The Gift (WinterBock Lager) - Starr Hill Brewery
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Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +22.3%
A helles bock is probably my favorite lager style of beer,and this beer is everything I like in the style.Pours a clear lighter bronze color with a nice lacey,tight white head that settles slowly.Alcohol infused fruit,toasted grain,and a sharp spice comes through in the nose.Really nice flaovrs going on,somewhat sweet up front with some caramel and sweetish alcohol infused white grape flavors,melding into a crisp cracker-like finish.A decent amount of hops are used for the style and it gives it a nice finish.In my opinion easily Starr Hill's best brew,not overly heavy and or sweet,a good warming winter brew.
11-13-2009 22:40:37 | More by oberon
3.5/5 rDev -1.1%
Appears honey golden with white frothing head fine speckled lacing left unevenly. Aroma sweet tart apples with hints of honey and biscuit malt sweetness. Herbal hops are minimal but evident. Flavors hit the sides of the palate with the sweetness, juicy fruit and honey tones. Ripened apples, spicy herbal background. Mouthfeel is medium bodied a bit of residual sugars could become cloying at times. Carbonation is soft even goes down easily. Drinkability overall is something I will look forward to each winter season, nice to see a Maibock that early in the season.
03-07-2010 06:08:57 | More by WVbeergeek
3.98/5 rDev +12.4%
12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Pours a slightly hazy copper, with about a finger or so of bright-white head. This retains with a thin and fizzy, yet still sturdy, layer of froth, which leaves a smattering of spotty foam behind. Malts are thick and sweet in the nose (and a bit buttery), with a touch of fruit and just enough fresh spicy hop character to help pulls things back a notch.
The taste is beefy in the mouth with sweet, bready, and honeyed malts. There is a touch of fruity citric notes here as well, along with plenty of spice and earthy bitterness from the Noble hops. Buttery and sticky sweetness carries over in the finish, before a long lingering and steady dryness from the hops takes over. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a big smooth creaminess to it that spreads out in the mouth and sits on top of all that beefy sweetness.
This was tasty little Bock from Starr Hill that had just enough hop character to nicely balance out all of those heavy malts. This was very smooth for the size which kept the overall drinkibility of this pretty good.
02-18-2010 17:47:31 | More by Kegatron
3.53/5 rDev -0.3%
Served in a shaker pint. Beer is dark amber / brown and clear with a thin lazy head of tan bubbles, moderate carbonation, some lacing, low retention.
Aroma is grainy, mildly sweet, overall fine.
Beer is medium in body has a little roastiness at the end and an aftertaste that shouldn't be there. Not my favorite but it is fine I guess. I won't have more though.
01-14-2012 01:24:45 | More by drabmuh
3.48/5 rDev -1.7%
Sweet and simple pale bock.
Nice pale amber in the glass and a better head and mouthfeel than many. Clean and very drinkable. Fruity malt bomb flavors at first slurp. Pleasant nose of wintergreen and malt. Some sugary flavors that keep it from being really drinkable. A touch of hops but definitely the Maibock style.
Creamy and pleasant for a few sips, but perfumey flavor gets old. A little hot, a little touch of soapiness. Not one for a big glassful.
03-21-2011 04:06:19 | More by mactrail
2.03/5 rDev -42.7%
Bought as part of a sampler pack. Pours a hazy golden color, not much head to it. Very little in the aroma department. Taste is light to medium bodied, sort of boozy, some honey and strong malts. Mouthfeel is not great, very low drinkability. I'm not a big fan of bocks/maibocks to begin with, but this one is just not good, even hard to drink even. Way too much of an alcohol taste for only a 6.5% ABV and the taste is just lacking... I'll pass.
04-04-2012 02:18:34 | More by oriolesfan4
3.5/5 rDev -1.1%
Poured from the bottle into a pilsner style glass. Good till April 2012.
A very foamy off tan head is presented but falls fairly quickly, not much retention on this. Lots of rising carbonation, and LOTS of cola sized bubbles sticking to the glass.
Nose is nice small sticky malts and fiant crispness. Some slight spicy character as well. Not too bad.
Taste is kind of flat. On the palate are some soft malts, but some syrupy sugars. Mouthfeel also feels quite syrupy as well. There is no sense of crispness or carbonation at all, which seems surprising since it looks so carbonated in appearance.
Overall I am usually not a big fan of this brewery, but the Platinum made me want to try them again. This is not a dismal failure, it is certainly drinkable, but nothing I would want to have again.
01-07-2012 03:24:12 | More by smakawhat
2.58/5 rDev -27.1%
A - dark copper with a short, fizzy, bubbly head that fades fast
S - grainy, faintly metallic
T - caramel, grains, metal
M - medium bodied, crisp, a bit overcarbonated
This tastes much like an adjunct lager. It has off flavors presumably from poor temperature management during the lagering process. I definitely won't have this again.
11-21-2012 02:34:02 | More by tdm168
4/5 rDev +13%
12oz single, shipped by Bort - my source for winter lagers
appearance: poured into a great dane imperial pint glass - nice bright straw-copper body, frothy beige cap with some spotty retention
smell: fresh southern biscuits, lightly toasted malts, grain, sweet apple
taste: Haven't had a straight-up bock like this in a while - pleasantly surprised by the doughy biscuit and toasted malt flavor profile, sweet apple, barley provides lots of flavor
mouthfeel: creamy and medium body
12-19-2009 01:23:59 | More by dirtylou
3.9/5 rDev +10.2%
12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. 6.5% ABV, Purchase before May notched on label.
Thanks to Onenote81 for this winter brewski!
A - Totally clear golden yellow with a fluffy white head with superb retention. Thin legs left on the glass hover above a bit of clingy lace.
S - Strangely, this has a very pilsner-like aroma. Crisp and clean lager attributes with pilsner malt and a light honey-drizzled toast. Noble hops are unmistakable giving the aroma a crisp floral hint. Nothing about it signifies winter.
T - While not noticeable in the nose, the flavor carries an interesting light yeast hint and mellow but pronounced spice. A touch of nutmeg perhaps? The honey comes out a bit stronger with the pilsner malts. Noble hops add a little to the flavor but give the finish a nice light, dry and bitter touch.
M - Medium-bodied and smooth with a soft feel and sweet, lightly carbonated finish. Light dry and bitter hints give a small bit of complexity to this beer.
D - It pulled through with the winter feel. A good "lighter" winter beer in a season bogged down (not a bad thing most of the time!) by rich, thick brews. I could do a six-pack of this on a session beer night.
03-13-2010 02:20:55 | More by BeerFMAndy
3.73/5 rDev +5.4%
a: deep honey-amber in color with a light head
s: cleanly sweet, malty nose, various lighter fruits, herbal noble hops
m: low-medium carbonation and a medium body, a bit flat and dull on the tongue
t: malts of slightly higher potency than your standard german lager with a light honeyed barley sweetness, light fruits, barley lingers with a crisp herbal and dried citrus finish
d: a simple yet flavorful malty lager, easy drinkability
pint at Taphouse on Queensway, Hampton, VA
02-10-2009 04:27:30 | More by blackie
3.63/5 rDev +2.5%
Poured a clear auburn gold with great carbonation that leads to a solid head. A veggie-hop like smell, pils-like, with hints of sweet malt. Nice, clean, smooth, light; passes with a hoppy bitterness and some minor malty sweetness. Good finish to an alright beer.
11-28-2009 22:56:22 | More by clayrock81
4/5 rDev +13%
My old "Bro" Artied2 scored a 6-pack of The Gift while recently down in Charlottesville, and he dropped it on my doorstep on my 50th.... Vielen Dank!!
I poured a couple of the 12oz bottles into an Imperial Pint glass... The Gift was a clear, medium golden offering, with a bit of steady carbo here and there... Head was thin and white, mainly just a simply layer of fine bubbles on top of things. Lacing was here and there at best. The aroma came across as part Maibock, part Munich Helles. There was some bready malt in there, with subtle hints of fruitiness. The body fell nicely in the middle of the medium range, and despite some bubbliness on the tongue, it was mostly smooth across the palate.
Flavor has some bready malt sweetness laying a foundation here. The fruitiness present touches on a bit of apple, though it's a tad more sweetish than on the sour side, which I like here. Hoppage here is firmly entrenched in the floral category, lingering nicely down the throat. I found it somewhat odd that a bier in the Maibock/Hellbock category would be released as a "WinterBock", since it is not overly high in ABV, or not especially heavy or complex. Regardless, it's pretty tasty and eminently quaffable. Thnx, Bro!!
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4.5
12-07-2008 01:16:46 | More by Bierman9
3.68/5 rDev +4%
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Best before April 2012.
A: Very short-lived head fizzes out atop a honey-golden beer that has light bubbles floating through it. Pellucid.
S: It smells almost spiced amidst the sweetness and light grain.
T/M: Tasty, if lagery and light. A beery sweetness isn't entirely pleasant, but only due to the grain. The mouthfeel is gentle and mostly smooth, but with a bit of carbonated kick. The aftertaste hints at fruit without quite managing to bring it to the fore. Oh well.
O: While this particular experience was mediocre, I know for a fact this is a great beer, even from the bottle. I bought four cases in one go when they went on sale and regretted it only slightly. Definitely recommended. It does not taste near its strength and is likely to be popular even with non 'beer geeks.'
11-30-2011 01:28:31 | More by AgentMunky
4.15/5 rDev +17.2%
Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Purchased as 6-pack at Harris Teeter (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.
A: Appealing chestnut brown with 1-finger light beige head which retains well and leaves a thin ring of lace.
S: Sweet caramelly malt aromas with a light herbal and spice edge. A little more sweet forward than most bocks.
T: The flavor could use a little more subtlety but it's still very enjoyable in its bold caramel maltiness. The light spice note and herbal hops work very nicely. No alcohol is detectable.
M: Medium-bodied with smooth feel and even carbonation. Aftertaste is cardboard malty.
D: A really good bock which, while a little two-dimensional, is still really enjoyable, especially if you like malty brews.
11-18-2009 04:25:41 | More by argock
District of Columbia
3.73/5 rDev +5.4%
A: Wow, this certainly doesn't look like a 6.5% ABV brew. Poured a crystal clear gold color, with a 2 finger head and was pretty sticky.
S: Nice, fresh scent of grain and yeast. Pretty subdued, but I dug it.
T: Much sweeter than I was expecting... kinda cloying and detracts from its gulpability.
M: Like I said sweet, but I didn't get any booze. The carbonation was low, which was appropriate for this style, and the lacing was substantial.
O: Not the most popular style in the world, but I dig it on occasion. This was nice, but one was totally enough for me.
11-17-2012 00:24:06 | More by Chaney
The Gift (WinterBock Lager) from Starr Hill Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.