94 LTD. Series 02 Lager, Full Sail Brewing Co. (OR). 6.4% ABV (10/08)
Bright amber color. Caramel drizzled raisin bread toast and chocolate-covered orange peel aromas follow through on a rich entry to a foamy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body with layers of dried fruits, spice and praline. Finishes with a very balanced and refreshing cocoa, citrus and raisin nut bread fade. Very tasty and a good match for grilled meats.
92 150 Anniversario Birra Strong, Menabrea SPA (Italy). 6.5% ABV (10/08)
Golden yellow color with a froth blanket. Aromas of buttered baguette, peach marmalade and lemon zest follow through on a soft, round entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with a great depth and super crisp, lightly honeyed nut, apricot pudding, grapefruit and grassy hop fade. A delicious and eminently food friendly bock.
91 LTD 01, Full Sail Brewing Company (OR). 6.4% ABV (10/07)
Deep copper color with a light tan head. Brown sugar, raisin, earthy nut and date aromas. A supple frothy entry leads to a velvety, dryish medium body of roasted nuts, chocolate raisins and cinnamon bark flavors. Finishes with an earthy hop and tangy dark chocolate-covered citrus fade with minimal bittering hops. A deliciously drinkable, dryly fruity and very mellow style.
90 Brewmaster’s Private Reserve, Anheuser Busch (MO). 8.5% ABV (11/06)
Brilliant golden amber color. Mild brioche, honey, raisin and mossy earth aromas follow through to a very smooth, silky and chewy full body of lemon custard, dried gala apple, honeyed raisin nut toast and sea salt flavors. Finishes with a long citrus, mineral salt and white clay-like hop fade.
89 Burnin’ Helles, Anheuser Busch (MO). 7% ABV (11/06)
Brilliant orange amber color. Mild banana taffy, fruit gum, brioche and golden raisin aromas. A smooth frothy entry leads to a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body of light caramel, honeyed brioche and tangy, white chocolate-covered lemon peels. Finishes with a sweet lemon curd, salty nuts and cocoa butter fade with a delicate overlay of mild earthy hops. Somewhat candied, but very tasty.
88 St. Nikolaus Bock, Penn Brewery (PA). 6.9% ABV (10/08)
Reddish mahogany color. Aromas of seared back bacon, cacao nibs and lemon curd follow through on a vibrant, round entry to a frothy, dryish medium-to-full body with peppery spice and nutshell accents. Finishes with a tangy and astringent citrus pepper and earthy hop fade. An intense, zesty and astringent bock to pair with spicy mole dishes.
86 7.30 Bock, Kalnapilis (Lithuania). 7.3% ABV (11/06)
Deep old gold color. Sweet honey, straw and caramelized grain aromas. A round, frothy entry leads to a dry, medium body of toasted nuts, light caramel, honey and candied lemon peel flavors. Finishes with a long, tangy citrus, toasted nut and vanilla spice fade.
84 Fighting Billy Bock, Minhas Craft Brewery (WI). 5.5% ABV (10/08)
Dark reddish brown color. Chocolate mocha ice cream, soy and honey aromas follow through on a nervous entry to a dryish medium body with charred nut and peach yogurt accent. Finishes with a bitter celery and woody nutshell fade.
82 Shiner Bock, Spoetzl Brewery (TX). 4.4% ABV (11/06)
Dark mahogany color. Roasted nut, sour cream and cooked vegetable aromas follow though to a somewhat thin medium body of charred wood, roasted nuts, sour lemon and cabbage flavors. Finishes with a dark dusty, caramel corn fade.
82 Brother Benedict’s Bock, Granite City Food & Brewery (IL). 5.3% ABV (10/08)
Deep reddish mahogany color. Aromas of chocolate-covered espresso beans, dried citrus peels and dark roasted nuts follow through on a round, supple entry to a dryish and slightly savory medium-to-full body with raisin purée, caramelized roasted carrot and squash notes. Finishes with tangy, dried citrus nutshell and peppery spice fade.