Apr 17, 2012

Samuel Adams Cinder Bock

Sam Adams Cinder Bock photo

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had anything from Boston Beer Company that wasn’t their standard flagship lager or traditional seasonal release on tap at local restaurants. I guess seeing this bottle of Cinder Bock (killer name, by the way) and Dark Depths (review coming tomorrow) on the shelves the other day was a sign to get off my butt and check out what the company has been doing lately.

Cinder Bock is billed as a hybrid of sorts, a mashup of two different styles — a rauchbier (smoked beer) and a bock. After enjoying the brew, I’d say that the combination isn’t strictly 50/50. The beer has a little smokey char to it, but also leans quite heavily on the bock end of the recipe.


Cinder Bock pours a rusty, dark amber in color with a khaki head that fell to patchy surface cover.


I definitely pick up a more dominant bock caramel and sweetness with a lingering campfire smoke in the far distance. There’s a touch of grassy hops in the mix, as well. As the beer warms, however, the smoked meatiness of the rauchbier starts to take over nicely.


For as subtle as the smoke was on the nose, it’s more apparent on the tongue, though still not to the level found in some beers of the rauchbier style. It does, however, create a nice interplay with the sweeter, caramel malt nature of the bock — making for a savory and rich flavor profile. At 9.4% ABV, there is a noticeable alcohol presence that warms the chest with each swallow.


All in all, Cinder Bock is a pretty darn good beer. I’d personally like to see a bit more smoke in it, but as it stands the bock-dominant characteristics are just fine, as well. The beer is a bit strong in the alcohol realm, but it doesn’t take that much away from the drinking experience. I’d get this beer again.


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