Friday, May 30, 2008

Dundee Pale Bock Lager

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 25, 2010
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2012 When it comes to beer it seems like there are two types of drinkers: everyday “Joe six-pack” drinkers who chug whatever is made in Milwaukee or St. Louis without a second thought; and the beer snobs who practically have a Ph.D. in brewing. I’m one of the few guys in between because I genuinely appreciate craft beers but I know little about the scientific principles behind them (hops ratios, brewing process, ingredients’ effects, etc).

When it comes to beer I tend to like anything with “pale” in the name such as pale ale and India pale ale. However, the word “bock” is a turn-off to me because every bock I’ve ever had I’ve found unappealing. So when these two forces of beer-nature collide, as is the case with JW Dundee’s Pale Bock, I’m wondering who will win.


JW Dundee’s Pale Bock is one of the smoothest-pouring beers I’ve ever encountered. Not that its pouring ability has much effect on my liking it or not, but I do find it an interesting detail. It forms a small layer of head which quickly dissipates but definitely lingers throughout the drink. Its color is light brown or copper and crystal-clear at that. Beers of this shade have never really impressed me and this one is no exception. There is quite a bit of carbonation occurring throughout the life of the drink. As for aroma, it’s certainly a strong, hoppy, bitter scent and not very pleasant to the nose.


Sometimes it can take a while for a beer to grow on you, while other times a beer is fantastic or dreadful upon the first taste. Pale Bock definitely falls into the latter of the latter. This is a very dry tasting, bitter beer. It reminds me of some German brews such as Paulaner, but without leaving much of an impression. Ironically enough, I find its taste to be rather weak but not in a watered-down way, just due to the fact the beer’s harshness overwhelms its taste.

I noticed the longer I let the beer sit the weaker the flavor seemed to be and its edge dulled significantly. For a beer that starts out with so much bite, by the end it’s just quite boring. It leaves quite a distinctive aftertaste as well, and not in a good way. There’s just nothing about the taste or finish that my palate agrees with.


Surprisingly, this brew seemed to be much lighter in body than I had anticipated. Craft beers tend to be more full-bodied because they’re higher in flavor, but then again JW Dundee’s Pale Bock doesn’t have much flavor to begin with. It has quite a bite to it so even though it’s light in body, it’s not exactly smooth and easy to drink.


I always thought of myself as a beer snob, but I just cannot understand the appeal of bocks. JW Dundee’s Pale Bock is a shining example of why because it’s simply unappealing in flavor and a little more difficult to drink than it should be. Maybe someday I’ll come around but it’s not likely to be anytime soon. 
Grade: 3/10

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