As I've mentioned before, bocks are strong lagers that are usually quite rich, malty, fruity and with only a mild hop character to them, if there is any at all. Because lagers require cooler temperatures for the yeast to ferment properly, these beers were best brewed in the cold, winter months and would thus be ready just in time for the onset of spring and the Lenten season. A popular variation of the bock style is the doppelbock, which originated from monks of the Paulaner order of southern Germany (the same folks who gave the name to Paulaner Weissbier). Doppelbocks are, as you might expect, stronger and sweeter than your standard bock, but they still display the same malty, hearty flavors associated with the bock style. The LCBO, as part of its spring beer release, has put forward a few lovely examples of doppelbock to herald the springtime. Here are a couple of my favorites. Both are terrific and are reasonably priced, at around 3-4 bucks for a tall bottle.
Beer: Amsterdam Spring Bock
Brewery: Amsterdam Brewing (Toronto)
With this in mind, imagine my surprise when I see that Amsterdam has produced a terrific bock-style beer that is head-and-shoulders above the rest of their lineup - hell, it's better (and more ambitious) than a great many brews in the province I've encountered thus far! This was a terrific little brew (now I shouldn't say "little" here, because it packs a punch at 7.4% ABV!) that truly followed the traditional German bock style. Let's have a look!
Poured into a conical pint glass. A deep, chestnut amber brew, with the pour leaving a thick off-white inch of head. Decent retention, survived as a thin ring. Some lacing.