Sometimes we can all be winners
A Review of Winter Bock by Frankenmuth Brewery
Posted on 1/13/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
This time of the beer year is unquestionably my favorite. While a few of the lighter, more crisp beers still occupy the occasional spots on the shelves and taps, the winter months are when the rich and bold darker beers are given their time to shine. We all know that stouts, porters and bocks are different in their own rights, but they also share some common traits that make them perfect for the colder months. Most notably, they all tend to have a nice toasted layer that can make even the coldest of pints warm and comforting. Recently I was able to get my hands on a nice seasonal offering from Frankenmuth Brewery that is a great glass filler for those chilly nights. Allow me to introduce you to the Frankenmuth Winter Bock.

When poured, the Winter Bock takes on a lovely mahogany coloration that is crystal clear. Atop it sits a fluffy tan head that hangs around for a while before calming down to a thin layer that barely covers the surface. Take a moment to get your nose in the glass, and you are greeted by an aroma familiar to any bock fan. There is a warm, toasted bread smell that can't be missed. It has just the faintest of sourdough notes that are both unexpected, as well as intriguing. Once you make it past the bread layer, more malt aromas await. The caramel layer is rich, but not overly sweet. A very welcome sign, seeing as how many brewers today tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to that aspect of bocks. Next in line is a very deep layer of chocolate that takes a moment or two to find, but once you do, it can hold your attention for quite some time. Giving it just a bit of warming time opens it up to a few more delicate notes of toffee, cream, and even vanilla.

After a bit of study and warming time, one is well rewarded when finally going in for the first taste. The toasted bread is again upfront, and nothing short of spot on for a bock. It slowly fades into a bit of a nutty flavor before giving way to a rich caramel layer of goodness. Contrary to the nose, the caramel layer hangs around for a while, and only lets small waves of the chocolate detected earlier come through. There is a nice dance between the two flavors that keeps your palate on its toes throughout the session. And again, with some attentiveness, the notes of toffee and vanilla pop through and add some really nice highlights to an already tasty brew.

For me, it is always nice to get my hands on any decent bock that I can. The style in general is one that is dominated by German excellence, and rare is the occasion when one from American soil gets my seal of approval. Luckily for all of us, the Winter Bock from Frankenmuth Brewery happens to be one of those rare occasions. I know that many fans of the bock style simply turn their nose up at anything American, and that is really a shame. I have always been of the mindset that I would rather try a beer and possibly run the risk of being disappointed, than not try a beer and miss out while retaining my ''beer snob'' status. Take it from me, the risk here is minimal. I have already took it for you, and in doing so, we all turn out winners. And the Frankenmuth Winter Bock is a prize that we all can enjoy.

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Winter Bock by Frankenmuth Brewery
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