably the best Amsterdam beer I've had yet.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to brandy snifter.

A - Dark brown with a small amount of foamy cream-coloured head.

S - Toffee, brown sugar, caramel and some noticeable alcohol.

T - Toffee, dark caramel, brown sugar. A slight bitterness.

M - Light to medium body; lightly carbonated.

D - A very good example of the style and very drinkable for 7% ABV.

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Photo of kwjd
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an dark brown colour with hints of amber. Thin white head and some lacing. Smells of lots of dark fruit with toasted grains and sweet caramel. Flavour has some alcohol there, but not too apparent. Very sweet flavour, with a fruity aftertaste. Thick mouthfeel. I think I preferred this when I had this a year or 2 ago on tap, but still pretty nice in the bottle.

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Photo of Mit
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saw this in the LCBO and grabbed a couple.

a-Pours a dark brown colour, quite cloudy. Minimal head.

s-brown sugar smells, some dark fruit smells, alcohol.

t-hmmm dark malts, some raisin or dark fruit flavours...

m-somewhat thick...not as thick as I would have thought for a 7% beer.

d-uhm...wasn't feeling this nearly as much as I thought i might.

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Photo of heebes
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Foil capped 500ml bottle. 7% alc./vol.
Vintage 2010
Part of the LCBO's Spring Seasonal Release

Pours a dark mahogany brown wih little to no head. Nose is phenol (strange for a 7% beer), dark fruits, slight malt. Taste is dark rye malt, dark fruits. Mouthfeel is light and watery. Perhaps it is the style I am not familiar with, but for me, not a very drinkable beer. Paired with cheese and crackers and allowed to warm up to make it more enjoyable.

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Photo of pootz
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Poured a great looking mahogany brown with ruby highlights. 3 finger deep sandy cap left dandy lacing on the glass.

Nose is light - cocoa, fig, roasted grain, woody-herbal tones, light sweetness.

The flavor profile is distinctly dry but malty with some fair complexity (dates-cocoa-tobacco-molasses) and a wonderful drying finish punctuated by superior noble hop varieties. Dry but not puckering.... hints of sweetness but this is overshadowed by the roast husk and woody leafy tones.

Medium-full bodied and fairly rich to the palate.

This is a different Dunkler doppelbock than I'm used to and I quite enjoyed it. Well put together, well lagered and very drinkable.

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Photo of tpd975
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark nutty brown with an above average tan head. Pretty good retention with some spotty lace.

S: Sweet aromas. Lots of toasted brown sugar, caramel, and hints of dark fruit.

T: Actually not too bad. Nice roasted malt. Subtle smoke with lots of candy sweetness. Brown sugar and molasses mostly with hints of caramel. Dark fruits are noted as well.

M: Medium in body, ample carbonation.

D: Not bad, Solid beer

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Edit: 2010 vintage, 500ml - They've tweaked the hopping for sure, much more bitterness and drying in the finish. Not to style but a drinkable version, though the bitterness is a bit much for the style. Better carbonation. I would actually consider cellaring this to see if the hops die down a bit and it could be even more drinkable and balanced.

12oz clear bottle, 2009, pours a dark chestnut brown with a thin line of khaki bubbles that build on the pour and instantly die to zip, nada, zilch.

Smell is clean, a little nutty, hint of bready malt, touch of dry cocoa coming through, a hint of roast.

Taste continues along these lines, showcasing a touch of roast and strong herbal dryness that is certainly unusual for the style. Nuts, fruit bread, berries, cocoa powder, nice roastiness, hint of caramel, very restrained sweetness. Wickedly dry finish for the style which I actually quite enjoy, pretty thin in the body but it stands beside the ABV which is incredibly well hidden to provide quite a drinkable dopplebock. Low carbonation.

Certainly Amsterdam's best beer. I like the dryness and the roast, would perhaps go for a little more depth behind this, but this is an incredibly drinkable beer whose ABV creeps up on you. Would love to have this available year round, one of the better Ontario beers available in bottles.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear medium brown color ale with a relatively large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of dry caramel malt with a light very subtle toffee finish. Taste is dryer then expected with some caramel malt and not much else in terms of characteristics. Body is about average with good carbonation. A bit too bland and dry for my taste but no brewing flaws.

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Photo of eat
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a trade with Derek and also Derek's recipe. I'm excited to check this out! I can't say I've been a big fan of Amsterdam's beers, but that's super cool of them to have brewed this up. If I'm not mistaken, I think Derek mentioned that this version is stronger than 7.45% ABV...over 8% if I remember correctly.

Poured from an otherwise-unlabeled clear Amsterdam bottle. Strange to see such a dark beer in a clear bottle. Almost opaque and (very) dark brown in colour showing some ruby highlights. Initially poured with no head, but then a one finger creamy-white head did slowly rise after the whole thing was poured, only to receded fairly quickly to a ring around the glass. Bits of lacing. I'm into the dark brown colour.

Nice smell. Lots of whole wheat bread and yeast, roasted malt, bits of spice, hops and earthy wood, a little astringent, dark caramel/burnt sugar, some alcohol. Definitely smells like a doppelbock.

The taste is quite bready as well, along with roasted malt and a brown sugar-like sweetness. Light spice and subtle bittersweet chocolate. The alcohol just barely shows itself on the finish. Fairly balanced but maybe a touch on the sweet side.

Nice feel: thick medium body with light carbonation.

The alcohol is dangerous! I can feel it creeping up on me but barely taste any of it. This is a smooth brew and would be sessionable if it weren't for the ABV. Two of these and I'd be feeling pretty happy. By far the most interesting Amsterdam I've had (even one of the more interesting Ontario brews, period) and not a bad doppelbock at all. If only more Ontario breweries would take a chance and brew something with real character instead of all this "craft" macro-clone crap.

Thanks for the bottle, Derek! Can't wait to try the India Brown.

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Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo gave me this one a while back. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled feb 5/2010.

pours crystal clear very dark red. appears brown until held to the light where the ruby and garnet hues start to show through. a small cap of dense yellowish tan head forms, quickly dropping and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is good. rich caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. big chewy biscuit and multi-grain bread. hints of dark chocolate and smoke. bit of alcohol. herbal hop presence. touch of earthy character. dark fruit. bit of unrefined sugar.

taste is good. big chewy malts again. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. biscuit and a bit of cracker. loads of caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. date, fig, bit of plum. hints of dark chocolate and smoke. that herbal aspect is here too, a little more strongly than i expected but it provides a nice counterpoint to the malt. touch of alcohol, more felt than tasted but still never really warming.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. hides its alcohol well. good complexity and depth. a tasty doppelbock!

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Photo of Derek
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed a half pint of this at the C'est What Spring Festival.

A: Deep mahogany, tan head, good retention & great lacing.

S: After a couple of months in a keg, the fruitiness has really come forward. Nice floral & peppery spicing with a light whiff of alcohol.

T: The roastyness and dark caramel flavours have really mellowed, allowing plenty of fruit flavours to come forward. Blackberries, cranberries, currants & caramelized raisins, with a floral & peppery spicing; nuts; hints of cocoa, caramel & bread. Good bitterness and the alcohol is really subtle.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has an off-dry finish.

D: Very drinkable.

Definitely brewed to my taste. :D

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Photo of markaberrant
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - deep red, brilliant clarity, fizzy off white head

S - clean, malty, some dark fruits, not overly dense, but clean and inviting

T - huge maltiness up front, bready and fruity munich malt, sticky toffee, some residual sweetness, just enough hop bitterness to balance, clean throughout, aftertaste is pleasant, but a little abrupt

M - medium full body, medium carbonation, somewhat creamy, but also sticky, warming alcohol is evident

D - this is a pretty nice Canadian bock, quite enjoyable

This has just about all the classic components, and is very well brewed. The only knock is that it comes across as almost "too clean," which sounds odd for a lager, but makes me think it has been overly filtered instead of given an extended lager (another website said it was lagered for 2 months and then filtered, so there you go).

Definitely one of the better beers I've tasted from Onterrible. Way to go Derek!

Thanks to Viggo for the bottle!

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Amsterdam Spring Bock from Amsterdam Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 116 ratings.
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