The Gift (WinterBock Lager) | Starr Hill Brewery

The Gift (WinterBock Lager)The Gift (WinterBock Lager)
Write a Review

Wants   Gots 

Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 148

German Maibock | 6.50% ABV

Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States

Notes: Winter availibility. 
Very Good
The Gift (WinterBock Lager)The Gift (WinterBock Lager)
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 148
Photo of mvanaskie13
2.76/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a standard pint glass, color is gold to copper, head is bright white, presenting about 1/2 inch thick.

Smell is of honey (?), pretty sweet smelling, malts may be a touch caramelly, but the sweet note is powerful.

Taste is way too sweet for maibock/hellles bock - sweetness is similar to a beer with honey added, maybe its caramel malt plus age? Matlt flavor is difficult to distinguish, but there appear to be some biscuit or breadyi flavors, the base malt seems to be over fermented and producing some sweeter off flavors. hops are hard to distinguish, but come through as muddled grass and earthy notes.

Mouthfeel is a touch crisp, may be overcarbonated, sweetness flavor is lingering and overpowering. Hops dont seem to balance.

Overall, this is not a good representation of a bock, helles or maibock. It is way too sweet. There are some spring bock features, maybe a touch of biscuit, but the hops are not balancing.

 936 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a semi-cloudy dark straw, a little lighter than expected for a bock, but still good, with a small white head. Smells of nice grain, very sweet. Tastes of sweet grain, with hints of a fruity aftertaste. Beer is carbonated correctly and finishes really nice for its light body, good carbonation. Overall an above average beer.

 384 characters

Photo of HarryPotHead
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

S - served on tap into frosted pint glass

A - deep rich amber color with an exploding head of white foam. The head died down quick to a frothy ring around the edge of the glass with only minimal lacing.

S - slightly offsetting. Not offensive, but unusual for the style. Sweet smelling with yeasts taking center stage.

T - goes down very easy....biscuity malt flavor with little to no hop presence. Not an overly complex lager. Decent.

M - a little more than what I would normally describe as over carbonated. Mouthfeel gets lost in the fizz.

O - not a bad brew. My first from Starr Hill Brewery. Paired well with the Buffalo Chicken Salad I was enjoying. Good enough that I ordered another while I polished off my lunch. This is supposedly a winter seasonal brew, but I don't get it...i'd drink this in the summer / fall, but nothing about this beer says "winter". Cheers [ii]D

 882 characters

Photo of ColdWaffles
3.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

Appearance: Crystal clear light amber beer with almost no head. Actually had no head or lacing by the time I killed it.

Smell: Unremarkable. Light sweetness and bread-y grain.

Taste: Clean, crisp bock beer. Noticable hop flavor is missing, I barely taste any. This is pretty unremarkable beer. Lightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Points for drinkability and the clean crispness of the beer. However, overcarbonation keeps this from being a great mouthfeel. Light-to-medium body.

This was painfully average and nothing I'll ever have again unless given.

 597 characters

Photo of Ryanm1
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Swigged this one straight from the bottle at a holiday party. Apparently, this varietal is actually a special seasonal, but couldn't really pick that up from the label nor the taste. This came in a regular variety pack along with the northern lights, red ale and imperial stout. By the time I got to this one I didn't holdout much hope. In addition to the I don't think Maibocks bring much to the table in general. It was surprisingly light, with a sweet finish. The website states that is uses munich malts helping pacify my taste buds into thinking this is a german original. Seemed like a typical lager. Descent beer, best of the mixed case.

 644 characters

Photo of JK4Stout
2.99/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As with all Starr Hill brews I have learned that getting ones hopes up can be dissapointing. However, this is by far their best. I buy it every year, because if nothing else it is certainly a sessionable bock.

A: Nice bold amber color. Very crisp and clear. I can hold it over my Game of Thrones book and read the print just fine. HAHA!

S: Still can't get on board with that Starr Hill aroma...I'm thinking it is thier yeast, but just not something I can get with.

T: Let it breath and warm for about fifteen minutes and you have a pretty darn good bock.

M: Nice malty flavor...a few of these and you could certainly skip dinner.

O: For the price, you could do much worse. And as I said this is Starr Hill at its best in my opinion.

 737 characters

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours amber, with a towering golden-cream head (thanks, perhaps, to an over-aggressive pour) that lingered well, and left a small amount of lacing.

S: Very pleasant, although not too powerful. It included tart fruit, bready grain, and faint, spicy pepper.

T: A nice, sweet malt at first, that quickly yielded to a nectarine tang, which in turn yielded to a balancing bitterness of hops. Not a complex mix of flavors, but clean and to the point.

M: Crisp, with good carbonation as it first washes over the tongue, but with a late, creamy smoothness.

O: A good, solid lager, worthy of the winter season, but able to hold its own any time of year. Worth picking up a few more the next time I'm at the store.

 712 characters

Photo of DMXLOX22
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pick up a single of this brew at my local establishment. Pretty excited to start the winter beer season.

Appearance: pours a nice, clear, golden and smooth color. Not much head, little lacing and retention. Pretty clear for a winter beer.

Smell: sharp scent of malty hops, and cider. Not too much to brag about, but still inviting.

Taste: first sip brings on sweet maltiness. Somewhat honey flavor and bread-like, somewhat strong flavor.

Mouthfeel: light to medium body, some cream. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: goes down kind of smooth. Not too bad. Pretty average brew, considering this is the first time I've had this style. Somewhat reminds me of a winter beer. Maybe I would have this again, but I would recommend it. Still goes down pretty smooth.

 763 characters

Photo of tdm168
2.58/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

 339 characters

Photo of Chaney
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

 566 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
3.12/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange/tan in color, this beer is cloudy in appearance and emits an aroma that combines caramel, toffee, and sugar. The body is fairly well carbonated but the head of foam is short- lived and fades with each passing sip.

This beer has a candy- like flavor with sugar syrup and sweet malts, along with the taste of alcohol in the finish to offer some bitterness. There are some toffee and toasted malt notes and a little bit of prune. The beer leaves a certain coating on the inside of the mouth that is like caramelized sugar with some added fruit. The carbonation, while it looks plentiful to the eye, is less apparent in the mouth and it makes the beer less refreshing than it could be.

This beer is labeled as a winter bock, but it’s a little lighter in color than I would expect for a beer with this designation and its taste is a little sweeter than expected. I’m not sure I would purchase this one again due to its candy- like character, but I can agree that it has some interesting things to offer.

 1,012 characters

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my crystal mug, this attractive beer is a hazy medium gold, with a bubbly tan head building about one and a half fingers high. It dissipates fast, leaving no lacing.
The smell is of caramel, malt, yeast and fruit.
Tasting the beer, yeast, and sweet caramel notes are the start, being combined with some more fruity notes like orange in the middle. The finish has a hint of hops.
Very nice Maibock! I like it.

 421 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.03/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

 446 characters

Photo of 160Shillings
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Moderate malt aroma with faint Pils malt. A hint of spicy noble hops. A very faint touch of alcohol.
Appearance: The color is a very deep gold bordering on amber. It pours to a half inch head of fine bubbles that falls into a firm cap on top.
Flavor: Very rich and full flavor of Pils, melanoidin and toast malt. Attenuated, but only slightly dry. Low spicy noble hop flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium-high body. Smooth and round mouthfeel. Light warmth from alcohol. Moderate carbonation.
Overall Impression: A strong malty lager with a light amber color, pleasant to drink with enough hops to add more dimension to the experience.
Comments: A fine beer for winter weather for those of us that aren’t hop heads.

 713 characters

Photo of Dave1999
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange colour with a thin white head.

Smells of sweet malts not especially strong.

The taste is pretty sweet can taste the malts and even a bit of alcohol. A strong flavour, some caramel and fruits, berries and prunes.

Feels nice on the mouth well carbonated and refreshing.

I haven't tried this style of beer before and thought it was pretty good. Maybe a bit of the sweet side though.

 404 characters

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Casbah Cafe in straight-edged glass

A: clear copper, good carb action; creamy, thin head; good lacing
S: pleasant, light aroma; malty
T: not sweet; not very hoppy; lighter form of a bock--bass notes missing
M: foamy, light

Not bad; far better than some of the others I've had from this brewery.

 312 characters

Photo of TechTriumph
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 12/12/11:
Best by: May 2012; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - One inch off-white bubbly head that recedes pretty fast; Pretty clear, lighter shade of golden-amber color; No lacing to be had

S - Caramel malts and some sweetness with subtle toasted toffee notes; A bit of lemon and clove come through as well

T - Some caramel sweetness with a just a bit of clove and toasty and nutty flavors; Fairly crisp and recognizable lager taste here

M - Plenty of carbonation; Light to medium bodied; Finishes pretty clean with some lingering sweetness

O - Light and easy-drinking, this is no doubt a refreshing beer. There was a bit too much carbonation for me, though this did mellow a bit as the beer warmed. This is a Winter offering from Starr Hill, but one could argue it would be better suited for a warmer time of year as it's not the type of beer to knock the chill off. That said, it's a nice choice to have in good company and one that I'll enjoy again in the future.

 998 characters

Photo of sethstout
2.65/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this at a bar, first time with any Satrr Hill brew. So I am not familiar with their way of brewing beers.

I got this on tap in a standard pint glass

The appearance was an amber. Would have thought it would be a little darker on account of it being a winter seasonal. Though there is a Starr Hill stout to cover that.

From the pint glass, there was no noticeable smell. So this is a strictly mouth-feel grading.

The taste was an apparent sugary tast.

The mouthfeel was nice. Though after a drink I could not help but think I had a coating of sugar around my tongue. Not saying this is a bad thing, but it is similar to what you would experience from cough syrup.

Overall, not having anything else from Starr Hill, I appreciate this brew. As a bock I would like something more.

 788 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 363 characters

Photo of Smakawhat
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 798 characters

Photo of eonbluekarma
3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Gift pour a nice reddish brown that is mostly transparent. The head is very nice, white and sudzy.

Carbonation has a nice background role. The mouth feel is thick and a little creamy. The taste notes are very grainy, but not wheat. Very malty. There is a bitterness at the end that could use more, of what I can't tell you, but it doesn't quite finish with a bang. It is a good beer. Not sure what WinterBock's are supposed to be, but I like the versatility of this beer. May buy it again if it is on sale or on tap.

 522 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange, slightly golden color with a small, white head that leaves little lacing.

Smells of fruit notes and toasted malts.

Tastes of the fruits with some grainy sweetness. Apple and apricot notes lead off with a bit of tartness to them that leads to some citrus notes. Some grainy malts add in with a toasted bread character as well. Fairly sweet, but ends in a little hops with some herbal notes.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, nothing special, but it is another solid part of the Starr Hill lineup.

 552 characters

Photo of rangerred
2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy medium brown with a 1.5 finger head. Decent head retention.

Aroma is sweet grain. Pretty one dimensional.

The taste is much like the smell. Sweet grains dominate the palate with a bit of breadyness. Bitterness is fairly assertive but no hop flavors. Mouthfeel is medium to full.

This beer is just ok. I thought the flavor was lacking and could have used more maltiness.

 424 characters

Photo of wowbagger
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, pretty yellow. Thick head dissipates quickly. There are a number of flavors going on here. A little spice, a little sweet, some nutmeggy notes. It's both a blessing and a curse then that these flavors are very well balanced, so that it goes together well but also makes it difficult to detect any one. It finishes sweet and lingers.

 346 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.'

 840 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Gift (WinterBock Lager) from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 148 ratings