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Holsten Festbock - Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG

Not Rated.
Holsten FestbockHolsten Festbock

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

115 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.31
pDev: 15.71%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Bock |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: canadianbarman on 07-29-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (24) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 76
Reviews by Conrad:
Photo of Conrad
2.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Short and to the point: An adequate beer. Good value for the price.
A: Dark, like a cola. Nice fluffy head that settled quickly.
S: A bit disappointing. Some burnt malts, faint coffee, tart hops.
T: Easy mild malt flavour up front. Some other notes of chocolate, coffee. No fruit flavours to be found, thank goodness.
M: Very nice. A medium thick body, and a slight bitter finish.
D: I would have another, if you are buying. In the meantime, there are many other beers to try before returning to this one.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
3.06/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Extremely dark pour, almost black. Nice thick tan head that fades quickly.

The nose may be subtle but is highlighted by roasted malt and without question, black liquorice.

The mouthfeel starts smooth and then leaves the palate dry. Black liquorice flavours lead the way with hints of unsweetened dark chocolate and burnt caramel. The finish bends towards the sweet side and also leaves an alocohol kick.

An average bock beer that is decent but not one of my favorites.

Photo of EsoxLucius
3.65/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type was a 500ml can.

I'd originally had this in Nova Scotia, then found it at a private store here in SK.

A: Orange/Brown fluid with an off-yellow/brown head that ends up being an ivory slick color once it goes down. quite a bit of bubbles coming up from the bottom. looks alright.

S: sweet malt with a faint hint of hops, some dark berries in there as well.

T: it's sweet tasting and for me doesn't have a harshness to it considering its 7%. there is a definate carmel taste, but the sweetness isn't overpowering.

M: a tad bit thin, but about average. despite there being a lot of bubbles it doesn't feel like its overly carbonated.

D: decent, it's bitter at the end, but pleasant all the way through.

i would get it again.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The sound of ompah bands are in the air around KW, so Oktoberfestering is just around the corner - figured a bock was in order. Used to drink a lot of this, but I haven't in a while. So now I will.

Poured into a dimpled mug for added classiness, enjoyed on a warm fall afternoon. A dark ruby chestnut brew, thin white head subsides quickly into a fine ring. Some lacing.

Nose is caramel, toffee, dark fruit (figs), a bit of rye bread. Quite nice.

At first the Festbock is quite nice and hearty, a good kick in the ass courtesy of autumn, but after a few sips, it starts to get a bit cloying and the mouthfeel becomes a bit oily and less pleasant. Still, you could do worse bock-wise, and considering the dearth of bocks in regular rotation in Ontario, this one works for when you need one in a pinch. Sweet, a bit of nuttiness, that bit of rye and booze.

It's okay, better than the Maibock, but certainly not among the best bocks I've encountered. But if getting sloshed Oktoberfest-style is your aim, you could do worse!

Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml can, another common import offering available damned near everywhere in this burg.

This beer pours a rather clear dark red brick amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves some decent island chain lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of sweet, almost pastry-like caramel malt, a touch of stale toffee, musty dark fruit, earthy, grassy noble hops, and a little boozy nail-polish nostril burn. The taste is bready, mildly Christmas cake-like caramel malt, and very mild noble, floral hops.

The carbonation is fairly low, the body an adequate medium weight, and generally smooth, with a sort of hollow creaminess, little booze or anything hop-wise taking any particular toll here. It finishes off-dry, with some warm caramel and basic floral hops just hanging on.

Refreshing enough, and pretty tame on the booziness quotient for the style, which is a good thing in my estimation. Simple, sure, but at 3 bucks or so a can (which around here is a dealio, yo), you get your basic style and money's worth, for certain.

Photo of mintjellie
2.53/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep copper red with a large and fast dissipating tan head. No lace. Weak caramel malt, bread, and raisin aroma. Sweet toffee flavour with a little bit of raisin and a mild bitterness to the finish. There's a slight antiseptic character as it warms that I find unpleasant. Almost medium bodied with low carbonation. Syrupy but slightly thin mouthfeel. Mediocre. Finished it, probably wont buy it again, definately wont recommend it.

Photo of beerluvr
3.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fluffy sticky eggshell coloured head, nice trailing on the glass as it recedes, gorgeous deep amber/light reddish color, gentle carbonation, clear as a bell. Sweet malty nose, lots of breadiness and a light whiff of caramel with a subtle hop flower backing. Bittersweet with great balance of the two. Perfectly balanced with the hops, neither dominates..makes for a smooth easy drinking Lager. Finishes long and strong, this is a great example of the style and worth looking for.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.47/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Getting ready for Oktoberfest in Munich, trying to mix in a German beer every time I do a review session.
A - an attractive deep amber, one thumb of white head didn't last or retain much
S - strong sweet roasty molasses malt, light grassy hops, and a definite hint of the 7% ABV
T - sweet thick molasses and roasty barley malt, pleasant grassy hop flavour, a little tinny, but a sweetness lingers almost like burbon
M - lower carbonation, somewhat chewy thickness, definite tangy sweetness that dry's out with the alcohol
D - at 7% ABV the alcohol is noticeable but not unpleasant, the flavours are strong but the do balance somehow, a decent offering

Photo of Mandrake
3.88/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with nice ruby highlights and a one finger dark tan head that dissipates fairly slowly and leaves little lacing. Smells unremarkable, some hoppiness overlying a malty background. Taste, however, is a whole different ballgame. Chocolate and licorice dominate, with burnt malts and caramel coming through as well before a bitter finish with more chocolate and some hops. Mouthfeel is thick and rewarding, but a bit syrupy, and drinkability is very nice. Surprisingly good, given the very reasonable price.

Photo of vanrassel
3.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A two-finger, off-white head topped a cola-coloured body in my pint glass as I poured. This beer's smell was mainly roasted barley, but there was also a slight vinous aroma and a tiny whiff of dried fruit — prunes, I thought.

Roasted barley vied for attention with a metallic twang, though the metallic taste subsided as the beer warmed a bit and black licorice and a subtle port flavour came through. Overall, the taste was a little muted, but pleasant. The carbonation and mouthfeel were middle of the road, which neither hurt nor helped.

Photo of Richter35
3.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into the closest thing I could find to the recommended "stange" ..which ended up being my Labatt Blue-branded Pilsner glass. Poured out a thick, tan-white head which dissipated almost as quickly as it formed.

The smell took me by surprise. The mix of ingredients has certainly combined in a strange way and the first thing I smell is maple syrup. That and some seriously strong alcohol. I can't really smell anything else at the moment...

Taste is all maple syrup/molasses, grains and hops. Very sweet and not too harsh for a 7%. Normal it ain't.

Mouthfeel is decent, if a little light for the taste of the beer.

Drinkability? Naaah. I'd go for one at a time. A wierd beer that has it's pros and cons; I respect it, but I really wonder if I would ever buy one again?

Photo of elricorico
3.65/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cola brown in colour with a good sized foamy tan head. Looks pretty appetizing. Head recedes to a thing ring and pools on top.

Aromas of pilsner like hops come first. Grassy and fresh smelling. I may be imagining, but I pick up a bit of wheat aroma here, almost a banana impression.

I would definitely say that this beer takes some of its characteristics from wheat. Nearly-but-not-quite bubblegum flavour and cloves are both notable. Banana sweetness touches the tip of the tongue. Hops are on the light side, with just a touch of spiciness. As it warms some of the wheat impressions fade into the background and a licorice flavour catches my attention.

The body is light, but has a way of filling the mouth. Carbonation is fairly lively. About average in this category.

Not bad at all, I'm not sure about it falling into the altbier style, it seems to be a bit hard to classify.

Photo of ChrisCage
3.46/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- I was quite impressed with the rich thick foamy head upon the initial pour! This has a color similar to an orange pekoe tea....maybe with more of a brownish tinge though. Carbonation looks to be fine, but with several streams of bubbles rising to the top of the brew. The lacing is moderate, leaving behind some small pockets of foam on the side of my mug.

S- Interesting....very malty with a decent alcohol aroma lingering in the back round, but being 7%, I guess this shouldn't be unexpected. I don't detect really any hop bitterness, but perhaps a slight cocoa smell in the backround. Not as aromatic as I would have liked.

T- There is a molasses sweetness detected here....not super sweet but it's definitely there. I can taste some toffee notes and just a slight earthy/herbal finish. The alcohol is noticeable, but it seems to taste more balanced after the initial shock on the palate.

M- Decent, if not a little on the light side. For a dark beer however, it is rather refreshing! The carbonation is fairly light, which keeps this as a smooth drinking beer.

D- I think with the higher alc/vol, this would be a great beer to enjoy over a long timeframe, but it would definitely have it's consequences. It's not a great beer, but rather a decent one. I will probably buy this again when out with friends sometime.

Photo of Stocean1
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A surprisingly decent bock from a generally poor brewery. Poured a two finger head upon an amber body with some patchy lacing. Quickly melted a thin collar of foam.

Smell is earthy hops, sweet molasses, licorice.

Taste follows the nose with some carmelized sugar coming through and dark fruit.

Light to medium bodied with some carbonation there is little in the way of bitterness. Very easy drinking and the alcohol was well masked.

Again, not a bad brew from Holsten and worth a try.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can: Poured a dark brown beer with a nice above average head with good retention. Aroma is a mix of malt and mild sweetness. Taste was quite nice with some smooth malt and a subtle sweet finish with a good banana taste at the ends. Alcohol is well hidden which is always nice. The thin body and the subtle watery aftertaste was bit of a letdown but overall, I think this was a nice offering from a macro brewers – a bit underrated I feel…

Photo of Garin
3.57/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a clear chestnut brown with a thin weak head on top. The aroma is light and malty sweet. My immediate impression is of caramelly flavours with an alcoholic warmth underneath. I do find a slight sulfury hint in the middle. The finish is clean but not bitter. It is light and smooth in the mouth, and easy drinking. Over time a nice black licorice flavour builds in.

It's an interesting beer. Not mind-blowing, but interesting.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 500ml can with the freshness date stamped on the bottom. What a dark ale, a deep mahogany, decent beige head that fades to a ring with minor lacing. Smells of faint roasted hops and a fair amount of licorice. I like that, I've brewed a couple of licorice ales in my time, but have never come across a commercial equivalent. The flavour is malty and boozy, a bit of licorice, somewhat watery for the abv, but goes down easy. An average strong beer, nothing that really wows me, but drinkable nonetheless. A few of these could go down easily and lead to trouble.

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.39/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An impressive brew. not sure if I got the right style. It's a strong dark german ale. Not too heavy or thick, with a strong nutty taste The alcohol content, though high, was well masked and I was actually quite surprised when I noticed it on the can. The drinkability I had to downgrade because of the morning after, to rub that in I had 24 hour train ride. I quite liked the taste however, and if the circumstances of my first experience were better, I would be sure to make this a regular of mine.

Photo of Antilochus
3.46/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

God I hated the Holsten Maibock. So I open the large green can of the Holsten Festbock with a bit of trepidation. 7.00% abv, 500mL can. Best before 01/2009. Fridge temp into a wine glass.

I was not expecting that colour. Dark brown with a hint of a off-white/tannish head. Some decent lacing.

Nose is very woody with some spice and malty sweetness. Not really all that nice though, it has a bit of unabashed booziness and chemical notes that kill it for me.

Palate has malt sweetness, standard character, fairly chewy feel with lots of carbonation. Dark fruit, licorice and alcohol come out in the finish, with some malty biscuit. Warming.

Not bad, I guess.

Photo of spinrsx
2.56/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml Can

Appearance - Clear reddish brown colour with a large size frothy light brown coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was completely gone.

Smell - malts, dark fruits - not a whole lot of smell.

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation but it still feels fairly creamy on the tongue. As the first sip hits my tongue I can tell I'm in trouble. The beer has a very harsh taste to it. Right away I can taste the alcohol.. and tastes like a bottle of 5$ rum. I can also taste some malts and perhaps some dark fruits. (dates?) It finishes with a boozy/malty aftertaste.

Drink - The beer had some promise when I first poured it into my glass. The appearance is actually pretty good. But the taste is just dreadful.. it's almost undrinkable. Life is too short to spend time drinking beers like this one.

Photo of liamt07
3.57/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can from the LCBO, had this on several occasions and getting around to reviewing this just now!

Pours a dark reddish-orange, with a finger of brown head that fizzles like cola to nothing. No head retained, no lace. Nose of dark bread, mild dark fruits, touch of roast, sweet malts. Taste follows, more dark bread again with the sweet malts. Light, dry and dark fruits float around as well, relatively indiscriminate. Some alcohol in the finish, but a fairly reasonable mouthfeel overall. Good drinkability for the alcohol content, and often a decent choice at the LCBO in lieu of some of the other subpar offerings always found there.

Photo of entheogen
3.43/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased at Sherbrooke Liquor Store, Edmonton AB.

Pours a little lighter than a cola, and certainly more red.
The head looks like a foamy tan moonscape from the top, and it settles into a modest ring with about 40% coverage after 20 minutes.
First smell is very sweet, almost cloying. Letting the olfactory neurons attenuate, a second smell reveals a very...brown odor. It's malty and coffeish, and the odor does contain some fruitiness.
This stuff tastes pretty good. The flavors comes to me in the following order: sweet, malty-hoppy, alcohol, a very slight dark fruit flavor, and then sweetness at the very back of the tongue. Barely-present sulfurous taste. (edit: new can i'm drinking now has no hint of sulfur) The beer is probably a 6/10 on the heaviness. Despite the moderately high alcohol, I feel this would make a stellar session beer, if you are any good with timing.

Photo of Beers
3.66/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer.

It poured well into a nice dark colour. The head quickly dissipates to a light lacing.

Smells malty, something else that's hard to finger. Maybe even licorice.

It doesn't have an outstanding taste, but that's okay with me. Malty, sweet, with a bitter finish. The alcohol is a bit noticable, but not too bad. Notes of caramel.

Smoooth.

It won't be long before I drink this beer again.

Photo of Shiloh
3.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was a major surprize in a positive way. The appearance when poured left a lot to be desired. The appearance seemed heavy and syrupy. But it was not...the body was full with a glass clinging light foam. The taste is well balanced with an almost almond flavour. Mouthfeel as well was above average.

Photo of TheDeuce
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Holsten Festbock....

Appearance-dark dark dark, big foam tan head reminiscent of Murphy's Stout, the head sticks around.

Smell-dark malt with coffee nuances, some hop mixed in and chocolate/like smell on the outside.

Taste-ridiculously dark and alcoholic, but decent mix of hop and dark malt, very bitter as it nears the end and goes down.

Mouthfeel-dark and alcoholic, finishes of roasted malt and alcohol, not too bad.

Drinkability-whew, it's a job drinking one of these, but if you can more power to you.

Overall-is this a true altbier? More like a dark double bock. And not a bad one either. Definitely worth a try.

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Holsten Festbock from Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
76 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.