Shmaltz Bock Bock Imperial American Bock

This beer has a cute name, a nice label, and an interesting description as a lager aged in bourbon barrels. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that I normally avoid beers that are aged in liquor barrels. This is a direct result of the experience with several of these kinds of beers, not the least of which being the Innis and Gunn beers.

The beer's head is not voluminous, and it goes away almost completely (limited to the familiar ring around the top of the glass and little else). The color of the beer is a very pleasant brown-hued red. It's not the color I expect from a bock, but I find it intriguing and alluring, so the color is good. The aroma is strong and about knocked me back as soon as I opened it. It is bourbon, vanilla, citrus, and earth, and it actually smells really, really good.

First sip is... I think I need to take a second here to discuss the previous beers that I've said had a strong taste right off the bat. It was true, at the time, that I thought that those beers were strong, but they have nothing on this beer. It has the taste of a brown ale more than a bock, and it definitely drags quite a bit of the bourbon with it. I'm not sure that I like the effect - especially a sip of it. Maybe a swig...

Tip-in is bourbon-soaked, but it also has a bit of sweetness and tartness. The middle rumbles in with earth and a heavier tartness. Sticks and bourbon fill the mouth, and it's... not really my thing. The finish is a harsh smack of malt and bourbon in a way that slaps the gums with tartness that had not been tasted thus far.

Bottom Line: Might be the right thing for someone, but not for me.



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