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Holsten Festbock | Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG

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Holsten FestbockHolsten Festbock
124 Ratings
Holsten FestbockHolsten Festbock

Brewed by:
Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by canadianbarman on 07-29-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 124 |  Reviews: 77
Photo of aceparadis
5/5  rDev +50.6%

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.39/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An impressive brew. not sure if I got the right style. It's a strong dark german ale. Not too heavy or thick, with a strong nutty taste The alcohol content, though high, was well masked and I was actually quite surprised when I noticed it on the can. The drinkability I had to downgrade because of the morning after, to rub that in I had 24 hour train ride. I quite liked the taste however, and if the circumstances of my first experience were better, I would be sure to make this a regular of mine.

 507 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.32/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I CAN't believe how many CANned beers are available for my consumption! I am almost ready to renounce bottles altogether in favor of CANs.

My pour got me a finger of light-tan head with decent retention. The color was a deep, dark, cola-colored brown with little light penetration. The nose had a caramel/licorice scent. The mouthfeel was medium with a lot of anise and chocolate on the tongue. The finish had a sweetish/chocolate-smoky quality. Yum!

 452 characters

Photo of A221V
4.25/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of korguy123
4.2/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tallboy can into snifter

A- Pours like thin maple syrup. Two finger white head that stays for a couple minutes. Lacing is decent.

S- Toasted malts, brown sugar, caramel.

T- Brown sugar, caramel, sour dough bread.

M- Smooth, just enough carbonation.

Overall great beer. Saw the thread on beer brats and decided to make my own. Half this can is in the pan as we speak.

 371 characters

Photo of toomanyideas
4.1/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Holsten Festbock" stands as one of my favorites in the local liquor store. It has a nice dark color, an excellent creamy head and a very smooth taste. I am surprised at the low price of this brand. Overall it feels like a beer that you would be served in a nice pub to accompany your meal. I have chosen on almost every occasion to drink this brand.

 350 characters

Photo of Curtis25
4.04/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Altbier? Is it fermented with Ale yeast? Aren't Bock's a type of lager?

I'd say this beer was closer to a double bock or a classic Octoberfest Marzen (higher gravity & alcohol than most current Octoberfest versions).

This has become my winter beer. It is full bodied & full flavoured. It is a very malty beverage, with just enough bitterness to remove any cloying sweetness. It is a little darker, and not as sweet as a Salvator.

 435 characters

Photo of MikeZ9654
4.03/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty good. I like how it tastes. Yummy!

54 characters

Photo of Socialiste
4/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of Exeter
4/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of IanSpindler
4/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of marty21
4/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of Mandrake
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with nice ruby highlights and a one finger dark tan head that dissipates fairly slowly and leaves little lacing. Smells unremarkable, some hoppiness overlying a malty background. Taste, however, is a whole different ballgame. Chocolate and licorice dominate, with burnt malts and caramel coming through as well before a bitter finish with more chocolate and some hops. Mouthfeel is thick and rewarding, but a bit syrupy, and drinkability is very nice. Surprisingly good, given the very reasonable price.

 527 characters

Photo of 49degrees
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holsten's Festbock is an exceptionally enjoyable, easy drinking beer that dishes up enough kick taste wise, aroma wise, style wise, and alcohol wise to really be considered a nice general drinking beer. But its high alcohol content (7%) does seep through in the taste which was a bit of a downer. However, if you're drinking a few brews a day, its tough to justify paying $5-10 a bottle for the great stuff, but Holsten's Festbock (obtainable locally for a mere $2.10CDN (that's $1.37USD) for a traditional 500ml can, this is not only enjoyable, its incredibly affordable.

Packaged similarly to that of their Maibock and Premium (Lager), I've made the mistake on more than one occasion of picking up the Maibock (which is considerably lighter) when I really wanted the Festbock. Nonetheless, both are enjoyable, but the Festbock is clearly the frontrunner in their lineup.

Pours surprisingly clean and crisp for a bock styled beer, with condersiderable thick frothy white head which disapates to a rather flat shallow surface murkiness., Thankfully, this one still delivers excellent (longterm) glass lacing. Exceptionally dark, hints of amber can be seen when raising your glass to a bright light.

Taste wise, Festbock presents a very nice blend of caramel, chocolate and coffee tones, with a nice blend of malts and hops to make this more than just a little enjoyable. As mentioned earlier, there is a slight hint of the alcohol coming through, but the above characterists help to gloss over that minor drawback.

I'm a fan of the bock concept with the Doppelbocks (Aventinus and Celebrator) clearly leading the ways in my book, but with the price of those at 2-4 times higher, Holsten's is a nice alternative when you've already got the important money wrapped up in the "premium" brews.

 1,801 characters

Photo of beerluvr
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fluffy sticky eggshell coloured head, nice trailing on the glass as it recedes, gorgeous deep amber/light reddish color, gentle carbonation, clear as a bell. Sweet malty nose, lots of breadiness and a light whiff of caramel with a subtle hop flower backing. Bittersweet with great balance of the two. Perfectly balanced with the hops, neither dominates..makes for a smooth easy drinking Lager. Finishes long and strong, this is a great example of the style and worth looking for.

 479 characters

Photo of BDTyre
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decent cheap Euro-beer. $2.30 for a half litre. Nice standard brown-ale/altbier appearance, but with a big fluffy head. Malts, raisins and plum scent. Malt, toffee flavour, slight hop sourness.

Good carbonation, easy on the mouth. Nice and drinkable despite the ABV. Not a bad beer - better than the Maibock.

 309 characters

Photo of funkengruven
3.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This dark brew poured with a finger thick head, smell is rather metallic, not the most appetizing but there are worse smells. Taste is smooth, slight bitterness with a malt undertone. Mouthfeel is unoffensive and the smoothness makes it pretty good to drink. The high ABV is well masked, but this can be dangerous. Overall this isn't a bad beer at all.

 352 characters

Photo of ThinkAgain
3.75/5  rDev +13%

Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev +13%

Photo of TheDeuce
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Holsten Festbock....

Appearance-dark dark dark, big foam tan head reminiscent of Murphy's Stout, the head sticks around.

Smell-dark malt with coffee nuances, some hop mixed in and chocolate/like smell on the outside.

Taste-ridiculously dark and alcoholic, but decent mix of hop and dark malt, very bitter as it nears the end and goes down.

Mouthfeel-dark and alcoholic, finishes of roasted malt and alcohol, not too bad.

Drinkability-whew, it's a job drinking one of these, but if you can more power to you.

Overall-is this a true altbier? More like a dark double bock. And not a bad one either. Definitely worth a try.

 637 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.75/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Botulizard
3.75/5  rDev +13%

Photo of DrJay
3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and very dark with ruby highlights. The short beige head produces a bit of lace and settles quickly to a thin cap. Malty, toffee aroma with plenty of sweetness and a hint of licorice. Medium bodied with mild carbonation. Sweet and malty with mild bitterness that lingers in the finish. There's quite a bit of licorice here as well. Off-dry finish with slight warming. Not a bad beer at all. The licorice character was a little unexpected, but quite nice.

 460 characters

Photo of Beers
3.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer.

It poured well into a nice dark colour. The head quickly dissipates to a light lacing.

Smells malty, something else that's hard to finger. Maybe even licorice.

It doesn't have an outstanding taste, but that's okay with me. Malty, sweet, with a bitter finish. The alcohol is a bit noticable, but not too bad. Notes of caramel.


It won't be long before I drink this beer again.

 427 characters

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Holsten Festbock from Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
Beer rating: 3.32 out of 5 with 124 ratings
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