Beer Profile: Mendocino Bock Beer

Mendocino Brewing
Saratoga Springs, NY

Profiled by Ken Carman

I’ve been by this brewery more than a few times, but never stopped. It’s in a factory like facility just slightly north of downtown Saratoga. It was a local brewery by another name before Mendocino bought it out. I would assume they still have a brewery out west as well, though their site seems a little vague under contact information.

Greeted by a nice, somewhat, deep gold when poured. Small but nice head. Caramel aroma with plenty of melanoidin sense: no hop in aroma or taste.

Taste? That’s where it falls apart. OK, it’s mild… in the background… but it’s there: phenolics. That “zip:” a bit like a water through a green rubber hose; plastic… some call it “band aid.”

Disregarding the obvious defect, and the fact I didn’t have a second bottle to make sure it wasn’t just the sample I had, this slightly hazy pale bock, just wasn’t complex enough. Some caramel and caramelized sense to it and a bit of “deep malt” aroma, But it fell apart upon first taste. Not all that impressive or memorable, except that slight, but annoying, phenolic zing.

How unfortunate. Try again guys. Add more malt and get a more complex grain bill. Double check your yeast, sanitation, shipping problems/storage conditions and all the other possible sources for phenolics, just to be sure.