The Gift (WinterBock Lager) | Starr Hill Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 149
Photo of oriolesfan4
2.03/5  rDev -43.8%
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.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From winter brew tasting notes (2010): pours a hazy amber orange with a foamy, off-white head. Decent head retention. The nose has notes of citrus, grass, wet paper, a bit of hay, and green apple. The flavor profile is light with notes of bread, a subtle fruity-honey sweetness, a bit of dough, and a slight earthiness. Not much in the way of bitterness. Medium to rich body that coats the mouth. The carbonation is minimal and soft. The finish is medium with a sort of odd maltiness lingering.

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Photo of tdm168
2.58/5  rDev -28.5%
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.

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Photo of sethstout
2.65/5  rDev -26.6%
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.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
2.76/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

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Photo of mmmbeer
2.8/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. twist-off longneck with clearly marked freshness date. Brewed with two-row, Munich, pilsner and caramel malts; hopped to 25 IBUs with Hallertau, and fermented with German lager yeast. Pours a nice amber color, fairly clear, with lots of carbonation and an off-white head that reduces to a dense cap and leaves a bit of lacing. Smells malty and toasty, with a few hop notes and yeast artifacts, and some distracting DMS. The flavor follows through, lightly sweet and bitter, with a breath of ethanol and some vegetal tones on top of a dry, highly-carbonated, moreish body. Definitely some off flavors on this one. It's a few months past the best-by date, but it isn't even a year old, and a beer like this should last at least as long fairly intact. However, the sulfury flavors don't necessarily develop during aging so it may have tasted like this from the get-go. I'd pass on this one.

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Photo of rangerred
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

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Photo of JK4Stout
2.99/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of ColdWaffles
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.12/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of dlmccabe1
3.17/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I didn't love this beer. It's a darker straw color, but I'd put it just shy of golden. The aroma put off a little bit of banana and I also felt like there was a tinge of Belgian yeastiness or bready notes. The taste was a bit too sweet for my liking. The flavors were dominated by sweetness and I thought it could use a touch more of the noble hop to balance it out. It was close to a nice clean lager flavor, but not quite there.

I realize that a slightly heftier malt bill with additional sweetness is probably what makes this a winter appropriate lager, but it seemed slightly out of balance to me.

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Photo of goldbot
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchase before July 2011 notched on the label. Pours hazy copper, medium off-white head. Good head retention with a bit of lacing. Aroma is muted malt, bready with a touch of floral hops. Some more floral hop flavor up front, changing quickly to an intensely nutty, bready malt flavor. Not entirely pleasant actually. Some chocolate but lots of nutty flavor. On the sweet side, medium bodied.

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Photo of Ryanm1
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a pale golden color with brownish edges. Has a small, fizzy head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Has a faint, biscuity, grainy smell backed by a bit of sweet maltiness.

Taste: Nicely hopped throughout. Has a biscuity, grainy flavor backed by a bit of sweet maltiness at the back. Pretty typical bock territory here.

Mouthfeel: Has that crisp, lager feel to it.

Drinkability: A pretty average bock. Nothing great but nothing offensive. An interesting choice for a winter seasonal but still pretty tasty.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
3.43/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of eonbluekarma
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sweet and simple pale bock.

Nice pale amber in the glass and a better head and mouthfeel than many. Clean and very drinkable. Fruity malt bomb flavors at first slurp. Pleasant nose of wintergreen and malt. Some sugary flavors that keep it from being really drinkable. A touch of hops but definitely the Maibock style.

Creamy and pleasant for a few sips, but perfumey flavor gets old. A little hot, a little touch of soapiness. Not one for a big glassful.

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

Appears honey golden with white frothing head fine speckled lacing left unevenly. Aroma sweet tart apples with hints of honey and biscuit malt sweetness. Herbal hops are minimal but evident. Flavors hit the sides of the palate with the sweetness, juicy fruit and honey tones. Ripened apples, spicy herbal background. Mouthfeel is medium bodied a bit of residual sugars could become cloying at times. Carbonation is soft even goes down easily. Drinkability overall is something I will look forward to each winter season, nice to see a Maibock that early in the season.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.5/5  rDev -3%
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.

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

Nice, somewhat orange in appearance. Some floaters going on in there. Malty, mild sulfur aroma. Decent malt flavor with enough hops to be noticed. Sulfury, bready with a mild lingering sweetness. Decent body-the malty sweetness really tends to hold this together. A decent enough beer. Maybe a tad to sulfury and yeasty-could be cleaner for my liking. Still worth a try.

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

A: A decent slightly cloudy golden color with a lace of white head.
S: Malty sweet aroma with hints of cinnamon and all spice. Slightly bready.
T: Nice crisp malty flavor that finishes with a bready flavor that has a good spicy kick to it.
D/M: Very simple drinkable bock beer. Doesn't overwhelm the palate with spice but lacks a lot of the strong body that you would want with this kind of beer. Surprising but nothing too extreme

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

The Gift (WinterBock Lager)
Starr Hill Brewery
Style: Maibock / Helles Bock
ABV: 6.50 %
reviewed 11/17/09, thanks for SR of AB Craft for the Starr Hill samples...

Appereance has a solid 2 finger head with lace collar, dark honey in color.
Smell is light aromas of malt and spices.
Taste reminds me of a Yeungling amber-like Lager, lightly malty, semi sweet with a dash of spicy character sneaks in.
Mouthfeel is light-medium body, with medium to high carbonation.
Drinkability is acceptable for the style, but not my preference to date.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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The Gift (WinterBock Lager) from Starr Hill Brewery
3.61 out of 5 based on 149 ratings.
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