Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock

Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock

Enjoyable

  • Barley; very slight cocoa
  • Very smooth, floral; chocolate notes intensify when warmed
  • Surprisingly mildly bitter

Available only the Winter Classics collection; not sold in six-packs

They’ve tried to sneak one by me, but I caught them. Samuel Adams is offering a new exclusive seasonal beer in their Winter Classics 12- and 24-packs, Chocolate Bock. The Chocoalte Bock replaces the Cranberry Lambic in the Winter Classics selection, which I find unfortunate, as I really enjoyed that and felt it was the best lambic on the market. But I’m always willing to try something new.

A bottle of Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock and a pint of it poured into a glass.

Sam Adams Chocolate Bock in my Sam Adams glass. Yes, I found my Sam Adams glasses.

This is an unexpectedly simple beer. It has a nice barley scent which belies its very mild taste. My nose was telling me bitter, but it was floral and soft on my tongue. The description on the beer label states that actual cocoa is used in the making of this bock, and it’s subtle, but definitely there. It is chocolatey. For beer novices, this would be quite a comfort as most beers labeled “chocolate” are actually referring to the color and roast of the barley used in the malt. The Chocolate Bock does taste like chocolate, or rather, cocoa, but without the bitter aftertaste of cocoa. I imagine that took some engineering on Sam Adams’s part, because, in general, without sugar, the bitterness in cocoa tends to overwhelm everything else. But the Bock is not bitter until a slight bitterness hits on the finish.

Chocolate Bock is an excellent dessert beer. It’s not overly sweet, certainly not compared to a lambic, but the chocolate notes and lack of bitterness on the body make it a perfect companion for chocolate, vanilla, and coffee, or any of the millions of other things that go well with cocoa. It’s barely carbonated, pouring like a stout with very little head, and I’ll bet that the best temperature to serve this is closer to 50–55° F. I had it a bit above 40°, but as it sat, the chocolate note became more pronounced.

Update: Sam Adams is selling their Cranberry Lambic in six-packs, so I no longer lament the lambic’s passing. It’s now in their rotation of seasonals. Long live the lambic!