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

Not Rated.
Holsten FestbockHolsten Festbock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

109 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 15.62%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG visit their website

Style | ABV
Bock |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: canadianbarman on 07-29-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 74 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by crwills:
Photo of crwills

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev +3.6%

Purchased a single can of this at the LCBO, along with Holsten's Maibock. This was much better, and I really enjoyed it with dinner (country-style roast chicken and potatoes).

Poured a deep amber brown colour into a pint glass, with very little head (don't think I let it warm up enough). Faint aroma, which unfortunately had some metallic notes, but also some bread and dark fruit elements. Flavour is much bolder, but not overpowering, with a full, thick mouthfeel supporting lots of mildly sweet malts, prune or date flavours, and some sour notes in the finish. Alcohol is covered much, much better than with the Maibock -- it's still there in the aftertaste, but subdued everywhere else.

This one I'd actually drink again, although I'd probably purchase it solely for a food pairing since it's not a common style here.

10-27-2007 21:20:40 | More by crwills
More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -8.4%

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.

06-04-2003 13:31:27 | More by Popsinc
Photo of cam477

Newfoundland (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

02-08-2014 20:56:06 | More by cam477
Photo of FadetoBock

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

08-18-2013 16:30:55 | More by FadetoBock
Photo of EsoxLucius

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +10.5%

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.

09-04-2009 19:18:50 | More by EsoxLucius
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev -1.5%

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!

10-06-2011 21:37:09 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +6%

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.

07-21-2009 03:32:01 | More by biboergosum
Photo of mintjellie

Ontario (Canada)

2.53/5  rDev -24%

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.

05-14-2010 02:04:13 | More by mintjellie
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +15%

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.

10-12-2013 02:14:12 | More by beerluvr
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev +4.5%

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

08-18-2010 03:35:15 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +17.1%

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.

02-06-2006 04:04:54 | More by Mandrake
Photo of vanrassel

Alberta (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

05-28-2007 22:48:33 | More by vanrassel
Photo of Richter35

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +8.1%

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?

01-18-2010 20:31:16 | More by Richter35
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +10.5%

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.

04-10-2007 00:45:09 | More by elricorico
Photo of ChrisCage

Alberta (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

07-10-2009 01:21:44 | More by ChrisCage
Photo of Stocean1

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

02-21-2012 00:35:35 | More by Stocean1
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +9%

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…

10-15-2004 14:04:49 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of ThinkAgain

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

05-16-2012 04:08:32 | More by ThinkAgain
Photo of WillAndSarah

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

03-09-2014 03:21:18 | More by WillAndSarah
Photo of Garin

Alberta (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

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.

01-31-2005 05:21:41 | More by Garin
Photo of irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -9.9%

01-17-2012 15:42:28 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev -3%

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.

06-21-2003 18:53:21 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of CurtisD

New Brunswick (Canada)

3/5  rDev -9.9%

10-31-2012 21:37:28 | More by CurtisD
Photo of the42ndtourist

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +33.6%

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.

07-29-2002 19:14:38 | More by the42ndtourist
Photo of Antilochus

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

03-30-2008 22:39:02 | More by Antilochus
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Holsten Festbock from Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
77 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.