Hofbräu Winter Spezial | Hofbräuhaus München

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Hofbräu Winter SpezialHofbräu Winter Spezial

Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
2012 Version was a Helles Bock
2015+ Version is a Doppelbock

Added by steveh on 12-05-2012

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Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 55
Photo of metter98
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear and a light shade of yellow and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bready malts and floral and grassy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has some notes of grain plus hints of spices towards the finish. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied and rather clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: While this beer feels lighter compared to other maibocks, it doesn’t seem watery and the flavors are pretty good. It is rather drinkable. I would recommend this as a beer to try for a novice craft beer drinker that wants to sample this style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Getting an early jump on things, the style usually reserved for spring religious observances lands in the season where those deep, dark and savory flavors are most needed- the winter time.

Dark golden and with amber low lights, the somber and simmering lager builds an eggshell lather with aromas of toasted granola, candied almond, dark fruit and mulled honey. Biscuity sweet and rich with graham cracker, light port and an overall savory appeal, the beer’s initial taste is all about the malt.

Yet over the tongue, the lager shows incredible lightness without giving up on savory impressions. Date, fig and cherry follow a light marzipan vanilla spice with the foundation of bread crust and pecan remaining firm. Herbal bitterness takes an edge off of the residual sweetness and provides a minty, tea-like taste late.

Modestly full, the beer’s texture is rounded and rich, but its smoothness suggests something lighter, brighter and much more drinkable than its strength suggests. Mild simmering warmth provides a smooth spice to join the minty hops in a medium-length after glow.

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Photo of AngusOg
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a snifter.

I usually dig these darker German style beers, so I had high hopes. But this one fell a bit short. To start, this has a bit of strange smell that I can best describe as maynaise like. Fortunately, the taste is a little better, but still a bit skunky as I have come to expect from beers from green glass, and also seems a bit more sweet in the finish than I would have expected for this style, making it a bit of a chore finish my 12 oz. I definitely won't be picking up any more in the future, as there are much better dark German lagers out there.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Hofbrau's Winter Spezial last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I had an extra space in the six pack I was making and I decided to take a chance on this beer, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I think it's fairly fresh, 2012 vintage. Poured from a green 11.2oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it's got that typical Hofbrau look to it with a nice winter scene in the background. It poured a pale yellow color that took on a nice golden hue when held to the light with three fingers worth of fluffy white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it didn't leave much lacing behind. This was a looking beer, the appearance was pretty true to style.

S- The aroma starts of with a good amount of malts that have a higher amount of medium sweetness to them and impart lot of grain and bread like aromas followed by a slight bit of honey. After that comes a slight German yeast aroma followed by some earthy hops towards the end. The aroma was pretty close to a Maibock but it held on to a lot of those crisp and grainy Helles aromas, it's nice.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma, it starts off with a good amount of malts that have a medium amount of sweetness to them and impart some grains, bread, and bread crust like flavors followed by a light yeast flavor. Next comes some honey which sticks out just enough and it's followed by some earthy and slightly grassy hops that impart a light amount of bitterness. This is beer tasted good and it was true to style, I liked it.

M- Pretty smooth, crisp, slightly creamy, medium bodied with a good amount of slightly higher medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good, I liked how it was a little thicker then I expected.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and pretty damn good example of the style, it had lots of crisp and clean flavors without being too light, I enjoyed it. This beer had great drinkability, it was very smooth, with just enough flavor to hold my attention, I could see drinking more then a few of these when in the mood, it seems like this beer would really be nice in the summertime, it's pretty sessionable. What I liked the most about this beer was the drinkability and the mouthfeel, they were both pretty good and they worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer is that it's marketed as a winter seasonal, I think it would do much better as a summertime beer. I would buy this beer again, but it's only available by the case or singles and I know it won't be around long, but I would buy a couple next year and I would recommend this beer to just about anyone. All in all I was happy with this beer, it didn't really have any aspects to it that made me think it's a winter seasonal, but it was still good nonetheless and would make for a pretty good session beer and I know it would be great with a nice brat and some German mustard. This was another really solid beer from Hofbrau, one of my favorite German breweries.

2014s was like a cross of a helles and maibock, I liked it just about as much as the first one I tried.

2015 edit, this years is good, it's a dopplebock and it's like a german version of Founders Old Dirty bastard, I like this one, it's my favorite so far.

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Photo of pkalix
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

super light, thought this would be dark(er)? no head....
smells like a cross of heineken and regular hofbrau....
taste... cross between a heineken and a regular hofbrau. nothing too inspiring...
hofbrau... the ultimate commercial brew.... but this aint it.
overall? pi$$ beer. a little hard? maybe. but this aint worth your money. commercial is as commercial does. hofbrau regular, actually dunkel, is decnt commercial. dont waste your money on this swill....

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

Thoroughly enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This FINE bock pours a bright and clear ruby red mahogany with a very nice head of light tan foam that settles to a a thin layer and thick ring with nice lacing. Nose of brown sugars, dark fruits, baked bread, and zesty hops. Flavors exceed the nose with sweet brown sugar malts, light breaded malts, raisin, light cherry, and a crisp herbal hop note on the rear. Great mouth feel; full and satisfying, medium carbonation, and warming alcohol on the back.

Best Hofbrau brew have ever had.

Confused from past reviews. This is a dopple done right.


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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sampled back on 1/3/16. Comes in a 330ml (11.2 ounce) green bottle. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "Blue 10" billiard flute glass.

Brew pours a mahogany in color with a thin off-white head. Some decent lacing was seen when sipped. Aroma is of malts and yeast with some spices. Taste is close to the nose with some spicy hops in the mix also with a hint of brown sugar. Pretty smooth and goes down easy with no harsh or bitterness at all. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Really enjoyed this brew.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml green bottle. Pours brown with tall, long lasting, fluffy, off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of noble hops, dark fruit
and toasted malt. Body is medium and smooth. Grassy hops, spices, toasted malt and dry fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long and spicy. Tasty brew.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I guess this is the first year Hofbrau bottled (or made?) this. I think its awesome...the old world breweries trying new things. You don't see many christmas beers out of Germany.

A-i didn't expect such a light colored beer. translucent golden with a lot of bubbles with a nice white head. looks like a true bavarian lager!

S-smells so refreshing! especially after drinking so many gimmicky christmas ales lately. it smells how a german beer ought to smell. fresh and crisp grassy grains. has a touch of honey to it, i think i'm going to like this. decent strength, decent quality.

T-comes in tasting amazing actually. it just really tastes like an extremely crisp grainy lager from germany! nothing christmas to it actually...which is a relief this season. there's a decent bitterness to it, and it keeps a strong matching after-taste. you can really taste the grains in this one. some honey, some grass as well.

M-high creamy carbonation with a creamy finish. very quaffable.

O-I bought one bottle. I should've bought more. This is just way too drinkable. Maybe not the most flavorful beer I've had lately, but it does have flavor, and i wouldn't mind having a full fridge of this. its just really filling all my german cravings. go out and try this. you'll wish you didn't decide to drive!

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz green bottle. A little confusion about this one as I've seen reviews describing a lighter beer than the one I have in front of me. My bottle reads 8.4% ABV and has the name "DELICATOR" on the back label.

It pours a murky, deep ruby-brown color with a giant, rocky, tan head that rises well above the lip of the glass. Took me about 5 mins to pour the entire bottle into my glass.

Aroma is a bit subdued but comprised of toasted malt and plums. Rich, sweet malt flavor with a sharp bite at the end from the hops.

Medium-full bodied with a luscious, creamy texture. Heavy sweetness that borders on cloying, but it's so clean and smooth that the sweetness avoids becoming excessive.

Tasty brew and I'm glad I didn't fall victim to the green bottle skunk monster that has plagued me in various other Hofbräu beers.

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

Clear, golden yellow with a dense white head that holds up well. Bready malt nose with some vague skunk from the green bottle, but not distracting. Some mild, spicy hops mixed with the alcohol.

This appears to be an amped up Munich Helles, but very good - fresh character. Bready and mildly sweet with some alcohol pepperiness. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft with a medium to heavy body -- mildest syrupiness.

This could easily be mistaken as a Maibock or Helles Bock, but HB doesn't call out any style on the label, and it's nothing like their Spring seasonal.

A very nice strong German beer.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark, ruby red with a thin white head, and no carbonation. Sweet malt smell with hop and a slight dark fruit, possibly cherry smell. A very malty taste with some nice barley, hop and yeast mix that makes it not only tasty, but very balanced. Again, the dark fruit also comes to the palate finishing off this nice offering from Hofbrau.

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Photo of Acforster2
4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 edition doppelbock 8.4% abv is malty and tasty but not too sweet. Would make an excellent winter warmer if we ever get any cooler temperatures this winter. Recommended.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1/3/16 Chicago (11.2 oz bottle 8.4% ABV, poured into beer glass). Very dark brown colour, generous white/tan head, very heavy carbonation. Very nice aroma of malt and brown sugar. Texture very light, very smooth and easy drinking. Pleasant taste of hops and malts, with a hint of raisin. Overall very good beer and I’m glad I picked this up this Christmas!!!

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Photo of lastmango
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful dark copper brown with a two finger head. Minimal lacing. Nose is of browns sugar and malt. This is a bit sweeter than expected and my sixer also had 8.4% ABV, which sneaks up on you. Flavor is toasty malt with mild yeasty bread following by a bit of winter spices. Medium body and carbonation, the latter of which dissipates a little too quickly in my opinion. On the tail end is a slight hop crispness. Overall this is a very nice bock.

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Photo of Myboymi
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The 2016 has a higher alcohol @ 8.4%
Poured from a 11.2 fluid ounce bottle.
A beautiful dark brown color, nice lacing.
Toasty malt with a hint of coffee at the end.
Very good winter brew!

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a cloudy orangy-brown porter color. One inch, head withhold lacing and sweet malty nose. Drank smooth with hints of caramel and orange. Medium, nicely balanced body.

I wasn't expecting nearly as much from this beer as it delivered. Would drink/serve/recommend it again.

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Photo of spartan1979
4.36/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has to be a different beer than the reviews from 2+ years ago as it's a beautiful cooper color, rich and malty, 8.4% ABV with plenty of melanoidin flavor and hints of dried fruits. The back label says "Munich Specialty/DELICATOR" which indicates to me that it's a Doppelbock. Very tasty. If you haven't had this in while, it's worth revisiting.

From a bottle purchased on 11-25-15,

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Photo of harleyridr63
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is actually 8.4% abv as per the bottle.It has an excellent taste without the bitterness or strong alcohol taste.Not quite as sweet as Hofbrau Maibock, but It's equally as pleasing. Overall a spectacular beer.Purchased 12/07/15

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Hofbräu Winter Spezial from Hofbräuhaus München
3.85 out of 5 based on 55 ratings.
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