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

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Holsten MaibockHolsten Maibock
111 Ratings
Holsten MaibockHolsten Maibock

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

Style: Maibock / Helles Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by canadianbarman on 11-30-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 111 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of biboergosum
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
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 Phyl21ca
2.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Can: Poured a golden color beer with below average head. Aroma is quite weak for a bock and only faint malt can be detected. Taste is very disappointing, kind of like a foul lager. Body is bit thin with some alcohol burn. Total lack of complexity in this beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.3/5  rDev +15.8%
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 woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woody's doing the CAN-CAN yet again. CAN you believe it?

Cue Fred Sanford on vacation in HI (sort of): "I'll have a Maibock. That's my bock. Dummy over there CAN have his own bock. I want what's mine. He CAN have his own if he CAN handle it. Big dummy."

CAN you get excited over a beer? I love watching the head approach the top of the glass as I hang out on somebody's C/S couch. This got a finger's worth of weak, bone-white heas with low retention. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a definite lager-sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a really sugary taste on the tongue. Finish was syrupy-sweet. Man, it just needed to be toned down a wee tad. A steady diet of this would make me a diabetic.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.47/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Can't be a true maibock, golden tone thin white head disappears in seconds, lacing yeah right. Aroma: Touch of hallertau grainy sweetness, this seems disappointingly bland. Taste: Alcohol is evident and overbearing on the grainy cloying sweetness malt liquor like flavor, this sucks. Mouthfeel: Thin watery undercarbonated. Drinkability: Wow, I only paid about a dollar for it the date was good, I had to pour this one down the drain it was horrible.

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Photo of liamt07
3.05/5  rDev +7%
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 spinrsx
3.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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 Latarnik
3/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of biegaman
3.18/5  rDev +11.6%
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 wordemupg
3.11/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml can poured into pint glass jan31 2010

A clear golden yellow with a fast falling finger of head that left a few rings of lace while the foam lasted

S some floral and grassy hops with some honey

T as it smells but with with some booze that hurts its cause and its a little sweet

M just a little syrupy with a fair amount of carbonation

D would serve a purpose if you feel like catching a cheap buzz, but nothing special going on here

not a bad beer but not worth looking for, I doubt I'll be drinking this again soon unless I'm broke and want to wash some worries away

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Photo of harpus
3/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of bylerteck
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of DrJay
2.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very clear golden colour with a rather thin, lacey head. Noticeable DMS aroma, with a hint of toasted malt. Flavour is rather sweet, some DMS, a bit of spiciness. Hop bitterness is too low to balance the sweetness. The finish is lightly sweet, not cloying, and becomes more dry as you keep drinking. Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. It also has a light alcohol warmth.

500 mL can with a clearly marked freshness date on the bottom.

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Photo of patre_tim
3/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of peensteen
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
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 kwjd
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
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 canucklehead
3.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't dislike this beer eventhough it is a poor Maibock. The taste is fairly malty with a decent sweetness. This is much better than the straight pilsner that they make. It is drinkable and better than a crap NA macro but when you taste a superior maibock such as Paulener or Ayinger it does pale in comparison.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.12/5  rDev +9.5%
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 thehyperduck
2.88/5  rDev +1.1%
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 oldp0rt
3/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
2.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of IronDjinn
1.99/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

From a 500ml can with a freshness date on the bottom, and the ingredients on the back in around 11 different languages. It's a clear amber colour, hardly any head to it at all, and that disappears the moment you blink. The aroma is sweet and boozy, but nothing really more distinct than that. The flavour can only be described as when you accidently drink La Fin Du Monde out of the bottle, and even that is being very generous (at least Monde has some character either way). The farther down the glass I go (why am I doing this to myself?) the more cidery it starts to taste. I would actually rather drink a domestic macro than this stuff.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
2.86/5  rDev +0.4%
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 chickenm
2.13/5  rDev -25.3%
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 TerryW
2/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Rough looking soda pop appearance. Unnatural gold colour, brittle white head that immediately leaves the glass. Get real ugly real quick.

Promptly and unpleasantly bitter when you tap a mouthful. Sickly sweetness immediately on the heels of the bitterness. Nose is nasty and vegetal.

Couldn't finish this. Comes across like one of those nasty malt liquor things. Tries to bludgeon you with a heavy does of alcohol.

Skip it.

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Holsten Maibock from Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
Beer rating: 2.85 out of 5 with 111 ratings
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