(alright, so it’s Bateman’s English B Bock…I’m allowed to take the odd liberty)
This is something that I didn’t expect to see at all…a Bock from an English brewer. Well done, Batemans. I’m not that familiar with Bock as a style at all, so a bit of digging about told me the following:
Bock is malt led, normally lagered, generally dark-coloured and was originally brewed by folks from Einbeck in Bavaria. Apparently the brewers had such strong Munich accents that consumers mistook “Einbeck beer” for “Ein Bock Beer” (Bock being the German for “Billy Goat” – which would explain the goat on the label. Eve said she only picked up the bottle for me as it had a goat on it and she’s fond of goats.)
Bock also tends to be associated with high-days and holidays such as Christmas, Easter or Lent and also has a history of being brewed by monks as a sustaining brew to be consumed during fasts
So now you know. Anyway onto the Batemans interpretation of Bock:
Bateman’s English Bock interpretation pours out a very dark garnety brown, is strongly carbonated and has possibly the shortest-living head that I’ve ever known – before I’d even finished pouring it’d fizzled itself away.
This is powerfully malty stuff, but has enough yeast character to bring out some tasty fruity notes. Sweetly malty and full-bodied this certainly is sustaining stuff. I liked the fact that it was both sweetish, dryish and ever so slightly sour with an accompanying faintly vinous note…all of which go together to make B Bock both satisfying and refreshing.
Beyond the spadefuls of malt, you won’t get much in the way of after-taste as it’s not terribly bitter…but it’s true to style and that’s a plus.
I don’t know if Bock is entirely my metaphorical cup of tea, but it’s nice enough and I can see how some would dig it. Maybe a whole crowd of you drinking it out of fuck-off great steiners and bellowing out drinking songs might make it even more enjoyable?
Eve got it from Sainsburys. Well done to you, Sainos, for stocking stuff like this…although you’ve still singularly failed to send me anything in the way of free beer to review.