With it being the winter solstice and all, a dark beer seems very appropriate. Though not as dark as a stout or porter, bocks have quite a bit more colour than the average lager, and they are a style I like quite a bit, so I was happy to see one emerge from its numbered slot in the Advent Calendar this morning.
This particular bock comes from Fürst Wallerstein Brauhaus in Germany, the country of origin for the bock. Is it odd for me to say I find the goat on the label a bit unsettling? I don't know if it's the square pupils or traditional associations with Satanists, but this goat gives me the willies. Full marks for the swing-lid bottle though!
Thankfully the beer is more than sufficient in quality to make up for the ill-aspected covergoat. It pours out a luxurious copper, with an initial burst of effervescent carbonation that creates a modest head, and then subsides into a more relaxed pattern of bubbles. Winter-Bockle has a slightly musty, yeasty smell, with undertones of sweetness, perhaps caramel.
A very smooth mouthfeel and robust, malty flavour, with the attendant sweetness that typifies bocks. A delightful beer, if a trifle on the sweet side. Very little in the way of hop characteristics, the biscuity malt flavours lead the way, with almost no bitterness to speak of. At 7.5%, it's not exactly in the running for a session ale anyhow, but I sure wouldn't mind another one.