Beer Profile: Helluva Bock


Profiled by Ken Carman

Atlanta Brewing Company
Atlanta, GA

Nothing on the bottle tells us what style bock this is. There are a few clues, but clues so confusing even Sherlock would say, “Huh?” “Helluva” seems to indicate Helles, but alcohol content and nature: a bit “hot,” seems more “Eis” in nature. Aroma is lager yeast. Smells like sulfur to me, a little DMS which could be acceptable. Some malt nose, but background. Color: light copper would indicate Traditional Bock, but to my buds this ain’t no “Traditional.”

7.5%. Point one higher than standard. That’s not that much of a problem, in my opinion, but as I have stated the slightly higher hot alc nature is a bit problematic, especially since the whole damn quaff seems out of balance.

Atlanta Beer Master has it listed as a “Maibock.” (Helles) But: not deep gold or amber, strong head fades very fast and way the hell out of style for that kind of Bock, as the rest of this profile, and previous comments, indicate.

Carbonation and slightly hot alcohol in the mouthfeel. The malts are there, and I get the feeling if it wasn’t for the alcohol problem; as slight as it is, and the lager yeast, which I admit may be more me than defect, the malt sense would be quite pleasurable.

A word about marketing: it may work for Arrogant Bastard to insult their clientele, but this Yankee/Southern pride crap simply insults a good portion of the nation. If Matt Brewing, a recent addition to the South, referred to potential buyers as Southern yokels, or even traitors, would that be great marketing? Well insulting Northern brewers and sports teams makes about as much sense.

I have had Red Brick before. They can do better than this. As a BJCP judge I would have to rate it fairly low except if it was an Eisbock. The slight higher higher alcohol sense you can get from making Eisbock might not hurt the score much, but for other reasons: malt specifically, it would rate lower. Just not enough malt.

Change the recipe, please.

I would not recommend Helluva, and if they think that’s some transplant Yankee thing, well I don’t recommend Helluva Good Cheese either. Neither deserve the accolade, “Helluva.”