Beer Review: Sam Adams Cinder Bock

The limited release of Sam Adams is a layer of 2 German lagers

The Sam Adams Cinder Bock.

Boston Beer is one of the original players on the craft beer scene, and currently the largest, with distribution in all 50 states. Almost everyone has had a chance to try the classic Samuel Adams Boston Lager, the flagship beer that founder Jim Koch has brewed since 1985. Not satisfied with relying on the tried and true, the Sam Adams brewers have embraced the current explosion in flavors and styles, and have put out several new labels via limited-release series.

One such release is Cinder Bock, a combination of two traditional German lagers — the rauchbier ("smoke beer") and the doppel bock. Originating in Franconia, Bamburg, in the 1500s, rauchbiers get their smoky, bacon-like flavor from smoked malts. Sam Adams took this distinctive brew and layered it with a doppel bock, a style known for smooth malts and sweetness.

The styles play together quite well in the Cinder Block. It pours a reddish amber in the glass. The scent is exactly what you would expect from the pairing: smoky meat, wood, caramel, biscuits, and toffee. Taste follows the nose. Big, smoky, beef jerky flavors come through first, followed by toffee and caramel. As is often the case with darker beers, the warmer the beer gets, the stronger the flavors. Cinder Bock is a big boy at 9.4 percent ABV, and that plus the robust flavors makes this a slow sipper.

Though summer is upon us, evenings can still bring a nip, and this is a perfect beer for one of those cool nights. 

— Danya Henninger, The Drink Nation

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