Tag Archive: Heller Bock


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.

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Hofbrau Munchen: Maibock (Germany: Heller Bock:7.2% ABV)

Visual: Reddened gold.  Off white bubbled head.

Nose: Malt and cinnamon. Light cherry. Slightly musty but sweet. Light hop character.

Body: Red cherries. Malt and slight bitterness. Cinnamon. Some fruitcake. Slick, but slightly thickened texture. Touch of liquorice. Banana comes out as it warms.

Finish: Lime jelly and orange jelly. Malt, raisins. Slight fluffy popcorn hop feel.

Conclusion: A very fruity number this one, red cherries and fruitcake. These are more flavours I would expect from a full bodied English ale, but a very well done here in this Maibock.  The texture is just slightly syrup touches in thickness and still very easy to drink despite the extra grip. The thickness and fruitiness combine to give a slightly jelly (and for Americans this is equivalent of Jello, not what we Brits would call Jam) flavour at times. That is a nice touch, and thankfully not overdone. Just little hints that don’t get sickly.

Works well chilled, and is very easy to drink like that, however the beer is more robust worm, with better use of its quite light hop bitterness. Also a banana bread like character comes out. Unfortunately, as is often the case, with heat also comes a liquorice touch, to the slight detriment of the beer. It never becomes so evident to be a major obstacle to enjoyment though so it’s a minor thing.

A very enjoyable beer then, fruity and easy going. Despite the fruit it never piles on the sweetness too heavily and like many German lagers, the crisp use of bitterness in moderation allows for them to get away with flavours that would otherwise get sickly.

Therefore a good beer, no element quite pushes it into great, but still good and no real complaints here.
Background: One of Michel Jackson’s 500 Great beers and annoying elusive, for me at least. Finally found at Corks of Cotham, along with few other treats. Drunk after a brutal week at work so I was looking forwards to a good beer to relax with. I consider myself slightly biased towards German beer, for many reasons, but frankly their beer doesn’t usually let me down either.

Rogue: Dead Guy Ale (USA: Heller Bock: 6.6% ABV)

Visual: A distinctive reddish amber with a large burgundy influenced head.

Nose: Cinnamon dustings, orange peel. Lots of malt. Jelly yet still quite crisp. Resin and strawberries.

Body: Lots of malt. Toffee. Light bitter back. Orange. Some spiced loaf. Pineapple. An odd mix of slick texture on the edge yet rough on the middle of the tongue.

Finish: Crisp milk chocolate. Moderate bitterness, but one that grows quickly as it goes. Wheat. Twigs. Orange again and a hint of sour dough.

Conclusion: Never underestimate the influence a look of a beer can have. Take for example this beauty, all glittering red and massive oddly hued bubbles.  You want to love this beer before even the first sip passes your lips.

Does pretty well after the sip as well.

Very easy drinking, but still rocks the flavour. The body is just thick enough that the flavour can really get its hooks in. Lots of fruit and sweetness mixes in the aroma and body, which makes it all the more refreshing when you reach an unexpectedly bitter finish.

Slick and just a hair away from being sickly in the jelly touched texture. It’s the huge mass of pineapple hops that keep it fresh and a massive malt back that gives it that core.

The beer eternally feels like its going top stumble too far in any of its directions, it has so many  strong influenced pulling this way and that. It just about holds together its drunken stagger through the flavours and in doing so leads it down the path of a delicious and refreshing beer that manages to pack everything in.

Background:  A Maibock beer, which apparently comes under “Heller Bock”. Neither title is one that I’ve seen on many beers before so I’m a comparative newbie to the style.  This did lead to a touch of confusion on what glass was best to use.  Since it’s a Germany style, and I don’t get the glasses out enough, I ended up plumping for a hefeweizen intended glass

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