Birch syrup? As a kid I tapped maple trees and boiled the sap to make a syrup for pancakes. There’s something of that texture in this beer. First and foremost it is drop dead gorgeous. Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Birch Bock pours deep garnet, with a slightly tan head, that lifts a candy aroma to your nose. The flavor is a fun combination of bock and birch syrup, reminscent of the those days as a kid boiling up gallons of tree sap. The fabulous combination of a bock’s rich sweet toatiness with the caramel of the syrup is very imaginative and enticing. The birch adds a subtle dry tang in the finish holding the richness back from becoming cloying. An elegant giant and one for the ages. The doppelbock-style ale - part of the company’s limited edition specialty beers Pilot Series – is available in 22 oz bottles.
Published March 2012, Volume 33, Number 1