Christmas Bock
Mahr's Bräu

Christmas BockChristmas Bock
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Style:
German Bock
Ranked #56
ABV:
6%
Score:
83
Ranked #37,538
Avg:
3.69 | pDev: 12.2%
Reviews:
179
Ratings:
247
From:
Mahr's Bräu
 
Germany
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  12
Gots
  5
SCORE
83
Good
Christmas BockChristmas Bock
Notes:
Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 247 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by pkalix:
Photo of pkalix
4.46/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

hmm, i may have ruined the first small part of the pour.... into a frozen Golden Harvest Drinking Jar (for a little style....) but it foamed HUGE...
dark straw color, huge foamy head, and smells a little spicy and lager-y in the bottle and the jar.
with a now-shrunken and textured head, the first sip is a bit like a soft pilsener, with the medium sweet malts up front and a slight bitterness on the sides of the tongue. there's a certain robustness to it, which wasnt expected after seeing how light-colored it is in the glass. i should probably save the "drinking jar" for those lame, commercial brews as these german brews always seem to foam up when i pour into it, regardless of how softly i may try to pour.
overall, an exceptional brew! not an entirely complex beer, but for the style this is something i'd endeavor to find out of the tap in a nice, dark, warm ambience.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Ego
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

eyes...
hazy brown with orange highlights (a construction cone in mud), head is small but lingers well, lacing is decent, slightly better than average

nose...
honeyed malts, slight florals but this is clearly about the malts, this is a touch of a citric twang of sour buried in there as well.. interesting.

taste etc...
carbonation is biting (in a good way, like jessica alba biting your neck) with a touch of tingle, medium mouthfeel, flavor is rather sweet like dark honey, not candy sugar, the actual bock flavor takes some time to develop.. it is definitely thicker than many helles.

verdict?
a solid beer, it does what it is supposed to, nothing quirky, just straight up german brewing, pick a wurst and grab a stein... would play well off some spicy potato soup.

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Photo of PatYoda
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice coppery color without a whole lot of head. Smell is malty, caramelly and nutty. Smells relatively tempting. Tasting is a different story though. Spicy hops and unidentifiable (at least by me) spices coexist with a very nutty malt flavor, but these flavors don't blend well together. The spices and nutty flavor do seem Christmas-like to me, but I can't put my finger on why. The nutty flavor actually tastes pretty stale as well, though this beer should be very fresh. All in all the taste is just not very pleasing to me.

It's medium bodied but the carbonation is a bit lacking, making the mouthfeel a bit too sticky for my liking. Drinkability is not great. I won't be purchasing any more of these. Mahr's usually makes such fantastic beer!

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Photo of skipabeat
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was quite impressed by this particular beer. Initially, I noticed it in our local beer store and the festive bottle caught my eye. Being quite a fan of bock's, I decided it was worth a try.

I found its carbonation to be quite refreshing and its colour (a wonderful orange) to be very attractive. It poured with ample head which stuck around for quite some time after the initial pour - it was quite thick.

The beer itself was refreshing and left me wishing that I had picked up another few bottles. I will certainly buy again! My only negative comment would be that I was expecting something a little more heavy. When I think of bocks, I think of something that leaves you feeling full and satisfied - but I could easily have had another.

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Photo of Vancer
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holy Moly, found this in the back of the DBF - label says bottled on 48 80, what ever the fork that means...

Poured a burnt orange into the Corsendonk tulip, bit of a white head pops up and dies quickly. Bread and malt in the aroma, spice and malt in the quaff. Easy bit of nutmeg has me ready for the fall beers and Xmas. One can't beat German bock beers at any time.

This on has held up well, good thing it was kept cold from last year.

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Photo of plaid75
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

The smell featured light earthy malts, metal and a light grassy hop.

The taste consisted of a light round caramel, cereal grains and grassy and herbal noble hops.

The mouthfeel was round and clean with a vigorous carbonation.

Overall a tasty winter bock. Light and enjoyable.

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Photo of bjoyce12
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Dive in Worcester,MA. I expect a Christmas Bock to have a stonger spicy presence, and this ale is a little disappointed. Some spice notes, but not enough to make me consider is a Christmas(or any other holiday)Bock. The Harpoon Winter Warmer is spicier. Mahrs has some spice, some good taste, pours a deep amber, a good aroma, but nothing special.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Big Y
Little y
A yawning yellow yak.
Young Yolanda Yorgenson
Is yelling on its back.

The label of this bottle looks just like the "Y" page from the "ABC's" book from Dr Seuss. I didnt notice this coinidenc in this store, but had I noticed, I would have purchased the bottle based solely on the label.

16 oz bottle (which happens to be the perfect size IMO) pours into a styrofoam cup. Give me a break, I am in a hotel room in the Keys without access to proper glassware. From what I saw, the beer looked amber in color and is topped with a stiff white head.

Aroma doesnt really possess any festive qualities. Its your basic bock with malt forward aromas, some grassy notes, perhaps a hint of cloves, but we are really just talking basic aromas here.

Nice flavor. Slight hop bite, maltiness, cracker like, bready, quite refreshing. The mouthfeel is great. Not too thin and not too chewy. A decent beer. Got this on sale at Total Wine for $1.99- Totally worth it!

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Photo of klewis
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dirty golden with a small bubbly head that quickly disappears. Moderate lacing.

S: Very sweet smelling. Molasses, burnt caramel, and a light floral quality make up the bouquet.

T: Malty with a moderate sweetness. A nutty, cereal-like flavor makes up most of the taste with a very subtle note of Christmas spices.

M: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Dry, but oddly sticky.

D: The overall rating for this one is spot on. Decent and average. Easy to drink, but nothing special.

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

I'm surprised this is a helles bock... bringing some light to the winter solstice?

A: Hazy copper-bronze with a white head, thin ring of retention, some lacing.

S: Wonderful sweet toffee aroma, bready, floral & slightly herbal.

T: Sweet toffee, floral, grassy, slightly herbal, bready, definitely leans to the malty side; hints of crisp, wheat malt; balanced bitterness; alcohol is subtle.

M: Moderate body is smooth with an off-dry finish.

D: Different, but a decent drinker.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 1 pint 9oz bottle. Bottle said 6% abv.

Appearance- Pours a hazy and cloudy copper, browned orange peel color. After an aggressive pour into my Family Guy mug, yielded only a one and a half finger head.

Smell- Some bready sweetness wit a few amber malts in the mix. With a cooked citrus finish.

Taste- Pretty sweet brew. Sweet as in brown sugar and plums. With a good dousing of Maui sweet bread throughout.

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Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle cellared one year. Tried this fresh last year around the holidays, and it seemed a little boozy.

Pours a hazy deep amber, looks like a bock to me. One finger of foam initially that fades a bit. A sweet mild alcohol in the nose.

Alternately dry, sweet, and a little papery. Caramel toffee middle forms the bulk of the flavor. Very mild astringency at first that settles out, becoming malty in the middle, with a grape or berry finish. Alcohol is much more toned down, but even after a year it's still perceptible. Slightly fuller than other bocks, and somewhat sweeter too. It's not bad, but a little sweet without much to balance it.

Age has mellowed the alcohol, but that's all I can really tell. Not sure if i'll pick this up again, it was pretty overpriced around $5-6.

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Photo of Domingo
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's not every day that I encounter something from Mahr's. It's also not every day I encounter a normal straight-up bock either.
Pours a light amber color. Not too far off from a marzen. Head's normal sized and white.
Smells indistinctly malty. Picking up a little bit of noble hop character, too.
The taste reminds me of a helles bock. Malted grain, sweet rummy booze in the middle, and noble hops make the finish bone dry. In fact, it almost seems like the finish is too clean. Nothing really lingers at all.
Mouthfeel is clean and everything goes down pretty easy.
1/2L was enough for me. The boozy sweetness and finish that disappeared were good for a bit, but I lost interest about 2/3 of the way in.
Reminds me a lot of the Hofbrau Ur-Bock I had in Munich a few years ago.
In general I don't think I'm as much of a fan of the paler bocks.

EDIT: Had a fresher bottle in early 2012 and enjoyed it quite a bit. It isn't amazing, but a nice easy drinking malt-forward beer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Peabody's in Boone, NC

Pours an effervescent gold with one finger of ivory colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Pears, apples & breadyness

T: Honey malt, pears, grassyness, breadyness, & metallic hops up front. Pears, leafy & metallic hops with perhaps a bit of oxidation as this warms, along with King's Hawaiian Sweet Breadyness once warm. Finishes fruitty, somewhat bready with some metallic notes that are really bringing this down

MF: Medium boded/chewy with moderate carbonation

An alright bock, would try it again if I knew I was getting a fresh sample

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is a light, clear caramel colored beer with a thin off-white head. The aroma is simple caramel malt. The beer has a very sweet, sugary, caramel taste with nothing to balance it out. I'm not very into this. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy. No problem finishing this but I don't want more.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a somewhat cloudy orange golden color with a small 1/8" head after a careful pour. The head is off white, and sticks around in its initial state for at least a minute until fading into the beer.

Aroma: I get some sweet malt and a noticeable fruity presence. This beer smells like it may have a bit of age on it, so I am glad that I am trying it now. There is some noticeable oxidation here giving the beer a mild sherry note.

Taste: The flavor is nicer than the aroma suggested it would be. The maltiness is definitely the key player, and there is still some sweetness and a clean sweet malt flavor here that is a hint toasty and bready and reminds me of biscuits. There is definitely some hops in here to balance the beer, and they are noticeable enough in the finish to start to put this beer out of the Maibock category. They leave one with a bit of a grassy flavor to linger on the back of the throat for some time after the sip. The alcoholic warming is evident, and add a subtle spice to the finish.

Opinion: Well, I am obviously trying this beer after its prime. I would certainly like to try it again when it is in better shape so that I can make an honest opinion. This beer has some evident age, and this style is so light flavored as it is...it can't take any flaws. I think that this beer is worth giving another shot to...so it is definitely "worth a try" even in the state that I am drinking it in.

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Photo of akttr
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of jaluria
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spotted this the other day and was happy to pick up a single bottle of it to try. I definitely enjoyed having this while watching some football.

Poured a slightly cloudy/murky looking orange-yellow color with a medium level of carbonation. A thin white forms and lingers during the entire session leaving behind a touch of lacing. Aroams of grains, honey, ripe fruit, and toasted bread; heavy on the honey and bread. The taste is sweet, dominated by malt and fruit tones. Relatively mellow with a crisp center that seems to lead into the final bitter finish. Slightly chewy with a creamy texture. Easy to sip and quite flavorful. Certainly not my favorite Maibock/Helles Bock, but overall a good example of the style with some interesting spice and fruit undertones.

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Photo of jorjoria
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours light amber with a huge head. The beer is a little hazy which is not typical of the Bock style.

Smell: Very Light caramel notes. Very little hoppiness coming through. There are even notes of yeast coming through.

Taste: The beer has a great light caramel flavor. The hops complement the malt very well in this beer and the bitterness enters the pallet almost as an after thought. I’m not really even sure this beer is a Maibock it doesn’t taste like it was made with lager yeast and there also has to be some wheat in this beer as well very a typical.

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Photo of kkipple
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Big fat white foamy head dies from the edges in, leaving a tall island of foam that settles after a fight. Brew is a chalky amber-orange with lots of black floaties of various sizes.

S. Honey malt, celery, licorice, biscuit, dark brown sugar. Hints of spice - coriander and ginger? Delicious.

T. Less sweet than you'd expect, a little basic, but a very drinkable smooth, watery malt beer. Excellent aftertaste of minor spice and quenching watery toasted barley. Sweet without being too sweet to drink much of.

M. Watery, thin, mid-low carbonation, finishes malty and very cinnamony! Shocking. This is actually growing on me by leaps and bounds.

Mahr's has an excellent example of a restrained, drinkable spiced Bock here. I really dug it and you will too.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.61/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

17oz bottle picked up sometime last week at the Coop for (I think around) $6... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1" lite tan head settles leaving very nice lace and a great cap.. the brew is very very dark brown.. only reveal the slightest polished walnut when held to a light.

Nose is not a malty as many traditional bocks.. still what is there is fairly rich.. mainly toasty and faint whiffs of cocoa.

Out of the gate.. the flavor does not even remotely impress... toasty malts.. with a fairly thick metallic flavor.. tannic. most other "traditional" flavors are really limited throughout.. nothing sticks out except a very prevalent "copper" flavor.. body is fine... the carbonation is good...

nope ... not for me ... this is pretty much cellar temperature right now... I am gonna let this sit for a while and come back.. but right now this is bordering on a drainpour in hopes of finding a better brew in the back of the fridge.

Edit: this isn't a drainpour.. but the metallic component is still there... not good.

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

This is a respectable bock, but not brilliant. The beer pours a nice clear amber slightly mahogany color with a decent white head that retains a bit. Lacing is okay with this beer. The nose on the beer is a full palate of malt, a bit of a yeast hint (ringwood?) and a touch of boozy ABV. Before the beer really settles in, there is a definite metallic aroma coming from this one.

The taste is quite good. Lots of roasted malts, huge caramel bouquet, brown sugar and honey notes come through in the mid section. The beer has a sweet, yet strong, ABV presence throughout. There is a definite dextrin sweetness from the malts, but a slightly biting spiciness as well, and perhaps that is what the Xmas in the label is all about. Otherwise, this tastes a whole lot like most other bocks you find. The caramel malts, the ABV presence, the slightly bittering aftertaste coupled with the spicy bite, pretty much define this bock. The carbonation is moderate. The beer isn't syrupy, but the aftertaste does have a touch of the throaty ABV burn. The beer is largely representative of the style.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Ahhh, Mahrs, they always manage to eek out a solid brew. That's why I had, perhaps, unreasonably so.

It pours a thick, rich amber with a dishwater head that will simply not go away. It persists and persists and persists until it comes in contact with the oils from my moustache, and then quickly collapses into a fine ring leaving some impressive lace. A helles bock? I've seen ligher doublebocks!!! Well, that's not true, but it is quite dark.

The taste is, however, classic maibock. A pronounced sulfer presence mixing with light, fruity yeast esters and slightly astrigent, aspiriny noble hops. I'm not a huge fan of maibocks and, while the taste is spot-on, truly prototypical maibock with, perhapse, a twing of roasted chocolate thrown in at the end, I am left feeling vaguely unsatisfied.

The mouthfeel is, however, perfect. Full and round. Really excellent, nothing better.

A good, but not a great, beer from Mahrs. I'd buy another helles before I bought this one again.

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Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Christmas is the season of lights so it's befitting that this golden beer seem extra lustrous and bright. Christmas also comes, in this hemisphere anyhow, at the coldest time of the year so it's also relevant that its body appear so dense. With powdered snow atop it and shimmering highlights abounding, it's official: this is Christmas-approved.

The beer smells like a much heftier, more potent version of a typical German lager, which, conveniently, is essentially exactly what a bock is. Its moderately strong malt aroma offers a preview of its toasty melanoidins and also features just a snippet of pungent Noble hops. A distantly spicy quality is present too, likely stemming from the alcohol.

I'm reminded of how much I enjoy bocks: they are at once so clean and conventional but also distinct and terribly rewarding. The average beer drinker will have no trouble telling it apart from mainstream swill and yet aficionados are often too quick to dismiss their nuances. But a good bock - even a Helles like this - is every bit as distinctive as any style.

Bocks have a lot of eccentricities. Come to expect crunchy malts (shelled in toasty melanoidins), a rich pale malt flavour virtually free of sweetness, underlying Noble-hop pungency and an overarching alcohol with complex, sometimes softly fruity, esters. The alcohol notwithstanding, however, it's still quaffable like an everyday lager.

Mahr's Brau Christmas Bock might not seem "Christmas-y" on the surface but, if you think about it, it's a hearty, wholesome, warming and bright beer for a dark, cold and desolate time of year that is all about intemperance and indulgence - what's more suitable than that? And besides, it might not be the greatest bock, but it's still one fine tipple.

I'll always have a soft spot for this beer, which I first tried after it was gifted to me on Christmas Eve, and which spurred my journey into craft beer and, in that sense, may be the greatest gift I've ever received. If you have any beer drinkers on your shopping list who you'd like to see get into better beer, give them the gift of a German bock.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a pint glass this beer was gold in color with a medium-sized white head. There was a little bit of lace.

Mostly a caramel aroma, sweet. A bit outdoorsy, grassy, herbal.

Taste followed form. Caramel, fairly malty. A kiss of herbal hops.

Crisp mouthfeel.

A nice enough beer.

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Christmas Bock from Mahr's Bräu
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 247 ratings