Appenzeller Holzfass Bier - Brauerei Locher AG

Not Rated.
Appenzeller Holzfass BierAppenzeller Holzfass Bier

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BA SCORE
81
good

27 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 27
Hads: 39
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Locher AG visit their website
Switzerland

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tjd25 on 07-18-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 27 | Hads: 39
Photo of Lemke10
3.11/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This pours a hazy, golden yellow color with a slight head. The aroma is mild with yeast, citrus, and wheat. The taste is sweet but flat with a grainy citrus taste. It’s fairly easy drinking but ordinary and forgettable. Not too overall but at its price point, you can find way better brews for the same price. (311 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured in a thumbler.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy and dark orange color forming a medium and big bubbled aired head. Low retention and no lacings formed and left in the glass

S: Sweet, roasted and smoked grains. Mild. Toffee. Sweet and oiled. Bready and a bit biscuity. Light notes of flowery hops

T: Slightly sweet grains in upfront. Roasted and smoked grains. A bit biscuity and bready. Low fermentation style. Some notes of caramel and caramel malts. Bready profile yeasts. Some light notes of flowery hops

M: Light and smooth body. Medium to low carbonation. Malty and slightly smoked aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Good session Lager (657 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A. A very foamy frothy head that takes unusually long to fall back down. Hazy unfiltered goodness in a hue of amber brown with tinges of orange in the edges of the glass. Looking good so far!

S. Spicy notes on top of bread. Some vague whiffs of oak chips at the end. I expected a heavier malt aroma for what the color is, however.

T. Starts out semi-sweet iwith malts and fades back to dryness at the end when the oak flavors kick in. I sort of miss the hops flavors...

M. Medium bodied, but nothing special.

Overall, I call it an average beer. (548 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
3.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I'm told this is the only beer in Switzerland that's lagered in barrels. I'm told that, because I can't read the German of French on the back of the label, but I trust my source.

The pours results in what I could easily mistake as an IPA, appearance-wise: coppery orange sunset color, touched by the mildest of hazes, and the head is a superbly creaming thing, blinding snow white and sticking around for eternity apparently.

Smell is a fairly inconsequential and typical lager sorta thing...I would believe it was made with corn or rice, even if it really wasn't, as it's got that sort of adjunct flimsiness to it. Slight bit of bready/earthy malt, but it's mostly a musty and adjunct-y lager smell. No, not super turned on by the aroma.

Flavor is a caramel sweet roll laid on top of grainy wheat bread and hit with some crisp fruit flashes from the hops. Pretty basic and definitely puts me in mind of many a German lager. A lighter spiciness creeps in with warming. The wood is here as a subtle layer, lending an earthy slant to the flavor. Finishes neither too dry nor, uh, too wet. Flash of hoppy Czech pils-like bitterness in the finish, along with a lingering ghost of wood on the tongue, and even fainter nutmeg, pumpkin and banana.

The flavor might seem even better if the body weren't so limp. This leans on the watery, thinner side of things, and despite having a smoother carbonation, which I'm all for, it really never takes hold, texturally speaking.

This is a beer that's deficient in two areas, but luckily performs nicely where it should (taste). Thanks to my lovely lady for bringing this all the way back from Switzerland for me. (1,653 characters)

Photo of cdkrenz
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very unique color in the body. It has a haziness to its medium brown color. The head is a couple inches tall and just off white and thick and frothy with very nice stamina.

S - I really like the scent. Subtle to moderate spiciness and certainly wheat aromas.

T - The flavor is that of what I would consider a soft Weizen. There's a hint of something dark here but Its not in the malts. It may be a result of the barrel aging.

M - The feel is smooth and soft. Very creamy throughout with no noticeable abrasiveness.

~ Overall this is an easy to drink brew with some very fine qualities. However, the price per bottle far exceeds the likelihood of its consumption on a regular basis. Therefore, if I'm ever to enjoy this brew again, I'll likely be in Europe. (765 characters)

Photo of samie85
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes; originally 9/25.

A-Pours a light amber color with a one finger head that leaves a little lacing. Also has some yeast suspended in the beer.

S-Smells of faint oak and light malt notes.

T-Light, pale malt taste with just a hint of bitter hops and a solid helping of oak.

M-Thin mouthfeel with medium carbonation and thin bodied.

D-It's a pretty easy drinking beer, but I wanted just a bit more of pronounced flavors from it. No way of telling how fresh it was as it was served to me at a restaurant, already poured. (540 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not bad, not bad. Swing top opened with a hearty "pop". Poured with a very nice large foamy frothy thick sudsy cream colored head and good lace. Color is a clear medium amber. Aroma had a very brief hint of metal and then lots of malt caramel nutmeats and cereal. Flavor's like aroma plus a tinge of pumpkin pie spice. Body's a bit thin and carbonation is good. Finish is like flavor and brief. (394 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured cloudy light brown in color. Floating yeast particles are visible along with a light level of carbonation. It didn't have much of a head, but there were nice lacey patterns.
S: Gentle aromas of lightly toasted malts are perceptible in the nose, along with some notes of fruits and spices.
T: The taste is surprisingly complex--the malts dominate the flavor but are nicely balanced with notes of fruits, yeast and the oak barrel aging.
M: It feels smooth yet is a bit thin on the palate due to the low level of carbonation.
D: This beer is very easy to drink and stands out from others given its unique style. (627 characters)

Photo of Nickls
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear dirty blonde color that nears on brown at points; half-finger of pure white head that doesn't last very long, but has some residual lacing.

Light earthy hop bitterness in the aroma; very lagery in the aroma and basic, but not bad. Just nothing really remarkable to note; perhaps some faint malt sweetness. Flavor is a bit spiced to me, but very muted overall. Earthy and a touch bready. Some herbal hop bitterness. Actually not a bad tasting brew, especially given the style category. Thinner MF, and a bit slick. Softer carbonation. Just OK drinking, not too interesting, but nothing off either. Certainly above average for the norm in the range and especially for Switzerland. (701 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.2oz unique swing-top bottle, nice monastic-themed label. There's a space for the "best-by" date, but the date itself isn't stamped.

Appearance: Hazy, medium brown beer with lots of super-fine sediment in suspension and a decent white cap with nice retention

Smell: I'm not sure "Euro Pale Lager" is the right category for this beer; if it is, this is much more robust and full than most examples of the style. This is definitely more like a lighter example of a Bock, full of intense toasty grain.

Taste: Oddly enough, this is quite similar to Guinness' Kaliber NA beer, in that it's ultra grainy and a bit tannic. It tastes quite a bit like fresh boiling wort smells. There's a little bit of smoky woodiness too, which makes sense, as this is oak-aged. Some sweet, toasty grain flavors, but ends pretty dry, with a bit of tannin (again, from the oak maybe?).

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium-bodied

Drinkability: Medium

Conclusion: Very cool to get to try a beer from Switzerland. Really nice appearance/aromas, but the flavors, while not bad, don't do much to inspire. Nice beer to try, but I probably wouldn't buy it again. (1,156 characters)

Photo of darklordlager
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy hazelnut colour with a 1/2" off-white head. Recedes to nothing within a minute or two.

Smell is of that lager-yeast "twang," A little fruity, but pretty subdued and mild. Somewhat biscuity.

Very bright earthy hop character. Toasty malts, with a light fruitiness to it.

Medium carbonation, nice and bubbly.

Nothing too special. Easy drinking, light flavours. (378 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.74/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Needless to say this brewery takes their Pale lagers seriously, this one happens to be aged in Oak Barrels. And what other pale lager comes in a flip top bottle? Their Hell Quöllfrisch is probably the best euro pale lager out there we will see how this one is.

Right from the pour you can tell this is a different pale lager. It is honey tinged amber looking more like an oktoberfest. The head is white and dissipates pretty quickly leaving some lacing.

This brew smells unlike any other euro pale lager. The oak aging is strong and melds nicely with the spicy, floral hops. There are some nice malt undertones that almost seem roasted thanks to the wood scent.

This brew is pretty complex for a euro pale lager, and im beginning to question what kind of beer this even is. THe mouthfeel is smooth and mellow, almost creamy and delivers a huge wave of velvety oak flavor that is mixed with beautiful hop and malt. The oak flavor is pretty lasting and melds with the hop bitterness pretty well. Theres definitely some fruitiness in there too.

These seem like pretty insane numbers this brew is putting up but it reminds me of what an Oaked Arrogant Bastard would be as a light, satisfying pale lager. (1,204 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
1.6/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

11.2 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint. Best before 2009 Oct 27. 5.2% ABV. "Special Cream Lager"

A - Slightly hazy pale golden amber color with what looks like I filled the glass with whipped cream; a large creamy off-white head with decent retention and specks of lacing as it went down to a thin layer.

S - An aroma of dinner pours out. It really smells like a dinner plate of some sort of meat and veggies. There is a distinct aroma I can't put my finger on but I've smelled it before. Low malt breadiness and a crisp hop presence but not aroma. It really lacks any beer resembelence. Totally off-putting in every way for a beer. ! My Dad figured it out! Pea soup with ham chunks in it! That's the exact aroma! Why is this in a beer?!

T - The pea soup flavor is lower-key thankfully but still present enough to overshadow the low sweet malt presence and light hop kiss. Why does this taste this way? I've never had a beer like this and I hope I never do again!

M - Smooth and light-bodied with a fine level of carbonation, if you can look past the wretched flavor/aroma, you may be able to stand it!

D - Never again. This is disgusting. It's not old, it's not light-struck, it's just awful. I'll never get it again and I'm half thinking of taking the bottle back. It's easily the worst $4 I've ever spent on a beer and I probably could have gotten away with getting it for $1.59 in a mix 6-pack if I hadn't said anything. UGH!
Swiss biers: you've got an awful reputation you need to break!
Drain pour, here we come!

On a side note, if anyone has experienced this, or knows why I am, please BM me, I really want to know! (1,633 characters)

Photo of engisch
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours straw color with a light bit of head. It has a slight cloudy haze, but still fairly clear.

The smell is light and sweet with a hint of oakiness. Smells a little different from most swiss lagers, like there will be more to this beer.

The taste is sweet and light. It has some yeastiness and a few fruity esters which is untypical for a lager, but nothing too rich and overpowering. The flavor is good, but nothing to hunt this beer down for. If you see it, it is a safe beer with nothing too special about it. (516 characters)

Photo of botham
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

.33 liter growler poured into a pilsener glass. pours a semi hazy golden straw color with two fingers of tight, white head that takes a minute to dissipate and leaves very light lacings.

aroma is light and mildly sweet, with a subtle earthy quality from the oak aging. faint fruit notes include apple and grape, though both are quite distant. overall the brew is nicely composed, with respect to the overall lightness of aroma.

taste is of lightly sweet caramel and pale malts, with a flowery base and a more pronounced fruit note of apple. finishes relatively clean, with residual bready malt and a bit of apple in the aftertaste.

mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, with a mildly tart texture and a clean finish. the brew is suprizingly yeasty in character for a lager.

drinkability is good. for a lighter lager brew, this is an excellent choice. flavorful and full of character (helped out by the oak barrel aging). nicely crafted. cheers! (947 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a lightly hazed dark golden color with a minimal white head and little lacing of which to speak. Sweet malt in the nose coupled with corn. Light bodied with a floral character and sweet malt flavor. Touches of fresh fruit here and there as well. The finish is mildly hoppy with a fruity aftertaste. Overall the beer is average and not very unique. (360 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.73/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Heavily yeasty orange cloud of particles.
Smells boring with only a little bit of oak and some apples.
Tastes grainy and bready. Yeasty. Leafy finish.
Smooth and cask like, or just plain flat. It’s hard to say.
To boring to drink.
Served for $9 at Coqoliqot an entire 3 months after its expiration date.
Not worth it at all.
Nice bottle though. (352 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, deep orange into a fluted tulip glass. Tiny unfiltered particles float around within. Good lacing, maintains carbonation for the duration of the glass.

Smells like a touch of honey, malt, and vague hops.

Taste is crisp, grassy hops, slighty fruity. Seems more in line with a good pilsner, and the barrel-aging stated on the label seems to have imparted an oaky dryness to it. Slight sweetness from the malt & yeast, but balanced by the dry and lightly bitter hops. Very pleasant and agreeable.

If not for the price, 3 of these would make a great session. (580 characters)

Photo of shivtim
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Comes in a flip-top bottle, with cool little monks on the front. Pours a hazy copper/orange with a very thin white head. Lots of little bubbles. Nose is earthy roasted malts, like a peat bog. Oak and a bit of alcohol seep through. Taste is very mild roasted malts, some citrus, and a hint of European hops. Mouthfeel is flat; very undercarbonated despite the appearance of lots of bubbles. Drinkability is ok. (409 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

5% a.b.v. from a swing top bottle. Says its a cream lager.

A light hint of amber comes out through the toasty looking straw lager. plenty of bubbles and a mostly sturdy film throughout this entire beer. This beer smells like buttered popcorn with some non-dairy creamer touches. The taste makes me think of a mix between Sleeman's cream ale and a Golden Phesant pils. You get the almost mild cream soda like flavors mixed with grass and crisp, refreshing pilsner. (467 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Loud pop upon opening the fliptop with some smoke swirling out. A really cloudy dull orange color forms with just a skim layer of head atop. Smells fruity with some sweet bread. Flavor is grainy at the front with touches of lemon zinging in and out. A bit of a creamy body, maybe some vanilla in there as well. Main flavor seems to be bananas and this rides out to the finish which gets some softer lemon flavors. Very smooth, almost seemed cask like on the feel. Still, tastes almost more Belgian Pale than anything else. Nice flavors if not the most complex. A bit too expensive to ever get again though. (606 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive 11.2oz swing top bottle purchased for $3.99 after noticing it on the shelf while wandering in the store. This beer is aged up to 4 months in old oak barrels. Nice loud pop upon opening. Pours into my tulip glass a somewhat dirty orange with a half inch of bubbly head that leaves some nice lacing. Aromas are immediately spicy and fruity out of the gate. Creamed pale grains with some grassy, herbal hops as well. A touch of woodiness becomes only barely noticeable.

First sip is a spicy pale grain maltiness with a creamy hint to it. A light fruitiness is present as it goes down. Mild herbal hops alongside a touch of vanilla. Pretty clean, crisp and smooth. Just a kiss of woody oak on the finish with a toasted grain aftertaste. An interesting brew and a step up from most Euro Pale Lagers for sure.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy while still being on the lighter side. A pretty easy drinking lager that ended up being suprisingly flavorful. Not something I'd really drink all too often, but this would be a good brew every now and again. Just wish it was a bit less expensive. (1,098 characters)

Photo of Tbone
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice hazy burnt orange color and creamy head.
A subtle but pleasant grainy and bready aroma.
A great rich mouthfeel for a lager, I think due in large part to it being unfiltered. The taste has a far more complex and interesting malt profile than the vast majority of exported German lagers.

Generally, I find the filtered German lagers exported to the US to be rather uninteresting. My recent trip to Bavaria opened my taste buds to what real German beer (most of it unfiltered) is all about. This is one of the only bottled German lagers I have had in the US that comes close to the unfiltered Keller Biers served out of wooden casks that are the staple beer in much of Germay, especially Bavaria. (706 characters)

Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blurred golden orange with a rimming of lace.
Grain dominated nose with pangs of cider and vague oak tannins.
Begins bready and stays true. Brisk through the middle with minor tannic dryness. The hop puncuation is brown and leafy at the close.
Quaffable and lush, a nice food quaffer with simple nuance. (307 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.91/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeast-speckled golden orange topped by a head that is midway between darkest cream and lightest ecru. This may be the densest, creamiest cap that I've ever seen on a Euro Pale Lager. The glass coverage is pretty amazing as well. Nearly solid sheets of sticky lace preside over a melted mesa that is very nearly IPA-like. The best appearance for a beer of this style, ever.

Unfortunately, the aroma is nowhere close to that standard. It's a fairly typical EPL nose, albeit one with no hint of nastiness. That's all the more remarkable since the beer is more than a month past the 'best by' date in a style not known for its longevity in the bottle. Low on power, untoasted pale malty, minimally hoppy... nothing special. Warming bring out some modest oaky notes and impels me to bump the smell score a half notch.

The beer takes a turn back toward greatness on the palate. I'm not saying that it's great beer, but the flavor is a huge step up from the nose and is deserving of praise because it's different from any other EPL that has ever crossed my lips. I'm just not sure if I can explain why that's so. I've spotted the words 'special cream lager' on the back label; maybe some clues can be gleaned from that description.

There's something about the sweet fruitiness and the creaminess of the beer that is appealing, although I'm not sure how Brauerei Locher was able to achieve that effect with nothing more than 'springwater, malt, hop, yeast'. I think the thing that puts this beer over the top is the fact that it was aged in oak barrels for 4 months. Woodiness isn't always a pleasant characteristic, but it works here. The finish is where the oakiness really shines.

As noted, the body is on the creamy side even though it's no bigger than medium in a general sense. The relatively paltry amount of carbonation only accentuates the softness of the mouthfeel and makes the beer a pleasure to consume.

I didn't notice the 'best before 2006.May.06' prior to purchasing this swing-top bottle of Holzfass-Bier. The guy who checked me out at Steve's Wine Market in Madison told me that if I bought another bottle, I'd get a discount and this is the one that I grabbed. I'm glad I did too. This is the most original, interesting and delicious of the dozens of EPLs that I've had so far. Switzerland, huh? Whodathunk it? (2,336 characters)

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Appenzeller Holzfass Bier from Brauerei Locher AG
81 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.