When I first sampled the Narragansett Lager, I was unimpressed. Lacking the nostalgic context for the beer, I just couldn’t get excited about its appearance.
When ’Gansett came out with a Porter, I got more enthusiastic, as evidence by my review in All About Beer’s "Beer Talk" section. Not quite at ideal yet, so far as I was concerned - Lew was more enthusiastic - but definitely a giant step in the right direction.
Now comes the Narragansett Bock, packaged at 6.5% alcohol in an attractive green can. Poured from said can into a glass, it appears almost light enough to be called a helles bock, and offers both a thick and enduring collar of foam and an alluring, dry pumpkin-and-spicy toffee aroma. So far, so good.
On the palate, this is unchallenging, but in the best of ways. Bocks don’t need complexity, and this one doesn’t readily present any. Instead, it puts forward some front end caramel, a mid-palate mix of spicy malt and mildly bittering, hazelnut-accented hop, all leading to a dry, softly bitter and most pleasant finish. As Lew said about the Porter, this one I think truly is a keeper.
(And speaking of my session beer-obsessed friend, how about a 6.5% alcohol session brew, Lew? Enjoyed at a moderate pace, I think I could manage a few mugs of this before suffering any consciousness-altering effects.)