Friday 13 April 2012

Local Beer Review: Propeller Spring Bock

A new month, a new growler-only one-off from Propeller Brewing (this is a tradition we can really get behind). Spring Bock, the third release in 2012's One Hit Wonder Series, started pouring at Propeller's Gottingen St. stronghold on April 2. Unlike last year's traditional Bock (strong, malty lager), this year's release is a Maibock, or Helles Bock, which generally tends to be paler and a bit hoppier. Maibock is a classic Bavarian transition season brew, so the Spring Bock's release this month is right on cue. (As, of course, is its name.)

The One Hit Wonder series has been great for introducing us to new styles, and the Spring Bock is no exception. To give us some basis for comparison, we picked up a bottle of Trois Mousquetaires (TM) Maibock, which (if Beer Advocate reviews are to be trusted) seems to be regarded as a pretty solid representation of the style, but perhaps a bit on the sweet side. We split the 750 mL bottle after a late (and light) breakfast of bagels, confirming that this is indeed a strong lager (the 8% ABV on the bottle somehow wasn't noticed until afterward). We enjoyed the floral hop notes and touch of honey that this golden-hued lager brought to the table, but yeah, it was kind of sweet.

With this as our guide, we broke out our growler of Propeller Spring Bock, acquired from the brewery that morning. Earl was pretty pumped, as he was a big fan of the Bock released in last year's One Hit Wonder series. Pouring two pints, we were presented with something distinctly different from the TM Maibock, amber in colour and lightly carbonated, with a nose of mild cherry. The flavour started with some floral notes up front from the Hallertauer hops, but quickly turned into sweet cherry and malt, with a lingering cereal finish. The body was smooth, but heavy, like an overweight Bavarian lynx, suiting perfectly the brisk climes of early spring.

All points considered, the Spring Bock's bold and malty flavour profile is sure to please those who enjoy such beer. While it isn't something that either of us typically seek out, this release provided a great opportunity for us to gain more familiarity with the style, and we appreciate Propeller putting their own spin on it. Our growlers eagerly await the next release in the One Hit Wonder Series, whatever it may be.

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