The pewter label was such a nice touch.

On a Friday afternoon grocery run I came across the Sam Adams Winter Classics Sampler Pack.  The Chocolate Bock has replaced the Cranberry Lambic.  While I am not sad to see the Cranberry Lambic go, I was sad to see the Chocolate Bock exclusively in a sampler.

Up until this year, the Chocolate Bock has been released in a 750ml bottle.  In  the past I would enjoy one and put a few away to age.  I just do not normally see the value in cellaring a 12 oz bottle.  Typically, I share the beer I cellar and I find it a pain to manage a large number of 12 oz bottles.  Furthermore, I am not going to buy several sampler packs to have enough Chocolate Bock to cellar.

I am also afraid this decision will change the perception of this beer.  When Chocolate Bock was in a big fancy bottle you knew it was special.  I wonder if people will just pass over it now like it is not as good of a beer anymore.  On the upside, it will likely mean more people will be exposed to this great beer.  Most people I know who like good beer do not take the time to invest in the large format bottles.  I really wish Sam Adams went the extra mile and pushed this beer into four or six packs.  Alternatively, Sam Adams could keep the large format bottle with the hope people try it in a sampler and then go to the store and buy more.  Sam Adams is the only brewery I know of that releases beers only as a sampler and not as a full blown release.

In the end, it is not horrible that the 12 oz bottle was released, I just want this beer to be more accessible.  Sam Adams seasonals are among my favorite beers I only wish  I could drink them more often.


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