Mahr's Christmas Bock | Mahr's Bräu

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Mahr's Christmas BockMahr's Christmas Bock

Brewed by:
Mahr's Bräu

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by maxpower on 12-16-2003

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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 246
Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
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 Ghenna
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a peepee yellow with a quickly dissipating white head.

Smells generically spicey and malty. Taste is a bit of citrus and spice up front, with a very dry finish.

Tight bubbles and carbonation, the only thing that lingers in the mouth is the dryness.

Not really a lot to this beer. :(

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Photo of plfahey
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Wow. Not at all what I was expecting out of a winter bock-looks like a Helles bock. Pale gold in color, and just a little bit hazy. Medium frothy white, with fair retention. Not bad necessarily, just not at all what I thought it'd be.

Aroma-Light sweet grain with a mild bready/honey aroma. Moderate floral noble hop aroma, and some light fruity esters (apples, pears, strawberries).

Flavor-Well-attenuated Pils malt flavors mix with a hint of noble hop flavor before being swept away a smooth alcohol finish. While the finish is not bad or harsh, the flavor profile is a bit lacking here.

Mouthfeel-medium to medium-full body. Moderate carbonation. Very slight alcohol warmth and smooth as hell. Definitely hits the mark here.

Not a bad beer, but it doesn't seem to style. Many people have already said it, but it doesn't hurt to reiterate-there's nothing christmas-y about this one. Its quite pale, not spiced, and frankly seems more like a helles bock or maibock than a christmas beer. Still, quite drinkable. I tried not to dock it too hard for being so out of place, but if I were to judge this as a Christmas beer, it would be in the "C" range at the highest.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ST: One point poured into a wine glass.

A: Dull copper with a thin white head. It leaves behind very nice lacing. When held to the light, the beer takes on a burnished gold appearance and slow carbonation is visible.

S: Some malt, and a hint of hops. This beer does not have a strong aroma.

T: Sweet malty grains flow into biscuit flavors. It finishes dry and with some hops, it also leaves a bit of a green taste on the tongue.

M: On the lighter side of medium body.

D: Smooth and not heavy, it has pleasant malt and flavor, but is not heavy like most other Christmas beer.

Overall: A nice German holiday beer. Unlike many Christmas seasonal releases, this beer is not heavy or extremely complex. It has some nice sweet malt with a spine of hops. Is an enjoyable beer, but if you are looking for the typical heavy seasonal, this beer is not for you.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours a pale goldenrod with a medium frothy head, good retention and lace.

S: Sweet bready malt, raisins, strawberry.

T: Heavy bready malt, full flavour, I enjoyed the sweetness of this brew. Feels like a big maibock.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, very easy drinking per the style.

D: I expected a so-called Christmas bock to be a bit darker, but the flavours are excellent especially for a lighter bock, a style I'm not not the biggest fan of. For my tastes a springtime brew, but in CA let's go Yuletide.

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Photo of claspada
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber color; not too far off from other lighter lager styles. Head's large and white; lasts longer than I am used to.

Smells indistinctly malty. Picking up a little bit of noble hop character, too. Not very complex but good non the less.

The taste reminds me of a helles bock, but not a normal bock, or am I just used to dobbelbock, I don't remember. I drink too much.

Malted grain, sweet biscuty malts are in the middle, and noble hops make the finish bone dry. Very delicious, one of the better German beers I have had of late that's for sure. 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.
Split this with my friend who literally just got off a plane from Oktoberfest and he enjoyed this as well which says something because he just had a crap load of lager fresh for like a week.
In general I don't think I'm as much of a fan of the pale bocks, but this is still a great example of the style for those that do.

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Photo of Durge
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This German special shows a clear yellow gold color with a decent spotty white cover and excellent lacing. The aroma says clean fruit and wheat, white grapes. Pleasant. The flavor is similar with mellow wheat and sweet grape. It's nicely blended in a solid medium bodied brew that is very drinkable. The feel is smooth and easy with fair carbonation to keep it lively. This is hard to describe but is plenty enjoyable, oddly mild for the style yet not wimpy. A very solid bock though I'm not sure I get the Christmas connection. Nice label though!

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Photo of maltlikker
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear amber with a billowing off-white head which dissipates slowly leaving thick lacing. Color is much lighter than I expected.

Grassy citrus aroma. Smooth honey bread taste with a kiss of floral hop bitterness at the end to balance it out.

Creamy mouthfeel and moderate carbonation make this very drinkable - delicious! I don't know what makes it a Christmas Bock though....

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Photo of mrmanning
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a yellowish straw coloured body with a white head that was gone in seconds. Aroma was hoppy ,lemony, grassy, and of grains and pale malts.. Taste was bitter-sweet, wheat, and slight caramel. Nice bitter bite here but I am not sure this is what I expected.

 261 characters

Photo of bob3701
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner style glass. Poured a clear golden yellow with a big fluffy head that hung around for a while until going into a thick film that laced pretty good. Aroma wise I only got a slight sour wiff. Very malty and sweet with only the tiny hint of hops. Was suprised by this beer was expecting a darker brew but more maibock in style. Very mellow and easy drinking.

 377 characters

Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 481 characters

Photo of Mora2000
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to ericandersavy for sharing this bottle.

Pours medium-dark brown with an off-white head. The aroma is malt with some spices. Smell is reminiscent of the spices you find in an apple pie. The flavor is lacking. What is there is sweet malt with some cherry and spices. Medium body and carbonation.

 304 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vigrous pour into a Hefeweizen glass yields a three-finger rocky white head fading quickly to nothing over a clear amber body.

Smell has an interesting nutty note up front (kind of like and English brown?), with hints of fruit (prunes, cherries) and slight note of chocolate. Smells really good.

Taste is a bit of a let-down after the aroma. Dominant note up front is a soapy-nutty flavor. Next comes metallic-bitter-pine hoppiness. Then the finish is a bit sloppy and non-descript: I'd swear there are some adjuncts in there.

Mouthfeel is not too bad: a decent roundness.

Drinkability is pretty decent as well.

Overall, a decent beer, though for the life of me I can't tell you what's "Christmas" about this beer.

 721 characters

Photo of peabody
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a really clear slightly bubbly yellow to yellow amber with 1/2 finger of suds. No lacing.
Smell is weak corriander and cinnamon. Weak but overall nice aroma.
Taste is a weak mishmash of bitter hops and very slight spices.
Mouthfeel is watery and boring. Nothing to stick to the insides of the mouth.
Drinkability would be OK if this were a better tasting brew.

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Photo of corby112
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up on a recent Christmas beer run.

Pours a pale golden orange color with pale golden yellow hues when held to a light source and a three finger fizzy white head that quickly fades unto a thin lasting ring. Sporadic sotty lacing.

Earthy grassy aroma with bitter soily hops, bready yeast, subtle spice and pilsner malt.

Fuller bodied and much more complex and flavorful than expected based on it's appearance. A good amount of bready yeast contributes to the fullness of the body. There is also a light crisp fruit presence, mostly of apple, pear and subtle citrus. Lots of dry crisp wintery spice notes, especially hints of peppery zest, cinnamon and Christmas pastries. Sweet with a nice balance of subtle malt and spice with a dry finish.

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Photo of Gavage
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy pale yellow color with a short 1/2" head. Little lace develops.

Smell: malt sweetness and some grassiness is detectable.

Taste: malt sweetness is moderate with some honey, pepper, pears, and a mild breadiness. Nice bitterness balances it out.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and a bit dry late. Aftertaste is short as sweetness lingers and leaves the mouth quickly.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this one. Worth giving this one a try.

 492 characters

Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a solid gold color with OK head retention and very little lacing. Nose is fairly attractive, with honey, bread dough and light pepper. Flavors replicate the nose, except the beer has an impressive amount of flavor for a 6% abv. beer. The beer is light on its feet, and drinkability is very good.

This is very easy to understand, easy to appreciate beer from Mahrs. Sure, it's nothing extraordinairy, but it's very easy to enjoy and appreciate.

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Photo of popery
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not so great bock. This beer is just too sweet. It tastes a bit like a simple unhopped beer in an unpleasant, malt extract way. The beer is a hazy amber-brown with a rocky white that dissipates quickly. The aroma is mostly caramel and malt. The flavor is sweet with a bad finish. The mouthfeel is too thin and a bit sticky. I won't be buying this again.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip from 16.9oz fresh on date

A: Pours a burnt chocolate brown that is mostly opaque but not entirely, nice creamy two finger head forms and slowly recedes leaving a nice cap of pillowy goodness on top and excellent lacing as it falls.

S: Really not too much to speak of, faint roasted malt and just a hint of spice...pretty subdued.

T: Much more to speak of on the palate...lots of roasted malt, a little spice, a really nice yeast profile that comes in mid palate and the finish ends with some nice crisp hops that balance it out.

M: Pretty nice mouthfeel, very classic for the bock style. Medium body with just a hint of an oily smooth feel and nice carbonation that wakes up the tastebuds but doesn't overpower the flavors.

D: Very smooth and drinkable, flavors aren't overly complex and just a nicely spiced christmas bock that gets the palate in the mood of winter!

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Photo of Vancer
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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 champ103
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear orange/brownish color. At first a one finger white head forms and recedes in an instant. No lace to speak of.
S: Toasty malt and some butter. Kind of musky. Not very aromatic or overly complex.
T: Toasted and caramel malt. Some toffee, and butter.
M/D: A medium body that is well carbonated and creamy. Very smooth and easy to drink. A nice beer to quaff.

A pretty good Bock. The nose is a little off, though overall a good beer. Something worth trying.

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Photo of SykDoc
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a deep reddish-brown that when held to the light is an almost darkened copper color. A 2+ inch beige head forms and reduces to a nice lacing.

The aroma is primarily sweet caramel malts that are relatively hidden unless it is warm. Some dark fruit notes also lurk.

The taste is similar to the aroma with a dose of dark fruit and caramel malts. A bit of alcohol is noticeable and a unique amount of noble hops, particularly at the end. A metallic taste also presents up front.

The mouthfeel was also decent but could have been stiffer. It is reasonably clean and leaves a pleasant dryness at the end. It is light/medium bodied adequate carbonation.

This is a reasonable beer. I don't think I would want more than one in a session but I do think it would be a beer that could be paired well with certain occasions.
Overall, this is an okay beer.

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Photo of aflockofshegulls
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic, all-around greatly satisfying bock. As elegantly flavorful as the best Franconian beer - a trademark of Mahrs Brau, for sure.

The color was amber-copper, with a creamy two-finger head.

Taste was gently warming, subdued fruit and and alcohol, with a strong noble hop presence. Surprisingly hoppy - not bitter, but just a perfect amount to round out the maltiness. Good mouthfeel - just a little sticky. Finish was dry, which lent itself to the great drinkability.

On tap at the Dirty Truth in Northampton, MA. Poured into a Mahrs seidel.

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Photo of philipquarles
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, dark amber-brown with a sizable light-tan head. The foam sits around for a while, eventually receding to a film with a nice amount of lacing. Smells faint at first, but after letting it warm quite a bit, I get slightly sweet caramel malt and plenty of fruit (black cherry?)--easily the most I've encountered in a lager. Toasted dark malts give it a nice roasty flavor; quite hoppy as well. More fruit here as well. Very nice and quite flavorful. Mouthfeel is also good: thick on the palate with perfect light carbonation. I could drink this all day. An excellent lager--subtle, yet full of flavor.

 612 characters

Photo of biggmike
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an attractive copper color with decent head that stuck around a little while. Aroma was of sweet maltiness and maybe some yeast. Flavor is the same with the additon of some dark fruits. Mouthfeel is correct for the style. Lacing was minimal. This is a decent beer.

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Mahr's Christmas Bock from Mahr's Bräu
3.67 out of 5 based on 246 ratings.
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