Blue Mountain classifies its burly Long Winter’s Nap as a triple bock, which is a relatively rare, burgeoning beer style. A straight up bock is a strong, malty German lager. A doppelbock (or double bock) is a stronger, maltier lager. Carry that escalation through, and the triple bock “goes to 11.” Sam Adams used to make a triple bock. I never had the chance to try it, but it was 18% ABV. Long Winter’s Nap comes in at a more reasonable 10% ABV, but make no mistake, we’re talking about a big beer here—in size, alcohol content, and taste.
The Nap pours cloudy orange with a big head, like a frat guy from the University of Tennessee. Don’t go looking for a nose, there isn’t much of one, but that first sip is a kick. The malt comes on strong, with a hint of spice and a honey-like sweetness. As the sip vanishes, you get more heat from the alcohol and just a touch bitterness from the mild hop profile. Then you’re left with faint notes of butterscotch, which have you immediately reaching for the next sip.
Some 10 percent beers feel like a job. This one’s entirely pleasant. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, and the lightly carbonated beer passes like velvet over your tongue. It’s downright creamy, and downright deceiving. Half way through the beer I got up to get my daughter a puzzle and forgot what I was looking for. By the end of the bottle, I was just sad because it was over.
City: Afton, Va.
Style: Triple bock lager
Availability: 22 ounce bottles through winter