The Gift (WinterBock Lager) | Starr Hill Brewery

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The Gift (WinterBock Lager)The Gift (WinterBock Lager)
148 Ratings
The Gift (WinterBock Lager)The Gift (WinterBock Lager)

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: Maibock / Helles Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 11-19-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 148 |  Reviews: 66
Photo of Barrchon
5/5  rDev +41.6%

Photo of hockeyfighter19
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.47/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing beer. Grab one if you see it. It is so well-crafted.

A - Slightly hazy golden amber with a two inch white head, and good retention.

S - Clean, bready, with herbal aromatics.

T - Dank, resinous and herbal hops are the star of this wonderfully crafted beer. Slightly sweet pale malt, and succinctly flavorful hop.

M - Sharp carbonation counters medium-heavy body

D - As drinkable as it gets.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.35/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the helles bock. Seemingly a tough style for an American brewery to make well. I've had mostly bad ones over the past year. This, however, is one of the best.

Poured into a 16 oz glass mug, the head swells high, a gold-tinged white, before settling into a thin collar. Glowing hazy yellowish amber color. Looks alright to me. Going in for a whiff - appropriately and reservedly spicy and touch hoppy in the back, sweet light malt poking through and faint coppery scent as well. Decent depth. Alcohol? Hidden, transparent - thus appealing.

Malty sweet, delicately toasty, mild-moderately spicy flavors, and I swear a little bit of banana or pear fruitiness in the finish. All nicely balanced and situated at ideal intensity. Actually, the malt comes off an edge more toffee-caramel-cookie than I'm used to. But then again I've grown accustomed to having the strong presence of medicinal booze rudely cutting through the characteristic aromas/flavors of this style, so this overall taste is a much welcome thing.

There's no reason to go overboard with the ABV on this style, and Starr Hill did quite a magnificent job putting it in a safe range. The presence of alcohol in the taste, as in the aroma, is far in the background. It's effects though make this an inspired selection for a winter offering - wonderfully-gradually-deeply warming.

They hit a home run with this for sure. Great job!

 1,397 characters

Photo of 160Shillings
4.35/5  rDev +23.2%
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.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of afausser
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at a tasting by Proteus93. Thanks!

A: Pours a nice pale orange with some hints of amber. The head is about average and quickly disappears, leaving slow moving carbonation bubbles and a thin ring of lacing around the glass.

S: Very, very, sweet, which I hadn't noticed the first time I drank it on tap. There's an element to it that's sort of like smelling sugar syrup. There's also a bit of clove spice, and it's bready, grainy, and malty as well, reminding me of light, yeasty dessert bread or sweet biscuits. There's even a floral scent, particularly stargazer lilies.

T: The first element i notice in the taste is the spice. Nice cinnamon and cloves as well as the floral hint carrying over from the nose. Again, doughy, even apply, maybe like apple fritters, or a hint of apple pie. Plenty of grain here, as well.

M: Very fine carbonation that adds nicely to the spice.

D: Quite drinkable, and a lot lighter than the ABV would lead me to believe. This may be my favorite Starr Hill (though it's in serious competition with The Love.

 1,055 characters

Photo of Onenote81
4.18/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. This pours a murky dark honey gold. A good-sized white head rests on top. This leaves lots of sticky lace on the glass side. Scents of sugary malts, honey biscuits, and a light pop of lemon zest on the back end.

Great smooth and creamy body. Carbonation level is moderate. Flavors of honey, grass, some fresh bread, and has a finish of sourdough. Wow. I think this may be my favorite SH offering to date. I could drink this all year round. I like that it's not a typical spicy winter release. I like this style. Good work, Starr Hill!

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Photo of chilly460
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle iinto a chalice.

A - Nice orange/copper color with off white head. Quickly dissipated.

S - Not particularly strong, a bit of malt or toffee type smell.

T - Very very nice. Clean on the front of the mouth, then a malty, toffee flavor comes through. A little hint of cinammon maybe. Nice clean finish with little hops to make it crisp.

D - Excellent, very balanced, malt is not overpowering. Enough flavors to keep it interesting as it warms up. Medium carbonation and a smooth feel to it.

Nice solid beer, easy beer to serve to non-beer nuts.

 579 characters

Photo of argock
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 746 characters

Photo of Clydesdale
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a glowing, hazy bronze-golden color. The tall, ivory colored head has a densely frothy texture and persistent retention. A sticky web of lacing clings nicely to the sides of the glass.

S: A sweet, fruity nose. Some bready graininess is accompanied by a dried apple character. There's also a bit of honey, along with a definite noble hop presence. A bit of alcohol is also evident.

T: A doughy, bready malt presence that is more than a little sweet, with notes of honey. Some definite fruitiness, again recalling dried apples , this time accompanied by a subtle citrus flavor that gives way to an herbal hop bitterness. A bit of a spicy flavor and alcohol into the finish.

M: A fairly full body. The carbonation is extremely well-done, with a soft, pleasant creaminess that adds considerably to this beer's enjoyability. The finish is slightly dry.

D: A bready, fruity, pleasant winter Helles bock. This has an interesting flavor profile, managing an appealing balance and a great mouthfeel. If you're in the area, Starr Hill is an unheralded option that you won't be disappointed by.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Slightly copper appearance semi-clear. No head at all.

Smell - reminds me somewhat of a Belgian strong Ale is smell

Taste - This is one unique flavored beer unlike anything else I've sampled to date. Very well balanced beer with maltiness/hops cancelling out leaving just a pleasant flavoring aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - nothing noteworthy, kindy fizzy in the mouth

Drinkability - at 6.5% this is a very easy drinker and seems less than 5%

Overall - I am VERY impressed with this unique concoction. Starr Hill struck gold with this one. I highly recommend trying this one out.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- Pours a cloudy orange, decent one finger head that dissolves into a thin lace fairly quickly

S-smells grainy, hints of banana and bread, with some biscuit notes

T-Taste also had some bread like qualities, the malt with a slight bitterness hits the back of the tongue on each sip. Not much to it other than that. There is some hop and slight alcohol presence, but not much.

M - very good, great carbonation, has great fullness for a lager, slightly chewy. Not like nougat chewy, but chewy nonetheless.

D- Very drinkable, even at 6.5%. Could be a session beer, though it's probably better used for a two beer buzz. I enjoyed the beer, and will probably buy it again. However, I can say that my wife does not enjoy the slightly "bitter" beer breath the beer leaves behind.

 776 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

drinkability: good

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Photo of zp6167a
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Oasis
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of MonicaC
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of nh2032
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of bluetrevian
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of mbarnes0
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of jsh5771
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of dbalwanz
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of VTWicked
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of lccrunchy
4/5  rDev +13.3%

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The Gift (WinterBock Lager) from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 148 ratings