Our second stop on our tour through the Samuel Adams Limited Release Series, first being Merry Mischief Gingerbread Stout, is Cinder Bock; a combination of two German styles, the smoky rauchbier and the malty doppelbock.
I know a lot of people who just aren’t into these “bacon beers”. But give me a rauchbier paired with some smoked salmon or a strong cheese and I am in heaven. Plus, they remind me of my childhood, growing up in Franconia in the 1500’s, when I had to dry my malts over an open flame.
Cinder Bock has the appearance of a heavily-steeped tea; a murky dark amber/brown with a short and tan head that leaves a thin layer of surface bubbles. The aroma consists of sweet malts, caramel, and some very light smoke notes. As of now, this beer is leaning more towards the doppelbock end of things.
Rauchbier steps it up a bit in the taste, providing an initial smokiness, but is then overpowered by tons of rich malts, caramel sweetness, a spicy alcohol presence (9.4% alc/vol), and dark fruits (plums, figs). It finishes sweet and warming with heavy smoke and more fruit. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, totally coating the palate.
Cinder Bock is definitely a big beer; full-bodied and heavy, but as a result, makes it hard to finish a 22 oz. bottle. The sweetness, at times, can be over-powering and monotonous. As a result, I found myself wishing for a bottle of Sam Adam’s Bonfire Rauch which has some of that dry smokiness I was hoping for. If you’re a fan of sweet, malty, sipping beers, this would be for you.
Sorry for such a short post, but I have a bad kitten attacking my hands while I’m trying to type. She won’t even look at the new scratching post/cat perch I got her today so it’s time for her to have a visit with the dreaded time-out bathroom of doom.