Saphir Bock | Brauerei Hofstetten Krammer GmbH & Co. KG

BA SCORE
87
very good
72 Ratings
THE BROS
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Saphir BockSaphir Bock
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Hofstetten Krammer GmbH & Co. KG
Austria
hofstetten.at

Style: Maibock / Helles Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John_M on 01-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
72
Reviews:
40
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
9.32%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 72 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of psoriasaurus
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of lehkost
4.9/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

While it's seeming less special every time a brewery introduces a new beer showcasing Saphir hops, this is only my second chance to try it from a European brewery, and my first time trying it in a beer with such a high alcohol content. This review is based on my most recent tasting of this. My first time tasting this was not an impressive experience. This beer must be served somewhat cold. While many bocks are great at higher temperatures, this beer loses its balance as the alcohol and malt overtake the hop aromas.

A - Beautiful blond color, good head retention.

S - Definite aroma of noble hops, more of a Saaz aroma, but this is what Saphir is about, even if it was brewed as a stand-in for Hallertau. A bit of sweet malt, but almost all hops. This is dry-hopped for eight weeks (remarkable, in my mind, for a Germanic brewery), so this is supposed to take center stage.

T - Malt sweetness quickly gives way to a burst of noble hop flavor. Bright on the finish, and dry, but not bitter. While there are good amounts of alcohol, malt, hops, they integrate well into a flavor much more reminiscent of a Pilsner than a bock. While I find the style of "Imperial Pilsner" fairly uninspiring, this beer really hit the spot for me.

M - Carbonation falls just short of seltzery. While maybe a bit high for a bock, this is a blonde bock, and it is heavily hopped. I feel that this works just fine.

O - I look forward to trying this on draft, since I feel that it will showcase the beer better, especially when it comes to serving size. As I've said, this beer should be cold (which I still feel strange saying), so I think that the appropriate way to enjoy the bottle is to share it with a friend. If you want a half-liter of goodness, just order two rounds (as long as your friend is game). The alcohol is over 7% ABV, so I feel that the appropriate serving size is closer to .25 L, but I think this brewery only produces .5 L bottles. So be it. This is, in my opinion, a new gold standard, all told, for the showcase of Saphir hops.

 2,038 characters

Photo of Phinner
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great Helles (Heller?). The color is golden yellow. The taste is slightly sweet and very refined for a beer that has been dry hopped for 8 months. Better for drinking in spring when the weather is not so hot - but I would drink any time of the year.

Overall - a great beer that I will buy again.

 298 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

golden with a big fizzy head on the top. This soon faded and dropped back into nothing at all. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass though.

Light grains, hints of bready notes and a touch of a flowery type of aroma at first. As it warms though just lots of grains and bready notes all over it.Crisp, clean and well defined. Very nice example of the style. It was light and cleans with a light clove like flavor mid palate before a nice dose of grassy and herbal like hops came through at the end offering just enough of a drying notion to leave a nice long bready finish in place.

Light bodied and smooth and clean it was definitely a class act. Well carbonated and nicely put together, I would have no issue at all with having this one again any day.This pretty much sums it up. I was able to put it down quite nicely and without much effort

 867 characters

Photo of safaricook
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First of all, this beer is neither retired nor brewed just once. It is brewed every year for release before Christmas as it is the tradition for Bockbier in Austria. Last edition seen and tasted, was made in 2015 The beer is brewed with Magnum, Aurora and Select hops and furthermore lagered and dry hopped for 2 months. It is an unfiltered heller Bock.
In my opinion this is a really remarkable beer and I will not dissect, because I just do not dare to destroy its magic for me. Also I fail every time when I want to pin down its aroma to a certain fruit, it is heaven to me. Saphir Bock is one of the few beers that makes me longing for it, when I do not have it around. It is unique and the only lager that I hold in such high regards. It is the perfect combination of modern hops and traditional long term lagering. It combines the full chewy mouthfeel of a Kellerbier and the fruity juicy flavors of a fresh IPA, but as in any other heller Bock it is the sweetness of the malts that carry is it. Everything in this beer comes together perfectly while still being modest and unpretentious. Aside from its frothy white head, I do not know how it looks like because I always need to drink it in a traditional stein. It must shine as bright as the star of Bethlehem.

 1,268 characters

Photo of hoop454
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of MrOH
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love using saphir hops in my homebrews, so I figured I'd pick this up.

Pours a hazy yellow, with a sort of orangish red blush, much like a peach. I'm assuming the haze is from the extended dry hopping, but I like my helles lagers CLEAR. Thin white head, without much lace at all. I loved the color, but the haze isn't to style, so ???

Very subtle nose, with herbal hops and bready malt being the main things picked up, but there is a decent amount of citrus as well. That's why I love saphir, its like Hallertauer with a touch of an American "C".

Very clean tasting, but still rich and sweet. Earth, spice, bread, dried apricot. Like an apricot muffin. Smooth and balanced.

Full and a bit chewy, but not sticky or syrupy. High carbonation

Definitely my favorite Maibock that I can recall. Could definitely drink a few on a cool Spring night.

 848 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had been wanting to try this after seeing it in Minneapolis in the spring, so I broke down and had a few bottles shipped from Ultimate Wine Shop in NJ.

Poured from the bottle into a standard US pint glass.

A heavy pour creates a generous 2+cm head of very light tan, small-ish bubbles. This fades in a minute or two to a thin ring around the glass; leaves a bit of lacing, too. Body is a rich, deep, semi-hazy gold color, but plenty of active carbonation is visible.

Aroma is very clean, with slight mineral content, grain, flowery hops, light sweet fruit, and even a slight sourness. Could be a bit more pronounced?

Taste opens with malty and caramel sweetness closely tied to some spicy herbal/floral hop components that strike up as soon as the beer hits the middle of the tongue. Mid-taste is of gentle, faint, bland, subtle orange mixed with more noticeable black pepper. Very nice bitterness that arises in the mid-taste and lasts throughout (and dominates) the close. Aftertaste of agreeable malt sweetness, even yielding a bit of coconut in the back of the mouth. This is really tasty, especially as it warms.

Fairly medium to medium-heavy-bodied, somewhat chewy, but carbonation is generous enough to blend well with this. This could be a little too heavy and sticky sweet in the mouthfeel if it weren't for the dry hopping, which creates a generally dry mouthfeel. Finish is, expectedly, quite dry. Excellent.

Overall: wow. This was a pleasure to drink and think about while doing so. An exceptional helles, with a nearly perfect Continental hop and malt balance. Would definitely grab a bunch more if seen.

 1,623 characters

Photo of JTuomi
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of CurtFromHershey
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of tykechandler
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gavage
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a hazy pale orange color with some yellow tints. Short 1/4" head falls quickly.

Smell: loads of lemon citrus, a hint of spice, and some floral notes come through.

Taste: nice bready malt profile with lemon zest, a bit of honey, pears, red apples, and a nice bitterness. Some earthy qualities arrive late. Alcohol is slightly noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp and somewhat dry at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a nice bock that is easy to drink but is a bit on the hoppier side. A very intersting beer that you will not get bored with.

 606 characters

Photo of Zraly
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale, cloudy gold with a healthy, rocky head. Nice whiff of citrus and bread upfront. Lacing is good.

Hops are assertive upfront and supported by a doughy malt backbone. Hops snap with citrus. Medium-bodied and smooth, clean mouthfeel. A smattering of grain husk touches the palate in the finish, which dries down nicely. Well-balanced German lager.

A really nice European lager. I've only tried a few in this style (i.e., maibock) but so far, I'd have to say this is my favorite. The Saphir hops, with their crisp citrus presence, really shine with the malt bill. I could really go for a weisswurst right now!

 622 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always enjoyed the beers from this brewery, and it was nice to see bottles at my local shop. Pours a slightly hazy dark golden with a thin head that fades a little too quickly. Nice bitter hops with a tangy lager note playing support in the nose. Notes of mint, bubblegum, and lots of herbs as well as a touch of coconut. The taste is similar, with the lager yeast notes and hop notes playing off each other nicely. Lovely finish of very fresh tasting herbal hops on a mellow frame. There is a haunting coconut note that echoes somewhere in the finish. Very pleasant beer.

 577 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, golden body. The foam settles slowly but leaves little lace.

S - Bready malt and lots of musty, herbal hops. Very much more like a pilsener than a bock.

T - Sweet malt up front with a hint of fruity yeast. Musty hops come out in the middle with some more honey flavored malt. The beer finishes with a sugary honey note and moderate bitterness as well as more herbal hop flavors.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very interesting, the strong, pilsener malt character and heavy hop aroma contributes to something that is more like an Imperial Pils than a bock. It is fairly sweet, but this helps to balance the green hop character from the dry hopping. Pretty nice overall, I would drink it again, though I don't expect to find it at any place where I wouldn't be tempted by many other excellent beers.

 910 characters

Photo of jdense
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer #7 sampled at Eastern Oregon DONG (Dudes of Northwest Grog) "We Will Bock You!" tasting @ Barley Brown's, 8.6.11.

Medium gold clear body, pure white head, quick dissipation with nice lacing. Very hoppy nose, Nobles, balanced by bready malts and a touch of honey sweetness. Taste mirrors nose, this was by far the most hoppy beer of the entire tasting, a bit of pineyness to balance the honey sweetness. Mouthfeel on the light side of medium, dry finish. After the Doppelbock attack early in the tasting, used this as a palate refresher. Not sure about the color, more of a Helles Bock than Maibock colorwise, and on that note this is one Hoppy Helles. Greater than the sum of its well put together parts. One of the more interesting beers sampled, I actually enjoyed this quite a bit.

 790 characters

Photo of Akabufflaobilly
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Slatetank
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I purchased this from Brass Rail in Campbelltown, enjoyed chilled in a mug.

The color is sunny golden with light haze and thick white cream with fine bead, lace sticks in spots and retention is very good. The smell is herbal, fruity, lemon-zest and light grassy hop aromas are present too with slight yeast mineral note adding to the blend of hops and malt. The feel is very good, medium bodied with moderate bitterness and mild sweetness with nutty malt texture and subtle yeast creaminess with a mostly dry finish.

The taste has a honey-like flavor with mild toasted grain and gentle yeast up front with slight herbal hop flavors coming through mid palate with a slight lemony aspect adding a hint of tangy flavor to the malt which is lightly nutty and with a slight flavor of mineral in the yeast but the dominant taste is a more noble-hop like flavor of saphir which adds a fruity element. The overall taste is a great blend of malt yeast and hops adding a dimension which is not common in the style, the aroma and flavor of Saphir is great and adds a brightness which keeps this bock from becoming dull at any time, I would certainly drink this again.

 1,161 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a golden orangish color with an off-white head.

S- There is a lot more malt in the nose than expected. The grassy hops are prevalent as well. Smells great!

T-The taste like the aroma starts out with some grainy malt with the hops coming in quickly and lingering well into the finish. The saphir hops are not overly bitter, but they do have a deliciously unique flavor.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It is a really nicely hopped German lager that is definitely worth a try.

 563 characters

Photo of MAUEX_MFA
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Hanzo
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of bigred89
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had a yellow-brown color and a slightly cloudy texture. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very subtle aroma of malt, hops and some light fruit.

T: Tasted of malt, mild hops, and a bit of citrus (there's a slight presence of lemon - not too much, this is a German beer after all). The flavor is solid and sneakily good.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A well made, drinkable maibock/helles bock.

 513 characters

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Saphir Bock from Brauerei Hofstetten Krammer GmbH & Co. KG
3.97 out of 5 based on 72 ratings.
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