A big summery coin flip
A Review of Fort Collins Hellesbock by Fort Collins Brewing Co.
Posted on 8/28/2012 by Chops
As the summer months draw to a close, beer fans are scrounging around for remnants of the season's offerings. Oktoberfest is right around the corner, but you don't want to get ahead of yourself. Resist the temptation and enjoy the time you have. My summer time beer shelf is almost empty at this point and sitting in the rear was the Fort Collins Hellesbock, a tasty looking maibock bomber. I'm never one to look a gift bock in the mouth, so into the fridge it went. Later that night I busted it open to compliment a lazy summer evening.

In the glass, this beer has a semi-hazy warm orange coloration with a copper tinting. It comes with a frothy white head that has decent retention. On the nose, that signature toasted bread crust aroma fills the area around the glass rim. After a few more whiffs, you notice that it mixes with a strong sweet boozy layer to create a buttery vibe. Certainly strange, but then again we're dealing with a 7.8% maibock. Typical this beer is not, but intriguing it certainly is.

The first sip is where things get strange. Get this, the flavor almost exactly matches the aroma. I wasn't expecting that, but there it was: toasted bread crust with lots of sweet booze and butter. The only additional note is the hop profile, which is squashed by the alcohol burn and thick malty character. It just provides a twinge of earthy citrus and little else (mostly on the finish). The beer has a mid-level mouthfeel which is malty thick and slightly gritty. I found the finish to be a little dry and it exits with a boozy malty aftertaste.

Overall, the Fort Collins Hellesbock is a pretty good brew, but is very odd for the style. To be perfectly honest, it drinks like a maibock barleywine hybrid, which is weird. It's not a bad beer by any means, but I honestly have no idea who I would recommend it to. Bock fans like myself will find it to be strangely interesting. Strong Ale fans will also find it to be strangely interesting. So, I'm at a loss. I can say that it's very aggressive for the style, so novices beware. Other than that, feel free to give it a spin. You may hate ever ounce of it or think it's the greatest beer to ever touch your lips. It really is that big of a coin flip.

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Fort Collins Hellesbock by Fort Collins Brewing Co.
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