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Gordon Biersch Winter Bock | Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

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BA SCORE
84
good
114 Reviews
Gordon Biersch Winter BockGordon Biersch Winter Bock
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
United States
gordonbiersch.com

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
In the 11th century, Belgian monks sustained themselves during winter fasts with beers made from strong, dark flavored malts. These creamy books ensured that the monks would fast frequently.

Added by Murph on 02-07-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
114
Ratings:
243
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
16.98%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
24
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 243
Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lovely appearance in the glass with an attractive head and chestnut brown color. Well carbonated. Caramel smell.

Winey flavor with roasted grains and some malty sweetness. Date flavors. Kind of a burnt molasses taste in the back of the mouth. Not bad for a couple of sips but the dirty, scorched raising taste takes over and is pretty tough to swallow.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Total Wine in Tucson.

 408 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i have a confession to make. i am friends with the brewer at one location, and i got to try this before is was released to the public. it was about two weeks away from general tapping, but the beer was more than ready in the horizontal lagering tank in the cold room. he poured me a mug, and i had to drink it. the beer was sensational straight up. he was worried about the abv, and about the hops in the finish, thought a few more weeks would make it more acceptable to the masses, but i am not the masses. it was creamy and rich brown sugar in color, with a two inch khaki colored head that did not recede at all. the smell was cara-munich and cara-red malts, which affect the color as well as the nose, giving it a sweet doughnutty aroma. flavor is true to that at first, but a surprising hop kick comes in with a little wintery spice mix in the finish to crisp it up. this is what any winter lager should taste like. i hate to give this much props to a chain, but this is a brilliant holiday offering, better than most craft stuff on the market. the freshness of the hops might have made this for me, sort of english barleywiney in ways, but german malty. its special, and i hope its just as good in other mediums, but somehow i am doubting that it could be. for now though, suffice it to say that tis beer is a wonderful thing. heavy and light at the same time in feel, with a full body, sticky like honey, but like a memory foam pillow in the finish, in the sense that it fits your shape and rlaxes you slowly. this beer was top notch, and i wish that everyone could try it as i did tonight.

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Photo of Phelps
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark cranberry-purple, almost perfectly clear and topped with one finger of creamy tan foam. The bubbles recede pretty quickly, becoming a thin and silky top layer.

Smooth, sweet, bready aroma. A little cooking wort, some caramel, baking bread, the lightest touch of grape.

A nice hit of caramel in the flavor, met with sweet honey buns and another very subtle hint of dark fruits. Fairly bitter, roasty finish.

High carbonation breaks the brew into just a bit of fizz. Body is just a shade under medium, and alcohol is pretty much unnoticeable.

The flavor’s decent — nice bits of caramel and bread. Finishes clean and keeps the brew drinkable. As doppelbocks go, it’s not as intense as I’m used to or prefer, but I might pick this up occasionally were I at the brewpub in wintertime.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this in Maui in a mixed winter 12 pack was very impressed with the rich malty flavours that came out in this beer. The balance is good with the sweetness being balanced with a dryish finish. I also thought the mouthfeel was just right and looked forward to a second bottle

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Photo of stover4
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I live in California and Gordon Biersch is truly a quality restaurant and brewery.

Few chain brewery can brew this type of beer. Now I've not had any beer from the ones out side of California, but the ones I have had beer from are excellent.

Gordon Biersch is one of the only places in the states, in my opinion, that make a true German style Bock and Doppelbock beer. Only served in the Winter time as a seasonal beer, their Winter Bock is a beer of hearty goodness, easily bringing home very high marks in my book.

The bottle is good, but the tap version at the brewery is even better.

If you're in San Diego, the one in mission valley has and excellent brewer by the name of Doug Hasker. Give him your regards as you sample his fine craft.

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Photo of socon67
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours light brown with a slight tan foam.

S - Scent so fsweet malt, brown sugar, and some heavy malts.

T - Tastes robust, caramel and chocolate malt is present, and sweet. Very tasty.

M - Syrupy thick, coates the tongue, and lingers on the palate.

O - Glad I found this on tap at the GB restaurant at Raleigh Durham airport. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams perfect Pint Glass

A: Poured reddish brown with a good 2 fingers worth of tan head that settled to small ring with decent lacing.

S: I'm getting brown sugar, coffee and bread.

T: Coffee & toffee right up front with a hint of brown sugar mid palette.... Finish is smooth and a little bready.

M: Carbonation is sharp at first but settles quickly.. I'd call this on mid bodied.

D: Looks good, smells pretty good, tastes pretty good and mouth feel is good.. Not a bad little beer... At 7.5 ABV this is one or two beer session for me. Not a bad little brew from Gordon.

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Photo of tdm168
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Gordon Biersch in the RDU airport.

Pours a dark light brownish amber with a thin lacing of head that quickly fades. The nose is simple with light notes of caramel. The flavor is only slightly more complex with spices up front, mainly clove and a little coriander, followed by sweet, caramel notes and baked apples. There are some faint yeast notes throughout. The body is smooth and medium bodied with light carbonation.

This was a decent beer. Nothing really stands out. It was good once, but I wouldn’t seek it out again.

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Photo of DasPuma
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Very dark red/brown with little carbonation and one inch caramel colored head that dissipates slowly with decent lacing

Smell - subtle coffee smell

Taste - The roasted malts definetely come through as well as a little alcohol, but not overpowering at all.

Mouthfeel - Slightly heavy with medium carbonation

Overall a pretty good beer that I will definetely keep in my collection. I haven't had many bocks before, but if this is standard for the type, consider me a fan.

 512 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single for $1.99 from the Village Pump. Bottled on the 11th of October 2011.

A wonderful deep mahogany with a dense, tan head with pretty solid retention and no real lacing, this looks pretty good! The clarity and color are particularly appealing. The nose has plenty of caramel and bready malt character, with mild Munich malt character as well. However, there isn't enough of the rich breadiness, at least for my palate. Mild earthy, leafy hop character is present. Plenty of dark fruit character, with raisins and plums are present.

The palate opens with a blend of moderate bitterness and caramel and raisin bread. There's plenty of hop flavor, lending an earthy, flavorful backbone to this beer. The palate has too much of the caramel and dark caramel malt character without the bready flavors that you'd get from the better German brewed versions. Toffee, dark fruit, caramel and a touch of brown sugar are all present, along with a mild spicy note, especially on the finish. Medium in body with moderate carbonation (a little too much?), this beer is pretty solid and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark copper in color supporting a thick head leaving nice layered lace. Smell of big upfront malt and sweet dark fruits. Taste comes through as in the aroma with a malt sweetness and moderate alchohol. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Nothing complex thats mildly rough around the edges, but definately warming.

 337 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark color colored body with a light tan head that disappears. Some bubbles stay on top with very light lacing.

S- Caramel malts with some spices. Maybe some roasted and/or chocolate malts too.

T- Very similar to the smell. Spices, caramel, raisins and possibly a hint of chocolate. Well balanced.

M- Smooth and easy drinking. Some light carbonation and medium bodied.

O- Very impressed with this beer, a full flavored winter beer that is easy drinking. Received a Gordon Biersch sampler for Christmas and really enjoyed 3/4 beers including this one.

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Photo of ProducerBRBeer
3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Reddish brown in color with a short lived head. The lace is much stickier and thicker than most of the Gordon beers. The head is a light brown color, a little sandy.

S - Malty and sweet in smell almost like molasses.

T - An earthy to slightly sweet malty taste. Almost like a brown sugar or molasses flavor.

M - Even carbonation with a smoothness to it and a slightly dry drop off. Slightly crisp.

O - Pretty good Winter bock style, I guess my first style like this, but German style beer is not really my thing.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from optimator13, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a reddish brown color with a thin off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains honey, brown sugar, fruit, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, honey, brown sugar and fruit. Then theirs is some breadiness that comes in from the lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are several others in the style that I would pick first.

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Photo of gmagness
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This draught was poured at GB restaurant in Broomfield, CO. Tapped in early November.

A: Dark but not opaque, good froth and lacing

S: Malt and toffee aromas, slightly sweet and spicy

T: Very flavorful as are most dopplebocks. Malty sweetness with toffee and some hints of holiday spices. Some finish hops balance it out nicely.

M: Nice body, some stickiness; carbonation was right on this tap, releasing flavor but maintaining the body.

O: A worthy example of a holiday winter warmer or dopplebock. In some aspects better than Spaten Optimator on tap, which I use as my reference for this variety.

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Photo of rand
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at their restaurant in Mission Valley San Diego, poured into mug

A: Dark brown in color, frothy head with lots of sticky lacing

S: caramelly malts predominant, bready, touch of nutmeg

T: The sweet malts up front, sugary. Slightly earthy yeast breaks things up, keeping balance. Hops play a small roll, but give the brew enough astringency to keep things from getting overly sweet.
A few holiday spices round the profile, as the beer finishes slightly dryer than the front of the palate.

M: Bready, chewy. A little overly carbonated for the style - wonder if this is to please their stateside demo.

A pretty solid offering from the Bierch crew. The touches of holiday spice are appropriate for the seasonal release, and the balance of flavors will please a wide spectrum of taste.

,

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a 0.5L glass. Color was dark brown, almost mahogany (I read the description). About an inch of head when I got it. Fairly thin lacing on the top. Sporadic film on the sides.

Smelled of dark toffee malts. It reminded me a bit of a dark Heath bar. Also some caramel and coffee in there, too. Sweet flavors.

Tasted a little bit lighter than the nose. Toffeeish. Pretty smooth, but hardly any aftertaste. I bit too much alcohol kicker.

Medium body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Smooth feel.

A decent beer, but a little late in the overall taste. Would like it slightly darker.

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Photo of taigor
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Gordon Biersch pint glass.

A - Very dark with slight ruby hints and a big head that slowly dissipated leaving significant lacing around the glass.

S - Sweet roasted malts with caramel, honey, dark chocolate and some spiciness to it.

T - Sweet caramel with roasted malts upfront followed by slight dark chocolate bitterness and a nutty dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with above average carbonation.

O - Very nice and enjoyable bock. ABV is hidden well and almost not noticed. I would recommend to try it if you get an opportunity.

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Photo of John_M
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at T Bonz during their X-mas in July event.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with minimal lacing and not much head retention. The nose is very malty, leading me to expect a fairly sweet beer. In fact, while there is some modest sweetness to this beer, it's not as much as I was expecting. Otherwise, I get a considerable malt presence, light milk chocolate, light vanilla and some tar in the finish. There's also some noticeable alcohol as well, though it's not too bad. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the beer finishes fairly well.

Shrug. A pleasant enough beer, but nothing so exciting that I'd probably want to ever order it again.

Edit from 11/16. Am trying this beer again at the Oakland airport, GB kiosk spot. If nothing else, you have to give GB props for consistency. The beer at the airport is actually a bit better then what I had at T bonz some years back, as I'm not getting as much of the tar flavor in the finish I previously encountered. There's a hint of bitterness in the finish in the current version, and despite the malty sweetness, the finish is pretty clean. It's pretty similar to what I encountered back in 2011 otherwise. The biggest difference between the current version and what I tried back in 2011, is the current price. At the airport, the beer is $8.50 for a shaker glass fill (typical lousy pour from the airport bartending staff, so figure a 12 ounce pour). Needless to say, this beer isn't nearly so wonderful as to justify that kind of price, but what do you expect at the airport (alas, this is Oakland and not pdx).

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, clear caramel color with a ruby hue. Poured a 1 finger creamy tan head that dissipated slowly to a thick skim. Laced the glass in thin sheets.

S: Burnt caramel and some peppery spices. A little smokey and earthy.

T: Big toasted malty up front; burnt caramel, nuts and smoke. Sharp bitter bite lingers along with some of the malt character.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Very flavorful malt character with enough bitter to balance.

D: Easily drinkable. flavorful, smooth and balanced.

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

A- Poured into a glass resulting in a nice 1 inch plus head. Has a nice deep cherry would color when held up to a light. Very pretty. Average lacing but a nice looking beer all the same

S- Nice dark fruit smell (figs, plums, and black cherry), malted fragrance topped with caramel and faint chocolate.

T- Malt and caramel flavor with a dry finish. Bit of a bitter aftertaste when you expect more of a sweeter end. Not as pleasing as I would like but over all a fine dark beer.

M- has a thicker feel to it as I think a bock should. almost gives you the sensation of having a syrup consistency.

D- All in all it's a good beer, could be a little more balanced with a more rounded flavor but still a decent choice. Still gives you a warm feeling on the colder winter nights.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap from GB in Washington, DC. Poured into pint glass. Pours a dark brown, decent head that left a nice layer of foam, but little lacing. Pleasantly sweet aroma of malts with some caramel. Flavors were stronger, and also had some dark cherries and a touch of chocolate. Smooth, just a bit creamy, fairly full-bodied.

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Photo of jdense
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from neighborhood beer buddy obtained at local discount grocery store in variety pack, poured into pint glass 1.1.9.11.

One finger slowly developing light tan, quick dissipation with no lacing. Clear amber brown body some visible carbonation. Nose is roast-dominate with a significant amount of sweetness, medium crystal with medium cherry-ish esters, floral hops in the nose. Taste mirrors the nose, a bit too sweet for style. Mouthfeel is fairly light for style, a wee bit of effervescence. Drinkability is ok, but the cloying sweetness in absence of roast character was a bit befuddling.

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Photo of greenmiller
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at GB Bolingbrook, IL. Pours a dark ruby not opaque with minimal tan head. No lacing at all down the glass. No discernable aroma, just a malty, sweet smell. Tastes very smooth, almost sweet malty. No hops detected. Mouthfeel again is very smooth and easy going down. Little carbonation feel. NOT a session beer as this made me a little giddy after just one! But is a great winter warmup if you plan to stay awhile and let someone else drive you home. Would drink again.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red meets glistening brown color, with an off-white head that scatters to a crown fairly quickly. Bits of lace left around the glass, in Morse code-ish dots and dashes.

Welcoming aroma of huge dark fruit (fig, plum, grape), pumpernickel, chocolate cake batter, toffee, caramel, butter frosting. Lightly burnt facet too, like the upper crust of a creme brulee.

Flavor is all that the aroma promises, the dark fruits and chocolate cake batter being especially prominent, with noticeable assistance from fresh green hops and a nice liqueur-like blow from the alcohol, although it's subdued and never overdone. Sweet gooey caramel and toffee factor in big with warming. Overall it's hugely malty up front, reminding of dark breads and cookies, while a leafy bitterness creeps in near the finish.

Nice softness, slickness and roundness to the texture, with enough carbonation to add just an edge of sizzle. A bit dry, but not too dry.

A total comfort beer that I'll gladly pick up anytime I'm wanting a flavorful and reasonably-priced American version of this greatest of German beer styles.

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Gordon Biersch Winter Bock from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
3.71 out of 5 based on 243 ratings.
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