Friday, February 20, 2009

Breckenridge Pandora's Bock review

Breckenridge Pandora's BockHey, I finally figured out what style of beer my first batch of homebrew tasted like - it's a Bock! I opened up a single bottle of Breckenridge Pandora's Bock from Breckenridge Brewery of Denver tonight. This brew was part of a "create your own 6-pack" that I made while visiting Wilbur's Total Beverage in Fort Collins a little while back. I wanted to try this brew but didn't want to invest in a whole 6-pack just yet, so that was the perfect opportunity.

Breckenridge Pandora's Bock weighs in at a hefty 7.5% ABV and a mild 16 IBUs. A fairly strong brew in a small 12oz bottle. I've had a couple different Bock's before and wanted to see if this one was going to taste as sweet as I expected it to be. A bock beer tends to be a tad on the malty side anyway. It's not one of my favorite styles but it's nice to have for a change of pace brew.

Appearance: The Pandora poured a reddish brown with a nice 2 finger off-white (near tan) head. The head quickly evaporated to a small bubble top. There appeared to be a thin lacing on the glass when swirled.

Aroma: Upon smelling this for the first time I was immediately reminded of my 1st homebrew batch from this year. Woah - nearly an identical smell! It was a sweet malty aroma with some nuttiness and a slight alcohol whiff. Seeing how this had seemed very similar to my homebrew I suddenly had a spark of confidence. Perhaps this beer would have other similar characteristics.

Mouthfeel: The beer felt a bit oily in my mouth. It was moderately carbonated and seemed a bit sticky. It wasn't bad in the least but something you just have to expect from this style.

Taste: OMG, the taste seemed nearly spot on to my homebrew as well. It had a caramel sweetness with a touch of bitterness on the end. The malt was really dominant in this beer as the style suggests. Bocks tend to be on the sweet side and very low on the bitterness scale.

The beer was quite enjoyable. It was a bit higher than most craft beers on the ABV side, but I wasn't complaining. Compared to my homebrew, which had 6.3% ABV, this beer had many of the same characteristics only was made with different ingredients.

Pandora's Bock was made with 2-row, Munich, Bonlander and Caramel malts and lightly bittered with Strisselspalt and Chinook hops. I'll classify this as a decent pre-Spring seasonal brew. It's available from January through the end of March from Breckenridge Brewery.

I also liked the looks of the label. Image does count for something in my book.

Overall: This beer gave me hope that my own homebrew could turn out like this in a few more weeks. I enjoyed it and would definitely have another of these again. It's not a session brew and I was feeling good after just one bottle. I might just get my chance to have another of these early next month during the Denver Tweetup at the Breckenridge Brewery. I'm sure that will be on tap there during my visit.

Related articles:
- Breckenridge Vanilla Porter review.
- Breckenridge Avalanche Amber Ale review.
- Breckenridge Small Batch 471 IPA review.
- Breckenridge Mighty Brown review.

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