Gordon Biersch Winter Bock | Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

114 Reviews
Gordon Biersch Winter BockGordon Biersch Winter Bock

Brewed by:
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
United States

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

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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 247
Photo of wknight167
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours a dark brown with red highlights and a 1 finger tan head that fades quickly.

Nose- Sweet maly, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate and stone fruits.

Palate- Sweet, dark caramel and chocolate. Raisiny, but with a roasty and spicy bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium to full body, a little light on the carbonation, but not in a negative way.

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Photo of nickfl
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of light brown head on top of a dark brown body with good clarity and ruby highlights. The foam settles slowly and leaves little lace.

S - Rich dark malt aromas of toffee, caramel, and a little bit of roast grain. Some fruity notes as well, plum and a hint of raisin.

T - Thick, sweet malt up front; lots of toffee and caramel. Plums and caramelized raisins in the middle that fade to caramel in the finish. The sweet, dark malts are balanced by moderate malt bitterness and just a slight note of hops. Lingering dark caramel and molasses flavors in the aftertaste as well as some light roast flavor.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a flavorful dopplebock with lots of malt character. The dark flavors are a nice combination of caramel and subtle fruit, though they do also include some light roasted notes that technically shouldn't be there. Overall a nice beer that fits the season well.

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Photo of ImusBeer
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very brown, clear, light head with an off white color, light lacing down the glass as I drank.

Hints of raisin aroma and a tangy malt and raisin sweetness during the sip, bitterness at the end.

Carbonation was low with a light mouthfeel and a slight bitterness at end. A good and light but with a bite of bitterness and a smooth aftertaste and finish.

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

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Bottled on: 10/14/09.

Appearance: Pours a dark tawny brown body with a respectably-sized, frothy, light beige head. Thin coating of lace on the way down.

Smell: Toasty and nutty with a fruity hint of both well-grilled apple wedges and from-those-lil'-boxes raisins brushed with caramel and flecked with chary roastiness. Some wafting alcohol notes begin to perk up and assault the nose as it warms.

Taste: Deeply toasted bread crusts and grains sweetened up with modest touches of gooey dark caramel and brown sugar. Slight nuttiness throughout. Also, some perceived tangy blips of quality pilsner malt in the mix. Mingling of apple and raisins for a kick of fruit flavor. Spicy, earthy hops that, along with a hint of roasted grains, provide a reasonable amount of bitterness. Drying, slightly warming finish with a lasting, if light, apple taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. There's an admirable smoothness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Not a bad lil' doppelbock, though, it starts to kind of fall apart as it warms (seeming ever more alcoholic), so don't dilly-dally while drinking this one. I've been slowly, respectfully working through the recent influx of Gordon Biersch's bottled offerings and, while not outstanding, WinterBock is better than some of the others I've sampled.

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Photo of seand
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a medium dark translucent brown, kind of cola-like, with a small amount of tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving essentially no lacing.

S: Big thick malty smell, some brown sugar.

T: Primarily the same thick sweetness from the nose. A slight dry bitterness to finish.

M: Fairly carbonated, fairly full bodied and somewhat sticky.

D: Quite sweet, and not exactly low ABV, but drinks reasonably well considering that.

It's ok. I'd never seek it out, but probably wouldn't turn it down if offered.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: almost pitch blackness, head did not hold up.

smell: fruity. maybe raisin

taste: alchohl hidden well. a nice dopple. deep roasted flavors, dark fruits

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: a very solod dopple, extrmely impressed and more than expected.

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Photo of porterwoobie
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: ruby red to brown color, clear, slight tan head, no lacing

S: big on the maltiness. has a little prune/plum aroma and a slight alcohol presence. no hop aroma noted.

T: malty, rich, and sweet. has a toasted character, but no hop or fruity flavor is detected. has a sweet finish.

MF: medium-full bodied, low carbonation, drinks pretty smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: decent brew. flavor didn't seem as bold as other winter bocks i've tasted. enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. The WinterBock pours a deep amber with a full inch of off white head. The beer is clear and almost brown in low light and offers a light apparent carbonation.

Initial notes of caramel and milk chocolate diminish with the foam which offers moderate retention and lacing. Nose settles into light caramel and red malt and offers a fair amount of muddled piney hops when agitated to regenerate a surface cap. Truer bock notes arrive as the beer warms and gets some exposure.

Flavor follows the nose and is rather light yet full bodied, and somewhat simple/singular at the same time. The body cloaks the ABV well yet delivers a short finish with a touch of cinnamon. Moderate malts work well with the carbonation to deliver a decent feel and drinkability. Nicely balanced.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This came in the winter pack from Costco.

Appearance- dark reddish brown color, thin head

Smell- sweet malt

Taste- sweet malt and caramel

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- This was ok. I have had better bocks but it is still ok. An average bock but that's it

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Photo of NorCalYeti
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

taste- roasted malt

color- deep copper

clarity- dark and clear

smell- roasted malt

body- soft, medium-light body

appearance- nice looking dark beer

overall impression- better than expected

notes- nice maltiness with a soft mouthfeel. finish is a little amateurish in that it tastes like a cheap lager. this review is for a 2008 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: pint

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear dark brown color with a decently fluffy light tan head. Fairly good retention with just a smattering of lacing.

Nose is pretty well done for a D-bock, Tons of roasty chocolate malts with a few toasty and nutty notes as well.

Taste consists mainly of sweet burnt caramel and toasty malts, molasses and plenty of fusel alcohol. I was really disappointed in the two times I visited the brewpub in the ATL, but this beer shows some promise. A little more smooth chocolate maltiness and hide the ABV some and this could be a good beer. Overall, it is not a half bad attempt at a DB, but needs a bit more refinement to hang with the big dawgs from Deutschland.

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

Picked upas part of a mixed cased from Costco for $19.99.

Beer poured a reddish brown with a nice lasting tan head. Nose initially was heavy on roasted malts, becoming sweeter as it warms. Taste is heavy on roasted malts and finishes somewhat sweet. Mouthfeel is pretty good as it is medium bodied, decently carbonated, and fairly smooth across the palate. Overall drinkability is pretty good. This is a pretty good representation of style and not bad to try.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

NOTE: I had this right before the end of 2008 and was told then that it was the Xmas brew but also the same as the Dopplebock they brew in the winter. Was told on 3/6 that the Dopplebock was actually a different brew - and there are mild taste differeces - and that the previous seasonal was the Winter Bock (a single bock).
Damn servers...here is my review of the Winter Bock (which I was originally told was a dopplebock).
Pours a murky brown body, almost black with no lacing but a superfoamy two-finger tan head that takes forever to die. A mild, sweet malt smell of roasted and cocoa malt dominate the aroma (hints of coffee). Not a particulary thick bock, but not thinnish or syrupy either. A mild-mannered but pleasant sweetness, with hints of chocolate, caramel, toffee, butterscotch and other sugariness I can't think of. Not overly sweet, mind you. Has minor roasted notes and hops for a slick but hints of dryness on the backbite; not a milkshake here. Mildly warming also. ABV hidden well - I wouldn't guess a 7.2 except it is on the menu.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.19/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Dark, translucent chocolate color with 1" of white, fluffy head. The foam receded quickly into a ring, but left no lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted malt is strongest in the nose, with hints of caramel malt and coffee. Weaker smells are chocolate and nuts.

T: Following the nose, toasted malts are strong up front. When the drink is cold, the caramel malts and coffee are the only secondary flavors; as it warms, the chocolate and nuts become much more noticeable. The finish is slightly grassy and coffee bitter.

M: Light-bodied with light carbonation. Easy on the mouth.

D: Decently drinkable; if I had a sixer I wouldn't have any problems putting it away. I just don't care for it enough to seek out another.

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Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a sturdy tan head that retains reasonably and leaves a few ringlets of lace behind

Smell: Rich caramel aroma with stone fruit undertones

Taste: Caramel flavors build in intensity from the get go, with a growing stone fruit element appearing after a while; a subtle bitterness develops, as well, prior to the swallow; the finish has a bit too much lager twang for my palate, however

Mouthfeel: Medium body with sprightly carbonation

Drinkability: I wasn't prepared to like this as much as I did, judging from the other reviews, but this is a very nice bock

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Photo of jgap
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with little head which, i'll admit could be my fault as i'm using a new glass and mis-judged the pitch. Anyways, the head quickly recedes to a thin lacing. Smell is rasins, light prunes and very strong sugary- caramel malt. Taste is ripe apricot, rasins, and fruit followed by a drawn-out sweet, tasty caramel malt. Alcohol is almost undetectable. For how available and inexpensive this beer is, I'd say it's a fantastic brew but I had pretty low expectations...

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

Six pack from BevoMo.

Poured dark amber and very sirupy, indicating low carbonation (good for style) but high sweetness, dominated by burnt sugar, which was the first smell I got - sweet malts. Very caramel oriented beer, and tastes a bit too much like alcohol, which shouldn't really happen with the doppelbock style.

A solid offering, no doubt and competitive with the original German versions, just not as complex. As mentioned, a bit too sweet and alcohol-y for my taste and could have used a bit more fruit (fig, plum) aspects instead of just caramel, which simply dominated.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's a solid winter warmer style beer from here in the Bay Area. Looked good in my shaker glass, pouring a dark reddish brown with a light tan head of a couple centimeters of fizzy foam. Slightly nutty aroma. The taste is a good mix of slightly roasted malt, some nutty character, a little sweetness, spruce, and a slight piney bitterness on the finish. I think they've done a good job of balancing and blending the flavors here, but they are a bit subdued.

A decent amount of malt gives it a slightly creamy mouth feel, and I found this a pretty refeshing brew.

Personally, I find Gordon Biersch brews to be a little under whelming, but this is a pretty good offering from them for this particular style.

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Photo of atsprings
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Flying Saucer, reviewed from notes, served a crisp ruby red with a thin diminishing head. The aroma was some sweet malts and fruits. The taste was a candy-like sweetness with some dried fruits and molasses. The beer was medium to heavy bodied with some warming alcohol and light carbonation. This one is somewhat enjoyable, but I'd probably not seek this one out again.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it at Gordon Biersch in DC. Poured a solid tan head on a near black beer. Kind of a standard doppelbock, sweet and slightly spicy in both the nose and flavor. Not in any way bad, and actually really accessible (had a couple non-beery work friends there who really enjoyed it). One of the better brews I've had at GB.

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Photo of stephens101
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with crimson hues and is topped by a good amount of tan head which doesn't fade too quickly and leaves a few spots of lacing behind. Clusters of carbonation bubbles cling to the glass as more shoot through the middle of the brew to the top. The malts smell of sweet caramel. Behind that are subtle notes of spice, cherries and vanilla. Tastes of sweet malts, cherries, coffee and hops. Mouth-feel is slighty creamy and it goes down smooth. Excellent winter ale, but not as spicy as some others.

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Photo of JoshuaCain
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a very nice looking mahogany brown color. thin off white head with little retention, no lacing.
smells like a real nice, rich doppelbock. sweet, roasty, raisins and dates, malty and bready.
tastes weaker than the aroma lets on. a yeasty sweet raisin bagel, big malts and little else. a faint grassiness in the finish.
mouthfeel is fine, but outweighs the light flavor.
drinkability is average, would be higher if this wasnt about two dollars more than the other Gordon Biersch 6'ers.
all in all its a fairly decent doppelbock, but not close to the better German examples of the style.

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Photo of spointon
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at the Gordon Biersch in Bolingbrook, IL on 12/18/2008.

A= This beer was poured into a clear glass mug and showed a very clear, deep red color with a slight brownness to it. The head poured 1/2" of slightly yellow off-whiteness and quickly dropped to a skim.

S= Aromas of malty sweetness, some sulphur, very faint nuttiness, and a mild roasty character.

T= Much the same as in the aroma. Malty sweetness followed by a sulphur note and mild grainy bitterness. Some alcohol in the finish.

MF= Bigger but still in the medium body range. Crisp mouthfeel cleansed the palate well.

D= This is a pretty solid dopplebock with an easy drinking flavor yet a solid alcohol kick. I look forward to this seasonal release every year!

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very light brown/dark gold color with a good frothy head. The aroma was that of light malt and alcohol esters. The flavor was good German malts with that left over real lager twang, finished really dry, not sweet like a lot of bocks. A good seasonal beer.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Initially displayed a solid, multi-fingered, off-white head. I look back after taking a few notes and - poof! - nothing but a ring and some fast-disappearing film on top. A bit soda like. A dark, nearly opaque amber brown color to the beer itself.

Some roasted malts to the nose. Molasses. Raisins. Not particularly aromatic.

Light in flavor and feel up front, the beer definitely becomes more substantial as it warms. Some dark bread, a hint of alcohol and spice leading into a burnt toast and sugars finish. Tinge of citrus contribute to a drying sensation.

Well carbonated, providing a slight, nice prickly kick. Light to medium in body, this is pretty tasty and goes down smooth and easy.

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Gordon Biersch Winter Bock from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
3.71 out of 5 based on 247 ratings.
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