The Gift (WinterBock Lager) | Starr Hill Brewery

BA SCORE
82
good
148 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
The Gift (WinterBock Lager)The Gift (WinterBock Lager)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States
starrhill.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
148
Reviews:
66
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
15.24%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 148 |  Reviews: 66
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -10%

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.

 446 characters

Photo of Boone757
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

 615 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy copper, with about a finger or so of bright-white head. This retains with a thin and fizzy, yet still sturdy, layer of froth, which leaves a smattering of spotty foam behind. Malts are thick and sweet in the nose (and a bit buttery), with a touch of fruit and just enough fresh spicy hop character to help pulls things back a notch.

The taste is beefy in the mouth with sweet, bready, and honeyed malts. There is a touch of fruity citric notes here as well, along with plenty of spice and earthy bitterness from the Noble hops. Buttery and sticky sweetness carries over in the finish, before a long lingering and steady dryness from the hops takes over. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a big smooth creaminess to it that spreads out in the mouth and sits on top of all that beefy sweetness.

This was tasty little Bock from Starr Hill that had just enough hop character to nicely balance out all of those heavy malts. This was very smooth for the size which kept the overall drinkibility of this pretty good.

 1,071 characters

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.

 456 characters

Photo of atrocity
3/5  rDev -16.9%

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.

 567 characters

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.

 339 characters

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.

 798 characters

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.

 363 characters

Photo of AngusOg
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Latarnik
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear auburn gold with great carbonation that leads to a solid head. A veggie-hop like smell, pils-like, with hints of sweet malt. Nice, clean, smooth, light; passes with a hoppy bitterness and some minor malty sweetness. Good finish to an alright beer.

 262 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Dave_Treat
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
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

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +10.8%
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

 505 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. 6.5% ABV, Purchase before May notched on label.

Thanks to Onenote81 for this winter brewski!

A - Totally clear golden yellow with a fluffy white head with superb retention. Thin legs left on the glass hover above a bit of clingy lace.

S - Strangely, this has a very pilsner-like aroma. Crisp and clean lager attributes with pilsner malt and a light honey-drizzled toast. Noble hops are unmistakable giving the aroma a crisp floral hint. Nothing about it signifies winter.

T - While not noticeable in the nose, the flavor carries an interesting light yeast hint and mellow but pronounced spice. A touch of nutmeg perhaps? The honey comes out a bit stronger with the pilsner malts. Noble hops add a little to the flavor but give the finish a nice light, dry and bitter touch.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth with a soft feel and sweet, lightly carbonated finish. Light dry and bitter hints give a small bit of complexity to this beer.

D - It pulled through with the winter feel. A good "lighter" winter beer in a season bogged down (not a bad thing most of the time!) by rich, thick brews. I could do a six-pack of this on a session beer night.

 1,179 characters

Photo of Durge
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of bubseymour
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

 591 characters

Photo of argock
4.15/5  rDev +15%
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 ROGUE16
3/5  rDev -16.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Gift (WinterBock Lager) from Starr Hill Brewery
3.61 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More