Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
Chippewa Falls, WI
In the spring of 1888, after 21 years of brewing in Chippewa Falls and one of the harshest winters anyone in the Midwest could remember, the then Jacob Leinenkugel Spring Brewery created the brand’s first seasonal brew: a robust bock beer. The style rose to popularity as a source of sustenance for monks during the Lenten fast and can be traced back to 14th century Germany.
Original gravity: 1054
This is a pretty beer, pouring a bright, clear reddish brown with a thick, khaki head. The predominant aroma is reminiscent of standing in a room of freshly milled malt. In true German fashion, there's just a suggestion of earthy hops and spicy cloves. At first taste, the malt wavers between caramel and toffee with a touch of roastiness as cloves and hops take a back seat. Through mid-glass there's an odd tartness that sort of gets in the way, but isn't off-putting. A little thin for a bock, but not a bad rendition for a kissin' cousin to the real McCoy.
If you’re anticipating a sweet bock, please think again. After a creamy, nutty aroma that promises a smooth drink, this intriguing, attractively red beer gives the impression of bitter herbs on the palate, with a raisin-like fruity softness and a slightly medicinal note from the smoky grains. The nutty, dry, grainy and bitter finish lasts really rather well and leaves a pleasant, gentle warmth. Overall, it may come across as a little bit thin for the style and strength, but it’s certainly a beer with its own character. Tasty and unusual.