Holsten Maibock
Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG

Holsten MaibockHolsten Maibock
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German Maibock
Ranked #173
Ranked #47,561
2.86 | pDev: 18.18%
Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
Holsten MaibockHolsten Maibock
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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 114 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of HallsofAle
2.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Look: dark yellow, foam disappears quickly
Smell: reminiscent of most malty, mass produced beers
Taste: fairly sweet, very little bitterness for a 7% beer
Feel: not harsh
Takes like a molson or Budweiser, but higher alcohol. Has its uses

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Photo of MAB
3.74/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

An appropriate color for the style, but the head didn't stick around too long.
I liked the taste. A lot. Fairly sweet, with sugary alcohol tones. Still, it was plenty malty and not all sugar.
Easy drinking, which is dangerous with a 7% brew!

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
2.52/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright golden color going for amber. White 2 finger head dead in a minute. Average legs and activity.

Faint aromas and flavors of corn, caramel and herbal spices. Invading highly sugary syrupy taste.

Light body with prickly carbonation. Faint and short finish ending in sweetness and slightly dry.

Overall : A little bland but some good freshness. Overly accessible with a clean finish and almost no alcohol feel.

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Photo of Bunman3
2.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Another OK beer in a tall can. This is obviously mass produced Bock, intended to be consumed in substantial quantities. The high alcohol content is well hidden, so this would be a dandy beer for an Octoberfest Oom Pa Pa.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
2.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml can purchased from LCBO. Served cold into pint glass. Revisiting this as I happened to see it and wasn't sure if I had tried it before or not.

Appearance - Nice clear golden / honey brown colored beer. 2 finger head rests on top and has decent retention time but very little in the way of foam is ultimately retained. Virtually no lacing left behind. Plenty of effervescent bubbles.

Smell - Sweet and malty although muted and very little else. Slightly vegetative. Hoping that this isn't indicative of the quality.

Taste - Rather sweet with some nice caramel maltiness. Wish there was more bitterness, to counteract it. Kind of a nasty alcohol and sugary combination to finish if the beer is anything other than ice cold. Other than that it tastes pretty clean and refreshing.

Mouthfeel - Fairly lively carbonation, medium-light bodied and a pretty non-descript finish.

Overall - Definitely not terrible and the alcohol is virtually imperceptible (when cold) but otherwise not terribly exciting.

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Photo of smcolw
3.3/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Short-lived, diminutive head that settles to rim bubbles. Absolutely no lace whatsoever. The color is dirty gold. Clear.

Smells earthy and sour. No deep malt aromas that I have come to expect from this style of beer.

Starts off neutral, mostly pale malt. There's a creaminess to the flavor. The swallow sours a bit and the aftertaste is brief. I note a brief spice of hop just after the swallow. The body is proper; the carbonation tilts toward the higher side.

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Photo of peensteen
3.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Now, I have had this on many occasions but every time I have consumed this right out of the can and usually on the subway on the way somewhere. I bought this with the same intentions but the subway was full so instead I will review this.

Pale blonde/orange colour, one finger of white head with some retention and no lace to speak of. Smell is malty and bready, sweet candy like notes, some fruits come across as well, light hint of corn and some alcohol. Taste is malty and fairly sweet, some green apple flavours as well, light alcohol heat, some grassy notes come off as well, lightly bitter, malty-sweet finish. Light carb, med-full body, decent weight. This is a fairly average beer and in all respects isn't very good however, there is something I really enjoy about this beer and I will still buy this as my staple "one for the road" beer.

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Photo of korguy123
2.45/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Darker than normal straw yellow pour. Zero head just little wisps. Lacing is zilch.

S- Corn, grass and cereal. There is a strange medicinal aroma along with this I can't put my finger on.

T- I get a slight alcohol taste up front with corn, sugar and grains.

M- Light bodied, minimal carbonation.

O- I'm not appalled by this beer, it is just a hefty adjunct lager in my opinion and not worthy of my glass lol...

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Photo of Stocean1
2.59/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Golden honey colored body - I aggressively poured a one finger white head that was gone by the time i turned around from disposing of the can. No lacing and pretty clear.

S - cereal and corn bursting out, not great but not bad and about what I expected - some floral hops as well.

T - well here we go....syrupy corn, earthy hops coming through, sweet (too) malt, and some spicy pear (or what I imagine a spicy pear would taste like) - I am not pouring down the sink it has been a long week and I need a warm up - ideal brew for a hot late may day in a park out of a bag.

M - A very robust body it is sweet and syrupy with some lingering bitterness, from the pour I assumed it would be heavily carbonated (a real pop from the can) however the carbonation is really non-existent.

O - I will check this off on my bucket list - no need to "experience" this one again.

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Photo of Otterburn
3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

out of the 500,ml can.

clear golden color, inch of white head

medium carbonation

smell alcool and cereal

the taste is a bit medium. alcool note, cereals,
not so well defined.

mouthfeel is playing with a medium carb and medium body, with a large part of alcool

overall, its not a beer i will remember that much. but for now, it works before lunch time.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.1/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml Can

Appearance – Clear darker yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, bread, corn, malts, hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste malts and very very light hops mixed with corn. There is also a hint of a caramel sweetness. It finishes with a malty cooked corn aftertaste.

Overall – The taste seemed little bit harsh at times, but for the most part it's a fairly enjoyable above average beer. Not something I'd ever buy again but it wasn't a waste of money.

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Photo of evlu1441
2.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had the regular Holsten, and I wasn't too impressed. I'm hoping this Maibock is more than just an extra strong lager.

It has a deeper golden colour than a typical lager, with thin bubble head that is quickly dissipating. There is a lot of carbonation rising up to the top.

The aroma is sweet and malty. There is also a faint alcohol smell.

The flavour is has a richer maltiness than a regular lager. It has a slightly biscuity character. The alcohol is quite noticeable throughout, and though not offensive, not always the best. The body is kind of light, which lends to a watery taste after a while. After a few gulps, the alcohol is almost all there is to the flavour.

Overall, this definitely tastes like a maibock and not just a strong lager, but it isn't the best representation of the style.

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Photo of biegaman
3.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bocks are great beers for evolutionary geneticists: variation under domestication, natural selection, laws of variation, hybridism - examples abound in this historical German family of brews. This particular example, for instance, is much clearer and lighter than doppelbocks of similar strength, yet its deep orange body is darker than most helles (light) bocks.

The Reinheitsgebot (German Purity Law) - which this beer claims to adhere to - is an assurance that adjuncts weren't added to the beer, but it's no indication of whether the ingredients that were added are any good or added amply. This beer has a fairly flaccid maltiness that is accented by a dry alcohol and slight corny sweetness.

The alcohol and the malts work hand in glove; traces of bready Munich malt absorb some of the booze while it, in turn, beefs up the malt's otherwise pale plainness. There's a good balance struck. It's not what I'd call "rich" - which this style absolutely should be - but it's fairly clean. Still, I'm not satisfied unless I can feel the Munich malt in my gums.

The alcohol, while you can be sure it’s in there, is certainly not flagrant. The beer is, however, quite thin and notes of raw white sugar (probably added to boost the alcohol content) come and go, lingering more as the beer looses its chill. It would have certainly benefited from a few more kettle hops - they've really gotta axe that residual sweetness.

Holsten Maibock started off as a Seinfeld episode – a beer about nothing – but became more like a David Lynch film: pretty strange, hard to assess and even harder to tell if I liked it. I'm not sure what to think – I love the style but it is inherently a pale, strong lager which means that, if done poorly, it constitutionally becomes a “malt liquor”. That confusion doesn't happen with the style's best examples. With this one, however, it’s up to interpretation.

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Photo of thehyperduck
2.88/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I don't think I've sat down and reviewed any German beer before, or had a maibock before for that matter, so I'll get a few things out of the way with this one. Given the price of this 500 mL can and the higher ABV I am a little wary but every beer deserves a fair shake.

This beer is a pale golden orange colour, and the head was thick and foamy at first but it doesn't last much longer than a minute before fading to a cap of almost nothing. Looks kind of like a slightly darker adjunct beer. The smell is pleasant but not particularly notable - grains and grassiness, with some sweetness, and thankfully no whiff of alcohol.

The smell isn't hiding anything because most of the same notes are in the flavour - the highlights include honeyed malt sweetness, a little bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish. Sweetness lingers on the tongue even after this, and the alcohol doesn't really become noticeable until the beer has been sitting a bit. Medium-bodied, a little light for a bock; mouthfeel is a bit syrupy. Carbonation is fairly light and just tickles the tongue without being overpowering.

Holsten Maibock is alright and considerably better than many of its high-ABV-half-litre competitors, but it's nothing inspiring. If you are looking to get wasted (on beer) and don't want to get malt liquor or Black Ice-type garbage, this is a feasible option, though I have a feeling I'd regret drinking more than one or two of these anyway. You could definitely do worse, but I doubt I'll pick it up again - my only recommendation is that you drink this cold, and do it quickly before the alcohol starts to warm.

[Updated April 8 2014]

Another can, the first one I've had since my original review - but this one isn't doing anything positive for me tonight. The corn syrup sweetness is raunchy, the booziness is off-putting, and I am probably going to have trouble finishing the rest of the glass. Pretty gross stuff... still a step or two above malt liquor, or the really gross Euro strong lagers (think Crest, Faxe Strong, etc.), but not something you'd want more than one of at a time.

Final Grade: 2.88, a C grade.

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Photo of kwjd
3.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500mL can from the LCBO. Pours a golden yellow colour with a finger of thick white head. The head dissipates leaving some patches on top of the beer. Smells quite grainy with a very faint grassy aroma. Almost no bitterness, very sweet though. Flavour is fairly clean and for a cheap high alcohol beer, I can see the appeal in this. I think it tastes better than macro lagers and it certainly punches higher at 7% alcohol.

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Photo of liamt07
3.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can from the LCBO, poured into a pint glass.

Poured a golden yellow, less than a finger of white head. A collar retains throughout; filtered body. Nose of light sweet malts, light cereals, some sweet pale candy and some grain. Taste follows with a general sweetness, some honey-like sweetness, cracker and some graininess in the finish. Medium-high carbonation, with a decent mouthfeel. Decent drinkability, but overall does the trick if your looking to warm up just a bit (like I was).

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Photo of Tackledorange
3.58/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

it poured a clear golden colour with a 2 finger head that left some pretty decent lacing. It smells fairly sweet with a little floral hop smell and some grassy tones. It tastes very similar to what the smell is like more malt forward with a little tangy taste of hops at the end fairly light in flavour and body but for 7% abv it is pretty easy drinking but as it warmed up to room temperature the alcohol became very pronounced but not to overbearing.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml can - same mounted knight emblem imagery as the other Holsten offerings.

This beer pours a perfectly clear, medium golden amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and even a bit creamy off-white head, which leaves some thin, filmy ropes of lace around the glass in its steady wake.

It smells of bready, kind of crackery pale grainy malt, warm cereal, over-inoculated sourdough, further earthy yeast, mildly phenolic booze, and weak weedy, earthy hops. The taste is strong, bready cereal malt, rather sweet in its bearing, pithy yeast, a soft, slightly metallic alcohol edge, and more anemic grassy and floral noble hops.

Bubbles are at a premium, as the carbonation is quite soft and lilting in its basic frothiness, the body a stocky medium weight, kind of slick, but ultimately smooth. It finishes clean, I suppose, if a bit sticky, and weirdly drying, after all that, as the still understated warming alcohol and grassy/weedy hops keep on keepin' on.

An adequately drinkable, and certainly affordable Maibock, in the guise of a Euro strong lager, and less boozy than many Continental bocks that I've sampled. Just the thing to hit the spot as the weather unsurprisingly turns, heh, south - and it seems to work as a suitable pairing to the spicy-ass Rogan Josh that is imminently arriving to my dinner table.

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Photo of scott451
3.1/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear amberish gold into a glass mug. Two finger bubbly white head which didn't stick around. Good lacing.

Sweet malt smells. Some grassy floral notes. Sweet malts again in the taste. Caramel toffee with a slight bite. Very smooth hop finish. Quite nice. Big flavour.

Medeum body and carbonation. A little sweet for a big session. A 500ml can of 7% is not to be taken lightly. One of my fave winter brews though.

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Photo of BBP
2.51/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Clear golden wheat color with little head. Disappeared all together rather quickly.

S- Sweet malt smell. Slight hop aroma.

T- Syrupy. Sweet malts, but lacking a bit in the hop department. Some metallic hints.

M- Hard on the tongue, but goes down easy. A bit more carbonation than average.

D- Pretty good for a getting drunk cheap beer. Not impressive tastewise though. The alcohol isn't too noticable, but it's noticable enough to take away from what could have been good.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.12/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - clear golden yellow, good white head that dissipated quickly to a thin film, decent lacing
S - resiny hops, metallic, light grainy malts, slightly perfumy
T - leafy and resiny hop flavours are fairly crisp and clean, mild grainy malts, but the tinny metallic flavours is a bit much
M - full carbonation but relatively thin, dryness is nice but again the feel is even metallic on the finish
D - relatively easy drinking like most of the German offerings you will find in a Canadian liquor store, but the higher ABV and the metallic flavours start to build up to make the experience less enjoyable

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Photo of ChrisCage
2.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- This pours with a creamy thick white head, but it doesn't retain very well, settling fairly quick into a thin film over the beer. The color is golden and is very clear. There is a lot of carbonation, and they are big bubbles. The columns rise slower than many other beers so we'll see what we get....

S- Sweet malt dominates the aroma, but there is some hints of metallic astringency. The alcohol is more noticeable, but could be expected, being 7% and all. The finish is slightly herbal and there is some mild hop bitterness too.

T- Much like the aromas, with lots of malt sweetness that is slightly honeyed. The initial sweetness is quickly subdued though by a bitter metallic flavor and alcohol, which doesn't taste all that good. The lingering sweetness returns in a more mild manner on the palate afterwards.

M- Medium-light bodied and the carbonation is not overwhelming, which helps a bit in getting through the alcohol. However, it's just too alcoholic to really get a feel for the character overall.

D- Once I'm done this can I think I'll keep it at that. This isn't like the Festbock, which is good IMO. There isn't enough of a balance for me to want to drink this more. Might be good for a beer can chicken though, once the booze burns off, as the sweetness could liven up the meat...

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Photo of chickenm
2.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear light copper color, with a thin fizzy head that quickly disappears. Aroma of malt, apples, light hops, and alcohol. The taste is overly sweet and dominated by the alcohol, and very little hops in this. Gets worse as the beer warms up. Not very good.. I wasn't able to finish this, and I won't be buying this again anytime soon.

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Photo of mintjellie
1.8/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep gold in colour with a poorly retained fizzy white head. Faint pale malt and alcohol aroma. It tastes like a severely under-attenuated and under-hopped pilsner. A little bit of white bread with very little hop flavour or bitterness to offset it's honeyed sweetness. Alcohol isn't hot, but still feels harsh. Everything else is so mute that booze really is the dominant flavour in this beer. Booze and sugar. Light bodied with low carbonation, it feels both thin and syrupy. Terrible beer. This must be Germanys answer to malt liqour.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.3/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like another tall boy can in the icebox, so let's give it a whirl. Popping the top yields a pungent head shop clove smell. Pours to a golden colour with a creamy white head. Taste is a weighty funky almost skunky mix. The first thing that hits you is a dubbel-like maltiness and sweetness followed by a large and in charge hoppiness made up of noble hops. This seems like something to be imbibed in the biergarten out a 2 liter mug no less. Das ist gut, excepting for the funky twang on the aftertaste, otherwise the early workings of a belgian. Not too chabby.

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Holsten Maibock from Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
Beer rating: 70 out of 100 with 114 ratings