Sunday, December 15, 2013

Penn Brewing St. Nikolaus Bock (7/10)

When I lived in Pittsburgh, I had a boss named George who was a big fan of the Pennsylvania Brewing Company or “Penn Brewing”.  He often encouraged me to try their products, which were always really good.

Penn Brewing follows the German “Reiheitsgebot” beer purity law that limits beer ingredients to water, barley, and hops.   St. Nikolaus Bock is a winter bock beer available from November through January.  It was the highest rated American bock beer at the National Beverage Tasting Institute in 2004.

The beer pours a deep reddish brown color with a thin white head.

The aroma is very malty, with some hint of spice to it.  The flavor is a kind of toasted bready malt with a hint of cinnamon.  It’s a very nice beer but there is nothing particularly outstanding about it.

Beer Advocate readers rate it an 89 or “good” while The Bros give it a 90 or “outstanding” rating.  Rate Beer gives the brew a 76 overall.  That’s pretty close to my own 7/10 rating. 

November 2014 update:  The folks at Kenny Road Market had a special on this beer, cases of it leftover from the 2013 season.  After having a year to age, the flavor improved considerably.  There is a lot more malt, caramel, roasted grain, and complexity to it. I'd rate the cellared version at 8/10.

Flavor Profile:
Sweet, Malty, Dry, or Bitter:  Sweet
Spice Level:  Low
Hops Level: Very Low
Dominant Flavors:  Honey. malt, and citrus peel
ABV: 6.5%
IBU:  25
My Rating: 7/10

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