Holzar-Bier | Der HirschBrau/Privatbrauerei Höss

171 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 171 |  Reviews: 110
Photo of JBogan
2.68/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a think looking dark brown with no carbonation, like a flat soda. Not much head to speak of, however it did leave a bit of lacing.

Smelled of coffee and malts.

Taste was similar to the smell, mostly a coffee presence with a fair amount of alcohol in there also.

Not much in the way of mouthfeel, rather flat and uninspiring.

Not a bad beer by any means, just not something I'd seek out again. Perhaps a beer best served on the warm side, on a cool fall or winter evening. I've had much better beers of this type, but this will do in a pinch.

 552 characters

Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark brown color that reminds me of coke with a nice head that goes away fairly slow but leave no lacing at all and doesn't stick around until the bottom of the glass. smells of malts and caramel. taste is malty with a touch of bitterness that dances on the tongue. it lingers in your mouth for a little while before leaving you wanting more. I enjoy this beer and would have another one!

 400 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

 952 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cola like brown color with a small off-white head, nothing special going on here. The smell is of roasted malt, has a raisin bread aroma to it. The taste is pretty flavorful, nice lightly roasted malt backbone, raisin breadiness, a good balance between the bitter and sweet. The feel is light and not as crisp as a lager should be. Quite a drinkable brew, goes down easy with no offensive flavors and good balance.

 422 characters

Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a bright, amber brown beer with a thick head, which collapses very slowly.

Smell is very malty and has some sulfuric notes, a typical German smell. Some light hoppiness is also present.

Taste is malty, again with the sulfuric and husky taste. The dark, caramel malts give the beer a woody, marmelade and light husky taste. Also something that reminds me of wort and biscuit, even some chocolate. I guess these are the burned malts which give a maltbitter. Mouthfeel is good, dry and not sticky. Drinkability is almost perfect, roasty and dry, which make the beer go down very easily.

 605 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a .5L Swing top to a tall glass mug. The liquid is a very good looking light brown with ok carbonation. The head is small 1 finger, light tan and bubbly, it leaves almost no lace.

The smell is a very nice sweet toasty malt with nice hops coming through.

The taste is also sweet, very sweet, and toasty. Lind of like a lightly toasted sweet bread, Some fruity notes and a full hopy finish. Nice change of pace.

The mouthfeel is very good. Nice medium body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is very good. Great drinking style and a very fine version of it. Prosit. MK

 594 characters

Photo of CharlieMopps
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rustic and transparent brown hue, topped by a bubbly three inch head that dissipates to about half an inch in a minute or two when poured into a pilsner glass.

S: A sweet and grainy malt nose, somewhat of a clean profile, and a bit of light hoppiness as well, almost grassy.

T: A pretty well-balanced taste, however weak each side may be. Malt presence is subtle, and shows itself at the introduction, followed by a watery and carbonated middle washing into a light hop bitterness that lingers in the finish.

M: Carbonated appropriately, but a rather light-bodied beer with flavors that don't overpower.

D: Due to this, the drinkability would definitely make it easy to kick a few of these back, and could serve as an "old standby" kind of beer, but nothing too spectacular. Still, a fresh and refreshing German beer like this, brewed to the Reinheitsgebot, can be hard to turn a nose up at.

 915 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
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!

 513 characters

Photo of jkaufman
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured the entire contents of the 22oz bottle into a tankard.

Appearance: The head started out as 1" thick or so then receded to a thin film, leaving a slight lacing on the sides of the glass, then it thinned out to nothing with no lacing. Pours thin and clear with a deep reddish-tan color. Carbonation is not very visible. Mostly true to the style. Looked very tasty immediately after pouring, not so much near the end.

Smell: Caramel sweetness, but not very aromatic in general.

Taste: Definitely sweet, but hop content becomes evident as well as the once-hidden carbonation. Nicely balanced at first but finishes a bit hoppy and watery, then a little sweet.

Mouthfeel: Thin, lightly cabonated. Not much stays behind in your mouth.

Drinkability: It is definitely drinkable, but not rich and complex. I finished it off much sooner than I expected.

Worth a try.

 882 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL swingtop, served in a pilsner glass. It pours a dark copper/mahogany with medium carbonation and a two-finger, almost creamy head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is spicy/grassy, a little sweet, with caramel and perhaps some dark fruits. There are toasted/caramel malts on the palate, with green/spicy Noble hops that contribute grass/fresh hay and a bitterness that starts mild but increases slightly as I drink. The body is medium to full, with medium carbonation, and it leaves a light to medium finish. Overall a more-than-adequate dunkel that is fairly refreshing and definitely sessionable.

 606 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
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...

 1,183 characters

Photo of russpowell
2.42/5  rDev -33.5%
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..

 510 characters

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

This beer starts with a dark, red, transparent, pour into my glass. It contains golden highlights. It has a very small head which dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing. There is sweet, very unhoppy nose to this beer. I can gather some molasses, caramel and something that smells like brown sugar. There is nothing floral about it at all. The taste and mouthfeel was somewhat lackluster. It had a medium body with the taste of molasses really sitting on the tip of my tongue. Very little carbonation as was expected. It goes down very smooth because of this. A slight bitterness sneaks out during the swallow along with a metallic lager taste which doesn't effect the flavor, but is noticable. All in all i think this beer is pretty good, but not great. It is my first dunkel lager and i went into tasting this purely on my taste and not comparing it to the style. If you like octoberfest beers that are sweeter you will like this beer.

 943 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

 2,022 characters

Photo of maxpower
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml swing top bottle pours a clear amber color with a decent off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Fruity sweet aroma, nutty, caramel flavors. Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, finishes sweet. Very tasty and drinkable, I would like another one.

 274 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.07/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is toasty malts, hay and summer grass. Amber/brown in color with a fast fading white head. Flavor is sweet malts with a very low hop presence. Fruits and sweetbread flavors dominate from fore to finish. The sweetness tastes a little like molasses soaked pancakes after a while and it does indeed get old, but with the right food I could see this being very enjoyable.

 373 characters

Photo of kkipple
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm the first to admit that I usually -- usually, mind -- don't care for lagers. I prefer my beers to be thicker, darker, and stronger. There are exceptions, but they're few. So when I was in my favorite beverage store and overheard two large men with mustaches talking about how great this beer was, I figured, why not? It's only $2.50 for a pint and comes in a cool swing top bottle with a German woodcutter on the label. Who also happens to have a mustache. But I digress.

This "Holzar-Bier" pours a dark dark yellow, watery beer with a small head that disappears fast. Smells sweet -- mild malts, caramel, and bread-like.

I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this one. It's sweet, malty, and reminds me of pumpernickel, or perhaps that sweet black bread that you get at Outback Steakhouse. Barely bitter, this might be one of the sweetest German beers I've ever had. Leaves a nice roasted, slightly dry aftertaste. Warms the back of my throat.

Nothing about this beer is harsh or extreme, save perhaps the sweetness. It's simply tasty, and I'll likely buy it again. Who knows, more beers like this and maybe the lager style will grow on me.

 1,160 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.24/5  rDev -11%
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.

 260 characters

Photo of Sigmund
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml swingtop bottle, bought in Bier Spezi Hamburg. Brown colour, large off-white head. Malty and fruity sweet aroma (raisins), some caramel and spices too. Pleasant flavour with vinous notes, hints of oak, malts are well balanced with the hops. I won’t need wood cutting as an excuse to drink this beer. Very nice!

 318 characters

Photo of tfinn
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bail-topped half liter pours mahogany red/brown into my sahm glass. light carbonation, maybe a slight bit too light, and a quick dissipating head. "512" is dot-matrixed on the back next to the barcode. perhaps this was produced the 12th week of 2005?

scent has no hop element, just a toffee/munich malt (dunkel!) character.

initial flavor is a little sharper than some better samples I had whilst in germany a few weeks ago (andechser comes to mind) but seems within the parameters for a munich-style dunkel. I'd score half a point higher here, but I believe this sample is a little oxidized. finish is slightly grainy and clean, with just enough hops to break the malt, but not astringent or harsh -- more drying.

mouthfeel is light with small pinprick carbonation. bitterness is primarily at the sides back of the tongue, but really it's more a drying sensation rather than outright bitter. I get the sense of light minerals, but that could also be due to the oxidation.

drinkability is high due to the "drink more" drying finish, and the flavor is pleasant but not overpowering. I could easily drink a mass of this with a large brezel (if only). I just wish it was a little bit fresher, but the US importer is located in Portland, so there is hope of locating a younger sample.

funny that I picked this up tonight, considering I was on my way home thinking ''I need to find a dunkel". it was destiny.

 1,418 characters

Photo of paterlodie
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 25-01-06. Nice head and a darkbrown beercolour. Nose is malts, hops and alcohol harmonicly melted together and overal fresh and full malty. Good taste giving a full mouth of darkmaltcomponents with hint of roastmalz and nice and well dosed bitterness on this dunkel. Overal good brew with fine not too high carbonisation and plesant mouthfeel. Yes to me one to enjoy on a nice but quiet cold day after a morning working in the garden. Goes wonderfully with bread and cheese.

 477 characters

Photo of xoqx
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Drab brown and not particularly alive looking. Has a stale appearance with very little life to it. One finger head and average lacing.

Smell – Malty and citrusy. Not much else.

Taste – Medium malts out step the subtle hops and there is a slight wet-cardboard taste and a very nice spicy finish. The spice never gets in front of the overly watery taste.

Mouthfeel – Light and watery.

Drinkability – I won’t seek this one out again. I’d like a dunkel to be more malty and pronounced in its flavor. I didn’t find any of the understatement here to seem intentional.

 594 characters

Photo of blackie
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the swing-top bottle producing a thin white head. The color of the beer is almost mahogany, but not quite as dark.

Smells of sweet malt barely offset by some german hops. Hints of sweet dark fruit, sourwood honey, and a slight metallic hint.

Carbonation is pretty low (too much so) and body is medium with some amount of slickness on the tongue.

Initial taste is of moderately dark, sweet malt...very smooth. I rather enjoy the slight sweetness of this beer. It is sweet, but only just to the point of being almost sticky. After that some light hops come into play, but only slightly. Finishes with a little sweetness in the nasal passages and some light bitterness on the tongue.

 701 characters

Photo of futaboots
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up in Helen, GA, from the only liquor store that sold good german beer in a *gasp* GERMAN THEMED TOWN.

While I was in Georgia, visiting a beer store in Atlanta, I overheard one supposedly beer connoisseur proclaim to the store clerk "I fucking hate lagers, to me, all lager's are fucking crap."

Well, that guy was an idiot, who obviously never drank a schwarzbier in his life, or a doppelbock, or this particular beer, which is by no means a pale fizzy lager.

This isn't a big beer in terms of alcohol, nor am I rating it particurarily high, but there is loads of flavor here, and I like it well enough. So on to the actual review.

Appearance is dark brown. Head is impressive at first, but quickly dies down to a thin layer of foam.

Smell's malty, enough to notice, but overall the aroma is moderate.

Taste. You know that grapejuice taste you get from drinking some beers, well it's here all right. Normally I don't like it at all. Perhaps I'm getting used to it, perhaps it's only subtley making it's presence known here, but I don't think it detracts from this brew much. Overall this lager has got lots of complex flavor going on. It is also very drinkable, not too heavy in body or mouthfeel, I could definitely see myself consuming many pints of this in a night.

Overall, another good, though not really great, German beer. Further proof that the number of good beers in this world outnumbers all the mediocre swill.

 1,463 characters

Photo of sabrills70
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear ruby/brown with a finger head and very good lace. Aroma of a nice caramel malt with just hints of hops. Flavors of caramel and toffee with a hint of coffee and chocolate. Medium carbonation. Fairly well balanced, hop presence is not strong at all but the malt presence is not overwhelming either. Finishes crisp and dry and is very drinkable. A nice dunkle in a nice bottle.

 396 characters

Holzar-Bier from Der HirschBrau/Privatbrauerei Höss
3.64 out of 5 based on 171 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.