Schell’s Stag Series #8: August’s Bock

The folks at August Schell Brewing Company have been busy little brewers. They’ve released a bevy of new bevis in the last little bit. I’m having a hard time keeping up. Seems I totally missed out on the fresh-hop brew this year. I did manage to snatch a couple bottles of the Stag Series #8 and Snowstorm. Now if I could just stay home a night or two so that I could taste all this beer.

Schell’s Stag Series #8: August’s Bock is a collaboration brew with the Brauerei Gold-Ochsen (Golden Ox Brewery) in Ulm, Germany. There some interesting commonalities between these two breweries. Both are family owned by fifth generation decedents of men named August. Then there is the obvious Ulm/New Ulm connection. Between them they have nearly 570 years of brewing experience. Gold-Ochsen was founded in 1597 and Schell’s in 1860.

The beer is brewed in the Heller Doppelbock style. The recipe was worked out collaboratively by the brewmasters at each brewery. Each one brewed the beer using their local base malts, but the same specialty malts from Weyermann Malting in Germany. The hop bills were the same – Tettnang, Saphire and Smaragd hops from the Tettnang region of Germany located near the Gold Ochsen Brewery – except for the dry-hop additions. Gold Ochsen dry hopped their version with Mandarina Bavaria hops and the Schell’s Brewery used a German variety, Polaris.

Here’s my notes:

Schell's Stag Series #8: August's BockSchell’s Stag Series #8: August’s Bock
August Schell Brewing Company, New Ulm, Minnesota & Gold Ochsen Brewery, Ulm, Germany
Style: Helles Bock
Serving Style: 12 oz. Bottle

Aroma: Thick pilsner malt sweetness with tones of honeyed bread and faint stone fruits. Medium hop aromas – spicy and floral. Cinnamon and fancy soap. A bit of marijuana. Alcohol is apparent.

Appearance: Deep gold with an orange tint. Brilliantly clear. Moderate head of creamy, off-white foam with moderate retention.

Flavor: Very balanced between malt and hops. Malt leads slightly – again with honeyed bread character. Light red apple notes. Hop bitterness is medium, with a sharpness that catches on the way out. Floral and spicy hops flavors offer contrast that cuts the sweetness of the malt – cinnamon and flowers. Maybe a tad catty. A hint of alcohol. Finish is off-dry with lingering floral and honey flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high carbonation. Some alcohol warming.

Overall Impression: A lovely balance of rich, honey-like malt and flowers. So much floral hop flavor. Almost too much for me. Almost, but not quite. I want that malt to come through. Big and yet still light and refreshing. The enhanced hop bitterness and flavor cuts the sweet to keep it that way.

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5 Responses to “Schell’s Stag Series #8: August’s Bock”

  1. Joe Sherry says:

    Michael,

    You mentioned the bit of marijuana in the aroma. Just want to confirm that to the best of your knowledge, there isn’t any hemp or MJ product actually in the beer. Correct?

    Schell’s does some great things with beer, but because of the military, I can’t mess around with anything that touches on hemp / mj. Dangerous Man did a hemp beer earlier this year that I’m sure is delicious, but I can’t touch it.

    Thanks!

  2. Michael says:

    Nope. There’s nothing in it but malt, hops, water and yeast. Hops are in the Cannabis family and sometimes smell like weed. It got a distinct pot smell from this beer.

  3. Joe Sherry says:

    Thank you! Just one of those things I need to be extra careful with. I didn’t think Schell’s would go in that direction.

  4. Mike Pearce says:

    Nice review. I randomly picked this in a mixer-sixer and it’s a really tasty beer. It doesn’t drink like a 6+% beer. Cheers – Mike in Milwaukee

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