Einbecker Ainpockish Ur-Bock 1378 (Germany: Heller Bock: 6.7% ABV)

Visual: Pale yellow. Small bubbled carbonation. Thin white head.

Nose: Vinous and grapes. Raisins. Marzipan. Slight hop oils.

Body: Thick. Light creamy raspberry. Apricot. Slightly syrupy. Vanilla and light cream. Cinnamon. Golden syrup.

Finish: Golden syrup. Light hop character and bitterness. Creamy. Cinnamon. Light bitterness. Slight vinous. Slight white wine.

Conclusion: This tastes stronger that it actually is, but in a good way. It isn’t showing the strength in alcohol burn – that aspect is very smooth; instead this carries itself with large vinous notes layered over a thicker lager character. Both elements that would say an around 8% beer if I had to guess. Similarly it has those creamy raspberry notes that can come with higher abv bocks and barley wine style beers. I mean, it isn’t light at an abv of 6.7 %, but even at that it is definitely punching above its weight.

So, definitely leaning towards the bigger and sweeter side of the bock spectrum – it has a few elements in common with the darker bocks – hints of raisins and such like, but it definitely is making use of the lighter style to bring vanilla and a mix of white grapes to white wine vinous notes- the latter of which much needed so it is not too sickly sweet,

It uses its creaminess without being dominated by it – it manages to be vinous without losing the base lager underneath it. The bitterness is low, allowing you enjoy the sweetness of the body, waiting until the finish to give a, still low, but now reasonable hop bitterness for a slight punch on the way out.

So a very good Bock lager – lots of vinous, lots of sweetness, lots of character. Not one that will unseat the Aventinus of its seat at the top of the Bock mountain, but this is frankly of a different bock style and with different aims- very worthy as its own thing.

Background: Did a google translate on the description of this one – looks like an old recipe (from 1378 at a guess) that they brought back to celebrate 500 years of the brewing purity law in Germany. Sounded cool so I tried this in Craft Beer Bar in Hannover. Lovely music at the place, some real guitar legends chosen for background music to the bar, which I always appreciate. Huge selection of beer – both local and world as well. This is the last set of notes from the Lower Saxony trip – hope you’ve enjoyed them. I didn’t know at the time, but this is one of ratebeers top 50 in the Heller Bock style – which is nice to know.