From the HBD Archive
From: Mark Gryska <GRYSKA@cs.umass.EDU>
Subject: Re: Sam Adams Double Bock
Date: 1989-05-22 23:17:00 GMT

Kevin McBride asks for our opinions of Samuel Adams Double Bock in
HOMEBREW Digest #152. He offers his own: "My major complaints are 1)
It's too light, and 2) it's far too sweet (almost sickly sweet.)"

Until recently I would have agreed that this beer was not a Bock.
Last month our Homebrew Club (Valley Fermenters) got together to
select the best Bock beer (brewed by one of our members) to represent
us in the "Bock is Best" competition. A little research on the subject
revealed that Bock beer encompasses a wide variety of beers. We have
Bock, Maibock, Eisbock, Weizenbock and Dopplebock.

Michael Jackson describes Bock in his S&S Pocket Guide: "The German
term for strong beer. If unqualified, it indicates a bottom-fermenting
brew from barley malt. In Germany, a bock beer has more than 6.25
percent alcohol by volume, and may be golden, tawny or dark brown..."

Fred Eckhardt writes: "...Original extract required by German law
must be at least 16-Plato/1064 to be designated bock..." "Dopplebocks
are required to be brewed at 18/1074, with 6/7.5% alcohol (wt/vol).
There is a level of sweetness present in most, as evidenced by the
hefty apparent extract of some at 4-6/1016-24. Malt flavors
predominate, and hop levels are relatively unassertive, althought
noticeable..." (from The Essentials of Beer Style)

Personally, I like Samuel Adams Double Bock. I would describe it as
having a caramel color, a nicely balanced nose with malty overtones
and a slightly sweet flavor which leans to the malty side and finishes
toward the hops / alcohol. (OK so I'm not Michael Jackson ;-) If you
haven't tried it I recommend that you do. I think that calling it a
Double Bock is not quite accurate, but it does have a Bock character.

A side note: I first tried this beer at the Great American Beer
Festival last year. I spoke with James Koch and learned that the color
in the beer came entirely from caramelization during the boil and that
no dark grains were used. I don't know if they used the same recipe
for the current Double Bock.
- mg

Mark Gryska gryska@cs.umass.edu

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