Aroma: Medium to medium-high bready-malty-rich aroma, often with moderate amounts of rich Maillard products and/or toasty overtones. Virtually no hop aroma. Some alcohol may be noticeable. Clean lager character, although the malts can provide a slight (low to none) dark fruit character, particularly in aged examples.
Appearance: Light copper to brown color, often with attractive garnet highlights. Lagering should provide good clarity despite the dark color. Large, creamy, persistent, offwhite head.
Flavor: Complex, rich maltiness is dominated by the toastyrich Maillard products. Some caramel notes may be present. Hop bitterness is generally only high enough to support the malt flavors, allowing a bit of sweetness to linger into the finish. Well-attenuated, not cloying. Clean fermentation profile, although the malt can provide a slight dark fruit character. No hop flavor. No roasted or burnt character.
Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full bodied. Moderate to moderately low carbonation. Some alcohol warmth may be found, but should never be hot. Smooth, without harshness or astringency.
Impression: A dark, strong, malty German lager beer that emphasizes the malty-rich and somewhat toasty qualities of continental malts without being sweet in the finish.
Comments: Decoction mashing and long boiling plays an important part of flavor development, as it enhances the caramel and Maillard flavor aspects of the malt. Any fruitiness is due to Munich and other specialty malts, not yeast-derived esters developed during fermentation
Ingredients: Munich and Vienna malts, rarely a tiny bit of dark roasted malts for color adjustment, never any non-malt adjuncts. Continental European hop varieties are used. Clean German lager yeast.
Commercial Examples: Aass Bock, Einbecker Ur-Bock Dunkel, Great Lakes Rockefeller Bock, Kneitinger Bock, New Glarus Uff-da Bock, Penn Brewery St. Nikolaus Bock