What they say: The dark, handcrafted lager is brewed with notes of Grand Cru Sauvage chocolate from Swiss chocolatier Felchlin. The dark chocolate is derived from rare, wild cacao beans found in a rainforest in Bolivia. The beer is dark, decadent… with a big, malty character, complex full-body taste and velvety finish.
What The Thirsty Beagle says: This was a tough review for me because I really had high expectations for this beer. In the end, I came away with mixed feelings. Off the top, the lead-up to drinking this beer is nice. You’ve got the big bottle — 750 ml — with the embossed silver label. It all gives you the feeling you’re not sitting down for the same old thing. The beer pours smoothly and finishes with a nice, frothy head. The aroma is certainly intriguing; you can sense the maltiness and immediately know this is a dark chocolate beer. The beer also looks rich with a dark brown-to-black hue. Chocolate Bock feels very smooth in the mouth; not syrupy or thick and heavy like a stout of the same appearance might. As far as taste goes, if you’re not familiar with chocolate beers, you’ll find this will take a few sips to get used to. For me, I’m a big fan of the character of the hops in a beer, and that was hard for me to find here. On the front of the tongue, the beer had a very subtle malty chocolate taste; on the back of the tongue and lingering to the finish was the taste of a strong and slightly bitter dark chocolate. Sam Adams suggests this beer can be paired with any number of holiday food staples, including turkey, pork and chicken. I happened to have it with a steak, and I can’t help but wonder if my food choice was not best for the beer. They also suggest matching it with rich, chocolaty desserts, and I suspect it may just work there. Overall, there was just something about this beer that I found hard to put my finger on, other than to say that perhaps this ultimately was not for me.
Score: 2-1/2 out of 5 beagles.