Michelob Amber Bock
Our 100th beer review. To celebrate? We’ll have a beer.
We strategically made Michelob Amber Bock our 100th beer rating because for both Father and Son Beer Love, and a large number of our Beer Love friends, this was our breakout beer. By breakout beer we mean the one that got us over the rank domestic hump and into the realm of beers that actually have taste. We feel like Amber Bock is the perfect beer to introduce to friends who are wanting to (or who you want to) break out into craft beers for several reasons:
- It’s available everywhere.
- It doesn’t feature the sticker shock of some of our beloved high end craft brews.
- It’s dark – there’s a stigma around dark beers for those not in the know, and a lot of the good craft beers are a bit darker than your normal American lagers.
- It’s balanced – you can easily scare a newbie away with something too malty or too hoppy when their palate isn’t yet “beer sophisticated.”
- It works with and without food.
- Though it’s dark, it’s still a lager, which helps ease people over to “the dark side.” Lagers don’t tend to pack the punch of flavors that ales do, so we feel it bridges the gap well between light and refreshing lagers and rich and satisfying ales.
My first run in with Amber Bock came in the late 90s. I was living with my best friend Rusty at the time and one day I open the fridge to find Amber Bocks that he brought home. Several sessions of Mario Kart, Amber Bock and Chewy Chips Ahoy later it was official.
Fast forward to Son Beer Love’s wedding over 4 years ago, where we had a full keg of Amber Bock (as well as a keg of some other light beer, though we couldn’t tell you what it was). Best man Rusty never let the groom’s glass get anywhere close to empty all night. I don’t remember a lot from the latter part of the wedding, but I can tell you I woke up the next day and felt fantastic.
Little did I know that once I had left the reception the party continued. Father Beer Love and Father Beer Love In Law decided to fully enforce the “No Good Beer Left Behind” act of 2004 and decided that they had in fact prepared their whole lives for this moment – to float the keg of Amber Bock. Only the keg will know how many glasses they drank in an attempt to empty it (10? 15? 20?) because they sure don’t remember. A very patient and loving Mother Beer Love and Mother Beer Love In Law let them back into their homes in some instances as soon as the next day.
Now on to the rating.
Michelob Amber Bock sports a 5.2% ABV and each 12 oz bottle has 155 calories. We poured ours into an American pint glass and got a temperature of 42.6 F. The pour gave us an average 1 1/4″ fizzy off-white head that left virtually no lacing as it dissipated quickly. There was little carbonation and though the body is a deep amber, it is relatively clear and you can see through it.
The aromas are mostly malts – caramel, nutty, roasted malts – but there are traces of grass as well in the smell. The tastes echo the smells but add pine, brown sugar and a slight soy sauce to the fray. The initial flavor is a light sweet and light bitter. The finish flavor is a light to moderate bitter and a light saltiness. The finish is average in duration and the mouthfeel is dry. There’s no body lacing to speak of and on our patented malt to hop scale it comes in just about perfectly balanced.
For our bottom line we say yes to drinkable, repeatable and balanced. We say no to harmony and memorable. But we do give an emphatic yes to buy again.
It’s got more depth to it than other lagers, and we appreciate that. It is an Anheuser-Busch beer, but it’s really pretty great for an American lager. It doesn’t wow us like it first did so many years ago, but it’s still good and of course it’s a sentimental favorite. Mind you the beer hasn’t changed, our palates have.
This is a perfect example of a session beer – that is a beer you can drink many of in one sitting. Don’t let it get too warm while you’re drinking it and don’t store it too long before you drink it. Though it would be better as an ale, which could give it some more complexity and depth with maybe some dark fruits, it’s a perfectly satisfying beer. If you’re going to buy a 12 pack of something, this would have to be high on the list. It’s great cold and though we’re not big on frosty mugs, it might be well suited for this one. Smooth and drinkable, this will be an old friend you can call on at any time. Keep at least a 6 pack on hand for guests in an attempt to convert them into craft beer newbies. And then explain to them that though you had bought a 6 pack for them, you drank it. Then direct them to this web page and let them read why they should go buy their own 6 pack.
Happy 100 reviews beer lovers! Cheers and good beers to you and here’s to 100 more!
Michelob Amber Bock Rating: 4 out of 10 (?)
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