Aass Bock: Get a Taste of My Aass!
Dec 18, 2000
Close your eyes for a second and think of the word “Norway.” What images come to mind? If you have some sense of geography, you might be thinking about fjords, although it would be difficult to actually conjure up a picture of fjords because no one actually knows what they are. Okay, besides fjords, what can you picture? The answer is probably “nothing,” since Norway hasn’t exactly had a huge cultural impact on the United States, other than hosting the Olympics a few years back and hunting whales illegally. Well, prepare yourself to add one more item to your mental list of what Norway means to the rest of the world: beer!
Aass Bock is the flagship beer of the Norway’s oldest and largest brewer, Aass. Before all of you wise-crackers begin to cackle insanely, let me address the issue of pronunciation. Michael Jackson (the Beer Hunter) says that the word is “awes,” as in “awesome.” Another book I saw had the name as “ohrse,” as in…uh, “ohrse.” However you pronounce it, I am pretty sure that anything besides good ole’ “ass” is acceptable.
Aass Bock comes enshrined within a distinctive triangular bottle. The label features a billygoat…er, mounting a stein of foaming beer. The billygoat is a common symbol to use on bock beer labels, as “bock” in German means a male goat. The glass of the bottle is green, which brings a cringe from all experienced beer drinkers. You see, green bottles allow light to filter in and impact the beer, sometimes making go “skunky” and sour. Apparently this used to be a very big problem with import beers, but to be honest, I have never had a green-bottled beer that was noticeable skunky.
What Goes Into My Aass
Aass is made according to the German Purity Law, that is, with only water, hops, barley malt, and yeast. It is made with Hollertau hops and Scandinavian malts, brewed with bottom fermenting yeast (which makes it a lager, not an ale) and then matured for six months before being bottled. When it is finally bottled, an addition of yeast is added which continues the fermentation in the bottle, a process called bottle conditioning.
Checking out Some Aass and then Getting a Big Whiff of Aass
Aass Bock pours to a deep brown, reddish tinted color, and a creamy, fairly-thick head formation. The smell is delicious, with sweet malt aromas of toffee and caramel.
Aass in my Mouth
Aass is very smooth and creamy, very easy to drink. The predominant flavors are toffee and caramel, both sweet but not at all cloying. The malts are balanced by a very light-hopped finish, but the emphasis is definitely on sweetness and not bitterness. Quite full-bodied, almost of dopplebock fullness, but it doesn’t fill you up the way a dopple does, which can be good thing if you aren’t intending to got to sleep right away.
Aass Bock is truly a tremendous beer, and I urge all beer lovers to procure a bottle as soon as possible. It is eminently drinkable, smooth and delicious. At $2.00 a bottle, it will probably remain a rare treat with all but the richest beer lovers, but it is certainly worth trying at least once. I give it 5-stars on the epinions rating scale, and a hearty recommendation. Cheers!