Bock beers were first developed in Eastern Europe during the 15th century, and were historically brewed for Catholic holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Lent. As such, I can’t think of a better beer to review on a Lenten Friday than bocks. In a way, it’s like going to church for me, except without the whole dressing up and sitting on a hard wood bench thing.
Continuing the multiple-beer review experiment from last week’s review, I’m tasting two pretty different Bocks, Anchor Steam’s Anchor Bock and Sierra Nevada’s Glissade Golden Bock.
First up, Anchor Bock. The pour was decent, with a creamy two-finger head that stuck around for about a minute. The beer is really dark, almost resembling a stout. I held it up to light and discovered a deep maroon color. The aroma was hard to figure out – reminded me of a plum, which was surprising, but I couldn’t place it 100 percent. The taste was also complex, with a fruity flavor on the first sip and a rich coffee-like aftertaste. I liked this beer, but I didn’t find myself dying to finish it. I think it tries to do too many things at once to be a truly great brew. By the by, its 5.5% ABV didn’t really leave a mark.
Next up, the Glissade Golden Bock, Sierra Nevada’s spring seasonal. I literally couldn’t have picked two more different Bocks. The pour resulted in almost no foam, and the beer had a really light color with a ton of carbonation. It almost looked like a ginger ale at first glance. I took a whiff and it smelled like a light beer, pretty nondescript. The first sip was also indistinct, but was sweet – a little like perfume. However, the aftertaste was where this beer finally got interesting – it transitions to a bit of a honey mustard flavor. I’m a big fan of Sierra Nevada, and was psyched to try this beer, but this was a bit of a letdown. The ABV checks in at a decent 6.4%, so at least there’s that.
I’m not really a Bock kind of guy, so I didn’t know what to expect heading into my review, and don’t really know what to make of them coming out of it. I was really surprised at the wide range of differences between these two Bocks, and I’d be interested in hearing what other people think about this kind of beer.