Boy has it been awhile. I’m sitting here on a warm March day writing up my first beer review of the year. The first two months of 2013 were relatively beer free for me. I did say relatively. What that means is my beer drinking was mostly reserved for social situations, so therefore I wasn’t taking tasting notes as I was imbibing. But that is all over now. I’m going to continue something I started around the end of 2012: cleaning out my beer cellar.
There’s no coffee or chocolate in this limited edition lager but your mouth might insist otherwise. Brewed for the Holidays, this black bock is lush and full bodied with hints of roast, coffee, & chocolate in the aroma followed by flavors of caramel & figs with a long creamy smooth finish. Brewed as a Czech style Cerné Speciální with 2 row Pale, Munich, Caramel, & Chocolate Malts & hopped with Santiam and Perle hops.
Ever since I started home brewing I’ve become more intrigued by the concept of lagers. That is why when we were kicking around the idea of brewing a lager I picked up a sixpack of the LTD #06: Black Bock for a lager tasting/reference session. I was not disappointed.
Black Bock pours a deep brown, practically black color. Carbonation can be momentarily glimpsed, like fish swimming near the ocean floor. The head is but a wisp of khaki foam that quickly fades into a sheet of bubbles. Lacing splashes up the side of the glass, then quickly retreats with each sip.
This is where I became intrigued. The nose is full of cereal grains, toasted oats, and roasted malts. Hints of coffee and sun tea add to the already appealing scent.
These favors come back in almost the same proportions in the taste. It begins with a burnt cereal (ie roasted malts) taste that isn’t as off-putting as it sounds. Dark roasted coffee comes in right on its heels to give it an even darker taste profile. After the blast of “dark” flavors some sweetness appears in the form of caramel and toffee. If I had to describe this beer in a sentence I would call it a blend of an amber and a stout.
Mouthfeel is light and bubbly. It goes down smooth, but evaporates fairly quickly, leaving some bubbles around your mouth.
Black Bock is a great beer to help transition from the hearty dark beers of winter to the lighter beers of spring. I really liked this beer and hope that more breweries start adapting this oft-overlooked style.
Overall: 8 out of 10
As a EURO DARK LAGER: 9 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Guinness BLACK LAGER, August Schell CZECH-STYLE BLACK LAGER, Žatecký Pivovar ŽATEC DARK LAGER