Holzar-Bier | Der HirschBrau/Privatbrauerei Höss

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172 Ratings

Brewed by:
Der HirschBrau/Privatbrauerei Höss

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2002

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Ratings: 172 |  Reviews: 110
Photo of Sammy
3.24/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serviceable lager that is lesser known. Decent malty aroma, little head. Some hops, a pinch of roast. OK taste, with above average carbonation that works. In a word, caramel. More sweet than bitter, but balanced.Medium-light mouthfeel. Quaffable. Thanks Radek.

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Photo of metter98
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has some hues of brown and yellow with no visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high frothy off white head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of chocolate and nutty malts are present in the nose along with hints of earthy yeast.
T: The taste has flavors of chocolate and nutty malts along with a light amount of malty sweetness and hints of earthy yeast.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a fair representation of the style and goes down rather easily.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear ice tea color with a modest , but creamy head that leaves a fairly nice trace behind

Smell: Toasted brown bread, with hints of caramel and pecans

Taste: Toasted, brown bread, up front, with a developing caramel and pecan flavor; after the swallow, a bit of grain arrives, but the finish is on the sweet side

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Easy to drink but a bit on the sweet side for the style

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The memory of this beer haunts me, much like an exceptionally well written novel or an exquisitely filmed movie. There's nothing incredibly impressive in it at first, and it doesn't really stand out as being remarkable under scrutiny; yet it remains in memory, and that is a sign of brilliance. I'm continually reminded the delicate combination of malt and hop that gave it such a nice drinkability, and for that reason I've given it a five in that category.
It pours a crystal clear mahogany body that's capped by a thin layer of creamy off-white foam. The head drops, but it maintains a creamy collar and leaves some thin lace. The aroma is fresh and clean with a delicately toasted and lightly caramelish malt, and a lightly mineral-like characteristic that fades as it warms. The body is light and crisp in the mouth with a very fine carbonation. The flavor delivers a combination of almost juicy, toasted malt and spicy hops. It's not really complicated, but it is most compelling! It finishes with a short, lingering note of sweetish malt and spice. Well-balanced, refreshing, and highly drinkable with enough character to keep it interesting throughout several servings. Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the flip top bottle into a 1/2 liter stein a deep rich bronze color with a fluffy crown atop that never completely subsided,a great pour with deep rich color.Alot of caramel mixed with toasted grain in the nose,the nose suggests alot of sweetness.A little thin in the feel but it is pretty smooth,sweet caramel with underlying chocolate malts,slightly toasted flavors in the finish,a tinge iron comes into play as well.Not bad but not much complexity to the beer,I think it would be nice to drink next to a fire on a cold Bavarian night though.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of russpowell
2.42/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

No noise when the bottle opened, not a good sign. Pours dark amber with buubles clinging to the glass. Unfotunately, no head retention at all or lacing

Smell: Sweetness & brown sugar

Taste: cloying sweetness, & sickening sweet finish (past it prime I guess)

MF: Syruppy & aboslutely no carbonation

To dan sweet to be drinkable, had to pour it out. I've had this before & it was better, will try again if I'm sure its fresher. the dopplehirsch I bought from the same store was nice...caveat emptor..

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark coppery orange with amber trim. This has to be one of the lightest Munich dunkel lagers going. The firm, two finger cap is also light in color; amazingly so. The foam looks like barely toasted marshmallow and is even brighter white when it appears as lace. I don't remember ever seeing a beer with quite this combination of colors.

Holzar-Bier doesn't smell 'dark' either. The nose reminds me of an especially earthy English pale ale (to be kind) or a Euro pale lager (to be less than kind). There's no hint of anything darker than pale malt, not even a hint of toast. In short, I get no sense that the beer in my glass conforms to the stated style.

Things are better on the palate, but still far from earthshaking. Toasted, earthy Munich malt is the clear focal point, as might be expected. Still, though, we're dwelling on the lighter end of the style spectrum with no hope of finding the center. Sweet just outduels bitter, with neither one exerting much effort.

As it warms, the beer becomes more flavorful and I'm beginning to notice a mildly musky hoppiness to go along with the bitterness. The flavor profile desperately needed another element and I'm happy to report that one has been provided. As a result, although it still isn't anywhere close to outstanding, the bottom half of the bottle is more interesting than the top half.

The finish is short-medium in length, with malt outlasting hops. Even though I'm aware that the style dictates a relatively light mouthfeel, this one goes too far in that direction. A semi-lively amount of carbonation keeps things light and airy.

Der Hirsch Holzar-Bier is the light Munich dunkel lager lover's Munich dunkel lager. If you have any interest in this style whatsover, I recommend at least one bottle since you'll be amazed at how far the brewers can back off and stay true to the style. As for me, I was unimpressed by this brewery's offerings before popping open the stopper on this one... and I'm equally unimpressed now. Nice labels and bottles, though.

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Photo of Jason
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz brown flip-top bottle with no freshness date from HDT Importers Inc.

Appearance: The head is quick to form but then it drops down to only a very thin ring of lace. No stickage on the glass. Nice clarity in the dark amber brown color.

Smell: Slight dark toasted malt in the nose with suggestions of grape skin and brown bread.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Semi-viscous carbonation in a medium body which shows a creamy mouth feel. Earthy malt with toasted grain and faint caramel. Hops are mild with an ample bitterness. Clean malty palate which draws a dryness in the finish.

Drinkability & Notes: Other than lacking a good head retention this certainly an above average Dunkel Lager. Paired well with a couple of beer steamed bratwursts and cabbage.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was actually a bit of a suprise with how good it was. Poured a deep dark brown with a huge billowing white head that settled down to reveal some subtle lacing that was quite nice. Smell was of caramel, grains, and breads, yeast primarily. Taste was typical brown lager. Some subtle spiceness, great all around flavor. Lots of earthy tones, with a ever so slight sweetness. Mostly malts on this one. This was a decent beer, extremely sessionable and a samn fine call. A corked bottle to makes it a nice treat!

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Photo of Slatetank
3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a1/2 litre swingtop brown bottle w/o freshness date into a goblet.

A - A very attractive deep brown w/ amber highlights w/ a creamy white head. The 1 finger head stays for a while until it gradually leaves smatterings of lace.

S - Big Vegetal Smell!, like cooked peas or asparagus. A light nut aroma with roasted malts swimming under the surface.

M - Rich, full and creamy -round softness with good carbonation. There is a semi-dry fnish with some residual sugars.

T - The vegetal flavors are here also, otherwise great flavors at the introductory sip. Nutty caramel w/ a not too sweet/light spice flavor and a tinge of wood. A subtle metallic taste lingers, but the well cooked pea taste stays on for the full ride.

D - Pretty easy to quaff, light & creamy and not too sweet. I would drink this with peas and asparagus next time to see which it tastes more like. It might bring out some of the beers muted qualities as well.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark amber. Nose is mild. Slight grainy edge. A touch of malts. A bit of sweetness to it. Flavor has a good body to it with a thick malt influence that provides a hearty experience. Feel is pretty good with a slightly lower than average amount of carbonation. Drinakble, sure. I can't classify this as a great beer though. Even if you pass on trying it, you might not really be missing out on much.

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Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml swing-top bottle:

Pours medium brown with dark coppery hues. A thin bubbly off-white head struggles to stay alive, but does so in the form of a slowly vanishing wide patch. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of caramel, a touch of honey and some floral notes.

The taste is sweet - caramel and honey - with a slight touch of tart and some tea-like spicing to give it a bitterish touch that fades and leaves a mostly sweet finish. Sweet, but not too sticky.

It has a medium-ish, crisp, smooth body.

I expected it to lean sweet, per the style, but there's a honey-ish sweetness in this one that limits drinkability for me, though I did enjoy the bottle well-enough. A solid, sweet, dunkel lager, though nothing great - it does have some balance - might be better fresher (? - no freshness date).

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Photo of liamt07
3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, part of a giftpack. 500ml swingtop into a pint glass.

Poured a clear burgundy/brown, with a lofty and dense off-white head. Sticky lace, moderate retention. Nose of light honey sweetness, nuts, woodiness and some fruit esters. Taste is similar, earthy and spicy hops here, something that I guess I perceive as a general 'woodiness.' Toffee malt as well. Good smooth mouthfeel, medium low carbonation. Nice drink.

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Photo of stevoj
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking zwickel, with thick airy head. Amber body, malty nose with slight nutty aroma. taste is light malt with extremely light palate. I have the matching glass, which really adds to the experience.

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Photo of WesWes
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a light, yet malty scent that boasts of crystal malts and dry lager yeast; very sweet smelling. The taste is good. It has a light, malty flavor which is dominated with crystal malts. It goes down easy and refreshes. It leaves a sweet aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with a little less than adequate carbonation. This is a fine tasting Dunkel, but the mouthfeel and appearance suck. Add some carbonation, please.

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Photo of dar482
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

The beer comes in a medium brown color.

The beer offers a pop of toasted malt in the front. Then onto a sweet spice and nutty toasted flavor. The beer dries out on the finish with some lager yeast.

A good example of this classic style.

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Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of spinrsx
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear light brown colour with an average size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and some fair lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - breads/grains, malts, raisins, apples

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it feels very light on the tongue. Most of the taste consists of malts paired with breads and grains. There are also fruity notes of apples and dark fruits. (raisins?) The beer finishes with a malty dark fruit slightly bitter aftertaste.

Drink - out of all of the Der Hirsch Brau beers I've tried so far; I think I enjoyed this one the most. Pretty flavourful and definitely sesionable.

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Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holzar-Bier looks dark, but it's not the least hostile to light. Its submissively clear body allows highlights to run-a-muck of its supposedly dusky complexion, trumping the raisin-y tone with near glittering flashes of tawny, ruby and a bottom-laying golden kindling. Its head is hardly more than a mist but manages to mark the glass with tiny sudsy scratches.

The aroma is faintly - but pleasantly - sweet. It is something like a cognac or sherry reduction, a sugar-rich concentrate with dark fruit intonations and a certain earthiness gained from musty, resiny hops. And, distinct to the style, there's also the impression of grains toasting in an oven which adds some volume as well as sumptuous bready notes.

That taste of toasty, dark, grainy, wholesome bread crusts runs over this thing like the bulls of Pamplona. Dark fruits and Skor bar trail behind and, having passed over the palate last, linger there the longest. There's more of those resiny notes too. But none of this is as rich as it sounds, however, because the flavours are diluted by a few parts water.

Which, despite thinning out flavours that might otherwise be decadent, does at the same time make the beer that much more easily quaffed. The sweetness never becomes cloying and disappears faster than a cheap friend ducking out when the check comes. And the unconventional aftertaste of prunes doesn't distract much from its clean lager character.

I decided to open Holzar-Bier tonight because its label has a guy out in the snow chopping wood and I, in the midst of snowy, sub-freezing temperatures, have opted to light a fireplace. Turns out the beer is just as suited to the occasion as the label. Then again, a crisp and flavourful lager like this is appropriate for any time of the year.

Pretty much all German lagers are engineered for easy drinking, Munich Dunkels are no exception. In that regard, this get's its job done. As far as being 'characterized by depth and complexity' as the guidelines call for, this leaves something to be desired. In other words, Holzar-Bier is good for drinking, not savoring. Buyers bare that in mind.

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Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsener glass. Had a brown color and a somewhat clear consistency. There was a good half inch of creamy head and some good lacing.

S: Not an overwhelming smell, but nice. Malt, a little hops and some sugary element.

T: Flavor consisted of toasted malt, maybe a little caramel and some hops. A fairly well executed taste.

M: A good amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a drinkable beer. It didn't blow me away by any means, but it's a well made beer.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of jdhilt
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-finger white head that fades quickly and leaves a little lace. Light-medium carbonation, light to medium bodied. Color is clear amber. Light malty nose. Starts sweet, finishes light with very little aftertaste. $2.95 for a 500ml bottle at Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of corby112
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark amber/coppery color with dark golden orange hues when held to a light source and a 2 finger fizzy foam head that quickly fades into a thin ring.

Earthy hoppy aroma with some roasted maltiness, caramel, toffee and hazelnut. Also, I'm picking up a bit of champagne yeast and dark fruit.

Roasted malt flavor with a lot of earthy hops of front and a lot of smooth caramel, toffee, hazelnut and chocolate notes. Surprisingly hoppy for a German beer with a good amount of bready yeast. Very drinkable without being watered down. Subtle clove spiciness and a refreshing champagne effervescence. Slightly dry finish.

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Photo of wl0307
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle comes with two other beers in a gift pack, brought back to London by my GF from the Munich Airport~~ Coming in a 500ml brown swing-top bottle, BB 19/08/2007, served chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: dark chestnut brown in colour, elegant flows of gentle fizziness and an off-white foamy head that settles quickly to a white sheet…
S: a refreshing sour edge of lager on top of plenty of nutty and brown-sugary note of dark malts and aromatic hoppyness, but very mild and refreshingly clean…
T: a mouthful of melted brown-sugar (not sweet) hand in hand with a fulsome yet lubricating flow of ground nuts and steamed lotus-roots, showing a semi-full texture/body on the palate… the healthy dose of sourness as in a pale lager follows every sip, while the subdued hop bitterness also lingers rather elegantly in the aftertaste along with a faint touch of roasted malts… in the remote end emerges a mild sugary touch as well.
M&D: the texture is clean and refreshingly fizzy, befitting for the balanced flavour profile and medium body. Overall, the beer shows a rather subtle flavour profile, more subtle than many other Munich Dunkel that I’ve tried...

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Holzar-Bier from Der HirschBrau/Privatbrauerei Höss
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 172 ratings
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